Golf GPS devices whether that be a watch or a handheld device are a great idea to take your golf game to the next level. Having a reliable and accurate GPS means you are going to be leagues ahead of your partners in terms of choosing the right club for the stroke.
GPS units, although all different with different features they will provide distances as well as any hazard information and overhead maps of the hole. This can be particularly useful for blind holes and golf courses which you have never played at.
Whether you choose a handheld GPS or a GPS watch, in the following post I will break down the key considerations, features as well as detailed comparisons of Golf GPS units.
🏆 Quick Look at the Top-Rated Golf GPS🏆
Through GPS technology maps of the course, you are playing at are loaded onto the device. From here all distances, hazards, and layouts are easily identified which helps to prepare you for the game. By calculating where you are on the course, the device can work out the distance between you and the hole.
Some devices come pre-loaded with courses that make them very accurate and reliable. If you want the most accurate device you can get you’ll need to consider a rangefinder.
Although golf courses have markers for distances from the hole, these do not come close to comparing with the accuracy of a GPS device. If you struggle with gauging distances from the hole then purchasing one of these could be a game-changer.
The Top-15 Golf GPS Options
Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch
- Autoshot round analyzer measures shot distances with auto recording for post round analysis on your Garmin Connect account
- Stylish comfort: Fully hinged, sleek watchband design with comfortable fit. Display resolution: 128 x 128 pixels. Smartphone compatibility - iPhone, Android
- Truswing compatible: When paired, Garmin TruSwing golf swing sensor provides metrics to improve your swing consistency. Display size: 0.9 x 0.9 (inches)
- Activity tracking: Reminds you to stay active on or off the course with move bar alerts. Displays steps, calories burned, distance and time of day, plus it monitors hours of sleep
- Stat tracking: Enhanced stats keeps track of fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts per round. Strap material: Silicone
The Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch is the overall winner and has many features included.
Using autoshot technology it analyses your round by shot distances and provides all the data you need on your Garmin Connect account. Great for tracking game improvement and adjustments, this feature stores all the important data.
Comfortable to wear, the watch is a fully-hinged, sleek band that has a 128 x 128 pixel display. This watch can also be paired with a Garmin TruSwing golf sensor to provide metrics regarding your swing consistency and how to improve.
Not only does the watch track your golf it also counts your steps, calories burned, distance as well as how many hours of sleep you are getting.
It is smartphone compatible via bluetooth and you can receive alerts such as texts and emails to your watch.
Scorecard tracking allows for ease of scorekeeping on the course as well as the possibility to upload you round to your online account and share it with your buddies. Another cool feature is that you can analyze the cumulative stats over time or even by your club as well as swing data.
The green view display highlights the shape and layout of the green and you can manually reposition the pin if you need to. Distances to the front, middle, and back of the green are all accurate as well as any hazards.
- Fitness/activity tracker as well
- Well made
- 4 colors available
- Smartphone bluetooth connectivity
- Accurate distance measurements
- Buttons can be difficult to press
The Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch comes with more than 40,000 courses as well as automatic updates. A stylish and sleek design that is much more than a GPS golf watch! Available in black, white, midnight teal and slate the hardest part is deciding on the color you want.
GolfBuddy Voice GPS Rangefinder
1 used from $82.99
- Audio Distance Information (It tells you the distance)
- Pre-Loaded with 35.000+ courses worldwide
- 8 different spoken languages pre-loaded
- Distance to Front / Center / Back
- Shot Distance Measurement
When it comes to finding the best entry-level GPS the GolfBuddy GPS is one of the best selling handheld GPS units available. It is compact, has all the features you need with convenient voice readouts of distances.
Roughly the size of a matchbox this device is compact and functions well. It has the ability to store 40,000 courses with 33,000 that are already pre-loaded which are all completely free.
Possibly the easiest GPS device to use, the fact that the device speaks means you don’t need to fumble around with it to get the data you want.
The voice reads the distance to the hole, distance to the front, middle and back of the green, shot distance and it can also provide a view of the green.
This device is also available in eight different languages and all you need to do is press the button to hear the readout of information.
