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  1.    #1  
    Got Starcaddy for my birthday. I already have a holux 231 BT GPS which I use with tomtom, (Christmas gift) so once I got a golf course map installed, I was ready to go.

    First, a complaint. You can only install Starcaddy and the maps from a pc. I'm a mac user, and although I don't expect a "mac version", I dislike it when I am unable to install programs unless I own a pc. I can't even extract pdb or prc files from a download, so the app and files have to be installed through a windows application. Just like tomtom.

    Now onto the good news. I received the Starcaddy with 10 free maps included, allowing me to pick my courses. Although Starcaddy is on the pricey side compared to intelligolf or igolf, I really wanted a graphical interface of each hole, not just a yardage indicator. Of the first five maps I ordered, two had already been drawn, and Starcaddy will draw the other 3 now that I've ordered them. They take satellite imagery and draw the maps from scratch. I am expecting those courses in the next few weeks, just in time for summer golf league!

    Armed with one of my local pre-drawn courses on the treo, I headed out to try it out. I decided to put the BT Holux in a small case attached to my belt, and I then put my treo on my right side on my belt. As I started to play on the course, this arrangement, although giving me accurate readings, was a little cumbersome when carrying my clubs. As I've only been out once, I'm not sure how I'll golf with this in the future. I may put the phone in the bag, the gps in the bag, or some other combination. If I'm driving a cart, I may do the one device on each hip routine.

    Now to the important part - does Starcaddy work?

    I started on the first hole, and turned on the gps and treo. A small red x appeared on the screen, showing my position. I found it to be very accurate. The red x was a little small, so I would recommend that Starcaddy figure out a way to fatten up this x for easier viewing.

    As I went along the course, the red x moved as I did, and the yardages changed as I walked. When I stopped, it took about 2 or 3 seconds to get a final yardage reading on the screen, which was not a problem. Very impressive!

    One area of concern was different yardage indicators (i.e. starcaddy compared to the course's 150 yd. marker) on some holes. For instance, on one hole I stood on the 150 yd. marker in the fairway, and was straightaway to the hole with no hills or valleys in between. On some holes I was 156 yards according to starcaddy, and on other holes I was 151 or 152. My assumption is that the satellite gps would be more accurate than the golf course itself, but it was a little discouraging to have a discrepancy. I look forward to using starcaddy more often to see how this plays out.

    Some nice features of starcaddy while playing are:

    - As you walk from the tee to the hole, the screen automatically zooms to include you on one end, and the putting green on the other. This is especially helpful on a par five, as the entire tee-to-green image of the hole can get tiny. The closer you get to the putting green, the more the hole zooms in. Really nice.

    - There are a few measuring tools that are helpful. The first is a magnification tool, which you use as a zoom box. For instance, you use your stylus to draw a box on the area you want zoomed in, and starcaddy goes to there. Click on an icon on the screen, and it zooms back out. This works out pretty well, but if you draw the box not quite right, you have to zoom out and do it again. It would be more helpful if you could scroll on the hole to get your desired view just right. The natural tendency is to put your finger or stylus on the screen and drag the hole to get a different view, but starcaddy doesn't allow you to do that.

    - The next measurement tool is a simple ruler tool, which allows you to measure from point a to b. This is helpful if you want to measure how far you drove the ball, or if you want to know how far to clear a bunker.

    - The last one is a layup measuring tool. You tap on a point on the screen, and you get two distance measurements. One from where you're standing to the layup point, and then the distance from there to the green. This is a very good tool, for instance if you want to layup short of a stream, and then see how much yardage will be left to the green.

    I found most of the drawn hole to be very accurate compared to real life. On one occasion I stood on the right side of a trap, and was chipping to the green. The red X showed me exactly to the right of the trap. Very cool!

    When it comes to scoring on the Starcaddy, it works out really well, with a few caveats. You can pre-enter your player list including handicaps, and then choose from the list when you play a round. Scoring is very easy, as you click on "score", and then tap on a drop down list. They even have "par" on the drop down list, so you can easily choose your score.

    To look at your scorecard, you choose "card", and a regular golf scorecard comes up on the screen. This is an active screen, so tapping on a score allows you to edit it if you make a mistake. It computes gross and net, so you can see how you're golfing compared to your handicap.

    Now a complaint about the scorecard. You can save a round, but once you start a new round, you can not look at the previous scorecard. For instance, you play a round and save it. Then the next day you golf at the same course and start a new round. The scorecard from the previous day is not retrievable from your treo. You have to sync to your pc to see that round. This should be a very tiny data file, and not being able to load previous scorecards seems like a glaring oversight. Starcaddy went to a lot of trouble to allow you to save it, so why you can't open a previous round is beyond me.

    The five way treo button has limited use on Starcaddy, and I hope in a future upgrade they include support for it. With the 5 way you can scroll through the holes, and zoom in and out on a hole, but using it to get to an active field, such as to score a hole, does not work.

    I was also concerned about battery life, and whether or not the gps would lose contact with the treo throughout the round. Both the holux and the treo had plenty of power for the 10 hole round I played, and I had the treo on non stop for the first 7 holes. When the treo screen went off, I simply powered it back on, and the treo reconnected with the holux right away. As to battery life, I don't see 18 holes as a problem for either device, but I will follow up with more information later.

    There are also betting options and match play options, but I haven't tried those features yet.

    All in all, I am thrilled with Starcaddy, and I eagerly await the maps that they are drawing for me. Even though I have a short list of improvements and fixes I would like to see, I love this software! Nice job!

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  2.    #2  
    Admin moved this to accessories, but just so the reader understands, the Starcaddy software does not require an SD card. I think they offer a version with an SD card with built in GPS, but I already own a Bluetooth GPS.

  3. #3  
    Will it cure my slice? The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

    Remember: "Anyone that thinks the Treo should just work right out of the box, shouldn't own a Treo..."
  4. #4  
    Haha, the golf lessons where they videotape you and show you your schtuff are the deal. Rarely slice and am actually starting to see problem with some hooking, but that's a whole 'nother thread.

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