With the GolfBuddy Voice, GolfBuddy brings its marketing and distribution muscle into the new realm of voice-enabled golf GPS devices. The Voice is able to leverage GolfBuddy’s experience with dedicated handheld devices, including its exceptional course coverage and mapping of the edges of each green edge, which enables the device to provide distances to the near, center and far points on the green relative to player position.

The device is small and light, and comes with a clip to attach to brim of a cap, shirt, or belt. The Voice will speak the distance at a touch of a button – the default is the distance to the center of the green, but pressing and holding down the main button will cycle through distances to the near and far points of the green. It was nice to have the additional information available, but the awkward interface deterred our review staff from taking the time to find the near and far green distances unless it was absolutely necessary.

The GolfBuddy Voice not only speaks yardages, but also include a small screen where players can visually obtain distances and see a rough graphic of the shape of the green. While the display provides some advantages, such as providing access to the par score for the hole, our conclusion was that if we were going to take the time to bring the display into a position to see the information, we would likely prefer either a watch or a non-voice golf GPS device that had more features. The list of features for the Voice is pretty short, though it does include auto-hole advance and shot distance tracking.

The GolfBuddy Voice retails for $199.99, and while there are no additional fees for access to the course database, this price point puts it within striking distance of golf GPS watches and handheld golf GPS devices with more functionality. Voice-enabled devices may yet become significant in the market, but based on the units we’ve tested to date, no one has fully cracked the code yet.

Course Availability
Ease of Use
Course Details



Retail price: $199.99
Three year total cost: $199.99
Availability: Replaced by the GolfBuddy VT3
Amazon.com: Check price now
Golfsmith: Check price now

75 / B


The Good: The GolfBuddy Voice has courses pre-loaded on the device. The screen will flash while charging and turn off when finished.

The Bad: We still aren’t fans of the GolfBuddy registration process, which requires a barrage of information in order to set up your (free) account. The time to sync courses is longer than for most devices.


What’s in the Box: The GolfBuddy Voice GPS (with hat/shirt clip attached) comes with:

Downloads (required):

100 / A+


Critical Golf Test: GolfBuddy has rapidly improved their course database since our tests first began. Additional course coverage improvements in 2012 bring the GolfBuddy Voice to 100% in our course coverage test. Congrats, GolfBuddy!!

Manufacturer’s Claims: GolfBuddy claims a course database of approximately 17,900 courses in the United States (right at the top), and 34,500 Worldwide (tops). This places the GolfBuddy Voice at tops of the field in worldwide course coverage.

89 / B+


The Good: Small and light.

The Bad: We can’t cycle through distances as quickly as we would like, and when doing so, the order is center-near-far. We didn’t find having a small screen plus voice capability to be a useful combination.

GolfBuddy Voice Golf GPS Device

Click for more images


For more details, check out the Critical Golf comparison of golf GPS ease of use.

82 / B-


The Good: In addition to the distance to the center of the green, the GolfBuddy Voice also provides the yardages to the near and far edges of the green. Note that the latter two aren’t the front and back of the green relative to the tee box; rather, the far and near edges change based on exactly where on the hole you are standing. It may seem a small detail, but it is a big advantage to have the entire green edge mapped.

The Bad: The green images shown on the green view screen were often not accurate enough to be useful. And as with all devices that are limited to green information, we found ourselves craving distances to hazards.

GolfBuddy Voice Golf GPS Device

Click for larger image


84 / B


The Good: It speaks! And it also has a display, although it’s pretty small (1 inch x 0.5 inches).

The Bad: No ability to track scores or statistics.


For more details, check out the Critical Golf comparison of golf GPS device features.

86 / B


The GolfBuddy Voice generally provided distances accurate to within 4 yards, although we had difficulty verifying distances to the near and far points of the green as the device no longer provides distances, either by voice or on the display, once the player has reached the green edge (defined as approximately 10 yards from the edge of the green).

