The golf GPS watches market is growing rapidly in popularity and advancing with new features each year. Perfect your swing with the best GPS golf watch and improve your game, round after round. With this device, you can track data from the distance to the green or swing speed, thus giving you deeper insight into your game and possibly lowering your handicap. Attached to your wrist, you have your caddie in a virtual capacity allowing you to focus on your game even more.
With an extra level of shot tracking and performance analysis, you can get ready and gear up with wrist wear that tracks your golfing game and enhances your swing. The best golf watch not only looks the part, but it can remarkably enhance your overall gameplay. The beauty of a device like this is that the more you play, the more stats are collected, and the truer the representation of your game is. Imagine what you can do with all of this information at your disposal! We will show you why these are rapidly becoming indispensable golfing gear and how you can buy the right one for yourself.
How we test
Golf Monthly, known for being the world’s oldest golf magazine, recently released their Best Golf GPS Watches comparisons, and in this article, we take a closer look at the best golf watches on the market in 2021. We give you a full list of the features and specs of the best GPS watches, and we highlight the pros and cons of each golf watch to help you pick the best device for your needs and finances.
Although sometimes displays can be too simple, each easy navigate watch has its own unique design and screen size, coupled with breathable wristbands. Some watches lack functionality but make up for it with ease of use and impeccable touch screen quality. This also makes these little gadgets so much easier to operate while on the course. Most watches include a user friendly interface, high resolution and sunlight readable displays.
Golf GPS watches come loaded with useful golf tech features, including accurate distances, shot measurement, scorecards, and hazard warnings, amongst many others. The convenient features allow you to play a fully informed game, and the watch can automatically recognize and track as you go. Some of these watches are waterproof like the Smart Trek, while others are sterling aviation gadgets with features like altitude measurements, weather forecasting, cycling tracking, and heart rate monitoring.
The first thing to consider when choosing a golf watch is whether it works with your smartphone’s operating system. And for the most comfort, you want a golf watch with a lightweight, flexible band or strap. You will find great GPS watches for golfers who want a wide mixture of features that pair nicely with a smartphone in our list.
GPS watches are multifunctional, and they don’t just tell the time; they give you stats to improve your game. Sometimes they lose connection, and the apps may not always update, but they automatically do most of the measuring for you. The higher end models can track swing speed, scores, clubs used, and various fitness activities. You can monitor your sleeping hours and, in this way, ensure that you are making the best out of your day.
Exactly how accurate are GPS golf watches? The accuracy of golf GPS watches is surprisingly good, but it mainly depends on GPS technology’s accuracy. They are more accurate than most other distance calculating devices.
The precise yardage that a GPS watch gives you allows you to find out how far your hits are going and if you need to change up clubs for something that gives you more distance or greater course accuracy. They show you the Front, Back and Middle of the green with all of its potential hazards.
The best golf GPS watches at a glance
There are many ways to upgrade your golfing skills, but trying new things may be what you need to take you to the next level. Attached to your wrist, these golf watches can act as a virtual caddie and could give you a big advantage over other players on the course.
Get the best gadget to aid you in your golf sessions and ease those nitty gritty’s. You already have the perfect clubs, and now it is time you get the best smart golf watch. You will have all the info related to your own personal game, and it gives accurate details without any delays.
Golf is a difficult enough game without trying to figure out how the course is set up, and that’s why the best golf watches are such handy little aids. These GPS activity tracking devices are a preferred option for most golfers, and with modern day technology, they are better than ever. Here are the best golf GPS watches in no specific order, and the prices are the most recent found on Amazon and Takealot.
Perfect your swing with the best Golf GPS Watches 2021
Just like any other sport, golf also needs the perfect gear. Some of them are essential when playing your game, whereas others can make the game more enjoyable. Raise your game level and be ready with all types of gadgets for every situation.
