The SkyCaddie WATCH is one of the newest entrants into a golf GPS market that only two years ago didn’t exist. Our impression, however, is that SkyCaddie hasn’t made the most of its opportunity to watch others blaze a trail. The WATCH works fine, but it doesn’t really advance on what other manufacturers are already doing, and our repeated problems with getting SkyCaddie devices to sync for the first time were sadly experienced once again.

The SkyCaddie WATCH has very strong course coverage, but we would expect this given that the device only provides distances only to 3 fixed points on each hole: the front, center and back of green. What puzzles us is why SkyCaddie didn’t leverage all of the extensive course mapping it has done to provide additional distances, such as yardages to near and far points on the green relative to player position, hazards, doglegs and layup points. Bummer. We do like both the look, available in either black or white trim, as well as the comfortable and functional wristband. We are always big fans of the easy-to-use watch form factor (just rotate your wrist!), and the SkyCaddie interface is easy to navigate.

As mentioned above, poor experiences in syncing SkyCaddie products continued to plague us with the WATCH – we had to call technical support and spend nearly 2 hours to get the device to successfully sync to our computer. If you are successful getting the WATCH to sync with your computer, the device will be updated with the latest course information, but unlike other SkyCaddie devices the WATCH won’t sync scores to the online ClubSG community portal.

Our final analysis is that the annual fee to access course updates, lack of ability to upload scoring to the SkyCaddie online portal, and poor syncing software make it tough to make any strong recommendation for the SkyCaddie WATCH over other golf GPS watches in this increasingly crowded market.

Course Availability
Ease of Use
Course Details



Editor’s note: For a limited time (until December 31, 2013), SkyCaddie is offering a free annual “Go Play” membership for new, unregistered WATCH (and AIRE and GIMME) devices. Note that with this free membership does not allow players to upload scores or data to an online account – that functionality is only available with the paid annual “Par membership”, or a membership to ClubSG for $9.95/year (we will refrain on commenting that ClubSG is in “Beta” and they still charge for this).

Retail price: $199.95
Three year total cost: $249.90
Availability: Discontinued (though still available from some resellers); replaced by the SkyCaddie LINX watch Check price now
Golfsmith: Check price now

75 / C+


The Good: Charging clip is easy to attach (which is not the case with most other golf GPS watches).

The Bad: We continue to have issues with syncing SkyCaddie devices, which make for a terrible user experience. No wall charger is provided, so the only way to charge the WATCH is by plugging the USB cable into your computer.


What’s in the Box: The SkyCaddie golf GPS watch comes with:


98 / A+


Critical Golf Test: The SkyCaddie WATCH provides extremely thorough coverage, with availability of 98% in our course coverage test. At this point in the maturation of the golf GPS market, this level of coverage is the norm for devices that only offer fixed front-center-back of green distance information.

Manufacturer’s Claims: The SkyCaddie watch comes with nearly 30,000 worldwide courses pre-loaded, which places it near the top of our course coverage comparison test.

96 / A


The Good: Easy to use form factor and navigation.

The Bad: Lower battery life than we would like to see. No prompt to enter scores when using auto-advance, so players will need to step back a hole each time to record that sweet chip-in birdie or snowman.

SkyCaddie WATCH

Click for larger image


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

70 / C-


The Good: Not much to tout here, as the SkyCaddie WATCH only provides mapping to 3 fixed points on the green

The Bad: Given that SkyCaddie has access in their course database to full green mapping detail, as well as hazards and layup targets, it is disappointing that the WATCH only offers distances to fixed front, center and back green points. Seems like it would be so easy to show distances to green near, center and far points, as well as some number of hazards.

SkyCaddie WATCH

Click for larger image


86 / B


The Good: One of the few golf GPS watches that enables you to keep score. Settings can be adjusted during a round without losing track of the score (surprisingly, this is not the case with a number of devices).

The Bad: No ability to track putts or other statistics. Scores can’t be synced to ClubSG online portal.


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

96 / A


The WATCH, as well as the rest of the SkyCaddie Sport Series (which includes the AIRE, GIMME and VOICE), uses a “more economical” GPS technology than the Tour Series (SkyCaddie Breeze, SGXw, and SGX). So while it seems that the company is using the same ground mapping information for the WATCH as the Tour Series, the company professes that it has less accuracy. We found, however, that the WATCH returned distances within our standard expected range, varying generally up to 4 yards from actual distances (based on marked sprinkler heads). In case you’re wondering why the WATCH receives a higher score in accuracy than the Tour Series (Breeze, SGXw and SGX) as it only provides 3 fixed points. The other devices have the same accuracy to those points, but had some errors in additional course detail, such as hazard locations.

The SkyCaddie WATCH will continue to display distances to the 3 fixed points on each green regardless of how close you are (some devices will stop showing distances once you are within a certain range), which can provide increased confidence in readings.

89 / B+


Retail Price: The SkyCaddie golf GPS WATCH retails for $199.95, which is about average among golf watches.

Fees for Access to Course Database: As with other SkyCaddie devices, yearly fees are required to access course updates. There is only one “level” of membership, which provides distance and par information, and it is available both as an annual plan ($19.95) or a discounted 3-year plan ($49.95).

Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership: With yearly fees for updates to the course database, the three-year total cost for the SkyCaddie WATCH rises to $249.90 (based on purchase of the 3-year plan). This places the SkyCaddie WATCH pretty much in the middle among both golf GPS watches and golf GPS devices generally in our analysis of cost over three years. It is, however, one of the more expensive golf GPS devices that doesn’t provide hazard distances.

Value: Those who know the SkyCaddie name and trust their ground mapping will be quite comfortable with the WATCH, which is a good-looking device that is easy-to-use. However, we were left disappointed by not only the syncing issues we experienced, but also the limited distance information provided by the WATCH. Given that SkyCaddie already has extensive distance information available in their course mapping database, we have to believe that this additional information will likely be available on a future version of the WATCH (best guess: Spring 2014). We just wish it was available now.

14 Responses

  1. I just bought a SkyCaddie watch and when I registered it, the annual fee came up as $0.00, for the life of the watch. Apparently a promotion until the end of 2013

    1. same question as msteil. How do turn this rascal off top preserve battery after fully charging?

  2. I just spent 2 hours trying to sync the watch for the first time. I had to use the tech support and they remotely access my computer. They solved the problem finally but it was too much of a hassle for me. I bought my husband the Bushnell watch two years ago and he had none of this. Buy a Bushnell and save yourself from the hassle.

  3. I had the same sync problems -couldn’t find the watch even though the computer said the software had been installed-then I remembered as with most software and drivers that you install-once you’ve done so you have to restart your computer for the software to work-did that and hey presto-found the watch 1st and synced-good job I remembered that as I made a call earlier to technical support who were a waste of time-anyone having sync problems after installing-simply reboot compute, try again, problem solved!

  4. ..yes,can confirm serious sync support proved useless (they seem to read from the same manual that comes with the watch) ,only
    “advanced “tech support could help. Convoluted installation process.

  5. I still cannot sync this watch with my iPad! Im not sure that the watch IS Bluetooth activated as theres nothing in ‘Settings’ to give any clues .. so its just sitting there with the ticker on the ipad and nada from the bloody watch. I think its going back to Amazon in the morning!

  6. Just awesome topic! Unfortunately, I found this article too late – I already found the answer on another service. Just look at the service Its pretty easy to use.

  7. the worst golf product I’ve the ever owned. It won’t charge most of the time and when it does it won’t hold thru 18 holes. It goes to sleep and needs to be reset. Piece of junk. Called customer service and they said buy a new one. Fat chance. They lost me as a customer.

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