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Recently Voice Caddy released their SL1 Rangefinder. Interestingly, it offers a combination of features that no other product currently on the market (not even Bushnell) has.
The SL1 integrates GPS, laser and green wave technology, allowing it to provide golfers with multiple data points when considering their target and club choice.
After testing it on the track, I was deeply impressed with its performance. I was also a bit surprised. Voice Caddy is traditionally known for its launch monitors, but now they have a product worth considering for golfers who want a range finder that has everything for less than $ 500.
They nailed the GPS integration
My usual recommendation is that most golfers should use GPS data through a rangefinder. However, rangefinders are the overwhelming product purchase of choice in the range measurement category. Well, now you can have your cake and eat it too!
Voice Caddy has done an excellent job of using GPS distances in its SL1 rangefinder. There is a small OLED screen under the lens that displays your front, center and back yards to the green for starters. So if you are in a situation where you cannot see the pin, you can take a quick look at the screen to see your distances.
This feature is useful in various scenarios on the course.
In addition, Voice Caddy has also added GPS data to the viewing area of the lens. When you lock onto the target, you can see your distance from the pin, the front and back yards, and the actual change in the height of the slope.
Here's a visual representation of what you see through the lens.
Overall, I think if you're looking for a rangefinder that also has GPS distances, the Voice Caddy SL1 has managed to combine the two.
Incredibly fast – like speed of light fast
One of the main distinguishing features of rangefinders is the ability to lock onto the pin and how fast it works. Many of the cheaper lasers on the market struggle to identify a pin. Often times, it takes several tries before they settle in the correct distance (sometimes they can pick up a tree behind the green instead). Also, in poor lighting conditions, such as fog, they will not pick up the pin at all.
Another frustration can be time. Cheaper models may take 3-6 seconds to show pin spacing due to inferior components. When we reviewed the TecTecTec Ult-X, our tester found slowness issues and the ability to lock onto the pin. When people wonder if they should buy a cheaper laser, this can be one of the tradeoffs with certain brands. From what I've learned, it has a lot to do with the manufacturer quality that these companies overseas have access to. Components are important when it comes to functionality, and inferior factories will cut back.
When I first tested the Voice Caddy SL1 I was shocked at how fast the pin spacing was displayed. It wasn't a matter of seconds. It felt like it was instantaneous. As soon as I finished pressing the button, the slight vibration was already registered along with all the distance information from the screen.
The reason the SL1 is so fast is that it uses its GPS data to filter out the background and sharpen the pin. Because it already knows the boundaries of the green, it can quickly determine the location of the pin even in poor lighting conditions. If you don't want to waste time on your recording, this is perhaps the SL1's strongest feature. It's lightning fast .
In addition, the viewing lens is extremely sharp and offers a lot of magnification. Voice Caddy states their margin of error is only 1 yard and touts measure accurately to 1,000 yards.
Green Wavy Data
One feature that sets the Voice Caddy SL1 apart from all other products on the market is the green wave data. On the small LED screen under the lens you have the option to display a thermal image of the green, which shows the undulations. They have been able to map the slopes of greens using satellite images. They've also introduced this functionality on their G1 GPS watch, and it's something no one else has right now.
Here is a representation of the green heat map of the undulation
The more red shading represents the highest points on the green, and as you transition to orange, yellow, and blue, you begin to see the lowest parts.
My course has tons of false fronts and big gradients on the greens. It was interesting to see how the cards represented each green. I liked the heat maps quite well. You can clearly see the overall slopes of each green and any unexpected problems that await you. For golfers who have trouble identifying the overall slope of a green, especially when putty, this can help.
Please note that this feature is not available on every golf course. They are usually done adding courses in the US, and you can search their database to find out what features your course currently has.
Other Important Considerations
As you would expect, the Voice Caddy SL1 automatically displays distances based on elevation changes (slope adjustment). So whether you're up or down a goal for a goal, it will calculate how far it will play. You can turn off this feature for tournaments by changing the settings.
One thing you should know that makes it a bit different from most rangefinders is the battery. Usually, you only need to replace laser batteries once or twice a year. But since the SL1 uses GPS data, it has an internal battery that needs to be charged.
Using only the laser function, a single charge lasts about 30 days. However, if you want to play with GPS enabled (most of you will) – the battery should last around 3-4 laps or around 20 hours.
One of the Best Premium Rangefinders
Voice Caddy is not traditionally known for its prowess in the premium distance measurement category. In any case, their line of launch monitors under the Swing Caddy brand (the Sc200 + and SC300) have been their biggest successes to date.
The combination of speed, accuracy, GPS integration and green map data make the Voice Caddy SL1 a very worthy choice in the premium rangefinder category. If you want and pay for the latest technology, you should strongly consider this product, even though the name has traditionally not carried much weight among lasers.
Practical golf readers can get the lowest price available on the Voice Caddy SL1 Rangefinder through this link.