Technology has changed the way we play the game of golf. The clubs have added forgiveness, the golf ball is going farther than ever before and fitting technology has made it easier to enjoy the game for all skill levels. One area often overlooked when discussing new technologies in the game of golf is distance measuring devices and how they have helped golfers manage their way around the course. What started as a simple black and white device showing distances to the green has evolved into devices that feature full color touch screens that give you the measurements to anywhere and from anywhere on the course. Depending on the features you are looking for, distance measuring devices can have just about anything you need to assist you with your management around the course.
Golf Buddy Platinum
Features and Functions
40,000 Course Storage Capability
Courses from Across the World Pre-Loaded
High-Resolution Color, Outdoor Visible, Full-Function Touch Screen
Full Layout Mode
Ability to switch back-and-forth from standard numbers readings to layout mode
Vibrant, yet simple to use user interface
Four player score tracking module
Full statistical analysis module
Zoom in and zoom out functions
Automatic course and hole recognition
Measuring point moves as golfer does throughout course
Ability to measure to and from any point on the hole
Shock and water resistant case design
50 channel satellite reception
Distance measuring module
Pin placement / movement functionality
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
Swivel holster (included)
Powering up the Golf Buddy Platinum at the course for the first time brought the welcome message and then the device asks you which course you are at. It does recognize the courses in the area via GPS and with the 7 different courses we played, it was right on the money every time. A simple feature, but one that makes start up easier, especially considering that there is no syncing that has to take place. On the course the device works flawlessly in giving accurate readings (compared with another GPS & laser rangefinder) to the front, middle and back of the green as well as different points of interest around the course. On the first hole that we played, we picked a spot to play at and touched the screen and it responsively gave us the distance to hit to and worked perfectly in that fashion. Using the device for the round gave us great sense of the capabilities, but in the end, the most important part of any GPS unit is accuracy. The Golf Buddy Platinum is one of the most accurate we have used in terms of every distance checked was directly in line with the laser range finder we were comparing it to.
One of the issues that many have with GPS units is that they look great indoors and then you get them out on the course and the screen is washed out and hard to read. In our testing in the FL sun, the Golf Buddy Platinum GPS did quite well in the sun and while it can still glare from time to time, the unit was never unusable and always gave readings that were visible. Zooming in and out was very easy to do with the unit and the touch screen did a good job featuring layouts of all the holes we played. There have been complaints that not all the courses feature full layout of the holes, but we can tell you that in our testing of 7 courses, they were all there. Make sure you check with the Golf Buddy website to find out if your local courses are featured in the system. One thing about the screen that took some getting used to was the calibration seemed a little off in terms of the unit reacting to where was being touched, but within a few tries, all of our testers had it down pat.
While the Golf Buggy Platinum GPS excelled in many areas throughout our testing, the battery life was not one of them. We never had an issue getting in 18 holes, but on one occasion tried to play 36 and the unit cut off after the 5th or 6th hole of the 2nd 18 attempt. Still, as most use their device for a single round of golf, this would not become an issue at that time and even with heavy use of the touchscreen and features, our testers never once had the unit not make it through 18 holes.
Stat & Score Tracking
The unit has the ability to keep score for you which makes it easier to input rounds for your handicap index. Just enter the score (+ or – relative to par) after each hole and it does the math for you. Its a simple feature but one that I enjoyed using so that I did not end up having to take the score card home with me after each round. When it comes to statistics, one feature that can benefit many golfers as they learn and improve with the game is distance control and memory. What I mean by that is learning what distances they hit each club and where their gaps are based on the equipment in their bag. The Golf Buddy Platinum GPS does this and does this extremely well. It remembers your shots and gives information on what to play based on that “memory”. Excellent feature that works extremely well. As listed above, the unit has a plethora of features and to learn about each one, check out this section of their website.
With over 40,000 courses in the library, the Golf Buddy Platinum GPS offers a feature rich distance measuring device that has all the bell and whistles many are looking for in their next unit. Accuracy and durability were both excellent and the entire experience with the device made us realize just how much the new GPS models offer in terms of performance. However battery life could be an issue for folks that like to play a lot of golf and/or do not always remember to bring their GPS in to charge after each round. As with any device you will have to weigh the pros and cons and determine if the rich features are worth the sacrifice of battery life for your usage. You can find out more about the Golf Buddy Platinum as well as their other models, at their website www.golfbuddyglobal.com.
Till Next Time