Voice Caddie SL1 Hybrid Rangefinder GPS Review

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The Voice Caddie SL1 Hybrid Rangefinder blends a high quality laser rangefinder with a GPS.  GPS yardages display in the viewfinder and on the back of the unit.  The best all-in-one unit that I’ve tested.

Get special Plugged In Golf pricing on the SL1 HERE

Introduction

I’ve been writing for the last couple years that the rangefinder category was getting a little stale.  We’ve seen slope adjustments, we’ve seen different colored optics, and we’ve seen lightning-quick speeds.  But just when I thought there weren’t any exciting new tricks, Voice Caddie integrated a GPS in the most seamless way I’ve seen to date.  Can the Voice Caddie SL1 breathe new excitement into this category?

Set Up & Ease of Use

You might think that a hybrid rangefinder and GPS would be complicated to use, but Voice Caddie makes the SL1 super simple.  First, you can use the laser by itself.  In this mode, it functions like any other rangefinder: push the power button to turn it on, push it again to get a distance.  The Mode button toggles between yards/meters and slope/tournament mode.

The GPS operates through a single button.  On the left edge below the viewfinder, there’s a button to power on the GPS.  The course you’re playing will automatically display.  Pressing the power button during the round will power up the display then flip between green view and Front/Middle/Back yardages.

Voice Caddie’s SL1 is powered by a USB-rechargeable battery that lasts for 30 days in rangefinder mode and 20 hours with GPS enabled.

Accuracy & Performance

Let’s start with the basics.  The Voice Caddie SL1 has a very accurate rangefinder which is in the conversation for fastest lasers available.  Similarly, the GPS is quick and consistently within a yard or two of staked yardages.  The rangefinder also vibrates when it captures the target, which gives you a nice shot of confidence.

Now let’s get into what makes the SL1 special.  One of the coolest features is that the GPS yardages for the front and back of the green are displayed alongside the adjusted pin yardage.  This helps you to immediately recognize when you need to forego pin hunting in favor of a smarter play.

The other unique feature is that the undulations of the green can be displayed on the GPS screen (see above).  Voice Caddie has over 40,000 courses mapped worldwide, and the list continues to expand.  This is another boon for smart course management.  Regardless of how far you are from the green, you can recognize traps like false fronts and make the appropriate adjustment.

I can only think of one negative about the SL1, and that’s the lack of control over the GPS.  On one of the courses I played, a tee was very near the previous green, and the GPS did not advance to the next hole.  I was still able to use the laser, of course, but the F/M/B yardages were incorrect on the tee shot.  This only happened once over the course of several rounds, so it’s not a big enough issue to keep me from recommending the SL1.

Value

The Voice Caddie SL1 Hybrid GPS Rangefinder retails for $499.  Plugged In Golf readers can take advantage of a special price, $449, by buying it HERE.  By purchasing through this link, you’ll also be supporting Plugged In Golf.

The SL1 is comparable in price with the other GPS rangefinder hybrids on the market (less with our preferred pricing), and I think the performance is superior.  If you want to have the maximum amount of distance data in one device, this is the way to go.

Conclusion

The Voice Caddie SL1 offers the best integration of rangefinder and GPS that I’ve tested to date.  Both parts are quick and accurate, and together they promote better decision making on the course.  Add in the ability to see the green’s undulation from the fairway and you’ll have the ability to play new courses like a seasoned local.

Buy the Voice Caddie SL1 HERE

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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8 Comments

  1. Having looked at the SL1 online about a year ago I found it difficult to get any real lens images of either the laser or GPS mode. I ended up purchasing the Garmin Z82. I’ve been very happy with the data and functionality of the Z82. Two surmountable issues: 1) viewfinder is a digital image (not a true lens); and 2) it’s a bit on the slow side to fire up to shoot a distance. Pressing the button before I raise the unit to my eye is a simple work around for the latter. Would love to see a feature comparison between these two units. Garmin has some pretty cool added data points: wind, find my Garmin, scroll through hazard distances, target line to flag when it is not visible, etc… How would you compare the two side by side?

  2. Gaines J. David

    Good review but I could not find any mention of the magnification factor (5X,6X or 7X for more?) of this rangefinder.

  3. I like the Garmin Rangefinder/GPS Z82 device better. Both the range finder data and the GPS data are viewable at the same time via the scope, including slope adjusted distances to the flag, and the front, middle, and back of the green, along with notable hazards. It also shows you where the flag is positioned on the green. IMO, the only thing the Voice Caddie does better is showing the slope of the green. That’s a pretty cool feature.

  4. Does it have an integrated magnet to attach to posts in the cart ?

  5. Well…the sl2 just came out. Hope you review that soon!

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