Golf GPS Tracking

by Joe Mueller on August 3, 2009

Knowing where you are at at any given moment on a golf course can be huge for your game.  Today, you can know the distance from ball to hole with a simple simple handheld device – a golf GPS tracking device.  This can be a stand along GPS, like the Garmin golf GPS Approach G5, or it could a mobile phone that has one of the golf GPS software upgrades installed on it.  Either way, you are going to get  some important improvement for your golf game by being able to make an appropriate club selection for your next stroke.

Handheld Golf GPS Units

There are several stand alone golf GPS units out on the market today.  These units are small enough to fit comfortably inside the pocket of your pants and can certainly fit inside your golf bag to be pulled out at a time convenient for you.  Here are several different GPS models designed specifically with golfers in mind:

Golf GPS Review: Garmin Approach G5

The Garmin Approach G5 is the cream of the crop in terms of personal golf GPS tracking units. The case is durable so it can jostled around a bit in your golf bag. It also is waterproof, so if you accidentally throw your golf clubs into the drink you won’t have to worry about destroying your investment (but we don’t recommend throwing anything into the water – its is just bad form). This GPS has a touch screen and comes preloaded with thousands of golf courses preloaded on the device. This device uses some of the latest GPS receiver technology to give golfers of all skill levels personalized and accurate distances to help users improve their club selection and their scores.

One of the great parts about the Approach G5 is that you get to look at the golf course you are on with a lot of detail. And since you can know your position on the course to within a couple of yards thanks to this Garmin’s high-powered GPS tracking receiver you can make full use of this detail. You don’t need to eye a hole and think that it is 100 yards away – you can get the full power of a constellation of 20+ global positioning satellites to give you your location in real time. This means that you can use the Approach at your buddies ball and then at your own in a matter of minutes without you both having to buy one of these devices.

The Approach G5 also will let you touch a spot on the course map so that you can get a picture of how far away your next shot is. If there is a bend in the hole that you want to get to but you don’t have the skills to bend your shot so that you can safely land in the fairway with every shot you simple touch the point you want your ball to land and pick the appropriate club for the task. You won’t have to guess anymore and your game will be more about being able to hit the ball well instead of about how well you judge distances.

If you are serious about keeping your game above board you don’t have to worry about breaking one of the USGA rules about golf GPS units – the Approach G5 meets all the golf GPS tracking rules that this organization has set.

One of the cool features that the Approach G5 has is that is can act as a digital score card for your foursome golf party. Keeping track of one of those pencils and score cards can be a real pain, especially if you are walking the course. You want every second of your time out on the greens to be about making the next shot, not about where you put that pencil.

Golf GPS Review: GolfLogix GPS

A little lower down the chain of quality golf GPS units is the GolfLogix GPS. This device is also made by Garmin, but doesn’t offer the awesome eye candy and functionality that the G5 does. It is still a very solid GPS for golf enthusiasts and comes at a significantly lower price than the G5.

This GPS will recognize the course that you are playing on automatically and will give you distances from the front, middle and back of the greens. It is light weight (5.3 oz) and incredibly durable. If you are thinking about getting a stand alone GPS tracking device for your golfing needs this is certainly going to be one that you have to at least consider.

It doesn’t provide the touch screen capabilities of the G5, but for users who just want to know distances to the green this unit will do just fine. It is one of the most well known golf course GPS units on the market today and comes with great support from the GolfLogix.

Golf GPS Tracking Applications For Mobile Phones

But if getting a dedicated golf GPS systems is not up your alley then you might want to consider turning your smart phone into one. We have already listed several different free GPS tracking software packages that let you turn your smart phone into a GPS tracking machine, but there is also a golf GPS program that can be downloaded for free as well.

If you have an iPhone or a Blackberry and want to us it as a golf GPS you should head over to the GolfLogix website. In addition to being the operators of the dedicated golf GPS unit mentioned above, they also offer free GPS applications for the iPhone and Blackberry mobile phones. This means that in addition to being able to install a regular GPS tracking software on your phone to let you know where you are or to let your loved ones know where you are you can also use it a golf GPS. In fact, you can even use your iPhone or Blackberry for both GPS functions at the same time!

If you are in the market for a golf GPS range finder but you don’t want to fork out hundreds of dollars and already have a smartphone then then you might want to consider getting one of these free applications. I don’t even think you need a good data plan for it because it doesn’t send data out of the phone like a normal GPS tracking application might. All you are doing is using your mobile phone’s computer to use the GPS information gathered from your phone to run against the mapping software produced by GolfLogix.

If you have any experience with any of the golf GPS tracking solutions let us know about it in the comments below.

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