For the past couple of years, Voice Caddie has been releasing some of the most advanced distance-measuring devices. Many golfers pay attention to the big-name brands, but the Korean-based manufacturer mostly known for its launch monitors has some of the best GPS and rangefinder products on the market. Recently, Voice Caddie debuted their SL2 Hybrid GPS Rangefinder, and it's perhaps their best release yet.
The SL2 rangefinder integrates laser and GPS technology in a way that's never been done before. Additionally, it's a beautiful piece of technology that will please gadget enthusiasts. It is now the official rangefinder for the LPGA Tour and was one of the most popular choices at the 2021 PGA Championship, which allowed rangefinders for the first time in competitive play.
This review will explore my impressions of the Voice Caddie SL2 and its key features. Overall, if you are a golfer who wants the best gadgets out there, and product design is important to you, it's perhaps the coolest product available today.
GPS Without Any Tradeoffs
For most golfers, I always recommend having GPS technology to help with strategic decisions. Knowing yardages to various points on the hole (fairway bunkers, doglegs, hazards) and yardages to the front/center/back of greens is invaluable. My number one piece of strategic advice requires golfers to know the yardage to the back of every green, which is only possible with GPS.
However, laser rangefinders are the predominant choice by golfers. I'm not totally against laser rangefinders, but I think it gets golfers a little too obsessed with the pin as their target, which I believe is a mistake.
Luckily, the latest rangefinders on the market now have laser and GPS capabilities. While technology is always changing, I believe the Voice Caddie SL2 currently offers the most robust set of features. After using it on the course, I'll summarize its main strengths.
Hole Layouts and Green Yardages
Almost all of the hybrid GPS/Rangefinders on the market only provide distances to the green. But the SL2 takes a big step further with hole layouts.
The bottom of the rangefinder is equipped with a touch OLED screen. You're able to see a birds-eye view of the hole layout similar to watches like the Garmin Approach S62 or Voice Caddie G1. Even better, you can use your fingers to pinpoint any part of the hole, and it will tell you your distance to the target and how far away it is from the center of the green.
For me, this is perhaps the SL2's greatest feature. It's easy to use, and you can swipe across the screen to see your yardages to the front/center/back of the green quite easily.
I'm always wondering what companies will do next to push the envelope with features, and I think Voice Caddie has done a great job of pushing the boundaries with the high-resolution touch screen.
Green Undulations and Active View
If you swipe one more time on the OLED screen, you'll also get a very detailed view of the green with undulation data. This is another feature that sets the Voice Caddie SL2 apart.
Using satellite imagery, they have been able to map out the slopes of greens. The more red shading represents the highest points of the green, and as you transition to orange, yellow, and blue, you start to see the lowest parts. The SL2 improved this feature on the previous SL1 rangefinder and now has 11-step undulation, which provides even greater detail on all of the breaks and slopes.
My course has tons of false fronts and big changes in slope on the greens. It was interesting to see how the maps represented each green. I found the heat maps to be pretty spot on. You can clearly see the overall slopes of any green and any unexpected trouble awaiting you. For golfers who have trouble identifying the overall slope of a green, particularly when they putt, this can help.
Additionally, you can change the pin position on the screen, and the orientation of the green will rotate to match your location on the course.
I should note that this feature is not available on every golf course. They are mostly finished adding courses in the USA, and you can search their database to find out what features your course currently has here.
Huge Battery Life
Golfers who have normal laser rangefinders are used to not worrying about battery life all that much. Typically you don't need to change them out more than once a year. Since the Voice Caddie SL2 does use GPS technology, it is a device that you'll have to get used to charging, no different than a GPS watch.
But the SL2 does boast a much larger battery life than most. If you are using GPS while you play, you can expect to get upwards of 20 hours of use, which should last most players about 4-5 rounds. If you are using the laser, then the battery life will increase to about 45 hours. These are much better than most GPS devices I've used, which typically need to be recharged after about 8-10 hours of usage.
Lightning Fast Yardages
Laser rangefinders are fairly straightforward these days. You want a fast, accurate rangefinder that won't waste your time locking onto targets behind the green that isn't the pin.
The Voice Caddie SL2 uses its GPS data to filter out any background noise when locking on the target. So when I did choose to lock on to the pin while playing, it displayed my yardages without any delay. More importantly, I didn't have to shoot the pin multiple times.
The screen's interior is crystal clear and offers 6x magnification, which is fairly standard these days. But the SL2 also uses an OLED screen to boost its features. The screen will adjust its brightness based on what part of the day you are playing. This comes in handy in the early morning or late afternoon rounds, where it's harder to see things due to low light.
The Product Design Is Top Notch
While this might not be important to some golfers, if you are into product design (ahem, Apple diehards), the SL2 is a very cool product to hold in your hands.
The design team at Voice Caddie took their inspiration from luxury yachts to deliver a neatly designed product that feels as premium as it looks.
Most of the exterior is covered in premium white leather and contrasted by aluminum that you'd see on a speaker from a company like Bose.
Even the front of the SL2 has wood paneling. As I said, this might not be important for some, but I can safely say this is the slickest looking rangefinder out there!
The Voice Caddie SL2 Is the Complete Package
It's hard to find any faults in the Voice Caddie SL2. They have taken the top technology available for GPS and rangefinders and combined them into one product. On top of that, they've made a very sleek piece of hardware.
You might want to double-check their growing database of courses to make sure features like hole view and green undulation will be available where you play.
As you would expect, a product like this carries a steep price tag. The Voice Caddie SL2 costs $599 (Practical Golf readers can get a $50 discount here). There is no question that it's a lot of money to invest. So I don't consider this a "must-have" product for most golfers. However, I know there is a segment of the market that wants the latest and greatest.
If you want the benefit of GPS and laser and are willing to pay for the "cool factor," this might be a great product for you. I'll never say never, but I don't expect distance measuring devices to take an even bigger leap forward from this point so it would be worth it as a long-term investment as well for your course management.