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TOPIC: Golf GPS

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grantar2
Golf GPS
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    July 14, 2015


Favorite Golfer:
    Danny Lee
Favorite Golf Course:
    Medowlark


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Tuesday July 28, 2015 11:37 PM
More than once well trying to determine distance I have wanted to have a handheld GPS to give the information. After playing San Juan Hills Golf Club last week, which provides GPS at no additional charge on your golf cart, I started a search in earnest. I looked at units specifically designed for the purpose, and of course looked to see if there was a product for my smart phone (Windows Phone) or Android tablet or iPad.

There was one product for my Window's phone, and it's a great basic GPS called FreeCaddie. After downloading the basic, I popped the $2.99 for the Pro. Good list of courses, (all the courses I usually play) and it worked great. A couple of freeze ups, and it did consume the battery pretty fast, but some of that appears to be the way I used it. Still learning the program, but technical support has been great. An upgrade is in beta testing. This program is a keeper.

At the same time I downloaded the free version of Swing by Swing, as well as FreeCaddie for my Android tablet. With a vibration free mount that fits in a cup holder this works great in the golf cart. Swing by Swing, learns your performance and can eventually offer club recommendations. Again the price was free for both programs. Both will show you the course from a google maps overhead view. Swing by Swing will also allow fly overs to give a sense of the course.

Most of the courses I play don't offer GPS. Some truly don't need it, but still nice to know the distance, to the front, middle and back of the green. Swing by Swing can recommend where to aim you ball if you point the pin location.

Both programs will let you keep score, and will build a database to analyze your game. Did you hit the green in regulation, were you using driver, iron, wedge, etc. Mark the spot of the shot, then the spot where the ball landed with the club you chose, and helps you build stats.

I found both programs useful. At this point I prefer FreeCaddie Pro, because it's easier to use my phone when walking the course. But if I had an apple or android smart phone, by opinion might be different.

At any rate for the price of free or less than $5, can't imagine a reason not to have one.
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 Message #72971
ringworld
RE: Golf GPS

Community Director

GK Event: Played in a GK Event ringworld-blog: golfing guru ringworld blog GKGC EAGLE: GKGC Eagle Supporter SCGA GK Golf Club: Member

Member Since:
    March 24, 2004


Favorite Golfer:
    Rory Mcilroy he's peachy
Favorite Golf Course:
    Spanish Bay Pebble Beach


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 12:15 AM
Personally I like the flexibility a laser ranger finder has. You can pay anywhere from under $200 to up to $500 for a decent range finder versus a $2 app on an iphone or android. If you play as much golf as I do, having that flexibility is comforting.

For me I have found that although the GPS for phone or other hand held devices can be pretty decent when determining distance, I have noticed that in bad cell areas you really can expect to either lose signal or have a variance of anywhere from 3 to 10 yards. I don't know about you but for me that could be the difference from one or two clubs.

Also you may have to deal with hole by hole changes on the course (i.e. the front 9 is now the back 9) and the update hasn't hit your phone/app database yet.

The flexibility the newer laser finders offer for the money is worth it. No need for a subscription like SkyCaddie. No phone death on the golf course because you use your phone constantly. The laser range finder picks the target closest and gives you that number as the distance to the flag or you can scan using the range finder to locate numerous targets to have a better idea of distance. You can also use that same range finder at the golf range for a better understanding of your distance. You cannot do that on an app to my knowledge.
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Work Hard. Play Golf! www.ace-cases.com
Oh yeah, I blog too: www.golfing-guru.com

Know before you go.... golfing with Greenskeeper.org!
 Message #72972 - This was a reply to message #72971
HmtGolfGuy
RE: Golf GPS
GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

Member Since:
    November 25, 2012


Favorite Golfer:
    Brendan Steele
Favorite Golf Course:
    Rams Hill, Oak Valley


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 12:57 AM
I've used Swing by Swing for a couple years now and find it extremely helpful. It's usually within a yard, maybe 2 of any other GPS programs (including in-cart ones), but as Ringwold says the performance can suffer in marginal cell areas (CrossCreek is a great example). It works better on an iPhone than an android and the power consumption is noticeably lower. I've made it through 27 holes if I remember to click the button to turn off the display after checking it. Also, the upgrade to "Looper" is definitely worth it, you get wind speed displays and a calculated "plays like" yardage based on wind and elevation for just over a buck a month (that part is not as accurate but they're working on it).

