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Three High-Tech Golf Gadgets That Are Not Ready for Prime Time

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past decade, I’m sure you noticed the trend to involve technology into every aspect of our everyday lives. While in some cases this is a good thing, there are a lot of scenarios where overusing technology simply takes the whole fun out of things. A very good example in this manner is golf – a sport that’s supposed to be competitive, entertaining and relaxing. However, some high-tech gadgets are unwillingly removing those factors by trying too hard, eventually transforming what was supposed to be a fun game into a stressful activity, filled with way too much (unnecessary) data. If you’re a pro player, all the additional data may be useful, but even so, some of today’s high-tech devices are not quite ready to be taken onto the golf course, as they are most likely to annoy you more than the will help you. Here are a few examples of high-tech golf gadgets that still need some tweaks.

Skycaddie SGX GPS

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The Skycaddie SGX GPS is a dedicated GPS device that comes preloaded with more than 30,000 golf courses and a lot of information on each course, such as yardage, carry and layup data. Sure, it seems pretty useful at a first glance, but you have to ask yourself: do you really need it?

In the era of smartphones and smartwatches, where hundreds if not thousands of free apps are available (some of the for free), and can do the exact same thing, what is the point of carrying an extra device with you? The Skycaddie SGX GPS would become a useful high-tech gadget if it added a bit more to the game, but since we’re talking about a physical device that doesn’t add anything over a software app you can download for free and install on the smartphone you already own, spending approximately $400 on it doesn’t really make much sense.

Callaway idTECH Rangefinder

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The Callaway idTECH Rangefinder is a distance calculator that can provide you with the distance to your next hole with impressive accuracy. For me this is pretty much what I would call a useless gadget because one of the key elements of a game of golf relies on the player’s ability to estimate the distance himself, and thus plan his shot, so a distance calculator just takes the fun out of it. However, this is just a personal opinion, so it doesn’t really count as a minus for the device.

What does count as a minus, though, is the fact that, while the device also offers incline and decline information about the field, it doesn’t take that factor into account when measuring the distance to the hole. This basically means that, if you’re planning to use the Callaway idTECH Rangefinder to help you plan your shots, it won’t be the most helpful tool out there if you’re playing on a sloppy field.

Overall, it’s a device that’s supposed to help you improve your game, but it doesn’t provide you with one important metric to do so, which makes it look like an unfinished product.

Game Golf

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Game Golf is a wearable golf tracking system that records your performance and puts together fairly detailed statistics. Again, for me this would be a total fun-breaker, as handing your friend who asked how your game went a 20-page PDF report with diagrams and charts is not nearly as fun as sitting around for a round of beers and discussing the game. Still, there are a lot of people out there that really want to know in charts and numbers how their performance really was, and for those people, Game Golf might almost be a good option. I say it might “almost” be a good option because the system has a few drawbacks.

For starters, you have to wear a tiny device and you have to tap your club against it after every shot for it to record the exact GPS position – this seems like the type of thing that should be done automatically. If you forget to tap and record your position, you can edit this aspect later on, after you download the data into your computer. Be prepared to wait for forever, though, as the software is very slow and the interface is anything but friendly.

Overall, while the general concept of the gadget might be promising and useful for some, you can’t help but note that the kit has the feel of an unpolished product.

This is the post by Jason Phillips and Cooking Games 365!

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