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Golf Buddy Voice vs range finder


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#1 Kanoito

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:08 PM

I've been thinking about buying one of these gadgets to help my game.

The newly released Golf Buddy Voice has nothing but excellent reviews. It's accurate, it's tiny and weighs only 30g. Push the button and a voice will give you the yardage or read it from the screen yourself. Battery should last 8 to 9 hours. Price tag $180

http://www.golfbuddy...ducts/voice.asp

The other alternative would be a laser range finder, bulkier and requires direct line of sight to the pin. Prices usually start at $299.

I just can't seem to find a con to the GB Voice device. Does anybody here have any experience with it? Or is there a range finder alternative that can beat the GPS device in every category?

So far, I've always used Golfshot GPS on my mobile phone, but taking it out of the pocket, unlocking it, wait for the satellites to lock, locking the phone, putting it away, etc. is becoming tedious. Battery is enough for a round. A second round would be risking having a dead phone for the rest of the day. Of course, Golfshot has all the cool stats functions.

What a dilemma.

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#2 GolfSpy WD

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:31 PM

I have a range finder I bought for $299 + 15% off + free shipping = $254.

GPS devices just cannot match a rangefinder IMO. You know exactly how far away you are where ever the flag is placed on the green and the battery lasts forever. I still haven't actually changed the battery in mine. I keep my range finder in the tray in my cart, so it takes seconds to pick it up and get a measurement.

For blind shots, I think you can get around that with good course management. I've never attacked the flag from a blind shot, but even then, you're not getting exact flag location with a GPS, so if you've planned the course out, you should have a rough idea of how far to hit it.

I'm still using GolfShot on my phone, but the regular version for the score card and stat tracking, which has much less strain on my phone's battery.

#3 Tyk

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:51 PM

I have to offer the counterpoint wd. Rangefinders definitely have their advantages, but I think overall a good gps unit is a much better tool on the course. A decent GPS gives you front/middle/back of the green, information which to me is just as important as precise pin distance. Good GPS units actually let you dial into approximate pin location on the green, and usually get within a couple yards of the exact pin distance with my SkyCaddie when comparing distance with my friends range finders. The good ones also give you alot of other course information, distances to water, to clear water, to clear sand, layup distances etc. But, the biggest advantage to the GPS is that the info is always right there in front of you, you don't have to be constantly fiddling with it and no worries about line of site.

However, I must confess that there are some times where I want a range finder, and I have in fact considered carrying both. The only thing that holds me back is just this nagging in my brain that doing so would be crossing some kind of line into golf obsession that I might not be able to come back from!

I've used previous generations of the Golf Buddy and found them to be almost as accurate as my SkyCaddie, just not with as many features. I don't know if I'd find the talking feature all that useful. I guess if you can just push the button while its in your pocket and clearly hear the distance then that might be good sometimes, but usually I want more info than just center of the green. I think that if I were going to use anything other than SkyCaddie I would be tempted to go with the Garmin watch. The only drawback to those is they make you look like you're always in a hurry, standing around checking your watch constantly!

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#4 Kanoito

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:39 AM

Tyk, that's one of things that make it attractive: the ease of use. Be it the Garmin watch or the Golf Buddy Voice, it takes 1 second to take a peek. I assume using the range finder takes just as long as with the GPS on the phone.

You said there are times when you want a range finder... in what situations exactly?

:callaway-small: GBB Epic 9* w/ Aldila Rogue MAX 65 S

:callaway-small: X2 Hot 3 Deep 14.5* w/ Aldila Tour Green 75 S

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My MLA putter review here // My ShotScope review here


#5 RoverRick

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

I went through this delima last month and decided to renew my skycaddie. Very happy with it.

As far as the more accurate argument of the range finder, it simply does not hold water for people of our caliber of play. Front,back, and middle distance is good enough. If you know that and know the flag is in a general area you can guess close enough. Phil once said that Bones told him it was a certain yardage so he knew to choke down 3/8" and hit the shot. My game is not that percise.

