15 thoughts on “uPro Golf GPS by Callaway Golf”

  1. Junk
    Rating:1 out of 5 stars
    This item is advertised as Mac compatible, but it was not compatible with my Leopard 10.5.8 Operating System. After downloading files a Customer Service Representative sent, I was able to initialize the uPro and download 4 courses after paying $120 for 50 courses. I took the device out to play the next day, but turned it off after a couple of holes because it didn’t offer any information that I didn’t already have on the Cart’s GPS Screen. As I was leaving the course, I tried to turn it back on to show a friend. It was dead. So, I immediately returned it to Amazon. However, uPro is refusing to refund the 4 courses that I downloaded, so I am in a Credit Card Dispute with them, which I will easily win since the information was never used and I returned the device. Advice – don’t buy this piece of junk.

  2. Way too glitchy!
    Rating:2 out of 5 stars
    I’ve played about 30-35 rounds with the device so far, and I’ve decided to switch back to my sky caddie. The uPro would sometimes take as many as 10 minutes to make itself ready for use, determining what course we were playing, etc. Many times I would need to reboot it at least once when it got hung-up after being turned on. Probably 10-12 of my rounds involved re-calibrating the device from a fixed point on the golf course because the indicated distances were off by 10 yards or so. The automatic hole advance feature was terrible and I had to turn it off because it put us on the next hole too soon. I will say that once the uPro was on, calibrated, and indicating the correct hole, it worked as advertised and was very accurate, but there were just too many small problems to deal with.

  3. Pleased with the U Pro
    Rating:5 out of 5 stars
    Had another brand before this. Haveing a GPS that holds lots of coarse is a big plus. I play lots of coarse’s with blind shot. The fly over is a great option.

    Had to call there help line for I have a Mac. The spoke English very clear and were super to help me out. They have there act together.

  4. Annoying battery drain
    Rating:4 out of 5 stars
    I’ve owned the upro for 3 months now and really love it. Those who elect to purchase one need to be aware of the battery drain issue. If you don’t use it, make sure you charge it before you play. Even if you charged it after your last round of golf, it will be dead when you pull it out if it sat for more than a few days.

  5. Callaway uPro vs Garmin Approach G5 vs SkyCaddie SG3
    Rating:4 out of 5 stars
    I’ve owned a SkyCaddie SG3 for some time and, weary of its annual fees, glacial operating speed, and pedestrian display, I decided to go color. I purchased the Garmin Approach G5, but its display is very difficult to see in normal outdoor conditions. So I also purchased the Callaway uPro. I played an entire round on my home course, with all three GPS units mounted on the cart. My findings:

    Build quality: All three units are rugged, with great fit-and-finish. The Garmin gets the nod, because it’s waterproof. The Callaway is water-resistant, and you can purchase a watertight skin for an outrageous $24.99 to protect it further. The SkyCaddie is not recommended for use in the rain.

    Size: The Callaway uPro is the smallest and thinnest, about the size of an LG Chocolate phone. The SG3 is similar height and width to the uPro, but much thicker and heavier. The biggest of all is the Garmin, the size of an iPhone and four times as thick. It’s wide, heavy, and not good for the pocket.

    Accuracy: The three units properly mapped my home course, agreeing on nearly all distances (within 6 yards of each other) and hazards.

    GPS acquisition: The old-technology SG3 takes forever to acquire GPS, sometimes more than five minutes. Both the Garmin and the uPro acquire satellites almost instantly. The uPro has technology that, once it locks onto satellites, it really keeps them. After locking on, I took the unit indoors, and even put it in my pants pocket. It never had to re-acquire. Advantage: uPro.

    Getting courses: The Garmin wins handily. All 10,000+ available courses come preloaded in its 1GB memory. No annual fees, no paid memberships. The Garmin Approach G5 offered every course I cared to search. Of course, your mileage may vary.

    To make the most of your SkyCaddie, you need to pay for an annual membership on their website, and download courses individually. Some SkyCaddie memberships allow you to download as many courses as you want from all over the world…however, the unit’s paltry memory will only hold a few at a time. The uPro also requires that you sign up on their website (no annual memberships, though). With the uPro, Basic Mode (an alphanumeric color screen that resembles that of a SkyCaddie) is free for unlimited courses. For Pro Mode (the nifty aerial photography view of each course) you pay for only the courses you wish to play, a la carte. Your first Pro Mode course is free.

