Top 10 Best Golf GPS Watches – Buying Guide and FAQ

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Best Golf GPS Watches

If you’re searching for a golf accessory that will shave strokes off of your game immediately, it’s time to purchase GPS golf watches to take advantage of modern technology. It is incredibly valuable to get the exact distances to front, center, and back of the green, layup and distance to hazards areas. And it can definitely shave a couple of strokes off of your game. Using a GPS watch, golfers can get help to take better decisions on the course. Also, the price of this technology has reduced in last year and become affordable for everyone.

Our main objective is to help our readers to find the best golf GPS watch that can navigate any golf course challenges of the world. But most of the golf GPS watch features are similar, but not all are the same. Some offer many unique features, and some have fewer features to make them more affordable.

However, when you are thinking of a golf GPS watch to buy, then you must be interested to purchase top rated best golf GPS watches that can accurately measure the tee to distance to the green at all of your local and international golf courses. Even more, you may be interested in getting one that has features like a digital scorecard, course odometer, heart rate monitor, activity tracker and other available unique features. After researching and analyzing the available golf GPS watches in the market, we have narrow down our top 10 best golf GPS watches based on the features, expert recommendation, and customer reviews. Our readers will also get detail analysis and reviews on our recommended golf GPS watches on our website.

Top 10 Best Golf GPS Watches

Sl.No.
Models
Rating
Where to Buy
#01
Garmin vívoactive 3
Garmin vívoactive 3
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9.5

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#02
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
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9.5

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#03
Garmin Approach S2
Garmin Approach S2
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9.3

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#04
Bushnell Neo Ion 2
Bushnell Neo Ion 2
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9.2

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#5
Garmin Approach S20
Garmin Approach S20
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9.1

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#06
Garmin Approach S4
Garmin Approach S4
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8.9

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#7
callaway GPSy watch
Callaway GPSy
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8.4

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#8
Garmin Approach X40
Garmin Approach X40
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8.2

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#9
Garmin Approach S60
Garmin Approach S60
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8.4

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#10
Garmin Approach S10
Garmin Approach S10
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7.9

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Golf GPS Watch Buying Guide

There are many golf GPS watch models and brands are available in the market. But which one is the best? Purchase a golf GPS watch can be complicated and costly. So, you may want to know the best ways to select the ideal and functional golf GPS watch for you. Ok, let us guide you, we did some research and prepared a golf GPS watch buying guide for you. And we hope that our guide will show you the right ways to choose the ideal golf GPS watch to make your golf game more enjoyable and accurate as well as precise too.

How we chose our recommended golf GPS watches

Our recommended best golf GPS watches listed above have been selected carefully considering the buying guide we provided here. But don’t get us wrong that we have chosen the most expensive watches on the market. However, we have divided our guidelines into some sub-section to make you understand easily and help you to take the right decision. So, here we go.

  • Quality

First, you should consider the built quality, display resolution quality, watch face clearness, watch bands durability etc. of the golf GPS watches. It is sure, you don’t want to get into the course with a watch that will become damaged after playing a few rounds or playing a few holes. And yes, you want to buy a quality watch that will last for years. The watches listed above already been tested to ensure the recommended quality. They are made with the quality materials by those companies who understand technology.

  • GPS Accuracy

The most important part of a GPS watch is its GPS technology. If the watch GPS system does not work properly and not providing accurate data, then it has no value. So, it is recommended to look up the accuracy of the GPS before buying a golf GPS watch or GPS device. After analyzing many brands and customer feedbacks, we found our suggested GPS watches gives the most accurate data you need in the courses.

  • Comfortability

Golf GPS watches design is another thing to consider before taking a buying decision. You should check how comfortable it to wear? If a user doesn’t feel comfortable after wearing the watch then it may cause a bad impact on their game. And most probably it’s going to be an irritating object for them on the course. The watches listed above as best are exclusively designed considering sports in mind. They are light in weight (average below 60g) and very comfortable to wear.

  • Data Support

Most of the golf GPS watch comes with approximately 30,000 preloaded golf courses around the world, but few brands like Garmin watches comes with 40,000 preloaded courses.  Golf is a growing industry, so it’s essential to check the data support of the manufacturer to update or download new courses, whether it has any fee or it’s free. Also, do they give lifetime access to the course database?

Additionally, you should check the compatibility of the watch to connect your smartphone or computer. So, you will get the ability to receive smart notifications to your watch during playing golf from your smartphone and can upload data to your computer later for analysis.

  • Features and functionality to look

All available golf GPS watches features and functionality are not the same. Some watches are exclusively designed for golf, and all functions are golf related. On the other hand, some watches have additional features like activity tracker, heart rate monitor as well as other sports features besides golf. So, one should choose his/her golf GPS watch carefully according to their budget and functionality they actually want.

