Choose the Best Golf GPS Watch
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Golf GPS Watches
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A quality golf GPS watch is sure to help you improve your golf game. These wearable devices provide helpful hit statistics and navigation tips. We’ve scoured the internet in hopes of finding five of the best golf watches, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with the results.
Garmin Approach S20 – Editor’s Pick
AutoShot automatically measures, analyzes, and records shot distances. The watch can also be paired with Garmin’s TruSwing sensor to harvest swing metrics. The watch is loaded with more than 41,000 worldwide golf courses. Not to mention, it automatically updates courses and maps.
Not only is the S20 an excellent golf watch, but it also serves as a regular wristwatch, fitness tracker, and smart device. You can receive calls, texts, and other alerts on your watch. Depending on the mode you are using, you may be able to garner anywhere from 15 hours to 8 days of battery life.
The S20 prepares you for informal practice, intense competition, and more. You can use the watch to help you refine your shots from any location on the green. If you are an analytical player, you’ll find the watch’s data harvests to be indisposable to your success.
- AutoShot feature measures, records, and analyzes rounds
- High-resolution monochrome display screen
- Form-fitting hinged wristband
- Activity tracking and reminders
- Tracks fairways hit, greens in regulation, and putts per round
- Bluetooth and Ant+ connectivity
- Black silicone bezel and band
- Does not always accurately measure shots
Garmin Approach S60 – Top Touchscreen
What’s more, this golf watch can be used to detect green yardages, course hazards, and other course statistics in real-time. With a 10-hour (golf mode) to 10-day (watch mode) battery life, the S60 is what we call a workhorse.
This watch comes with over 41,000 preloaded worldwide courses. It also an array of full-color maps. The high-resolution touchscreen provides easy access to metrics. You simply touch the precise location of your target to generate an instant measurement between you and that spot. It is worth noting that the maps are easy to read in direct sunlight.
- Provides a full-color view of each course
- Circular black watch
- Quickly and accurately provides yardage to greens, hazards, and doglegs, etc.
- 10 hours to 10 days of battery life
- Over 40,000 preloaded courses
- Easy tool-free band changes and precise fittings
- Records ball distances for post-game analytics
- Does not include charging prongs
Bushnell Neo Ion 2 – Best Budget Pick
Of course, it also has plenty of enriching golf features.
For one, the watch is preloaded with over 36,000 worldwide golf courses. It provides accurate front, center, and back distances. Not to mention, it offers up to four hazard distances per hole. The automatic course recognition and hole advancement tools will give you a major advantage on the green. Of course, the data sets are also a precious resource for any golfer looking to improve their game statistics.
- Sleek reversible band
- Wireless course updates with the help of Bluetooth connectivity
- Over 36,000 preloaded courses
- Provides front, center, and back distances (plus four hazard distances per hole)
- Reckognizes frequently played courses and holes
- Step counter
- Monochrome screen
- Does not resemble a modern smartwatch
GolfBuddy GB9 WTX+ – Best All-Around Fitness Watch
It retains nearly half of its battery even after a game of 18 holes.
We love that this watch doubles as a source for fitness metrics. Not to mention, it syncs with a smartphone to provide instant phone and email updates. Considering the luxury elements, the price is quite reasonable. Not to mention, customers seem overwhelmingly satisfied with the product.
- Easy free updates and rapid smart notifications
- Over 38,000 preloaded courses
- Long battery life and easy to charge
- USFA and R&A compliant
- Responsive full-color touchscreen
- Syncs with smartphone to provide text, call, and news updates
- Easy to read in sunlight
- Not the sleekest appearance
- Must push button to refresh screen
CANMORE TW-353 – Minimalist Option
It is also incredibly durable. It even boasts a waterproof exterior and a lengthy manufacturer’s warranty.
The watch comes with over 38,00 preloaded worldwide courses. It has a super low price tag. While the monochromatic screen may seem like a relic from the past. However, it never fails to provide quick and accurate data. If you want a golf trainer that you can wear, the Canmore may be the best option for you.
- Over 38,000 preloaded courses
- GPS switches holes automatically
- Can download data using a USB cord
- Green distances, hazard distances, shot distances, and scorecard
- High-contrast monochromatic screen
- 1-year warranty
- No smartphone syncing features
What should you look to gain from your new golf watch? These incredible wearable devices provide the same insight as a personal trainer. Read along to discover their key features!
