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The GPS Golf Advantage

How luxurious would it be to play with a caddie like the pros? To know the exact distance from each shot? To have pin placements communicated within a foot?

Today, all of these possibilities can fit in the palm of your hand with the advent of GPS-powered systems that feature mappings of more than 15,000 golf courses, including most of the courses right in your own backyard.

These systems are nothing short of revolutionary when it comes to empowering the average golfer with information that was previously out of reach. In an average round, they can save you a couple of strokes, perhaps even more.

Unfortunately, many golfers walk right by these GPS devices in their local pro shop or retail outlet, assuming them to be too complicated or too expensive. The truth is, however, that these devices only require a simple internet connection, a short learning curve and an investment comparable to the average driver. That’s a relatively small price to pay for a piece of game-changing technology.

The leading golf GPS system is the SkyCaddie, which offers several handheld models, including some starting as low as $249. You also pay a reasonable annual membership fee to download course information on a statewide, nationwide or international basis.

Using these GPS systems is a breeze. You just preload your course information and clip the handheld device onto your belt like a cell phone, and suddenly exact yardages from almost anywhere on the course are now at your fingertips.

GPS systems are particularly helpful when it comes to the short game. Yardages are rarely marked as you get close to the hole, but the difference between a 60-yard approach shot and a 50-yard approach shot can be the difference between sticking it near the hole or burying it in a bunker.

SkyCaddie’s IntelliGreen technology is a particularly impressive. It automatically provides distances to any point on the green from any approach angle. Up to three key distances can be calculated and displayed simultaneously, to include carry to front and back of the green, plus any target point in between, based upon the angle of attack selected by the golfer.

As the SkyCaddie gained much popularity last year, we were cautiously optimistic about how well it would function in the moderately hilly and remote terrains of our local courses on California’s Central Coast. But our customers have confirmed that the technology is reliable and accurate. If you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer this year—either for yourself or for the golfer in your life—a SkyCaddie or other golf GPS device belongs near the top of your list.

This report was authored by Nick Taylor, proprietor of Golfland Warehouse, the official retail affiliate of PutterZone.com. The Golfland Warehouse Report is an exclusive monthly series designed to keep golfers informed about the latest equipment, technology and ideas in the world of golf, with an emphasis on putting and the short game.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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