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paininthenuts

GPS, WHY ?

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As of late I have played with a few people using some sort of GPS device, which in turn  made me envious, and I have therefore been looking on the internet with a view to buying one. Then I stopped and thought, WHAT DO I NEED IT FOR. Firstly, I am not a great golfer, and the length I can hit a ball with a club varies a lot based on how well I make contact. Secondly, what if it is windy, what if it is cold, what if it is wet, and finally, what if I am hitting a ball uphill or downhill. All a GPS would help me do is estimate what club I need on a dry day, with no wind, and on a flat plain. Of course, I and can take these factors into account, in which case I would be guessing again, and then I may as well not have one anyway. Like most people, I quite often hit over the green, or leave it short, but to be honest that has more to do with my golfing skills rather than the wrong club. All courses in the UK have distance markers, and to be honest you have to be pretty stupid not to be able to work things out from there. 

Needless to say, some of you would have already spent a fortune on such a device, and will reply to this post telling me how wonderful they are. So, please go ahead and convince me !!

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If knowing the distance isn't important to you, then why would you ever choose an 8 iron for a shot instead of a 7 iron?

But, if all the courses you play have plenty of easy to locate distance markers, then you probably don't need to spend a fortune on a range finder.

Here's a free one: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mozosoft.rangefinder&hl=en

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If you have a cell phone odds are that you already have a gps device. All you need do is download an app, some are free, and you now have a gps for golf

Edited by chilepepper

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9 minutes ago, paininthenuts said:

Firstly, I am not a great golfer, and the length I can hit a ball with a club varies a lot based on how well I make contact.

You still need a baseline average of your typical distances to go by, and GPS helps you learn your yardages so you know what club to pull in the first place.

11 minutes ago, paininthenuts said:

Secondly, what if it is windy, what if it is cold, what if it is wet, and finally, what if I am hitting a ball uphill or downhill. All a GPS would help me do is estimate what club I need on a dry day, with no wind, and on a flat plain. Of course, I and can take these factors into account, in which case I would be guessing again, and then I may as well not have one anyway.

You "guess" at all of these already. GPS just gives you an accurate starting point to work from.

14 minutes ago, paininthenuts said:

Like most people, I quite often hit over the green, or leave it short, but to be honest that has more to do with my golfing skills rather than the wrong club.

How can you know for sure that you didn't pull the wrong club?

15 minutes ago, paininthenuts said:

All courses in the UK have distance markers, and to be honest you have to be pretty stupid not to be able to work things out from there. 

This is probably the most important point: distances markers on golf courses aren't always accurate and even if they are, they only give you the distance to the center of the green. They don't tell you how deep or wide the green is, what distance you need to avoid hazards, etc. They also don't help you off the tee, either.

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13 minutes ago, chilepepper said:

If you have a cell phone odds are that you already have a gps device. All you need do is download an app, some are free, and you now have a gps for golf

Brilliant, I have now done that, and will give it go.

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First off, let me state that I dont use electronic measuring devices any more while playing. I do use them to help check my carry distances.  I did use them in play, in the past, until I could just look, and pick a club based on what I was looking at. 

That said, I think gps/lasers are fine to use for anyone. They offer up needed information regardless of the course conditions, weather, or the golfer's skill level. Every golfer should know how far they hit their clubs. Even golfers who hit two or more clubs the same distances, +/- a little. In different weather/playing conditions, they will still give the distance needed, but it is still up to golfer to pull the right club for the  playing conditions encountered. It's the same with weather, and/or the golfer's skill level.

A good example might be the device reading 100 yards. The golfer's 100 yard club, in level conditions, is their PW. If the shot is up hill, based on their skill level, the golfer might use a 9 or 8 iron. Downhill they might use a SW, or AW. 

Golf  for me, when playing for a score, has always been a game of adjustments. Knowing  the correct distance is one of the basics of those adjustments.  

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8 minutes ago, Patch said:

First off, let me state that I dont use electronic measuring devices any more while playing. I do use them to help check my carry distances.  I did use them in play, in the past, until I could just look, and pick a club based on what I was looking at. 

After getting a range finder I proved to myself how inaccurate I am at just looking and guessing what the distance is.  Maybe I have lousy depth perception (I'm 58 and wear prescription glasses).

I find a range finder really useful in the 20 to 115 distances, the wedge distances.  I've looked at the pin and thought the distance was 25 yards, checked with my rangefinder to discover it was actually 40 yards.  That kind of inaccuracy can really mess things up.  It's a bummer to hit it as well as you can just to end up flying the green.

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I use a GPS to provide overall distances (still have 250 yards to the pin) but I depend on my rangefinder for knowing exact distances to the pin or hazard.  If I had to give up one, it would be the GPS.   Like you, my distances aren't exact but knowing the exact distance helps me pick the right club.  If the flag is in the back and 150 yards away I would be between a 7i or 8i but I will use an 8i and play it safe because there isn't much margin for error going long.  

