Best Golf GPS Watches 2017
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Best Golf GPS Watches 2017

Golf is, and always has been, a game of measurements. Knowing distance between yourself and hazards on the course, the green, and knowing the distance you can hit the ball are all elements that are keys to success in the game of golf.

It used to be, years ago, that the best way to tell yardage while playing was the use of binoculars. This wasn't the best method, however, as most of the golfers’ game boiled down to just guesswork.

But today, with advancements in technology, inaccurate guesswork is a thing of the past, with a variety of devices helping golfers to narrow down exact yardage like never before. One of these devices are golf GPS watches.

Our Best Golf GPS Watch Pick: Garmin Approach S6

golf gps watch reviews

The Garmin Approach S6 is the best overall golf GPS we've researched, in terms of price, features, design, quality and ease of use. It not only serves its purpose well as a GPS device, it also doubles up as a golf training aid; providing your swing statistics for analysis. Accurate, elegant and features-packed, the Garmin S6 is undoubtedly the best choice for a GPS watch.

NameEditor's CommentProduct 
Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS WatchBest Affordablebushnell-neo-xs-golf-gps-rangefinder-watchView More
TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch2nd Best Overalltomtom-golfer-2-gps-watchView More
Callaway GPSyBest All-Weather Choicecallaway-gpsyView More
POSMA GT1 Golf Trainer GPS Golf WatchBest for Beginnersposma-gt1-golf-trainer-gpView More
Garmin Approach S6Best Overallgolf gps watch reviewsView More

Best Golf GPS Watches 2017

Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch

Want a good looking watch that has all the important features that you are looking for in a GPS watch? Then our first watch, the Bushnell NEO XS, may be the watch you are looking for!

To begin, the NEO has several features that golfers love, such as being able to tell time, a "golf" mode, and an "Odometer" mode. The latter two features are used to help measure distance between hazards on the course and the green, as well as speed and distance traveled during play, both of which can help a golfer with their game.

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No matter which course you choose to play on, the NEO can likely give you an accurate readout of it, as this watch comes with over 33,000 pre-loaded golf courses. And with a battery that last a really long time, you will be able to play these courses multiple times before your watch gives out on you.

The watch does have some design flaws despite this, however. Some users have claimed that the watch band is too small, and others have even said that the watch broke when dropped just once. But these issues are few and far between, and should not be something to be worried about.

With the Bushnell NEO XS, we start our list with a bang, giving you one of the best watches available. Great features and long battery life, and even looking pretty cool, make this an awesome GPS watch.

Things We Liked

  • Long battery life
  • Pre-loaded with over 33000 courses
  • Easy-to-read front/center/back distances

Things We Didn't Like

  • Watch band can be too small for some

TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch

When someone wants to buy a good GPS watch for golf, it is probably a good idea to go with a brand that knows what they are doing. TomTom is one of those brands, being well known for their car GPS devices, so you know that with them you will get a great GPS watch.

The TomTom Golfer 2 uses something called a "smart shot detection" feature that automatically tracks your shots and provides an accurate distance prediction of where on the course your ball may be. 

tomtom-golfer-2-gps-watch

This is a great feature to not only measure the distance of your shot, but even to help you find the ball if you happen to lose it.

The watch also has a really long battery life, with a battery that is certain to last you multiple rounds of golf. Adding to all these great features is that the watch is also very lightweight, so you don't feel like you wearing a brick on your hand when walking around.

There are frequent complaints about the notification feature of the watch. During play, an annoying buzzing sound emits from the watch, which some people are bothered by. While this is annoying, this feature can be turned off from the options menu of the watch, eliminating the issue.

If you can deal with that buzzing, then you will be more than happy with the TomTom Golfer 2. Battery life and shot detection that can last on the course as long as you do, what's not to love?

Things We Liked

  • Tracks your shot and gives insight about your game
  • Creates a virtual summary of your best hole combination
  • Over 40000 courses

Things We Didn't Like

  • Buzzing from notifications

Callaway GPSy

While not a well-known name in GPS like TomTom, Callaway is more than well-known in the world of golf. With the Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch, Callaway aims to give players the best in both golf and GPS.

To begin with, the Callaway GPSy has preloaded maps for over 33,000 golf courses, meaning that you will have an accurate readout no matter what course you may play on. Should it happen that your golf course is not already on the watch, then have no fear, as it is very easy to update the watch and add even more courses to it.

callaway-gpsy

If you are in the market for extra features, then you'll love the Callaway's Score keeper feature. This feature contains information for the hole you are on, the current score, GIR information, and even putts per round, giving you complete statistics of your game as you are playing.

best golf gps watches

Everything about this watch is great, except for battery life. While not short by any means, the Callaway's battery life does tend to be shorter than other GPS watches on the market, and gets shorter the older the watch gets.

That one issue aside, the Callaway gives you everything you could want in a GPS watch and more. Being able to give you accurate information no matter which course, Callaway proves again why they are one of the best names in golf.

Things We Liked

  • Score keeper feature
  • Futuristic interface
  • Over 30000 courses

Things We Didn't Like

  • Battery life not as long

POSMA GT1 Golf Trainer GPS Golf Watch

If you want a golf GPS watch, but you are on a budget, it may be hard to find the right product. Luckily with the POSMA GT1 GPS Watch, you may be able to get exactly what you are looking for, and then some.

While most GPS watches tend to run upwards of $150 or more, the POSMA comes up to only around $70, making it one of the most affordable GPS watches available. And that price comes without any subscriptions or other expenses, adding to the value of the watch.

posma-gt1-golf-trainer-gp

For the price you pay for the watch, you will get a ton of features. Coming with over 27,000 preloaded courses, accurate greens and hazard information, and even a scorecard feature, this GPS watch gives you value worth more than you pay.

