Customer Reviews: GolfBuddy Voice GPS Rangefinder
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on June 25, 2012
I've been in the market for a golf GPS or rangefinder and have been undecided for a long time. The laser rangefinders are definitely appealing, but the form factor and having to dig a large item out of your bag when you need to get the pin distance was a major drawback. I also looked at a bunch of the new GPS systems, but many of them almost had too many functions and features - enough that I knew I would be distracted during my golf round. Really, all I want is a good, reliable, accurate distance to the pin. This product is it.

I bought this a week ago on Amazon and have tested it at several golf courses -- a few I was unfamiliar with and my home course where I am already dialed into the distances from playing the course several hundred times. This item is very accurate. After I bought it, I was obsessively checking the distance and comparing it with markings on the course. It always matched the plaques or sprinkler head covers of all three courses I ran this on. On one round, I was with someone using a laser and on another round I was with someone using a SkyCaddie. This item matched both each time.

But the biggest plus to this product is the form factor. You can easily clip this onto the side of your hat or your belt and forget it is there. Need the distance to the pin - simple: press the button and it tells you. Need the distance to the front or back of the green - press the button again for three seconds and it tells you. It is very easy to hear, yet is quiet enough that it will not disturb your playing partners - in fact when the volume is turned down halfway, I doubt a playing partner five feet from you could hear it at all. If you don't want the voice, you can just peek down at your belt and see the distance in big numbers on the display, which update in real-time as you walk.

This item has two other features. One is where it will show you the actual shape of the green, and rotates that shape depending on your approach angle. I never really used this, because the graphical interface is simplistic, and I really only needed the distance to the pin. The second feature is very nice -- it will record the distance between any two points. So say you want to know how far you hit your six-iron. You press a small button on the side, then the main button. Then you hit the ball and walk to it. When you get there, you press the main button again and it will tell you how far you hit the ball. I suppose you could just as easily look down before and after you hit and then do a little math, but I still found this feature to be a big bonus. I am already pretty dialed into my club distances, but if you are not exactly sure how far you are hitting each club, this was a nice feature to have.

The first round I played with it was a five-hour round, and I obsessively hit the button as I played to test it out. I still had half the battery life left, so I believe this could easily last two full rounds, especially since under normal conditions I wouldn't be activating it every single time I saw a yardage marker for comparison.

This product is small, the clip is strong so you won't lose it, and it just plain works with an unobtrusive form factor that makes it a huge bonus. The voice is a computer-sounding female voice not unlike Siri on an iPhone.

I was not sure this would be the solution I was looking for -- but now I am certain that every GPS/rangefinder company will be copying this product in the next 6-9 months. It is really great. I love it.

PS - when you get it, it comes with a micro-USB cord. You should go to the GolfBuddy website and make sure you have downloaded the latest firmware version. Mine needed an update, but installing it took only a few minutes and clicks on my Mac.

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2015 -- Well, I have played about 300 rounds with the Golf Buddy, and it finally died. But to update my old review, I can say that I played with this device all over the United States and the distances were always accurate. I will be replacing this with the new version, which shows front/back/center on the screen without having to cycle through -- a great improvement.
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on May 30, 2012
On a whim I bought this because the other range finders I used were either too bulky, too complicated, too high mainenance, or too hard to read. All I want is my distance so I can select my club. I don't want to have to remember to load the course, or pack batteries. I can't comfortably wear most of them on my belt and the watch ones are huge! (I have enough trouble with golf glove tan without adding watch tan.) This product solves all those issues. I wear it on my shirt and can choose to hit the button and have her tell me the distance or I can look at the display. Accuracy has been excellent. It automatically finds the course and announces the hole I am on. A charge will get you through 36 holes. It will give you distance to front, middle, or back and will also measure a shot distance. It is super easy to use! LOVE IT.
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on August 31, 2012
I have resisted buying a gps or laser rangefinder for many years. I had no use for a clumsy device that I would surely lose. Not to mention the time and effort to use it. Then I read about a gps device called "I am Caddie." It sounded great. It was small, light and clipped to the visor of my golf hat. All I had to do was push a button and it would tell me the distance to the center of the green. On the way to buy "I am Caddie" I ran across the Golf Buddy and bought it instead. I am glad that I did.

