Member Review: Golf Buddy Platinum GPS

By: Tim Hawkins | Tue 19 Feb 2013 | Comments

Feature review from Golfshake member Tim Hawkins.

Golf Buddy PlatinumI was asked to test the Golf Buddy Platinum just before a group of us headed off to Portugal for our annual trip with only enough time to get the battery charged before being packed and no pre round testing. 

OK, I’d be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a luddite when it comes to technology on the golf course, preferring to use my eyes rather than a GPS, although with the majority of fellow golfers using them I’ve never been averse to getting a distance for the odd shot.  To be honest I’d not been over-impressed with some of the devices and particular sceptical about phone based apps, so this would be a good chance to have a real go with a top end unit.

Once I arrived in the Algarve I had a quick glance at the included getting started guide and headed off to the first course, Gramacho.  I turned the unit on in the car park and it was then I found out that this was quite an impressive piece of technology – no downloading courses beforehand, they’re all pre-loaded – and it asked if this was the course I wanted as there are several close by.  Selected it and strolled to the first tee.  This may not sound that clever, but judging by some of the struggles of my fellow golfers it certainly was. 

Now, Gramacho is an odd course, it used to be 9 hole but has now expanded to the full 18 but as a consequence seven of the holes either have huge horseshoe shaped greens or two entirely separate ones.  The first in particular has two greens, the left being 290 and the right 320 but as there is a massive rock in the fairway, so initially going for the wrong green can make a second shot virtually impossible.  This is when I discovered that if I selected the green view it gave me the option of left or right.  It continued like this for the rest of the round, easy to use and as accurate as any other dedicated device as would be expected.

So, now after 7 rounds with it what do I think?  On the plus side, it’s easy to use, accurate and the battery will last (just) for three 5 hour rounds so I really can’t fault it on the technical side.  Obviously initially I had a few issues with it, especially with the scoring module, but since figuring out how to edit scores already entered and using a tee to input on the touch screen I must say that the negatives are pretty minor. 

As a dedicated bag carrier the two holders are a waste of time, keeping either clipped to my bag proved a fruitless exercise, the slightest jolt and the holder, GPS or both fell off – the soft case in particular is difficult to use as the unit is too tight to allow it to be removed and replaced easily.  Better to just slip it into a back pocket to be honest.  The screen is a bit small for those of us with less than perfect eyesight, it does have issues in bright sunlight and the overall design is a bit old-fashioned and bulky, more akin to an older clamshell phone as opposed to a more modern one.

The unit is also definately mud and waterproof!  Not only did it manage a round in constant rain (and I mean 2 days for equipment to dry out type rain), it also survived being dropped in a muddy ditch - rather better than my golf shoes did!

To sum up this is a very good piece of equipment and, unlike other systems doesn’t require registration fees or subscriptions and as far as I see doesn’t have many courses in the UK missing.  I definitely buy one but would have to give careful consideration to the price which in the UK is RRP at £329


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