GPS Golf Guru - Any thoughts on this?

Check out: www.gpsgolfguru.com



It looks pretty good on paper: intelligreen-type green information, cheaper membership, uses regular usb cables, smaller/lighter than skycaddie. Not too bad for $200.



I just got an SG4 from another member here and I think it will be great but this should be a good contender in the gps segment.



Any thoughts?
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Comments

  • Ridgecrest18Ridgecrest18 Members Posts: 606 ✭✭
    I'd check their satelite coverage (numbers of them) and/or access to them before a jump away from SkyGolf (aka: SkyCaddie)........... image/russian_roulette.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':shout:' />
  • randy6675randy6675 Members Posts: 135 ✭✭
    Just checked the website. They claim 16 satellite reception. This is interesting. I suspect with the legalization of these devices, we are going to see some healthy competition. Hope so anyway.
  • golf_fanatikgolf_fanatik Members Posts: 1,103 ✭✭
    I emailed their technical support to see if the screen has a backlight and they told me that it does not because it has "transflective technology LCD" that allows you the screen to be readable in sunlight. They answered in less than an hour.



    And I also emailed their sales support to ask about their return policy and it's basically "30 days satisfaction guarantee" minus S&H.



    It is an interesting device because it not only gives yardage but also keeps score and stats. Similar to Sure Shot and sonocaddie I guess.



    The button layout seems a little odd to me because it is above the screen so I would imagine that it would be hard to read and type.. not sure. Also, the design seems a little plain to me, but if it works..
  • Solutions EtceteraSolutions Etcetera Members Posts: 2,556
    They list none of the courses I regularly play, and their web site is woefully lacking in information (nothing mentioned about what OS' are supported by the software; how the scoring feature works; etc.) Hope their GPS had more thought put into it than their marketing.



    The unit "looks" a little cheap... especially the display (how it looks in the actual photo on the home page - not the mock up). I am also concerned with their marketing-speak suggesting buying any other product is risky due to GPS Industries' patent litigation (WTF).



    Anyway... came away from their site with a bad taste in my mouth (or maybe that is the stale tea I am drinking).
  • rcncgolfrcncgolf Members Posts: 121
    edited Dec 5, 2007 #6
    just bought one to replace an IGOLF unit, will have end of week. Like features for game improvement,etc. Will post review. Emailed support to see if they could add my course before unit arrives, they needed a couple of items (scorecard, layout) which I happily sent & they told me they would try & have it set up for me today! They also took time to verify I had purchased & told me when/how shipped. Great customer service!
  • johnchuckabjohnchuckab Members Posts: 2
    I've had an SG3 for about 8 months. Got a golf guru about three weeks ago because of the integration with ISaAC Golf for USGA Handicapping (I admit it, I am a bit of a gadget junky).



    I don't know about this 16 satellite stuff, but the SG3 would consistently lose satellites when I was on a couple of holes that are pretty boxed in with big trees. I have taken the Guru out and compared it to the SG3, and it consistently finds the satellites and give accurate distances when the SG3 does not.



    I agree that there is not enough information on the website though. I talked to and emailed their customer support multiple times with questions, and I have always gotten an answer within hours.



    A pet peeve of mine was that I used to put the SG3 in the cup holder becuase it didn't fit comfortably in my pocket, and I was always forgetting it on cart path only days (senior moments I guess). The guru fits very comfortably in my pocket so I don't have to remember to bring it with me.



    Bottom line, it blows my SG3 away. It is smaller, lighter, works better, fits in my pocket and has some cool features that my SG3 does not. Their website marketing is a bit lacking but the product isn't.



    Johnchuck



    P.S. The display seems to be just as good as the SG3 and the lack of backlight doesn't seem to matter.
  • golf_fanatikgolf_fanatik Members Posts: 1,103 ✭✭
    Good review John.



