Best Golf GPS Watches

If you’ve ever tried using a laser rangefinder for your golf game you may have run into issues. They’re very expensive, they require a clear line of sight for yardage, you need steady hands to use them, and rain or mist can affect the laser.

And besides, why pay all that money for a rangefinder when you can have a GPS watch right on your wrist, that you can also enjoy when you’re not playing. Please don’t pay for two gadgets when just one will do!

The solution, of course, is to get yourself a golf GPS watch. They’re quicker to use, extremely accurate, they provide a post round analysis, and they often make excellent fitness tracking watches or can even be smartwatches that allow you to receive calls and notifications.

It’s also better than lugging around a handheld GPS device, as it leaves you completely hands free.

We’ve been checking out some of the best GPS watches around at the moment, and we can’t wait to show you our favorites!

We’ve tried to include a mix of GPS smartwatches and regular GPS watches. And we’ve included ones for a range of different budgets. We think you’ll love our line-up.

Our reviews on these are coming up very shortly, and we also have a buying guide for you, laying out exactly what you should be looking for when you buy.

And without further ado…

OUR TOP PICK

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EDITORS CHOICE

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BEST VALUE

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OUR TOP PICK

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You’ve probably heard of Garmin already. But if you haven’t, here’s a little background...

Garmin started out as an early GPS gadget maker, but now they’re one of the most highly respected smartwatch and fitness tracker brands on the current market.

This is the latest in their golf GPS watch offering - an upgraded version of the well renowned Garmin Approach S60, which is actually the second watch to make our shortlist of top golf GPS watches.

Before we go into the special features, let’s talk about the basics. It has a large 1.3 inch easy to read full color touchscreen that’s entirely scratch resistant.

That’s an 18% larger display screen than on the S60. And there are a whopping 41,000 golf course maps already preloaded in.

Our favorite golf-specific feature in the S62 is the Virtual Caddie. It suggests which club to use next, based not just on the typical distances you hit but also factoring in the wind speed and direction. Impressive hey?

Here’s a quick run through of the other handy special golf features:

  • Hazard view - self explanatory
  • PlaysLike Distance - accounts for downhill uphill shots
  • PinPointer - shows direction of pin when you’re in a blind spot
  • Green view - allows manual pin positioning 
  • Pairing up with the Garmin golf app - for all your game stats & leaderboards etc.

It’s also a smartwatch, so it can give you all your important notifications. And it even allows you to make contactless payments, which saves you getting your bankcard out anytime you want a coffee.

It has an amazing battery life, specifically up to 20 hours on GPS mode and a whopping 14 days in smartwatch mode.

Sure it’s more expensive than the S60, but if you have the budget for it, then why not get the best of the best?

Pros

  • Very large full color screen
  • Has a Virtual Caddie function
  • Loads of other golf features
  • Make contactless payments
  • Amazingly long battery life

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price

EDITORS CHOICE

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The Garmin Approach S60 is somewhat legendary, and was easily the best golf GPS smartwatch around for about 2 years before the upgrade to S62 which we reviewed for you earlier.

It features a 1.2 inch full color high resolution touchscreen display that is visible and easy to read even under direct sunlight, which is exactly what you need.

It features over 40,000 preloaded golf course maps from all over the world, that’s not much less than what the S62 offers.

Like the S62, it also features Green View for getting a good birds eye view of the course, and there’s PlaysLike Distance, to automatically adjust yardages to account for uphill and downhill shots.

It also uses Touch Targeting to give you precise distances to any spot. And it has AutoShot to automatically record distances during the game. Great for post game analysis and study!

It has an excellent battery life, able to last up to 10 hours in golf mode, More than long enough for two whole rounds. Or it will last up to 10 whole days in regular watch mode.

We also love how you can pair up the S60 with the Garmin TruSwing analyzer (sold separately).

It works out the club path angles for you and your swing speed. Perfect for improving the consistency of your golf swings.

And it’s also a great fitness tracker, with preloaded activity profiles for running, cycling, swimming and more.

It’s also a smartwatch, so you can sync it to your smartphone to get notifications for incoming calls, texts, and emails etc.

Amazon occasionally has deals on the S60, simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros

  • Very large high quality screen
  • 40,000 preloaded course maps
  • Loads of handy golf features
  • Also a great fitness tracker
  • Has smartwatch functionality
  • Excellently long battery life

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price - even if you do manage to catch a deal it can be quite expensive

BEST VALUE

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The Garmin Approach S40 is also an excellent GPS watch for golf. And as you can imagine, it has a lot in common with the S60, but is available at a more fair, reasonable and affordable price.

It has a large 1.2 inch full color touchscreen display that is visible and easy to read even under direct sunlight. It has a metal bezel and is available with a choice of different color bands.

And it comes pre-loaded with over 41,000 golf course maps from all over the world.

The stand out feature of the S40 is how you can pair it up with CT10 club trackers (sold separately).

They are special sensors that you screw into the grip of each club, and they will let you know how far you hit with each club, giving you super precise automatic game tracking.

We also love the Green View feature. First it gives you a great birds eye view of the area. And then you can manually set the pin position and it automatically works out distances to the front, middle and back of the green. And the distances to hazards as well.

We also love how you can pair it up with the Garmin Golf app, where you can and view all your stats in real time during play and afterward to really examine your game. And you can even compete on leaderboards.