We did notice that there was often a yardage difference between the GolfBuddy Voice and the GolfBuddy Platinum, which we were testing during the same round. We found the GolfBuddy Voice to both be slightly less accurate, and often take more time to lock on to a correct reading (on one occasion we saw the GolfBuddy Voice take up to a full minute longer to lock into an accurate reading). GolfBuddy must be using the same course maps for both devices, so we presume that the disparity is caused by differences in the hardware.

85 / B


Retail Price: With a retail price of $199.99, the GolfBuddy Voice is one of the least expensive GPS devices tested, though there are a number of dedicated devices with displays and hazard information that are available for less. Of the voice golf GPS units on the market, it is the least expensive.

Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership: With no additional cost for access to the database for new courses or updates, the three-year total cost of ownership of the GolfBuddy Voice GPS remains at $199.99, placing it in the least expensive third of devices in our comparison of golf GPS device total costs.

Value: While the device has one of the lower prices for a golf GPS device, it is a “tweener” in the market – it doesn’t provide the hazard data available in less expensive devices (such as the Bushnell neo+ or IZZO 3000 devices), and it lacks the functionality of the more feature-rich devices that we have come to appreciate. The primary differentiator is voice, and whether you value that feature will exclusively determine whether you like this device.

Although the display will provide the hole, par, and green graphic, we didn’t find much value in it. The whole point of a voice-enabled golf GPS device seems to be avoiding looking at a display. If we are going to look at a display at all, we would just as well turn to a different device such as a watch, which has a more accessible form factor and display, and can provide additional hazard information and other functionality that that the GolfBuddy Voice doesn’t possess.

10 Responses

  1. I have a Golf Buddie voice and it has helped me immensely It gives you confidence in selecting the correct club for every shot you are about to take. I have had it for 1 week and already my game has improved just listening to the yardage confirms my eyes what distance I am from the green. I have 1 question the quick link is great to get you started but I cannot set the time on the gadget I was hoping that maybe someone could enlighten me as to how to set the time as when I press the P button and hold it does nothing and shows some wiered icons on the display it is not important for my game but I dont wear a watch and I always no matter what leave my phone in the car some places are sacred and definately the golf course is one sacred place, please can anyone assist me.

      1. That does not work for me. I turn the voice on ,hit the P and nothing comes up but something I cannot read.

  2. I love, love, love my Golf Buddy Voice; it’s faster than any hand held device and just as accurate!  I clip it on my visor and never know it’s there until I press the button.  Why anyone would bother to take the time to take a device out of their bag, focus it on the flag and return it to their bag is beyond me when this option is available for probably less money.

    1. Thanks for the comments. It is indeed a strong benefit of the voice and gps watches to be able to access information so quickly.
      Curious if you ever refer to the image of the green on the Voice screen, and if you toggle between NCF green points when getting readings? Or do you generally leave the Voice clipped to the visor and focus on center of green only for distance readings?

  3. I just ordered one for $125, free shipping and no tax. That seems to be the online street price at this time. I want the voice partly because I have trouble reading scratched up screens in the daylight. And I don’t like to have to dig out my reading glasses for extra magnification. I had a Guru (just lost it) and there were times when I put it away because I literally could not find an angle in the sun or the shade of my hand where I could read the screen. Furthermore, as small as the Voice screen may be, the distance number displayed is a lot larger than the tiny number on the screen of my Golf Guru.

  4. I think “Voice Caddie” brings its marketing and distribution muscle into the new realm of voice-enabled golf GPS devices. That’s the first voice-guided golf GPS in wholeworld. Please review it “Voice Caddie”

  5. I’m enjoying my Golf Buddy except I have to manually change holes when I don’t pass close enough to the men’s tee. Annoying. . . . . .

  6. Fully charged my new GB then let it sit for 6 days before playing. The battery went south after 11 holes — about 3 hours. What happened to the other 6 hours?

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