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Golf GPS Watch Reviews
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Best Golf GPS Watch in 2018

When you’re ready to hit the links, it can be difficult to figure out which is the best golf GPS watch to buy. These products can cover a wide range of golf-friendly functions, and you can even convert a smartwatch so that they can have some of the dedicated watch’s functionality.

We understand that your golf progression can seem difficult, but any pro player will tell you that the right tools will take swings off of your game. You can end up spending very little for a barebones watch of this type, or you can go all out and spend a little more for a full-featured product.

In our opinion, there are a wide variety of benefits that a good GPS golf watch can bring to your game. These products are designed to bring your swing to the next level. In this guide, we’re going to show you which products that are on the market this year can most improve your game.

 

What to Look for Before You Purchase a Golf Watch with GPS

 

Before we get into the products, we should take you through some of the features that you should consider before you make a purchase. Each of the products that we are going to cover has a good combination of smart design, ease of use, functionality, battery life, ruggedness, and data support, which are some of the features you should consider. Let’s take a look at why these features are important:

Design

The last thing you want is to have a product that has a poor aesthetic and functional design. For this reason, a good product will have to be easy to read, have a well-organized user interface, and a degree of customization.

Additionally, accuracy is a major plus with one of these because having an accurate watch will help you make better decisions on the green. The most accurate golf GPS watch will inform your decisions on the type of club you use and the strength of your swing.

Another design feature that’s very useful is watch band changeability. This will allow you to change up your GPS watch so that it will look like a brand new product. This is particularly useful with smartwatches that have changeable faces.

Ease of Use

The best GPS golf watch for the money isn’t going to be worth a lot if you can’t quite figure out all of its functions. For this reason, a simple user interface with easy to find features is going to be valuable for your game. When you’re on the market for a new GPS watch, check out reviews from beginners – these reviews will tell you exactly how intuitive the interface is so that there is a lower learning curve for the product.

Functionality

For each golfer, the golf GPS experience can vary wildly based on skill level. It’s easy to see that many players might purchase the same product for completely different reasons, so here’s a look at why functionality is important:

  • For Beginner Golfers – A beginner golfer that’s working on swing dynamics might want a simple GPS rangefinder watch so that they can understand exactly where the ball is in relation to their bodies.
  • For Average Players – An intermediate player, on the other hand, might also want pin placement so that they can measure distances more precisely. This will help them avoid blind spots and also helps golfers visualize the direction of the green.
  • For Golf Experts – Expert players who tour around frequently might want a product that has a plethora of pre-loaded courses so that they can have up-to-date info.

Battery Life

No one wants to head to the green and find out that their GPS watch or smartwatch has died on them around the eighth hole, which is why a good battery life is crucial. Your watch should have enough juice at full charge to last at least a full round, but to be honest, it’s a good idea to use a watch that can endure several games of play on a charge. A good product will have the ability to last more than 10 hours at a time, even when using the GPS function, so this is a great place to start. Some products even have battery-friendly modes that you can enable when you get to the links.

Ruggedness

When you’re out there on the course, there is a myriad of course conditions to consider. Is it going to rain? Are you going to end up needing to fish out your ball from a water feature? Is it going to be super sunny? With these questions in mind, it’s just a good idea to seek out a product that’s as rugged as the course, and for this reason, always try to find products with:

  • Waterproof Functionality – It’s easy to find water features on a course, and into every life, a little rain must fall, and the last thing you want is for your watch to stop functioning due to it being waterlogged. For this reason, seek out a watch that is at least IPX6-rated so that it will survive a little water.
  • Anti-glare Screens – Needless to say, if you’re going to be golfing, you’ll most often be playing in sunny environments, even if you’re a winter golfer. For this reason, you may want a screen with a matte texture or other anti-glare features so that you’ll be able to see the readouts on your range and other display features.
  • Tough Glass Faces – While golf isn’t quite as rough and tumble as other sports, it helps to have some durability in your GPS watch. For this reason, a Gorilla Glass or other tough face will help ensure that your watch doesn’t get damaged during your game.

Data support

One of the coolest features of smartwatches is the ability to have extra data support. For example, with some Garmin products, you can download info about the course that you’re playing on. This opens up the possibilities because this can provide information for more than 40,000 potential courses worldwide. In fact, with the modern smartphone, you’ll even be able to beam information to and from your watch via Bluetooth, which is very convenient.

