Voice Caddie SL3

Voice Caddie SL3 Review: The Ultimate Hybrid Rangefinder?

When it comes to golf rangefinders, it’s rare that I see something that’s entirely different than anything on the market.

But that’s exactly what you get with the Voice Caddie SL3 rangefinder.

We’ve seen GPS “Smart Rangefinders” before.

On the lower end, there was the ill-fated Precision Pro R1.

Then there’s the most high-tech rangefinder out there, the Garmin Approach Z82.

The SL3 is aiming squarely at the latter. It has many of the same high-tech features as the Garmin, but it takes a bit of a different approach.

Rather than building all of it’s GPS data into the viewfinder itself, it has a secondary display where you can get everything from yardages, to hole overviews, to even green heatmaps.

It’s undoubtedly impressive.

But is it worth the $600 price tag?

Let’s find out.

First Impressions of the Voice Caddie SL3

I’ll be honest, I don’t fully understand when a device gets the “Voice Caddie” brand vs. the “Swing Caddie” brand.

I suppose the name Swing Caddie is just for its launch monitors? Either way, they’re the same company.

Voice Caddie always does a nice job with their packaging, and things are no different with the SL3.

Voice Caddie SL3

The Voice Caddie SL3 box.

Taking it out of the box, the first thing you notice is the white leather rangefinder case. Whether you like the white or not is up to your personal taste, but there’s no denying it differentiates itself from other brands and is high quality.

The SL3 both looks different and feels different.

The case is a nice touch, but it’s the chrome and leather design of the device itself that was most surprising.

love the look of it.

It’s kind of what I’d imagine the result would be if a luxury brand designed a rangefinder.

The leather body of it is a very nice touch, and feels comfortable. And the aluminum metal accents look very nice.

Voice Caddie SL3 - What's in the Box

The SL3: What’s in the box.

The device is much lighter than I expected, especially when compared to the Bushnell Pro X3, Cobalt Q-6, or even the Precision Pro NX10. I think it looks nicer than all of those, but doesn’t necessarily feel more high end. Yes, the leather is a very classy touch. But because it isn’t quite as heavy, it feels a little less indestructible than other high-end rangefinders.

Upon picking it up I immediately noticed one thing that I knew right away I wouldn’t love about this device: it’s USB-C.

A standard rangefinder can run for years off a single battery. But, as is the case with every other “Smart Rangefinder” you’ll need to charge it via USB before each round.

This may not bother you at all, and if so, great.

For me, I’m just both lazy and forgetful. So to remember to bring my rangefinder in and charge it after every round is tough. It’s not built into my routine yet, so I’ll often find myself with a dead rangefinder on the first tee. Just something to be aware of.

But outside of that, the Voice Caddie SL3 presents very well and first impressions of it are that it looks fantastic.

Best GPS Rangefinder
Voice Caddie SL3 GPS Rangefinder

Looking for the best hybrid laser rangefinder and GPS? Look no further. The Voice Caddie SL3 is the one you want. Use code "B80-VC50" to save $50 on the SL3 through Play Better!

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Setting up the Voice Caddie SL3

I imagine a lot of people considering the SL3 will be comparing it to the Garmin Z82 – as it’s the other major player in the “Smart” rangefinder world.

But they approach things a bit differently.

The Z82 essentially has a computer screen within the device, so you’re not looking through an optical lens, but rather looking at a screen when you use the viewfinder.

The SL3 on the other hand has a traditional lens, and then uses an external screen to provide all of the GPS features.

Even better, is the fact that to access all of the GPS data you don’t need an app. To get the most out of the Z82 you need to pair it with the Garmin Golf App. With the SL3, you don’t need to use an app to get GPS distances, green heatmaps, or hole overlays.

This means if you don’t want to deal with the “Smart” features for a round? You don’t have to. You can just use it like a regular rangefinder, which I really like.

Setting up the GPS for a round is very easy. 