- Exceptional course coverage
- Accurate distances
- Voice readouts
- Limited features
The GolfBuddy GPS is a popular, compact and voice-activated handheld GPS device. With accurate distance readouts, this unit is well priced if you are looking for a bare basic model.
GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS/Rangefinder
$94.98 in stock
3 used from $69.99
- GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS Range Finder, build-in voice upto 385 yards easy to use talking Golf GPS device reads your distances aloud at the press of a button. The golf launch monitor multilingual device supports upto 11 languages out of which 8 preloaded languages with a choice of male or female voice options through free GolfBuddy Manager Program, with volume adjust. The golf range finders device has ability to read in Yard and Meters both.
- The Golf Buddy GPS rangefinder golf unit displays real distances to the front, back and centre of the green. This Golf course GPS unit has automatic Golf club, course and hole recognition. The Golfbuddy Voice 2 golf gps rangefinder will also display time. The Launch monitor golf gives dynamic Green View technology, the range finder golf unit has automatic course and hole recognition,The rangefinders for golfing has upto 14 hours battery life in GPS mode..
- These Golf distance range finders is preloaded with 40,000 courses worldwide with free updates available via USB Sync, Compact & portable golf distance measuring device that can be use hands-free, can be easily clipped to your golf hat or bag, can also be use as golf watch with a wristband. The Golf yardage finder is a detachable unit to provide versatility for shot distance measurement. Also good as a golf gift.
- The golf buddy voice 2 range golf tracking device has GPS and QZSS connectivity for your other golf equipment. The GolfBuddy gps rangefinder has main screen with mono 1.2” display in golf mode displays the distance to the center, back, and front. The golf distance finder is IPX4 water resistance. The golf gps rangefinder also has a flip screen option to make side down. The golfbuddy rangefinder is one of the best rangefinder for golfers.
- The golf course gps units are perfect companion for your golf putters and other golfing accessories for men and women, the Golf buddy voice 2 is the best golf gifts for men and women. Can be use as golf watches with GPS for men and women. Golf Buddy rangefinder featured with simplicity and ease of use make the GB Voice2 the number one voice unit in golf rangefinders.
The GolfBuddy Voice 2 is the model up from the GolfBuddy Voice. So what’s the difference between the two models? This device has an increased battery life and also shows the front, center, and back of the green. It is also water-resistant.
This device has a retractable clip, belt clip and even wrist strap meaning it can be used in a variety of ways.
Shot distance, time, distance to front, middle and back of the green as well as the ability to view the green are all featured on the display.
It also shows your angle of approach, hole number, par and right/left green where and when available.
- Accurate distance measurements
- Limited features compared with other models
More or less the same price as the original model, if the increased battery life and water resistance appeal to you then the GolfBuddy Voice 2 is a great entry-level GPS device.
Garmin Approach G10 Handheld Golf GPS
$109.98 in stock
1 used from $119.99
- Compact Design - Sleek, Pocket-Sized Design That Conveniently Clips-On To Your Belt, Bag Or Place It In Your Pocket
- Hazards - Hazards And Course Targets To Identify Locations Of Sand Traps, Water Hazards And More
- Gps Receiver - High-Sensitivity Gps Acquires Satellites Quickly To Show Distance To Greens, Hazards And Doglegs -Even Under Tree Cover
- Green View - Displays The Shape Of The Green With Manual Pin Placement
- Stat Tracking - Enhanced Stats Keeps Track Of Fairways Hit, Greens In Regulation And Putts Per Round
For those who do not like to wear a watch but would rather have a smaller simpler GPS unit, the Garmin Approach G10 is the perfect solution.
Measuring in at just 1.5 x 2.0 inches, the Approach G10 is one of the smallest golf GPS available. Don’t let this small size fool you, the accuracy and reliability of the Approach G10 are just as good as much larger and more feature-packed units.
And just because this unit looks simple doesn’t mean that it lacks features. Features like front/center/back green yardage, hazard yardage, and layup distances are all included. Even future course updates come free of charge thanks to Garmin Connect.
Some places that golfers commonly attach the Approach G10 are on a belt, bag, or simply in their pocket.
- Preloaded With Over 40,000 Golf Courses
- Displays More Than 3 Types Of Hazards
- Green View Mode
- Stat Tracking Technology
- Buttons Are Very Small
- Course Recognition is Spoty
Small, simple, and feature-packed, the Garmin Approach G10 is a great solution for those who want an easy to use golf GPS that can be attached or carried with ease.
Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS
1 used from $149.97
- Bluetooth allows for wireless course updates
- Long battery life - play up to 2 rounds before charging
- Preloaded with 36,000 courses in 30 countries
- Easy-to-use interface
- Up to 4 hazard distances per hole
Small economical golf GPS units are popular among those who want an easy solution to simply find the distance between them and the green. Many manufacturers have embraced these small units and have continued to add features in every new revision.
For the Bushnell Phantom, over 36,000 courses come pre-installed on this small 2.2-inch by 2.2-inch golf GPS. Front/Center/Back yardage readings to the green are on the main screen. Readings to hazards are also available with just a simple click of a button.
A magnet is included on the back of the Phantom and is advertised as an easy way to attach the GPS unit to a golf cart for easy viewing. Sadly, the magnet is not all that powerful and is prone to fall off of a golf cart, especially if it hits any bumps.
The Bushnell Phantom is available in four different colors; Green, Blue, Black, and Red/White/Blue.
- Preloaded With Over 36,000 Golf Courses
- Displays Distance To Greens and Hazards
- Play 2 Rounds On One Charge
- Magnetic Mount Included
- Cheap Plastic Feel
- Magnet Is Not Very Strong
For the price, the Bushnell Phantom is an excellent choice for a golf GPS. Just make sure to not misplace or drop it or you might be in the market for another GPS system.
Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS
- Plays like Distance Gives The Golfer Distances To The Target, Adjusted For Uphill Or Downhill Shots. Display size : 1.5 Inch x 2.6 Inch (3.9 x 6.5 cm). 3.0 Inchdiag (7.6 cm)
- Smart Notification Receive Email, Texts And Alerts From Your Iphone (4S Or Later) Directly On Your Golf Handheld;Physical dimensions:2.1 x 4.4 x 0.6 inches
- Garmin Connect Online golf community lets you play, then share and compare your round; visit connect.garmin.com to find out more
- Club Advice Remembers how far you hit each club, and provides recommendations on which club to use based on your shot distances PINPOINTER Provides blind shot assistance by pointing you in the right direction when you are unable to see the pin (G8 only)
- Big Numbers Mode For easy viewing on your screen, increase the font size for distances to the front, back and middle of the greens AUTOMATIC COURSE UPDATE Device automatically updates courses with a Wi-Fi connection for no additional charge (G8 only)
The Garmin Approach G8 GPS is a lightweight yet durable device with a 3-inch color and touch screen display. Packed full of features this is a high-end device that has excellent customer reviews.
Included are over 30,000 international courses along with free Wi-Fi for course updates. Smart notifications allow you to recieve emails, texts and other alerts from your smartphone to your GPS unit. Please note this feature is for iPhone 4s and above.
Smart technology is integrated into the device as well, remembering the distance your clubs hit as well as recommendations for what to use utilizing this statistical data for future shots. There is also an accurate pin pointer which can help you orientate and swing in the right direction in the case of blind shots.
With a big numbers mode, seeing the information on this device is easy. The font can be increased with allows for ease of viewing while in use. Keeping score is also possible with a digital scorecard with scoring options for Stroke Play, Stableford, Skins and Match Play with adjustable handicaps.
Layup arcs at 100, 150, 200 and even 250 yards make it easier to determine how far to hit to get to your desired spot.
Garmin connect also allows you to join the online golf community to share and compare course results. The data can also be saved and used to track your rounds, improvement, and handicap.
- Lightweight and durable
- Loaded with features
- Free Wi-Fi for course and device updates
- Over 30,000 pre loaded golf courses
- Layup arcs
- Pinpointer for blind shots
Lightweight and slim the Garmin Approach G8 is packed full of all the features you could need in a GPS device. With Smart Notification messaging, PinPointer blind shot assistance and a rechargeable 15-hour battery if your budget allows then this is the best handheld GPS unit.
