Beyond the availability of courses, we tested to see how much information each device provides about the hole – including views, distances to various marked points, including trees, creeks, bunkers, the end of the fairway on a dogleg, and even lay-up points.
Users should note that in general, graphic hole images are significantly easier to see under bright light as compared to satellite images.
Beth: We have a great section of…do-it-yourself.
Andy: Do YOU like to do-it-yourself?
Beth: Sometimes. I mean…if the mood strikes.
Seriously, we can’t help but quote “The 40-Year Old Virgin” whenever we see “do-it-yourself”. And yes, we should just grow up.
Hand-in-hand with the evaluation of course availability is the ability of users to supplement the available course information on their own. Can you add additional hazards or bunkers to an existing course map? How easy is it to do these things? And if a course is not available on a device, can you map the course on your own, either with the device or from a PC (using Google Earth or other satellite imagery)?
In each review, we note the strengths and weaknesses of the various devices when it comes to supplementing the available course data with your own information.
The Celestron CoursePro Elite, GolfBuddy Tour, Sonocaddie V300 and Golf Guru 4 all offer the ability to map courses during play with relative ease. Other devices do not allow users to map points, some due to the fact that users can already obtain distances to any point on the course. Table 1 below indicates the total number of marked points that can be added per hole (excluding the front, middle and back of the green, which we assume to be a baseline requirement).
Table 1. Total Points That Can Be Mapped per Hole
|Golf GPS Device||Additional Obstacles|
|Bushnell Hybrid Laser GPS||4|
|SkyCaddie LINX Watch||None|
|Garmin Approach G8||None|
|Garmin Approach G7||None|
|Garmin Approach G6||None|
|Garmin Approach S3||None|
|Garmin Approach S2||None|
|Garmin Approach S1||None|
|IZZO SWAMI 3000||None|
|Matrix SHOTMATE Voice||None|
* The SkyCaddie SGXw, SkyCaddie SGX and SkyCaddie Breeze can only mark distances to the front, middle and back of greens when mapping a new course. Additional obstacles cannot be added to an existing course map.