OVERALL RATING: 88. GRADE: B+. GolfBuddy has made large strides with the release of the GolfBuddy World Platinum, which incorporates full hole graphic layouts and the ability to target any point on the course for distance readings. The device is extremely easy to use – turn it on and it will find the course and hole and you’re off. Information is presented in a clear manner, and the menus are well organized. On top of that there are no additional subscription fees or other charges for accessing the golf course database – users simply pay for the device. Earlier concerns about course availability have been allayed, as GolfBuddy has made a serious effort to improve the course coverage.

Our biggest complaint is on the hardware itself – there is a noticeable (and frustrating) delay in touchscreen sensitivity. In addition, the screen on the GolfBuddy World Platinum isn’t as bright as we would like. Our experience has been that manufacturers take much longer to fix hardware-related problems, and thus we worry that these are issues that purchasers will be stuck with for some period of time (if not for the entire life of the unit). Our middle-of-the-road rating reflects this concern.

Course Availability
Ease of Use
Course Details



Retail price: $399.99
Three year total cost: $399.99
Availability: Discontinued. Replaced by the GolfBuddy Platinum

100 / A+


The Good: The GolfBuddy World Platinum scored a perfect 100 for setup, because you simply open the box, remove the device and power cable, charge it for 4 hours, and head to the course. No software installation is required, and with courses pre-installed on the device, you don’t have to worry about loading courses from your computer.

The Bad: Now that they have added Mac support, we can’t complain!

Details: Yes, there are times when you want to actually sync the GolfBuddy World Platinum to a PC, such as to add new courses as they become available or to update a course already on your device. To sync for these reasons, you will need to register for a free web account, install GolfBuddy management software on your PC, and sync your World Platinum via the included USB cable.
We should mention that GolfBuddy released a software update package in the fall of 2010 that contained corrupted files and required contacting their technical support to repair. This issue can be fixed, but it seems GolfBuddy needs to improve their software release process.

What’s in the Box: The GolfBuddy Platinum golf GPS device comes with the following:

100 / A+


Critical Golf Test: The team at GolfBuddy has clearly been busy adding new course maps, as they have risen from an initial 46% coverage in our course coverage analysis to a perfect 100%! We only count a course as being covered if full hole maps and green information are offered, so you can rest assured that these are maps that take advantage of the full array of the GolfBuddy World Platinum’s capabilities. Fantastic-

Manufacturer’s Claims: GolfBuddy tells us that they have 34,500 courses available worldwide in their course database, the largest number of any of the GPS devices tested. What we don’t know, however, is if this number is restricted to maps that take full advantage of the Platinum’s premium features (overhead hole maps and green maps), or if it includes courses for which they provide only basic information.

89 / B+


The Good: GolfBuddy has delivered easy-to-use products in the past, and the GolfBuddy World Platinum continues that legacy. The device is extremely automated at startup and is easy to navigate, from selecting target points to entering scores.
The Bad: A bit unusual that multiple methods can be used to track scoring and statistics, and the fastest method to enter both is to select to “Enter Stats”. The GolfBuddy doesn’t automatically advance to the green view, so users have to somehow intuit that this is accomplished by pressing the displayed distance to the center of the green (the “349” number in the upper right hand corner of the image below).

GolfBuddy Platinum Front View

Click for details

Suggestion Box: The touchscreen seems to afford the ability to create much more user-friendly ways to navigate some of the more advanced features, such as accessing the preference settings or advancing through different views. Here’s hoping that GolfBuddy will quickly push out a software update with that in mind!

Check out our chart comparing ease of use across different GPS devices.

93 / A-


The Good: The GolfBuddy World Platinum usually provides a large number of pre-mapped targets and hazards, and there is always the ability to add your own custom points.

The Bad: A few course maps, however, suffered from a dearth of pre-mapped targets, so adding additional custom points wound up being critical. We also weren’t able to determine how GolfBuddy selects the number of pre-mapped targets to display, and often would have rather seen more pre-mapped target distances in the hole view than GolfBuddy provides.

GolfBuddy Platinum Hole Graphic View

Click for views

92 / A-


The Good: The GolfBuddy World Platinum provides a varied feature set that should cover the requirements of most golfers.
The Bad: Data junkies may find that that the set of statistics that can be tracked is still relatively basic.

GolfBuddy Platinum Scorecard

Click for feature views

92 / A-


Device Accuracy: As is the case for most units tested, the device accuracy of the GolfBuddy World Platinum operated within the standard margin of error for GPS devices.
Mapping Accuracy: The illustrated maps generally portrayed the holes and the greens accurately, and we found the plotted locations of the different targets to be accurate. We did find some instances of missing bunkers that were in play.

