The Dangers of Golf GPS

I got an amusing press release from GolfBuddy recounting the story of a golfer on holiday who inadvertently racked up thousands of dollars in data charges using his phone as a golf GPS. The international charges ran to more than $3,000. I’m sure that was quite the shock when he returned home to Germany.

On a Boy Scout camping trip we took to Canada this past year, everyone was warned to turn their smart phones off—and leave them off—to avoid accidental international data charges.

The moral of the story, according to GolfBuddy is that he should have used a stand-alone GPS instead.

I’ve used a smartphone GPS on occasion and found two problems. First, it chews through the batteries. On my phone, I can usually only get through fourteen or fifteen holes. Second, on more isolated courses (and there are many of those in Michigan), I can’t get a proper signal.

You won’t have either of those issues with a dedicated GPS or a laser rangefinder.

The full text of the press release is below:



1 thought on “The Dangers of Golf GPS”

  1. With Golfshot on the iPhone, I have always been able to get through rounds with my iPhone 4 or 5 – however on the iPhone 4, I always made sure I started at 100% batt.

    Also with Golfshot, you can preload the courses, with images, at least on the iOS versions.  You just select to play the course, and then go though each hole while you are still on your WiFi at home, and make sure that the imagery appears for each hole.  I have used this on the iPad version when I had the 3G service turned off.  I guess you could also use this method before travelling internationally, and just halt data roaming on your phone as you go, and the courses will stay in it.

    I don’t think that Golfshot is any more or less accurate than my Callaway uPro dedicated GPS (whose batter will not last a round).  I also have the Motorola MotoActv watch with golf, and that is roughly the same accuracy.

    But I do remain convinced that SkyCaddie is MORE accurate than the smartphones and uPro – if you can part with the cash for that premium service.

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