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Archive for June, 2013

GolfBuddy Voice+ Watch

The GolfBuddy Voice+ is a slight iteration to the GolfBuddy Voice, incorporating a wristband (not required, the Voice+ can be detached from the band and used clipped to a belt), longer battery life and front and back distances within the main hole view. As with the GolfBuddy Voice, the Voice+ doesn’t provide distances to hazards, nor will it track scores. For those features you’ll need the current top-of-the-line watch from GolfBuddy, the GolfBuddy VT3.

GolfBuddy Voice+ Golf GPS Device

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The nicest improvement with the Voice+ compared to the GolfBuddy Voice, aside from the improved form factor as a watch, is presenting the center distance along with near and far distances on the main screen. In the original Voice, players needed to cycle through screens if they want to see the near and far green points. Voice information is available at a push of a button, the device can provide a basic image of the green that will rotate based on player position along with distances, or a green-only view (users can also select from multiple greens on courses where necessary), and players can measure shot distances. There are all the customary features, including setting language, distance units, volume control, and ability to mute the device.

GolfBuddy Voice+ Golf GPS Device

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For those who would prefer to wear the Voice+ off the wristband and clipped to a belt, there is also the ability to “flip” the screen 180 degrees, so uses can read the information more easily when looking down at the Voice+ clipped to their belt. This ability, combined with voice prompts all seems a bit much to us (unless players are visually impaired and don’t have the ability to read the screen). For most players, using the Voice+ in its watch form only seems much easier than either pressing a button to receive distance readings by voice, or looking down to your belt and twisting the device up to get readings.

Retail price: $179.99
Three year total cost: $179.99
Availability: Replaced by the GolfBuddy VT3 Check price now
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GolfBuddy VT3 Watch

The GolfBuddy VT3 is the 9th (yup, NINTH) device that GolfBuddy has added to their lineup (which is insane, but we’ll leave that for later comment), this device a part of their combo watch/voice/belt clipped device family. The VT3 provides everything in the GolfBuddy Voice+, which includes pre-loaded courses and no membership or download fees, a dynamic green view and changes based on player position, distances to near and far points on the green, and, of course, the ability for the device to speak distances. The VT3 steps things up a bit more, adding a touchscreen (thus the hardware is slightly different) which provides the ability to place the flagstick on the image of the green to obtain more accurate distances. The VT3 also has the ability to score.

GolfBuddy VT3

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Downsides? The GolfBuddy doesn’t provide distances to hazards, which is a bummer. We also find the GolfBuddy devices that have the ability to be used both attached to a wristband and clipped to a belt a bit non-committal, with the result being a designed that isn’t a polished-looking as other watches, with features that most users that won’t take advantage of (our bet is that most buyers don’t use the voice capabilities nor will they detach the wristband and use the VT3 clipped to their belt). Lastly, the cost of the GolfBuddy VT3 is significantly higher than the GolfBuddy Voice+, and it is one of the highest priced watches overall, both which make us wonder how it will fare.

Retail price: $299.99
Three year total cost: $299.99
Availability: Discontinued. Replaced by the GolfBuddy VS4. Check price now
Golfsmith: Check price now

Clicgear Sand Bottle

The Clicgear Sand Bottle enables you to fulfill your civic responsibility and fill your divots with sand. It only takes a moment, and may help restore your karmic balance with the golf gods. Aw heck, while you’re at it, fill up any other nearby divots and accumulate a karma surplus!

Most golf courses have a big box full of divot mix (sand mixed with seed and sometimes topsoil) that you are invited to use to fill your own sand bottle. The Clicgear sand bottle unscrews at the bottom, making it easy to fill in one fell scoop (pun intended). A rubber cap (attached to the spout so you don’t have to worry about losing it) keeps sand from spilling out if the bottle is accidentally tipped over.

The bottle easily clips on to the accessory tabs on Clicgear push carts. Simply hang it on one of the tabs on the handle during play, and then hang it on the tab nearest the central hinge to keep it tucked out of the way when the cart is folded up.

Clicgear also provides two additional accessory tabs that can be mounted (using just a screwdriver) on any brand of golf push cart that has 1” tubing (which worked fine, for example, on a Bag Boy Triswivel).

Clicgear Sand Bottle

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The Clicgear Sand Bottle is well constructed and durable, having held up fine through more than a year of use. The only real down side is that its suggested retail price of $20, is higher than that for similar products such as the Sun Mountain sand bottle ($8.95). But heck, the difference is only the cost of a couple of Pro V1s. It is actually less expensive than the whopping $24.95 for the Bag Boy sand bottle.

The Clicgear Sand Bottle is easy to use (it is, after all, a bottle) and compatible with most golf push carts, so we recommend that you pick one up and contribute to making fairways safer for golfers everywhere.

Retail price: $19.99 Check price now
Golfsmith: Check price now

Golf Club Fitting and Demo Days

Considering a new set of clubs? We are. Every year we do…
Most major manufacturers travel to golf ranges and courses throughout the United States and offer fitting and demo services at no cost. So if you’re looking to test out the latest equipment, check out the listings of 2014 golf equipment demo and fitting days in your area.

Bridgestone Ball Fitting Days. Bridgestone does not offer club-specific demo days, though will have demo clubs available at Ball Fitting days. There is also a Bridgestone Test Drive Program, where you can test clubs for 30 days.

Callaway Demo Days
Nike Demo Days
Adams Demo Days
Cleveland Demo Days
Cobra Demo Days
Mizuno Demo/Fitting Days
Ping Demo Days
TaylorMade Fitting & Demo Days
Titleist Fitting Days and Tour Van events
Wilson Demo Days