Golf GPS Accuracy
It’s been long standing debate about golf GPS units. Just how accurate are they? Well, in most cases – accurate enough and certainly within the playing capacities of most amateur golfers.
As a standard, golf GPS accuracy will typically be within +/- 2 yards. There are various factors which affect this golf GPS accuracy though and these have to do mainly with the amount of satellite coverage and how these satellites are spread around if you like. The more points of reference your GPS unit can access, the more accurate it will be.
Switching on your device and expecting this to display accurate readings immediately isn’t really the best way to go. Once you’ve switched your golf GPS on (or any GPS device for that matter) give it a few minutes to download all the satellite information. Once that’s done, and usually we’re talking about 4 or 5 minutes here, then you’re good to go.
You might well be thinking that a unit with an accuracy of within a couple of yards is perfectly ok. It is, but the accuracy of your typical golf GPS unit is rather better than that number. Let’s explain why.
Most GPS units on the market today allow you to measure your shot distances. This is actually one of the features we like most about these devices as it gives you the opportunity to really dial in your yardages with all your clubs. It’s a bit pointless knowing the flag is 170 yards away for example, if you don’t know which club you hit 170 yards.
Now, if you measure your club distances with your GPS, then any deflection from 100% accurate will be the same deflection as the distances the same GPS will display to the various targets on the course.
If you’ve measured your 6-iron for example as averaging 170 yards (with the +/- 2 yards accuracy of your GPS) then a target measuring 170 yards on the same GPS will have the same deflection (+/- 2 yards).
I know my average off the deck with a 6-iron is 170 yards and off the tee, 180 yards. When my GPS gives me a distance of 170 from the fairway, I’m reaching for the 6-iron. The deflection doesn’t really come into play. It’s the same +/- 2 yards for my average measured 6-iron and for the distance my GPS is measuring to the pin.
There is another question we should really be considering here. It’s not only a case of the golf GPS accuracy itself. The second part of that is the accuracy of the average golfer. Most golfers at the amateur level are accurate to within +/- 5 yards. That’s less accurate then the average GPS device. Even if a GPS device is accurate to within an inch, the average golfer can’t hit to that accuracy anyway.
Golf GPS accuracy is certainly good enough for the average amateur golfer. Measure your shot distances and use the same GPS during play. The deflection will be built into your average shot distances and the distances the GPS will display on course.
With a competent golf GPS unit your game is sure to improve. You’ll know the distance you hit all your clubs and you’ll know how far you’ve got to the pin. What it can’t do is swing the club for you – that’s still got to be done the old-fashioned way.