Top of the range GPS golf watches include the most sophisticated golf features, and they make a bold statement to the game of golf, on and off the course. Those that are affordable are also bound to lessen your handicap and provide much needed accurate athletic information. Here we briefly analyze the best golf GPS watches reviews 2021:
Best Golf GPS Watches
Garmin Approach S62
- Water resistance: 50 meters
- Heart rate sensor: Yes
- Colour touchscreen display
- 41,000 plus CourseView maps
- Smartphone notifications: Yes
- Storage: 1 GB
- Battery life: 14 days
- Price – $529.99
The waterproof Approach S62 definitely lives up to being the ‘premium GPS golf watch’ and has been credited as the best sports watch for avid golfers. With unrivalled battery life and an endless list of features, it also has applications when you are not on the course that make it wearable daily. The screen is 17% larger, despite being a little bulky. This golf watch has a pinpointer feature that shows you where the flag is in a particular hole. The GPS golf bands distinguish between hazards you are likely to face during your round.
Garmin Approach S60
- Accurate distances to any location, including hazards
- Intuitive interface
- Access to 40,000 courses
- Excellent battery life
- Phone notifications can be disabled for uninterrupted sessions
- It looks fantastic and is very comfortable.
- Price – $329.99
Although more expensive than most, it has impressive fitness tracking features, including move bar inactivity alert, sleep monitor, step counter, calories counter, and odometer. The Garmin S60 is a premium watch loaded with features. The golf watch has first class reviews on just about any site and performs quite admirably as a smartwatch and fitness tracker. It is an attractive looking gadget on your wrist and fits into the rest of your life if you are looking for that functionality.
Bushnell Neo Ion 2
- Bluetooth connection allows wireless updates
- Play 3 rounds before charging the battery
- It comes preloaded with 36,000 courses worldwide
- User-friendly and easy to read
- 4 hazard distances per hole
- Price – $199.98
The golf watch for players with a taste for tradition. The Bushnell 2 is an easy to use tournament golf GPS watch with a stylish design and a powerful, accurate GPS. The Bushnell Neo Ion 2 brings everything in terms of shot and swing measurements and distances to the hole. Unfortunately, you cannot charge it from a wall, only a laptop USB port, but once charged, it has a battery life of up to 12 hrs. It has over 36,000 preloaded golf courses around 30 countries worldwide and shows up to four hazards per hole and a host of other useful features.
Samsung Galaxy Active 2
- Rotating dial control is great
- It has a decent 2 day battery life
- Attractive minimalist and sleek design
- LTE availability
- Extra workout features
- Automat alerts if it detects a low or high heart rate
- Price – $219.00
The Active 2 may not run Android, but it is the best Android compatible smartwatch on the market. It has a bigger display with great battery life. Although many GPS golf watches reviewers say that the apps lack support, it mostly has impressive activity, sleep tracking and many more features. Thanks to built in pace coaching, it gives you better insights to reach your fitness goals and get more out of every mile. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 has advanced sensors that keep your pace to help you achieve your athletic goals.
Garmin Approach X40
Are you looking for the best golf and fitness watch? The Garmin Approach X40 is moderately priced for buyers that are looking for something on the basic side. The ideal GPS wristband is an all in one solution. This device has features such as fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring, making it one of the most affordable GPS devices. Although it is more pricey than the S20 and has a smaller display, it is very light and comes with highly accurate apps. This Garmin watch offers you the scopes for making your golf playing forever memorable.
GolfBuddy Aim W10
- Sleek, lightweight, waterproof golf aid
- Full colour LCD screen
- 40,000 preloaded courses
- Automatic hole and course recognition
- Distances to the front, centre, and back of green
- Price – $189.00
This waterproof golf watch comes preloaded with 40,000 courses, and it has hull maps. You can do your scorecards on it, and it will give you green undulations in certain courses. It is effortless to use with only one button, but it lacks modern edge functionality to a minor degree. It is still considered one of the best golf GPS watches to date. The hole view feature gives as much information as most course guides do and also has a pinpoint for where you are on the hole and green. The Golfbuddy Aim W10 offers a colourful and easy to use interface that gives useful and accurate numbers.
