I was really excited when I first learned about the uPro MX back at the PGA show in January. It seemed like a great GPS device at an extremely competitive price. Unfortunately, as a quick check of any golf forum can show you, the uPro MX launch didn’t exactly go smoothly. The problems have been so bad that Callaway is pulling all existing stock from retailers and offering customers a refund.
Sometimes it’s hard to gauge the extent of a problem simply because the internet tends to make things like this seem larger and more widespread than they really are. But in this case, the problems must have been extremely severe in order to cause Callaway to pull the product from the market rather than continue to push out firmware updates. It suggests to me that the problems many customers have been experiencing may be due to faulty hardware, rather than just buggy software/firmware.
Originally I was supposed to be receiving an early unit to review, but then Callaway basically went silent on the uPro MX. It wasn’t long before I realized it was because they were too busy putting out fires.
I knew they were launching a new website alongside the new unit, but they missed the date. At first it seemed like they would have the new website up within a few days, but it ultimately took over a month before they had it up and running, leaving customers unable to download Promode courses (the ones with the aerial views) during that time.
Callaway offered a bundle of free Promode courses to early adopters as compensation, but more and more reports emerged of units freezing during during use and randomly rebooting. Some people were going through 2 or 3 replacement units. Ultimately it looks like Callaway decided the problems were too significant to fix out in the marketplace and decided to initiate this withdrawal/refund program in order to give themselves a chance to fix everything and relaunch once they know they have a 100% functional unit.
Tim Buckman, Callaway Golf’s Senior Director of Global Communications, told Golf Digest:
Our voluntary withdrawal [of uPro MX] ensures that once we have made the appropriate software update, we can return the product to market and deliver the high quality experience that customers expect from Callaway. Our commitment to delivering best in class products and services is the guiding principle behind this decision and we will continue to do whatever it takes to earn the trust of our customers. UPro MX and the callawayuxplore platform represent an important area of focus within Callaway and we are confident that our use of innovative technologies will advance the category.”
I have to give Callaway credit for at least doing their best to get out in front of this mess. Yes, they screwed up the release, but they’ve done as good a job with damage control as I think anybody could expect. When they do re-launch the uPro MX, I certainly look forward to taking a look at it.