September 13, 2012 - This may be the future of golf GPS devices. The GolfBuddy Voice is the only golf GPS to date that speaks to you. You turn it on using the side button, and a female voice greets you: “Enjoy your round with GolfBuddy”. Then you have to wait a moment until the device locates the satellites.
But lets go step by step! Turn it on at home to see how it works. When you start, follow the instructions to select the language from eight options, or stick to the default, which is English. The battery icon tells you how much charge you have, but the voice also notifies you when you are running out of battery. I charged up the battery using the USB cable to the mains, to make sure I didnâ€™t run out in the middle of the golf course!
In the GolfBuddy site (www.gpsgolfbuddy.com) you can check if your usual golf course, or where you’re going to play, is in the â€˜course libraryâ€™, and download it if necessary. But usually, when you switch it on, itâ€™s the GPS itself which identifies and recognizes the course and hole by satellite, before you tee the golf ball. GolfBuddy Voice has access to more than 40,000 golf courses from GolfBuddysâ€™ database, and you donâ€™t have to pay any extra charges after purchase.
On the right side you have the two volume buttons (- and +), and although it produces a relatively soft sound, you can activate the mute mode to avoid disturbing your match colleagues. I think the little clip on the back is great value, as it lets you clip it onto your cap (on the visor or on the side), on your T-shirt pocket, on your belt, on the bag of clubs… wherever it suits you. The device is very light and you can put it anywhere, so it gets full marks for portability.
Once on the course, when you first start wearing it on your cap, it feels somewhat odd to have someone whispering distances in your ear. It’s something you have to experience for yourself, but you get used to it quickly. Once the golf is located, the device tells you which hole you are at. And to find out the distance, all you have to do is press the main button: In my case, I chose to try it out on a hole which was “329 meters to the centre of the green.”
After my drive, I walked towards the golf ball with GolfÂ Buddy VoiceÂ in my hand to check. The distance on the screen automatically switches, discounting meters to the green as you are moving and approaching it.
What information do I see on the screen? The number of the hole you are playing appears in the upper left corner, the charging icon of the battery is in the upper right corner, and next to this should appear an M of meters (if you donâ€™t configure it, the distance will be in yards). In the lower left corner you have the detail of the green, and then the big number on the right expresses the distance you still have to the green. This is what this tiny caddy tells you when you press the button.
After the first hit I’m “161 meters to the centre of the green.” The GolfBuddy Voice gives the distance to the centre of the green perfectly, but also gives you the measurement to the front and behind the green. After the second shot Iâ€™m “26 meters to the centre of the green.” It gives you the distance to the front of the green when you press the button slightly longer, and the distance to the back of the green when you do the same operation twice.
And on the third shot I’m on the green. An advanced option allows the GolfBuddy Voice to show the greensâ€™ silhouette on the screen by pressing the button again, after checking the measurement. The shape of the green rotates as you move around.
It also lets you know the distance of your last shot. First push the P button on the left side, and then the main button for 3 seconds and the device will start measuring. Once you get to your golf ball, press P again to stop the measurement and it will indicate the distance reached.
- Personally I find it a fun device, lightweight and easy to carry, demonstrating that little things can also be good.
- And the great thing is that it offers basic information immediately to the player who does not need more than the essentials, without much sophistication.
- Highly recommended if what you need is a little “chivato” to tell you the distance to the green, so that you can be more sure about which golf club to choose for your next shot.
- And also, given the value of the information that it gives you, I donâ€™t think it is expensive.
GPS GOLFBUDDY VOICE Â Â Â Rating:
Â Easy to understand and simple to use, it provides basic information on the golf course. A fantastic tool to find out immediately how far you have to go to the centre of the green.
Â If you want more information about the distance to the front, centre and back of the green all at the same time, you have to get used to playing with the buttons.
- A pioneer of a new generation of audio GPS rangefinders.
- As small as a golf ball, very light and highly portable.
- More than 40,000 golf courses preloaded worldwide.
- Uses GolfBuddyâ€™s Auto Course & Hole Recognition Technology.
- Rotating Green view always ensures distances directly from your angle of approach.
- Players can also track how far they hit the ball with the Measure Distance function.
- Connects to a PC via a micro USB port.
- Has an 8hr re-chargeable lithium battery.
- Time via digital clock.
- Box includes a GolfBuddy Voice GPS, power adapter with USB, USB data cable, silicon case and Quick Start Guide.
- RRP GolfBuddy Voice: â‚¬199.
- More informationÂ atÂ www.holgolf.comÂ andÂ www.gpsgolfbuddy.eu.