Would the Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS be a smart investment in your game? Getting any golf GPS or rangefinder can help, but we’ve posted this review so you can find out what I think about this particular one.
If you’ve read some of our other golf GPS reviews, you probably already know how much I love the type of GPS units that are ready to go straight out of the box. Well, the Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS falls into that category, so I had high hopes when I took it onto the course for an evaluation.
Here’s some information about the features of this GPS device, along with my personal impressions on its performance.
The case is water- and shock-resistant, which is nice because you never know what might happen on the course. You could drop your GPS or there could be a sudden downpour of rain. It’s what’s inside the case that really counts, though. And the Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS is loaded. Literally.
The best thing about the GPS is that it’s ready to go as soon as you take it out of the box, install its rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charge it up. You don’t need to pay for a subscription or download courses, and you don’t need to use your computer to sync it. It comes pre-loaded with maps for 32,000 courses (it can hold up to a total of 40,000), so it probably already has maps for the courses you want to play.
You can start using the Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS as soon as the battery’s charged, without any fuss or extra costs. And that’s exactly why I like this type of golf GPS so much. A few other manufacturers (Garmin, to name just one) make “turn on and play” golf GPS units too. But many others charge extra fees and require you to download courses. Those fees and the time and aggravation involved when you have to download courses on your computer and then sync the device can really add up!
But getting back to the Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS, in addition to featuring numerous pre-loaded maps and a large course storage capacity, it allows you to get distances, customize targets, analyze statistics and keep score for your entire foursome. In short, it’s a fully-featured, powerful golf GPS device.
The Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS fit nicely in my hand and felt sturdy and rugged. Its 3-inch color touchscreen display is both attractive and useful, allowing you to switch between hole layout mode, a view of the green, and a standard numbers display. In layout mode you can zoom in and zoom out at will, and you can measure the distance to and from any point on the hole. In the green view you can reposition the flag to show where the hole really is and obtain more accurate yardages – you’re not limited to front, back and center distances like you are with some GPS units. And, the display didn’t wash out - even in our strong Florida sun it was always clear and readable.
In my experience, the user interface was easy to learn and simple to use. The unit finds the course and specific hole you’re playing automatically, and it automatically advances to the next hole after you leave the green. Your current distance to the flag is continuously displayed and updates automatically as you drive or walk to your ball after your shots. Distance readings to various points on the hole, like hazards and layup spots, are easy to obtain.
I did notice one drawback in layout mode: the maps of most holes didn’t show clumps of trees or the tree line. Hey, Golf Buddy - it can be handy to know the distance to trees in addition to bunkers and ponds! It’s not a major drawback, but showing the trees would have been nice.
In addition to letting you keep score for you and the other players in your group, the scoring module of the Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS can track your fairways hit, sand saves and putts. Keeping these statistics can show you where you can improve your game.
The company says a battery charge will last about ten hours. That should be plenty of time to play at least a couple of rounds on just a single charge. Some competing units need to be charged after every round. For comparison purposes, my Garmin Approach G3 (reviewed elsewhere on this site) has a battery life similar to that of the Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS. It needs to be recharged every two to three rounds.
The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a full-featured golf GPS that’s ready to use almost right out of the box, the Golf Buddy World Platinum GPS could be a good choice. No fees, no setup, no course downloads, and good battery life are just a few of its many advantages.