It’s also a smartwatch, so you can sync it to your smartphone to get notifications for incoming calls, texts, and emails etc. And it’s also a great fitness tracker too, calculating your number steps and calories burned etc

Amazon occasionally has deals on the S60, simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros

  • Available at a reasonable price
  • Large full color touchscreen
  • Pair with CT10 club trackers
  • Great Green View feature
  • Has smartwatch functionality
  • Also works as a fitness tracker

Cons

  • There have been occasional reports of customers finding it a little complicated to use

RUNNER UP

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This is a significantly more affordable golf GPS watch from the Garmin brand. And it’s a bargain if you ask us.

Sure there’s less technology involved and less fancy features, but it certainly does the job.

Besides after well over 7000 individual customer ratings on Amazon, the average customer rating still comes out at an impressive 4 and half stars out of 5.

The aesthetic of the watch is a little different to the more expensive Garmin Approach golf watches in that instead of having a round color display, it has a large 1.2 inch rectangular black and white display.

But that said, it’s very clear to read, with a high resolution, and you can still see it clearly even under direct sunlight.

It has just as many preloaded golf course maps as the more expensive Garmin Approach golf watches too, coming in at over 41,000.

It’s particularly easy to use, and it provides you with yardages to the front, back and middle of the green, as well as hazards.

The watch will also keep your score as you play, and you can get a summary of your round, total time and total distance played.

You can also upload your scorecards to Garmin Express to keep track of your game and scores throughout a season. Or for the more competitive of you , you can use the Garmin Golf app to compete on leaderboards.

The battery life is really good without any unnecessary apps to slow it down - it can last up to a whopping 12 hours in GPS golf mode.

It has no smartwatch functionality, so you won’t find yourself getting disturbed by social media notifications as you play.

It’s available in 3 different color options, namely black, granite blue and powder grey.

Pros

  • Available at a bargain price
  • 41,000 preloaded course maps
  • Large 1.2” easy to read display
  • Very easy to understand & use
  • Excellent long lasting battery life

Cons

  • No smartwatch functionality
  • Black and white screen

RUNNER UP

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Now, this golf GPS watch has earned the title of Amazon’s Choice in the category of Golf GPS Watches. Such titles are only given to products that are of excellent quality and are also available at a good price.

We would go a step further and say that it’s set an excellent price. It’s significantly more affordable than the Garmin watches we’ve shown you, and it’s an absolute bargain.

Of course at this price it’s not as fancy as the high end Garmin golf watches, but it certainly does the job and has seen some very positive customer feedback.

After well over 1000 individual customer ratings on Amazon it still managed to earn an average customer rating of an impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5.

It’s very durable and reliable, resistant to both water and dust, and the rechargeable battery has enough battery life, without any unnecessary apps draining it to last for at least two rounds.

It comes preloaded with over 38,000 golf course maps from all over the world. And it will measure distances to the front, back and middle of the green and is accurate to within +/- one yard. And it gives you distances to hazards.

It’s super easy to use too, with only four buttons to concern yourself with to navigate the screen. We also like how it’s USGA compliant.

It has no smartwatch functionality, so you won’t find yourself getting disturbed by social media notifications as you play.

It comes backed by both a 30-day money back guarantee, and a full year’s warranty.

I guess the main drawback is that the screen is black and white rather than color.

Pros

  • Won Amazon’s Choice title
  • Bargain affordable price
  • 38,000 golf course maps
  • Durable & water resistant
  • Backed by 1 year warranty

Cons

  • No smartwatch functionality
  • Black and white display screen

Best Golf GPS Watches Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. Here are some of the key things to think about before buying your next golf GPS watch…

Display

When reading your GPS watch you need it to have a decent display. One that’s large enough to read, preferably at least an inch in diameter, and preferably in full color.

Preloaded Golf Course Maps

It certainly helps if you have your local golf course map already preloaded onto your golf GPS watch.

And if you like to travel with your golf, perhaps in tournaments and such, you’ll be appeased to hear that your watch has all the main golf courses all preloaded for you from courses all over the world.

Special Features

These days, a golf GPS watch can do decidedly more than just give you the yardage to the next hole. And the newer more expensive golf GPS watches come packed with loads of handy features for your golf game.

These will be the Garmin watches. Here’s a quick recap of some of their features:

  • Hazard view - self explanatory
  • PlaysLike Distance - accounts for downhill uphill shots
  • PinPointer - shows direction of pin when you’re in a blind spot
  • Green view - allows manual pin positioning 
  • Pairing up with the Garmin golf app - for all your game stats & leaderboards etc.

Smartwatch Functionality

Of course, smartwatch functionality in a golf GPS watch is entirely optional and not necessary.

However, if you’re going to spend some money on a new watch, why not get one with smartwatch functionality too? Certainly saves you from buying a smartwatch separately.

Besides, if you want a peaceful game, you can always switch your notifications off. Or take the watch out of smartwatch mode altogether.

Battery Life

You should look for a watch with a good battery life, because the last thing you’d want is for the battery to run out half way through a game.

One round usually lasts about 4 hours, so look for a watch with a battery life of at least 4 hours. And it’s good practice to always give your watch a good charge the night before a game.

But just to give you a heads up, GPS watches don’t last as long in GPS mode as they do in regular watch mode.

Brand

Now, when it comes to golf GPS watches, there are some brands that really outperform the others. Not just in sales but also in customer ratings and reviews.

We were so impressed with the Garmin brand of golf GPS watches that we included four of them in our shortlist of our top 5 picks.

Value for Money

When shopping for anything online, it’s always a good idea to check prices as you go along. That way you can make a good, well informed decision about how much your budget should be.

In our shortlist of top 5 picks, we were careful to choose one for every budget. If you’re particularly budget conscious however, then you might be interested in the most affordable watch in our line up, which is our number 5 pick, the TecTecTec ULT-G.

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