The Distances on My Golf GPS are Wrong!

Golf GPS is not 100% accurate.It’s important to say that most golf GPS owners have far more good things than bad to say about their devices. However, there are always a few complaints for every device that say something like this… “The distances on my golf GPS are wrong!” OR “The yardage is way off on the 5th hole at my course” and other variations on this theme. Make no mistake, getting the distance right is the most important feature of these devices, so this is a big deal.

The first thing you need to understand is that there aren’t any golf GPS devices that are perfect. All of them are “off” some of the time. Unlike laser, GPS isn’t always accurate down to a couple of yards. Apparently things like weather and trees and course maps all affect your golf GPS, yet amazingly, most of them are accurate to within about seven yards (I’m guessing) most of the time.

There are a few things you can do to improve the performance of your golf GPS.

  • Make sure you update the maps once or twice a year. Not only are courses being added all the time, updates to the existing maps are being made as well. While you’re at it, check to see if there are any firmware updates that can be made to your device.
  • If you find a hole or a course that has bad distances, report it to the manufacturer of your device.
  • On some devices you can update the locations on your device of the front, middle and back of the greens. Some of them also allow you to add points to the maps. If you have a consistent problem on a course you play frequently, you’ll want to use this feature.
  • Wait for it! It takes most GPS devices a few seconds or more to “settle”. Don’t pull up in your cart and assume the distance will be immediately correct, just wait a few seconds before pulling your club.
  • Take in your surroundings to see if there are any easy to see clues that might reassure you of your distance. You might see a 150 yard pole ten yards in front of you or a sprinkler head nearby.
  • If your distances seem to be way off all the time and your device is under warranty, you’ll probably want to return it as it may be defective.

For most of us, a golf GPS is going to help us way more often than it hurts us and being “off” a few yards now and again won’t even be noticeable. However, low handicap golfers and others who desire accuracy to within a couple of yards every single time, will likely be much happier with a laser rangefinder.