What makes life easier on a golf course than a dependable distance device? Perhaps one that talks to you.
Voice Caddie has evolved into a company offering all sorts of distance products, be it GPS, rangefinders, or even their swing data devices. What started it all for them however is in their name, literally, Voice Caddie.
The VC series of hat clip GPS devices brought hands free and intuitive distance information to the masses, and here at THP we have reviewed the previous models, in fact one of my first reviews some seven years ago was the VC300 here. Now, we have the new VC4 in hand to put it through its paces; read on for more.
Not the smallest hat-clip GPS device, but the somewhat cumbersome ergonomics give way to what is a uniquely effective and useful device. Accurate, even with slope, and an extremely intuitive design.
Voice Caddie VC4 Golf GPS
The VC4 is programmed with over 40,000 courses right out of the box, and the company offers the ability to sync it for updates as time goes by as well, at no additional cost. The output here is a voice feedback with different volume levels which provides front, middle, and back info as well as shot distance tracking just as its predecessors did. The big difference is the addition of “Active Green Info” and “Auto Slope”, providing slope into its distances as well as adapting the information as you move in relation, and elevation, to the green.
When unboxing, the VC4 was a bit bigger than I anticipated it being. The round shape looks clean, but its not the smallest device when clipping it onto your hat bill. Fortunately, you can’t see the top of the device when wearing it (just the clip on the under edge of the bill), but this is bigger than a hat-clip ball marker and initially may get some funny looks and comments from the jokesters in your regular group. Materials wise, it’s a little lighter-weight than I expected, which is good for weight on a hat but not the best for the feel in hand as at times the buttons seem to have a little give to them, however it survived testing with no issues on my end.
The idea of a Voice GPS device is one that definitely won’t be for everyone, but for those looking for something super easy to use then it is worth a look. One thing I knew entering this is that it wasn’t going to be overcomplicated despite all of the features, and that was certainly the case as I worked with the VC4. Tip of the cap to Voice Caddie there for sure because the last thing you want is overcomplication when it comes to getting a distance on the course.
When I say simple, I mean it. Charge the unit with the included cable, get it to the course, and power it on. No, really, if your course is included the unit will auto recognize and audibly inform you that the course is detected as well as if slope is enabled or disabled. Features will vary based on if the course you are playing is fully in the database.
Getting your distances is easy when on the course, one click for center, two for front/back, and a long hold to enter into distance measuring mode. The device also auto changes tee-boxes and on my course, it worked seamlessly but I would be curious to use it on a course with a complicated hole routing. The volume was also OK, though on the bill of a hat the location and conditions you are in may affect that, for instance I had some issues in the crazy Oklahoma winds.
So, the big question, does the slope really work? For me, I can’t explain it, but it worked pretty well when compared to a slope rangefinder. Was it perfect? No, but it was extremely close, and how they managed this using the GPS satellite information combined with their patented “V-Algorithm” is honestly impressive. More fun was the “Active Green” aspect where, as I moved in relation to the green, the readings did adjust based on geographic changes. Something I want to point out is that Voice Caddie recommends waiting 1-2 seconds in the location you want your distance from before clicking for numbers, it makes sense as you are letting the device adjust, but it was something that on my first outing I overlooked.
The last thing worth mentioning is the battery life. Voice Caddie claims the VC4 will last for up to 54 holes of golf, and three rounds is definitely impressive. They do give the caveat that it will depend on the GPS signal where you are playing, and the poorer the signal the more drain. Good news is it tells you the percentage of battery when you turn the unit on and it also has a “Smart Save Mode” that detects if you don’t have enough battery to finish a round and will go into power save to stretch as long as it can. I didn’t get a full three rounds on the VC4 due to weather, but I did play 36 in a cart and had 37% remaining, so likely one more round and a few stray holes.
As mentioned in the start of the article, this isn’t going to be the distance device for everyone, but it is a pretty cool option to have. The VC4 might not be the prettiest one at the dance, but it packs a whole lot of cool features inside at a solid price.
What do you think about the VC4? Is it something you are interested in or would try? Be sure to jump into the conversation below as well as on the THP community!
Where: www.voicecaddie.com and various retailers