Dan Murphy assesses the SkyCaddie SX500, a golf GPS like we've never seen before

Our SkyCaddie SX500 review took place on the course at Alwoodley in Leeds.

I love the instant information you get from a mere glance at a GPS device. But I am also a long-term laser devotee because sometimes I need to know the exact distance to the flag.

So I was keen to see what the SX500, SkyCaddie’s new top-of-the-range GPS, had to offer.

SkyCaddie SX500 review: First impressions

My current GPS is an old and basic Garmin that just provides yardages to the front, middle and back of greens. It’s entirely adequate, as I will always reach for my Bushnell when I want to know an exact yardage.

But often, especially in casual play, a middle-of-the-green number is all I am looking for. It saves me reaching into my bag to get my laser out.

So the first thing that struck me about the SX500 was the size of the device and the richness of the display. It’s like picking up a smartphone.

There is absolutely no doubt that if additional features are your thing, you are going to relish using the SX500.

The view of the hole is large and crystal-clear. You can pinch the screen to zoom in as you would on your smartphone.

SkyCaddie SX500 review: The technology

SkyCaddie SX500 review

Let’s start with the IntelliGreen Pro feature, which lets you zero in to a view of the green from any distance. It shows you what’s around the green and also significant contours on it.

The key screen is the Dynamic HoleVue, which displays anything from a full-colour map of the entire hole to a close-up of the angle of a dogleg or a specific hazard with accurate distances from the point where you are standing.

That’s great for those of us who like to think of ourselves as strategists.

Like all GPS devices, the SX500’s bread and butter is those front, middle and back yardages.

I’d argue that, for most of us, most of the time, a distance to the middle of the green is more than enough information.

But if you want the ultimate, then the SX500 has the potential to go much further and even provide you with the Holy Grail – namely, exact distances to the pin. SkyCaddie call this PinPoint.

My sincere thanks go to the SkyCaddie team for going above and beyond the call of duty to give me the best possible testing experience. They liaised with Alwoodley’s greenkeeper when he was setting the pin positions for the weekend. He in turn shared this information with our club pro, who then let SkyCaddie know.

Hey presto – when I connected my SX500 to wifi and synced it to the SkyGolf360 portal, I was able to select these customised pin positions and I had the exact yardage to the hole. And that was irrespective of the angle I was approaching from. Or whether or not the flag was even visible from where I was standing.

The SX500 has even more technology to offer. Find out on the next page…

Dan Murphy

Dan loves links golf, which doesn't mean he is very good at it. He is a four-handicapper at Alwoodley. A qualified journalist and senior editor with 25 years’ experience, he was the long-time editor of NCG. His passion is golf courses and he is the founding editor of NCG Top 100s course rankings. He loves nothing more than discovering and highlighting courses that are worthy of greater recognition.

Handicap: 4

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