If you are looking for an easy and accurate way to improve your golf game a golf GPS watch can be a great addition to your equipment. One of the best things about a Golf GPS watch is that most of them can be worn as a lifestyle watch as well. You will be getting something that can work as a caddy, a fitness tracker, a stylish addition to your wardrobe and more. Depending on the model you choose, golf GPS watches can give you a lot of valuable information about the hole, your yardage to the pin and actual stats about your golf game. We have put together a list of our favorite golf GPS watches and some critical information you should consider when choosing a watch.
Seeing is Believing
Chances are one of the reasons you are looking into a golf GPS watch as opposed to a rangefinder is that you have trouble seeing the yardages on a range finder. Although the display on many of these watches is not large, it is certainly more substantial than a rangefinder yardage display. Another thing to keep in mind is that you won’t need to steady your hand to get a proper yardage on a golf watch.
People who struggle with rangefinders because of glasses and glare or a steady hand and poor vision will have great success with the watch. Most of the watches come with an anti-glare screen that you should be able to see easily, even with very sunny conditions.
Plug It In
Battery life is essential when it comes to GPS golf watches. Not only do you want a product that has a great battery the first six times you use it, but you will want a battery that lasts for years. Properly caring for the battery life of your GPS watch is important. Carefully follow all manufacturer’s recommendations.
Some of the lower end GPS watches come with about six to eight hours of battery life when in the GPS mode. Higher end models will last fifteen or more hours in GPS and will last for weeks outside of GPS mode. If you are struggling to choose between two products, go with something that has a longer battery life even if it costs a bit more.
When choosing a golf GPS watch size does matter, for several reasons. For starters, you need to make sure that you are able to read the display. Purchasing a watch that does not show you a clear and accurate reading will be frustrating.
If you have made the decision to wear this watch outside of golf, then size will also matter. Choosing the right balance between a watch that works for lifestyle and golf can be difficult. The Garmin models really offer some quality options in several different sizes and colors. If you want something for golf, fitness, and life seriously, consider the Garmin.
GPS, Fitness Tracker, or Both?
When you start shopping for Golf GPS watches, you can easily get sidetracked by all the fantastic features they offer. You will have to choose if you are looking for a product that is just a GPS for your golf rounds or if this is something you will use in day to day life.
If you are going to be wearing your watch daily, having features like step tracking and calories burned will be useful to you. Most of the golf GPS watches that offer fitness tracking will be more expensive, but they are really offering several products for the price of one. We feel as though having four different watches makes no sense. If you are a golfer and a fitness person, get something that works for both at the same time.
#1 Best Overall Golf GPS Watch: Garmin Approach S40
Our top pick for a golf GPS watch is the Garmin Approach S40. We chose this product because of its fair price and incredible amount of features. The Garmin approach looks good and can be worn as a regular fashion watch in addition to a golf watch. This watch is lightweight and is easy to read in the sun. With more than 41,000 golf courses preloaded from around the world, you will be ready to hit the ground running as soon as you put this watch on. This watch will also track steps, and your sleep and the battery should last up to 15 hours while using GPS. If you want to play 36 holes in a day, go for it!
#2 Best GPS Golf Watch for The Money: GolfBuddy GB9 WTX
Next on our list is the Golf Buddy GB9 WTX Swartwatch Golf GPS. This is a straightforward and easy to use, user-friendly device. Although Garmin leads the way when it comes to the number of models and quality of equipment when it comes to golf GPS watches, GolfBuddy is not far behind.
The pricing on this model is partly what puts it in the number two spot as it is very reasonably priced for all that it offers. This watch comes with 38,000 courses preloaded and will update free of charge. When it comes to distances on the green, you will get one to the front, center, and back of the green.
The battery on this watch will work for about eight hours in the GPS mode. This is not as strong as the Garmin Approach S40 but certainly enough to get a round or two in without have to charge. There is also a smartphone app that will work with this Golf Buddy. For those of you worried about setting a watch up there is nothing to be concerned with when it comes to the Golf Buddy GPS Watch. When you show up to the golf course, the watch will automatically recognize the golf course and start giving you the yardages you need.
#3 Best for Stats Tracking: Garmin Approach S20
And we are back with another Garmin. This model is the S20 GPS Golf Watch. This model does have the autoshot round analyzer that will allow you to log in to an app and check the stats of your round.
The Garmin Approach S20 is both stylish and comfortable with a very sleek watchband. This will work with both iPhone and Android. If you are a fitness person, this watch is a perfect fit, as it will track all of your activity as well. If you need an excuse to grab that hamburger at the nineteenth hole, this watch will tell you exactly how many calories you burned and the steps you took.
If you are a stat tracker (which all serious players should be), then you will like the stat tracking feature that this watch provides. Some of the things it will track include fairway hit, greens in regulation and putts per round.
This watch is priced lower than other Garmin models and has a very easy to read display.
#4 Best Lightweight Model: Garmin Approach S10
If you want a sporty and lightweight design, the Gamin S10 could be an excellent solution for you. This GPS golf watch is simple and easy to use. It comes preloaded with 41,000 golf courses. The S10 will give you yardages to hazards, doglegs, and three locations on the green (front, middle, and back).
You can manually keep score on your watch, and it will also give you the time of your round, and the total distance played. This watch does not have the same exercise or step tracking abilities that some other models have. You can also upload your scorecard to the Garmin to help in keeping track of your rounds. The battery on this unit will work up to 12 hours.
#5 Best for High Tech Enthusiasts: Golf Buddy Aim W10
Next on the list is the Golf Buddy Aim W10. This watch will be a bit higher in price than the other Golf Buddy model that we recommended. With an eleven-hour battery life, this golf GPS watch will work for about three rounds before it needs a recharge.
