Golf Buddy Platinum GPS
Disclaimer: I am a golf gadget junky and always work under the pretense that the more information I have the better. Hence, when we received the Golf Buddy Platinum to review, I was first in line. Off the bat, the Platinum from Golf Buddy is a full featured handheld GPS device that has a list of features a mile long, but I want to focus on eight crucial items.
No Annual Fee:
None, nada, zip, but the Platinum does come loaded with 40,000 courses and is ready to go right out the box. The courses are really easy to search and in the review mode you can scroll through the holes and see the layout. This means you can take a virtual tour of any course prior to actually playing it. This feature came in very handy when I traveled to Utah last month and wanted to check out the courses I would be playing.
Automatic Course and Hole Recognition:
For Golf Buddy veterans, this feature is a given but still relatively unique in the GPS world. Here is how it works: Turn on the GPS and forget about it. In just a few minutes, the course will be recognized and will move through the holes seamlessly. Every so often you may have to manually change the hole number if you play a course where the fairways are close together or in an odd configuration, but it happens rarely and not a big deal to toggle to the next hole.
Pin and Target Placement:
The Golf Buddy Platinum utilizes a touchscreen for both the overhead fairway and green view. In both cases you can use your finger to locate areas to change the yardage. For example, you can select an area to lay up to and get that distance. In the case of the green, you can move the pin to different location. Both functions work fairly well, but it can be a little tricky to get the marker to the exact point you want. Fortunately, there is also a “Target” selection that will tell you the yardage to the obvious locations, i.e. to the front of a stream, carry the stream, front of the bunker, etc.
Obviously, accuracy matters and the Golf Buddy Platinum excels on this front. I verified a ton of yardages with my laser range finder and found the measurement to be nearly identical in every single case. I also compared the yardages given by the GPS system that was built into the cart (you know the ones that are in high-end clubs). Suffice it to say, the Golf Buddy Platinum will not steer you wrong with yardage.
Over a three day period I played three different courses and a total of sixty three holes. I charged the Platinum up the night before my first round and it performed flawlessly for the next three days without returning to the charger once. That was a solid performance – Apple needs to look into what Golf Buddy is doing with their batteries and take a hint!
The Platinum fits comfortably in your hand and weighs in at 5.65oz. It has enough weight to it though that you can tell it’s well made. The case is shock and water resistant but I wouldn’t recommend bouncing it off the rocks and into the pond. Technology hasn’t advanced that far, yet.
The Score Tracking Mode and Statistic Analysis:
As I said earlier, I love information and have kept my golf stats for years. The idea of a GPS/stats unit is great but in reality it is a tough thing to pull off. My basic issues with the scoring module is that entering in your score and number of putts is way too hard and time consuming. One simple fix would be to make the default score be par and the default number of putts be 2. In the case of the Golf Buddy, the default is zero which means you have to enter numbers in for each hole. With that said, you can keep scores for the whole foursome plus stats for driving accuracy, putts and sand saves.
Key to a GPS is the ability to quickly peak at the screen to get yardage to the middle of the green. The Golf Buddy is super easy to read as that information is always in the top right corner. A simple click of that box gives you yardage to front, middle and back of the green. Additionally the Golf Buddy GPS is easy to read in bright sunlight and while wearing polarized sunglasses.
There is a huge upside to Golf Buddy and their wide variety of products. The GPS was amazingly accurate from all area of the course and the automatic hole detection makes it one of the most user friendly GPS’s I have ever used. No more button pushing between holes or shots, you arrive at your ball, look down and you’re good to go. That’s how it should be.
The Golf Buddy Platinum retails for $399.99 on sale now for $345.99 you can view it and all the other products Golf Buddy has to offer on their website.