Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf equipment through its paces. Today we take a look at two new, and wonderful, GPS devices, the SkyCaddie SGX and the Bushnell Hybrid. Which one fits YOU better? Read on ...
It's 2011, so if you're still stepping off yardage with your feet, you might as well keep listening to CDs at the gym instead of an iPod, and send notes through the postage instead of e-mail. It's time to get you a device! But, when you put your foot into that door, there are a TON to consider, and for the price, you better get one that fits your game the best.
We at Devil Ball had a chance to mess with both the SkyCaddie SGX (left) and the Bushnell Hybrid (right), and good news, they're both worth the coin if you're looking for a new device. Like Tiger or Phil, LeBron or Kobe, iPhones or Blackberrys, it seems that golfers are either a SkyCaddie person or a Bushnell person, and for good reason. The devices do a great job at different things.
First, the SkyCaddie SGX.
This is one of those products that takes design and beauty to another level. I've messed around with the old SkyCaddies, and while they were good, they were nothing like the SGX. It's screen is incredible, and it actually brings the hole you're playing alive before you tee off. It's helpful in ways that others weren't, and can pinpoint different points on the hole so different skill levels can figure out the best place possible to hit a golf shot.
Also, it toggles, which is nice. You can turn it sideways, much like an iPhone, and the screen will switch, and it has a scorecard on it for those sick of pencil and paper. It really is an all-inclusive device that is perfect for the golfer that is more visual than numerical. It's matter-of-fact, and if you want to know what it is EXACTLY to the bunker in front of you, the SGX will tell you.
I've found this device is more helpful to those players that don't play a ton of golf regularly, but really enjoy the game, and really want to perform their best. I've noticed that friends of mine will take it out of my hand so they can get a feel for the hole they're playing, even if they've been on that particular golf course before.
The Bushnell Hybrid on the other hand is more point-and-shoot like Bushnells in the past have done, but it added a different wrinkle; it gives you the opportunity to get a front/middle/back yardage, which is a brilliant move.
For someone like myself, who isn't very smart to begin with, pointing a laser at a pin and getting the exact yardage is all I need to pull a club and go for the shot. But, getting a yardage to the front and back (say, with water guarding the front of the green) can help you think out the golf shot better. Say I hit my 9-iron 155 yards, and the pin is 160 yards out, with water in front of the green. On the hybrid screen, I see that the pin is in the front, because that yardage is only 156, meaning I better go with the 8-iron so I can be sure to clear the water even without my best strike.
That's the beauty of the Bushnell addition.
The other thing I love about it is how you can find your golf course without plugging it into a computer. The hybrid function has a keyboard you can use to find the golf course you're playing on the first tee, perfect for those of us that have a hard time planning things out before we leave to go tee it up. This way, you can search while at the golf course if you didn't have time to do it before.
Also, the exact yardage to a pin is priceless, and helpful for those players really trying to score.
So which device is better for YOU? Well, just think about it. Do you like having the layout of the hole in front of you, seeing where the trouble is before you hit your golf shot? Do you enjoy being able to pinpoint certain things around the golf course that isn't just the pin? If that's the case, you are probably a SkyCaddie guy.
If you like the exact yardage to pins, and the ability to shoot at different things around the course, you are probably a Bushnell person.
Either way, you can't go wrong. Both the products are state of the art, and will help you speed up play, and improve your game. For this sport, that's a win-win.