    Information: All units show distances to the front/middle/back of greens. The SG3 also shows hazards on the same screen, but it doesn’t give you hazard carry distances, like the uPro does. The Garmin shows the entire hole, including hazards. But showing the entire hole means that the illustrations of hazards are tiny, as is the accompanying yardage text. Coupled with the Garmin’s dim display, it’s pretty useless. Curiously, the Garmin apparently doesn’t consider trees to be obstacles, so they’re not represented at all on the graphical display. The uPro (in Pro Mode) shows every tree and hazard – in fact, the entire hole, as photographed from satellite. It’s like viewing my actual course (including my house!) from above. There’s absolutely nothing like it.

    On the home screen, both the SG3 and the uPro also give you the time of day, battery strength, and GPS signal strength. The Garmin gives you none of the above. You need to briefly press the power button to see the time. It also shows a battery icon, but that never moved during my round.

    Battery: The Garmin and SG3 both take AA batteries, whether alkaline, NiMh rechargeable, or lithium ion. With any AA type, both units easily complete at least two rounds. The uPro uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Unlike SkyCaddie models that use internal lithium ion batteries, which are a real horror show to replace (SkyCaddie recommends you send the unit back), the Callaway uPro battery easily drops in. Callaway says it takes three hours to charge, but it didn’t take me anywhere near that long. UPro battery life is 6-12 hours, depending on how bright you set the display’s backlight. With my display settings (see Display, below), I easily completed a round with plenty to spare. As far as battery preferences go: For some, constantly recharging and changing out AAs is a grind. For others, recharging (and eventually, re-purchasing) internal lithium-ion batteries ($27 for the uPro) is just as bad, especially considering that the battery can leave you high and dry mid-round if you forget to charge it the night before. To each his own.

    Display: The SG3 is monochrome, so it doesn’t stand a chance. Its display is dim and boring, but it does give you a button on the side for a backlight. The screen sizes on the SG3 and uPro are nearly identical. The Garmin’s touchscreen display is nearly iPhone-big, and drop-dead gorgeous…when you’re at home. Take it outside, and it washes out to the point of uselessness. Worse yet, to save power, the display times out a few seconds after you touch it, making it even dimmer. You touch the screen to wake it up, but when you touch the screen, the unit thinks you want to measure a distance, so the measurement feature pops up. You need to hit the “Done” button to exit that. There’s no way to increase the screen timeout or disable the screen dimming feature. Also, since the Garmin is a touchscreen, it’s a massive fingerprint magnet, so it only looks pretty for the first hole. The uPro wins the display contest handily, with a bright and functional screen. You can play two ways: graphically (Pro Mode), showing the course via aerial photography, or with big, bright alphanumeric text (Basic Mode). Since golf courses have very low contrast (lots of green color and not much else), I defaulted to the Basic Mode for easy readability. For the aerial view, you can always hit the Pro Mode button on the side of the unit, as it’s much more useful around the green. The uPro’s default setting is to power-save the display after (I think) 45 seconds. Unlike the Garmin, which dims its display, the uPro goes blank until you hit a button, which is an enormous buzzkill. Fortunately, you can get around this. You can change to a longer timeout, or disable standby altogether. As the uPro has a very bright display, what I did was take the backlight down to 25% (from a default 70%), and disabled standby completely. I easily completed a round with plenty of battery life to spare this way. The uPro and the Garmin use a reflective LCD technology that actually makes the display brighter in direct sunlight. The uPro’s version of this technology worked far better than the Garmin’s. The only time the Garmin display looked remotely readable was when you aimed it directly at the sun.

    Just for fun, I took along my iPod Touch 2G, to compare all the displays outdoors. I figured that the iPod’s conventional LCD wouldn’t compete with the reflective technology of the Garmin and the uPro. Wrong. The iPod destroyed both of them. It wasn’t even close. So, if you have an iPhone (the iPod Touch won’t do GPS), you may want to look into the golf GPS apps at the App Store. If you do decide to use an iPhone, just remember, it won’t stand up to being dropped, kicked, and tossed around like these three ruggedized units, and it for sure ain’t the least bit water-resistant.