Bushnell Neo ION Golf Watch
- Preloaded with 35,000+ courses in over 30 countries
- Long battery life and comfortable dual injected silicone sports band. Battery Life - 16hrs. Recharge Time - 2.5hrs
- Auto course recognition and auto hole advance with easy-to-read front, back and center distances
- Up to 4 hazard or layup distances per hole and a distance calculator and integrated step counter
- Legal for Tournament play and comes with a One-year limited Warranty
The Bushnell NEO ION is one of the more stylish looking GPS watches available with a built in pedometer as well as an odometer. This means it can also be used for walking, running and other sporting activities- not just golf.
Lightweight, this watch is comfortable to wear with a snug and flexible silicone strap. There are plenty of adjustment options so finding the right width for your wrist is easy.
Charging this GPS watch is easy with the USB cable provided, a full charge takes roughly an hour or two. At full capacity, this watch lasts fairly long – at least 4 rounds of golf.
The LCD display is very easy to read, clear and displays the center yardage with the front and back yardage below that.
Finding your course is relatively fast and there are over 35,000 courses on the database. There is also an auto hole advance that picks up when you move to the next hole. No scorecard capabilities and no pairing to your smartphone are really the only drawbacks to this watch.
- Stylish design
- Basic yet has all the features you need
- Accurate distance measurements
- No smartphone connectivity
- No scorecard capabilities
The Bushnell Neo ION is a great entry level GPS watch that has all the basic functions needed. The biggest attraction to this watch is the long battery life as well as tracking sports other than golf.
Garmin Approach X40
4 used from $98.75
- GPS receiver - high-sensitivity GPS acquires satellites quickly to Show distance to greens, Hazards and doglegs -even under Tree cover
- Auto shot - round analyzer measures shot distances with auto-recording for post-round analysis on your Garmin connect account
- 24/7 Heart rate monitoring - Elevate wrist Heart rate technology allows you to track your Heart rate all day and night - Activity Tracking Accuracy (go to garmin.com/at accuracy)
- Activity Tracking - reminds you to stay active on or off the course with move bar alerts ; Display size: 1.00 x 0.42 Inches
- Battery life - rechargeable battery: up to 5 days in activity mode; up to 10 hours in GPS mode
Fitness trackers and health bands have become a very popular item in recent years as more people look to become healthier through increased exercise and physical activity. Golf is an excellent sport for people of all ages to get exercise. Due to the crossover between golf and exercise, Garmin has created the first golf GPS and fitness tracker band that is perfect to use both on and off the course.
Some key features include auto hole advancing, hazard reporting, and smart notifications. Many of the active features are similar to what can be found on Fitbit fitness trackers.
One of the best features is the ability to connect the Garmin Approach X40 to a smartphone to enable enhanced connectivity and reporting.
Since scoring and distance are all automatically tracked and saved, a full replay of your round is available online with Garmin Connect. Users are also able to look over their stats and every shot taken during the previous round.
The only downside of the Garmin Approach X40 is that the heartbeat sensor may not be as accurate as other sensors on the market.
- High Sensitivity GPS Tracker
- 24/7 Heart Rate and Activity Tracker
- Up to 10 Hours GPS and 5 Days Activity
- Auto Shot Recording and Round Analyzer
- Watch Face Scratches Easily
- Heart Rate Sensor could be better
If you are an avid golfer who is also in the market for a fitness tracker, look no further than the Garmin Approach X40! It has everything you need to track your game on the course as well as off.
Bushnell 368220 NEO Ghost Golf GPS/Rangefinder
- Up to four custom hazard and layup distances per hole.Please refer user manual attached below for instructions and troubleshooting steps.
The Bushnell NEO Ghost GPS is a tournament legal, pocket-sized GPS unit that comes with over 35,000 preloaded golf courses.
Easy to read this device shows front, center and back distances as well as four hazard distances per hole.
The great thing with this device is that there are no downloads necessary and no membership fees. With automatic course recognition as well as auto hole advance.
A long battery life of 16 hours means you can play three rounds of golf before it needs to be recharged. Recharging is simple through the supplied micro USB cable, covering the port is a rubberized cover which is great for out on the course.
Once turned on, it can take a few seconds to a few minutes to search for your location and course. Although not the fastest on the market it has a very easy operating system that works effectively and efficiently.