The main reason I chose Golf Buddy was the display. I didn't have to push a button. The distance was always on display. I had the choice to remove my hat and read the distance, or push the button and hear the distance. The same button would toggle between center, front and back of green. The distance is accurate and quickly displayed. You can walk toward the green and see the distance change. The battery lasts more than 36 holes per charge and it seems like every course is already in Golf Buddy. There is nothing to download.

There is one flaw. The Golf Buddy automatically recognizes the tee that you are on and automatically gives you the distance to that hole. If you hook or slice your shot onto or near another tee, the Golf Buddy will change holes. This can be an inconvience. But, as long as you do not stray onto another tee, you could play an entire round without ever touching the Golf Buddy. One final note, I can't tell that I am wearing the Golf Buddy on my hat.
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on September 23, 2012
Three weeks after receiving my voice golf buddy it quit working and showed codes across the top of the screen. Emailed golf buddy customer service a couple times and never got a reply. Found a 800 number and called complaining that the unit wasnt very old and had quit working. After several calls i asked to talk to the service supervisor, did not get anywhere with him either but he promised to email me instructions on how to do downloads on how to reprogram the unit. Attempted the downloads but the unit would not connect to the computer. Called golf buddy and they said that an email would be sent to give address to where to send the unit to have it checked out but another week went by and the email didnt come. Called a local golf shop that gave me another golf buddy number to call, the owner also said that he had quit selling golf buddy units due to having problems with their service department. I made several calls asking to speak to the CEO complaing that this almost new unit was not working and that I couldnt receive any satisfaction, a return call was promised but never came. On the 20th of Sept I did receive an email with the instructions on where to send the unit so it could be inspected and maybe repaired. The email states that the repairs could take 15 days once it is received. I have been without this unit for around half the time that I have had it.Golf Buddy customer service is terrible,they dont care about a small time person. I wouldnt reccomend doing business with this company to anyone. Have told all my friends about the problems that I have had with this unit and company and I do know that several have not bought one of these units account of my problems. I dont understand why they wont just replace the unit due to how new it is. Living in Ohio the golf season is coming to an end soon and this unit will have to be shipped out Monday and wait again.I cant explain how unhappy I am with the Golf Buddy company and also frustrated. I wish that nobody will purchase another unit from them and am talking to every course, golf shop or place I visit to tell about this experiance with Golf Buddy!
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on June 9, 2012
I love my Golf Buddy Voice. With my other range finder I had to download the course, put it in a cup holder on the golf cart, carry it with me if I walked away from the cart, etc. My golf buddy, I turn it on, clip it onto my visor and I'm set for 18. No downloading courses, no yearly fees, no remembering to carry it around. I love this GPS.
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on December 14, 2012
The device was off by 10 to 15 yards everywhere on the course. I took it to a second course and it did the same thing. I called the support line and was told there was a download they would send to my email to fix it. Never arrived. I emailed the support center to inquire about the download and the email was never answered. I returned it to Amazon and was very very happy with the support from Amazon.........
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on October 10, 2012
The battery can't be recharged after one month of use. Call customer service to complain. Very bad reliability. It is a good device to have but reliability is so poor. Buyers be aware!!!
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on April 2, 2013
after less than a year of use the battery will no longer charge so consequently the unit is worthless. once you go beyond the short 90 day warrenty period your stuck with a worthless item because there are no replacement batteries available. wasted $140 on this one.
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on July 30, 2013
After a few months the battery would not accept a full charge and lasts around seven holes.I would not waste my money on this product. No replacement batteries available.
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on May 20, 2015
After less than a year's worth of use, it quit charging. Charges about a quarter way, and does not last but a few holes. It appears from the other reviewers that have the same problems, you can't change the battery. The unit worked great for checking distances, but it's not good if it will not hold a charge and operate.
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