Review of the SkyGolf SkyCaddie SG5

By Matthew Keller


SkyCaddie is one of the original leaders in hand-held GPS units in the golf industry. The SG5 is the most advanced unit offered by SkyCaddie. It features a color display screen and more course management features than the other models. The highlights of the SG5 include instant distances to hazards, fairway and layup targets and 40 targets per hole. SkyCaddie offers the IntelliGreen technology on all its models. The unit is almost 6 inches long and 2 inches wide and weighs almost 6 oz. It also features a rechargeable battery for continued use.

Field Use

The SG5 is the most technologically advanced unit in the SkyCaddie line. It gives accurate yardages from anywhere on the course. The IntelliGreen function allows you to pinpoint an exact location on the green. Obviously, it is beneficial to know how far the distance is to the front edge of the green, any point on the green and the back edge of the green. With the "Mark Your Ball" function, there is no longer any guesswork as to how far you hit a drive, approach shot, etc. It is very simple to use, and it's easy to switch holes manually if necessary. The SG5 will switch holes automatically after you leave the green area and head to the next tee box. The color screen and bigger unit make it very easy to read.

Pros and Cons

One of the disadvantages of the SkyCaddie is the annual fee. The Birdie plan covers the use of all courses in a state for about $30 per year. The Eagle plan covers all courses in the country. It is available for about $50 per year. If you play courses around the world, you will need the Double Eagle plan, which is available for about $60 per year. Finally, the Play 36 plan covers all courses around the world for a 3-year period. The cost of this plan is about $130. Other GPS units allow you to pay for the courses you want to download, and some do not require any payment plans. The SG5 can hold only up to 10 courses at a time. Also, the hazard screen can be a bit confusing while judging distances to hazards on the hole. The SkyCaddie is accurate within 3 yards. When the course is programmed, a SkyCaddie staff member actually walks the course to mark the most accurate yardage available. The "Mark Your Ball" feature is extremely useful to determine how far you actually hit each shot. Also, SkyCaddie has a new feature of adding a picture technology to each course. This is a great feature you can download for about $20. However, this is a brand-new feature, and with over 23,000 courses, it could be up to 2 years before your course is added.

Bottom Line

Every golfer will benefit from a SkyCaddie SG5. The $400 retail price is standard for the top-of-the-line GPS unit. Although there is an annual payment plan, it is definitely useful. Any golfer will benefit from knowing yardages to hazards, layup points, distances to the front of the green and distances to specific spots on the green. Finally, golfers will realize exactly how far they hit each club. The bigger unit with the color screen makes the SG5 easier to read than the other SkyCaddie models. Whether you choose the SG5 or another GPS unit, all golfers should invest in this technology.

About the Author

Matthew Keller has been a PGA Golf Professional for more than 10 years. During that time, he has given thousands of golf lessons and written hundreds of golf articles relating to the golf industry. Keller is a graduate of the Penn State Professional Golf Management Program.