Accurate and compact, this device measures 2.2 inches x 2.2 inches x 0.7 inches and weighs 3.52 ounces. Included in a plastic clip for easy attachment to your bag or belt-whichever you prefer.
- Ready to go straight out of the package
- Very easy to use
- Simple display
- Only 4 hazards identified per hole
Available in black, charcoal, orange, neon green and white, the Bushnell NEO Ghost GPS is a well priced and nifty gadget to add your golf accessory repertoire.
Bushnell Neo Ion 2 Golf GPS Watch
- Bluetooth Allows for Wireless Course Updates
- Long Battery Life – Play 3 Rounds Before Charging
- Preloaded with 36,000+ Courses in 30 Countries
- Easy-to-Read Front/Center/Back Distances
- Up to 4 Hazard Distances Per Hole
Bushnell is a top name in golf GPS tracking technology and is one of the most used brands on the PGA Tour (at least when caddies can use them!). Accuracy and dependability have been associated with Bushnell products and the Bushnell Neo Ion 2 is no different.
The Bushnell Neo Ion 2 is the new and improved version of the Neo Ion. Many of the excellent features that were included with the Neo Ion have been brought back and even improved upon for the newest generation.
One of the best features is a full-color watch face that gives hole information as well as front/center/back green yardage. Each hole is given a full color fly through and distances to up to four hazards.
Every Bushnell Neo Ion 2 comes with free access to the Bushnell Golf App that allows for easy customization of the watch layout. The Bushnell Golf App is the only way to update the Neo Ion 2 as new courses and updates become available.
- Preloaded with 36,000 Courses
- 4 Hazard Distance Per Hole
- 3 Round Battery
- Auto Course Recognition
- Charging Adaptor Is Hard To Use
- Course Recognition is Spoty
The Bushnell Neo Ion 2 is a great improvement on the original and some of the new features really make this GPS watch one of the best on the market.
IZZO Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder
- Distances: F/C/B to greens; layup/carry to hazards & doglegs
- Preloaded 38,000+ global course maps; no annual or download fees
- Auto course recognition & hole-advance
- New slimmer profile & larger 2-inch color LCD
- New improved 12+ hr battery life & scorecard feature (save & view scores)
If you love Golf Buddy GPS units but hate having to pay for the yearly subscription, there is an alternative! The Izzo Golf Swami 5000 is Izzo’s 5th generation of full function golf GPS units.
A 2-inch full-color LCD screen that is easy to read in the sun is one of the best features of the Swami 5000. Even the numbers and letters are large and much easier to read compared to other GPS units.
Another welcome feature is the inclusion of large buttons that make toggling through the Swami 5000s different modes and settings effortless. For those that have a hard time using touchscreens, these buttons are a perfect solution.
Unlike Golf Buddy GPS units, the Swami 5000 comes with free course updates and continued support.
The only drawback is the charging cable is proprietary to IZZO making it difficult to get a replacement. Another issue concerning the charging cable is that the magnet that is used to hold the charging pins in contact with the unit is very weak. It is just too easy to accidentally bump the cable and stop the unit’s charging cycle.
- Preloaded With Over 38,000 Golf Courses
- A 2-inch color LCD display
- 12 Hour Battery Life
- Slightly Larger Unit
- Magnetic Charging Cable
Although the Swami 5000 may be a little bit larger than some other units, its full-color screen and large easy to use buttons more than make up for the size.
Callaway GPSy Golf Watch
- Preloaded with over 30,000 golf courses worldwide; No annual fees or subscriptions required
- Accurate distances to front, center, and back of green as well as layup and carry distances to back of hazards and doglegs
- Scorekeeper tracks scores, GIR, and putts per round; Auto-course recognition; Auto-hole advance; Shot distance measurement
- Analog and digital time display. Time and date automatically set by satellite
- Battery lasts 10-12 hours in GPS mode. 90 plus days battery life in time mode
Callaway isn’t exactly known for their GPS products, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from taking a look at the GPSy. With its sleek design and feature-packed software, the GPSy is an excellent GPS watch.
Creating a GPS golf watch from scratch is very costly and time-consuming. To combat this, Callaway appears to have partnered with IZZO, an already established golf GPS software company, to help design and engineer the GPSy.
