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Choosing the Best Golf GPS Watch Under $200

Whether you are new to the green and still working on enhancing the basics, or a seasoned pro who wants to hone their skills, choosing the best golf GPS watch under 200 may seem impossible.

These watches have developed beyond just tracking a shot and now provide data analysis, mapping, and more. It’s a common misperception that these types of watches will be a hefty investment. However, that’s not always the case.

In this article we will review the 5 best Golf GPS watches under $200 where quality is not exchanged for performance features. You are sure to find the best watch for your budget.

 

Features to Look for in a Golf GPS Watch under $200

 

Each Golf GPS watch has its own set of unique features and performance specialties. There are however, six key features that you should look for regardless of the style, brand or cost of the watch. Depending on what you are looking for, the ranking for these features may change, but they all things to want in a Golf GPS watch.

How a Golf GPS Watch Will Help You Improve Your Game

Each watch you look at will have a different way to help you improve your game. Usually, they do this by offering analysis on your swings and by storing and tracking your performance on the course(s). This data analysis turns into helpful information for you to use to continually improve your game. Other benefits to this include faster games and some knowledge of the course that you are playing so you can plan accordingly.

Depending on the watch, there may be a digital scorekeeper or a history of your best shots so you can pinpoint which holes you can focus on to improve your game. If you are unsure of which features will help your game the most, it is helpful to read the Golf GPS watch reviews and see what other golfers have to say about the features that helped them the most.

 

 Battery Life

best-golf-gps-watch-battery-lifeBattery life is a critical part – especially if you are an avid golfer or gearing up for a vacation or weekend trip. In order for this type of tool to be effective, it needs to record your activity and in order to do that it needs to be on.

Choosing the one with longest battery life is important if you are just starting out and take your time on the green or if you like to play more than one round.

Most will have their battery time noted in the product description so you can easily pick out which one works best for you.

The batteries range from hours to days so there are many options to choose from that will benefit you.

Distance Measuring

best golf yardage watchThe ability to measure distances on the green is one of the most common features that people want. The best golf distance watch will not only have accurate measurements, it will also have a clean map of the front, center and back distance to the hole. Additionally, it should also track the hazards on the golf course and provide distance measurements to the front and back of those as well.

Not only will a Golf GPS watch show you distances to help you select the best club and swing, it will also track your activity and store it for records, charts, and comparisons.

Many will track how far your ball went by measuring the distance between where you hit the ball and where it landed. The best golf yardage watch will have a built-in pedometer and will store that information and provide previous-swing comparison to help you improve your game and your own accuracy.

 

Courses Availability

best Golf GPS watches with pre-loaded golf coursesThe best Golf GPS watches will come pre-loaded with golf courses, both national to the US and international. This allows for faster distance loading and ensured accuracy of the course layout and hazards.

On average, there are over 35,000 courses that are available and most are accessible for free with purchase.For local greens, they are often not pre-loaded.

However, good watches will have a satellite feature that enables them to identify where you are and start to ‘build’ your course as you play and then save the information to access if you return to the course.This ‘course memory’ feature is excellent for those who are just getting started and those who don’t golf on the more famous courses.

 

All-Weather Resistance

best waterproof golf gps watch under 200Another feature to look for is water resistance. In addition to water resistance, you may also want to look at how impact-resistant the watch is; this will help bolster the overall durability and ensure your tool has a long life.

Aside from working in the rain, you will also want to look for a watch that works in the sun. That may sound foolish, but there is much to be said for watches that are crafted to be read in sunlight.

Certain LED features are not always readable in direct sun so it’s important to look for a watch that highlights the ‘sunlight readability’ and may even have anti-glare functionality as well.

This will enable you to have the best game and the easiest access to the data displayed on your watch regardless of the weather.

 

User-Friendly Interface

most accurate Golf GPS watchOftentimes the thing that makes or breaks a product for someone comes down to how easy it is to use. The most accurate Golf GPS watch will fall short if it cannot display the information easily and clearly. For new and seasoned golfers alike, the interface of the watch is often just as important as the data that the watch tracks and analyzes.

A ‘good’ interface will often depend on the user. For those who are more tech-savvy, an advanced display with multiple faces that can be sorted through will be fine. For others, it may be best to look for a watch that displays the most important stats all on the main screen.

It is important to allow for some learning time regardless of how user-friendly the interface is. However, the best watch will have you up and running in little to no time and start providing you the information you need within a few swings.

