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SkyCaddie Breeze Review

SkyCaddie Breeze Review

The name SkyCaddie has become one of the most recognizable and respected names in the massive world of golf GPS and rangefinder technology.  In an industry that is as competitive as any, SkyCaddie remains one of the most trusted and used GPS products in the world today.  SkyGolf has offered a steady supply of their GPS units to meet the demanding needs of today’s golfers.  The latest generation of SkyCaddie promises to offer the easiest and lowest priced SkyCaddie yet.  THP was sent one of these units to find out for ourselves just how easy and accurate the SkyCaddie Breeze is.

Leading up to the review of the new SkyCaddie Breeze, I spoke to a lot of people, both SkyCaddie owners as well as people who use other companies’ GPS units to get their opinions on the subject.   What I learned was quite interesting to me.  Every single SkyCaddie owner I talked to loved their product. They each told me that they’d happily pay the extra money for the device and the membership fees associated with it.  Those who used other GPS units were mostly against the idea of having to pay a membership fee to gain access to the GPS information they need to play their best golf.  I have never owned a SkyCaddie before, so I was admittedly in the latter line of thinking prior to this review.

The more research I did, the more curious I grew as to why SkyGolf charges a membership fee when other GPS companies do not.  I decided to dig into the subject a little deeper and what I found has changed my mind.  It may just change a lot of other peoples’ minds as well.

From SkyGolf

The revenue derived from our membership plans is applied toward building and maintaining our SkyCourse golf maps. SkyGolf uses more than one hundred SkyCaddie mappers around the world, driving to remote locations and spending hours recording critical target information from the ground using expensive sub-meter GPS equipment to give our members the most accurate course maps in the game. We send our SkyCaddie mappers out to update and remap thousands of courses every year. Membership revenue ensures that your SkyCaddie is always updated with the latest GPS and critical software information.

There’s a lot more to the SkyGolf memberships, including deals like the SkyRewards system and complimentary gift cards. For more information on the SkyGolf membership plans, you can visit their website.  In my research I learned more about the company and why they charge what they do for their services. You certainly do get a lot more than just a yardage.

As I mentioned above, the Breeze is supposed to be the easiest and least expensive SkyCaddie yet.  The Breeze delivers a virtual sprinkler head according to SkyGolf. It offers golfers front, middle and back of the green distances from anywhere on the course without touching a button or aiming.

More from SkyGolf

“The new Breeze addresses the needs of a large segment of golfers who are looking for simplicity and accuracy at a price unmatched in the industry,” according to SkyGolf CEO Richard Edmonson. “Even more exciting is the Breeze is also upgradable to provide many other game saving course features and applications that help golfers play even better as their needs and their games grow. This will enable Breeze owners to customize their SkyCaddie to meet their unique needs as golfers without buying a new device or buy features they would not use.” Breeze owners seeking more advanced stroke-saving features such as HoleVue, IntelliGreen, RangeVue and PinPoint can do so with a series of optional upgrade packs and membership choices.

THP Testing

 

According to the information included in the box, the Breeze comes ready to hit the course.  I decided to check things out a little more, so after the initial charge of the Breeze, which took a couple hours or so, I decided to go ahead and get registered with SkyGolf.  Registration was simple, and the best part so far – free for 30 days.  I did not have to enter credit card information. All I had to do was fill out the registration, install the software on my home PC and I was ready for action.  It was fast and simple and I have to say I was impressed.

The time to get The Breeze out on the course came the very next day. After paying and getting warmed up, I powered up the device on my way to the first tee.  It immediately showed a ‘searching for golf course’ screen.  I expected a little delay like I’ve seen with other GPS devices at this point, but the longer I sat, the more concerned I became.  Still nothing and it’s time to tee off.  I don’t have an exact time it took, but eventually after I teed off and started the hole it had come up, found my location and the hole I was on.  From here we were off.  My first reaction was that the display was very crisp and vibrant.  Nice colors and easy to read numbers greeted me as I used the Breeze.  There was never a need to change holes, as the device continually updates as you go and automatically advances after each hole.