In here, we have classified some important features and functionality to look before making any decision to buy a golf GPS watch.

⇒ Easy to use – If watch functions are complicated enough and hard for average users to operate then it loses its usability. And it’s not expected to spend the whole day fiddling with the watch in the course instead of playing golf. A golf GPS watch must be the best companion for a golf player in the course. So, you should choose one that has an intuitive interface and can operate easily. Our suggested watches has a high-resolution screen and some dedicated buttons to make watch use easy. Of course, you need a certain time to learn the operation of such kind of technical device, but it’s not mean will take all day.

⇒ Functionality – All of our suggested watches listed above has a different range of features. So, you should choose one according to your skill level and what functions you need out of the watch. Some of the GPS watches designed only for golf, and some come with more features beside traditional golf watch functionality like other sports (running, cycling, swimming etc.) activity tracking, elevated heart monitor. In here, we breakdown the functionality you need based on skill level,

    • Beginner or newbies – Search for simple watch features like course map, shot distance and step counter. Those features will provide enough data to help you to improve your game without confusing or distracting you from practicing. 
    • Intermediate – Course map and shot yardage are essential. Also look for hazard distance and warning, scorecard, and swing data. All those additional features will provide you more data and analytics with a competitive edge and support you to play your game more perfectly.
    • Expert – Shot tracking, touch targeting, swing analysis features are useful for most experienced golfers. For advanced data technology, you can check out the Garmin high-end golf GPS watches that few are listed in our suggestions. 
  • Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important things to check before buying a golf GPS watch. If you are planning to spend a whole day on the course, then you need extended battery life to keep up with you. Few highly advanced, over-featured, cheap GPS watches often struggle with battery power as they are attempting to supply power to a hi-def and large screen. Some watches battery life last at least 12 hours in GPS mode and several days in normal mode. So, make sure the watch battery life will allow you to play at least 2 to 3 rounds from a single charge.

  • Brand

Brand is important, but it does not mean that all products of a specific brand will be good. However, you should consider a brand that already established their reputation on golf GPS watches market. So, it’s mean they understand golf and they know what should have in a golf GPS watch.

  • Reviews

Customer opinions are always right! We may find many products in the market that sounds excellent on paper, but it should be tested in the hands of real users. Luckily, Amazon gives us a wonderful opportunity to get customer reviews. However, we pay attention to the Amazon customer’s golf GPS watch reviews when selecting our recommended top 10 golf GPS watch. Obviously, we don’t trust all we read, but if we find that hundreds of people are suggesting not to buy a product, then it probably not so good.

  • Value for money

It’s important! The actual meaning of “value for money” here is not choosing the cheapest or expensive golf GPS watch. It means the product price is evaluated appropriately. Some of our suggested watches on the top 10 list are 3X expensive than others, but you can trust on us that they deserve the extra money, otherwise we wouldn’t have added them to our list.

Golf GPS Watch FAQ

  • Why Use Golf GPS Watch?

It’s true that as a golfer you are continuously trying to improve your game. Although you may not as good as Jason Day or Dustin Johnson, you can certainly control your games like them. The easiest and most effective way to control your game and improve your scoring is to get accurate yardages and information from the most recent golf watch technology.

  • How Will a Golf Watch Help Your Game?

Golf will become more enjoyable when you are busy with making birdies and pars as all of us are looking to shoot lower scores. We need accurate information to see more circles on our scorecard. A golf GPS watch is basically a caddie for amateur golfers. Can you remember when you last saw the professional golfing without a caddy?  Even the best golfer of the world can’t take perfect shots every time they hit the ball. But professional and non-professional both golfers can play golf better if they obtain accurate yardages.

You may think that you can get yardages from golf course sprinkler heads, but there is a tendency to remove them. Regardless of whether you are fortunate enough to discover one, most often the yardage markers have just the distances to the center of the green. It leaves golfers without the actual yardage to the pin. One final thing you can do is to guess the yardage before hitting the ball to the green. It’s hard enough to hit a wedge to a scoring distance, but it almost impossible to guess yardages if you are doing so.

Even though few courses carts have GPS yardage systems but these carts are not reliable enough to get accurate distances. Also, If you want to walk on the golf course, they will not be going to help you at the time of your rounds. Golf carts GPS systems usually less accurate than modern golf GPS watches. Most advanced golf GPS watches come with preloaded golf courses around the world. It will display the course map in front of you when connected with the satellite. So, you will not only get the accurate distance to the front, middle and back of the green but also will get layup, hazards and dogleg distances. No more guessing involved. Additionally, you will know what you have to do even if the target is out of sight. Golf GPS watches will also help you to understand which club you exactly need for your next shot. However, It helps to make the most challenging game little easier – something each golfer can appreciate. A subtle change in golf means a lot while playing.