The three best things for me about Swing by Swing is their customer service, the display, and the ability to "map" courses yourself. I had some problems with a couple courses when I was first using it, ended up with communicating directly w/Travis (one of the creators) so he could get some feedback from me and how my phone was reacting - he extended my plan for 6 months in return for the info.

The display is fantastic. They us aerial photos of the courses (not the same photos as you find on Google - I think these are better) so you can see the entire hole, plus you can zoom in to any specific area (there's a special zoom for the green area). Stand on the tee and touch the screen where that fairway bunker ends and it's shows you that distance as well.

The map a course feature addresses some of the issues mentioned by Ringwold (hole by hole changes). You can actually get on the website from home and plot out a course - tee boxes, center of greens, etc. You can submit scorecard updates (such as reversing the front and back nine or yardage changes) and add in additional tee markers (such as Gold, Purple, etc.). In addition, if you have a regular practice area that has flags/greens/whatever as targets, you can actually map those and access it under the "Practice area" section of the course through the app.

Finally, if you want to splurge, you can get the "Pro Looper" upgrade. Doesn't get you any real change in the program, but you can submit unlimited swing videos for analysis and feedback/drills from their contracted PGA teaching pro - he will also communicate back and forth with you via messages if you need clarification. Compare the upgrade cost to that of a lesson using video and it would only take 2-3 lessons before you come out ahead.

Are there days I'd like a Laser Rangefinder? Absolutely - but I can keep my Looper subscription for 20+ years for the same cost as a middle of the road rangefinder.
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 Message #72975 - This was a reply to message #72972
hermgolfs
RE: Golf GPS

Member Since:
    September 24, 2014


Favorite Golfer:
    Jack, Jordan Spieth
Favorite Golf Course:
    El Prado, either course


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 7:20 AM
I have used the free versions of both SkyDroid and Swing by Swing on my iPhone 5. Being aware to turn off the screen between shots, I have been able to get through 36 holes with battery life to spare - I am not in the habit of taking/making calls while on the course, but will send the occasional text message. It is my habit to waken the screen well before I get to my ball so that the gps can get dialed in. While they are helpful, I have found these apps at times to be lacking. For example, while standing between the blue blocks on the 4th tee of Chino Creek Course on Monday, my yardage to center of green stated 177 yards on SbS - I walked 12 paces back to the blue marker from there, which the card lists as 178 yards, and the app agreed at that point. Several times in the same round, while standing essentially next to the 150 yard marker in the fairway, I got distances varying from 138 yards to 150 yards. Sometimes I just trust the stepping off of paces from a set yardage marker on the course. Admittedly, a laser range finder would be better, but the expense would be hard to justify.
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 Message #72977 - This was a reply to message #72975
sngernz
RE: Golf GPS

GK Event: Played in a GK Event GKGC Par: GKGC Par Supporter

Member Since:
    January 24, 2005


Favorite Golfer:
    Bubba!
Favorite Golf Course:
    Spyglass Hill


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 8:15 AM
QUOTED  Admittedly, a laser range finder would be better, but the expense would be hard to justify.

