You might want to consider the Golf Buddy Voice GPS if you’re looking for something different in a GPS unit. For now at least, it’s absolutely unique in the golf GPS industry - it lets you hear your yardages by “speaking” to you. It’s the world’s first talking golf GPS, and it’s very cool.
By now, most golfers are aware of the benefits of using a good golf GPS. If you’re not familiar with these handy little devices, you can learn about some of their advantages by reading some of our other GPS reviews.
Among other things, a golf GPS let you know at a quick glance exactly how far you are from the hole. And the display of the Golf Buddy Voice GPS lets you do exactly that. But this is a GPS with a difference, because in addition to letting you see your yardage, it also tells you the distance to the flag.
The size of the Golf Buddy Voice GPS is also far different than that of most golf GPS devices. This thing only weighs about an ounce, and it’s tiny – it’s about the same size as an iPod Nano or a golf ball (although it’s flat, not spherical). It’s definitely small and light enough to slip into your pocket or clip onto your belt or the bill of your cap and not even feel that it’s there.
It gets even better.
Despite its small size, the device comes pre-loaded with information for more than 33,000 courses (its total course capacity is 40,000). That means no setup and no downloading before you’re good to go, because the course you want to play will probably be one of those 33,000 pre-loaded courses. And like all Golf Buddy GPS units, there aren’t any annual subscription or download fees you need to pay in order to make your device work. You simply take it out of the box, charge up the lithium polymer battery and “let her rip.”
Although this GPS “talks,” it has an adjustable volume control. This handy feature lets you share the yardage information with your playing partners by turning up the volume, or you could turn it down to avoid distracting them. I suppose you could even turn down the volume to something completely inaudible, because the unit displays distances visually too. This thing is brilliant!
The display of the GPS is monochromatic (not color), but hey – it’s small so color wouldn’t help much. And I’m betting you’ll use the voice feature more than the display anyway.
It automatically acquires the course you’re about to play, but turn the unit on when you go into the pro shop to pay because it might take a few minutes to find the course. In addition to automatic course recognition, the device recognizes which hole you’re playing and automatically advances to the next.
The Golf Buddy Voice GPS has three different display views: the main screen, which shows you the distance to the center of the green, the hole number and the status of your battery charge; a “dynamic,” rotating green view, which displays an image of the green along with its hole number and par (the strength of your satellite signal is also displayed); and the shot distance view, which displays the distance of a marked shot along with the battery charge level.
The rotating green view is handy because it ensures that the distances displayed by the GPS device are based on your particular angle of approach. With the press of a button, the Golf Buddy Voice GPS will also tell you the distance to the front, center and back of the green.
This is a multi-lingual device, capable of telling you your distances in eight different languages. The Golf Buddy Voice GPS also includes a “Measure Distance” function that lets you measure the length of your shots with just a few clicks of the unit’s buttons.
The company rates the battery life of the Golf Buddy Voice GPS at nine hours. While that can be plenty of charge for two rounds if you play at a decent pace, if play at your course is slow you’ll be pushing things if you don’t charge up after every round.
The Bottom Line: The Golf Buddy Voice GPS is small but it packs a really powerful punch. And its size and voice capabilities make it one of the coolest golf aids I’ve seen in a long time. Even the price is reasonable for a quality golf GPS unit – as I write this, its MSRP is $199. It’s a small price to pay for a device that can lower your scores and make you look cool at the same time.