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Worth renewing a subscription for a GPS like a Skycaddie?

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About 4 years ago, my wife bought me a Skycaddie SG5. The subscription ran out last year. Tonight I had some time and was playing with it, and discovered it is unusable. Even the courses I previously downloaded are not accessible on it. In order to continue using it, I need to pay for a new subscription, they start at around $50.00 and go to about $120.00.

There's so much free or cheaper GPS stuff available now, I'm wondering if it's worth it. On the other hand, it would be a shame to have a $300.00 paperweight.

Anyone here still using a subscription GPS like a Skycaddie?

Think it's worth it?

Thanks.

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Put the money towards a laser rangefinder instead. You'll get a LOT more use out of it and no recurring subscription fees.
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Put the money towards a laser rangefinder instead. You'll get a LOT more use out of it and no recurring subscription fees.

Another vote for the range finder. You can put the gps on Craig's list or eBay and probably get a range finder for what you sell the gps for.

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+2 on the rangefinder.  If you want to try a cheap GPS for your smartphone, Skydroid is a $1.99 app.  I used it while my Leupold was getting repaired (replaced for free!).  It only gives the distance to the center of the green, but it is pretty accurate.

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Fourth vote for the range diner. Avoiding a subscription was one of my big reasons for going for the laser, although most GPS units don't require them now.
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My SkyCaddie is a paper weight because I refuse to pay for the subscription. When I bought mine, you only needed the subscription to download new or update current courses. Then, one day, they erased all the courses and forced everyone to always have a subscription. I can not say enough bad about that business model from a consumer perspective. I can not imagine ever buying anything from them -- include a subscription.

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I may be in the minority, but a statewide plan is only $30/year - the skycaddie also makes it a lot easier to look at my stats.

Are you good enough where an exact laser yardage is going to improve your game? I am pretty sure in my case, that knowing the distance within a couple of yards isnt going to make my game any worse.

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I ditched my Sky Caddie earlier this year because I too had grown tired of the subscription. Prior to ditching it, I played many rounds with friends with Golf Buddies, Garmins, etc. and there wasn't a lick of difference in measurements. I went with the Garmin G6 and love it. I also won a Bushnell V3 Slope edition and I use the Garmin more on the course. I do find the range finder is very helpful with practice to determine exact distances I'm hitting for each club.

In summary, I don't know how in the world Sky Caddie continues to be successful charging subscriptions.

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In summary, I don't know how in the world Sky Caddie continues to be successful charging subscriptions.

Probably because there are people like me that spent a lot more on their phone (and in my case - it is too big to fit in a drink holder) The skycaddie can be dropped, rained on and still continue to work fine - if I treated my phone like that, I would probably lose it and have to deal with a ton of other issues.

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Probably because there are people like me that spent a lot more on their phone (and in my case - it is too big to fit in a drink holder)

The skycaddie can be dropped, rained on and still continue to work fine - if I treated my phone like that, I would probably lose it and have to deal with a ton of other issues.

Fair enough, but I was referring to the other "dedicated" golf GPS choices on the market. I tried the phone option too and didn't like it for some of the same reasons you mentioned.

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My SkyCaddie is a paper weight because I refuse to pay for the subscription. When I bought mine, you only needed the subscription to download new or update current courses. Then, one day, they erased all the courses and forced everyone to always have a subscription. I can not say enough bad about that business model from a consumer perspective. I can not imagine ever buying anything from them -- include a subscription.

This is big part of my thinking. I despise their business practice, especially deleting courses that I downloaded while I was paid up.

I play in more than 1 state, so I'd need the more expensive subscription.

I will look at some of the rangefinders. That might be a good option.

Thanks all.