A topic that has reared it's head several times through the years, hermgolfs, and there are advantages/disadvantages to both. I'm with Ring, a rangefinder is as accurate as you can get but they are a bit pricey ... understood when you're on a budget. Try ebay. I bought my second one (lost the first) 3 years ago for $180 (retail was over twice that) ... worth every single penny.
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 Message #72979 - This was a reply to message #72977
kurator62
RE: Golf GPS

Member Since:
    March 16, 2009


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
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    N/A


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 8:57 AM
Check out the Bushnell Neo Ghost .Small , cheap and awesome
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 Message #72981 - This was a reply to message #72971
Bogey1Fogey38
RE: Golf GPS

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    December 3, 2006


Favorite Golfer:
    Trevino, Lema, Ochoa
Favorite Golf Course:
    Green W/holes n flags


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 10:05 AM
I have an old Golf Buddy Pro I bought from a friend who was gifted a new Golf Caddie (sold it to me for $400 - - - Kidding).
It gives me all the info I need on pin positions, and some of the hazards (bunkers, water, other). It can keep score, track distance of drives or other shots.

I tried SbS, Golf Pad on an Android phone. Power hogs even on airplane mode, same accuracy as my Caddie. I only need to know distance to target, pacing works if there are fairway markers, GPS helps when you are off the fairway or where there are no other distance markers. I'm lucky if I can hit it within 15ft of target so any thing helps.

Keep it in the short stuff!
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> > "How can they beat me? I've been struck by lightning, had two back operations, and been divorced twice."
> > Lee Trevino


> > "Golf is like solitaire. When you cheat, you only cheat yourself."
> > Tony Lema
 Message #72983 - This was a reply to message #72981
michaelko
RE: Golf GPS
NorCal Community Staff

GK Event: Played in a GK Event

Member Since:
    October 1, 2003


Favorite Golfer:
    N/A
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    N/A


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 10:20 AM
count me as a gps guy....

cons to rangefinder:
need line of sight
gives you exact distance to flag, but no context to size of green, and whether it's front/middle/back
takes longer than looking at a number (i know, not that long... but it's an extra step)


pros to gps (specific to sky caddy):
gives you exact yardage to layups or fairway locations
yardages to hazards (up to 40 features per hole); much more useful on a course you are unfamiliar with
front/middle/back
orientation to green, meaning if you are behind the green, or on the side, it will adjust the front middle back yardages based on angle of approach.
sky caddie maps their greens, vs using google earth coordinates


it costs $30/year... but worth it to me for all these features, vs a free service, and certainly vs a rangefinder

i just bought the new sky caddy touch, with a trade in from my sgx. should come this week. looking forward to the touch screen and the bluetooth connectivity.
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 Message #72984 - This was a reply to message #72983
faxgolf89
RE: Golf GPS
Member Since:
    March 28, 2013


Favorite Golfer:
    rory
Favorite Golf Course:
    still looking


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 10:27 AM
Personally, I find using a phone app to be bulky and not reliable enough (poor cell reception on many golf courses). Instead, I use a Neo X GPS watch which gives me front/mid/back of green yardages and other basic info, with a cheap laser (actually one made for hunters that you can get for less than $100 - it's probably not as easy to use as a golf-dedicated one, but it generally works when I want a precise yardage when I'm less than 150 yards from the green). Even with these devices, however, I still mis-club too often because I fail to take into account uphill/downhill, size of green, etc. But having the devices does afford some extra confidence.
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 Message #72985 - This was a reply to message #72984
HmtGolfGuy
RE: Golf GPS
GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

Member Since:
    November 25, 2012


Favorite Golfer:
    Brendan Steele
Favorite Golf Course:
    Rams Hill, Oak Valley


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Wednesday July 29, 2015 10:32 AM
QUOTED  cons to rangefinder:
need line of sight
gives you exact distance to flag, but no context to size of green, and whether it's front/middle/back

Hadn't thought of the line-of-sight issue since I haven't used a rangefinder but thinking back on prior rounds it's a big advantage to get yardages when you can't see the pin. Also, the SbyS photos show a lot of info re: shape of green, hidden hazards, etc.
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 Message #72986 - This was a reply to message #72984

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