Golf GPS rangefinder watch technology is improving. No longer does the golfer have to wear a ridiculously large device to have GPS yardages and other great features on his or her wrist. Case in point is the new Bushnell neo iON GPS rangefinder watch. Let’s take a look.
Bushnell Neo iON GPS Rangefinder Watch
In the photo above I’m either playing a really short par-5 and I’m on the tee, or I just duffed my drive and did the walk of shame 50 yards forward from the tee. Take your pick. But the display does give a good example of the core information I need when approaching a green, the front yardage, middle yardage, and back yardage. Here’s a list of all the basic features of the Bushnell neo iON GPS Rangefinder Watch:
One button operation
Auto course recognition
Auto hole advance
Calculates shot distances
Up to four hazard or layup distances per hole
Extended battery life
Over 35,000 preloaded courses
On The Course
One of the most irritating things about many golf GPS devices, watch or others, is the amount of time it takes them to recognize what course they are on. In fact, some of the GPS units I use never find the course. This unit finds the course very quickly and does not lose it.
During the round the yardages are solid and quick. I’ve confirmed them with markers on the ground and via laser. Rock solid. Sometimes it’s better to think about the front or back yardages of the green. Say you have a green with a false front which repels shots. Knowing the right number to avoid that spot is a great advantage. The same goes with pins that are long. If the green has a bad drop behind it or deep rough, long is dead. Knowing these yardages arms the player with great information for a better approach strategy.
The pedometer is a very cool feature. My phone has one, but it isn’t as accurate, and it drains the battery badly. Knowing how many miles I’ve walked is also great. A 7,000 yard course may calculate out to four miles, but the walk can be double that or more. After all, the golfer doesn’t hit straight shots. Left. Right. Left. Right. You get the drill.
Another great bit of information the unit provides is shot distances. One may “think” their 9-iron goes 140 yards when in reality it goes 132. Knowing exact yardages, and accepting what they really are, will save strokes. If only I could teach myself to accept them… That’s another discussion.
The battery life of the iON is great. I’ve squeezed two full rounds out of a unit before charging. I think I could have gotten more out of it but wanted to be sure I had a full 18 for my next round.
I have the same critique for this unit which I have for 99% of the golf GPS watches I’ve reviewed, the proprietary charging cable. Why is it so hard for companies to put a standard micro USB plug on these units? That way one could charge it with a standard cable should he/she forget to bring the proprietary one.
The other issue I have with GPS watches is the fact that they are watches. I’m not a watch wearer and I find them especially uncomfortable in the golf swing. So I usually attach them to my golf bag. It would be nice if the unit could be stand alone, without the band.
I’m thrilled that the snow has melted and I’m back in the swing of playing golf and testing out/reviewing the latest and greatest golf products. It has been a long winter with the courses closed some 4-5 months here.
Today’s review is the great new GolfBuddy CT2 Micro Golf GPS. Mico and watch GPS units are the rage in golf right now and for very good reasons. The golfer has a very small, convenient, and light unit which provides accurate yardages and other nice features. Let’s take a closer look at them all.
Portable size for pocket or mounting on a towel, belt, golf bag
40,000 courses in memory
17 hour battery life. Play several rounds on one charge.
Automatic hole distances to front, back and center of the green
Dynamic green view from the golfer’s perspective
Distances to hazards and other relevant course features for layup shots
Waterproof up to 10 meters (for the time you decide to go after that premium golf ball in the lake on the 4th hole)
On The Course
I love how quickly this GPS unit grabs onto the course I’m playing. Some GPS units can seriously take 1-2 holes before they “gain consciousness.” The yardages are fast and accurate. I’ve run this GPS side by side with others and cross referenced with laser rangefinders and the numbers are right on.
The size of this unit means carrying it on my person is no problem. I’ll either keep it in a pocket or attach it to my belt or clamp it to my pocket via the very strong clip. Another place I’ll put it is in the pencil holder of my golf bag (first picture). With this GPS unit on my person at all times I always know my numbers. No searching for markers or sprinkler heads and then walking off the numbers.
The unit also serves as an electronic scorecard. I’m more into the old school pencil and paper scorecard personally.
Below is a short video showing the unit and it’s features.
In The Box
Golf Buddy CT2 Mini Golf GPS
My only critique with the CT2 is the charging cable. It is a proprietary cable you’ll never find at a regular store. If you lose or damage the cable, or forget it on a golf trip, you can’t simply use a standard USB cable to charge the unit.
The CT2 is a fantastic micro/portable golf GPS that easily fits in the golfer’s pocket. Of all the golf GPS units I’ve tested to date, the CT2 has the longest battery life by far. The yardages are fast and accurate and the unit finds the right course quickly and easily.
When I do golf equipment reviews or golf accessory reviews I typically do a “first look” post to get the word out that I’ve received a product for testing and give those who submitted the product a little air time. That gives them a little golf blog love and buys me time to spend testing the unit. I do spend a lot of time testing, unlike other fly-by-night sites who test from their kitchen table or by hitting three range balls.
This time around I’m compelled to do an intermediate post on the new TomTom Golfer Premium GPS watch. I already did my first look of the TomTom golf GPS watchand I’m not quite ready to post a full review because a single round is definitely not enough. I was so impressed with this unit during my first round I have to post about it.
The TomTom golf GPS watch is not overly large like other golf GPS watches. So it is actually wearable for those who can wear a watch and play. I’m not a watch guy, so I played a couple of holes with it on, then just attached it to my golf bag.
The yardages were quick and accurate, and I love the way they display with the black background. Below you can see the yards to the front, back, and middle:
This GPS watch not only gives yardages, but has all sorts of other great features. It will track scores, show green view, and even show hazards. See below? The first hole has water all the way down the right side:
And below is a shot of the score tracking. I made par on the par-5 first hole.
I’m not done testing and have yet to post my full review, but now that I have a round under my belt I already know the TomTom Premium golf GPS watch is superb. Stay tuned for my full review.
My winter torture continues. Now in my hands is a micro golf GPS from GolfBuddy, the CT2. I’m hoping for some global warming so the snow melts fast and the courses open up, allowing me to start testing this baby. For now, here’s a picture and a few of the features listed below. Pray for the snow to melt.
Golf Buddy CT2 Mini Golf GPS
Versatile design fits in pockets & clips to towel rings, belts, lanyards, golf bags, etc.
Dynamic green view with pin placement and distance readings from the golfer’s perspective
Distances to front/center/back of the green
Distances to hazards and layups
Automatic course/hold recognition
Legal for tournament play
Rechargeable battery provies up to 17 hours of golf GPS
This is painful. There are two feet of snow on the grass here and the golf courses are closed for probably 2-3 months. I just got this TomTom Golfer Premium Golf GPS Watch in for review and all I can do is charge it up, put it on my wrist, stare at it in my office and dream of being on a golf course.
Here’s a photo of the unit on my wrist. As close as I can get to testing right now #snow
I guess I could put on my snow boots and go for a walk round the golf course with it to check yardages…
So here’s the first look at least for now, and the unit and it’s accessories. I hope to review this golf GPS watch soon. Maybe I’ll have to make a trip to a warmer area, or maybe global warming can be real and the snow will melt soon.
First impressions are that this is perhaps the first golf GPS watch I’ve received, and there have been many, that is actually small enough to wear comfortably.