By: Zack Buechner
50 Words or Less
The SkyCaddie SX500 is a handheld GPS all-in-one system that can be your own personal forecaddie. The 5-inch touch screen provides a wealth of information including distances to landing zones and greens. Tracking for every club in your bag.
The SkyCaddie SX500 is the newest product from SkyGolf, makers of many tech products in the golf space. The SX500 is the largest and most detailed GPS in their lineup. It has the ability to be customized to any individual’s skill level and preferences and can be especially useful when playing courses for the first time.
Set Up & Ease of Use
The SX500 is user-friendly and won’t need much review of the instruction manual to get started. The navigation is similar to that of a smart phone. The major shortcut icons are visible from most pages which makes it easy to maneuver. The ability to promptly jump from the map view to the scorecard then back to the green makes it convenient, particularly when your foursome is waiting on you.
The screen measures 5 inches which is about the size of an iPhone “Plus” model, so it fits easily in one hand or even a pocket. I was able to connect to a GPS signal in a matter of seconds, and using the large icons, I was able to get a round started within just a few minutes of turning it on.
Accuracy & Performance
Accuracy never was an issue. I tested most approach distances against my Bushnell laser rangefinder and each number was within 1-2 yards. Of course there can be other variables in play for both devices but the bottom line is that you can trust the distance the SX500 gives you. The device is quick between screens and only takes seconds to calibrate distance once you arrive at the tee or your ball.
There are plenty of features to customize to each users liking. It can track individual shots by using a simple “Mark” button or you can use it as a full-blown shot tracking system.
The minor issue I had was having to carry the device to each location to mark my ball. As long as you don’t mind it sitting in your pocket during a swing or a putt, it shouldn’t be a big deal.
The slopes and tiers of the greens can be incredibly useful for club choice on par-3s and approach shots. The system also allows for a variety of scoring systems such as a stroke play, Stableford, or even scramble or tournament mode.
The graphics on the SX500 were impressive. The screen was extremely well lit and had no glare problems even in direct sunlight.
Why not just download a GPS app on my phone? Isn’t it the same thing for a lot less? These were my initial questions too, but there are good reasons to invest in the SX500.
First, the battery won’t drain your phone. In fact, the SX500 battery is efficient enough to last at least 2 rounds. Second, the screen is lockable without it going dark which is nifty for glancing down at the GPS and getting quick info. Third, the speed of navigation and features far outperform any other application I have ever used on my phone.
The unit by itself is $400. To use the device, you do have to purchase a yearly membership which ranges from $19.99 to $49.99 per year.
The biggest value in this device is more than just the unit itself, it’s the entire SkyGolf 360 package both online and through their mobile app. SkyGolf 360 gives individuals their own account which tracks rounds, putts, handicap, photos, and more. It also gives you the ability to link all of your SkyGolf products together.
The SkyCaddie SX500 is impressive. It has all the bells and whistles that you could want in a high-definition GPS tracking system. It’s easy to use, customizable, and, with the ability to better understand each course and your game, it can help lower scores almost instantly.