    Hole-to-Hole: The simpler SkyCaddie wins here. It automatically advances to the next hole. If there’s any confusion (you’re playing past the current hole, for example), it’ll ask you if you want to move to the next hole. If you’re starting on Number 10, for example, the SkyCaddie makes that selection easier as well, with a grid from which you can select holes via cursor. The Callaway Auto Hole Advance is kind of a drag. If you’re anywhere near the green, Auto-Advance jumps to the next hole. You can’t measure your 40-yard pitch to the current green. And when they say Auto, they mean Auto. In Auto-Advance mode, there’s no way to back up to the current hole, or any previous hole, for that matter. The only way out is to go to either Manual Advance, or Manual Advance With Prompt (it asks you to press the center button to advance). Hitting a button on each hole is tedious. The Garmin Auto-Advances sequentially, but if you jump around (skipping a couple of holes to get around slow play), you need to touch the screen arrows for each hole advance.

    Settings: The Garmin gives you almost nothing to customize, as it is both very intelligently designed and extremely automated. It would have been nice to be able to crank the screen brightness, or at least extend the timeout. Both the SG3 and the uPro give you a host of settings to mess with, including screen brightness (contrast only with the SG3), hole advance preferences, and much more.

    Cost of ownership: The Garmin and uPro are color, so they’re not cheap. If you want to compare apples to apples, you could go to the color SkyCaddie SG5, but be advised that the SG3, SG4, and SG5 are virtually identical in functionality, screen size – basically, EVERYTHING – so you’re paying almost $150 more for color alone, which is the cost of a whole 20-inch color TV. (My SG3 is discontinued, so now I’m quoting price from the replacement SG4.) Couple that with the amazing wow factor of both the Garmin and the uPro, and the top-of-the-line color SkyCaddie SG5 is a terrible deal. To the SkyCaddie’s cost of ownership, add their totally outrageous annual membership fees. SkyCaddie also charges ridiculous sums of money for stuff like plastic cart mounts and batteries. The Garmin wins here, hands-down, with all available courses preloaded into memory. No fees whatsoever! For accessories, RAM Mounts makes a rock-solid, relatively reasonably-priced cart mount for the Garmin. The uPro, while not requiring you to pay for a membership, makes you download each course. They’re all free, if you want to use only Basic Mode. But if you want what makes the unit famous and awesome, which is Pro Mode video previews and flyovers of each hole, you need to pay. If you go for a 20-course package, for example, that’s $60. It’s still cheaper for most people than SkyCaddie, because there’s no annual fee. And the more courses you buy, the cheaper it gets per course. However, uPro accessories such as cart mounts are rarely discounted, and you’ll pay more for their little plastic add-ons than you would pay for a complete multi-handset cordless phone system or a new DVD player.

    Extras: Each unit has (or will soon have, in the uPro’s case) the ability to track scores and aggregate player information. I don’t use any of that stuff. No amount of button-pushing or touch-screening could beat the ease and speed of marking stuff down with a pencil.

    Wow Factor: The SkyCaddie is deadly dull, with zero Wow Factor, but highly functional. One would think the Garmin, with its big, beautiful touchscreen, would win. However, the screen is just too dim to view the image-based interface in normal outdoor lighting. The Callaway uPro, with its unique video flyovers of every hole, is the winner. While the flyovers may not be great outdoors (golf courses are green-on-green-on-green, so there’s little contrast), they’re great for previewing new courses in your home before you travel. Beyond that, the uPro comes with several preloaded video tutorials to help you get the most from the unit, and an earbud is in the box, so you can listen to the video narration. Voice Recognition, to allow you to change settings, holes, etc. by voice command, is built into the Callaway uPro, and they say it’ll be activated by late 2009.

