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SkyGolf, Kiss My …

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Earlier I blogged about my GPS system, specifically the SkyCaddie SG4. All things considered, for a few years, I was pretty happy with it.

Then one day, I couldn’t get the tiny little screw to fasten for the charging and data port connection. It barely caught like half a thread anyway. There is no way to adjust the screw so that more of it sticks out. I couldn’t tell if the screw was stripped out or the connection on the back of the Skycaddie was stripped out.

So I decided to check out the SkyGolf site and see if I can find some parts to buy. They have all of 12 items displayed, all clip parts or port covers. That’s it? I was also interested in maybe buying an extra/spare battery. Nope, not listed. I don’t see a way to search or find anything else here.

My Skycaddie was still active, I had a few more months before I had to renew. But without the connection I couldn’t even charge my Skycaddie let alone update or download any courses. So I got a big rubber band and fastened the connection to the Skycaddie with that. It was hard to get it in just the right position so it was tight enough to charge and not slip off. This worked but a pain in the butt to accomplish.

My membership due date came and went but I took my Skycaddie to the course with me. Turned it on but couldn’t get past the into screen. So, you can’t even use the device you paid hundreds of dollars for if you don’t renew your membership. Shouldn’t you be able to just use with whatever courses you have loaded at the time? I was pissed!

I decided to boycott SkyGolf and not renew. That’ll teach ’em. I didn’t need no stinkin’ yardage anyway. I always seemed to play with someone who had a device.

Turns out I missed not having the yardage handy. And, as the economic crunch hit the nation, what little yardage the courses provided seemed to vanish for lack of maintenance. Since moving to Arizona I was playing a lot more golf, even in the winter. So I rummaged through some unpacked moving boxes and finally found my ol’ Skycaddie … dead as a doornail (what the hell is a doornail anyway?)

I pondered the alternatives to the Skycaddie. If I had a Smartphone or a Blackberry type of phone with web services, there’s some apps you can get that will do the trick nicely. Don’t have one of those. I could buy another brand that doesn’t require a yearly membership. Hmmm, more money spent. I already had a $350 device, all it needed was $49 to renew the membership.

Not only did I renew the membership but opted for the expansion pack as well for another $20. Can store more courses, keep score and includes a clock, along with a few more features. I’m back in business!

Skycaddie connection adjustment

Whoops … still have that little problem with the connection to charge and access the required data. There had to be a better way to fasten the cord than my rubber band idea. I looked around in the garage and found some C-clamps. I attached some padding to the touch points and tried that. Nope, it was too hard to hold things in place while tightening the clamp. Need like 4 hands.

Looked in the garage again and found another type of clamp, called QuickGrip. It was pretty big but did the job very nicely! Maybe I’ll go to the hardware store and buy a smaller one.

One of the other problems I find with the Skycaddie is that there is no way to tell if the connection is good and unit is charging without actually turning it on and checking the power meter. Oh well, another minor inconvenience. I have yardage again, I’m a happy camper, er, golfer again!

And there’s more … Read on.

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