GPS or laser rangefinder – that is the question

Decades ago, life was easy. Golf life, too. There were distance poles on the side of the fairway, indicating 100, 150 and 200 meters or yards. It was measured towards the front of the green and you would add a good portion to the green center or the flag, whatever you were aiming for.

In between poles you would either roughly estimate or pace out manually. These measures were of course very rough but fine for most golfers nonetheless for hundred years.

Then modern technology hit the golf course as well. Nowadays it’s common to ask for exact distances, and when I say “exactly”, I mean exactly. A margin of three meters doesn’t seem to be OK anymore – you need exact figures.

I couldn’t resist myself either, as you can imagine, so in the end I use both a laser and a GPS device. But let me explain what I think of both devices and what I believe these are targeted at. Because not every style of player would be equally happy with both devices.

Generally I truly appreciate the technology that made its way to golf as well. I also believe that, correctly used, it can drastically improve your game. But it does require some thought process and less ego—yes, I’m talking to you, middle aged male golfer.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we:

Continue reading GPS or laser rangefinder – that is the question

Quick course update of the Garmin Approach S2

It’s over a year ago that I bought my Garmin Approach S2 golf GPS watch. I mean I have plenty of watches but this one has so much functionality which I really love. It had GPS data for 30,000 golf courses around the world already stored when I bought it and just today I made a quick 15-minute update: new courses, new GPS data, new course layout, etc. – easy as that.

After the installation of the Garmin Express application it was a simple plug and install process, very easy to handle. I guess once a year is enough for an update of course material.

There is no round in which I don’t wear the watch, I literally wouldn’t leave the house to go golfing without this device. The GPS information it provides is truly inevitable. It’s a complete different way of golfing: go to your ball, check the yardage (front of the green, middle of the green, back of the green), check for specialties such as wind and then chose a club, do your normal swing and there you are: on the green (well, theoretically). But it seriously totally changes your game and takes out the guessing and unclarity of exact distance to the target. Just a simple glance on the watch which displays all relevant data (even layup distances) and there you go.

I don’t want to praise it too much, but after a while you feel you can’t play without it anymore. Truly a great device that I’m happy about having bought it. Definitely recommend it!

Update: I just finished the course update installation. Apparently there is not enough space on the device to store all world-wide courses anymore. Therefore I had to pick 2 out of 3 packages that I liked to have installed. I chose “Americas” and “Europe, Middle East, Africa” and had to delete “Asia, Australia, Oceania”. So next time I’m traveling to Australia, could please someone remind me to install that again? Thanks! #FirstWorldProblems