You simply hit the golf icon, and the GPS will go to work locking in your location, allowing you to select your course and tees.

Voice Caddie SL3 GPS Screen

The main screen on the SL3.

It takes about 20-30 seconds to lock onto the satellites, which I think is a perfectly acceptable amount of time.

The screen itself isn’t the most responsive touch screen I’ve ever used, but it’s totally solid. It’s easy to swipe left and right to switch views depending on what data you want to see.

There are some smaller icons that are displayed for unlocking the screen or zooming in – and I never had any issues getting those to work. So within a round of using the SL3 I felt confident in navigating the GPS side of things, which was nice to see.

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How Well Does the Voice Caddie SL3 Work?

Before we jump into the GPS features, let’s talk about how the SL3 works just as a traditional rangefinder.

Overall, it works very well.

The display is a beautiful, dual-colored OLED screen that reminds me of the Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized with its red text and green accent that appears when a distance is registered.

There’s a second button on top that lets you easily adjust the brightness of the text as well, which works as expected.

The top buttons on the SL3

The display gives you a lot of information. In fact, it’s a little busy in my opinion. But once you adjust to where everything is, it allows you to quickly get the info you need.

The actual yardages and slope yardages are laid out clearly, and it’s easy to get both numbers at once to help you figure out how to play your shot.

One downside to the SL3 is that it’s 6x magnification, as opposed to 7x, which you’ll often find in more expensive rangefinders.

However, this is one of the best 6x displays I’ve seen, and is still a pleasure to use.

When I first started using the SL3, I found it difficult to lock onto the flag. It was bouncing around a lot, and picking up a lot of trees in the distance.

This surprised me based on all of the extra tech built in that’s specifically designed to not do that.

I’d turned on “GPS Pin Assist” in the menu, thinking that, “Yeah, that sounds like something I want!”

But when I turned it off after a few holes, it completely solved my problem. 

This feature is supposed to help use topography and GPS data to give a little extra help in identifying the flag, but I didn’t find it to help at all.

This feels like an example of a brand trying to get too fancy and do too much.

With it off, I had no issues locking on the flag after that.

It’s very fast and responsive and gives a nice vibration when it locks onto the flag.

From a feel and usability standpoint, I don’t like it quite as much as the Bushnell X3 or Cobalt Q-6 Slope.

Those are high-end rangefinders designed to basically do nothing but give you an accurate distance as quickly and comfortably as possible.

The SL3 is very good, and better than most rangefinders I’ve tried, but it’s not quite the best of the best in terms of my confidence in the numbers it gave me.

But, where the SL3 sets itself apart is with its versatility.

Best GPS Rangefinder
Voice Caddie SL3 GPS Rangefinder

Looking for the best hybrid laser rangefinder and GPS? Look no further. The Voice Caddie SL3 is the one you want. Use code "B80-VC50" to save $50 on the SL3 through Play Better!

Buy from Play Better Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Voice Caddie SL3 GPS

I’ve already mentioned a little bit about the usability of the GPS on the SL3, and honestly? I’ve found it very nice to have!

It’s easier to quickly reference numbers than either the Garmin Z82 or the Precision Pro R1, since all you have to do is pick it up.

It’s worth noting that the SL3 does not have a built-in magnet, so if you’re a fan of that feature when using a cart, you won’t find it here.

It’s a little bit of a bummer, because I do think with the screen, being able to mount it would enhance its usability for a lot of people.

But aside from that, the data on the GPS (as with nearly all GPS devices these days) feels very accurate. It’s easy to drill down on hazards for distances, and like many Garmin devices, you can tell it what you’re average drive is, and it’ll display a line across the fairway. This is really useful if you’re trying to figure out if you can clear a hazard or a bunker off the tee.

A hole overview on the SL3 GPS.

A hole overview on the SL3 GPS.

One neat feature is the green heatmaps. When you zoom into the green, it will give you additional data on both the severity and the direction of the breaks on a green.

