Editor’s note: GolfLogix has stopped manufacturing the GPS-8 as the company turns its focus to their new GolfLogix iPhone golf GPS app (also available on other smartphones). The GolfLogix GPS-8 is still available from Amazon.com as they sell through their remaining inventory.
It doesn’t get much more basic and easy to use than the GolfLogix GPS-8. There are adequate hazards marked per hole, solid accuracy, and automatic advancement between screens. The GolfLogix web site promotes that there are no buttons to push during the round – and that is the one key item to remember about this GPS device.
If you don’t care about bells and whistles and are looking for a device to turn on at the start of the round, off at the end, and never touch a button in-between, this could be the GPS unit for you. If you are more comfortable with technology, you will probably be happier looking elsewhere. No frills means no hole views, no ability to record additional targets, and no recording of scores or shot statistics.
Even though the GolfLogix GPS-8 has one of the lowest costs of ownership over a three-year period, buyers still seem to be paying a premium for the Garmin brand name, along with the celebrity endorsements from Peter Kostis and Gary McCord’s moustache. Consumers would be remiss to not consider other competitive units that have price points slightly above and below that of the GolfLogix GPS-8.
- Simple to use
- One of lowest total costs over three-year period
- Impressive coverage of golf courses in our course availability test
- Most bulky of units tested
- All text – there are no pictures of holes
- Simple is as simple does – fewest features of units tested
Retail price: $199.95
Availability: Discontinued. Replaced by the GolfLogix iPhone app
The Good: Straightforward desktop software makes it easy to manage the transfer of golf courses to the device. The ability to load up to 20 courses on the device is useful for anyone going on an extended golf trip. The GolfLogix GPS-8 uses 2 AA batteries (included), so there is no charging necessary prior to use. Our reviewers liked this feature, since there is never that panic-stricken moment at the airport on a golf trip when you remember you left the charger for your golf GPS device at home. Just remember to toss a couple of extra batteries into your bag …just in case.
The Bad: Took the longest of all devices tested to set up, mostly as a result of the required software download and an update to that software.
- Required Steps. Like most devices, the GolfLogix GPS-8 requires a set-up process involving:
- registering on their web site to create a free account;
- installing “desktop manager” software on a PC or Mac;
- searching for desired golf courses through the desktop manager software;
- downloading selected golf courses to the PC or Mac; and
- using the desktop manager software to transfer (or “sync”) the courses to the device.
- Time Required for Setup. Unfortunately, the GolfLogix GPS-8 took the longest of any device tested to set up, with a start-to-finish time of 25 minutes, a good part of which was the result of the required software download and the latest update for that software.
What’s in the Box: The GolfLogix GPS-8 comes with:
- Bag-belt clip
- USB cable
- 2 AA batteries
- Quick Start Guide
- GolfLogix Course Manager software
Critical Golf Test: The GolfLogix course database flexed its muscle in our course coverage test, with best-in-class coverage of 100% of the courses we sampled and strength across all types of courses and in all regions of the country. The GolfLogix GPS-8 scored big points with our reviewers on this front – after all, what good is a fancy device if the course that you are playing isn’t available?
Manufacturer’s Claims: GolfLogix claims to have over 25,300 courses available worldwide in its course database, the second largest number among GPS devices tested. As detailed in “Talladega Nights”: (Ricky Bobby) “You can’t have two number ones.” (Cal Naughton, Jr.) “Yeah, ’cause that would be eleven.”
Ease of Use
The Good: The GolfLogix GPS-8 is designed for ease of use. In terms of features, the device is one of the most basic and stripped-down devices we tested – the positive spin is that it could not be any more simple and straightforward to use.
The Bad: To paraphrase Dean Wormer in Animal House, thick, long and heavy is no way for a golf GPS device to go through life. Also, would it kill GolfLogix to show us what hole we’re on in the primary “target” view?
- Buttons. The GolfLogix GPS-8 only has four buttons: power, scroll up and down, page and enter, and is unique among the devices tested with all buttons on the sides as opposed to the face.
- Screen. Screen quality is only fair, with large readable text being the saving grace for the extremely low resolution. There are 11 different contrast settings, but regardless of the setting, the screen quality isn’t at the level of premium GPS devices.
- Form Factor. The GolfLogix GPS-8 is among the larger and heavier devices we tested. It is better suited for a belt clip – but do you really want to be one of “those” guys? You might as well wear a Bluetooth headset through your entire round as well, just to top off the look.
- Starting a Round. When powered up, the device automatically determines which golf course is being played (based on the location) and automatically advances the user from hole-to-hole throughout the round. Within a given hole, the GolfLogix GPS-8 will also auto-advance to the particular screen view (there are one or two “target view” screens that provide a list of targets and the distances to those targets, as well as a “green view” that shows distances to the front/middle/back of the green) it believes is appropriate for the user’s position. For the most part this works well and simplifies the use of the product, though at times the device will auto-advance too quickly. We saw examples of where our reviewer was still nearly 150 yards from a bunker when the Golflogix GPS-8 advanced to the next hazard screen (perhaps the device was trying to play a Jedi mind-trick on our reviewer – “You don’t need the distance to that bunker…this is not the bunker you are looking for…you can go about your business…move along.”).
Suggestion Box: One glaring omission for the GolfLogix GPS-8 is that is does not display the hole number on the target view screens (the hole number is displayed on the green view). Maybe we are just paranoid, but when we were off of the fairway, we would worry that the device would think we were on the hole coming back the other direction, and show us hazards for the wrong hole. This resulted in a lot of fumbling back and forth between screens to assuage our paranoia.
For more details, check out the Critical Golf chart comparing ease of use across the different golf GPS devices tested.
Course Detail and Mapping
The Good: The distances displayed on the green view for “front” and “back” of the green are for the nearest and farthest points on the green from the user’s position. In other words, the “front and back” distances are measured relative to where the user stands, as opposed to being the front and back of the green as seen from the tee box.
The Bad: Because the GolfLogix GPS-8 does not display a picture or map of the hole, it can be difficult to tell which hazard is being referenced. For example, we saw distances listed “To Bunkers” when there were bunkers on the left and right sides of the hole, and “To Lt Bunker” when there were multiple bunkers on the left. Also, the device shows a maximum of 6 targets per hole, which sometimes isn’t enough information. This problem is only compounded by the fact that there is no ability to supplement maps with additional targets.
- Views. The GolfLogix GPS-8 has two views – the target view and the green view.
- Unfortunately, none of the views utilize graphics – the data is all textual.
- In the target view, the device will show up to six marked points (i.e. hazards or layup distances) per hole. In most instances there are 3, 5 or 6 marked points. As indicated above, there are times when the maximum six marked points are not nearly enough information.
- The device regularly provides distances to 150 and 100 yard layup points, as well as 125 yard layups on occasion. These layup points are fixed points located in the middle of the fairway.
- Hole Information. As mentioned above, it befuddles us why GolfLogix GPS-8 doesn’t show what hole you are on in the target view (it is, however, willing to share this information on the green view).
- Custom Mapping. Users who want to add additional target points on the course are out of luck as the GolfLogix GPS-8 lacks the ability to add additional targets or map courses. With distances to hazards provided in some situations and the distance to clear hazards at others, users may be left without the information they need.
The Good: Easy to use the shot-distance measuring function. Oh, and the device is waterproof!
The Bad: Shot-distance measuring is about the only nifty feature that the GolfLogix provides. The trade-off for its simplicity is that device provides an extremely limited set of features – if you are looking for shiny bells or whistles, you will have to look elsewhere.
- Shot Tracking. The GolfLogix GPS-8 does allow users to measure the distance of their last shot quite easily, but if the user is in the process of measuring this distance, they cannot leave the distance tracking screen.
- Score and Statistics. The device does not allow for recording scores, tracking statistics or betting.
- Auto-Advance. As noted above in “Setup”, the GolfLogix GPS-8 auto-advances to each hole, and will also move to different target view screens based on where the user is within the hole.
- Waterproof. The GPS-8 is one of only two devices tested that is 100% waterproof (as opposed to being water resistant), so feel free to drive the cart right into a water hazard with no concerns (Editors note: the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by this reviewer with respect to plunging a cart into a lake do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs or viewpoints of Critical Golf, LLC or its management). The downside of the waterproof design is that the buttons are not quite as responsive as on other tested units, a byproduct of the waterproof outer layer.
Check out the Critical Golf comparison chart of golf GPS features across all devices tested.
Device Accuracy: We did not observe any noticeable device accuracy issues during our test of the GolfLogix GPS-8, with distances to known targets coming well within the acceptable margin of error of three to four yards.
Mapping Accuracy: Our on-course testing also found the device to be generally reliable with respect to mapping accuracy. We do note that because the GolfLogix GPS-8 stops providing distance readings once a user is within 30 yards of a marked point or the green, we were only able to test accuracy at distances outside of that range.
Retail Price: The retail price of the GolfLogix GPS-8 is $199.95, one of the lowest unit prices for devices tested.
Fees for Access to Course Database: GolfLogix requires payment of an annual membership fee of $29.95 to access their course database. We were somewhat displeased to see that GolfLogix buries this cost in tiny print on its web site.
Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership: Even with an annual membership fee, the GolfLogix GPS-8 comes in with a three-year total costs of ownership of only $289.80, one of the lowest costs for devices tested.
Value: Value, of course, is more than just the raw cost of the device – it factors in the features and functionality that the device provides. In the case of the GolfLogix GPS-8, unfortunately you only get what you pay for.