SkyCaddie, GPS Caddie-Aide

SkyCaddie is a fantasic GPS Golf electronic device used by many Country Club and Public Golf Course Players that enables them to play golf much more effectively.

 I caddied for my Hall-Of-Fame Aunt in several LPGA Tour events from 1980 to about 1997.  These were the days before hi-tech golf distance-measuring devices like the SkyCaddie you see to your left.  In those days the Tour Players and their Professional Caddies like myself would use a Golf Course Yardage Book.  These books were usually about 18 pages, having a completely detailed, albeit hand-drawn, map of each of the 18 holes at that particular golf course.  In fact ‘Gorjus George’ is the character that has been proudly producing these yardage Books for the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours since 1976.

I remember one particularly trying moment with our ‘Gorjus George’ Yardage Book on the 9th Hole at the Kings Island, Jack Nicklaus Golf Course during the LPGA Championship in about 1981.  It was a Par-5 with a small pond extending the whole width of the hole just about 80 yards short of the green.  The fairway spot to lay-up and avoid going to far to reach the pond was at about 100 yards from the middle of the green.

My Aunt and I had a long talk about which club to hit.  As I can best recall, she wanted to hit the shorter club, maybe about a 5-iron, and I thought she should hit the longer club , a 4-iron.  Well, she somewhat reluctantly agreed with me and hit the 4-iron.

Right when she hit it, I thought ‘UH-OH!’.  She hit it perfecly, long and dead-straight.  As the ball finished rolling it disappeared.  Silence ensued between us, no eye-contact either.

I nervously hurried up the middle of the fairway, leaving her behind.  Very thankfully, the ball stopped just a few feet short of the Water Hazard, having disappeared into the rather thick rough on the pond’s downslope.  We both heaved a deep sigh of relief when she arrived a few moments later at the ball’s ‘terra-firma’ location.

My typically stoic Aunt acted in a rather rather non-plussed fashion.  Nothing ever bothered her much.  Only a few LPGA Tour Players have ever won more Tournaments than she.  As they would say in Montana, “She’s been to the mountain and heard the owl hoot.”  Her main strength was always her steely Mental Game, nothing ever seeming to bother her.

She proceeded to hit a very serviceable wedge onto the Putting Green from that downhill lie out of the thick rough, then calmly 2-putted for another nice par.

I felt very embarrased at my mistaken opinion regarding the use of the 4-iron for the lay-up shot on that par-5 as we took the rather long walk to the 10th hole.  I just remember her saying something to the effect of, “Well y’know how it is, ya’ just swing nice and easy at it to lay-up, then hit it just flush as can be and it goes a mile.”

She did not want to blame me at all.  Man was I relieved, to say the least.

This points out another reason that HomeSchool Golf And Caddying can do so much in helping our children to maturity.  The culture around the greatest golfers continually reinforces that they are ruggedly self-reliant.  They almost never blame anyone but themself for their mistakes.  I find this very refreshing, and a far-cry from our ‘it’s not my fault, find me a lawyer’ culture.

But getting back to the SkyCaddie.  While having this fancy GPS may not have prevented the almost-debacle we experienced on #9 that day at the LPGA Championship in Cincinnati in 1981, it might have.

The SkyCaddie fits into your hand about like a typical cell-phone.  It has a number of buttons, like any modern computer or mobile electronice device.  As such, it takes a while to get used to those buttons and their accompanying options.  Yet after you become familiar with its operation, the Player and the Caddie really see an enormous benefit for each of them.

While some Caddies who play a fair amount of golf will sometimes own a SkyCaddie, usually they do not bring it with them to their Caddy Jobs.  Instead the Player will have his SkyCaddie attached to their bag as the round begins.  The Player will then have the Caddy place the SkyCaddie in one of the big pockets of their Caddy Bib/Smock.  Then on each shot, the Caddy will look at the SkyCaddie’s map of the present hole.

The interactive SkyCaddie map adjusts to mark the present location of the Player and Caddie, giving them many, sometimes superfluous, details about their location and how far they have to get to certain features of the golf hole.  The SkyCaddie will, most importantly, tell them how far they are away from hazards on the Drive, and how far they have to get to the Front, Middle and Back of the Putting Green on their Approach Shot.  The Player can then make a very well-informed decision about the club to hit, and the type of curvature and height for that unique golf shot.  If the Caddie is an experienced Player himself and/or experienced Caddie, the Player will often consult the Caddie as well before hitting the Golf Shot.

So you see, the function of the SkyCaddie can be fulfilled by a Golf Yardage Book, but it is not quite as fun or fast or exact as the SkyCaddie.

Golf Yardage Book

The SkyCaddie was introduced to the Golf Market, to my recollection, in about 2001.  The company constantly makes improvements to the product and its ease of use.  There are a few similar products now, but SkyCaddie stiil has not been surpassed – in my view.

 

 

In fact, last year as my son, the Golf Caddy, was falling asleep one night, he began describing how the members at his Country Club use various devices similar to the SkyCaddie.  He went into great detail about the 3 or 4 most popular Golf Yardage Measuring Devices at the Country Club.  His explanation that night would have made for a beautifully sincere commercial for the SkyCaddie.

Feel free to ask me any questions at all – about how the SkyCaddie can make your son or daughter more helpful for their Player in their Caddy Job – by using the ‘Reply Box’ below.

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