Design-wise the Callaway GPSy is sleek and stylish and can be worn by both women and men. Battery life is pretty average in GPS mode with up to 10 hours of use. If used in watch mode, the GPSy has an impressive 90 days of battery.
Three different green distances, hazard distances, and shot distance tracking come preinstalled on every GPSy. Other included features are auto course recognition and auto hole advancement.
- Preloaded With Over 30,000 Courses
- Displays Distance To Greens, Hazards, and Layups
- 10 Hour GPS Mode & 90 Days In Time Mode
- 1 Year Warranty
- Battery May Stop Charging
The Callaway GPSy is by far the best-looking golf GPS watch available today and with Callaway’s partnership with IZZO, the GPS tracking and features are top of the line.
- Hit the perfect approach shot
- Play with the latest course data
- Light and slim design
- See remaining distance to lay points
- Keep track of the score, distance and time of your round
TomTom GPS watch is another well made and well-designed golf watch. With smart shot detection, this will record your shots and show distance potential as well as other game insights.
Another feature while not directly related to game improvement is that it creates a virtual summary of your best holes and puts them together to form your ‘best round’.
Automatic scoring means you don’t need to worry about this, it also creates a post-game analysis for you as well.
Included are over 40,000 pre-loaded international courses as well as unique golf and green hazards before you take your shot.
Distances from hazards as well as the front, center, and back of the green are also displayed on this nifty little watch.
The no-slide fit and tri-fold closure make it quick to secure and comfortable to wear, regardless of your size and gender. Water-resistant and lightweight, you’ll barely notice it on.
Automatic shot detection is built into the watch with a vibration after you swing. Walking towards your ball counts the distance on the watch, upon reaching it you’ll be able to see how far the last shot you hit traveled.
- Stylish and sleek design
- Fast to charge
- Accurate distance measurements
- Vibrating after each swing can become annoying
The TomTom Golfer GPS watch is a quality and high performing watch that displays all the key information you need.
Skycaddie Touch GPS Unit
- SkyCaddie Touch features a 3 inch color display with 35000 preloaded high definition maps over is competition
- Bluetooth wireless capabilities provides easy access to the most reliable accurate course maps without hooking up a cable to your computer
- Interactive holes with patented auto zoom gives an eagle's view of the entire hole and gives distances you need to avoid hazards from tee to green
- Digital scorecard and statistical tracking Syncs to the free skygolf 360 mobile app to upload instantly to the skygolf cloud for analysis of your game
- Trueground target list displays distances to hazards, bunkers, water, and layup areas
The SkyGolf SkyCaddie Touch is a handheld GPS unit that is glove-friendly, easy to use and read. With Bluetooth connectivity, user experience is greatly improved through a free smartphone app.
The screen itself is a high resolution, color display that can easily be read in the sunlight. With the preloaded maps, this device has a patented auto-zoom feature for enhanced accuracy.
A unique feature is the display of multiple yardage arcs which can make selecting the right club easier and faster. Using intelligent green technology the device also displays the shape of the green from your angle of approach.
Front carry and back distances can also be displayed along with the depth of green and distances to any other points on the green. The target list can display up to 40 points per hole including hazards, bunkers, water, carries and lay ups.
Unlimited access to 40,000+ SkyGolfa maps this gives pretty thorough coverage of worldwide courses.
A digital scorecard, as well as statistical tracking, is included in the device to help keep track of everything for you. Running off a lithium-ion polymer battery that lasts up to 12 hours of play.
Dimensions are 4″ H x 2.3″ W x 0.7″ D and a total weight of 3.8 ounces. The device is also IXP7 water-resistant meaning it is protected against splashes and rain.
- Easy to use and read
- Full graphic display of each home
- Lightweight and compact
Preloaded with over 40,000 courses the SkyGolf SkyCaddie Touch displays all the vital information as well as tracks your gameplay. Syncing via Bluetooth to a free smartphone app makes it easy to gather and analyze your golf statistics.
Bushnell Neo XS Golf GPS Rangefinder
- The lightweight and comfortable Bushnell Neo XS Golf GPS Rangefinder is the ultimate golf watch. It comes preloaded with 25,000 courses in the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Ireland and Sweden. When the watch recognizes your course, it displays par information and front, center and back distance to the green. It even tracks the distance of your shots with the push of a button. Long-lasting battery lets you play three rounds on a full
The NEO XS Bushnell is an entry-level GPS watch that is the improved version of the NEO X watch. Improved in what way? The amount of hazards has been increased to a total of four (previously this was two).