Also the blind shot ability of the gps is huge. We have a very tight driving hole that anything more than a mid iron off the tee is likely to go into the trees. Mid iron will leave 150 - 180 to green. However, the last 14 times I have hit driver over threes into another fairway leaving a 120-130 blind shot to green. I have 3 birdies and 11 pars on a hole and have won the hole every time. They call this the "Rick's Route". Could not do it without gps.

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:taylormade-small: SLDR 10.5 on Miyazaki C Kua 39 Special S

:taylormade-small:  R9 Super Deep 12 (Midi Driver) on Fujikura Motore F1 (3 Wood shaft)

       or

:titelist-small: 913 F 15* on Project X PXv

:ping-small: i20 Hybrid 17* on Graphite Design Tour ADDI

:mizuno-small: JPX EZ Forged 4-G on True Temper XP95 

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#6 Tyk

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:10 PM

I tend to want range finder information on dogleg tee shots or layup shots. Shots where I'm thinking "ok, I need to get past that tree for a clear view to the green, how far is it to that tree" or "I don't want to blow it through the fairway, how far is it to that marker at the back of the fairway". My SkyCaddie gives alot of course info, and I can move the yardage point around the course view on the screen and get a pretty good idea, but in those instances it really is more of an approximation based on the input I can give it, not the exact number a range finder can provide, and in those cases it is not as quick as a range finder would be.

Ping I20 8.5* - Aldila NV 65g S
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#7 GolfSpy WD

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:43 PM

I guess it does depend on the size of the green. A small green then front/center/back is probably fine, but on a large green or when the flag is in the corner, the laser is much better. At this point I don't even trust yardage markers.

Tyk, that's one of things that make it attractive: the ease of use. Be it the Garmin watch or the Golf Buddy Voice, it takes 1 second to take a peek. I assume using the range finder takes just as long as with the GPS on the phone.


A phone is far slower than a range finder. The dedicated GPS is probably fastest, but once you get the hang of the range finder, we're talking a second or two difference tops.

Here're a few more points in favor of the range finder:

  • I still have the cheapo GPS on my phone for when I really need yardages for blind shots. Using your phone's GPS for one or two holes a round won't eat up battery. Plus if you know ahead that you'll need the yardage, then you can turn it on while you walk over.
  • On the range, I can use it to measure my shots and the actual distance to the markers/flags. For grass tees it's really nice since the yardage markers can be very off when the move the tees around.


#8 RoverRick

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:37 PM

I guess it does depend on the size of the green. A small green then front/center/back is probably fine, but on a large green or when the flag is in the corner, the laser is much better. At this point I don't even trust yardage markers



They are no longer there, because they were plowed under last month (YIPEE) but we had 7 greens that if the pin was in the center you could not have longer than a 20 foot putt and still be on the green. You did not even need to know the front, back, and center distance. Center distance was all that mattered. However, on number two, which was the longest par 4 (400 yards) and smallest green (40 foot circle), it will now be 445 yards, with a green that has 3 tiers each of them larger than the old green. And two bunkers the size of the old green.

You can move the aiming point of the SkyCaddie to approximately where the flag is to get that distance. I rearly do this, parimarily because I just look at the center and front distances, or center and back depending on where the flag is, and add or subtract. I still would rather have the GPS. I have not used newer range finders but a long time ago I played with people who did, that when they would fly the green would say that they must have read the distance to something else. I think this is probably just an excuse for a bad shot, but it is hard to mis read a screen that says 149.

In my :taylormade-small: Golf Bag

 

:taylormade-small: SLDR 10.5 on Miyazaki C Kua 39 Special S

:taylormade-small:  R9 Super Deep 12 (Midi Driver) on Fujikura Motore F1 (3 Wood shaft)

       or

:titelist-small: 913 F 15* on Project X PXv

:ping-small: i20 Hybrid 17* on Graphite Design Tour ADDI

:mizuno-small: JPX EZ Forged 4-G on True Temper XP95 

:vokey-small:  54* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Spinner

:scotty-small: GSS Newport 1.5

:titelist-small: Pro V1X :taylormade-small: Lethal

:footjoy-small:

 

All grips are Best Grips Micro-Perforated

 


#9 GolfSpy WD

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:52 PM

I have not used newer range finders but a long time ago I played with people who did, that when they would fly the green would say that they must have read the distance to something else. I think this is probably just an excuse for a bad shot, but it is hard to mis read a screen that says 149.


