Devil Ball Proving Ground: Motorola’s MOTOACTV Golf Edition

Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf equipment through its paces. Today we take a peek at Motorola's new GPS golf watch, the MOTOACTV Golf Edition.

There's a misconception about GPS golf units that needs to be cleared up: Simply knowing your yardage won't make you a better player. I know, this probably comes as a shock to a lot of you.

However, just because a GPS unit (or rangefinder) won't make you a better player, that doesn't mean it can't help you get through your round with a few less headaches. There's no question knowing the exact yardage to the pin, or the turn in the dogleg, can be beneficial. And with the increases in GPS technology over the last few years, it's never been easier to get around the course without having to send out a search party for a sprinkler head with the yardage.

While rangefinders still seem to be the preferred method, there's been an increase in GPS watches in recent years, like Motorola's MOTOACTV Golf Edition.

Instead of having to fumble around for your rangefinder on every hole, the watch allows you to walk up to your ball, check your yardage, and pull the trigger in a matter of seconds.

The watch certainly looked good when it showed up in the mail. But like all of the products we test out, the only thing that mattered was how it performed on the course. Here's out review.

Initial thoughts

If Batman played golf, this would most likely be his preferred GPS option. The all black watch looks pretty slick straight out of the box and comes with a matching black band that can adjust for wrists of all sizes.

The nice thing about this watch as opposed to some of the others on the market is that if you happen to be the kind of guy who doesn't like wearing something on your wrist when you play, it gives you the option to take GPS unit off the band and attach it to a small clip that can attach to your belt or the side of your pocket.

The MOTOACTV has a color touch screen that allows you to track all of your progress during a round (it has a 20,000 course database), from the number of miles you walked to your score on each hole. Aside from golf, the watch can also track recent bike rides to runs around the block.

Another nice addition? You can also add MP3's to the watch, giving you the option to listen to some tunes during your next round.

So while the watch is definitely geared towards golfers, it can also act as your go-to when you exercise. When you're shelling out a couple hundred bucks for a GPS golf watch, having one that can do more than one task is a plus.

On-course thoughts

Like a number of GPS golf watches on the market, the MOTOACTV doesn't just give you the yardage to the stick; it also gives you the number to the front and the back of the green -- as well as hazards and bunkers.

I brought my rangefinder along for the round to see how accurate the yardages were and can confirm they were about +/- 2 yards on every shot with the watch. Unless you're a pro, having a watch that can give you a number that close to the exact yardage is all you need.

I'll be honest and say the watch band is a little bulky. I tried playing with it on my wrist for one round and had to take it off and put the GPS unit on the belt clip. It might vary from golfer to golfer, but that was my experience.

Even better is that once you sign up for a MOTOACTV account online, the watch syncs wirelessly to your computer each time your play. That gives you the chance after your round to log in and look at a satellite view of where you walked on the course, check your stats, and the distances for every shot.

Also, if you're the type of golfer who cares about battery life (I know I do), the watch usually lasted about 2-3 rounds before it needed to be charged. And when I actually put it on the charger, it was back to full power in a matter of hours. Not a bad turnaround at all.

Final verdict

No doubt about it, this is the leader in the GPS golf watch clubhouse. It not only performs on the course, but off it as well. If you're in the market for one in the future, I'd highly recommend giving the MOTOACTV Golf Edition a test run.

Price: $299.99

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