Aside from the rapid development of golf club technology, no sector of the game is as deeply immersed in transition and innovation as Distance Measuring Devices (DMD). Now that the glacially-slow-to-decide-anything-except-blazer-color-and-buffet-menu governing bodies have signed off on using DMD in competition, the brainiacs who somehow know how all this GPS stuff works have plunged in with both feet to try and outdo each other and gain the affection (and dollars) of golfers.
For the longest time, I have been partial and loyal to one brand of DMD – Bushnell. I love me some lasered accuracy, ease of use, and super long battery life. (It should be noted that they, too, have entered the GPS market.)
Some of my friends, however, prefer to do as little movement as humanly possible so they use different GPS models that allow the non-strenuous interaction of looking down and reading a number.
Whatever your preference may be, the marketplace is ready to offer you a DMD to suit your needs and desires. The latest offering comes from Golf Buddy – the PT4 GPS model.
One of my favorite methods for reviewing new technology is to invite one of our viewers to take part by using the product and then writing their thoughts about the experience. I believe this gives you the cleanest, most raw and unvarnished insight into the mindset of the everyday golfer.
In this case, the review of the Golf Buddy PT4 GPS is written by John Mueller of Linwood, MI. John is an avid golfer with an index in the range of 12-14 (my estimation), and enjoys the technical aspects of this great game. Here are his thoughts on the GB PT4 GPS:
Review of Golf Buddy PT4 GPS
Having used other hand held GPS units, the first thing I noticed about the Golf Buddy PT4 is the size of the screen. The unit has a 4” LCD color touch screen, making it easy to view information and navigate through the touch menus. When the unit is turned on, you touch the Play Golf tab, and it will automatically search for courses within 10 miles of your location. Click on the course you are at and tee it up. There are over 36,000 golf courses pre-loaded onto the device, not only courses in the United States, but all over the world.
The on course display is nice. It shows the layout of the hole, along with yardage to the front, back, and middle of the green. You can also get a close-up grid view of the green and place the pin in its exact location. From your position on a hole, touch anywhere and you can see how far it is to a particular spot. This came in handy when navigating around the hazards. You can also find the distance to clear the hazards by touching the “Targets” tab.
The readings were accurate according to what was marked on the course. We also had a person in our group using a laser range finder, and the GPS was within 1 to 2 yards of that reading. One detail I really liked is that on each hole it shows you where the 200, 150 and 100 yard markers are located. This is good if you want to layup to your favorite yardage.
The PT4 allows you to keep your score along with the number of putts, fairways hit, and sand saves for each hole. Once the information is entered it is saved and you can review your round at anytime. It also gives scoring statistics for your last 5 or 20 rounds played.
As for the accessories, it comes standard with a belt clip, wall charger, USB cable, and screen protectors. Since the unit is larger than other hand held devices I have used, it was not comfortable to wear while playing. I would purchase a cart mount, since I walk a lot when I play. One thing our group commented on was that it did not come with a carrying case. Doing some research, the cases are offered from Golf Buddy, along with weather proof and universal cart mounts.
Overall, the Golf Buddy PT4 performs well and instantly gives you all the information you need for your next shot. This is a higher end unit, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes to have detailed information while on the course and the ability to keep track of their statistics. Also, if you travel a lot, having the large amount of golf courses pre-loaded is a nice feature.
I would give this 4 golf balls out of 5.
Well done, John – enjoy the Golf Buddy!