The Best GPS Golf Watches And Devices on The Market
GPS devices are a big must have for golfers heading into the thick of the 2023 season, with club tournaments and competitions starting. Knowing your surroundings and yardages can be the difference between a good round and a great one - especially when it comes to playing an unfamiliar course.
There are hundreds of devices to choose from and it can be quite a headache trying to find the right one for you. GPS watches are a very popular choice, but if you’re someone who doesn’t like having anything on your wrist while playing there are smaller handheld devices which can be attached to a bag, belt buckle or even just be kept in a pocket.
These are nine of the best GPS devices on the market:
Garmin have been one of the major driving forces in advancing golf GPS technology and with the release of the Garmin S62 GPS Golf Watch they have taken it to a whole new level. The S62 introduces a whole range of new features and the sleek design means it looks good on and off the course. A useful pinpointer feature makes finding the pin when playing blind holes (or when you’re well out of position) a lot easier. The hazard view also lets you quickly see which hazards are before you and the distances to them - meaning you can strategise for each hole.
A virtual caddie is on hand to advise you on club selection and it takes into consideration uphill or downhill factors, wind speed and your own personal club distances that you enter in the compatible Garmin app. It is a great feature which will help you to make better decisions during your round.
The S62 is comfortably one of the best GPS devices on the market and its ability to double as a regular smartwatch puts it head and shoulders above many other options.
The Bushnell Phantom 2 is an ideal GPS for someone looking for simplicity. The small device attaches to the side of your bag with the clip provided or is small enough to fit in your pocket.
The device has four buttons and a simple interface. It is easy to use and the yardages are large and highly visible. While using the device you can skip between screens using the buttons to find out your distance from the flag, to hazards and even to specific pin placements.
Once in Play Golf mode, the course you’re on or near is automatically detected and with a few clicks, your round has started. The GPS allows for score tracking and is connected to the Bushnell Golf app, so you can save your completed rounds and then look at the data - such as FIR and GIR.
The Phantom 2 is a very good, affordable GPS option for those with a lower budget.
The Garmin Approach G80 GPS stands alone in the Golf GPS world. This small device can be kept in a pocket or attached to a trolley. This GPS unit has a large, anti-glare screen and is easily viewed in sunlight.
Just like slope functionality on laser rangefinders, the G80 has the ability to take into account how uphill or downhill a shot is, giving a more accurate yardage to the user. The device also detects which course you are at - with over 40,000 preloaded courses worldwide. It offers all of the basic features of most GPS devices including front, middle and back yardages, while also giving the player the ability to score track - ideal for those who don’t like carrying a scorecard.
The Shot Scope H4 is a powerful GPS handheld that can track shots and provide performance insights to help a golfer improve. The tracker comes with 36,000 courses ready to use and provides the user with front, middle and back yardages. This allows players to plot their way around the course and form a strategy for each hole.
The H4 comes with 16 tags which attach to your clubs. The small handheld device can be attached to a belt buckle, golf cart, bag, rangefinder or even kept in a pocket. After collecting data, over time the H4 handheld uses it to recommend clubs depending on the yardage. There are over 100 different statistics that can be broken down using the app post round.
This is a great value GPS with the bonus of game tracking included which is great for any improving golfer.
The Approach S10 GPS watch is one of the cheapest by Garmin and is great value for money. The easy-to-use watch automatically chooses the course you’re playing from more than 41,000 preloaded courses worldwide with free lifetime updates.
It provides accurate yardages for the front, middle and back of greens and automatically switches to the next hole once you walk off the green. The device also allows for score tracking and has a high resolution, sunlight-readable display, meaning this is easy to use no matter the conditions.
The G12 is another top quality GPS produced by Garmin. The device is preloaded with over 42,000 CourseView maps for golf courses around the world.
The G12 uses accurate information to give front, middle and back yardages like most good GPS devices. It all uses ‘Green View’ which gives the user the true shape of each green they step on and allows the pin to be moved for greater accuracy.
The small handheld device has a very clear interface and allows the user to make the text bigger and bolder if required. It also has the added feature of score tracking for those who don’t like getting their scorecard out on the course.
The T9 is one of the newest devices in the Voice Caddie GPS line.
The T9 has a Full colour touchscreen, provides yardages to the front/centre/back of the green, and offers advanced features such as Active Green which helps improve accuracy, V-Algorithm 3.0 which is used to calculate the slope and green undulation which is shown by arrows on the screen and a heat map.
The putt view shows elevation and distance to pin and the course view gives a clear indication of hazards and bunkers so the player can plot their way around the course more easily.
This watch also contains a great tempo mode feature for practicing, making it easier to get into the swing of things on the range or before a round.
SkyCaddie have been market leaders in this field for many years and the SX550 GPS is one of their best devices to date.
The SkyCaddie SX550 has the largest screen of any device on the market and is now 5.5 inches providing more viewing screen than ever before. The colour LCD display is a top quality responsive touch screen and makes the SX550 simple to use.
SkyCaddie are one of the only companies to map their courses by foot allowing for more accurate yardages which gives players more confidence when picking their clubs.
The new and improved HoleVue feature automatically re-orients the entire golf hole from your position to the green as you progress down the hole. Furthermore, SkyCaddie's patented Intelligreen technology allows golfers to see the entire hole from their point of view.
The Bushnell ION Elite watch is one of the best devices in Bushnell’s GPS line.
The ION Elite features Bushnell’s patented Slope Technology which gives more accurate distances meaning players can be more confident with their club selection.
The HoleView screen allows you to view the layout of the hole, and with Shot Planning on you can get precise distances to any point on the hole.
GreenView is a feature which allows the player to see the shape of the green and to move the pin on their device to improve their accuracy.
This device is another which is compatible with the Bushnell Golf Mobile App on iOS and Android which allows a player to track their scores and see their stats for GIR, FIR, etc, once they have finished their round.
These nine devices are some of the best on the market - it just comes down to budget and preference.
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