Comfort and Style
Don’t overlook a watch’s role as a style piece. Make sure that your watch has a bendable or hinged band. Silicone and plastic are popular materials, as they hold up well in the outdoors. Most golf watches have round or square faces. Choose a watch shape that meets your personal preferences. Make sure that the screen is large enough for you to read without having to strain your eyes.
Most golf GPS watches are preloaded with thousands of worldwide courses. We recommend opting for a watch with 30,000 to 40,000 golf courses. Be wary of manufacturers that charge extra to unlock course data. Make sure that you can easily update data at any time.
Most golf watches provide accurate distance metrics. At the least, you should be able to track the distance of your shot and hazard distance. More in-depth watches may also offer scorecards and downloadable analytics.
Your watch should provide you with a few rounds worth of battery life. We found that most watches offered 8 to 12 hours of battery life in golf mode. Whereas, they offered several days of battery life in watch mode. Ensure that your watch battery is easy to charge. Most smartwatches can be plugged into a USB cord.
Your watch should offer high-definition or high-contrast graphics. The screen should be easy to read in direct sunlight. Some players prefer to use buttons, while others enjoy the ease of touchscreens. Find a watch that you are comfortable navigating.
Many golf watches now offer smart features. Most products can be synced to a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth technology. This technology enables golfers to receive texts, calls, emails, and other updates directly from their watch. Many golfers prefer to keep their smartphones stowed in the valuables section of their golf bags. A lightweight wristwatch is far less cumbersome than a chunky phone. Not to mention, most wristwatches fair better in adverse weather.
FAQ Best Golf GPS Watches
Is a golf watch worth it?
Nowadays golf devices are quite popular among not only amateurs but pro golfers, as well. Whether to wear a GPS golf watch or not depends on an individual player. In general, buying such a watch is a smart decision since it is not forbidden to use but it greatly simplifies playing. Using GPS watches, one can measure significant distances to one’s target, detect hazards, get club suggestions, check up weather conditions, analyze their swing, and many other options. Though not all of the opportunities such watches offer are allowed to be applied during tournaments, the golf watch features are quite beneficial for playing with friends. They enable players to take into account the factors that may influence the success of their short. Agree that it is worthy to know whether there is any barrier on the path to your target, a tree, building, whatever, or whether the wind is strong enough to change either the length or the direction of the ball path. Thanks to GPS watches, golf player may also analyze their individual shots and gaming style in general what will positively affect their improvement. Depending on your needs, you can buy either cheaper multifunctional devices or more expensive but purely golf watches with advanced tracking features. But yes, buying a smart GPS watch is well worth it.
What is the best golf app?
Among apps for golfing, the most worthy one is Golfshot that is available in both free and paid versions. The latter, of course, provides wider opportunities, however, even free features may be enough for an effective play.
The free features enable tracking each shot on the course, checking the distance to the green center, keeping the score, reviewing stats, and getting golf news. They still provide significant info that prompts golfers to improve their play.
You can get extended pro opportunities on Golfshot if pay for a membership. In this case, you get club suggestions, zoom the map, view a 3D display of the hole, see real-time distances on dozens of thousands of courses, play games, get access to leaderboards, etc.
All in all, Golfshot is preferred and widely applied by a number of successful golf players.
What does the Garmin golf app do?
The Garmin golf app is regarded to be one of the most efficient ones. The app enables you to track your game stats and scores helping to improve your game and measure the progress. In addition, you can host a tournament by inviting friends for competition in any of thousands of worldwide courses available. Running the Garmin golf app while gaming, you can interact with other players in a live chat. Users can upload the scores and watch where they are on the weekly leaderboards. Conducting an analysis of strokes gained demonstrates the effect of every shot. Live updates on the courses enable you to keep track of your score every second of play. All these features are available for those who choose the Garmin golf app.
Which Garmin watches support golf?
Today, there quite plenty of Garmin devices that support golf apps. As far as watches are concerned, here are the examples that fall under three categories, namely specifically golf watches, adventure, and fitness watches with golf features.
- The models of Garmin golf watches: Approach S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S10, S20, S60, X10, X40
- The models of Garmin adventure watches supporting golf:
- D2 Charlie
- D2 Delta Series
- Descent Mk1
- Descent Mk2 Series
- Fenix 3
- Fenix 3 HR
- Fenix Chronos
- Fenix 5 Series
- Fenix 5 Plus Series
- Fenix 6 Series
- MARQ Collection
- Tactix Charlie
- Tactix Delta Series
- Quatix 6 Series
- The models of Garmin fitness watches supporting golf:
- Captain Marvel Legacy Hero Series
- First Avenger Legacy Hero Series
- Forerunner 935
- Forerunner 945
- Vivoactive HR
- Vivoactive 3
- Vivoactive 3 Music
- Vivoactive 4
- Vivoactive 4S
- Darth Vader Legacy Saga Series
- Rey Legacy Saga Series
Which is better Garmin S10 or S20?