Stylish and sleek this watch looks good and the round face is preferred with some. The screen itself doesn’t take up the whole watch face, more so an area of 0.8 inches x 0.8 inches. This is a fairly small screen in comparison with other models on the market.
The LCD is illuminated upon the push of a button which is good for low-level lighting but won’t make a difference in full sunlight. The backlit light stays on for about 10 seconds.
There are five fixed buttons on the watch, golf menu, menu, up and down and select. This is not a touch screen watch although it can easily be navigated with the buttons.
Boasting a 12-hour battery this is more or less three rounds. The watch shows information about the hole including the par, hazards and distance to the front, middle, and back of the green. As mentioned this watch shows four hazards per hole with 2 appearing on the screen at once. Abbreviations are used to denote hazards so check in with your manual to familiarize yourself.
This watch doesn’t keep score nor track your gameplay statistics which is a let down for some. It does have a distance moved counter as well as your speed and time. There is also an alarm, stopwatch and countdown timer.
- Lightweight and accurate
- Four hazards displayed per hole
- 12 hour battery life
- No statistics or data analysis of your game
- No scorecard
Waterproof this watch can be used in all conditions, the Bushnell NEO XS is a good choice.
Choosing the Best GPS Device
With a huge range of features, determining what exactly it is you want the GPS unit to do is key to figuring out which is best for you.
For example, do you want something that is touchscreen? Audio readouts? Compact? For a newcomer or weekend enthusiast, a basic watch/handheld unit will be fine.
If you are looking to optimize your current game then a more upmarket device with a lot more features is a better choice.
Either way, when you are able to determine the exact distance you need to hit, as well as hazards to avoid and the hole layout then your golf will improve.
Golf GPS Watch or Golf GPS Handheld Device?
The golden question, which is better- a handheld or watch GPS? While I can’t answer this question for you I can do my best to share a little more about each one.
Handheld devices are popular because they can be stored easily and brought out whenever you need to use it. Generally, they have touch screens, are easy to use and relatively small in design. When I say relatively small they can fit within the palm of your hand as well as in your pocket.
Watches are also very easy to use, a very small and compact, easily fitting onto your arm which may even go unnoticed. If you don’t like the idea of adding a small unit to your golf bag then a watch is a great choice. Practically speaking a GPS watch is often the more popular choice as with just the turn of your wrist all the information you need is displayed.
Key Features to Consider
Technology is always evolving and that includes golf GPS products. When choosing the right GPS watch or handheld unit there are a few key things to think about including:
- Ease of use and set up
- Are there annual fees
- Course details
The most important feature – how accurately the device can read from your location to the hole. The distance between a few yards may not seem like a lot but it can make all the difference in your play. Professionals and experienced players are experts at gauging these distances but for the vast majority it can be pretty tough.
As a result, this can be great for selecting the right club for the stroke. If you are 100 yards out and know you can hit an iron exactly that far then it makes the decision a whole lot easier and smarter.
Potential hazards on the Course
Loaded with all the details of the hole, this is effective at highlighting potential hazards on the course.
If there is a water hazard as well as bunkers then your device will let you know and you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Some GPS units will analyze and relay the information back to you after the hole is finished. How far you hit, how hard you swing as well as keeping score are all great added features. It may take some time but your golf will dramatically improve when you have a device giving you the cold hard facts.
A golf GPS watch or a GPS handheld is a small piece of equipment that offers a great way to improve your game. These make perfect gift ideas for the golfer in your life too. There are a few different things to consider before committing to purchase so be sure to read through the buyer guide as well as the product reviews.
For newcomers and those looking to improve their accuracy, a GPS unit may be the game-changing answer you are looking for.
Choosing between a watch or handheld device can be a tough choice and a personal one at that. There are pros and cons to both options so the final decision comes down to your preferences. If you have used any of the above products or think I’ve missed any that deserve a mention please let me know in the comments!
Also, check out the Garmin Approach G80 review here.