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24 minutes ago, No Mulligans said:

After getting a range finder I proved to myself how inaccurate I am at just looking and guessing what the distance is.  Maybe I have lousy depth perception (I'm 58 and wear prescription glasses).

I find a range finder really useful in the 20 to 115 distances, the wedge distances.  I've looked at the pin and thought the distance was 25 yards, checked with my rangefinder to discover it was actually 40 yards.  That kind of inaccuracy can really mess things up.  It's a bummer to hit it as well as you can just to end up flying the green.

I am like you to some extent as far as my eye sight goes. My way of picking the right club is not for everyone. I am very consistent at seeing the shot being 10+/- yards different than what it actually is. In my case when I see an 8i distance, I know to pull my 7i.

Like a lot of other golfers, I don't hit the ball as far as I think I do. Just my way of fooling my own golf ego. :whistle:

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1 hour ago, paininthenuts said:

As of late I have played with a few people using some sort of GPS device, which in turn  made me envious, and I have therefore been looking on the internet with a view to buying one. Then I stopped and thought, WHAT DO I NEED IT FOR. Firstly, I am not a great golfer, and the length I can hit a ball with a club varies a lot based on how well I make contact. Secondly, what if it is windy, what if it is cold, what if it is wet, and finally, what if I am hitting a ball uphill or downhill. All a GPS would help me do is estimate what club I need on a dry day, with no wind, and on a flat plain. Of course, I and can take these factors into account, in which case I would be guessing again, and then I may as well not have one anyway. Like most people, I quite often hit over the green, or leave it short, but to be honest that has more to do with my golfing skills rather than the wrong club. All courses in the UK have distance markers, and to be honest you have to be pretty stupid not to be able to work things out from there. 

Needless to say, some of you would have already spent a fortune on such a device, and will reply to this post telling me how wonderful they are. So, please go ahead and convince me !!

 

53 minutes ago, paininthenuts said:

Brilliant, I have now done that, and will give it go.

In and of itself, it will do nothing for you really.

If you download an application like Game Golf***, then it will give you statistics and show how you are improving on the course. It will kind of tell you your weak points as well. These would be what you could focus on when practicing. Eventually, you will use it for an actual range finder when your shots start becoming more consistent.

Even if your distances are inconsistent it will help you if you use the statistics.

 

***BTW, I've totally turned from a skeptic to an endorser of this product.

 

3 minutes ago, Patch said:

I am like you to some extent as far as my eye sight goes. My way of picking the right club is not for everyone. I am very consistent at seeing the shot being 10+/- yards different than what it actually is. In my case when I see an 8i distance, I know to pull my 7i.

Like a lot of other golfers, I don't hit the ball as far as I think I do. Just my way of fooling my own golf ego. :whistle:

When you start landing over a lot of greens, that's when you really know how far you hit. :-D

 

Joking, but that's somewhat true. . . :whistle:

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1 hour ago, paininthenuts said:

As of late I have played with a few people using some sort of GPS device, which in turn  made me envious, and I have therefore been looking on the internet with a view to buying one. Then I stopped and thought, WHAT DO I NEED IT FOR. Firstly, I am not a great golfer, and the length I can hit a ball with a club varies a lot based on how well I make contact. Secondly, what if it is windy, what if it is cold, what if it is wet, and finally, what if I am hitting a ball uphill or downhill. All a GPS would help me do is estimate what club I need on a dry day, with no wind, and on a flat plain. Of course, I and can take these factors into account, in which case I would be guessing again, and then I may as well not have one anyway. Like most people, I quite often hit over the green, or leave it short, but to be honest that has more to do with my golfing skills rather than the wrong club. All courses in the UK have distance markers, and to be honest you have to be pretty stupid not to be able to work things out from there. 

Needless to say, some of you would have already spent a fortune on such a device, and will reply to this post telling me how wonderful they are. So, please go ahead and convince me !!

For me, my Garmin is every bit as valuable for planning layup shots when I can't reach the green or the "normal" landing area as it is for planning approach shots - maybe even more so since most of the time the approach distance is available by other means.  It shows me the bunkers and hazards that I have to negotiate, and I can get a good feel for the angle and distance I have to hit to avoid those obstacles.  It's especially valuable when the layup shot is over a hill or around a dogleg.

37 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

I use a GPS to provide overall distances (still have 250 yards to the pin) but I depend on my rangefinder for knowing exact distances to the pin or hazard.  If I had to give up one, it would be the GPS.   Like you, my distances aren't exact but knowing the exact distance helps me pick the right club.  If the flag is in the back and 150 yards away I would be between a 7i or 8i but I will use an 8i and play it safe because there isn't much margin for error going long.  

And yet I gave up the laser as being too limiting.  The right GPS is a more versatile tool because it doesn't depend on line of sight, and it has the info at a glance - I don't have to do anything but just look at it.