A good golf GPS for smart watch will have app support so that you can expand your watch’s functionality. For example, there are smartwatch golf GPS apps on the Android and Apple app stores that add features like social media updates for your golf game and group scoring. For these reasons, we are beginning to see a lot of potentials for models of smartwatch with golf GPS.

Price

Are you wondering how much you’ll have to spend for a watch of this type? Fortunately, there is a wide range of price points for a good golf GPS watch, which means that you can find several under $100 or even more in the $300-plus price point. Just understand that purchasing the best golf GPS under 100 dollars might mean a lack of app support or color displays. On the other hand, the best golf GPS under 200 dollars may have a plethora of features, but for a beginner golfer, some of these might be extraneous.

Reviews of the Best Golf GPS Watches

Hole 19(plus) – Best Golf GPS App for Apple Watch/Android Wear

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Very intuitive UI
  • Ease of Use: Very easy
  • Functionality: GPS and rangefinder.
  • Battery Life: Battery life is limited to the device’s specs.
  • Ruggedness: This depends on the smartwatch.
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: The app is free.

Standard smartwatches with golf GPS apps are becoming very popular, and as a result, some of the apps that are coming out like 18Birdies and Golf GameBook are excelling. With that said, for our money, if you’re looking for a great, well-rounded golf app, Hole 19+ is your best bet. This app has social features, is compatible with both iOS and android wear golf GPS smartwatches, and is free.

This application also is very versatile and even incorporates flyover views and distance displays. You can even log the number of putts until the hole. This app is even the darling of several Apple Watch Golf GPS review articles.

 

PROS:
  • This is one of the best android golf GPS apps for keeping stats.
  • It’s completely free to use.
  • You can change the holes that you’re viewing.

CONS:
  • Sometimes, the smartwatch sensor isn’t accurate enough.
  • The app is dependent on a smartphone.
  • It doesn’t track shots automatically.

If you own an Android or iOS smartwatch, this is a great app to take with you to the course.

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Garmin Approach S20 – best GPS Watch for Golf

Garmin Approach S20

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Set Alert for Product: Garmin Approach S20, GPS Golf Watch with Step Tracking, Preloaded Courses, Black - $180.66
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Price history for Garmin Approach S20, GPS Golf Watch with Step Tracking, Preloaded Courses, Black
Latest updates:
  • $188.99 - November 20, 2018
  • $180.66 - November 19, 2018
  • $179.81 - November 19, 2018
  • $178.00 - November 18, 2018
  • $174.31 - November 16, 2018
  • $174.30 - November 15, 2018
  • $179.95 - November 13, 2018
  • $183.95 - October 19, 2018
Since: October 16, 2018
  • Highest Price: $188.99 - November 20, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $174.30 - November 15, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: November 19, 2018 10:17 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.

 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Square face, large screen
  • Ease of Use: Somewhat easy
  • Functionality: Step tracking, preloaded courses
  • Battery Life: 10 hours in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: Mid-range
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Under $200

When you’re wondering which product is the best golf GPS watch 2018, it’s hard to discount the Garmin Approach S20. This watch has auto shot features, is very attractive, and has good stat tracking so that you can fine-tune your play style. The screen is crisp, and it has a cool-looking aesthetic design that makes it a great watch as well. It even has a monochrome design that makes it easy to read on sunnier courses.

 

PROS:
  • The band has good ventilation so that it never feels clammy.
  • The screen has plenty of real estate for clear readouts.
  • It can connect to other devices via Bluetooth.

CONS:
  • The screen isn’t touch sensitive, so you have to work the side buttons.
  • Switching between yardage and hazards can be cumbersome.
  • The band could be more durable.

While it doesn’t have touch functionality, this product shines because it has a well-rounded set of features.

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Garmin Approach X40 – Best Golf Watch with Heart Rate Monitor 

Garmin Approach X40

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Set Alert for Product: Garmin Approach X40, GPS Golf Band and Activity Tracker with Heart Rate Monitoring, Black - $224.71
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Price history for Garmin Approach X40, GPS Golf Band and Activity Tracker with Heart Rate Monitoring, Black
Latest updates:
  • $224.71 - November 14, 2018
  • $242.95 - October 19, 2018
  • $245.99 - October 18, 2018
  • $244.36 - October 17, 2018
  • $244.37 - October 16, 2018
Since: October 16, 2018
  • Highest Price: $245.99 - October 18, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $224.71 - November 14, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: November 14, 2018 6:17 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.