 

Top 5 Golf GPS Watches under $200

 

Garmin Approach S20 – Best Golf GPS Watch under $200

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Set Alert for Product: Garmin Approach S20, GPS Golf Watch with Step Tracking, Preloaded Courses, Black - $137.20
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Price history for Garmin Approach S20, GPS Golf Watch with Step Tracking, Preloaded Courses, Black
Latest updates:
  • $137.20 - December 9, 2018
  • $142.95 - December 8, 2018
  • $149.98 - December 6, 2018
  • $145.47 - December 6, 2018
  • $146.95 - December 3, 2018
  • $149.98 - November 26, 2018
  • $149.99 - November 22, 2018
  • $197.95 - November 21, 2018
Since: October 16, 2018
  • Highest Price: $197.95 - November 21, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $137.20 - December 9, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: December 9, 2018 8:21 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

This Garmin Approach S20 is sure to meet the expectations and needs for a good game and it is the best golf GPS under 200. This is the best watch for golf and ideal for those who are just getting started because the features will help you improve your game from the start.

 

Key Features:

  • Improving Your Game: AutoShot round analyzer records stats then stores them for comparison/analysis.
  • Battery Life: ~15 hours in GPS mode/~8 weeks standard.
  • Distance Measuring: Measures yardage to the front, back and center of the green
  • Courses: Comes with over 40,000 pre-loaded courses and includes free course updates
  • All-weather resistance: Sunlight readable and water resistant
  • User-friendly interface: Nice display size to show progress or improvements using multiple screens.

 

PROS:
  • Can be paired with the Garmin TruSwing golf sensor to provide metrics to improve your swing consistency
  • Doubles as a Garmin golf and running watch with general activity tracking (e.g. sleep analysis, step counter, etc.)
  • Sunlight readable

CONS:
  • Not a touch screen
  • More complex user interface
  • Garmin Connect app requires good wifi to sync

Overall, this is an excellent product, arguably the best Garmin golf watch on the market. It is ideal for those who are looking for more advanced tracking and the accuracy of measurements and data is spot on.

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Bushnell Neo Ion – Best Golf GPS Watch under $200

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Last Amazon price update was: December 8, 2018 7:55 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

For those who are looking for a dependable GPS watch without fancy bells and whistles, this Bushnell Neo Ion is ideal. The primary function of this is shot measurement which makes it a good investment for beginners who are still learning. It also benefits more advanced players who are working to perfect their game.

 

Key Features:

  • Improving Your Game: Shot distance calculator and tracks the number of swings.
  • Battery Life: ~16 hours in GPS mode and charges in 2.5 hours
  • Distance Measuring: Stores up to 4 hazards per course and displays front, center and back distance to the green measurements
  • Courses: Pre-loaded with 35,000+ courses across 35 countries
  • All-weather resistance: Water resistant
  • User-friendly interface: Round odometer and large face. Limited button use makes this great for non-technical users. Can be used as a women’s or mens golf watch.

 

PROS:
  • Legal for tournament play
  • Comes with 1 year limited warranty
  • You can turn it off to preserve battery life

CONS:
  • Counts shots, but has nothing to note which club was used for the shot(s)
  • Courses do not always load; the course identifier doesn’t always work

Overall this lacks the bells and whistles of advanced tracking and analysis, but still has key features such as the distance of your shots. Fewer tracking features also means a less-complex user interface which can make your game more enjoyable. A reliable golf rangefinder wrist watch that has been well-received according to Bushnell golf watch reviews.

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Callaway GPSy – Best Budget GPS Watch

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Price history for Callaway GPSy Golf Watch, Black
Latest updates:
  • $123.99 - November 23, 2018
  • $137.99 - November 17, 2018
  • $138.00 - November 15, 2018
  • $137.98 - November 13, 2018
  • $140.00 - October 19, 2018
  • $149.98 - October 18, 2018
  • $140.00 - October 17, 2018
  • $149.79 - October 16, 2018
Since: October 16, 2018
  • Highest Price: $149.98 - October 18, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $123.99 - November 23, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: December 9, 2018 8:21 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

The Callaway GPSy works well for tracking putts on the green. Its goal is to help users select the best clubs for their shots. If you are working with a tighter budget, this is also a high-functioning, cheap golf GPS watch. The golf navigation watch feature is an added bonus for any golfer – recommend for both expert and novice golfers.

