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Technology; it makes everything better right? In the game of golf, I’d like to think it does. GPS, or Global Positioning Software in golf has been a great addition to the game, and while you can argue whether or not it’s making more Tiger Woods’ and Jordan Spieths, it’s certainly going to give you a chance to improve your game, and perhaps make it more enjoyable.

Why use GPS?

There are several good ways GPS can help your game:

  1.  It speeds up the game. There’s less need to sit, think, ponder and guesstimate your shots.  GPS can save you from making a distance estimation mistake, but it also saves time.  There’s no need to wander around the fairway looking for a sprinkler with a marker on it.  You can stand over your ball and swing away with confidence.
  2. Knowing distance to hazards, helps avoid them. Using GPS accuracy, you can lay up on a shot if you need to by choosing a shorter club. (Not to mention avoiding the hazards prevents you from losing more balls than absolutely necessary and makes the game more enjoyable and less frustrating!)
  3. It helps you learn how far you hit your clubs. We’re all different; two people will hit the same set of clubs in vastly different ways.  GPS can help you learn what’s accurate for YOU. Say it’s 150 yards to the pin. You choose an 8 iron and hit it 10 yards short. The next time you’re 150 out, you’ll know to select a 7; or adjust accordingly.

Top Picks with GPS

Arccos Golf Real-Time GPS & Golf Stat Tracking Systemarccos golf gps.jpg
Arccos says the only thing its golf tracking system won’t do is carry your clubs! Arccos Golf is a fully automatic, GPS and golf statistics tracking system. You attach sensors to the end of the grips on your golf clubs (it comes with 14, so there’s no swapping back and forth!), and allows you to track metrics like GPS distances to the front, centre or back of the greens, club distances and averages, fairways hit or missed, greens in regulations, putting statistics, up and downs and sand saves. The software in Arccos’ app will analyze all of your stats, which the company says can help uncover strengths or pattens in your game to allow you to make smarter decisions on the course. A neat feature? Smart sensors can detect the difference between a real shot and a practice shot meaning your won’t have your app loaded with false data.
Th Arccos gets rave reviews on; in fact, they’re all five stars. ’T Davidson’ from Ottawa writes, “I was totally shocked at how easy this was to use and was totally amazed at being able to see all my shots and stats instantly! Then I went to the web dashboard on their site to see even more stats and analytics on my game. I was blown away with the data and with each of my shots mapped out on the course.”

Garmin Approach S4 GPS Golf Watch
rsz_garmin_s4.jpgWhat’s handier than having GPS technology in your bag? How about having it at your fingertips.  Or is it wrist-tips? In this case it is! The Garmin S4 golf watch with GPS puts the power of satellite technology right where you need it, no fishing around for a clunky hand-held GPS unit. The Garmin watch is packed with useful golfing features (like with over 30,000 international courses) which are accessed via a hi-resolution touch screen, which, according to Garmin, is bright even in the sunlight. It also lets you receive emails and texts from your smartphone. The battery is pretty impressive too; you can get 10 hours in GPS mode and six weeks in watch mode. Other neat features you might not expect in a wearable; manual pin positioning, the ability to calculate yardage front to back to line up your shots, and a digital score card, which can be printed and saved.  
TomTom Golfer GPS Watch
TomTom is a company tht makes another great GPS watch. This wearable (photo at top of page) precisely calculates green distances, shows you where hazards lay along the fairway, tracks stats like your score, distance, round time and more, all of which TomTom says helps you evolve in skill and precision. The watch has unique green and hazard graphics and allows you to see remaining distances to lay-up points.  Of course you can also do the basics like keep track of your score, distance, and time for your round.  While the data is visible on the watch itself, it’s also displayed on your smartphone through wireless syncing. Intrigued? Read more on the blog about TomTom’s watch.

Where I live it’s still a bit too cool and brown to try out the gear, but I’m already thinking of what gadgets might help my game when things start to green up.  Watch for reviews of some great new products this spring and summer, and if you’re using anything I should try (gadget, new tees, gloves, or a great ball) please let me know.  Like many duffers, I can use all the help I can get!

Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog