The Sonocaddie V300 GPS is a full-featured golf GPS. It’s not perfect, but it does give you loads of helpful features. This review might help you decide if you’d like to take a closer look at this device.
Truthfully, there’s a lot to like. For example, the color screen is beautiful and vibrant, the overhead maps of the holes are useful in planning your approach strategy, and the scoring and stat-tracking functions are fairly easy to use. A ton of features are packed into this GPS.
Unfortunately, it also has some drawbacks. For example, some of the yardages the unit displayed during my round were totally off the mark. It’s hard to trust a golf GPS when you know some of its information is wrong. I had a few other, less significant issues too.
So, let’s take a look at some of the ups and downs.
First, let me say that, apart from the accuracy issue, I liked the Sonocaddie V300 GPS. The unit has an extensive set of features and, for the most part, they work well.
This isn’t one of those golf GPS units that come pre-loaded with course maps, so there’s a setup procedure and you’ll need to do some downloading. And, this GPS device isn’t automatically “free” to use once you but it – most golfers will pay to access the GPS course map database. At least the company gives you three options:
So, you can choose a plan that’s more or less tailored to your needs. Just choose the option that matches up best with the number of different courses you play and where they’re located. Personally, I’d choose the plan that gives me 5 free courses, after which I’d pay $5 each. Your needs might be different, but I just don’t play enough different courses to justify choosing one of the other options. And for sure, paying a one-time $30 or $50 fee is better than paying that much annually to keep your unit activated, like you do with some GPS units.
Setting up the Sonocaddie V300 GPS is fairly painless and the setup instructions are easy to follow. The process takes less than 30 minutes and involves registering for a free Sonocaddie account, responding to an account activation email, installing Sonocaddie’s software on your PC (a Mac won’t work, unfortunately), finding the courses you want to download and then downloading them onto your PC, and then transferring the downloaded courses into your GPS. The setup process is very similar to that of other GPS units that don’t come with pre-loaded course information.
The unit’s user interface isn’t very intuitive, or at least not to me. It’s fairly easy once you figure it out, but there is a learning curve. It’s not a touchscreen device, which isn’t a biggie in my book, but there are an awful lot of buttons to learn.
The color display is bright and doesn’t wash out in strong sunlight. The outer casing is rubberized and the unit feels sturdy.
Unlike many golf GPS units, the Sonocaddie V300 GPS doesn’t automatically find the course you’re on – you need to select it manually from the list of courses you’ve downloaded. The device has plenty of other features, though - three different views (overhead hole map, green view and “target view,” which displays the positions of obstacles), digital scorecard and statistic-tracking, the ability to add custom targets to holes, and shot-marking, among others.
The Sonocaddie V300 GPS displays distances to the front, back and center of the green, but there’s no adjustment made for your angle of approach, so you’ll need to guess if your ball isn’t in the center of the fairway. That’s bad enough - how many of us are dead-center all that often? But the real problem with the Sonocaddie V300 GPS is the inaccurate distances it sometimes provides. You might get better results than I did - maybe my home course didn’t get mapped properly - but the Sonocaddie V300 GPS wasn’t off by just a little – a few times it was more like 15-20 yards off.
The Bottom Line: Yes, the Sonocaddie V300 GPS has a ton of features and most of them work well. But most golfers get a GPS because they want accurate yardages – the rest is just bells and whistles. The Sonocaddie V300 GPS doesn’t always provide accurate yardages. And that’s why I can’t recommend it.