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 »  Home  »  Regional Editorials  »  West Coast  »  iGOLF
iGOLF
By Tom Landers | Published  08/17/2006 | West Coast | Unrated
Game Improvement - iGOLF

Several years ago I embarked on a quest to have GPS capabilities on the course.  I searched the marketplace high and low and thought I had found it.  With my existing iPaq PDA I added a GPS snap-on receiver and about $250+ later (software, receiver and a larger battery pack for the new high-power requirements) I found that the technology simply was not ready for prime-time.  The system crashed over and over again and was essentially useless – a complete waste of money.  Then, I tried another vendor and their wrist-top solution – a huge watch with a GPS receiver built into it.  This was basically too bulky to be useful.  I couldn’t even swing my club!  Next, I tried a Bluetooth (wireless) GPS receiver with my iPaq and another software product that I thought would be the end-all, be-all for my GPS needs.  I thought that because they were wireless - I could put the receiver in one pocket and the PDA in the other, so that when I walked to my ball, the GPS coordinates would be spot-on for the yardage reading.  Well, again I was disappointed as this too tended not to perform well.  The GPS receiver never seemed to keep up with where I was on the course and the wireless connection seemed to drop quite a bit.  What’s that now, strike three – I’m out, right?  With all that (trial and) error, I decided to end my journey in looking for the perfect GPS product solution. 

Then I found it!  At the huge PGA Show in Orlando this past February the only real stand-out of the entire show was hand-held GPS as emerging technology, and iGolf as a leader within the category.  I’ve been waiting for this for years!  Finally, a GPS receiver that fits into your hand or your pocket that’s about the size of a cell phone, doesn’t cost an arm-and-a-leg and offers all the capabilities needed.  (A competitor, one of the most popular, read – most advertised - products currently on the market looks like it might meet the needs of a golfer, but it tends to have add-on costs and subscriptions that almost double the price of the product.)  iGolf has provided a product with a low price-point that does everything needed and more! 

If you’re not familiar with on-course GPS receivers, it’s really cool stuff – the receiver picks up satellite data from the skies above from some four to twelve or so satellites and dials you in to your exact coordinates on earth.  It then provides you with pin-point yardage to hazards, water, etc., as well as the center of the green and more.  Yardages provided are typically spot-on with potential variance of 1 – 3 yards.   And, with the recent new ruling by the USGA, it’s now LEGAL! 

iGolf is based in San Diego and was created by L1 Technologies.  Their GPS Caddie is so easy to use – one button does it all.  It works on ANY course in the world.  No subscriptions necessary.  It automatically tells you distance to front, center and back of the green while also allowing you to add up to 8 specific points of reference (and distance) per hole.  You can map your favorite 40 courses yourself for free or you can download courses from the website (for a very small subscription fee).  And, unlike laser rangefinders, you don’t even need line-of-site to the flagstick!  Not only can you save time on the course by not pacing off yardage from the fairway, tee box, etc, (when you can find yardage markers), but you can now know how far EXACTLY you hit each club during the round, thereby helping you to learn to select the absolute right club for the conditions and yardage and to help you to avoid trouble by knowing distance to carry or lay-up.  

So, bottom line, GPS technology is now finally ready with an affordable unit from iGolf!  Visit their website for more information or to order at www.iGolf.com !