Izzo's new Swami 3000 GPS range finder more convenient
The hardest thing about using Izzo’s new Swami 3000 GPS range finder is figuring out how to open the plastic blister packaging. I wish they would give you a clue on the outside as to how best to break into the package and extricate these things without using the Jaws of Life. (FYI, it took about 10 minutes to do the job.)
The big improvement with the Swami is you don’t need a computer to load in the courses. It comes preloaded with 19,000 golf courses in the U.S. and Canada. Formerly you needed to load a disc and download your courses with a capacity of 10 or 12 courses. And it wouldn’t work with Macs. It still doesn’t, but it hardly matters with the number of preloaded courses .
But first I needed to see if my rather remote course at Skaneateles Country Club in New York, was in its database. Good news. It was. But then I play that course a lot so the Swami wasn’t as important as let’s say, Belleview Country Club or Cazenovia Country Club but more good news: they too were included.
The thing I like about the Swami is its compact size and shape and its simplicity. It gives what most players need: yardage to front, center and back of the green.
I’m not at all sure everyone needs much else or even needs to use a range finder at all, especially the more complex units which tell you how far away everything is like bunkers, ravines, the cup, your dog.
My friend, Marion, as a 32 handicap and loves the game. Her kids gave her one of the fancier range finders for her birthday. I it was an expensive deal costing close to $500. The best.
She was excited and brought it out on a recent outing, attaching it to her cart. But I have to tell you, playing with her was painful. On every shot, she consulted her new toy.
So she’s 200 plus yards out and says, “I’ve got to check the distance.” The blue 200-yard marker is just in front of us. “Give it all you’ve got,” I say.
“In a minute. Let me check the distance,” she says still trying to work the buttons.
After a few holes like this where she checked every shot, she finds she is about 20 yards in front of the 150-yard marker. She walks to her cart and plugs in the yardage, then pulls out her 5 hybrid.
“Marion, do you know how far you can hit that club?”
“What do you mean?”
“Let’s just say you have a 7 iron in your hand and you do a three-quarter swing. Do you know how far it will go?
Certainly I understand where single digit handicappers can benefit from the data, especially as they get close to the green. Do they use a 60º, a sand wedge, a three-quarter wedge? They have played enough, know enough about their game to benefit from having the exact yardage.
However with the majority of golfers at 20 handicap or above who haven’t a clue how far they hit each of their clubs, much less have enough skill to line up their ball so they actually hit the green, any range finder seems rather silly and in fact can actually hold up play.
Still if they want the security of knowing the yardage, a range finder does give them a greater comfort level. Hard to argue with that.
The Swami is a good choice for the majority of golfers. Simply switch it on, the screen looks for the course, finds it, then reads yardage to the center, front and center of green. The numbers are large, easy to read even in bright light.
This is one GPS unit I can actually understand. Perfect for the technically challenged And at just under $100, a great price. For more info, see www.Izzo.com
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