I like to give my true feedback of Game Golf now since I have decided it is time.
1. I have 280+ rounds in my GG database.
2. I own MEVO, Swing Caddie, Garmin X40, Shot Scope and various golf analysis APPs on my mobile phone.
3. I have used Game Golf Classic and been on the Game Golf Live since its inception and I have been on the beta program with Game Golf until the beta closed or I was kicked out (I am not too sure if the Google beta forum still active.) But, I did give my honest feedback and when they ask all the beta program participants that whether the new software was ready for general release, I am one of the participants that were strongly against the general release because I didn't feel the software was ready. But, I was abruptly discontinued as a beta participant and was told the beta is over and they are focusing on the general release.
4. I was offered a special price to purchase the PRO version, and every time I waited and wanted to see the review and feedback from others before I take the dive, albeit each special offer is getting more and more expensive. At which time, the competitions were increasing with new brands other than Arccos, there are now, Golf TAG, Golf PAD, Shot Scope, Garmin CT10, etc., just to name a few.
Here are my experiences to share with y'all and hope it will help you in deciding the future purchase of golf shot tracking system:
1. Experiences USING the Game Golf system
In short, the Game Golf App for the Live version is useless if you are looking for the APP to help you "during" the round. If you are looking for the GG APP to act like other Golf GPS apps, like the GolfLogix and alike, that is. It does not give you any other information regarding the active hole that you are playing on, except where the last tagged shot was hit. And if the tagged location is not correct, you basically hit the "EDIT" bottom to correct it and save it right then there. On PAR 3s, it will give you distances to the front, middle and back of the green; all PAR 4 and 5, the APP only displace yardage to 200/250/300 from the assumed tee box; no other information is displaced or given in the APP. And in case your tag is missing or not working, the APP allows you to tag,, in-APP, on the spot where your ball lies. In summary, the GG APP is designed only to ensure the tagging system is accurate to an extent. It is NOT designed to be a Golf GPS APP for playing golf. Therefore, if you are just looking for a "tracking" system. the GG LIVE does its job adequately. To me, it is a "PURE" tracking system, nothing more. Without the PRO version, you do have to manually "tag" each sot, as it has become part of pre-shot routine, it is a no brainer after 50 rounds (to me, and of course this is individual dependent, some of my GG buddies got used to it within 10 rounds, some never got used to it.) We are not DONE, just yet!! Most of the GG APP work comes after the round, unfortunately. I spend an average of 30 minutes after each round to make sure the tracking/mapping is correct, as the GG APP/system is bug-prone. Of course, you have to do this while your memory is fresh, but, from time to time, I am still having problems with those 1-inch tab-ins that I will not tag for the sake of moving the pace of the golf round forward, and those shots my companions will just throw my golf to me before I can tag them by the holes. Some will give me strange looks when I had to go to the flagstick and watching me sticking my putter below my belt for pleasure. I learned to ignore them, eventually. Here are some persistent issues I had throughout the years:
- Assign tags to the golf club. For unknown reasons, the system will lose association of the tags to the golf clubs from time to time. Between the desktop APP and the mobile APP versions, the GG system is having problems syncing the tag/club information from time to time, this will make the editing of rounds and reporting erroneous and sometimes impossible to accomplish until you re-assign the tags to the right golf clubs.
- "ENDING" a round properly, after you play is absolutely critical to maintain usable data for post-round editing and analysis reports. Unfortunately, I have lost quite a few rounds due to the bug-prone hardware-software syncing "END-ROUND" process. Which I had to rebuild a round from ground up with the memory I had. Sometime, the hardware device will go into a what I called zombie mode, where it does not respond to any of your push buttons, USB link, Bluetooth link, etc., with a faint green light merely showing you it is somehow "alive" and "DNR" status. I either have to wait until the battery runs out or sometimes, it magically reconnects via Bluetooth (only once). Connect and disconnect too quickly or too often will put this device into the zombie mode as well. And then you are at the mercy of the device to end its "strike".