    By the way, Can you explain a little more how the integration with UShandicap.com works? Is is through the guru website? What about battery life?
  • pfloggerpflogger Members Posts: 49
    I have two SkyCaddie SG3's. I picked up a Golf Guru a little over two weeks ago. Normally, I would prefer a handheld with AA batteries, but for the price of this one, I thought I'd give the rechargeable a try. I live in an area where Skycaddie has plenty of course maps, but those maps don't necessarily have all the targets I want in the map. For instance, I play a course regularly that has a creek crossing on the 1st hole. It's reachable from the tee box but only the "carry" distance was on the map, not the "to" distance. I don't ever plan on clearing it, I just want to know how far it is to reach it. This particular tee box is about 30 yds. deep, and the tees we play from can be placed anywhere on this tee box. Makes a big difference in club selection.



    I went ahead and mapped this course with the Guru. There were many targets on various holes I wanted instead of, or in addition to what was on the skycaddie map (by the way, the Guru has quite a few maps in my area, but didn't have this one). I think the Guru mapping capability is a strong point for them. Guru claims you can map up to 30 targets per hole. I can't ever see needing that many, but I have put in as many as 8 so far. You can mark the targets as "to" or "clr" (clear). You can also put in the target position such as left, right, or center of fairway. Once you get used to it, mapping is very simple, and I especially like the ability to map a green where the "smart green" feature works for my own maps. This is similar to the intelli-green on the skycaddie, but the green doesn't rotate. Instead it has two icons that rotate around the green as your approach angle changes. It's different, but it works.



    I guess one of the other big reasons for buying a Guru was their claim on accuracy and the ability to receive satellites when other gps units cannot. My skycaddies work well most of the time, but I can't recall a game lately where I didn't lose reception on the skycaddie somewhere during the round. I've played 3 rounds (haven't charged the battery except for when I received it) and have not lost the distances yet. I'm impressed!. When I look at the satellite information on the skycaddie vs. the guru, the guru is consistently using and holding 9-11 satellites, while the skycaddie is flopping between 3-6. I'll add more about the Guru as I use it more. So far, I really like it.
  • Viking Golfer Viking Golfer Viking Golfer hitting IRON! ClubWRX Posts: 4,141
    Any info on how large the unit is ?



    Can you use rechargeable batteries with it - AA or AAA ?
  • pfloggerpflogger Members Posts: 49
    ClubHo,



    It's just little bit wider than a skycaddie, but much thinner. Like johnchuck said earlier, it will fit in your pocket comfortably. I hate anything in my pockets when I'm playing, but if it's a cart path only day, the guru goes in the pocket when I go out to my ball.



    The Guru only comes with an internal rechargeable battery. You cannot use AA or AAA. I'm up in the air on replaceable batteries vs. an internal rechargeable, but I played my fourth round with the Guru yesterday, and had only charged it initially after receiving it. It died during the round, but that's exactly what I was looking for. Guru advertises 14 hours plus, and I'd say I got at least that many (can't remember exactly how long each of the previous rounds were) before it decided to call it quits. After 3.5 rounds with the Guru, it still has not lost a signal where the yardages go blank. Both my skycaddies do that all the time.
  • rcncgolfrcncgolf Members Posts: 121
    2 rounds now "under my belt". Good first impressions, distances right on. Agree screen easy to read & any concern I had with the keys/joystick above the screen, & that quickly went away, very easy to use/carry around. They did a nice job mapping my course (see above)... I wanted the scorecard/stats feature that this has, and so far works as advertised. Instructions sent are minimal, I think more options available than I have figured out yet, web site it hard to nrgoiate.. Does not appear that you can add additional points to the courses they map (That is a big feature of the igolf unit I have, I hope they allow users to add additional "personal references" to their mapped courses, like local knowledge (would like to know creek distance on right of #13, etc) I really do not want to have to map the whole course myself. All in all very happy. Only bad thing, the USB cover on the unit broke off on 2nd round. Giid solid unit so far.
  • Viking Golfer Viking Golfer Viking Golfer hitting IRON! ClubWRX Posts: 4,141
    pflogger wrote on Dec 9 2007, 03:42 PM:
    ClubHo,



    It's just little bit wider than a skycaddie, but much thinner. Like johnchuck said earlier, it will fit in your pocket comfortably. I hate anything in my pockets when I'm playing, but if it's a cart path only day, the guru goes in the pocket when I go out to my ball.