Garmin Approach S40
The Garmin Approach S40 is not the most expensive option on the market, but it is certainly not cheap. The newer Garmin watches will display a list of distances for doglegs and lay up markers for each par 4 and 5 holes. Unfortunately, you cannot mark any point on the course map to get the distance for that shot, but we are not saying there has not been a step up in quality. It comes preloaded with more than 40,000 courses worldwide like many Garmin watches. You turn it on, let the GPS lock on, and you are good to go. This high end golf watch comes with all of the bells and whistles every golfer would like to have on their side.
Garmin Approach S20
Although this watch has a black and white display and no touchscreen, it is more affordable than other GPS watches and is also a lot slimmer and lighter in design. When paired, the Garmin TruSwing sensor provides metrics to improve your swing. It will give you distances to the front, middle, and back of greens plus distances to layups and doglegs. It displays steps, calories burned, distances, and it monitors hours of sleep. The Autoshot round analyzer feature measures your shot distances with auto recording for post round analysis on your Garmin Connect account and profile.
Garmin Approach S10
- Sleek, lightweight, comfortable
- Easy to use, high-resolution, sunlight readable display
- Shows yardages to the front, back and middle of green
- Provides hazards and doglegs
- More than 41,000 preloaded courses worldwide
- Upload scorecards to Garmin Express to keep track
- Rechargeable battery plays up to 12 hours, GPS mode
- Price – $149.99
Garmin is the clear market leader in the golf watches trade, and even their entry model, the Garmin Approach S10, will aid your golf game. The Garmin S10 and S20 have more than 41,000 preloaded courses worldwide but do not include a shot tracker or step counter. It is the cheapest Garmin watch and accurately measures distances. It also keeps score for a summary of your round, putts, swings and total distance played and total time. The Garmin S10 is an excellent smartwatch that keeps things simple and makes thorough and specific assessments. It is user friendly, and the battery life is incredible.
Garmin Approach X10
- Simple, intuitive GPS device
- Lightweight and comfortable with easy to read touchscreen
- Preloaded with more than 41,000 courses worldwide
- Battery life lasts up to 12 hours in GPS mode
- Green view with manual pin placements that shows the true shape and layout of the green
- Price – $109.99
This golf watch loves being on the course as much as you do. Most users of this device love the fact that it shows the correct shape of the green. Although it does not have the easiest screen to read, the X10 can measure and display shot distances rather precisely. This device knows the course with distances to the front, back and middle of the green and shows hazards, doglegs and layups. Weighing only 31 grams, which is a little bit less than your golf ball, the X10 is light and comfortable on your wrist. There are no set up charges, no fees or subscriptions. It is ready to go straight out of the box.
TomTom Golfer 2
- Accurate lay-up and hazard data
- 12 hour battery life
- Powerful green view
- MySports app is great for golf
- Easy to use
- Provides accurate yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green
- Automatic shot detection and post round analysis
- Waterproof and durable for long lasting comfort
- Price – $309.00
If you’re looking for a virtual caddy, this may just be the gadget for you. The TomTom 2 automatically detects nearby courses and shots and accurately measures yardage. The syncing issues can be a hassle, but simple and intuitive navigation makes up for it. If the watch misses a shot, or maybe you hit a shot out of bounds, simply place your palm on the screen, and the device will add a stroke for you. This is an excellent hassle free feature as no one would be keen to press buttons or flick through screens after hitting a ball out of bounds. The built in gyroscope and accelerometer differentiates between regular hand movements such as a wave and a golf shot. With a sleek, lightweight design, it can be worn both on and off the course.
- Large, bright colour touchscreen display
- Full HD graphics for stunning hole and green images
- Zoom in for extra details
- IntelliGreen provides the exact shape of the green
- Distances to front, middle and back
- WiFi enabled, scoring, stats, target list
- Heart rate, step counter
- Includes a 3 year prepaid worldwide membership to over 35,000 verified course maps
- Price – $298.23
Even though it may be a bit chunky on your wrist, the large crystal clear and easy to use screen (3.5cm) allows you to see much more detail than its competitors. You can measure your shots, and you can zoom in on the screen to see particular important features in the green area. It produces a list of hazards, keeps score, and is super user-friendly. Whether you are walking or riding, the SkyCaddie LX5 updates continuously, so you’re never waiting for yardage, distances or measurements. As a daily wear wristwatch, it comes with useful features like an accurate step counter and a heart rate monitor.