- The "LIVE" version of the system is advertised as "AUTOMATIC", and I do not believe with the tagging method, it anything but, automatic. sometimes I end up with two rounds on the same round of golf I used for. Sometimes, I get "extra' holes played. Sometimes, I get 18 holes split into 2 nine rounds and not able to combine them, but, had to re-create the back-nine or front nine, depending on which nine has more accurate data. Sometimes I only get a few holes even though I tagged all 18 holes. Sometimes it had question-mark on the tagged clubs and I had to go back in the APP to re-assign the right clubs that I used according to my memory. Sometimes the tag location was in the wrong hole, especially if the holes are very close together. No, I don't mean consecutive holes like 3,4,5,6... it's like you play hole #3, and after you made the turn, #12 is right next to #3, your tagged shot on #12 will get confused and put you back in #3, the GG App will end up missing shot on #12 and extra shots on #
4. If you are angry enough to throw your club back into your bag, beware the tag might get damaged and lost its RFID thin film located under the red cap or damage it to a point it became untaggable. The good folks at GG will probably send out a replacement tag if you don't abuse it or be nice to them. My device clip was broken, and GG sends out a re-designed replacement clip, very nice of them. But, then, I know they are selling my 280+ rounds of data in their business offering section so, I figure it all evens out. The battery on the device lasts one round, for sure and questionable to 2 consecutive rounds as, on the average, it only has 30-40% battery left after a 4 1/2 round. If you want to track 2 rounds of golf on a single charge, just make sure you play 3 1/2 hours per each round, which I have done so. Charging mid-round will not work as the design does not allow and the data will guarantee to corrupt or confused. the device will store up to 8 rounds. I know it says 9 rounds, but, I tried, 8 rounds with no problem, but, the 9th round was incomplete. The new device clip will not work for a belt wider than 1 1/2 inches. Those who dress with fancy wider belts are out of luck as a belt clip, but, I am sure you are creative enough clip it elsewhere or simply put the device in your pocket, just don't get too close to your junk, as it will definitely draw eyeballs when you tag. Did I mention don't throw your clubs back into your bag too hard?
2. Experiences using the Analysis data of the Game Golf system
- Just remember garbage in garbage out. If you don't invest the time to make sure your data is accurate, then the reports are not going to help you. This is a long game unless you have 50 rounds under your belt (literally), you are not going to have meaningful data/report. The biggest issue I have here is that I cannot filter/eliminate the top 5% and bottom 5% of the "bad" data. meaning, that since these are statistic reporting from a large sample pool of data. you really want to eliminate the "noises" which are the longest shot (thin shots) and the short shot (fat shots) from your data and give yourself a better average and means that you can be confident to trust and depend on. GG system does not allow you to eliminate those. I wish they had an option for me to download my own data for number crunch. I called, and they will "sell" the data back to me, and I quote! As a number-head and a data person. I invested in this system to get data and reporting. When the reporting capability is not adequate, I really wish that GG will allow me to have my own data. And I also offered to provide them with my findings and new insight for report and data filtering idea. But, they were not interested. And whatever hosting service/servers they have, it is way way way too slow and sometimes (after 60 minutes without result) I just had to give up, therefore, GG has really failed big time in this part of their advertised services.
3. Dealing with Game Golf staff
- I find that GG customer service is adequate as they might not respond in real-time, but, they do respond if they have a solution. If they don't have a solution, they chose to be silent. In the few years, I am using their product, they have responded to my issues of tag broken and clip broken. All replacement was sent to me without charge. It's a no-nonsense customer service. If that is GG's goal, they have accomplished it. I feel the people at GG is smart, they know what they have. But, I am not sure what their longterm visions are. If they are shooting for the best, they might just survive with what they have. The fixes are incremental, they don't advertise it. But, come with each formal and informal release, issues get resolved unannounced. no formal bug list, no wish list, no forum, no
4. choices of golf tracking systems and my conclusion
- There is no cheaper tagging golf tracking system out there that is comparable ($99 for the LIVE version). But, the cheap, ugly and clumsy Shot Scope comes very close to a good solution ($130, auto-track, no tagging required).
- Garmin comes, also, very close to a good solution, but, strangely, Garmin's offering isn't available for all models of their watches and devices. And for some reason, it is priced prohibitive for what could be thrived as a popular solution.
- Apple Watch could potentially be a good solution, but, it requires an iPhone. Sigh!
- Buying Cobra clubs that come with Arccos Caddie Smart is perfect if you like and wanted and fitted with Cobra clubs.
- The saga continues...