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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
Multiple languages
Shock and water resistant case design
50 channel satellite reception
Distance measuring module
Customizable targets
Pin placement / movement functionality
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (included)
Swivel holster (included)

Testing
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.

Courses Close to THP HQ

Screen
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.

1st Hole of Isleworth (distances from THP HQ)

Battery Life
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.

1st Hole at Windermere CC

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.

Scoring & Distances

Overall
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

Josh B.

Golfers are discussing this device in the THP Forum. Click here to see what they have to say about the Golf Buddy.

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Category: Accessories, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (17)

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  1. Ryan H. says:

    Sounds like a solid device. Thanks for the review, JB.

  2. JNRadio says:

    Too bad about the battery, I have the Skycaddy SGX and can get two and sometimes 3 rounds (if they are 4 hours or under rounds) on a charge. I was thinking about this as a replacement because I don’t like Skycaddy as a company or their yearly fees. But only getting 23-24 holes on a charge would give me pause. Thanks

  3. Yoccos says:

    If my GPS ever goes out Ill have to keep this one in mind. I like the fact a lot of courses are included but the battery life is something I’d definitely have to consider.

  4. royalwulff says:

    Great write up JB! I have been eyeballing a GPS for some time now and this one is on my radar.

  5. Dirtydawg67 says:

    Nice write up JB. The GB had caught my interest when you first announced that you had one for testing. I tend to play more than 18 holes, so I am not sure how this would work for me. I am sold on every feature but the battery life.

  6. Barberakb says:

    I am getting one of these later this year

  7. 9-Iron Man says:

    Great write up JB! This seems like a very good little unit. My GPS/rangefinder search just got more complicated. Too bad about the battery though….

  8. Hole~Out~1983 says:

    Man that thing looks awesome. I have never used a range finder of any kind but seeing this really makes me want to get my hands on one.

  9. JNRadio says:

    I would think the fact that it can make club recommendations means that it is not approved by USGA & R&A for tournament play like the Skycaddie is?

    I’ve heard that is what’s holding up the Skycaddie SmartTag (or SmartClub?) feature. if they introduce that they with lose the USGA & R&A approval

  10. Cg13 says:

    sooner or later golf carts are going to have a plug to charge GPS/Cell phones. Nice review – the screen looks nice.

  11. G-man says:

    JN Radio, you would think that club selection would be an option on the device that could be turned on or off. I’ve had my Skay Caddie now for three years and am due to re-up in December. I like the score keeping and their web site that tracks my rounds. Its going to be a tough choice if I dump them or re-sign. I think I paid about $120.00 for the three year service plan. One trick I’ve learned is that in this economy, everthing is negotiable. I saved a ton on my cable and a few other services just by threatening to leave them for someone else. I may try that with Sky Caddie.

  12. Osahar says:

    Good review JB! Sounds like Golf Buddy has themselves a great new device. The battery life was a little disappointing, but like CG13 said, eventually you have to think that golf carts will have a USB or 12-volt power point installed with all the personal electronics everyone is carrying nowadays.

    How would you say this one compares to the Bushnell Yardage Pro XGC+?

  13. Coolbreeze says:

    Great review JB, I think I will have to check this out as soon as I can as I am in the market for a new GPS.

  14. 650elijah says:

    Thanks JB. This is one of the most professional reviews I have read on any of the golf GPS units. You clearly informed us on the key points most of us looking into purchasing a unit need to be aware of.

  15. F*ckin? awesome things here. I?m very happy to see your article. Thank you so much and i’m having a look ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  16. rgb says:

    how does this save the handicaps for the course though? I have one and find it annoying that each time i play i have to re-submit the handicaps for each hole on courses I have done this for before. Any ideas?

  17. Rottie Joe says:

    Just my two cents worth on the Golfbuddy platinum. I purchased one in September 2011 and it was BRILLIANT after I had spent a day speaking to tech support to get it to work for the first time as the software on the SD card was corrupted and needed to be reoladed. But once I had gotten over the birthing process it was a dream, every distance to hazard and hole at my disposale. My golf scores did improve and I had a new friend. But after 10 months my new friend kicked the bucket for no apparant reason and NO help from golfbuddy this time, just send us 80 EURO and we will have a look. Sorry but the Garmin G6 unit has just been ordered wit a 1year warrenty and I would not touch Golfbuddy again with such bad warrenty service.

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