Voice Caddie SL3 green heatmap

An example of one of the green heatmaps.

In practice, this won’t help you much when it comes to reading a putt. But it’s extremely helpful for helping you choose where to hit your approach – especially if it’s a green you’re not familiar with.

This is implemented in a nearly identical way to the Voice Caddie T9 golf watch.

Garmin has also released this feature on most of their GPS devices like the Approach S70 watch, Z82 rangefinder, and Approach G80 GPS unit.

But it’s part of the “Garmin Golf Club Membership” which is $120 a year.

It’s totally free with the SL3, which is something that really sets it apart.

How Does the SL3 Compare to the TL1?

If you’re set on a “smart” rangefinder, then you should just go ahead and pick up the SL3 now. But if you’re also considering other Voice Caddie products, then you may be curious as to how it compares to their flagship standard rangefinder the TL1.

Our video review of the TL1 puts them head to head:

Final Thoughts on the Voice Caddie SL3

After 2 rounds with the SL3, I’ve gotta say, I really like it.

Once you’re able to navigate the GPS like it’s second nature, it becomes a really helpful tool. It’s probably my favorite integration of GPS data to date in a rangefinder.

If you’re a tech geek and you love all the latest tech products? You’re going to love the Voice Caddie SL3 rangefinder.

If you’re just looking for a high-end rangefinder and don’t care about the GPS stuff?

Skip this and pick up the Bushnell Pro X3 or Cobalt Q-6 Slope.

Those are easier to use, and felt more reliable in terms of just quickly getting me the exact distance I needed.

But if you love the idea of having additional GPS data, green heatmaps, hole overviews – and a very capable laser rangefinder as well?

This is the device to get.

And if you’re debating between this and the Garmin? It’s a tough choice, but I’d lean toward getting this one.

The Garmin has a few additional high-tech features, but the fact that you can more easily use this as just a regular rangefinder when you want? That’s what does it for me.

The Garmin Approach Z82, for as cool as it is, just sometimes feels like too much.

This can give you most of that extra stuff, or it can be dumbed down, depending on what you need for the day.

As it sits right now, I’d say the Voice Caddie SL3 gets my pick for best “Smart Rangefinder” currently on the market.

And even better? If you use the code “B80-VC50 ” you can save an additional $50 when you buy from Play Better.

This Voice Caddie rangefinder not feel like the right fit for you? Here’s the full list of the best golf rangefinders on the market.

Best GPS Rangefinder
Voice Caddie SL3 GPS Rangefinder

Looking for the best hybrid laser rangefinder and GPS? Look no further. The Voice Caddie SL3 is the one you want. Use code "B80-VC50" to save $50 on the SL3 through Play Better!

Buy from Play Better Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy one of the products on this page, we may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you!) This doesn’t affect our opinions or our reviews. Everything we do is to benefit you as the reader, so all of our reviews are as honest and unbiased as possible.

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Good Things

  • All the tech is well executed
  • Might be most attractive rangefinder in golf
  • No subscription fees for green heatmaps

Bad Things

  • Not quite as easy to lock onto flag as other high end devices
  • It may be "too much" for golfers who don't care about tech

The Breakdown

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There are 2 comments

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  1. Eric

    Hi Sean,

    Love the site and the Youtube channel. I find myself checking quite often for updates and you never disappoint! Just wondering if you tried the TL1 by Voice Caddie? This seems like the rangefinder for most people in their lineup since it doesn’t have the high tech GPS and screen, but is the only option I could see with a magnet on the side and I hear it is very quick and accurate with nice 2 color optics. Also comes with a silicone sleeve which looks like a nice touch.

    Anyway, keep up the good work and thank you for everything you do. I purchased a Bushnell Tour V6 based on your review and couldn’t be happier. The JOLT is amazing!!


    • Sean Ogle

      Thanks for the kind words, Eric! I believe I actually have a TL1 on the way – so a review should be up sometime in the upcoming weeks!

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