Golf GPS Rangefinders – Buyers Guide

in Golf GPS Reviews

Golf GPS Rangefinders - Buyers Guide

Basic Function

The Global Positioning System (gps) is a worldwide system formed from 24 satellites, developed by the US Defence Department in the 1970s. A golf gps device uses simultaneous signals from a number of these satellites to pinpoint its position. It can then calculate accurately distances to defined targets on the golf course.

GPS v Laser Rangefinders

Golf gps range finders require a golf course map in order to function, and are therefore dependent of the quality of such a map. Better gps devices, such as the SkyCaddie range (see below) use surveyor-grade maps to negate this issue. Such units show all hazards and distances to front, back and middle of greens. In most circumstances, gps devices hold sway over golf laser rangefinders. The only exception is that, in very cloudy weather, golf gps rangefinders may not receive satellite signals effectively. Otherwise, a golf gps rangefinder can be used on any course in the world.

Laser rangefinders have their range limited by the strength of the emitted laser pulses, which must be safe for the human eye. Additionally, the size, orientation and reflectivity of the target may have an adverse effect on performance. Small, dark-coloured targets or those with angular surfaces may not reflect pulses back to the rangefinder, and sometimes cannot be measured. Performance is also impaired by bright sunlight, or inclement weather conditions, such as rain or fog.

List of UK available Golf GPS Rangefinders

With so many golf gps rangefinders now on the market golfers are really spoilt for choice.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat August 13, 2009 at 4:10 am

Sounds like a great idea, but I’m surprised that downloads of course info is in bulk rather than by state per subscription to maximize the potential and still create a good value for the golfer.

In terms of potential future sales, wouldn’t that make better sense since the number of golfers who play within their own state probably far exceeds the number who play outside it; and those that do play outside their residency state can probably afford the surplus cost for downloading the course of their choice.

Neil August 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Hi Pat,

Skycaddie actually has 3 subscription options for downloading courses:
1. BIRDIE – Sub-region (UK, etc)
2. EAGLE – Region (Europe, Africa, etc)
3. DOUBLE-EAGLE – (Worldwide)

We’ve covered the membership options in more depth in our review of the Skycaddie SG5.

I think from Skycaddie’s perspective they’re investing so heavily in professionally mapping courses and they need a sustainable revenue model to keep that going.

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