VoiceCaddie has a full lineup of practice and play-assist tools. They’ve released four products since the last PGA Show: the G1, a GPS watch; the SL1 and GL1 rangefinders; and the SC300, the fourth iteration of their launch monitor.
Voice Caddie’s booth was well placed, right along the front row of the show floor. They took advantage of that with a blown-up version of their G1 watch face, which instantly caught your eye and drew you into the booth. Along with a display of all their products, they also had a couple of hitting bays that were useful for demoing their launch monitor. Getting back to that giant watch face though…
Since the giant watch face was such a draw, we’ll start our tour with the smaller — albeit real — GPS watch. The G1 can function as a normal, daily-wear watch, which may help you justify your investment. It will go nine or ten days between charges (via mini USB) in this mode. In GPS mode, it will last about ten hours on a full charge. (If you’re in GPS mode indoors, you will likely accelerate battery drain measurably due to signal attenuation.) It has four function buttons to navigate its features in addition to the screen being touch-sensitive. You use its phone app to do firmware updates and download course data. It takes about 5 minutes per course and claims to have room to store 40,000 courses.
In its primary mode, it will display yards (or meters) to green (front, middle, back), which won’t be much use until you’re hitting your first approach shot. But in its graphic mode, a map of the hole is displayed, and you can touch where you want to hit and get a customized yardage reading to that target.
In map mode, touch screen technology allows you to choose targets other than the pin for fairway, lay-up and dogleg situations. It also features Automatic Distance Recognition, showing you how far your previous shot went, how far it is to the pin and your current location on the hole.
The map data includes the topography of the fairways and greens and will compute slopes by incorporating that information. While extremely useful to getting full value from the technology, be aware that having that data available is the same as accessing it in the eyes of the USGA rules for DMDs1 (distance measuring devices). Therefore, as far as I can tell, this valuable tool won’t be safe to caddie for you in sanctioned events.
Launched: August 2019
SL1 and GL1
Voice Caddie’s latest rangefinders come in two models, the SL1 (pictured above) and the GL1. Both are hybrid devices, combining laser rangefinding with GPS data to give you what they call GPS Pin Assist. You’ll know you’ve actually ranged the pin and not that tree behind the green because the GPS knows you want a reading within the bounds of the green, so filters out false-positive targets outside the green area.
Both models incorporate:
- Image stabilization
- Continuous scan mode
- Icon plus vibration signals that it has acquired target lock
- Automatic slope calculations
- Rechargeable battery via USB port
- Pre-loaded with 40,000 courses worldwide
- 6x optical magnification
The differences between the GL1 and the SL1 will point you to which is right for you. The SL1 does not have a slope-disable function for tournament play. But it does have their cutting-edge Green Undulation feature to help understand the green’s break. Both slope assist and topographical input will keep this tool out of official competitions but may improve your game significantly.2
The green-reading technology is displayed on an external screen below the objective lens. It toggles between a green map and yardage-to-flag numbers.
The GL1 (pictured above) does not have the green-reading feature. It has a prominent red flag that attaches to the lower front of the device — disabling the GPS, as well as the slope functionality — and signals to observers that the rangefinder is in tournament-compliance mode.
Both have data-rich displays through the viewfinder, giving an overlay of all the pertinent data in real-time as you survey your target zone.
Launched: August 2019
Their 2018 rangefinder model, the L4, is still available as well. It features a slope function that can be turned off for competition play but doesn’t have the external flag indicating compliance. I am not sure if that disqualifies it under USGA rules.
Finally, in passing, we want to mention the SC300 launch monitor — their fourth iteration — released last March. It has a generous black-on-orange LCD filling much of the monitor’s face. This feature means you don’t have to use your phone or tablet to see your results, but there is an app (iOS & Android) to use should you so choose. There is a voice output, telling the distance hit. It uses Doppler radar technology.
Data measured includes: carry (or total) distance, smash factor, launch angle, swing speed, apex of flight, and ball speed. Spin data has been added but is only displayed in the app, not on the unit itself. Measuring Range: 15-370 Yards. It comes with a charger and a remote, which makes selecting the club in use a snap.
One in a sea of similarly priced launch monitors, its feature-set has its strengths and weaknesses. We are too unfamiliar with this particular model to give it a fair reading here but hope to review it in-depth as part of our ongoing coverage of this crowded field.
Launched: March 2019
To find out more about Voice Caddie’s full line of equipment, you can visit their site: voicecaddie.com.
Graphics courtesy of Voice Caddie
I’m a retired Boomer and lifetime golfer. I never got particularly good but have always loved the game. I’ll be an occasional contributor of mostly ‘adjacent’ content. I make observations about life from the perspective of the rear-view mirror. A voice of experience more than of expertise. Decidedly the junior staff. More color commentary than product expert. I’m amazed how far the game has come while still being essentially unchanged in a hundred years: a vehicle for challenging yourself to excel, improve and practice honorable behavior. In other words, build character. Brian’s dad — Donald Burt.