 

Key Features:

  • Improving Your Game: Built-in scorekeeper. Tracks GIR/putts per round in order to help you select the best (or better) clubs for different shots.
  • Battery Life: ~ 10-12 hours in GPS mode / 90+ days in regular watch mode
  • Distance Measuring: A golf distance finder watch that displays distances to front, center, and back of green as well as layup and carry distances to back of hazards and doglegs.
  • Courses: Comes pre-loaded with 30,000 courses
  • All-weather resistance: Water resistant
  • User-friendly interface: Tracks your shots, hazards, as well as score history in easy, individual displays that require minimal technical maneuvering.

 

PROS:
  • Has both analog & digital time display for GPS/non-GPS use
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Tracks putts per round

CONS:
  • Firmware updates required for scorekeeper feature to work.
  • The charging port commonly overheats
  • It takes approximately 20 minutes to start tracking

This Callaway watch may not be a name brand, but it has many advanced tracking features that are displayed in easy-to-read screens. The measurements are spot on and the functionality runs smooth.

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TomTom Golfer2 – Best Golf GPS Tracker

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Price history for TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch - Small Strap, Light Grey
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  • $253.00 - December 3, 2018
  • $278.50 - November 29, 2018
  • $273.80 - November 26, 2018
  • $266.90 - November 24, 2018
  • $271.50 - November 23, 2018
  • $269.20 - November 22, 2018
  • $271.50 - November 21, 2018
  • $269.20 - November 15, 2018
Since: November 15, 2018
  • Highest Price: $278.50 - November 29, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $253.00 - December 3, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: December 9, 2018 8:21 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

The TomTom Golfer2 accurately shows distance to the green while also displaying hazards in a way that is easily used; data provided can also be applied to your game. This also a high-quality, cheap TomTom watch. It gives the impression of being a good ‘first watch’, including many of the basic features that any golfer (new or pro) will find useful.

 

Key Features:

  • Improving Your Game: The watch stores a virtual summary of the best holes on a course you’ve played regularly; it also includes an automatic scorecard so you can track your game performance.
  • Battery Life: ~ 11 hours/GPS mode
  • Distance Measuring: Measures precise distance to the front and back of individual hazards. It also displays the distance to the front, center and back of the green.
  • Courses: 40,000+ international golf courses
  • All-weather resistance: Waterproof up to 40 meters
  • User-friendly interface: One of the most easy-to-read displays. Is equipped with a light buzz to note when an activity has been recorded

 

PROS:
  • You can tag swings for variations
  • One of the most weather resistant watches
  • Touch screen

CONS:
  • Requires the MySports app in order to view statistics and data
  • Putts need to be added manually to the scorecard
  • Scoring starts at 0, vs 4 (for a par 4)

There are some technical kinks related to the app regarding data storage and syncing, but at the end of the day this watch is a great, basic Golf GPS watch for those who want to start using this tool in order to improve their game.

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Golf Buddy Ladies LD2 – Best Ladies GPS Golf Watch Under $200

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Latest updates:
  • $129.99 - December 6, 2018
  • $179.00 - October 18, 2018
  • $184.00 - October 16, 2018
Since: October 16, 2018
  • Highest Price: $184.00 - October 16, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $129.99 - December 6, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: December 9, 2018 8:21 pm
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

This is a womens golf watch which can be used by professionals or beginners alike. It is also great for anyone who is golfing with a partner since it comes with a dual shot distance measurement feature to track a secondary shot as well as your own.

 

Key features:

  • Improving Your Game: Tracks par info, counts the holes, comes with an end-of-round summary. It also has dual shot distance measurement in order to measure the shot of an additional player.
  • Battery Life: ~7 hours in GPS mode /~60 days in non-GPS mode
  • Distance Measuring: Measures the distances to the front, center and back of the green as well as all course hazards.
  • Courses: 38,000+ courses worldwide
  • All-weather resistance: Waterproof up to 10 meters
  • User-friendly interface: Large readable numbers display the hole numbers, distance to the left & right of the green, par info.
PROS:
  • Can track your drive alongside your partner’s drive in dual mode
  • Works as a standard watch outside of the GPS mode
  • Automatic course/hole recognition

CONS:
  • No shot counter
  • GolfBuddy customer service is awful

Overall the functionality is decent. The best part of this is the dual shot distance measurement feature that makes golfing with a partner more enjoyable (and perhaps competitive). It is the best ladies GPS golf watch currently on the market.