  • I Play only for Fun, So Why Use a Golf Watch?

It’s very true that many golfers don’t care about the score they made at the end of the day. Even some of them don’t keep scores. Golf is about more than shooting a low number. Spend quality time with friends, few solid shots, and maybe one or two birdies would be good enough. This kind of Thinking will undoubtedly help your mental wellbeing. But still, playing slow rounds can be quite annoying. Fortunately, modern technological innovations such as golf GPS watch can speed up your game. So, you don’t have to spend much time on looking yardage markers when you wear golf watch on your wrist. This watch will display you accurate yardages from any point on the course. It saves your time and effort, so you can take quality shots and also get more time to focus on having fun with your friends.

  • Can a Golf Watch Improve My Swing?

It will be wrong If we think that wearing a golf watch will make our swing like Justin Thomas. Also, your next tee shot may not be a smashed 340-yard high drow. But fortunately, there are many golf watches comes with features that designed to improve your swing. Some come with tempo trainers feature. Essentially, it gives signals at three key moments in the golf swing through audible beeps. Also, you can get help quite a bit in range session from a golf watch if ever find yourself “getting quick” or “hurrying” your swing. High-end golf GPS watches such as Garmin can give you a glimpse of swing strength and other supportive technology.

But golf watch is not a perfect technology. It will not show you the speed of your clubhead. It’s also a bad idea to try strapping a golf watch to your driver’s head. However, a golf watch undoubtedly can help you a lot in your game.

  • Which GPS Watch is Best for me?

There are many different types of golf GPS watches available in the market. The best golf watch for you basically depends on your requirements and budget. Core golf features are available in all golf watches. They are in general come with thousands of preloaded golf courses around the world. They will provide you yardages to the front, center, and back of the green. The display of the watches are easy to read, and light weight makes them comfortable to wear. High-end golf watches offers more advanced features which makes them different from other golf watches. The advanced features include swing assistance, distance to hazards and doglegs, long battery life, color display, and touchscreen etc. The golf GPS watch such as Garmin Approach X40 has a touchscreen and will allow you to move the pin to get more accurate yardages.

The golf watches technology is beyond impressive. The most economical golf watch price is close to $99. On the other hand, the most advanced golf watches price can be more than $300. There are many manufacturers in the market, but Garmin owns the majority of the market share because of their best quality watches. However, the best mostly depends on how much you can comfortably spend on buying a golf watch.

  • What if not interested to spend much on golf watch?

If you are not interested in spending much on buying top-notch golf watch, then nothing to worry. The most significant feature of a golf GPS watch is the accuracy of yardages. And there are lots of golf watches available in the market that give you the exact yardages to the green and hazards. Golfing is always both fun and frustrating, but spending on buying a golf watch is a worthy investment. You can play fast, hit it closer, and shot lower scores. Simply, you will definitely enjoy your time more on the course.

  • Can I Use Golf Watch for My Other Activities?

Using your GPS watch to other activities basically depends on which watch or watch model you have chosen. Some golf watches designed only for playing golf, and some have functionalities to use it in other sporting activities besides golf. It mostly depends on how much money you are willing to pay for buying a golf GPS watch. However, you can do almost everything with some expensive models like Garmin vívoactive 3 – it will show you advance golf data, fitness tracking data, heart rate monitor and you can connect your smartphone with your watch to get smart notifications.

  • Are GPS watches legal to use in Tournaments?

Yes, golf GPS watches are allowed to use in tournaments in most cases. The electronic devices were not permitted in any competitions for a long time because some players could get unfair advantages from them. Technologies are rapidly advancing today and becoming more widely available. So, you can use GPS watches in tournaments but with some conditions applied. Some features are not allowed to use in competition. Here are some features listed below not allowed in tournaments,

  • Slope reading – you can’t use this as it helps you to understand the elevation of the shot you are going to play. It makes the shot measurement much easier and takes some of the skill out of a long shot.
  • Weather conditions – You can’t use your watch to check weather conditions such as wind speed or any other things that affect your shot.
  • Contacting a coach – You can’t connect your watch with your team at the time of playing.
  • Swing analysis – You can’t use the swing analyzer feature because it can help you to improve your swing in the middle of the competition.
  • Club suggestions – Some watches show the club suggestions for your next shot, and you are not allowed to use that.

Final Thought

In this article, we suggested our top 10 best golf GPS watches and discussed which method we have followed to choosing them. Also, we tried to give details answer to frequently asked questions. So, we hope that this article will help you most to choose to buy a golf GPS watch which is best for you.