The choice depends directly on your needs. If you want to have a fitness watch supporting a golf app, you may be satisfied with Garmin S10. However, if you need primarily a golf GPS watch with advanced automatic tracking capabilities and a longer-life battery, you’d better stop on S20. Moreover, Garmin S10 may fully satisfy an amateur player’s needs during the weekend course. However, a pro golfer is more likely to prefer S20 since it provides them with a lot of wider opportunities to improve their style and win.
How accurate are GPS golf watches?
The accurateness of GPS golf watches is influenced by various factors, including atmospheric conditions interfering with radio signals, satellite geometry, signal blockage, like trees, buildings, etc., and the quality of the receiver, namely its design. Since most GPS devices have receivers of the same type, so under normal conditions, they are quite accurate. The approximate range of possible accurateness is 10 meters in diameter that is quite enough for golf. However, of course, accuracy depends much on the quality of the watches so do not haste to buy one until you make sure the brand is reliable and it is positively reviewed by other players.
What is better a rangefinder or GPS watch?
A rangefinder or GPS watch? These are quite similar devices any golfer finds useful in play but with certain differences. So, both rangefinders and GPS watches inform you of yardages to your targets & hazards. The choice is up to a golfer. If one uses a rangefinder, they do not have to install mobile apps, course maps, or charge a watch. So they imply greater convenience in use. However, in terms of information vitality, golf watches provide more significant data. Nevertheless, they are slower in processing the distances in comparison to rangefinders. However, in regard to the price, watches are a more bargain purchase offering a greater amount of features for less money.
Are GPS golf watches legal?
It is generally thought that using GPS golf watches is legal. However, not all of their features are allowed to be used during golf competitions.
So what is allowed to do with a GPS watch? A golfer can measure yardages, share the info with partners, keep a track of round scores and distances. You can also use your device to access calls and notifications and to check the weather conditions, except for the wind speed.
Apart from the wind speed, the list of non-permitted actions with a GPS watch during a tournament includes slope reading, swing analysis, the play’s like, and club suggestions based on the swing history. Golf players should study the rules of the competition to find out whether they are allowed to wear and use such watches. In some cases, these non-permitted features may be just turned off for the time when the tournament holds.
Do pro golfers wear watches?
Not only amateur golfers use GPS watches during play but also plenty of pro golfers wear them. Among them: Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wei, and Dustin Johnson. By the way, not only do they use them during play but also out of it since the golf watches pro players prefer are stylishly designed and feature a rich look.
What watch does Tiger Woods wear?
Tiger Woods, the American golf player who goes first in PGA Tour Wins, has been caught wearing a few watches. During the celebration of the Players Championship 2013, he wore Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller. However, usually, Woods wears an Oyster Perpetual Day-Date II 18k white gold 41mm, with a fluted bezel.
What watch does Phil Mickelson wear?
For many years, the choice of Phil Mickelson, the famous golfer who has won five major competitions and gained the nickname ‘Lefty’, has been remaining on Cellini watches. However, occasionally, he also wears various Rolex Oysters, Rolex Sky-Dweller in Everose gold, for instance.
Video Tutorial: How To Use The Golfbuddy WTX
Best Golf GPS Watches by Year
- Best GPS Golf Watches of 2015
- Best GPS Golf Watches of 2016
- Best GPS Golf Watches of 2017
- Best GPS Golf Watches of 2018
A quality golf GPS watch can serve as a stand-in for a personal trainer. These little accessories help you keep track of your putting stats without forcing you to lug around heavy equipment. The options on our list offer plenty of preloaded courses, ample statistics, and lots of battery life. As always, our goal is to make your shopping experience a little more enjoyable. Now, get out and enjoy the green!
If you’re eager to get on the green, we recommend you stick to our editor’s pick, the Garmin Approach S20. This incredible watch comes with thousands of preloaded worldwide courses. It offers in-depth golfing stats that can be downloaded and parsed out by Garmin’s complimentary golfing app. The Garmin is also ruggedly handsome. As such, we’d consider wearing it on and off the course.