From unboxing to the course, the SkyCaddie Breeze was simple to use.  I have recently reviewed other GPS units that I’ve had to manually switch holes on or have had to negotiate where I’m at on the golf course within the device itself. That is a pain to me and something I’d rather not have to mess with.  The Breeze finds where you are and you’re ready to go with a yardage to the green (front, center and back). It’s that simple.

The battery life of the Breeze impressed me quite a bit as well.  I used it for back-to-back days of 18+ holes and it still had over 50% life left when I was done.  The built in battery-saver feature of the Breeze makes this possible. The screen dims when in motion, saving battery life in the process. As soon as the cart stops moving the display becomes bright and vibrant again.  This will help for those times that the GPS gets left in the golf bag accidentally.  I never did test it all the way to a dead battery, but I’m sure I had at least another full round of life left after the back-to-back days of use.

As I used the SkyCaddie Breeze, I was constantly comparing distances with sprinkler heads as I played.  Between sprinkler heads, on-cart GPS and pacing off yardages, I am very confident in the accuracy of the device.  In fact, throughout my time with it I’ve had multiple playing partners checking yardages off the Breeze, even when they have their own “other” brand GPS.  Many times the yardages were close to the same, but not always.  I know which one I trusted!

I didn’t get an opportunity to test the advanced features such as HoleVue, IntelliGreen, RangeVue and PinPoint.  I will be upgrading to get access to these features the second next season starts. If you stay tuned to the THP Forum, I will be sure to come back and update everyone on my findings.  I am a big fan of the option to upgrade to these added features. For those who like to stay basic, it is ready right out of the box.  There are golfers (like me) who want every tidbit of information possible, and with the ability to upgrade, you can have exactly what you desire.

Overall

When considering a GPS unit, I look for two absolute must-have elements.  First is accuracy – if I can’t be 100% confident in the yardages that I’m given, I might as well not even use it.  The second thing is ease of use.  The SkyCaddie Breeze is both accurate and easy to use. I have yet to use another GPS device that is this straightforward and simple.  With a very solid battery life to go along with the other traits I enjoyed, I can’t find enough positive things to say about this device.

I understand peoples’ issue with the membership fee associated with SkyGolf devices.  I also see the reason for the membership fee.  If paying a fee less than the cost of a round of golf provides me with a device that I can be confident in, then I’m quite alright with that.  SkyCaddie is trusted by more serious golfers than all other rangefinders combined.  While reviewing this device, I searched for areas where I could offer up some constructive criticism or find something that I felt needed to be improved upon.  It is very clear that SkyGolf set out to provide consumers with an affordable and easy-to-use GPS device. That is exactly what they have delivered in the Breeze.  The SkyCaddie Breeze is available now and costs $229.95.  A complete breakdown and explanation of the membership options is available on their website www.skygolf.com.

 

 

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Jason Kunze

http://www.thehackersparadise.com

Jason is a busy husband and father of 2 daughters who are both just starting to take up the game that he has loved for years. Golf is his passion, when Jason is not playing golf and testing equipment he's hanging out with all his friends on the THP forum discussing every aspect of this great game.

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20 Comments

  • Solid review on this device Jake!

    Aesthetically speaking, it is a very sharp looking unit – the white pops very well. From your review, I really liked the sound of the “no touch” throughout the round from the point of powering up and the battery save feature. The battery save feature is really quite smart.

    I understand the need for the membership fees, I just think that it can get quite confusing with different package add on’s, etc. It sounds fairly straightforward but I remember reading how people simply have a hard time determining what they will be paying and what they get because the varying membership levels, etc.

    All in all, a solid product.

  • Nice review. If I ever move away from the golfshots gps app on my phone, I will be looking for something with the features you highlighted.

  • Automatically moving from hole to hole seems like a minor thing but I love a GPS I can just pick up and read the yardage. Let’s me concentrate on my game.

  • Looks like a nice product. I’ve been using a Bushnell Neo+ for 2 years now and love it. It’s a lot smaller than the SkyCaddie and provides the same info with no yearly fees and at a cost of $150. It’s the size of an old beeper….remember those? Fits in your pocket easily.

