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Hacker James

Am I Better Off Without a GPS/Rangefinder?

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2 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

One thing I will add is since my buddies got their Garmin watches we have found the on course yardage markers on quite a few courses to be wrong!

 

I've seen a couple on my course like that too.  One hole seemed so wrong that I kept re-shooting the distance with my Bushnell--figuring I was hitting something other than the flagstick (center-ish in the green).  After I figured out that the markers are wrong then the question was whether to mention it to the powers that be.

Edited by Missouri Swede
Yeah, I called it a pin, but I should know better. Flagstick it is.

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I have a Callaway laser rangefinder. My course is pretty well marked as far as yardage to the green. I find it useful for calculating how far i am from a cross ditch, or other water, basically how far to hit it to safely lay up.

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I rarely use a range finder.  The pine tree, with the scar, on number 10, is 125 yards out.  It is all uphill, however, and you have to add one club...two if the pin is in the back.  I'm all about knowing how far out I am but there is more to it than that.  On a course I've never played?...hell yes.

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On 7/30/2018 at 5:48 PM, Hacker James said:

somewhat rhetorical, but recently played a round without my GPS owing to my forgetting to charge it.  For whatever reason, it seemed as though I hit more greens or came a lot closer on approach relying solely on my estimation of distance.  I got along without such devices for years and it seems like I did better.  It occurs to me that the actual distance to the green  on the approaches were a lot closer that I thought and I more than likely pulled a longer club, thinking that was what I needed.  Of course, I was a lot younger then. 

Now I am not recommending that persons NOT rely on devices, as for the player who actually "knows" their club distances, such can be an invaluable aid.

whatever...just musing I suppose.   (Wishing I did not know now, what I didn't know then).

To know where your game actually is, I would say you need them. To enjoy the game more? I’d say ignorance is bliss 😁

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I´m better since i bought a range finder. I aim at greenside bunkers and add/sustract yards to know the exact yards to the middle of the green, not the flag. I hit more GIR because of that.
Course design can decive your eyes and distances marks can be wrong placed, moreover in doglegs. 

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I have both of them.  Started with a Bushnell V2 and got really good at guessing the yardage to the flag after a year or two at a couple of courses I play often.  I am usually within 1 - 3 yards with my guess before shooting the flag.  These courses have many markers that are anywhere from 10 - 35 yards off.  Seen many people fly this one par 3 by 20+ yards because they are relying on what the sign at the Tee says... can be funny sometimes.

Last year I got a GPS watch and while it is great for all the hazards on the course I have found my scores going up.  Not sure if it is because I am worried about the front, middle and back where I use to just know where the flag is exactly. 

As an experiment at the start of the fall, I went back to using my range finder only and have seen my scores going back down.  Is it just me? Probably.. I do have my clubs dialed in pretty good so I think I will find someone who wants to buy my GPS watch and just keep using my rangefinder.

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After losing my second Garmin GPS last summer, I gave up and started trying GPS apps for my Android phone.  So far I've only tried a free one (Golf Pad) in actual play, very simple and works well, but no info on hazards and such.  I've installed a second one called Golf Frontier, that gets good reviews, $2.99 so if I ultimately don't like it, it's not going to break the bank.  As soon as weather permits, I'll take that one out and learn it here on my local 9 holer before I try to use for tournament play.  

For a couple of years I carried both laser and GPS.  I decided that I prefer the GPS for the features and speed of use.  As with most amateurs, I have no need for 1 yard accuracy with a laser... The 2-3 yards I get with GPS is fine for me.  Even back when I played to a 10 handicap, the GPS was plenty accurate for me.

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I played about 40 years with out either one. During that time I played to a single digit handicap (5-8) and there were no yardage markers. Some courses had a tree or shrub at 150 but hardly nothing else. I play with a GPS today and it helps if I am on a course I have not played before. Both my wife and I play three times a week, but it is at the same course most of the time. We can pull up to our balls and when I look at the yardage, my wife guesses the yardage before I tell her. She is usually within a couple yards.  My only advice is play 10 rounds without one and then 10 with one and see the results. I think sometimes people get a yardage and think they can hit a ball that far, but it truth they usually only hit it that far on their best shots. If you guestimate the distance you may be more consistent in your game. 

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I like shanksalot's comment. Back when I could actually play this game, there were no range finders or GPS. There were on course yardage markers and your feet! You paced off your yardage. And more importantly, you had your eyes! The yardage might tell you one club, but your eyes might tell you one club more or less. I learned to go with my eyes. It served me well!

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I played to a single digit HC well before GPS was a thing.  The one thing I was fairly good at was selecting a club for a visualized distance.  I like using a basic GPS program I have for my iPhone now for a general mid green sense.  I would get far too unfocused with a true Rangefinder.  I would lose my sense of estimating distance and I suspect it would not be up.

Who knows if I will ever change my opinion.

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I use a Bushnell Phantom and love it, its only front middle and back, I usually go with front yardage if pin is middle or forward. Ill use the middle distance if pin is back of center, quick and easy. 

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I use the Garmin watch, we play a lot of different courses and it helps, but I have learned to club up on just about every green. I have to keep my ego in check. 

However, my issue now is that I followed swing instructions from Swing Thoughts here on TST, (how to hit a driver), and my distance has improved even with my irons. So now I have to re-evaluate what my actual distances are for each iron, I'm a little up in the air right now. But I think I'll still club up unless I find myself hitting long. I always aim for the middle of the green, I'm not good enough to go flag hunting especially if the pin is behind a bunker. 

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I've always used course knowledge and my sight which was good enough for my game.
As I aged, my sight isn't quite as good and I routinely hit shots long the past couple of seasons.

Last year our club upgraded to carts with GPS and I use it for almost every shot.
From 150 in, I like knowing the true number and have often caught myself lately guessing the number incorrectly.

Inside 60 yds, I'll still rely on the eyes and judgement of options for that shot.

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A glance at my gps is usually enough, barely measurable against eyeballing distances.Occasionally I’ll use my laser when I question my gps which is sometimes off, though for the most part I use the laser to shoot targets on the range. Either way is quicker than searching for distances on sprinkler heads then pacing the difference off. 

Edited by chilepepper

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