When it comes to golf there seems to be a never-ending stream of gadgets. Some of these are helpful, others, well, not so much. Highest on the list of helpful gadgets are GPS units. A good golf GPS unit can do many things that take some of the guessing out of golf.
Most notably: guessing distance.
When club selection is so often dependent on how far away you are from the hole, you need something that will take the guessing out of measuring distances. This is where a good GPS unit comes in handy.
One of the most affordable and reliable golf GPS series on the market come from IZZO. In this article, we will take a look at the various models and offer some IZZO Swami Golf GPS reviews, and Swami Golf GPS Watch review to help you select the right model for your needs.
How do IZZO Swami Golf GPS work?
The IZZO Swami GPS units operate by using preprogrammed golf courses and global positioning systems. When you turn on your Swami unit, it will identify where you are and which course you are on. Then as you play it will update your position and give you readings like distance to the hole and other information depending on the model.
Which IZZO Swami Golf GPS is best?
IZZO Swami 4000+ Golf GPS
The Swami 4000+ is the top of the line pure GPS model offered by IZZO. It is an upgrade to their Swami 4000 model with a few nice added bonuses.
Like all the Swami golf GPS units, it comes preprogrammed with over 30,000 courses ranging all over the world. So the chance that IZZO has mapped your local course is extremely high.
The course layouts will use GPS technology to give you readings based on your current location. The 4000+ will give readings on just about any distance you could possibly need: distance to the green (including front, center, and back), lay up and carry distances, and distances to hazards and doglegs.
Because there can be variations that any company can miss, this device does come with an edit feature so that you can change any inaccuracies you find in course layout.
It is compact, fits ergonomically in the palm of your hand, and is easily slipped into a pocket. Or if you prefer, the Swami 4000+ comes with a belt clip for easy access.
The Swami 4000+ is backed by no annual fees and automatically updates at no additional charge when you connect it to your computer.
The device comes with a rechargeable battery that is best recharged between rounds to ensure it doesn’t die on you, but has more than enough power to last a round. The recharging is accomplished via a USB cord plugged into a computer. This is convenient since plugging in your device is also how you will update it. If you desire an AC outlet charger, this can be purchased separately.
Izzo Swami 4000 GPS
The Swami 4000 comes with the same functionality as the 4000+ with a few important differences.
First the bad news: the 4000 does not come with dogleg and hazard distances. You’ll have to figure those out without this unit.
Now the good news: the 4000 comes with a digital scorecard feature. This way you can digitally track and record every game with ease.
Other than these two differences, the 4000 comes with all the same features as the 4000+.
IZZO Swami Sport Golf GPS
The Swami Sport Golf GPS is more of a “bare bones” version of the 4000. It is designed to be more compact and provide just the basic information of distance to the back, center, and front of the green.
It will also give you a readout of hole number and time. It comes in four sporting colors and is made to slip easily into your pocket or attach to your golf bag with a strap.
For the golfer who just wants basic green information, this is a great, affordable option.
Like other models, it comes with a lithium battery that is rechargeable and updatable via USB cable.
IZZO Swami Pocket Golf GPS
The Swami Pocket is the most basic unit that IZZO makes. This device is designed to simply give you the distance to the hole, and that’s pretty much it.
Like the other models, it comes preprogrammed with 30,000 courses and will automatically detect which course you are on.
It is extremely light-weight and can be attached with a clip to your hat or belt, or simply slid into your pocket.
One nice feature is the voice option offered with this unit. At the touch of a button, the Swami Pocket Golf GPS will give you audible readouts so there is no need to reach for the unit to read it at every hole.
If all you need is the distance to the hole, this is the unit for you.
IZ Swami GT, Game Tracker & GPS
IZZO has taken their Swami Golf GPS units to the next level by adding advanced game tracker with this model.
The Swami GT provides all the functionality of the Swami 4000 and added the ability to track almost every detail of every round of golf you play. This might not get you on the pga tour, but it is a sure-fire way to reduce your handicap over time.
To use the Game Tracker features, all you have to do is attach the smart tracker tags to the end of your clubs. Then, simply pair the clubs with the device so it knows which clubs match which tags. Before each swing, touch the tag to the device and the Swami GT will track club use, distance, and accuracy for every single swing you take.
When you get home, simply attached the device to your computer via USB cable and you can see every single shot overlaid onto the map. Your entire game it displayed and analyzed to help you see your strengths and weaknesses.
In addition to these great features, the Swami GT can even give you club recommendations. All you have to do is let the Swami GT track you for three rounds and learn how you play. Then it will be able to give you the best club recommendations based on your previous play. It’s like having a caddy of your very own!
One word of caution, though: the tracking software is only compatible with Windows computers. So, Apple users are out of luck at this time. Perhaps IZZO will adapt this unit for compatibility in the future, but as of right now, only PC users can use the Game Tracking features.
IZZO Swami Watch Golf GPS
In comparison with the other models, the IZZO Swami Watch Golf GPS is like having a Swami 4000 on your wrist without the mapping features.
The Swami Watch will give you readings to the green (back, center, and front), auto-recognizes courses (of the 30,000 preprogrammed), and will auto-advance as you play the course.
The advantage of the Swami Watch is the easy readout right on your wrist. No need to look for the device to use it.
This might also be the disadvantage as many golfers prefer not to have things on their wrists during gameplay.
The watch is waterproof in case you find yourself in a downpour, or accidentally end up in a pond! It comes with a 90-day limited warranty.
Are IZZO Swami GPS Better than a Rangefinder?
This really depends on exactly what you want out of the device. Like any two products, there are pros and cons to both. On the one hand, a GPS unit provides you a lot more information than a rangefinder. A rangefinder does one thing: measures distance. On the other hand, a rangefinder tends to be more accurate than GPS. So, it really depends on what you are looking for. Some golfers actually prefer to carry one of each.