- Brilliant high definition 5” touch screen
- Preloaded with over 35,000 maps
- High capacity rechargeable battery with 12 to 14 hours
- Double tap or pinch and zoom to reveal up to 40 targets per hole for critical distances to hazards, carries and layups
- Distinguishes the green from your current position, and as you move from the tee to the green
- Wi-Fi connectivity to streamline updates or download courses on demand. No need to connect to a computer
- Includes components such as micro USB cable wall charger
- Price – $391.19
The SX500 comes with a free membership subscription for the first year. After that, there is an annual subscription fee. This GPS device features a large and sensitive touchscreen and saves statistics of your performance.It doesn’t come with a belt clip. Still, it boasts a lightweight, sleek design and many other features. SkyCaddie’s USP manually maps the courses, ensuring maximum accuracy and detail, thus giving you as much data as possible. Several features such as the Dynamic HoleVue and RangeVue can help suggest clubs based upon your average distances, and you can keep track of your scores with digital scoring. PinPoint technology allows you to use daily pin locations, or select your own, for ultimate accuracy when hitting into the green. It is almost like using a premium Android smartphone, and the lock feature and battery life is great.
Shot Scope V3
- Available in black, silver, red, and teal (blue)
- GPS watch with automatic performance tracking
- Strokes analytics platform included
- Daylight readable 3.4 cm colour screen
- Effortless shot tracking
- FMB green and hazard distances
- Long battery life
- Superb data displays
- More than 35,000 preloaded courses
- Price – $219.99
Shot Scope continually leads the way in making shot tracking easy and accessible. The Shot Scope V3 is not only a massive upgrade from the V2, but some call it evolution. It comes with 16 labelled club tags that you don’t have to pair with your phone. This GPS watch automatically tracks your shots for you by using these tags that you screw into your clubs’ tops. Each tag barely weighs 1 gram, so it should not affect your club’s swing weight. The screen is a little bit smaller than the rest in this list, but its visibility is amazing. The streamlined design means you don’t realise you’re wearing it. It is user friendly, accurate, and the stats provide useful insights into your overall performance.
Garmin Marq D2 Delta
- Battery life in Smartwatch mode lasts up to 12 days
- Premium GPS aviator watch with dynamic colour mapping and weather forecasts
- Enhanced GPS navigation and mapping data
- Heart rate monitoring, activity profiles, fitness tracking
- Stores and plays up to 500 songs
- Garmin Pay contactless payments allow you to make payments with your watch
- It comes with a silicone band
- Free aviation database updates.
- Price – $799
Although you have to choose one main hobby rather than access them all, this Garmin watch has a wide range of features, including activity tracking that monitors efforts, Garmin Pay, smart notifications, and music options. This is much more than just a Garmin. The pilot’s watch incorporates a GPS moving map, wrist based pulse oximeter that tracks blood oxygen in flight, a Nexrad colour weather radar, airport data, automatic flight logging, connectivity with compatible avionics and much more.
Casio Pro Trek Smart
- LED High visibility touchscreen
- New timepiece mode
- It comes in black, orange or blue
- Digital compass, altimeter and barometer
- Activity tracker
- Supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- 50M waterproof, 5 bar. 165ft in general. Suitable for short periods of recreational swimming, but not diving or snorkelling
- GPS connectivity but no heart rate monitor
- Long lasting battery
- Price – $437.00
The waterproof GPS device looks more like a top-end runner’s watch, and it has a versatile two-layer screen. It may be a bit bulky for your average golfer, but it makes up with the many multi sensors. It features a Dual-core 1GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and an accelerometer. With a bright colour LCD touchscreen and the ability to load colour map data for offline viewing, Casio is strongly positioning the Pro Trek Smart as a gadget for those who want to win. This rugged Android gadget for adventure seekers is a must have that’s also a genuine smartwatch. There aren’t too many true smartwatch alternatives that cater to the outdoors and have smart features plus tracking for hiking, canoeing, snow sports, cycling, skiing, and fishing.
