Club Distances and GPS

Many golfers use devices that provide distances to the golf hole. In order to make the most of this feature, golfers also need to know how far they hit each club. We strongly recommend that you use our golf club distances calculator to work out these distances, or you can consult this table.

In this article we will discuss how GPS works, the causes of GPS error, the types of GPS devices, and show how to use golf GPS devices to improve your golf.

How GPS works

The Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed by the US military to provide highly accurate positioning round the world. Right from the beginning, the designers saw the potential for civilian use, and designed into the system a method of allowing the public to calculate position. The original aim was to provide about 100 metre accuracy for civilians. Clearly this would not have been much use for golfers, but overtime the civilian accuracy has been upgraded to a few metres, so it is now possible to use the system for golf. GPS uses a network of satellites that are orbiting the globe to make accurate measurements. Each satellite has a high accurate atomic clock and a transmitter that is capable of transmitting coded signals down to the earth's surface. Down on earth a GPS receiver acquires the codes from at least four satellites, and uses timing differences between the different satellites to work out the receivers position.

GPS Errors

Golfers can make better use of GPS devices if they understand some of the common errors that GPS devices can make. In general, once the GPS device has acquired sufficient satellites, GPS errors should be very small in most cases. Indeed to most probably cause of error for a Golfer using a GPS device is having the device on the wrong hole. Another cause of error is not interpreting the GPS device correctly. For example, if the device is set to measure distance to the front of the green, but the golfer thinks it is measuring distance to the middle of the green, then the golfer will be short of the green.

Types of Golfing GPS devices.

There are a number of different ways that Golfers can use GPS.

Using GPS for golf.

Golfers need to know how far they hit each club. We strongly recommend that you use our golf club distances calculator to work out these distances. Then you can use the following procedure.

Want to Improve Quickly?

For over 11 years, Golf Mentor has been helping golfers enhance their skills. It is now powered by the amazing Artificial Intelligence of ChatGPT.

The Golf Mentor suggests fixes for your swing faults, provides you with drills, improves your mental game, crafts a personalized improvement roadmap, provides a handicap and tracks your progress. It is your own 24x7 golfing tutor. The Golf Mentor is easy to use and can make a huge difference to your game. For a limited time we are offering a free 14 day trial.


Stripe handles all credit card information.

You can cancel at any time within the 14 days trial at no charge. By signing up, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions. All credit card transactions are directly processed by Stripe, who handle billions of dollars of transactions per year. Even using it during the trial period can make a big difference to your game. Why not join the thousands of other golfers who have tried the Golf Mentor?

See The Golf Mentor in Action

Ask the Golf Mentor a question on the course