 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Slim design
  • Ease of Use: Easy
  • Functionality: Heart rate monitoring, activity tracker
  • Battery Life: 10 hours+ in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: Low
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Above $200


The X40 is a simplified version of the Approach line of products. Despite this, the addition of a heart rate monitor adds a very useful function for some golfers. Not only can the monitor help you achieve an optimal heart rate for staying in shape, but golfers with heart issues can also use it to stay safe. The watch is even designed with activity tracking, which can help you stay active off the course as well. The sensor is also very accurate on this product, which makes for a better game.

 

PROS:
  • The wrist golf GPS on this product is very accurate.
  • This golf GPS tracker is very thin and attractive.
  • This allows for 10 hours of play on a single battery charge.

CONS:
  • The display can be hard to see in the sun.
  • The simple dual color LCD can seem a bit under-featured.
  • This is a product that isn’t very resilient.

For those looking to track more than just their game stats, this is a good cardio-friendly golf GPS watch to consider.

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Garmin Approach S60 – Best Golf Yardage Watch

Garmin Approach S60

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Set Alert for Product: Garmin Approach S60, Premium GPS Golf Watch with Touchscreen Display and Full Color CourseView Mapping, Black w/Silicone Band - $399.97
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Price history for Garmin Approach S60, Premium GPS Golf Watch with Touchscreen Display and Full Color CourseView Mapping, Black w/Silicone Band
Latest updates:
  • $399.97 - November 17, 2018
  • $387.63 - November 14, 2018
  • $399.99 - October 19, 2018
  • $399.00 - October 18, 2018
  • $399.95 - October 17, 2018
  • $399.99 - October 16, 2018
Since: October 16, 2018
  • Highest Price: $399.99 - October 16, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $387.63 - November 14, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: November 17, 2018 6:34 am
× 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.

 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Round-faced design
  • Ease of Use: Very easy
  • Functionality: Color maps, touchscreen, mapping
  • Battery Life: 10 hours in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: High-range
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Above $200

If you’re looking for a digital GPS watch that has an almost analog design, then this product from Garmin’s Approach line may be great for your games. The round face has a full-color display and has touchscreen features that make golfing easy. The display is even sunlight-readable, so you won’t have to shade it on sunnier courses. As one might expect from Garmin, this product is also very accurate – the sensors are some of the best in the industry.

 

PROS:
  • With an external winding dial and a round face, this product looks almost like a standard watch.
  • The color display is very vivid.
  • It has a 10-hour battery life in GPS mode.

CONS:
  • The instructions that come with the watch are lacking.
  • It can lose the satellite connection.
  • It tends to freeze from time to time.

This is an excellent product that combines precise sensor measurements with a vivid color display.

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Garmin Approach S2 – Best Golf Distance Watch

Garmin Approach S2

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Set Alert for Product: Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch with Worldwide Courses (Black) - $199.99
Last Amazon price update was: October 19, 2018 2:14 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.

 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Sports watch-style
  • Ease of Use: Very easy
  • Functionality: Worldwide courses, precise GPS, shot distances
  • Battery Life: Eight hours in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: High
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Under $200

Measuring your shot distances can be very important, especially when you want to improve accuracy, and the golf distance tracker in the S2 is very useful. Additionally, this watch also comes preloaded with 30,000 courses, which makes getting details easy. When the courses in its database update, so will the information within the watch. This ensures that you can always have accurate info.

 

PROS:
  • The GPS receiver in this product is highly accurate.
  • The design makes this look just like a standard watch.
  • It has a three-week runtime when outside of golf mode.

CONS:
  • This only has an eight-hour battery life when in GPS mode.
  • The instructions aren’t very helpful.
  • It isn’t as intuitive as it could be.

When it comes to building your golf skills, precision is key, and this is a high-quality product that can help you become more accurate.

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Bushnell Neo Ion – Best Small Golf GPS

Bushnell Neo ION

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Last Amazon price update was: November 14, 2018 6:17 pm
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Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Sports watch-style
  • Ease of Use: Easy
  • Functionality: Hazard distances, preloaded courses
  • Battery Life: 10+ hours in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: Mid-range
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Under $200

When you’re out there, you don’t always have to have a complex golf GPS watch. Sometimes, a small golf GPS with a small screen will do the job. For those that want a watch with a smaller form factor, this product, which comes from Bushnell, may do the trick. It’s not skipping any features; it comes preloaded with 35,000 courses, and it even has auto course recognition. From a design perspective, the product has a durable silicone band and comes in an attractive white and blue coloration.