    Summary: Not one of these units is perfect, but the Callaway uPro is the runaway winner. It’s simple to use, highly customizable, deadly accurate, super-fast, and gorgeous to view. 2nd place goes to the SkyCaddie, even with its monochrome screen, pokey operation, and 20th Century technology. The Garmin comes in last, even though it’s the most sophisticated, intelligent, beautiful, automated piece, made by people who really know GPS. The thing is just too dim to use outdoors.

  6. Great Item if your course is available
    Rating:4 out of 5 stars
    I really like the uPro GPS unit, the only problem I have with it is the fact that several of the course that I play aren’t available for use with the Pro Mode. This makes the unit useless until the courses are available. This is the other problem, there is no way of knowing when your course will be available. I have been waiting for over 2 months now and my courses are still pending. Maybe next year this will be resolved, but until then, the Upro sits unused.

  7. Good GPS, but not perfect
    Rating:4 out of 5 stars
    Software works. Upro links well the callaway website for downloading courses. I only downloaded the pro-course for one of my frequently played course. I just cannot seem to get the par 3 photo of the greens to come up so that i can move the pin to the right section.

    The battery is ok for the 4 to 5 hours round.

    You can use the car charger for your cell phone to charge if your cell phone use USB port. Much cheaper than buyng the one from from callaway. The skin to protect the unit is way way to expensive at $20. One can just buy a case of the cell phone with a belt loop for about $5 on the internet.

    WIsh list:

    1. Keep score of the round(s) and the stat on driving distance.

  8. Could be worth the money if they ever get around to mapping my home course
    Rating:2 out of 5 stars
    I purchased this GPS about 3 weeks ago. My home course had not been mapped yet. But reading other reviews it looked like it wouldn’t be a problem to get it mapped. 3 weeks later 9 emails and 2 phone calls, I still do not have an answer one way or another or whether my home course will be added. Have used it once at another course that was mapped worked very well. To bad Callaway customer service doesn’t work as well as their GPS. If your course is on their list and is available I would recommend this GPS. If your course is not I would recommend getting another brand. I probably will be sending my back.

  9. Nothing But Trouble
    Rating:2 out of 5 stars
    I now have my second UPro sent to me by customer service because they were unable to fix the first device after weeks of waiting on hold for hours at a time to connect with tech support and untold numbers of e-mails.

    The story is long and there really is no need to bore you all with the minutia but this device is just not ready for prime time. The software is very buggy and if you need tech support be prepared for very long wait times. The technicians are pretty good when you get them but as I write this review I’ve been sitting on wait for more than 45 minutes and that is only after random calling for more than one hour to tech support and being told by a recording that all circuits were busy. In other words they have so many tech support issues and so few technicians that their toll free number gets maxed out.

    The e-mail support is just as bad and I’ve waited as much as seven days for an e-mail response to an issue.

    I bought my UPro in June and due to the problems with it and the three weeks I had to wait for customer support to send me a new one after more than a week of back and forth I’ve had the device on the course for one day. I play every weekend by the way so I can assure you I’m wishing I had bought a SkyCaddie or other competitor’s product.

    My latest problem is that the second device will not let me log into my account to which I have all my courses and have a boatload of credits on. I’m sure it’s an easy fix but it’s hours on wait trying to get to technical support to get it done.

    The device itself has a screen that in ProMode is almost impossible to see unless you find the perfect angle that bounces the sunlight off of Jupiter and reflects off a nearby tree.

    ANother major issue is course mapping. There are many courses that are not in the database and I’ve requested several that I’ve been waiting on for weeks to be mapped. In the end the only reason to own this device over the competitors is the mapping of the courses and the skyview look at an unfamiliar hole.

    In the end the UPro has potential but I would wait until early adopters like me have endured all the pain and suffering and wait until a new version of this comes out a couple of years from now. Buy something else in the meantime

  10. Good idea, but terrible execution
    Rating:2 out of 5 stars
    I bought a Upro about four months ago. I thought the fly over mode would be useful when I was playing a new course. When I went to download a new course I discovered that quite few courses I want to play aren’t available. Even the courses they have available are out dated. One of the courses I play is scheduled for a US Open, yet the course map does not have the recent changes to the course layout. When I sent an email to customer service I was informed that they just released the product in Canada and were too busy trying to add Canadian courses. This is not the degree of support I would expect to get from Callaway.

