The SkyCaddie SGXw is an evolution of the SkyCaddie SGX, and adds Wi-Fi capability to download courses to the device and sync courses and statistics to the SkyCaddie online portal. It also adds a new feature – radiating yardage arcs that provide context on how far away different hazards and targets are from the player’s position on the hole.

The SGXw has the ability to offer more detailed course information than any other device, with its mapping of green contours really taking it to the next level. We found, however, that SkyCaddie is still in the early stages of mapping courses to this level of granularity, scoring extremely low in our golf course coverage test . The ability to determine any point on the course, pre-mapped targets, radiating yardage arcs, and mapping of the entire green, this is the most extensive mapping and distance information you can find in a golf GPS unit, but for some, this level of detail will be overwhelming.

The graphics are strong and make good use of the large screen, and there is a plethora of preference settings available (although we question whether we’ll ever explore most of them). The optical trackpad got mixed reviews from our review staff – its extreme sensitivity works well for placing the target cursor to obtain distance readings (though buggy at times), but navigating through more constrained menus such as scoring and statistics can be a challenge because it has a tendency to overcorrect.

Our overall perception of the SkyCaddie SGXw is that data aficionados are going to love all of the available information and features. But those who prefer a more streamlined approach in their golf GPS device might balk at the SGXw’s size (it’s big enough that it tends to get stuck when you’re trying to pull it out of your shorts pocket) and its hefty price tag ($400 plus yearly fees to access the SkyCaddie course database, bringing the total to nearly $550 over three years).

Course Availability
Ease of Use
Course Details



Retail price: $399.95
Three year total cost: $549.80
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85 / B


The Good: We got up and running quickly with the SGXw, and we were able to use the Wi-Fi functionality to download courses to the device.

The Bad: The SGXw does not allow the user to quickly locate and download multiple courses at a time without use of a computer. Those who read our SkyCaddie SGX review remember our disappointment with the syncing and software update process. With the SGXw we experienced issues trying to download and install software updates, which ultimately resulted in us exchanging our original device for a new unit (with the latest OS installed). Using the replacement device we once again received error messages when trying to install an operating system update (which took a whopping hour to install!). Upon further syncs, the device appears to have updated the software, notwithstanding an error message. Sigh.

Details for Wi-Fi activation and syncing:

Details for wired syncing:

Overall, we found the wireless functionality to be most useful for syncing scores and statistics at the end of a round. When it came to downloading, our preferred method was a combination of selecting the courses for download through our SkyCaddie account on their web site, and then syncing via wireless (we didn’t have the patience to select and download courses one-by-one from the SGXw).

A note on charging: just because you have plugged your SkyCaddie SGXw into the wall (or computer) does not mean that it will automatically start charging. The player still needs to press the “Charge” soft key to start the charging process. We’re not really sure why this was put into place, but are pretty certain that a number of folks have walked away thinking their device was going to be charged and were sorely disappointed when they returned. Recharging the battery can take between 4-6 hours and the device will power off when the battery is fully charged.

What’s in the Box: The SkyCaddie SGXw comes with:

(Amusingly, the guides were all stuffed into a plain envelope in the box with no marketing on it, almost like an afterthought to keep them all together. It actually seems to be the same envelope we buy at the local Office Depot)

Downloads: :

59 / F


Critical Golf Test: The SkyCaddie SGXw scores near the bottom of our course coverage test. As a reminder, we only count a course as “available” for any particular device if there are maps that cover all of the functions of which the device is capable. After all, that’s why you pay a premium for those devices – if you just wanted distances to the front, middle and back of the green, you could get them for much less. The low score for the SGXw was largely due to the lack of courses for which both HoleVue and IntelliGreen Pro are available (the vast number of courses that don’t have both available are only lacking IntelliGreen Pro). While up from the SGX’s initial score of 42% in 2010, SkyCaddie is making extremely slow progress in an area that is marketed as a differentiator, and one that we assume the annual fees support. If you are considering purchase of the SGXw, you will want to confirm that the courses you play have HoleVue and IntelliGreen Pro available.

Manufacturer’s Claims: SkyCaddie claims to have nearly 30,000 courses with standard distance information in its course database, placing it among the top devices tested. SkyCaddie doesn’t break out HoleVue and IntelliGreen Pro coverage separately, so this number doesn’t tell you much about coverage for the SGXw.