  • Sounds stupid, but the fact that it’s white instantly makes me want it. Really does sound like a great unit.

  • great review JK!
    i love the white and as you mentioned, the screen looks very vibrant and crisp.
    the battery saving feature is really impressive…to have 50% battery life left after 2 rounds is amazing.
    love your thoughts and can’t wait to hear about you trying out some of the advanced features.

  • Nice review, Jake. Well done buddy! For a tech nerd, these type of devices keep having me interested, especially when I hear that the battery life is good and the use of the device is simple. Makes it simple to use during a round, and reliable.

  • I have an older version 3.5 and find it very accurate and helpful. It is much more accurate than the GPS units built into carts, sometimes with a variance of 10-12 yards. I pay $30-35 per year which is less than the cost of a dozen balls.
    Great review, but left me wondering if it will tell you distance to carry water etc or do you need a different unit/ membership for that

  • Kevinh- if you upgrade to the advanced features I talk about the Breeze will allow you distances to hazards and to dog legs etc. I am really excited to upgrade this season and have all of that at my finger tips.

  • You mentioned the first time you used it, it took a long time to find satellites. Was this an all the time thing, or did it just happen the first time you used it? I know they do take some time, but it sounds like this took much longer than normal to pick them up.

    The accuracy sounds good, which is the most important thing with a GPS! Battery life sounds good too.

  • Nicely written Jake. I love my SGX and would be lost without it. I think the Breeze is a CLEAN looking unit for sure.

    Excellent read and great breakdown of the product buddy.

  • I love how easy it is to read the yardage and how quick it responds. Very clean looking and user friendly GPS device.

  • I have a 3 year old 3.5 skycaddie. I bought it mainly for the ability to replace the batteries (interchange 2 sets of rechargables). Never been a fan of “built in” rechargable battery. But the new powersaver feature you mentioned of auto dimming while moving is great. If the breeze can get 54 holes out of a charge, it just might be my next skycaddie.

  • All the GPS golf products are a great asset to golfers on the course.

    I use one of the SureShot models and love it.

    I’ve never used the SkyCaddie and i’m sure it works just as well but having a yearly membership would be a turn off for me.

    I don’t have to pay any membership fees with the SureShot and it works perfectly fine.

  • Thanks for the input Jake! Sounds like another great device from SkyCaddie.

  • Great review, Jason! Now, I have some thinking to do. This may be my next purchase.

  • I use the sg2.5 w/o batteries and very small. I enjoy the lack of not having to replace batteries as my main feature and 2nd would be size. I’ve been using sg2.5 for approx 3.5 years. Do not mind paying yearly fee for sky caddie accuracy. My friends have used Callaway & Garmin watch GPS and they have had accuracy problems, some distances varied by more than 10 yards. Love what I have and would only change for a newer color version with similar features to the sg2.5….

  • To set up your skycaddie watch you need to have a degree from MIT I still can’t set it up and the folks at Skygolf make it impossable

  • Upgraded to a Breeze recently and have had no end of problems, slow responses and having just down loaded FP2 it stopped working in that having selected courses, found my course and clicked on it, the egg time appeared for a short period then disappeared and nothing then happened. Wished I stayed with my SG2.5!

  • My previous SkyCaddie battery failed so I contacted the service number and explained the situation. I was referred to the Canadian distributor in Montreal who persuaded me that it would be better to ‘upgrade’ (joke!) to the Breeze iso getting a new battery. My opinion is that operation of the device is anything but a breeze. The setup took forever. Using it has been a disaster. It takes ages to find the GPS signal. When it does it does not recognize where it is. I live on a golf course but it locates to one that is about ten miles away. The courses that I have in my account are listed as usual but when I try to toggle between the (incorrect) one and my own, just touching the joystick causes it to select the incorrect course and the only way to correct that and try again is to power off and try again.

    Despite many attempts I still have not been able to lock on to my course.

    I will be returning this piece of junk at the earliest opportunity.

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