I play in a Friday game at my club with a fascinating cast of characters at a variety of skill levels, ranging from pros to solid, albeit older, players.
A couple of months back, I was in the Friday game with a guy I'd put in that latter category. We rode in a cart together, and, on the first hole, he moved his hand toward something clipped on his hat. A second later, I hear a feminine voice saying a number.
Here, I'd thought my friend had gone a little early to get a ball marker off his cap. Nope, he was using his golf GPS -- namely a Voice Caddie.
The product piqued my interest, and I recently played a round with the Voice Caddie VC300 model.
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Let me start by saying that I am a rangefinder guy. I prefer to shoot distances -- not only to the stick but also to spots where I might otherwise want to land the ball. That's something I can't really do with a GPS model like the Voice Caddie VC300.
However, there are also a fair number of times in each round, even at my own club, where I have a blind shot and can't easily use the rangefinder to get my number. I like to play fast, so I don't really want to walk to where I can use my rangefinder then do the mental math to pace it out. That's where a GPS unit really comes in handy, just like it can on a golf course I've never played, where I'm more likely to wind up in that kind of position.
That's where I would love to use a product like the Voice Caddie VC300.
It's simple to operate. Charge it with the supplied micro USB adapter (like the one used on most Android devices) for two hours, bring it to the course and turn it on. You'll hear that the device is on and that it automatically is using its on-board GPS to match your location to the golf course you're playing. It usually takes 20-30 seconds to figure it out. Then, you're ready to roll. The device figures out where you are on the course, so you can even start off the 10th tee or somewhere else and not have to do extra work to get going.
The VC300 provides distances to the front, center and back of each green. It'll give you each number with each press of the touchpad that covers the entire top of the device. You can also, with a few taps or swipes, get your shot distance. That's not something I use a whole lot, but if you particularly whack one, it's a good ego booster to hear someone else tell you about your 300-yard drive.
The device can clip to your hat for easy use, but it'll work just the same in your pocket or sitting in your cart. The volume controls are easy to use, and there's no worry about the device lasting for a full round. Depending on how quickly you play, you could even get two rounds out of a full charge, which takes two hours.
There are no subscription fees with the VC300, which is a positive. You're just paying for the hardware, which costs $130, is pre-loaded with 30,000 golf courses and comes in black, white and pink models.
If you're in the market for a new GPS that doesn't require you draining battery life on your phone or doing a whole lot of button mashing to get your numbers, the Voice Caddie VC300 is a great fit.