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SkyCaddie recently released their SX500 GPS Rangefinder. It is robust, has a huge battery life, a large HD screen and some of the best GPS functions I've seen.
Recently I got the chance to play five rounds on the track. I have tested a number of GPS devices on this site and in terms of performance I have to say that this is the best I've tried so far. There are, however, some drawbacks that might not make the right choice for every golfer. In this review I will discuss what I liked about the SX500 and some possible drawbacks.
What I liked about the SX500
Let's start with the good news. The SkyCaddie SX500 is the dream of a strategic golfer that suits.
The 5-inch HD screen gives you incredibly clear images of every hole you play. It is as if you have the most detailed caddy book in the palm of your hand. On the track you can quickly switch through multiple views of the entire hole and view close-ups of the greens. You can easily measure the distances to a point on the track with your fingers to make your club and target selection as efficient as possible. The map will automatically rotate to give you an accurate image regardless of the angle at which you approach the channel or green (for help with those errant strokes).
Here is a short video in which the most important functions are investigated:
Because SkyCaddie manually captures the information of each job on the ground, you get very detailed images. I found the shape of every green, fairway and hazard almost identical.
Here are examples of different views of the SX500
You can easily synchronize your courses via a Wi-Fi connection and loading a job on the go is a breeze. In general, this is a very well-designed GPS device and I have not found any errors with the way it is performed on the golf course.
If you have the SX500 in your hands, you realize that this is an absolute beast.
The SX500 has a great weight and a robust design. So you can throw it in your car, expose it to the elements (it is very water resistant) and it will last.
The operating system is incredibly fast, so you will not get any delays on the track. Perhaps the best feature is the battery life. With most GPS devices I've tested, I'm lucky to get 1-2 rounds of them before they have to recharge. I played two rounds of 4 1/2 hours with the SX500 and the battery was still above 50%. SkyGolf says in their official specifications that it must remain uninterrupted for 12-14 hours. One of my pets with the wave technology is constantly worried about another device to recharge, but you can leave the SX500 in your bag for several laps and do not worry about it.
There are a few disadvantages that you need to be aware of before you buy.
As much as the dimensions and weight of the SX500 improve its functions, it also makes it a bit of a hindrance to take with you. It does not fit easily in your pocket, so I would say that it is a better companion for an electric car or push cart. If you have your bag with you, it can be a challenge to go on and off while playing. Compared to a GPS watch it is certainly not that convenient – which is a consideration of the extra functions you get from the SX500.
Another deterrent is the price and the SkyGolf memberships that are required. The SX500 currently sells $ 399, which puts it on the higher side of the market. Because they spend more time manually measuring distances on courses, there are also running costs for accessing GPS maps. They throw in a year of their Double Eagle membership when you first buy the SX500, but it costs between $ 30- $ 60 and then maintains a membership.
Many golfers who use their smartphones and have free GPS apps like 18 Birdies and The Grint can spot paying for a device like this. However, I would like to say that the functionality, data and battery life make a difference.
Who is the SX500 for?
If you want the best information, functionality and battery life, I believe the SX500 is worth it. I used it during three rounds of tournament golf and found the data very useful. For golfers who want extremely detailed yardage information, it is a winner.
On the other hand, because of the size, the initial costs and the running costs it is not worth it for other players.
You can find more information about the SX500 on the SkyCaddie website.