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Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS Review

Golf Buddy World Platinum GPSThe Golf Buddy World Platinum is the latest golf GPS device from Golf Buddy, the folks who brought us the popular Golf Buddy Tour a few years back. There’s been lots written about this unit over the past year or so and thanks to my buddy Jack I was finally able to give this new unit a test drive. The first neat thing I noticed when I fired up the device at home was that it was very quick to latch onto the satellite signal, taking no more than a minute or so.

Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS

Not only that, but it soon displayed a list of courses in my area from its database of 40,000+ courses. Now, being an avid golfer I am already familiar with all the courses close to my house, but I can see how this would be useful when going to visit the in-laws or when out of town on business.

In fact, the World Platinum has course maps for over 90 different countries. The US and Canada are well covered, as you’d expect, but you can also find courses in England, Scotland, Singapore, the Bahamas, even Zimbabwe. Not that I have plans to travel to Zimbabwe anytime in the near future, but it’s nice to know if I ever do I can easily find a spot to put in a few rounds.

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GB World Platinum graphics

Functionality on the Course

After the initial fooling around it was time to try this baby out on the course. Once again I was pleased with the response time as the unit picked up the satellite signal rather quickly. The Golf Buddy instantly recognized the course I was on and was ready to go with a full graphic layout of the course at my disposal.

Another useful feature is that the display changes automatically as you move around the course, so there’s no need to manually adjust the display to reorient yourself to your new position. The monitor is clear and yardages are easy to read. Screen brightness could be a bit better, but of course this is done for a reason–to conserve battery life. The device works fairly intuitively, with a touch screen and menus that are easy to navigate. Just put your finger on the target point and yardage info is quickly displayed.

Additional Features

  • Shock & water resistant design
  • High-resolution color touch screen display
  • Pin placement functionality
  • Four-player score and distance tracking feature
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (no clumsy AAs needed)
  • Power management settings to conserve battery life
  • Zoom functionality

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Perhaps the most impressive feature with the Golf Buddy is the company’s extremely responsive customer service. When playing my local course I noticed that one of the hazards, a small sand trap on the right side of the fairway, was nowhere to be seen on the map for that course. Anyone familiar with golf GPS systems knows that it is not uncommon to find some minor discrepancies from time to time. When I got home I decided to fire out an email to Golf Buddy customer support letting them know of the problem. I checked back about a week later to find that the correction had been made.

Just a tip for prospective Golf Buddy owners: make sure to connect your GPS with your computer for regular updates. Updating the maps and firmware is important if you want to enjoy a hassle-free experience. It seems to me that many of the people who report issues with this device are those who have not updated from the default install. Updates are free, so there is no excuse!


The Golf Buddy World Platinum certainly ranks as one of the top golf GPS units available right now. Those familiar with my reviews know that I am partial to GPS units that offer free course maps and no subscription fees. I’d rather pay a little more upfront and be done with it than spend $60 a year just for the “privilege” of downloading courses from their database (SkyCaddie I’m looking at you). The GolfBuddy puts a world of courses in the palm of your hand with no additional fees to spend. It also looks great and is intuitive enough for new users to figure out. All around a very solid GPS unit.

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Note: This review is for the Platinum version of the Golf Buddy World. You may also wish to consider the regular Golf Buddy World, which is similar in function but lacks some of the advanced score tracking features of the Platinum version.

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Golf Buddy Tour GPS Range Finder

The Golf Buddy Tour is the big brother to the popular Golf Buddy Pro GPS. Functions are similar in both units, but the Golf Buddy Tour GPS features a full-color screen and larger memory-which can handle up to 20,000 courses.

The unit’s large screen automatically displays the distances to the greens, bunkers, and hazards-giving you confidence to make your next shot. It even charts the lay-up and carry distances so you can avoid the water hazards and sand traps that threaten your to ruin your round. Perhaps the best feature of the Golf Buddy Tour is the unit’s score tracking feature, which logs your score and helps calculate your handicap so you are able to track your progress as you go along. The Golf Buddy GPS provides all the information a golfer could need in a sleek and intuitive interface.


Golf Buddy Tour GPS

Free Preloaded Course Maps

A nice feature of the Golf Buddy Tour GPS Range Finder is that the unit comes preloaded with close to 20,000 course maps free of charge. This makes the Golf Buddy a great choice for those who are not computer savvy and don’t want to go through the hassle of syncing the unit to their computer to download their favorite courses. While some golf GPS units force users to pay for courses separately, owners of the Golf Buddy Tour never have to pay another cent once the unit is in their hands.  For more advanced users, updates may be downloaded free of charge from the GolfBuddy GPS website. Users also have the ability to custom-map a course on their own or to download courses custom-mapped by another user. It is easy to see why the Golf Buddy Tour is considered one of the best golf GPS units on the market.

View the price for the Golf Buddy Tour GPS here


  • No download or membership fees
  • Easy to set up and use. Perfect for those who have never used a golf course GPS before
  • Clear, easy to read screen
  • Accurate distances to greens, bunkers, lay-ups, and hazards
  • Stores information on up to 20,00 courses from around the world
  • Score tracking feature
  • No computer is required


  • Not as many bells & whistles as some of the more expensive GPS rangefinders
  • Sync not compatible with Macs

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