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I got my Skycaddie SGXW when they went on sale this fall.  I got a subscription for three years for like $100 or so and that covers every US state.   The course I play most has a lot of blind shots where a laser is useless.  When I researched what GPS to purchase I found the skycaddie to be the best option.  It's within a few yards of my buddies laser and it also tells you where false fronts are on greens.  I love it when I play on a new course too, it's almost like I've already played the course once when I can see the layout of the hole on my screen.  You can also keep track of useful stats and use it to keep score on the fly.  I only got to use it four or five times before the weather turned, but I absolutely love it!

About $30 a year or so for a subscription is no big deal!

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After thinking this over a bit, I've decided to renew my subscription for 3 years at $100.

I certainly don't like Skycaddie's business practices, but since I'm already into it for $300.00, another $100 over 3 years ($33 per year) makes more sense than starting over with another $300 investment. The Skycaddies go for about 40.00on ebay, so not much value in selling it.

When the subscription expires in 3 years I suspect there will be more options, or at least I've amortized the expensive skycaddie over 6 instead of 3 years.

Thanks for the advice to all who answered.

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After thinking this over a bit, I've decided to renew my subscription for 3 years at $100.

I certainly don't like Skycaddie's business practices, but since I'm already into it for $300.00, another $100 over 3 years ($33 per year) makes more sense than starting over with another $300 investment. The Skycaddies go for about 40.00on ebay, so not much value in selling it.

When the subscription expires in 3 years I suspect there will be more options, or at least I've amortized the expensive skycaddie over 6 instead of 3 years.

Thanks for the advice to all who answered.

Evil wins another one. I understand the "in-for-a-penny" logic very well. So do the evil folks at SkyCaddie. :doh:

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What I don't understand is the logic behind people being upset having to pay for a subscription.  Now, if you were told there was no subscription and you could use the preloaded courses for free, I guess I can see where you are coming from.  However, I'm guessing there was probably some fine print in there saying terms and conditions are subject to change.  Either way the fee is nominal for what you are getting.  Their people actually walk and meause the course.  I have no idea where the other free GPS units are getting their data.  If they are using data from say google maps, is it really accurate?

With my regular Wed. foursome, we can all be standing on the green with three different readings.  The guy and I that have SGXW's are always the same.  The other two have two different "free" GPS.  Granted they are all within a few yards of one another usually, but sometimes they are 10 to 15 yards off, which is huge IMO, no matter what your skill level is.  When a big argument on a par three will insue due to different readings, which use to happen often when we all first got GPS's, we'lll find the official course marker on the tee box and walk it off to where the current tee box is and the SGX's are always the most accurate within a yard or two.  One day I say I have 164 to the center (I don't remember the exact reading), my buddy says weird, I have 165.  I look back at him and say, "That's because you're standing behind me!"  lol.

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What I don't understand is the logic behind people being upset having to pay for a subscription.  Now, if you were told there was no subscription and you could use the preloaded courses for free, I guess I can see where you are coming from.  However, I'm guessing there was probably some fine print in there saying terms and conditions are subject to change.  Either way the fee is nominal for what you are getting.  Their people actually walk and meause the course.  I have no idea where the other free GPS units are getting their data.  If they are using data from say google maps, is it really accurate? With my regular Wed. foursome, we can all be standing on the green with three different readings.  The guy and I that have SGXW's are always the same.  The other two have two different "free" GPS.  Granted they are all within a few yards of one another usually, but sometimes they are 10 to 15 yards off, which is huge IMO, no matter what your skill level is.  When a big argument on a par three will insue due to different readings, which use to happen often when we all first got GPS's, we'lll find the official course marker on the tee box and walk it off to where the current tee box is and the SGX's are always the most accurate within a yard or two.  One day I say I have 164 to the center (I don't remember the exact reading), my buddy says weird, I have 165.  I look back at him and say, "That's because you're standing behind me!"  lol.

Without knocking anyone on here - it is because there is a large contingent on this site that believes *cheaper* is *better* Just ask what kind of clubs/balls/etc you should play and several will tell you to buy used or the cheapest option possible. Thanks for trying to save my cash, but my cash level is not an issue. It does make me laugh when people cry about (what I perceive to be) a nominal subscription fee. $30-$50/year is nothing when people pay more than that for one 4 hour round.

