If you’re playing with a Scottish caddie by your side, you probably want to leave it in your pocket. But in all other circumstances the new SkyGolf SkyCaddie SG5 is an ideal companion for the traveling golfer. SkyGolf is the only company that physically maps its courses: Trained surveyors walk every hole using high-performance GPS technology. Its library of more than eighteen thousand layouts in forty-five countries—not just trophy courses but also hidden gems—will grow to twenty-four thousand by the end of the year. The unit holds ten at a time (loaded via a members-only website), and they can be easily swapped out with an Internet connection and a USB cord.
The SG5 ($430, plus $60 annual worldwide membership; skygolf.com) provides accurate distances to bunkers and other hazards through GPS. Its IntelliGreen technology measures a green’s depth and shape from any angle of approach. A large, backlit color display automatically adjusts to ensure readability on even the brightest days, and water-resistant casing makes the unit ideal for all weather conditions. The readout can be switched from meters to yards, and the SG5’s lithium battery can be recharged or replaced while traveling.