Garmin Approach G80
- Features a sunlight readable touchscreen display
- Slim design with quick button access
- Radar integrated launch monitor tracks
- Clubhead speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo and estimated distance
- 41,000 detailed colour golf course maps worldwide
- Practice and game modes allow you to test your skills and work to improve your game
- Rechargeable battery lasts up to 15 hours
- Clubhead speed accuracy: +/- 5 mph
- Price – $429.89
Garmin is known for designing premium GPS devices across many industries. They are always creating innovations that help golfers, and everyone, in general, make smarter and more strategic decisions. This handheld GPS and a launch monitor has a colour touchscreen display that is clear and very responsive. It has everything you need to get your yardages as accurate as possible. This device is more expensive than the rest, but a favourite feature of the GPS aspect of the G80 is pinpointing a spot on the hole to get your layup yardage: a feature not many other devices have. You set it to practice mode, place it within a foot of your ball, and you will get an accurate reading of your shot just about immediately. You don’t need to tell the unit what club you’re hitting. It will display clubhead and ball speed, swing tempo and an estimated carry distance during your practice sessions. The Garmin Approach G80 is quick, easy to use, and has great features.
Shot Scope G3
- Highly accurate distances to greens in yards or meters
- G3 provides GPS distances to the front and back of hazards
- Preloaded with over 36,000 courses worldwide
- Free firmware updates
- Dual GPS accuracy
- Battery life of 10+ hours
- A daylight readable colour screen
- Easy to navigate buttons
- Everyday watch
- One of the lightest GPS watches on the market
- Price – $179.99
This is an affordable GPS watch with a hardened mineral glass screen and an interchangeable silicone strap compact in design. It comes with a quality clip charger, free user account and mobile apps. It sometimes loses connection, but it provides exact yardages to greens and hazards, allowing you to develop a hole and game strategy. It displays FMB and hazards distances, layups and doglegs. The G3 is a highly accurate GPS watch with distances to greens available in metres or yards. It can help you shoot lower scores and, in this way, decrease your handicap. It has almost become an essential device while playing your sessions as it keeps digital scorecards too. It is a great option for golfers wanting to really break down their performance and analyse their statistics.
We have weighed and established the pros and cons of GPS watches. The benefit of a gadget like this is that the more you play, the more stats are recorded, and the more accurate your game is represented. In this market and with these devices, you get what you pay for, and it is entirely your own preference. With the sleek design of these watches, you are bound to look smart in the office too. They’ve become somewhat perfect tools for enjoying your sessions.
We take a closer look at the most cost-effective options. If you are still left with the question of what golf GPS watch should I buy, then our information will help you, but at the end of the game, it is entirely your own preference. If you are serious about your game, you need to be shot tracking, and you should be doing that with a golf GPS watch.
Best affordable golf GPS Watch
Many golf watch reviews are voting the Garmin Approach S20 as the best budget golf watch for your money. It is around R3000 when purchased new, and it is a golfing partner that doubles as your everyday watch.
Best mid range golf GPS watch
Coming in at around $429.89, the Garmin Approach G80 is a handheld golf GPS with an integrated launch monitor that features a 3.5″ colour touchscreen display with 41,000 preloaded courses from around the world.
Best golf GPS watch under $200
Now that we have glanced over many golf GPS watches on sale in various price ranges, we decide on the best one for under $200, which will give you the best value for your money. The Garmin Approach S20 for $195.00 is an excellent buy.
It is a sleek and lightweight watch that provides convenience on the course. It has over 40,000 preloaded courses, including hazards, green view, and the new AutoShot game tracker for detailed game analysis on Garmin Connect.
Questions & Answers
Everyone knows that technology moves fast, but can we take a moment to appreciate the insane pace of progress in distance measuring devices? Not that long ago, laser rangefinders were the size of lunchboxes, and now they fit in your pocket. GPS devices used to be handheld bricks with clumsy black and white displays.