  11. Use caution
    Rating:2 out of 5 stars
    I received my unit on June 10 and immediately requested course mappings for six courses. On July 10 I requested another. To date (August 20) I have not had a single course mapping request fulfilled. You should not purchase this unit unless you can verify the course(s) you want to play are already available. Don’t believe that you can request and receive them within a couple of days.

  12. Didn’t work with Mac
    Rating:1 out of 5 stars
    I was excited about getting the uPro, but after it arrived I couldn’t get it to synch up with my Mac G5 so that I could download any course information. VERY disappointing! Tech support tried to help me out by downloading included software again (so there was SOME synch-up available thru the Mac) but still couldn’t get course info, so regrettably returned it. On the upside, refund was prompt.

  13. Very Good Golf GPS
    Rating:4 out of 5 stars
    I have been using the Callaway uPro Golf GPS for over a week now. I have found it to be great in almost every way. I’m just hoping my “Home” course will be available in Pro Mode within a couple of weeks, (the Basic Mode is available now). I both e-mailed and called CS regarding this. I did get an e-mail yesterday that stated they were going to forward my request to the Mapping Dept.

    I have found that I like it “Not” in the Power Saving/Sleep Mode, while using during play. I just turn the Backlight down to 5% and let the daylight light-up the screen for me. Works great and lasts more than a round of golf, (I just play 18 a day). Waking the device for hole advancement and everything else was cumbersome and I just like having it On all the time. Give it a shot and see if that works for you.

  14. Courses
    Rating:2 out of 5 stars
    Purchased my uPro 8 weeks ago after being told a new course would be available shortly. The course is still not available although there are 125 requests for the course. Customer service does not answer emails and people I talk to on the phone have no answer. The basic mode works well, but you must keep it in power save mode or the battery runs down before the 18th hole. In basic mode it’s difficult to tell distances to hazards. Pro mode is is almost unreadable in bright sunlight although the demo version looks great.uPro Golf GPS by Callaway Golf

  15. Close but not quite there, yet
    Rating:3 out of 5 stars
    For some reason, my first review of the device went missing. I’ve played about 6 rounds with the device since getting it and on the course, it is great. The off course performance is where the uPro could use a lot of help. First off, be prepared to wait, a long time, for tech support. Don’t bother emailing them or leaving a VM (I’m still waiting on a callback from the VM I left over a week ago). My problem has been downloading courses on PC. No matter if I go to grab 1, 2 or 3 courses, it will always hang up when trying to verify the courses at the end of the download. I have even had it zap one of the previously downloaded courses when grabbing a new one. I would normally have to disconnect, reboot the device and resynch, 3 or 4 times to actually get the courses to come down and verify correctly.

    The one time I got through to tech support, the agent told me that I needed to bypass my router and connect my PC directly to the cable modem. When I told him that I wanted to try some other steps outside that, because I know it is not a latency issue (can play first person shooters and download videos from iTunes just fine) and that we were currently on a VOIP call that the network had no problem supporting, he hung up on me. I left that unreturned VM just after that, describing the situation.

    I haven’t seen anyone else talking about this issue, so I am just hoping it is a fluke and I can get it fixed but I am frustrated by the lack of follow-up from Callaway. As a former tech support manager, I do understand it gets busy at times, but you don’t leave your customers hanging without giving them realistic expectations.

    On the last download I tried, I think I might have stumbled onto a solution. When it generated the verification error, I did not unplug and reboot the device (as it shows you to on the device screen). I just resynched again. The device did not show any change but the synch window showed the coursed being re-downloaded and verified. Once that completed, the device showed that it had the courses just fine. I need to test it out on another download to see if this was just a fluke or a true work around. If you are having the same problem, try it out and let me know if it works for you.

    I think that is what is frustrating about this issue. Downloading information to devices via USB is not a new process but the uPro makes it a lot more painful than any other device I currently use (iPod, Creative Labs Zen player, memory sticks, Cannon digital cameras, or my removable hard drives). Instead of spending cycles on making the voice recognition software work, they should be making the download and synch experience a better one.

    I’ll update this review if I hear back from tech support or if I try out the solution above and it works again.

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