86 / B+


Retail Price: The GolfBuddy World Platinum retails for $399.99, which places it on the higher end of devices tested.

Fees for Access to Course Database: Zippo. No additional annual fees or course download fees. Sweet!

Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership: With no additional annual fees or course download fees, the GolfBuddy World Platinum winds up being less expensive than a number of its competitors when it comes to the three-year total cost of ownership (which is a much better indication of the actual cost to the user).

Value: The reasonable cost of ownership, broad feature set, and much improved course availability make the GolfBuddy World Platinum worth considering. What gives us pause is the clunkiness of the hardware itself.

41 Responses

  1. Well, just got back from the golf course. Golf buddy platinum is just amazing. 10 satellites found me in the parking lot and ask me to walk to T box within 1 minute. I could see all the targets and all the distance I wanted to see. I think you need to go on the web site to see all the new courses available. All the courses I could imagine are available, at no charge! Wow! Best GPS I’ve ever seen! It’s now time to update your comments because Golf buddy platinum is the GPS to buy!!!

    1. I am about ready to throw this thing in the trash. I received the Golf Buddy World Platinum for my birthday and have uploaded several times to operating system version 1.0.6, application version 1.2.2 and database 1.7.9.  It is off as much as 30 yards sometimes and I am constantly having to manually switch holes for it puts me on the wrong hole? Guys I play with have sky caddies and they are right on!  About ready to throw this POS away!

      1. I have the same problem with distances…..20 to 30 yards off….frustrating as hell. Problem with Sky caddie is the annual fee….but……..

  2. Apparantly golfbuddy platnimun has a factory fix to make the size of the numbers larger, make the screen brighter and a glare free screen is in the works. I am told the factory rep can reprogram an existing golf buddy but the retailer cannot. Cannot understand why the retailer would sell a unit which must be upgraded by the factory rep later particularly since the store demo was upgraded and the balance of the retailer’s stock was not..

    I found the golfbuddy operated poorly in bright sunlight to the point it was almost un readable.

    1. We haven’t heard about a factory fix to modify the device through a factory rep, but will let readers know if we learn anything. If GolfBuddy is at the PGA Merchandise Show in January we will ask them to clarify.

        1. GolfBuddy wasn’t at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show, however we did contact the company, and the fix to make the numbers larger and increase screen brightness are part of a firmware update.

          You can get this on your own – simply download the Course Manager software and log in, once logged in you should be prompted to download the firmware update. Once this update is downloaded and installed, your World Platinum will have this updated functionallity.

          1. I have the same problem on a unit purchased last month. In bright sunlight the screen is almost unreadable. I have downloaded all firmware updates and this has changed nothing. We also have the original Tour model where screen clarity is much better.

  3. You might want to change your course coverage rating. They added nearly every course I have ever played in full layout. This one should be given an A+

    1. Glad you have experienced such good coverage in your area! We continue to update the course coverage for all current devices as new reviews are added, and will be doing our next updates within the month. The GolfBuddy World Platinum did have low coverage (the course had to include both fully hole layouts and green information to be “covered”) at the time of our review, and we hope that our coming updates will show an improved score in this area.

      1. agree with spider21 you need to update this review on course availability. This unit is now fully compatible with Mac also. One of the courses i played when i first got gps, was without many of the special features/ i.e. in a basic info mode. Took it home and went to their site, updated all courses i may play in next few years. Now the courses on my GB World Platinum all have full features as result of updates. I played 10 courses in naples , florida. than came home to chicago and played my regular courses. All dead accurate…the systems mounted by course in cart were always within 1-3 yards with Golfbuddy. Battery life 8-10 hours It stayed on last bar for 2 hours during one round, charge lasts longer than you’d think. Now that its updated and due to no annual fees ever (world wide) this is the best gps out there.

  4. Purchased on last month and final got out to try it. Distance is pretty accurate. Their web site is showing my home course was udpated late fall but I found a lot of bunkers and hazards are missing. They were there for many years.

    Their photo of the unit shows a complete hole layout but the actual unit have some of the tee boxes extended below the menu and target icons. Does anyone out there with a unit that does have this problem.

    On eof the feature they advertise is that the unit will recognize what course you are at but that feature does nto work. It only tell me what course is near by even when I am at the starting hole. The menu tells you how to change the setting to actviite this feature but the icon in the menu is not there even with the latest firmware.

    Battery life, will last 1 round no problem. I have yet to try to play two round with it yet.

    Overal, I would only give it a 7 out of 10. l Hope this helps.

  5. I have found that the golf buddy does not keep the stroke for the hole. When I start a new round I have to manually load them in.

  6. Im having problem Locating Satellites and I’ve notice my time zone date is wrong, Dec. 31, 1969, how can I fix this issue???

