I purchased the Golf Buddy today after finding that only one store in eastern North Dakota or along my drive to the Twin Cities tomorrow has any Sonocaddie units in stock. This was a Wal-Mart in East St. Paul. It's only about 15 miles out of my way on my drive to Burnsville tomorrow, but the thought of going to a Wal-Mart in East St. Paul simply does not sound appealing to me. Yes, I spent about three hours calling every Dick's, Nevada Bob's, Scheel's, Sears, Wal-Mart, Austad's, etc that is listed on google maps.
I shot nine at my home course after I got off work. It seems like a pretty slick unit. I only had to hit buttons once. That was when I bladed a blast shot out of a sand trap next to the next hole's tee-box. That is an understandable dilemma for the GPS unit to have to sort through.
My game is really off at the moment because of the lessons I had earlier in the week. An altered stroke and grip is resulting in a lot of mis-hits. My first impression was spot on, though, as I decided to club up off the tee on hole number one. The score card lists it as a 133 yard par 3, but the Golf Buddy unit told me I was shooting 121. I put it on the center of the green. Hole number 9 was the biggest alteration, though. The scorecard says it's 163, and I've been trying to figure out why I can't reach it with my 6-iron. I've even been clubbing down as of late to my 5-iron, and I still can't reach the green. The tee-box was moved up today, and the Golf Buddy told me I was 185 yards away. WOW! I pulled out my 4-hybrid, hit an easy swing, and put it 4 feet from the pin.
I'm still using the unit to see how far some of my clubs go. I learned tonight that 70 yards is the perfect distance for my gap wedge, and I learned that I shouldn't try to hit my lob wedge more than 45. I'm going to read the instruction book tonight before bed to see what all this unit is capable of doing. It says that I can record shot distances, scores, and plot key points on certain holes. I'm looking forward to trying out some of those features.
The biggest advantage, though, is that it comes with 20,000 courses pre-loaded. Plus, if I find a course that's not in the system, I can go online and download it, though I'd have to remove one of the existing courses (presumably one in South Korea or perhaps Kuwait). I also only had to push a button on the unit once on my entire round. That was when I bladed a blast shot out of the bunker that flew next to an adjacent tee box. I can understand a GPS unit not understanding that situation, though, and re-finding the correct hole was pretty easy. The subsequent shot was actually the one where the unit was the most valuable. I was shooting over a tree and a hill, and I thought my sand wedge would be the right club. The GPS told me 40 yards, so I clubbed down to the lob wedge and put it on the backside of the green. The sand wedge would have put me back in the sand.
All-in-all, I'm happy with my purchase. I intend to golf potentially three new courses when I'm in the Twin Cities next week, and this unit could really come in handy.