 

PROS:
  • It keeps track of the hole as well as the par.
  • It has a durable construction.
  • The band is made of silicone and has a breathable design.

CONS:
  • The screen can be a bit too small.
  • The display isn’t anti-glare.
  • Sometimes, it can lose the GPS signal.

With 35,000 courses built into the product, this is a great GPS to consider if you’re going to be doing a bit of touring.

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Callaway GPSy – Best Rangefinder Watch

Callaway GPSy Golf Watch

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Price history for Callaway GPSy Golf Watch, Black
Latest updates:
  • $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: $137.98 - November 13, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: November 17, 2018 6:34 am
× 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.

 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Square face, large screen
  • Ease of Use: Easy
  • Functionality: Tracks scores, analog and digital time display, score history
  • Battery Life: 12 hours in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: Mid-range
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Under $200

If you’re trying to play your optimal round, knowing precise measurements to hazards and the hole is essential. This product, which comes from the iconic brand Callaway Golf, is a great rangefinder watch for just about any player. In fact, during tests, this product has performed almost as well as a laser rangefinder, which means that the accuracy is great. The product also has features like an odometer, a scorekeeper, and it comes equipped with both analog and digital time.

 

PROS:
  • It comes preloaded with 30,000 courses.
  • The text is presented in vivid black and white.
  • The band is very comfortable and breathable.

CONS:
  • This isn’t a touchscreen product.
  • It can take a few moments to cycle through all of the features.
  • GPS and course information is slow to load.

Finding accurate ranges is essential, and this Callaway product provides good rangefinder functionality. In addition to that, it also feels great on the wrist and has a very easy to read display.

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Garmin Approach S6 – Best Golf Distance Finder Watch

Garmin Approach S6

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Last Amazon price update was: November 14, 2018 6:17 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.

 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Round-faced designer watch style
  • Ease of Use: Very easy
  • Functionality: Color display, tracks scores, water resistant, touch targeting
  • Battery Life: 10 hours in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: Low
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Above $200

This is another GPS watch in the Garmin Approach line of products, and this one, like the S60, has a full-color display. This product also has a smaller screen that still manages to pack in a lot of course data. When it comes to aesthetics, this watch has a unique and stylish design, and the functionality includes touch operation and more than a few notifications. The screen stands out for this product because it has a very high resolution for the size and has some great color contrast.

 

PROS:
  • This works well as a wristwatch golf distance finder due to its access to Garmin’s satellites.
  • This is a waterproof GPS watch.
  • It’ll last a full 10 hours in GPS mode.

CONS:
  • The Bluetooth notifications can be loud.
  • Syncing between phone and watch can be unreliable.
  • There’s no anti-glare coating on the display.

If you don’t mind the somewhat disruptive notifications, this auto-tracking GPS watch can help bring your game up to speed.

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TomTom Golfer 2 – Best Cheap Golf GPS Watch

TomTom Golfer 2

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Set Alert for Product: TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch - $249.99
Last Amazon price update was: November 13, 2018 2:17 am
× 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.

 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Compact
  • Ease of Use: Easy
  • Functionality: Shot detection, auto scorecard, green and hazard graphics
  • Battery Life: 10 hours in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: High
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Above $200

If you’re not looking to spend a lot of cash, this product from TomTom may be the best budget golf GPS in our guide. While it may not be the least expensive, you get a lot of functionality for the price, which helps provide value. The product has automatic detection of your shots and will record them as well. Additionally, if you’re a golf course touring enthusiasts, this TomTom product comes equipped with 40,000 preloaded courses. The product even has a scorecard setting, which means that you can leave a pencil and your paper scorecards in your bag.

 

PROS:
  • The scorecard feature is fully automatic.
  • The graphical display is truly descriptive.
  • It has shot history analysis, which you can use via your smartphone.

CONS:
  • The alerts feature can vibrate your wrist, which isn’t for everyone.
  • The touchpad on the wristband can be a bit sensitive.
  • Software synch could be more accurate.

Having an automatic scorecard feature really brings this GPS to the next level, and it’s also very budget-friendly.

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Golf Buddy Ladies LD2 – Best Ladies GPS Golf Watch

GolfBuddy Women’s LD2

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Set Alert for Product: GolfBuddy Women's LD2 Golf GPS Watch with Swarovski Crystals, Small, White - $179.00
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Price history for GolfBuddy Women's LD2 Golf GPS Watch with Swarovski Crystals, Small, White
Latest updates:
  • $179.00 - October 18, 2018
  • $184.00 - October 16, 2018
Since: October 16, 2018
  • Highest Price: $184.00 - October 16, 2018
  • Lowest Price: $179.00 - October 18, 2018
Last Amazon price update was: November 19, 2018 10:17 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.

