GolfBuddy VTX GPS Review – The GolfBuddy VTX GPS aims to bring you a full screen GPS in a compact size and to a certain extent it succeeds.
GolfBuddy VTX GPS Review
The VTX is surprisingly light at 140g and fits easily in your hand, pocket, bag or wherever else you wish to put it.
It comes with a plastic holder that fits on the back of the device with a rotating clip on the rear for attaching to your bag if you don’t want to carry it.
It is reasonably robust but the rim of your bag needs to be thin enough as the clip doesn’t open very far so I am not sure how secure it would be.
The GolfBuddy comes pre-loaded with 38,000 courses and these can be updated by pairing the VTX by Bluetooth to the GolfBuddy app on your phone.
GolfBuddy says that it has access to both GPS and GLONASS satellites to give you the most accurate yardages it can and the Dynamic Green view means that these are adjusted depending on your angle of attack to the hole if you are not down the middle.
The VTX fires up quickly using the side button and finds the course you are on in around 30 to 45 seconds. It then shows you centre yardage in large black/green numbers, with the front and back yardages either side in white.
If you tap the screen you can change this layout to one with an outline of the green shape if that is of interest.
Pushing on the flag icon on the bottom right of the screen brings up a larger version of the green where you can touch the screen to move the flag to where you know it is.
This then changes the ‘centre’ yardage on the main screen, although if you know the exact yardage you could just mentally add it to the front number…but I guess it could have its uses if maths is not your strong point.
Swiping left on the screen will not get you a date, but will bring up a map of the hole with fairway and hazards shown. Due to the small screen there is not much detail on here, but you can touch the screen to get a distance to lay up points.
Swipe left again and you get details of distance to any hazards, although it would be good to have both the distance to reach and also to carry them.
You have to swipe twice right to get back to the main yardage screen and if you want to scroll between holes then you swipe up and down.
This can get a little frustrating as the screen is no iPhone when it comes to responsiveness, but in some ways that is good for when it is in your pocket, even if you can lock the screen by pushing the right button.
There is a scoring function where you can track up to 4 players and also show their scorecards for the whole round which is simple and easy enough to use.
If you push the button on the front then the VTX will speak the yardages to you in your preferred voice gender.
It’s a nice idea, but if you are having to push the button to do this then you are probably already looking at the screen with the numbers on it already. I suppose the voice function is good if it is on your belt or bag and you just hit the button, but it seems more like a ‘nice to have’ feature.
One thing that is good about the VTX is the battery life. It charges up using a supplied mini-USB cable and you should get 2 to 4 rounds out of a single charge, depending on how long you take.
If the GolfBuddy VTX had been launched 5 years ago it would have been a blockbuster. Light, long battery life, small, easy to read numbers with a touchscreen and a talking caddie. It’s well put together, compact and for the visually challenged, the large number display might be useful.
However in these days of free GPS maps on iPhones with high quality visuals, or compact smart GPS watches and devices like GolfBuddy’s own Voice X, it seems like the VTX is wide of the mark.
GolfBuddy VTX Golf GPS Rangefinder – Product Details
|UK Launch||17 May 2018|
|UK Launch RRP||£249.99|
|USA Launch||May 2018|
|USA Launch RRP||$329.99|
|European Launch||May 2018|
|European Launch RRP||€299.90|
|Device Type||GPS Handheld|
|Dimensions||Width: 56mm, Height: 95mm, Depth: 14.2mm|
|Screen Size||Width: 35mm, Height: 59mm|
|Device Weight||140 grams|
|Manufacturer’s Website||GolfBuddy Website|
Reviewed by Martin Hopley – Golfalot.com