88 / B+


The Good: Exceptional display that is easily visible even in bright sunlight. Improved navigation with the ability to zoom both in AND out of the hole views at the press of a button (different from the original SkyCaddie SGX). It is easy to navigate screens quickly, and the optical trackpad allowed us to quickly and accurately place the target cursor within full hole and green views. One of the benefits of using a trackpad is that you can see the distances both to the target cursor as well as to the green – with a touchscreen we find one of these can often get obscured when placing the cursor with your fingertip.

The Bad: One of the heaviest devices we’ve tested. Both the buttons and the optical trackpad were finicky. There’s a bit of information overload at times on the device, with overlapping distances displayed. We found the “AutoView” function of changing views by rotating the device 90 degrees was more frustrating than helpful.


96 / A


The Good: While it’s not a satellite image, the hole views (HoleVue) provide exceptional detail, including reasonable mapping of tree cover. This device is the most comprehensive of all device tested in terms of mapping information provided – the ability to determine distance to any point on the hole, pre-mapped targets, radiating distance arcs, layup arcs, and full green mapping…whew! And lest we forget, the green graphic will rotate based on player position.

The Bad: Holes can sometimes get cropped, such as when the SGXw focuses on the “inside” of the dogleg.

Hole View

Click for views

For a closer look at the different views available per hole, check out the images at right.


95 / A


The Good: The latest feature is the wireless capability introduced with the SGXw, the only golf GPS device to offer wireless syncing. The SkyCaddie SGXw provides virtually all of the features and adjustable settings you would expect in a premium-priced golf GPS device and then some.

The Bad: With so many options, you’ll actually have to read the manual to figure out how to adjust the various settings for the SGXw’s features. While it’s easy to track shot distances, you can’t track club averages without an additional yearly subscription to the “Premium” version of SkyCaddie’s online portal, ClubSG.


Click for images


For more details, check out the Critical Golf comparison of golf GPS device features.

90 / A-


Device Accuracy: We experienced no distance accuracy issues in our test of device accuracy, with all distances within our expected range of plus or minus 4 yards.

Mapping Accuracy: Distance readings are available all the way to the green, so you can have confidence in the accuracy of the SkyCaddie SGXw. While we were confident in the distances provided, we did find key targets missing from holes on resort and top-rated courses. This included missing bunkers (added approximately five years ago), and trees in fairways that are in play (that are decades old). These errors, considered in conjunction with the slow addition of green detail to their course database, make it pretty clear that courses aren’t regularly updated by SkyCaddie. We had expected our steep annual fees to go toward maintaining the course database, but clearly they don’t. Feel free to insert your own joke here about how the annual fees go to pay their marketing expenses and advisory board members, such as Natalie Gulbis, Fluff Cowan, Hank Haney and Jim Furyk.

82/ B-

Retail Price: With a retail price of $399.95, the SkyCaddie SGXw falls in the top end of the price spectrum, comparable with other full-featured golf GPS devices from competitors such as Garmin and GolfBuddy.

Fees for Access to Course Database: SkyCaddie is still holding on to yearly fees to access their database of advanced course maps, perhaps under the argument that some of the features they map, such as the detailed green contour information, are differentiators. SkyCaddie SGXw owners can choose one of three membership plans to access the course database with advanced information, which are priced at $29.95/year for unlimited courses in one state, $49.95/year for unlimited courses in the United States, and $59.95/year for unlimited courses worldwide.

Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership: Call your credit card companies and up your limit! At $549.80 over three years, the SkyCaddie SGXw takes the prize for highest-priced device in our test of total golf GPS cost. We thought about naming our analysis of 3-year cost “PriceVue”, but got antsy about a LawsuitVue from SkyCaddie.

Value: The SkyCaddie SGXw includes a lavish collection of features and settings, and the graphics and display are strong. On the other hand, there is relatively poor course coverage for the advanced features, the optical trackpad still had kinks to work out, the user interface has its ups and downs, the recurring fees add up over time. While a decent device, at over $500 for three years, the SkyCaddie SGXw is going to have tough going against the competition.

Updated (course coverage): March 2013

8 Responses

  1. I heard you need a wifi spot with no password protection. How is that helpful?

    I assume you can still down load courses with the USB cable and your laptop.

  2. The SGXW will connect to a password protected Wi-Fi network as long as there is no browser based authentication needed. Meaning you have to go to a web page to enter a password, like certain hotel that requires you to enter room information to connect. I have a secure network at home and connected with no problem. Once the network was found and I selected connect to network and a keyboard popped up allowing me to enter my security password and I was good to go.