    The Guru only comes with an internal rechargeable battery. You cannot use AA or AAA. I'm up in the air on replaceable batteries vs. an internal rechargeable, but I played my fourth round with the Guru yesterday, and had only charged it initially after receiving it. It died during the round, but that's exactly what I was looking for. Guru advertises 14 hours plus, and I'd say I got at least that many (can't remember exactly how long each of the previous rounds were) before it decided to call it quits. After 3.5 rounds with the Guru, it still has not lost a signal where the yardages go blank. Both my skycaddies do that all the time.




    Thanks for the info image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':partytime2:' />



    I'll stick to my great Sonocaddie GPS with rechargeable AAA batteries and small pocket size then image/ok.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':partytime2:' />

    I hate internal batteries in a GPS, because it means you have to recharge the whole unit instead of the batteries alone. Also you can buy standard AAA batteries in the local golf shop/gas station/supermarket on the way to a round of golf, if you forgot to recharge the GPS unit.......much better and much more flexible for me image/good.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':russian_roulette:' />
  • Solutions EtceteraSolutions Etcetera Members Posts: 2,556
    ClubHoUno wrote on Dec 9 2007, 06:50 PM:
    I hate internal batteries in a GPS


    Couldn't agree more... plus it impacts the price as well. I simply keep an extra pack of AA alkalines in my bag and never have to worry about the thing loosing power. I just don't see why the OEMs don't see this.
  • hddude55hddude55 Members Posts: 16
    edited Dec 17, 2007 #15
    dg0673 wrote on Dec 4 2007, 07:47 PM:
    Another nice thing about the SG5 screen is that the backlight is automatic (you can also manually adjust it). With the SG3/4 you have to activate the backlight automatically, no big deal though.



    It sucks for those "updated" SG3/4. Looks like Sonocaddie may be a better option..





    ClubHoUno wrote on Dec 9 2007, 09:50 PM:
    pflogger wrote on Dec 9 2007, 03:42 PM:
    ClubHo,



    It's just little bit wider than a skycaddie, but much thinner. Like johnchuck said earlier, it will fit in your pocket comfortably. I hate anything in my pockets when I'm playing, but if it's a cart path only day, the guru goes in the pocket when I go out to my ball.



    The Guru only comes with an internal rechargeable battery. You cannot use AA or AAA. I'm up in the air on replaceable batteries vs. an internal rechargeable, but I played my fourth round with the Guru yesterday, and had only charged it initially after receiving it. It died during the round, but that's exactly what I was looking for. Guru advertises 14 hours plus, and I'd say I got at least that many (can't remember exactly how long each of the previous rounds were) before it decided to call it quits. After 3.5 rounds with the Guru, it still has not lost a signal where the yardages go blank. Both my skycaddies do that all the time.




    Thanks for the info image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />



    I'll stick to my great Sonocaddie GPS with rechargeable AAA batteries and small pocket size then image/ok.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />