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Bonus: Hole 19(plus) – Android Wear Golf App

An alternative to purchasing a tool is the Hole 19+ app. This one of the best smartwatch for golf GPS apps available. It has both a free and premium version that can be used all while providing the following features:

  • Course Selection & Booking: You can search for nearby courses in both the US and Portugal. Booking via the app can also result in discounts and other deals.
  • GPS Distances: Provides a virtual 3D map of the golf course as well as the distance(s) to the back, center and front of the green.
  • Stat Tracking: You can manually store your golf statistics for review/comparison. Purchasing the premium version also unlocks some automatic tracking if you have a smart watch. It can turn it into an android golf watch.

With the premium feature, you can use a smartwatch with golf GPS. There are few competitors on the market such as this one. Its functionality makes it an enjoyable android watch golf app to use on the course.

 

Here are Some Questions about Golf GPS Watches under 200 Dollars

What is the best GPS watch for running?

If you are a runner and want have a golfing and running watch, the best one will have a dual feature that allows you to use the watch in non-GPS mode. Not all of these beauties work off the green so it’s important to look at:

  • How long they last in non-GPS mode
  • Track steps/have an odometer
  • Readable in sunlight/backlit (for night runners)
  • User interface has digital display/easy number recognition
  • Off-watch data storage

Fortunately, many of these products last much longer outside of the GPS mode which ensures they will have a nice battery life – great for those who like long runs. Of the five products listed here, the Garmin Approach S20 is one of the best GPS watches for running. It has advanced tracking outside of the green. Additionally, it can link with off-watch apps to track your activity as well as your progress.

What is the best golf rangefinder?

A rangefinder is an essential part of any golfer’s equipment. The best golf rangefinder is the one that measures distance with precision and gives you slope compensation if needed.

We took a look at the most popular rangefinders to give you a brief overlook of the options that you have.

Bushnell Pro X2

Hands down one of the best rangefinders out there, the name of Pro X2 speaks for itself. Ask anyone, and they will probably name this device as the best.

It’s not just about the great design and precise measurements, however. Bushnell cares about small details.

It has a simple button that turns off slope compensation for tournaments. Pro X2 gives your hand a shake when it picked on a flag, so you don’t have to guess. These small things make it an all-time favorite.

The drawback is a hefty price tag.

TecTecTec VPRO500

If you don’t feel like investing in Bushnell just yet, you may find that VPRO500 is a good budget alternative. It may not look as good as Bushnell models do, but measures the distance just as well.

This rangefinder will endure rain and measures the distance to the flag with up to 1-yard accuracy. The range is almost as big as with more expensive models.

What is the best golf GPS app?

While golf watches are a stylish and a necessary thing on the green, many golfers prefer to use golf apps instead. Most of them are freemium, so you don’t have to pay anything on top of your Apple or Android watch.

The problem is, however, with an app, you may find yourself in the middle of the game with the app glitching and refusing to work.

We took a look at what Apple Store and Google Play offer, so you don’t end up in this situation. Here are our top picks.

Golf GPS

Offered by SwingU, this app is one of the best. It is free to download and free to use. Perhaps this is why it is used by 4 million golfers worldwide.

In the free mode, it shows you precise yardage and a bird’s-eye view from your phone. If you choose to upgrade to a premium, you’ll get access to advanced features like wind velocity and training programs.

Hole 19 +

Hole 19 may not have the arsenal of features that Golf GPS offers, but it was not reported to crash and its premium cost way less.

It is a social-oriented app, so apart from getting precise measurements distance to the hole, you can share with friends and find new ones.

For a small fee, you can track your shots and see advanced statistics.

 

The Best Golf GPS Watch for Under $200 – Final Verdict

The best Golf GPS watch under $200 does not mean you have to settle for cheap golf watches. There is plenty of quality to be found in products without having to invest thousands. Depending on what you are looking for, any of the five reviewed here will work.

The Golf Buddy Ladies LD2 is delicate and works for those who play professionally; the TomTom Golfer 2 has some of the best tracking available; the Callaway GPSy leads in distance tracking with a nice user interface; and there’s also the Bushnell Neo Ion that has many advanced features without needing much technical navigation.

However, the one Golf GPS watch that stands out the most is the Garmin Approach S20. Its advanced features and overall functionality place it at the top as the best golf GPS watch under $200.

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