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Golf Buddy Voice: The coolest clip-on I’ve ever worn

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It is said that the right tie can make or break a man’s outfit. For serious golfers, the right golf GPS or rangefinder can make a break a successful round.

I’m not one for clip-on ties, and will never be.  And I never thought I’d be a fan of a clip-on golf GPS unit, either. But then I was introduced to the Golf Buddy Voice, a “talking” golf GPS unit about the size of the current Apple iPod Nano.

The Voice weighs only an ounce, and measures 1.7 inches wide, making it small enough to clip onto a belt, shirt collar, or even the bill of a cap. Yet despite its small size, it boasts a collection of 35,000 preloaded courses located across the world, as well as a speaker loud enough to annoy your playing partners (don’t worry, you can adjust the volume). The Voice gives yardages both numerically and verbally, and requires no annual subscriptions or course download charges after purchase. It even tells time.

Inside the Voice’s box is the satisfyingly small unit, a mini-USB-to-USB cord, a charger and a silicon case to protect the Voice from the elements. I charged it the night before my round, and was a little squeamish about seeing the screen’s light bleed a little into the left corner of the device. I realized later that the light only appears when the device is first turned on, so it is of no consequence.

When I arrived at the course for my Sunday 18, I switched on the device, and waited about five minutes as the Voice located my course. It did so without issue. I then clipped it onto my belt buckle and forgot about it as I hit my warm-up balls and a few chips and putts. On the first tee box, a 445-yard dogleg-left par 4, the Voice let me know that I had 433 yards to the pin. The number was accurate, as the official yardage accounted for the dogleg.

I learned quickly while using the Voice that it was best to make sure I was standing still for at least a few seconds before I pushed the yardage button. A few times, I hit the button while I was walking, which gave me a number that was a few yards off. Like using a laser rangefinder, steadying myself near my ball was the best way to get a proper reading. When I did this, I was given readings that I felt were spot on.

My favorite part of playing tournaments during my junior/amateur days, other than the trophies I too rarely won, was the pin sheet I received on the first tee. I always felt I played better when I knew not just the yardage to the pin, but the distance the pin was from the front, middle and center of the green. The Voice is an upgrade from pin sheets, because just by clicking the unit’s main button located on the device’s screen, I was given the numbers I wanted. I much appreciated not having to fumble the pin sheet out of my pocket.

I still used the laser rangefinder that I’ve depended on for years to get the distance to the flag, but with the Voice and a small amount of arithmetic (the less math for writers like me, the better), I was given an accurate measurement of the plus-or-minus yardages from the center, back or front of the green. I was proudly able to tell my playing partner during the round without any doubt, “It’s plus 12, man.”

The Voice also measures the distance of your shots with just of few clicks of its sleek and satisfyingly sized buttons. All I had to do was press the “P” button, located on the lower left side of the device, which prompted me to push the front button to confirm my location. I was testing a few three woods during the round, and through the distance measuring feature I was able to find out exactly how far I was hitting each club, regardless of whether the shots were on the same line or not. When I arrived at the ball, I simply clicked the P button again, at which point the Voice told me the distance, which was also displayed on the screen.

One criticism I have of the Voice is that when my shots strayed into the area of an adjacent hole, the Voice would recognize my location, and switch to measuring the yardages of that hole. I suppose this feature would be excellent for those that hop around the golf course, playing non-successive holes. Luckily, it was not too big of a challenge to switch the device back to the desired hole – just a few clicks.

The Golf Buddy Voice has a rechargeable 8-hour lithium battery, and was a little more than half depleted after my 4.5 hour round. It’s definitely something I would charge before every round. 

The Verdict?

The Voice is something I’d like to have clipped on my belt every time I play, which made the return of my sample, my “golf buddy,” back to the company a sad moment. The device’s MSRP of $199 is a little more than I’d like to pay for a golf-only device, but it’s definitely more of a shot saver than the new $200 flat stick or $400 driver we golfers always have our eyes on.

Click here for more photos and discussion in the forums.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Janette Mossop

    Oct 7, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    I would like to order 2 of the golf buddy hat clip, please let me know how I can order them.

  2. Camille Guillemette

    Oct 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Price on a clip on golf gps

  3. golfer

    Sep 29, 2013 at 8:48 am

    My home course isn’t available in the golf buddy course library. On the internet site of Golf Buddy you can read: … the entire process (to put golf course in library) may take 4-6 weeks for completion on new course requests. I’m waiting 4 months now.