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Without knocking anyone on here - it is because there is a large contingent on this site that believes *cheaper* is *better*

Just ask what kind of clubs/balls/etc you should play and several will tell you to buy used or the cheapest option possible. Thanks for trying to save my cash, but my cash level is not an issue.

It does make me laugh when people cry about (what I perceive to be) a nominal subscription fee. $30-$50/year is nothing when people pay more than that for one 4 hour round.

I don't have an issue with subscriptions, especially if they were in place when I bought the device.

That said, while cash levels are not a concern for me either I don't believe that "more expensive" is "better".   The same exact brand new club that costs $75 from one store and $130 from another will perform exactly the same (assuming one isn't a fake).  The clubs / balls don't know how much you're paying for them and adjust their performance levels based on it.  There's nothing wrong with shopping for the best price once you make a determination on what you want to buy.

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What I don't understand is the logic behind people being upset having to pay for a subscription.  Now, if you were told there was no subscription and you could use the preloaded courses for free, I guess I can see where you are coming from.  However, I'm guessing there was probably some fine print in there saying terms and conditions are subject to change.  Either way the fee is nominal for what you are getting.  Their people actually walk and measure the course.  I have no idea where the other free GPS units are getting their data.  If they are using data from say google maps, is it really accurate?

With my regular Wed. foursome, we can all be standing on the green with three different readings.  The guy and I that have SGXW's are always the same.  The other two have two different "free" GPS.  Granted they are all within a few yards of one another usually, but sometimes they are 10 to 15 yards off, which is huge IMO, no matter what your skill level is.  When a big argument on a par three will insue due to different readings, which use to happen often when we all first got GPS's, we'lll find the official course marker on the tee box and walk it off to where the current tee box is and the SGX's are always the most accurate within a yard or two.  One day I say I have 164 to the center (I don't remember the exact reading), my buddy says weird, I have 165.  I look back at him and say, "That's because you're standing behind me!"  lol.

If you buy a SkyCaddie now, you should expect that the only way it will work is by paying a subscription each year. Stop the subscription and the devise will do nothing.

When I bought my first, and then second, SkyCaddie, that was not the case. The devise needs to be hooked up to a computer to upload and update courses. Mine could only store 10 courses. If the course had been updated by Skycaddie, o their website, you had to go through the computer connected update, it would not update via satellite. So, if you played different courses, or you regular courses changed (like added a bunker), you needed the subscription to change the data stored on the devise. If you drive across the country, you have to plan where you expect to play and download courses from a computer with internet connection. I do not know of another GPS devise that requires this odd planning and pre-loading of the course.

I paid my subscription for years and even upgraded to the an international version ahead of a Scotland trip. Then I found that I did not update or change my 10 courses for over a year so I let the subscription lapse. All worked fine for a while until SkyCaddie changed the policy and said you needed to keep a subscription all the time. Remember that you needed to hook the devise to a computer to change any courses of even pay your subscription because they claimed that they could not access your devise setting over satellite to load or change course data. That is why you could only store 10 courses and why the data was not current unless you updated the course with a computer and internet connection to their site. Then, one day, they did access all our devises and ripped out all the course data so that the old courses were all gone. Everything was gone and the devise did nothing without a subscription. Again, the devise I paid for, with the courses I downloaded with a paid subscription to their download service, had been wiped clean.

That change in policy (I'm sure it was legal) was a change in business plan and a violation of the promise and practice of the original agreement -- the agreement and practice in place when I paid over $200 for the devise. Again, I'm sure they had the legal right but, IMHO, they did not have an ethical leg to stand on. And for that reason, I sing my disapproval of them as a company and recommend people weak other options for GPS devises. And, BTW, how could they suddenly access and change the course information on or devises via satellite when that claimed that the reason for the computer hookup was technology based? Many other GPS devises load the course based on location and it is their most current data.

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