Casio has released a new watch — the Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30 — and has partnered up with cutting-edge golf app Hole19 for a collaboration that can help your golf game, clear your mind on the course and simplify your experience. By leaving your rangefinder in the bag and your smartphone in your cart, you can have more fun on the course, and likely play better in the process. That’s the reason smartwatches have been getting hot in the golf community, and the new ProTrek puts that on display.
If you’re on a golf course, there’s a pretty solid chance Hole19 has it documented. The app has more than 42,000 courses in over 200 countries, which is about every single golf course, and it uses GPS measurements to provide yardages. Once you’ve selected your golf course, your job is pretty much done. The watch has auto hole switch, meaning it should adjust as you switch tees, and if for some reason it doesn’t (like you hit it onto the wrong hole, which I did) you can change manually. Need a yardage? No button-pressing required — just look at your wrist. It’ll pop right up.
Hole19’s focus is on a basic interface, for now, providing you with three yardages on that screen: to the front, middle and back of the green. That’s a good thing in a sport with no shortage of information available.
I took the Pro Trek out for a few holes at an Orlando golf course recently, and it proved extremely simple to operate. Using your location, you select the course you’re heading out to play. It downloads the data for that course and boom, you’re good to go. Now from wherever you’re standing you can get those yardages. I was initially worried about the size of the watch face, but that proves helpful in navigating the smartwatch features and by my second swing, I basically forgot I was wearing it. No issue there.
If you’re thinking about the ProTrek in general, remember that golf just happens to be a feature. You can download any of thousands of apps to the smartwatch, which feels especially geared towards an active lifestyle (military-grade durability, too, for what it’s worth). And while it may seem counterintuitive for new technology to free you from technology, the Casio’s appeal to me comes from needing less. Leave the smartphone in your cart or in your bag and ditch the rangefinder altogether for a more relaxing experience.
The Hole19 smartwatch app is a one-time download price of $4.99 — that’ll get you most of the way there. But those of you looking to dive a little further into the details can check out the Hole19 smartphone app, which ranges from a free version to a premium subscription and can complement your smartwatch, as it has the capability to do anything from book tee times, see satellite imagery of holes to tracking stats, keeping score and recording yardages with different clubs and has recently announced an augmented reality addition to its premium service.
A final advantage of the Casio ProTrek? The watch’s map feature, which will locate you even when you’re outside of cell service. That’s good news for particularly intrepid golfers: Even if your tee shots head off the map, Casio’s Pro Trek can save you — and get you a yardage in the process.