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12 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

And yet I gave up the laser as being too limiting.  The right GPS is a more versatile tool because it doesn't depend on line of sight, and it has the info at a glance - I don't have to do anything but just look at it.

I use both, I use GPS to give me an overview of the hole and distances to hazards, doglegs, etc, it's a time saver.  

Some courses I play don't use colored flags and if I'm beyond 150 yards it's tough to tell if the flag is in the front or the back so I prefer to laser it.  I also like the laser because the 6x magnification lets me see things around the green better, such as bunkers and trouble beyond the green.  

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5 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

I use both, I use GPS to give me an overview of the hole and distances to hazards, doglegs, etc, it's a time saver.  

Some courses I play don't use colored flags and if I'm beyond 150 yards it's tough to tell if the flag is in the front or the back so I prefer to laser it.  I also like the laser because the 6x magnification lets me see things around the green better, such as bunkers and trouble beyond the green.  

I can see the temptation to shoot for the flag, but in general just aim for the center of the green.

Usually, low single digit or scratch are the ones who can really attack pins.

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2 minutes ago, Lihu said:

I can see the temptation to shoot for the flag, but in general just aim for the center of the green.

Usually, low single digit or scratch are the ones who can really attack pins.

I don't "attack pins" as a general practice but on some holes you have to do better than center of the green or you're almost guaranteed to 3 putt.  

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On-course distance markers are much more accurate now than in the past because most were measured with accurate technology.  Sadly, many courses don't have markings and some are not accurate.  Having a GPS or Laser device takes any and all of the guessing game OUT of the yardage equation.

Where these devices are MOST useful are from 125 yards and in.  If you don't have the exact yardages, is it a 9-iron?  A wedge?  When I got my Bushnell laser yardage tool, I'd ask the guy with me, 'how far do you estimate the yardage?'  He'd eyeball it, and say 85 yards.  Shoot the flag with the Bushnell and it's really 98 yards.  Any question why so many golfers without accurate yards to flag come up SHORT with the wedges?  Nine of ten golfers UNDER estimate yardage to pin from 125 and closer.

Other great uses:  How far to the far side of the fairway on a dogleg hole?  Shoot trees on far side of fairway to find out. How far are those fairway bunkers?  A laser tool can see them and report accurate yardage to you.

We used to live without this information, but having it is an incredible value to me.

dave

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42 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

I don't "attack pins" as a general practice but on some holes you have to do better than center of the green or you're almost guaranteed to 3 putt.  

Your handicap is high enough that you should still be looking center of the green for most approach shots.  I worked my way to a 10 handicap long before DMD's were available or allowed, my only available markers were what the courses provided to the green centers.  Precise distances are not necessary when you are playing bogey golf or worse anyway.  Better to just focus on the biggest target possible.  

If I hit the middle of every green, I'll score well even if my putting is average.  Middle of the green usually means putts of 30 feet or less to almost every hole location, and from 30 feet you should be two putting most of the time.   If you are three putting or worse, then you know where your practice focus needs to be.

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There are quite a few courses where I live, I find the gps invaluable for distances to traps and hazards, and good layup spots.  It will also give me distances adjusted for elevation which my laser won't (although some lasers will its not tournament legal). For at least the garmin devices I have used I find the gps accuracy to be much better than my phone.

All that said I don't think it really improved my scores much, and it's yet another thing you have to remember to charge.

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4 hours ago, Cupcakus said:

It will also give me distances adjusted for elevation which my laser won't (although some lasers will its not tournament legal).

GPS that adjust for elevation are illegal as well. Here is an infograph from the USGA on DMD. I circled the relevant piece of information.

USGA on DMD.JPG

 

8 hours ago, paininthenuts said:

As of late I have played with a few people using some sort of GPS device, which in turn  made me envious, and I have therefore been looking on the internet with a view to buying one. Then I stopped and thought, WHAT DO I NEED IT FOR. Firstly, I am not a great golfer, and the length I can hit a ball with a club varies a lot based on how well I make contact. Secondly, what if it is windy, what if it is cold, what if it is wet, and finally, what if I am hitting a ball uphill or downhill.

It gives you a place to start. I agree, being a 25 handicap, having a general number might be good enough. I will say it becomes more important the closer you get to the hole. Knowing you are 40 yards instead of 60 yards away on a pitch shot is a good piece of knowledge to have. 

7 hours ago, Fourputt said:

And yet I gave up the laser as being too limiting.  The right GPS is a more versatile tool because it doesn't depend on line of sight, and it has the info at a glance - I don't have to do anything but just look at it.

In a lot of cases I found my GPS to be too limiting. Unless you buy a device that lets you touch the screen to get a yardage you can get a lot of devices that do not GPS every bunker or hazard on the course.  

I found my laser to be more versatile than the GPS I had. 

7 hours ago, Lihu said:

Usually, low single digit or scratch are the ones who can really attack pins.

Most shouldn't attack pins unless they are hitting a pitch shot or the pin is in the middle of the green :-P

 

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