I've done this. You just need practice to get a correct reading with the laser since it's possible to accidentally get a distance to the trees behind the flag :D. I usually get 2 readings before I'm certain I didn't screw up, since it takes an extra second to get another reading.

#10 Kanoito

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:37 PM

That's right wd, that's why I'm thinking about replacing the GPS app in my phone and get a dedicated device, be it a range finder or a GPS unit.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh decisions decisions!

:callaway-small: GBB Epic 9* w/ Aldila Rogue MAX 65 S

:callaway-small: X2 Hot 3 Deep 14.5* w/ Aldila Tour Green 75 S

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:callaway-small: Apex CF16 4-PW w/ PX 5.5 Steel

:mizuno-small: MP-T5 black IP 50/7, 54/12, 58/4 w/ DG Wedge

EVNROLL ER1 34" w/ SuperStroke Fatso 2.0
:srixon-small: Z-Star
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#11 revkev

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:23 PM

I've had both.

In the end I think I prefer the GPS - I'm a very low handicapper and can hit the ball to precise distances especially inside of 100 but honestly most of the time I go by 1/3's - front 1/3, middle 1/3 back 1/3 more than an exact number as I try to build par into the equation and bogey or worse out of it way before worrying about birdie - I think birdie only when I have the chance to reach a par 5 in two or the exact number that I can expect to hit a club with the pin in an accesible spot - accesible for me being middle, middle left, back middle or back left.

So what I'm saying is give me the to the front, to the middle or to the middle, to the back and the knowledge of where the pin is on the green and I'm feeling very good about what's going on. I also like the added feature of distances to traps, hazzards plus carry distances and the ability to measure how far my shots are going - I don't measure every one - I just do occasional measurements down wind and into the wind because it lets me know I'm hitting the ball solidly.

I've missed all of that with my range finder - the phone is a pain so I'll no doubt pick up some sort of GPS in the somewhat near future and keep the range finder because it's great for measuring distances to objects on the practice range. I doubt I'd use it on the course for the same reason already stated - I'd feel like a boob with all that equipment in use.
<p>Driver: G30 10.5</p><p>Fairway woods: Callaway xHot extremes</p><p>Hybrid: SLDR S (not C) </p><p>Irons: Wilson C 200 aldila rogue 75 5-PW     2 degrees flat</p><p>Wedges: SCOR 48, 53, 60 Genius graphite  2 degrees flat </p><p>Putter Never Comprimise Vodoo Daddy 32.5"</p><p>Bag: Nike Cart</p><p>Ball: Bridgestone B330 RX, Snell MTB

#12 RookieBlue7

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:00 PM

I prefer a laser because you can shoot distance to anything, front of green, pin if you have prisms, a tree, the ground in a landing area, etc and don't have to guess on the screen. When shooting pins, just remember to subtract 2 yards because you're shooting the top of the flag instead of the base where the hole is at.

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#13 revkev

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

With the shakiness of my hands I normally get readings to everything but the pin with my range finder. Need yardage to the front trap? Just ask me to shoot the pin and you'll get it! Need the back trees? No problem! The airplane that's landing in TPA? - just a second!

:angry:

Actually this is because my course doesn't have prisms - I need a group in front of me to feel comfortable with my yardage with the range finder because of that - I can catch the pin inside of about 170 - once I'm farther than that it's a crapshoot - unless I have the fat guy in the blue shorts in the group ahead of me. :)
<p>Driver: G30 10.5</p><p>Fairway woods: Callaway xHot extremes</p><p>Hybrid: SLDR S (not C) </p><p>Irons: Wilson C 200 aldila rogue 75 5-PW     2 degrees flat</p><p>Wedges: SCOR 48, 53, 60 Genius graphite  2 degrees flat </p><p>Putter Never Comprimise Vodoo Daddy 32.5"</p><p>Bag: Nike Cart</p><p>Ball: Bridgestone B330 RX, Snell MTB




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