    I hate internal batteries in a GPS, because it means you have to recharge the whole unit instead of the batteries alone. Also you can buy standard AAA batteries in the local golf shop/gas station/supermarket on the way to a round of golf, if you forgot to recharge the GPS unit.......much better and much more flexible for me image/good.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
    I ordered a Sonocaddie this past weekend from Costco.com for $239 -- they have a $50 off special.The Costco "lifetime" return on this product makes it a great deal in my book. However, it appears to be a product that is a "special item," which may suggest Costco.com won't always carry them, so if you are interested you may want to act soon. I have never abused/overused Costco's return policy -- which unfortunately has become 90 days on a few specified electronics like TV's and iPods, probably due to abuse/overuse of the former unlimited return policy -- but given the newness of Sonocaddie in the marketplace, it's a huge relief to know I could get a money back return anytime in the future.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • larryinharlemlarryinharlem Members Posts: 34
    I received my Golf Guru Monday. Took it out to the golf course this morning and mapped all 27 holes at Gordon Lakes Golf Course, Ft Gordon, Ga. Took about 3 hours. Walked 18 and rode the last 9. Man, walking around those greens will wear you out. I am impressed with just how easy the device maps bunkers, trees, etc and the green. Once mapping is saved the course is available for play immediately. I tried a few holes and seems to be pretty darned accurate. The receiver is very sensitive. I can even receive sats in my house. I set up the course before I went out there so it was pretty easy to complete the mapping. Love the way you can move the pin on the green to get distance to exactly where the pin is placed. No other GPS will allow you to do this on your own. The Skycaddie can be mapped by the user, but you cannot use the intelligreen feature unless the company does it for you. So far I am totally impressed with the Golf Guru.
  • randy6675randy6675 Members Posts: 135 ✭✭
    I got one for my wife (yeah, right!). So far am very impressed with it. The pin feature was what really sold me. I was also able to pick up satellites while inside. Outside, the display is very easy to read, even with my 56 year old eyes. The first unit was defective, but customer service was great, as they offered to overnight a new one. The biggest drawback right now is the ability to add or edit points on their download courses. Supposedly, in January, there will be an update that allows points to be added. Editing will not be a feature of this update, but possibly later on. They seem very amenable to suggestions on how to improve the product.



    Incidentally, the courses are mapped by their staff in Austin, Texas, as opposed to overseas. I'm all for that.
  • larryinharlemlarryinharlem Members Posts: 34
    Just a followup on my Golfguru. Been using it now for 3 rounds, plus the 3 hours it took me to map the course, and still have juice left in the battery. Ran into a fella today mapping the course with his Skycaddie SG4 and he was trying to figure out how to map the green. Cannot be done with the Skycaddie by the user...only the company can do that. I showed him my Golfguru and how I mapped the greens and he was a bit miffed he couldn't do that with the Skycaddie. It was funny... Golfguru customer service is amazingly responsive. I asked them to map a course and it took them only a few hours to get it done... it was available on their website before the day was over. Now that is service. I found a nice case for it: The Palm Treo 650 premium lambskin case with locking swivel fits pretty good... not perfect, but the price is right. Got it from Amazon for 8 bucks including shipping.
  • mac94mac94 Banned Posts: 6,321
    How can they map a course without actually visiting it?
  • ApexGrindApexGrind Members Posts: 365
    mac94 wrote on Dec 31 2007, 09:32 PM:
    How can they map a course without actually visiting it?




    Google Earth? Satelite pics?
  • stevestrikestevestrike Members Posts: 1,956
    I sent a question to the sales email, and got a response withing a few hours. Pretty remarkable. I hope the company sticks around, I'm thinking about trying this product.



    To those of you who own it, how does the construction and durability of the unit feel? Solid, flimsy?
  • larryinharlemlarryinharlem Members Posts: 34
    stevestrike wrote on Jan 1 2008, 10:14 PM:
    I sent a question to the sales email, and got a response withing a few hours. Pretty remarkable. I hope the company sticks around, I'm thinking about trying this product.



    To those of you who own it, how does the construction and durability of the unit feel? Solid, flimsy?




    Solid, well made product... quality construction. I have owned the Golfbuddy and Sonocaddie and this device makes them seem like toys with cheap plastic cases. The Golfguru uses a material that reminds me of the GPS devices used by the military. The case has heavy duty tactile feel that is easy to grasp and hold, but light and easy to carry in a pocket. See the picture on their website to see what I mean: http://www.gpsgolfguru.com/main/home.php



    I still use a screen protector though, and I found a nice carry case for it.
  • 23muc23muc Members Posts: 85
    Hey Larry,

    thanks for the updates on this device



    one other question...how good is the manual that comes with the unit?....easy to understand?...details on all the features etc?



    thanks!
  • larryinharlemlarryinharlem Members Posts: 34
    23muc wrote on Jan 2 2008, 11:56 AM:
    Hey Larry,

    thanks for the updates on this device



    one other question...how good is the manual that comes with the unit?....easy to understand?...details on all the features etc?



    thanks!