One of our favorite things about the Golf Buddy Aim is the zoom feature it offers to give you a better view of the green. This watch gives you very nice graphics, but that is something that you will pay for.
The screen on the Golf Buddy Aim is a full-color LCD display, and it is a touch screen as well. This watch will come with 40,000 courses preloaded on it, and they will automatically update via Bluetooth technology.
If you want a model that will give you a course layout and a clear picture of where you are headed, this is a great solution.
#6 Best Budget Golf GPS Watch: Bushnell Neo Ion 2 Golf GPS Watch
If you thought Bushnell limited themselves to laser rangefinders, think again! Although Bushnell does dabble in the golf GPS watch business, they are not the leaders. If you are looking for a quality option that gives accurate and straightforward yardages, the Bushnell Neo may be a good option for you.
This model features a long battery life; you should be able to play about three rounds without having to charge it up. The watch comes preloaded with over 36,000 courses. When it comes to look and features of a golf watch, this Bushnell will not be the front runner. It is entirely adequate for a simple yardage, but if you want something with the highest level of technology, choose a different model.
# 7 Best for Ease of Use: TecTecTec ULT-G
Next, we have the TecTecTec ULT-G Golf GPS Watch. Despite having a less than traditional name for the product, this is actually a good GPS watch.
This is a lower-priced model with a risk-free thirty-day money-back guarantee. The TecTecTec model is perfect for people who are scared of technology. This model has four buttons to help you navigate through your round. If you want a model with lots of features and excess information, this is not the one for you.
The TecTecTec ULT-G allows access to over 38,000 courses around the world. Although this watch will tell you the time as well, it will not track steps or calories burned. Since this is a GPS watch, it will automatically switch to the next hole as you play, but it will not record scores or shots taken.
This golf GPS watch is water and dust resistant and will get you through about 2.5 rounds before it needs to be charged.
#8 Best Cheap Golf GPS Watch: Amba9 GPS Golf Watch
The Amba9 GPS Golf Watch is one you may not have heard of. This is the lowest priced model to make our list. Although you are going to spend less money upfront with this model, it may not hold up in time, quite like a Garmin would.
The Amba9 is capable of giving you yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green on 36,000 preloaded courses around the world. A nice feature on the Amba9 is that you can set the pin position to try and get a yardage that is a bit more accurate.
The battery on this golf GPS watch should last for up to twelve hours; this is actually quite long for a golf GPS watch in the GPS model. Although this model will not help you keep score or track your shots, you will get a pedometer and a clock with time and date.
# 9 Best for Golf and Fitness Tracking: Garmin Approach X40
This model is going to increase in price significantly compared to the last few that we discussed. The Garmin Approach X40 is part fitness tracker part Golf GPS. This model will show distance to greens, hazards, doglegs, and a few other things. You will get plenty of yardage information from this unit.
The Garmin Approach X40 comes with their signature Auto Shot technology that will analyze and measure distance and post them on your Garmin account app. If you are someone that likes stats, there are plenty to be found after a round with this watch on.
This watch also will measure your heart rate and track activity when worn even outside of golf. The activity tracker on this model will remind you to stay active and push you to get those extra steps in when you have a chance. If you are someone that exercises quite often and have been thinking about getting an activity tracker, this model is a great option.
As far as the battery life is concerned, you will get up to ten hours when the golf GPS mode is on and a few days when it is not.
#10 Best for Simplicity: Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch
Last on our list is the Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch. This one comes with 30,000 golf courses, which happens to be quite a few less than some of the other models we discussed. Chances are your home course will very likely be included on this model.
The GPSyGolf watch will give you distances to the front, back, and center of greens as well as layup and carry for hazards and doglegs. You will get more than enough information to make an appropriate club selection.
This watch does come with a score tracker for you to record pertinent information from your round. Just like most GPS golf watches, it will pick up on what hole you are on as you move through your round.
This model is not a fitness tracker, so you won’t know your heart rate, steps, or calories burned, but that is reflected in the price. The battery life is about 10-12 hours when in GPS mode, giving you plenty of time for a few rounds before having to charge. If you are not in golf mode, you can get about ninety days out of a charge.
The Callaway GPSy Golf Watch does have a clean, sleek look to it for a very fair price.
Q: Is a GPS or a Rangefinder Better?
Choosing between a GPS or a Rangefinder is a personal decision. The one positive that rangefinders have over GPS is that they can give you an exact yardage to the pin. The GPS provides a front, middle and back.
Q: Do I Need To Replace Batteries, or Are They Rechargeable?
Every golf GPS watch that we reviewed has a battery that you can charge. Some last for several rounds, and others will last for only one round. Keep this in mind when purchasing a model that works for you.
Q: Are GPS legal in tournament play?
GPS is legal in tournament play because they do not offer slope readings like rangefinders can.
Q: What Is The Price Range For A New GPS?
The price range varies greatly when it comes to golf GPS rangefinders. There are a few models priced under one hundred dollars, many in the one hundred to three hundred range and a few above that.
Q: Is Shot Tracking Important?
Some models offer automatic shot tracking (although this is not always accurate), and other offer manual shot tracking. Many players like to keep track of their stats and determine ways to improve their game. If you are one of these players and you find this information helpful, then shot tracking could make sense for you.
Choosing a golf GPS watch is not a difficult decision, but there are a lot of choices out there. Obviously, your budget and your needs will define some of these choices, but we feel very strongly about our top pick the Garmin S40 Approach. This model is so simple to use, comes with over 41,000 courses, and has enough battery life to get you through about three rounds without changing. The Garmin watch looks good and has interchangeable bands so you can change up the color on your watch should you want to. Access to the Garmin Golf App is a golf shot tracker paradise.
With the features the Garmin S40 offers and the Garmin name is standing behind the product, this is a model that you won’t need to replace for quite some time.