Having done a lot of research and used just about every golf GPS around I am often asked what is the best golf GPS on the market. With technology moving as fast as it does the answer tot his question can change within days.
But let me do my best in helping your decide what is the best golf GPS on the market specific to your requirements.
The initial reasoning behind using a GPS for golf was to give the golfer accurate readings from any position on the golf course to any other position. This basic fundamental has not changed and many golfers use a GPS just for this purpose but since the introduction of the GPS for golf the manufacturers have come up with a variety of features that have even more benefits for golfers.
The following are just some of the features that can be found on today’s golf GPS models:
Digital scorecards holding a multiple number of player’s scores in each round. No more concerns about those soggy cards on wet weather days.
Plotting individual points not previously mapped.
Recording personal statistics such as fairways and greens in regulation, putts per round etc. for later analysis.
Shot distance feature which tells you exactly how far you hit each club in your bag.
Number of courses that can be stored on the unit itself. This ranges from 5 to an incredible 20,000.
Incredibly clear graphics. One model even offers a video flyover view – its like sitting in a helicopter and flying over the hole.
Sophisticated software to show the exact outline of the green. In some cases you can even “move” the pin on the green to give and even closer reading than the standard ‘front, center or back’ of green readings.
Other things to consider when determining what the best golf GPS on the market is for you include:
Your budget. The price of dedicated golf GPS models range from $149.95 up to $500.00. However some software is available for use on your mobile phone. This is usually free or a lot cheaper.
Annual fee. Some companies offer an annual fee which entitles you to certain benefits. Some don’t have an annual plan at all and others are compulsory.
Where can the GPS be used? Just about all of them can be used anywhere in the world whilst there are one or two that cater only for the North American market.
How large is the course library from which to download courses? Most are pretty extensive and all companies are happy to plot courses on request. As such these libraries are growing daily.
How easy is the GPS to use?
What is it power source and how long will a full charge last? This can vary quite a lot from model to model. It is important to know you won’t run out of power before completing your round.
The accuracy of the given distances. This is determined by the method of mapping and by the number of satellites that the unit can access. However most models are accurate enough for the average golfer.
Customer service. This is an important issue and one that should not be overlooked. In a highly competitive market if the company is not looking after you when you need assistance it may be time to change.
No doubt I have left a few off but I think you get the picture. The best golf GPS on the market is determined by individual circumstances and everybody is catered for.
New models are coming our regularly and existing models are improved upon with software updates almost quicker than we can play a round of golf. Today’s top model may be obsolete in 6 months time – if so is it worth spending a fortune just to have the very best or latest? For some the answer will be “yes” for others it will be “no”.
When asked what is the best golf GPS on the market I always tell people to start with a budget. It seems a lot easier to be sort through information and compare models that are within the same price range; comparing apples with apples makes for better and clearer decision making.
Once you have set a budget do not look at anything more expensive. Decide what you want your golf GPS to do; some features are “must haves” whilst others are “would be nice but not essential” and yet some are “under no circumstances”. For example you might like a color screen but will not pay an annual fee for the ability to download courses worldwide when you only play three different courses a year.
If you are looking for a gift for a friend and cannot decide which is the best golf GPS on the market then rest assured most will make a perfect gift; but it may be an inconvenience to impose an annual membership on someone. Play safe and buy a GPS without a compulsory annual membership.
What is the best golf GPS on the market? There are several and the answer to this question really depends on individual circumstances.
Lawrence Bredenkamp is a qualified golf coach and a mad keen golfer. He has several golfing websites one of which is dedicated solely to Golf GPS.
This website has the most comprehensive comparison chart available on the web. It provides a full review of each of the most popular models and gives recommendations based on budget.