    1. I’ve already update
    2. try to emerancy rebooting
    3. reset GPS in tool menu

    don’t know what else to do

  7. I just purchased the Golf Buddy about one month ago. I have had no issues that I have read that others had so far. I agree that the tapping on the screen is difficult if you have larger fingers. My solution was to put a screen protector over the touch screen to provent scratch. I have been able to find all the courses in my area and have been vacationing in Michigan and was able to find the golf courses I played. As for know, my Golf Bubby get a thumbs up.

  8. I used my golf buddy platinum gps for the first time. On about 5 holes I had to advance it manually.  Do you think the unit is defective. 

  9. Buyer beware!  Received the platinum golfbuddy for Christmas and the warranty was expired (only 90 days!) before the snow left and I could go out and use it.  It finds the courses and holes easy enough but level of detail near the green is limited and it isn’t easy to use.  Buttons located on the sides are in just the right places to get accidentally pushed when you are holding the device. If you push the wrong button, you may end up having to turn it off and start over.  Also, the plastic holster is flimsy and breaks easily.  Replacements are spendy and not even listed on their web site.  I do not recommend this product.

  10. I just ordered the Golf Buddy World Platinum to replace my Callaway Upro MX which Callaway issued a recall notice on on August 3, 2011.  Can any of you who were also previous owners of the Upro MX who now use a Golf Buddy comment on your experience to-date?

  11. I just got the Golf Buddy World Premium this evening and tried to set it up.  Unfortunately the device is not recognized by my PC when I tried to synch them after installing the Manager Program provided on the CD which came with the device.  Before I call Customer Support, do any of you have a quick tip on how to do this so I am assured I have all the latest course updates installed.

  12. In May of 2011 I replaced my Sky Caddie SG5 with the Callaway Upro MX. Callaway recently announced a world wide recall of the Upro MX so I am in the process of obtain a full refund for this poorly engineered GPS device.  I replaced it with the Golf Buddy World Premium.  I used my Golf Buddy for the first time yesterday.  It was like night and day.  The use of the Golf Buddy was intuitive without the need to read the user manual (included on a CD).  One feature I particularly liked is by clicking on the “Target” icon, the exact distance from every hazard is shown along with a clear identification of each hazard, e.g., sand, ponds, water, etc.  I had not one error in club selection using this fantastic device.  The only minor complaint is that it is about 20% thicker than the Upro but I can live with that since the screen is about 40% larger than the Upro making it easy to read all hole measurements.  Finally, the customer service department is outstanding and timely both via their 888 number and via email.  If I was Callaway, I would acquire Golf Buddy and simply re-brand their GPS product–the two companies are only 70 miles apart in southern California.

  13. Just bought the GolfBuddy Plat and charge for four hours.  When I powered it up it went to the logo screen but I could not get to the menu screen.  It’s like it freezes at the logo screen.  Has anyone else had this problem, am I doing something wrong.  Also, I tried to set up my account and the web site would not accept my registration when I hit the submit button.  I’m beginning to think the device is defective.  Any help out there?

    1. Call the Golf Buddy customer service number (888-296-1428) and ask for Grant Horvath.  He is outstanding! He will also provide you his personal email address for future reference.

  14. It’s SWEET that there are no fees but it shows distances 20 or 30 yards off…..NOT IMPRESSED!!!
    Is firmware out to address this problem??

  15. I am looking to get a Golf GPS for Christmas and was having trouble deciding which one to get, Sky Caddie or Golf Buddy Premium.  Right now based on your thorough review of both I believe I am going to go with the Golf Buddy.  I have read other reviews but none as complete as yours.  

    Thank you

    1. Thanks for the kind words!
      The GolfBuddy is indeed a very good unit. Also stay tuned for our review of the GolfBuddy World, which is another device you should certainly consider.

  16. I have previously owned a SkyCaddie SG5 and the recalled Callaway uPro.  The Golf Buddy Platinum I purchased in August is the best golf GPS I have owned.  Only major complaint is that the screen has frozen twice in the middle of a golf round over the past 20 rounds I have played.  This was quickly fixed by removing the battery for a few seconds to re-set the unit.

  17. I bought a Platinum golf buddy gps from a dealer on EBAY.  I am not happy with it.  I wrote an Email to the company and never got a reply.  So I call customer service.  Because it was bought  on EBAY it voids any warranty.  The problems are that the unit is too dark..  You must hold it just right in sunlight to read it.  The buttons are on the side.  When you handle the unit it is easy to activate a button.  Over all, I really don’t like the gps and I would urge anyone not to buy one. 

  18. Hi, I am considering buying a platinum golf buddy gps however was just wondering if it had the option of converting distances from yards to meters and vice versa?