    The box I received contained only the device, USB cable, CD with driver and a quick start quide that gives the basics. According to the company, a detailed manual has not been finished because the software is being updated shortly. I had to call tech support the first time I used it and to set up mapping the first time. Once you learn the basics, it is simple to use. They have the best tech support I have ever dealt with...
  • 23muc23muc Members Posts: 85
    I will say this much....sent them 2 emails with questions and both were answered within minutes...I'm still waiting on some of their competitors to answer emails from October!!
  • mikexmikex Members Posts: 94 ✭✭
    Just received an email from Golf Guru that they are offering membership to new and existing members until January 2011. Not a bad deal if they can just stay in business.
  • rcncgolfrcncgolf Members Posts: 121
    based on website - cool game improvement features coming soon! Very happy with unit so far
  • pfloggerpflogger Members Posts: 49
    I've had the Guru for a little over six weeks now. I'm not going to go into any great detail about the functionality of the Guru but all I can say is it simply blows away my Skycaddie on performance. I mean it just does not quit, and the distances are always spot on. I turn it on when I get to the course, and I mean it's ready to go in 60 seconds. Anyway, I'd rather report on my experience with their customer service. You just don't get this kind of customer service anywhere...period.



    I bought the Guru off of eBay. During the auction, I asked the seller a question through the contact seller feature. I asked if I could add a charger from their web site to my purchase. I received an answer back within minutes saying "sure" we'll send you a revised invoice if you win, and throw it in. Needless to say I won the auction and received a revised invoice almost immediately. Not 30 minutes after the auction ended (I paid immediately) I recieved an email saying my purchase was SHIPPED! Not "in process" not "thank-you will let you know when it ships" but SHIPPED with the tracking number provided. I don't know about you, but I spit my beer out when I got that email. I would have been happy with 2 or 3 days.



    I emailed them one Saturday because I could not get a course to download I had chosen from their database. Of course I'm not expecting anything to happen until Tuesday at the earliest, but I'll be dam__d if I didn't get a phone call on that Saturday from one of their support people (they emailed me first, asking if it would be ok to call) wanting to help me troubleshoot the problem (did I mention this was the Saturday before Christmas?). Turns out I had a problem with my usb port on my computer. For some reason it had hosed up. Their support guy led me through a download from HP that fixed the usb port problem! Holy Crap! It wasn't even their problem.



    Brother, I'm sold. I've never encountered support like this. I think if the Guru died tomorrow, I'd still purchase another one from them. I love it!!!!!
  • mcbush25mcbush25 Members Posts: 2,040 ✭✭
    How quickly do they map courses if you request??



    This seems like a another GPS unit to add to my list.
  • BrockBrock Members Posts: 209
    Skycaddie sends out surveying packs and with permission of the golf course management walks and maps the course....but it is true the intelligreen is only available if SkyGolf does the full blown mapping. I can only put in the front, center, and back of green and the tee boxes if I map it myself.



    The amount of information they map to it is really amazing...so the $25 a year to get that level of detail did not really bother me....but sounds like the one being mentioned here lets the owner do it all.





    Other companies, not sure about this one, use overhead imagery from a variety of sources. Accuracy is dependent on age of image used to map, skill of person figuring out distances based on resolution of image and such (we did same in military to determine heights of buildings, telephone poles, missiles, etc if you know the starting point of the image sizes depicted). Only problem is if it is old and trees have grown or died...or they move a green or tee box. Same issue on SkyGolf too I imagine as it will need someone other than you to map it properly again. Both ways are good if you have trained and experienced persons doing it....as I have seen someone get within 5 feet of the actual height of an obstruction through imagery but this kid worked for me and had been doing it for 15 years at the time. This was through milsat resolution and his mapping tools which are much better today than 20 years ago as then it was all manual calculations.



    Sounds like a very good system....I did not find it when I was doing my research. Thanks for review.
  • 23muc23muc Members Posts: 85
    Any Guru users.....



    How many different target names are available when self mapping....do they have a list of available targets ie. to bunker...carry bunker...to water...lay up...etc



    Can you edit these names or create unusual target names ie. to desert....carry ridge...carry hill...to 100 yd marker ...to noisy neighboor dog etc?



    Thanks!
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