Review: Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS

Ready to play right out of the box
 Getting any sort of rangefinder will benefit your golf game.  While there is always the great GPS vs. Laser debate, anything is better than nothing.  While I go back and forth between the two technologies, The GolfBuddy World Platinum solved a couple of the issues I’ve had with other GPS units.  It might just be my permanent rangefinder.

The best feature of the GolfBuddy World Platinum GPS is the fact that right out of the box it is ready to go.  You don’t need a subscription, you don’t need to download courses, you don’t need to sync it with your computer.  You just install the battery, give it a quick charge and within hours you can be playing on the course.  It comes pre-loaded with 32,000 courses and can hold up to 40,000.  I haven’t found a course that I wanted to play or was planning on playing that wasn’t on the unit.

 The actual unit is a nice size that fits into the palm of your hand.  It is a little thick, but feels very rugged.  I did toss it onto the ground a couple times during play and it didn’t even phase it.  The belt clip is nice to use while golfing.  I only wish there was a good spot to put my cart mount clip.  I often walk using a ClicGear cart and the GPS cart mount uses a tab to attach the GPS to the holder.  But because of where the battery case opens it really doesn’t work well to use that tab.  But if I use the tab it won’t fit in the belt holster, so I’m still considering my options how to use both.

 Another cool feature is that it finds the course automatically.  You turn it on once you get to the course and by the time you pay and get to the first tee, it has long been ready to go.  I found excellent signal and coverage no matter where I went.

 One of the issues that has plagued GPS is the battery life.  I’ve had units that barely made it 36 holes in a day.  This unit went 72 holes before I needed to recharge it.  It also wasn’t powering down during the round either, which surprised me.  It was always on, ready to go. This is a nice time saving feature.

 Another issue some GPS units have are with their screens.  They look great in the store, but out in the bright sun on the course, they tend to wash out; but not with the GolfBuddy.  I used it in the blistering sun in TX and it was clear and readable in every mode; hole layout, green and scoring module.

   It also does many things all by itself, hole advance, green view and obvisouly current distance.  You can also use the scoring module which does the basics too of keeping score, putts, fairways hit, and sand saves.  This can be a handy little score card in tracking statistics.

 While laser can tell you exact distance to the pin, GPS has typically been limited to front, back and center, but with the green view by GolfBuddy, you can touch the screen and place the pin on the exact shape of the green.  If you have a pin sheet it is really easy, if you are just looking at the flag colors and which side of the green the pin is on, you can do a pretty good job.

 I did find two things that could be improved with the GolfBuddy.  The first is that the touch screen is more GPS than smart phone.  By that I mean, so many of us now have some form of a smart phone with amazing touchscreen sensitivity and ability.  This was more pressure sensitive like a GPS unit.  It wasn’t bad, just didn’t feel very high end.  But then again, I like the touch screen of the GolfBuddy over the button based units I have used.

 The second issue I had was that the hole maps rarely included the trees or tree line.  I play a local course that has a couple of clumps of trees that I would have liked to know how far out they were, or what it would take to get by them.  It does have all the bunkers and the fairway shape, but not too many trees.

 Over all this is one of the better GPS units on the market.  No fees, no set-up, lots of courses preloaded and easy to use make this World Platinum a Golfers Buddy.

 For more information:

 Quick Hits
+No Fees
+Long Battery Life
+Nice Graphics
+Scoring Stats

-GPS style touch screen
-No Trees on maps