The 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.
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.
- 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
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.
Find the Best Price on the Golf Buddy World Platinum at Amazon.com
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.