 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Design: Stylish lady’s watch with Swarovski crystals
  • Ease of Use: Somewhat easy
  • Functionality: Waterproof, hazard distance, odometer
  • Battery Life: Seven hours in GPS mode
  • Ruggedness: High
  • Data Support: Yes
  • Price: Above $200

In many situations, most golf watches can be used by both sexes, but that doesn’t mean that they all look attractive on a lady’s wrist. This product, from Golf Buddy, is specifically designed as a ladies golf watch, and as a result, it looks great. Not only does it have a fresh aesthetic design that many women will enjoy, but it also has some great features. It can be used at an underwater depth of 10 meters, it has a lightweight construction, and it even displays the distance to hazards on the course.

 

PROS:
  • The face has Swarovski crystals.
  • The stats are displayed clearly and crisply.
  • The band has a very comfortable fit that won’t feel clammy.

CONS:
  • The charger is hard to align when you’re trying to charge the watch.
  • This battery on this watch may not last a full round of golf.
  • It doesn’t have an expansive listing of pre-programmed courses.

While it’s somewhat light on features, this is a good GPS watch for ladies that are beginning to get into golf.

 

Common Questions about Golf GPS Watches

You probably have a few questions about this type of product, which is why we are going to provide you with a relatively in-depth FAQ about GPS watches.

What is the best golf rangefinder watch?

Frankly put, the best rangefinder watch for you will be the one that works best for your golf skill level. There are a wide variety of watches out there, but if you’re a beginner, one with a lot of extra features may be wasted. For this reason, read reviews like this one to identify features that would work for your specific game.

Why purchase a golf GPS watch? Isn't it easier to learn on your own?

While you can learn by going to the course and working on your swing, a golf GPS brings something special: the ability to be more accurate. For example, if you’re swinging too hard on your stroke, the GPS will be able to recognize that you need to ease off a bit, which can help you with control. Additionally, a good GPS watch will also have additional features like automatic scorecard updates and real-time position tracking, which are very convenient.

Is it better to purchase an app-enabled smartwatch?

While smartwatches are gaining ground in the world of golf, there are still some key advantages to consider when you’re purchasing a standalone golf GPS watch. First amongst these is accuracy; products like the ones produced by Garmin and TomTom use dedicated satellites that are more accurate than the GPS satellites used by smartwatches. Additionally, more attention is paid to features like anti-glare displays and automatic hole advancement on dedicated GPS watches.

How long should the battery on one of these products last?

If you’re going to the course, in many situations, you’re going to be playing more than one game. On average, a full 18 holes of golf will go at least four hours, which means that a golf GPS watch should at least be able to hold up that long on the links. With that taken into consideration, simply having a watch last for a game isn’t that impressive, which is why it’s a good idea to purchase one that has a 10-hour battery life so that you can play for an extended period.

Do these products work as standard watches as well?

Yes, in most cases, golf GPS watches can work well as day-to-day watches; in fact, many have some great timekeeping features that ensure accurate time. Some products have auto-updates for accuracy, and some even have analog displays that look very classy. One of the best aspects about using one of these for standard timekeeping is that, when you’re not using the GPS mode, you will have longer battery life. For instance, a watch that might last 10 hours in GPS mode might last for more than four days without GPS usage.

Are there hidden costs associated with owning a watch of this type?

Sometimes, there are some extra costs to consider. For example, some GPS manufacturers will charge you a bit for extra course maps and app downloads, which is why it might be a good idea to do a bit of research before you make a purchase. With that taken into consideration, some products also offer lifetime downloads so that you can get extra features and courses for the life of the product.

So, Which is the Best Golf GPS Watch to Buy?

In our opinion, the best golf GPS watch to buy out of the products we covered is the Garmin Approach S20. This particular product incorporates a range of features that are very competitive and fairly easy to use. Not only does the watch have the features for golfers of any skill level, but the screen is very clear even on sunny days. As a result, this is a product that we recommend for just about any golfer.

While this product stands out, we also suggest just about any of the products that we reviewed in this guide; they all have great features and should be considered. Take a look at each of our reviews so that you can have a good idea what watch could work best for your game.

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