Get Ready for Connected Golf

1/30/2014

Winter may be having its heyday, but soon, it’ll be spring—and with spring comes outdoor sports, such as golf. If you’re ready to put winter behind you and get a jumpstart on spring, consider studying up on the latest connected devices to support all your favorite outdoor hobbies.

Garmin, www.garmin.com, has launched two new tech toys for avid golfers: the Approach G7 and the Approach G8. The two handheld devices come preloaded with more than 30,000 international courses, so you better start planning your golfing trips now. The Approach G7 and G8 have color touchscreens, a battery life that can support multiple rounds (up to 15 hours), and many other new features that make these devices a must-have come spring and summer.

The devices’ latest measurement feature, called “PlaysLike Distance,” shows adjusted range for uphill and downhill shots. These measurements are likely to give golfers a leg up on any and all courses. Approach G7 and G8 also act as digital scorecards, allowing golfers to save, review, share, and print scores for up to four players.


Similar to smart wristwatches that alert wearers to notifications from their smartphones, the Approach handhelds come equipped with Smart Notification technology. Garmin says this feature will push alerts such as emails, texts, and calls from users’ phones to their handheld golf devices. To date, Approach G7 and G8 are compatible with certain iOS devices; Android compatibility is expected in Q2.

Thanks to Garmin Connect technology, golfers can also upload their scores from the Approach G7 and G8 handhelds to an online portal where they can analyze and share their scorecards, along with many other specifics of their game. Like connected fitness monitors, this function allows users to keep track of their progress throughout time.

The Approach G8 model is Garmin’s top-of-the-line golf device with special features such as blind-shot assistance and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, among others. Wi-Fi allows the device to connect to local networks and update courses automatically. The devices’ durable, sleek formfactors, coupled with their connected features, make these gadgets worth a second look. G8 will retail for $399.99, while the G7 model will cost $299.99.

With technology like this coming down in price, maybe there will come a time when connected golf handhelds will replace tiny pencils and pads of paper once and for all. In fact, in today’s marketplace, whether you’re golfing, hiking, biking, hunting, or geocaching, there’s most likely a connected device to enhance the experience. For outdoor adventurers looking to stay connected 24/7, M2M-enabled devices are quickly becoming just part of the experience.

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June/July 2014
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