I just finished a trip to Myrtle Beach with the G3. It really made the rounds that much more enjoyable. I own a Bushnell Tour V2 scope and have preferred it in the past over GPS devices because of their simplicity and ability to get the distance to any target. Here are two reasons why I am going to only use the G3 from now on.
1) If you can't see the target, you can't scope a distance. Let's say you are playing a course where you know there is water in front of the green over the hill. If you can't see the water, you can't scope it. Or a hazard around a dog leg. True, these situations don't happen often but it is certainly an advantage of the GPS device.
2) I like just looking down at the device to get the yardages. No fussing with trying to hit the spot, plus I get front, middle and back of the green yardages. In the green view, in a single glance I get more information about yardages than the scope can give me.
If you are thinking of getting a GPS device where you need to download course to it, consider this. I thought we were playing Grande Dunes as one of the courses but we were playing Dunes Club. The courses are actually near each other and if I had to download the course before going down to Myrtle, I would have downloaded Grande Dunes. When I went down, I found out we were playing the Dunes club and because I had a device with all courses loaded, it wasn't an issue.
Notable features of the G3 - No fees: All US & Canada courses are pre-installed. I also downloaded an update to the courses for free. Included all trees too. - Battery life: I got 3 full rounds on a pair of Duracell alkalines. I plan on using NIMH rechargables going forward. - Screen: People have really over analyzed this. The screen is a color LCD touchscreen. In daylight, you don't need a backlight. In fact, the last few holes the device would not use the backlight to save power and I didn't have any issues. It isn't an iPhone screen with a strongly backlit display. It's the same kind of screen that you would get on a Garmin GPS device for your car but the backlighting is not as strong in order to save power. I have GolfShot on my iPhone and it wasn't perfect either. - No buttons: This is 100% touch. Turn it on, select the course and play. It automatically changes the holes. The backlight is off unless you touch the screen so it doesn't drain the battery. I keep this on my bag and just look down at it when I need a yardage. Simple. - Course detail: It has a zoom to any point on the course and it has a separate green view. - Size: It was smaller than I thought it would be but I wouldn't put this in my pocket. - Durable: I like the fact that I can bang this around and not worry about it.
Compared to the Bushnell Neo (which offers no graphics and very basic) the G3 is much more useful and worth the extra cost. The G5 has a higher resolution and larger screen. The practical difference is that you see more of the hole and green but the points that you get numbers to are the same. The G3 and the G5 use the same maps and work the exact same way. The G5 is larger overall. I would go with the G5 if you regularly play courses you are unfamiliar with. Note that the size of the numbers are exactly the same on the G3 and G5.
What I don't like (but am willing to live with) about the G3? - The trade off for this being a durable device is that the screen is recessed making it sometimes tricky to click on the corner buttons. People with fat fingers may have an issue. - I wish the screen was bigger but I know that a big screen comes with the tradeoff of requiring more battery power. The G5 is a larger device but the graphics are the same size, you just see more of the hole. Check out the images on their website. They are an excellent and accurate representation of the difference between the screens.
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