Taking the leap to spend the money on such a valuable gadget is easier when you are geared up with all of the information that you need. Here are some frequently asked questions.
Why do I need a GPS device on the golf course?
The difference between a few yards can make a huge impact, and that is why these are essential devices in your golf kit. These multifunctional little gadgets will change the way you think, analyze and play your game. No matter what game that may be. You can plan your shots in advance, which means no more guessing distances, and it will greatly reduce the number of strokes needed to get to the hole. It allows you to play faster and, in general, just ups your entire performance.
What are the key characteristics I should look out for in a great golf GPS device?
Ensure that you invest in a gadget that can tell you the details of the green’s shape to the yardages, water hazards, and bunkers. The app integrations on the GPS watches golf can be used on mapped courses, and you can download the information before starting the game. With all of this information at hand, you are bound to lessen your handicap.
How do golf GPS watches work?
They work by acquiring a satellite signal to locate your position on the golf course. It then displays the real-time front, centre, and back distances to the flag as you move along the course. The system will detect where you are along with your ball, and you just need to let the device know where you want the ball to go.
Your fitness watch uses GPS (Global Positioning System) to determine your exact location through a process called triangulation, a way to determine the difference between the time that your running watch receives a GPS signal and the time that GPS signal was sent to your running watch. The integration of GPS technology in a fitness or sports watch measures a series of points used to measure distance, speed, and pace accurately. These metrics give runners real time insight into their overall performance.
Are golf GPS watches as accurate as laser rangefinders?
The watches can give incredibly accurate results. The distances may not be 100% precise, but they are very close. While modern GPS units are a huge improvement over the originals, there are still times when the accuracy is not as good as a laser.
How much is a golf GPS watch?
Our golf GPS watch ratings should provide you with enough data to make an informed decision. The prices for these watches range from as little as $100 up to a hefty $2,500. As with most gadgets, you get what you pay for. Golf GPS watches under $100 still do the job but spend just $50 more, and you get so much more.
Which one has more features?
What GPS watch is best for you? Are you looking for basic GPS yardages, or are you looking to improve your game and reduce your handicap? Top rated golf GPS watches boast more features. It is what it is and what you spend is what you’ll get. These devices are jam-packed with apps that store your info to enhance your overall performance.
Some of these watches can solely be used as golf watches, while others do much more with features like Swing Pro, activity tracking, already integrated golf courses, heart rate monitoring, and much more. Now with an overload of information, automatic shot detection, post game analysis, and much more features, you can drive your game to the next level with one of the best golf GPS watches for the 2021 season.
Are GPS allowed in golf tournaments?
The quick answer is yes, but there is some info you need to know. GPS devices have exploded in popularity over the past years. You will rarely see a golfer these days without a laser rangefinder or GPS watch. For a long time, these electronics were not allowed for use during any competitive play. However, in 2006, The United States Golf Association (USGA) declared that electronic distance measuring devices, such as GPS and laser rangefinders, are acceptable and fall within the golf rules.
What is the best GPS watch?
Golfers looking for the best device should consider the SkyCaddie SX500 or the Garmin S62. Both provide clear and concise visuals and information and are super easy to navigate. For those of you who need a GPS watch but want a classic analogue face, the Casio Pro Trek saves the day with its familiar appearance hiding a host of high-tech gadgetry. The Garmin Forerunner 35 has a combination of slick design, high end features and an affordable price tag making it one of the best GPS watches on the market. The gadget comes with a rectangular face that features a high resolution screen to view content day and night with ease.
Which Smartwatches have built-in GPS?
There are countless other devices, new and old, with built-in GPS technology (Global Positioning Service), formerly known as Navstar GPS. Your fitness watch uses GPS to rule your exact position through a process called triangulation. All of the watches listed here have built in GPS technology.
What is the cheapest GPS watch?
The best and cheap smartwatch for you depends entirely on your budget and personal taste. I suggest taking an in-depth look at each item and evaluating what you need and want the most. In our list, the Garmin Approach S20 for $195.00 is a rewarding buy and well worth the value.