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I talk a lot about strategy and how it can really lower your scores. One of the pillars of course management is knowing your distances to different points on the golf course. That is why I have always advocated most golfers who use GPS technology. My strategic recommendation is based on knowing the backyard of every green.
Of course I pay close attention to the market and try to test all the new gadgets that come out. For the most part, industry is relatively stagnant lately. You can get GPS watches at the entry level with a budget that gives you simple distances for the green. But if you want premium features that go beyond those, you have to pay much more for it.
That's why I was so surprised when I first heard about Voice Caddy & # 39; s G1 GPS watch. The list of functions was extremely long, and some of them I had not seen before. The price tag was also $ 100 – $ 150 lower than the leading GPS watch and it had a more robust set of functions.
After testing the Voice Caddy G1 on the golf course, I am willing to say that this is the best overall value for golfers looking for a premium offer. It is fast, contains many functions and the best of all is that it will not break the bank.
In this review, I look deeply at what makes the G1 so unique and how it can help you make smarter decisions on the golf course.
The functions that set Voice Caddy G1 apart
Every GPS watch of today can be brought to the front, the middle and the back of the green. That is old news at this point.
If you are looking for additional features such as course cards, shot tracking or even Bluetooth integration, you have to pay more money. Garmin has dominated this category for years. Two years ago I found their Approach S60 the best overall GPS watch in golf. It is a position they have since taken and expanded with other releases such as the Approach S40. The trade-off is the price. The S60 watch has consistently sold between $ 350 – $ 400 because there really was no rival.
The Garmin S60 and Voice Caddy G1 side by side
I think Voice Caddy might have knocked them off their feet. And to be honest, it comes from a very unexpected place. Traditionally they have not had anything in the GPS category that was unique.
When I first saw all the functions that the Voice Caddy G1 packed, I had to reread the list several times. I will comment on most of them later in this article, but first I want to emphasize what makes this watch a bit of a game changer.
There are three in particular:
Full map touchscreen functionality
Automatic slope adjustment for yardages
Green wave maps
I am going to examine each of these individually to explain why they are so important when considering the competition.
The Map Is Awesome
Perhaps my favorite feature of the Garmin Approach S60 is the ability to use your finger to determine distances on the map. So whether you hit a tee shot or a lay-up shot, you can point to a spot on the course such as a bunker or water hazard and find your garden. When it came out, it was the only watch with a full touchscreen. The only problem I have is that it wasn't quite fast and that I had to wait for the map to load when I zoomed in.
With your fingers you can quickly see distances to any point on the map with a crystal clear screen
The Voice Caddy G1 is the only other watch with this feature and I think they have improved it. The image is crystal clear and, more importantly, when you touch the screen, it responds almost immediately. It is incredibly fast. As you know, the hardware technology sometimes changes to months, and it is clear that Voice Caddy has been able to use a faster processor on this watch.
The map shows your current position on the hole, how far you have made your last shot and the distance to the target you select. This feature is a major issue.
Automatic slope adjustment
The Voice Caddy G1 also offers slope adjustment. It automatically shows your slope adjusted distance based on height differences, which is indicated by the small icon next to the middle distance number. This feature can be disabled if you play in a tournament.
Having slopes-adjusted distances is another important feature of a GPS watch.
While testing on the track, I found that the slope-corrected gardens were very consistent with a few distance meters. You must know that all devices give their best guess, because they all use different calculation methods. In general, I think that slope adjustment is perhaps the most valuable feature that the G1 watch has over its competition. By taking the guesswork out of height differences, you can get more green in the regulation.
Green wave maps
Something that has never been done before on a GPS watch is green wavy data, and the G1 debuts this technology. With the help of satellite images, they were able to map the slopes of the greens and quickly display them on the watch (you have to swipe to see it).
The more red shading represents the highest points of green and when you switch to orange, yellow and blue, you begin to see the lowest parts.
My job has tons of false fronts and significant changes in slope on the greens. It was interesting to see how the cards each represented green. I thought the heatmaps were pretty nice. You can clearly see the overall gradients of each green and if unexpected problems await you. For golfers who have difficulty identifying the entire slope of a green, especially if they are putting it, this can be useful.
This heat map indicates that the highest point of the green is on the left and that there is a false front on the front right
I note that this feature is not available on every golf course. They are constantly adding courses in the US and you can search their database to find out what functions your course currently has here.
If you take into account these three unique features of the watch (and the $ 249 price tag) – the value proposition becomes very clear.
Numerous other things to get excited about
Now that I have discovered what makes the Voice Caddy G1 unique, I will discuss some of its other functions. First, the overall functionality of the watch is a piece of cake. You can load your course fairly quickly without a headache. It is pre-loaded with more than 30,000 courses and there are no ongoing costs for updates. Like I said, the processor they use is fast, so there are no delays. Moreover, I found the watch to be relatively light and not a burden to wear on my wrist.
The screen is extremely sharp and has the best resolution I have seen on a GPS watch so far. Regardless of the light conditions of the day, you can easily see all the information on the watch without straining your eyes. Voice Caddy also says that the watch is waterproof, so no fear if you get caught in the rain.
On the course you can quickly switch between the hole map, general distance information and the green image by swiping left or right.
When you look at the home screen, you see almost everything you need. The primary information is slope-adjusted yardages. You can also see the current hole information, your score and the number of shots (you can use the watch to keep track of your score) and the current time.
Another feature of the G1 that I have come to love on other watches is that it automatically keeps track of the distance from your last shot. There are two main reasons why I found this useful – you can begin to see how far you actually hit the ball, but more importantly, it helped me to find the location of a wrong shot that is hard to find.
When approaching images, you can also move your fingers around the pin position. With this you can get an estimate of your distances to the pin and it also shows your distance to the front and the back of the green. All this is valuable information that I should always know to golfers.
Finally, the battery life is on an equal footing (no pun intended) with other premium GPS watches. You can expect 2-3 usage laps before you have to charge it.
Some smartwatch options
The Voice Caddy G1 also has a few smartwatch options. If you choose to do this, you can wear it throughout the day and pair it with your phone via Bluetooth. You will receive a notification of incoming calls and text messages from your phone.
The watch also synchronizes with the Voice Caddy app to send updates wirelessly. When you are done with your rounds, you can upload your score data to the app.
If you like fitness, the G1 automatically keeps track of how many steps you take throughout the day and displays it at the bottom of the screen. You get an estimate of the number of calories that you have burned. Walking my course yielded almost 14,000 steps
13,630 steps, not bad!
I would not say that the G1 will match an Apple Watch, but if you don't currently have a smartwatch, it can quickly fill that void if you choose to keep it outside of the golf course.
Premium features that will not break the bank
Voice Caddy quietly released perhaps the best overall value in the premium GPS watch category with the G1 watch. They have matched most of the features of the industry-leading Garmin Approach S60, but for much less money. In addition, they have added new features that had never been seen before. I use this as my watch for the coming season, and I think most golfers will be very satisfied with the performance.
I did not see this coming from a company that is best known for its personal launch monitors – the Swing Caddy SC200 and SC300.
You can buy the Voice Caddy for $ 249 via this link (this is usually for sale for $ 299). In the current market, I don't think you will find a better overall package with features for that price.