    1. Indeed the GolfBuddy Platinum can be switched between yards and meters – this is noted in the Features>Preferences section above (“unit of measure”…though perhaps we should have been clearer about that point…). Whichever units you like, play away!

  19. Comment on the readability of the Golf Buddy World Platinum:
    The problem is with the screen backlight LED timeout setting in that you have three choices: 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or 15 seconds.  The manual says they are 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds.  The change was made, according to the company, to preserve battery life, but the idiot who decided to do this is obviously not a golfer.  15 seconds is not long enough to read and decide.  I have spoken to two people at the company, and their reply is that is the way it is, and if you don’t like it, return it to where you purchased it as they have no plans to change the timeout settings.  Isn’t that a real fine attitude??????  I also have a SkyCaddie SGX, and I can play two rounds with it before charging and the backlight is on all of the time.  Everything else about the Golf Buddy is fine, but this issue stinks.  The work around is this:  Press the power button, then on the screen press ‘cancel’ when you see the lock screen.  You now have a fresh 15 seconds.  If that isn’t long enough, repeat the process.  Isn’t that wonderful?????  What puzzles me is that when I use it in this manner, at the end of 18 holes, the battery is still at about 75% charge, so I cannot understand their logic.  I would not mind charging it after every round just as I do my cart as long as I could read it completely thru the round without having to screw around with it.

  20. Stay clear of the golf buddy Platinum. I bought one last year and before I could use it I had to have golfbuddy e-mail me new software to install on the SD card. Good thing I work with computers. But now 10 months on and the golfbuddy has completely died and all they tell me is to send it back and we will ONLY charge you 80 EURO to look at it. No guarantee that they will fix it for 80 EUR. Dumped it and bought the Garminapproach g5, its is brilliant way better than the golfbuddy. But quality and go for the Garmin, unfortuinitly I went for the wrong unit first.

    1. I can appreciate your frustration with your Golf Buddy Platinum. I purchased the World Platinum Model #DSC-G8300 one year ago. Even the manufacturer’s annual flip flopping of the name of the product is disingenuous to the public as it confuses consumers as to the exact model number they own or are considering buying. So, always reference a model # on this discussion board. The primary current irritating problem I have every round is 1 or 2 instances where I cannot access the distance to the front/center/rear of greens because the unit locks up.
      I would like to see a discussion on this board of users’ experience with smartphone-based golf GPS software that is not free–both Apple iOS5 and Android Version 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) based software platforms utilizing the following handsets: iPhone 4S versus Samsung Galaxy S3. Topics for discussion: battery life during a typical round of golf, screen display in the bright sun, speed of on-screen adjustment of yardage as a golfer approaches their ball on a cart, etc.

  21. Just my two cents worth on the Golfbuddy platinum. I purchased one in
    September 2011 and it was BRILLIANT after I had spent a day speaking to
    tech support to get it to work for the first time as the software on the
    SD card was corrupted and needed to be reoladed. But once I had gotten
    over the birthing process it was a dream, every distance to hazard and
    hole at my disposale. My golf scores did improve and I had a new friend.
    But after 10 months my new friend kicked the bucket for no apparant
    reason and NO help from golfbuddy this time, just send us 80 EURO and we
    will have a look. Sorry but the Garmin G6 unit has just been ordered
    wit a 1year warrenty and I would not touch Golfbuddy again with such bad
    warrenty service.

  22. My Golf Buddy world platinum has been faulty since purchase. BEWARE if your world platinum is in warranty & does not show correct date/time send it back for replacement. The time/date are not able to be set on the device. It is set by the satellite signal. It is only weeks out of warranty & Golf Buddy are totally inflexible. repair will be at least £125 upto purchase cost of new device £339. Screen is difficult to read in sunlight battery lasts for around 36 holes. I am going to try phone based app @ £21 or else will try G5 Garmin.

  23. My Golf Buddy Platinum that I’ve owned for a year, like other comments barely last 18 holes before the battery dies…now it just died. When I push the power button, even when plugged in, I just get a slightly lighter grey screen. I have plugged it into a power source that charges another unit fine, but the golf buddy doesn’t seem like it’s charging. I tried the resetting the unit by holding the power and menu button down at the same time, but the grey screen just flashes a lighter shade twice and then goes blank. Should I pay to have it checked or should it just be chucked.

  24. My Platinum has repeatedly crashed since purchase. This can happen 5 or 6 times per round – meaning scoring is impossible. Lots of the crashes cause the scores to be lost. I’ve tried to get help from GolfBuddy customer services, but they have been a waste of time – they asked me to re-set the unit and upgrade firmware. I’d already been upgrading firmware, and the re-set made no difference. Beware of this product.

  25. Golf sucks.
    Why is rape better than golf?

    You can read a book and get raped at the same time.

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