    April: bought Golf Buddy Voice+
    May 13th: request to golf buddy to put golf course in library
    June 3rd: answer to my question in email when the course will be available: two weeks.
    June 25Th: answer to my question in email when the course will be available: 6 – 8 weeks (half July)
    August 28th: call to golfbuddy The Netherlands, they said they will ask USA again and call me back. No call or email.
    August 28th: I sent an email with an official complaint. Reaction: we will sent your complaint to our headquarters. Untill today no reaction from headquarters.
    August 30th: reaction that there are problems with the mapping devices.
    September 13th: called Golfbuddy in The Netherlands for the fourth time in 4 weeks about my request from May to put my home course online. The still couldn’t tell me when this will happen. Last Friday I decided to call 1-888-2516058. There’s was nobody to answer my call not even the operator!. Then I decided to call 1-888-296-1428.They would sent me an email which I could answer and then give the information about my course. I haven’t received an email.

  4. Charles York

    Feb 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    This Little Gadget is fantastic. Iwould like to have one.please send information on how to order it on line

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Athalonz EnVe—The best golf shoes you’ve never heard of

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One of the coolest parts of being in this part of the golfing world is being able to shed light on smaller companies that typically get overshadowed by their bigger corporate brothers.

So, this post is about one of those products that is definitely competitive against top golf shoe companies, and it’s made by a company called Athalonz, which is based out west in Arizona. Typically known for its innovative baseball cleats and insole packages, Athlonz newest addition takes the patented design to the world of golf with the EnVe golf shoe.

These have started appearing on the world long drive circuit due to the amount of traction they get, allowing players to swing harder. So for the last few months, I have gotten to wear them and see if they are as good as the company claims.

Athalonz EnVe: Living up to claims

The main selling points of these shoes are focused on two things

  1. Design that delivers more power and stability
  2. Custom comfort that lasts all day

These are somewhat difficult to combine into one shoe, and though they are on the heavier side, Athlonz are completely worth it for the benefits. It is obvious that they made strides to hit each box on the list for a great shoe. The patented design has been adapted from their baseball cleat and introduces a spikeless golf shoe with a circular design that allows the player to gain traction through the golf swing. This gives a player the chance to swing harder and faster without losing their footing. They also offer insole packages that help with correct bodyweight placement to help add an extra layer of consistency.

Secondly, it’s very noticeable that there was plenty of thought given to comfort with a roomy toe and custom insoles to fit your style. Additionally, ankle padding helps to provide more stability and comfort.

On another note, they have a good sense of style with a more classic, casual take. In addition to the pictured white/brown color, there’s a black/grey colorway as well.

After multiple months of wear in all types of conditions, these shoes have performed great for me with all the traction I need and while feeling great throughout the round.

Verdict

I am a person who tends to support smaller companies when I can if they make good products. Any support for them goes a long way—especially in the golf business. Since these shoes will set you back about $150, I wanted to be sure they are worth it for the money and they absolutely are. Seriously, for anyone looking to boost their shoe game and help alleviate aching feet and ankles, give these a shot.

 

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII

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Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.

Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII ( slope adjusted version ), you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.

Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII

First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.

In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.

Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.

Slope-Adjusting ID Technology: With the 20i GII you have the option to get the slope-adjusted distance for any shot thanks to Nikon’s ID Technology. The mode can be turned on and off by the user to comply with USGA rules to make it legal for tournament rounds. Having tested it out on hilly terrain it’s easy to see why so many golfers mis-club going into greens when elevation changes become a lot more dramatic.

Review

The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.

The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.

Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Putting Perfecter

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Putting can be one of the most frustrating parts of the game, it mystifies scratch golfers as much as high handicaps and can make anybody tremble over a three-footers. It’s one of the biggest factors in scoring, especially for the club-level player, but it’s often one of the last things people actually work on. Let’s be honest, it’s a lot of fun to pound drivers on the range, am I right?

But if you are seriously looking for a simple tool to help get you into the proper address position, the Putting Perfecter is a great one to start with.

The beauty of the device is in its simplicity. Fitting under your arms and across your midsection, it “locks” the player into the proper position to create a pendulum putting stroke. After giving it a shot and hitting putts for just a few minutes, then going back to putting without it made me feel like I was much more connected.

Don’t think it’s just for putting though.

Funny story, when I first took it out to work on my putting, I used it for about 30 minutes and then moved onto my chipping. After a few trips around the putting green I tried chipping with the Putting Perfecter in the same position and “WOW” same connected feeling was produced—it was perfect for working on low-flying “runners.” I was excited to tell my friend about it, until I went home and realized they actually advertise it to help with that too. Guess I’m not as clever as I thought…

No matter how you use it, the Putting Perfecter is a simple and effective training tool that can be carried in a bag to be used before or after a round, takes NO time to set up (a big plus), and is light—so you don’t feel like its dragging you down if you actually keep it in your bag. Since it’s a putting tool, you can even use it indoors very easily. If you are someone that struggles with consistent address position on putts or disconnecting when chipping, I believe the Putting Perfecter is a great tool to try.

For more information check out the Putting Perfecter website.

 

 

 

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