Originally Posted by Fourputt
What I can't see is paying $200 for a marginal GPS unit which really gives no more information than what is freely available by using the course markings on most courses. That is more of a waste of money than paying double that price for a unit which gives all of the distance information that you need to play every shot from tee to green. For those of us who actually do care about the Rules of Golf, smart phone apps have been found to be questionably legal at best. I have no interest in paying for anything which I can't use in all circumstances. The other consideration is that many smart phones don't use true GPS locating, but triangulate from cell towers. Get off the beaten track and they are useless.
In the end we all do what we feel works for us, but I will always recommend a full featured, high end GPS as the best all around tool for use on course.
i guess it depends on your app, but i have played courses with GPS and my phone has always been just as accurate as the GPS no matter where i land. i read this on the USGA website:
The device has some other non-conforming feature, including, but not limited to, recommendations that might assist the player in making a stroke or in his play, such as club selection, type of shot to be played (e.g., punch shot, pitch and run, etc.), or green reading (i.e., a recommended line of putt), or other advice-related matters. However, it is permissible to use such a device, during a stipulated round, to access distance information from previous rounds that has been processed prior to the commencement of the current round (e.g., a chart of all club yardages), or;
the app i have does not have temperature, club recs, wind speed, etc. it only shows distances. it also allows you to track distances and review them later, which apparently by this rule is legal. i might be tense about pulling it out in a competition, but in weekend play i can't see any violation of the rules, at least for the app which i am using (sky droid).
so i think the theme here that apps are illegal should perhaps be modified, as it doesn't seem like it would be illegal as long as you use them for distance only.