  3. Don’t waste your money on the SGXw.
    Get the original SGX instead.
    WiFi does nothing the SGX can’t do better by hooking it up to WiFi enabled laptop for $100 less!
    The Optical Trackpad on the SGXw will drive you crazy.
    You can’t make any selections with it, unlike the joystick on the SGX
    You have to unlock it to use it and then relock when done if you want to use it to move the pin or the fairway target, whereas the joystick on the SGX is just moved.
    You can’t lean on the trackpad like the SGX joystick to scroll down a list of 1000 matching golf courses to get the one you want (SkyGolf can’t figure out how to select a golf course better than matching 13 groupings of 2 letters in each state: A-B, C-D, E-F etc.).
    PinPoint does nothing for you.
    No golf course in the world is uploading daily pin sheets to SkyGolf.
    If you have to manually put them in, why bother. Just do it on the course like you do with the SGX. PinPoint Zones require you to give up the Center of the green for a dubious unmeasured guesstimate of a center of a zone graphic you cannot see or display! What a joke!
    RangeVue lines just clutter up an otherwise clean screen
    Smart Club Technology is SkyGolf vaporware for a feature they promised SGX owners two year ago and then never delivered.
    The SGX runs circles around the SGXw.
    Skygolf laid a giant goose egg with the SGXw, but refuses to admit it.
    Battery life of the SGXw is HALF of that of the SGX so they have to turn OFF the display in order to get through a round of golf!
    The optical trackpad flies off the screen so quickly that you’ll never be able to move the pin with any kind of precision, as you can with the deliberately slower moving SGX joystick cursor.

  4. I put something on the GEA forum too.. so most of you will see it there..
    I had one of the new wireless one’s delivered to me yesterday.. I figured it would solve afew problems for me.. pre loaded with courses.. wireless updating.. I would not have to worry about dragging a laptop with me to MB that I can use for updating.. I have an SG5 now that works fine.. but then there is the loading in and out of courses & so on.. My new road computer is a nice thin Windows Surface that runs Windows RT.. It works well.. but you can’t load and it won’t accept any 3rd party software on it so that rules out the Skycaddie..

    Bottom line, the new SGXw doesn’t work at all.. It found my in home wireless network fine.. but you have to plug it in with a USB connection to register it.. software and drivers were installed (that’s pretty normal) when I plugged it in.. to both my XP net book and my Vista desktop.. but that’s as far as I got.. The syncing software could not find it on either computer.. it was not listed as a drive or being connected on either machine.. so that’s it.. If a company sends something out the door that won’t work.. it’s returned.. I won’t wrestle with it.. so I am simply placing a warning on all the forums I know.,. as a warning.. save your $350.. I’ll stick with my SG5 that works just fine.. I have no interest in other GPS units as I like the skycaddie on course measuring system and have seen frequent errors on others that get their measurements form Google maps and so on.. My skycaddie measurements always agree with my laser readings (I carry one of those as well & they each have their good use) and others don’t..

  5. I recently aquired the new SGXw. Love it from the get go. Turned in on and it found my wireless connection. Downloaded all local courses with ease. Works great on the course. Only issue is the accessories to mount device are made from plastic. Purchased metal mount from RAMMounts to insure against repeated failures.

  6. Recievied my SGXW this week and have spent 119.00 or 3 years for 2 paln and was excited to get going. Have spent over 4 hours with technical support trying to get the unit to sync with new upgrade but with no luck. On the 7th attempt the techncial said I need to have a new one sent to me. Ok that is good. Until, now htey want a credit card to put on file until I send back the defective unit and I will not receive my new unit for 5 business days becasue they do not try to expedite the unit to the customer. All of this according to company policy. Great work Skygolf, way to make customerts happy and provide the poorest customer servcie for defective products I have ever experienced.

  7. Completely disagree with the assessment stated in this article. SkyCaddie products are FAR better at keeping up with courses than any other manufacturer. Those that update ‘faster’ aren’t performing ground-truth GPS mapping of courses like SkyCaddie does. Almost all others use satellite images which are very difficult to scale properly; especially down to yards/meters. One of our local courses opened over a year ago & SkyCaddie had it mapped the day it opened and available to their users. Garmin (for example) to this day does not have it available!

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