While the POSMA can do all this, the watch tends to function more slowly than other watches, which may be a bad thing for the impatient type. And battery life of the POSMA averages around 8 hours, which is long enough to last a round of golf, but not nearly that of a lot of the competitors.

Overall, the POSMA is a great value for the price you pay for it, giving you all the features and more you would want from a GPS watch without breaking the bank.

Things We Liked

  • Lots of features for its affordable price
  • Allows for best time control in golfing
  • Over 27000 courses

Things We Didn't Like

  • Functions a little slower

Garmin Approach S6

With our last GPS watch today, from the GPS geniuses at Garmin, we bring you possibly the best watch today. That may seem like a big boast, but this watch, the Garmin Approach S6, can more than live up to that hype.

One thing that makes the Garmin Approach S6 stand out is the display of the watch. The display is touch screen and features beautiful, vibrant color that shows you an accurate representation of the course that you are playing on, from the tee box to the green.

golf gps watch reviews

The Garmin also has a "smart notification" feature, which allows real time stat tracking of your game, as well as touch targeting for certain landmarks on the course. The Garmin also has a unique swing training feature, which tracks your swing strength and tempo to help the user improve their game.

If you are looking for a watch that you can wear on or off the course as well, then you don't need to look any further than the Garmin. With a stylish design and coming in a variety of different colors, you will look great wearing this watch on the course, as well as at home or the office.

The only drawback of this watch is the price, which comes up to about $350, more than any other watch on the list today. This can be forgiven considering you not only get all the above features, but a watch with a great battery and scorecard as well.

This watch literally has every feature one could possibly want from a GPS watch. If you can afford the price, the Garmin Approach S6 will give you the only GPS watch you will ever need, making you the envy of your golf buddies.

Things We Liked

  • Hi-res touchscreen display
  • Swing training feature to improve skills
  • Very stylish
  • Over 38000 courses

Things We Didn't Like

  • Relatively expensive

Why You Should Get a Golf GPS Watch

The game of golf has changed significantly over the last few decades. Gone are the days when your main objective on the course was to simply hit the ball as hard and as close to the hole as you possibly can. Today’s game is as physical as it is strategic. Instead of trying to outdrive the competition at the tee, most golfers nowadays would look at their second shot first and choose to just hit the center of the green on their first shot. But how are they able to estimate the distance to the green so accurately? The answer is right there, strapped around their wrists.

These watches are devices that project a map display that includes hazards and distance to the green, as well as other vital information for the golfer, all in the form of a convenient wristwatch. Some of them can even tell the time!

​Over the years, golf GPS watches have become an integral part of any self-respecting golfer’s arsenal. Not only do they help golfers make better shot decisions, they also eliminate the need for lengthy information gathering. If you are looking to improve your golf game, but are still on the fence about whether you should be getting a golf GPS watch or not, then maybe these reasons can help persuade you.

golf gps watch reviews

Golf GPS watches measure distances easily and accurately. If you play the game often, you will have learned by now that the distance markers on many golf courses today are surprisingly inaccurate. How often have you come up a few meters short of your target just because you based your calculations on them? Golf GPS watches use satellite technology in order to measure the distance from where you tee off to where the ball rolls to a stop, with a certain degree of accuracy. In today’s game, knowing just how far you are from the hole is a definite advantage.​

Having a golf GPS watch lets you play to your strengths. Because your golf GPS watch gives you fairly accurate distance readings, course management becomes easy. Consider this example: Assume that the club that you are most comfortable with is your trusty 6-iron. You know that you can hit that ball and send it flying a good 150 to 160 meters with it, nine out of ten times. According to the preloaded course map on your golf GPS watch, you are about 382 meters from the hole. If you plan to use your 6-iron on your second shot, you will need to hit your tee shot to a distance of about 222 meters. You take out your 3-wood instead of your driver, and you set yourself up for a second shot that you’ve only done successfully nine out of ten times.​

Your golf GPS watch can tell you how far you hit with each club. If you’ve been struggling with your game lately, or you’re just learning to play golf for the first time, knowing how far you can send the ball with each club in your bag will help you a lot. Golf GPS watches have a “shot distance” feature that with a press of a button, allows you mark where you took the shot and where the ball goes. It can then tell you the distance between the two marks. With enough practice, you will soon learn how far you are able to accurately hit the ball with each club. This is an important part of shot management, because it can help you decide whether you want to be playing your next shot with a 5-iron or a 4-iron​.

golf gps reviews

​You can play faster and more efficiently without sacrificing the quality of your game. Many of the GPS watches that are available in the market today already come pre-loaded with course maps and distance measurements, which means you no longer need to look at brochures, read books, or refer to inaccurate distance markers. Doing away with information gathering allows you to focus on your game, so that you can get to the hole with as few shots as possible. Should you happen to be playing on a course whose map isn’t pre-loaded, you can always upload the course map to your golf GPS watch before you tee off.

​There is a golf GPS watch for you, regardless of your budget or skill level. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional golfer, there is bound to be a golf GPS watch that will help you improve your game. Because manufacturers continually try to improve their design and incorporate as many different features on their devices as possible, GPS watches go for less than $100 to more than $400.Times have changed, and golfers today have become far more strategic with their game than ever before. If you want to lower your handicap and be the star of the fairway, getting a golf GPS watch is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

You may be wondering what makes GPS watches any better than other golf tools, such as laser rangefinders and phone apps.

Well, to start, these devices give you a convenient option for course measurement, detailing vital course information right from your wrist, and without the need for updates and subscription fees like you would need with a phone app. These watches even have the capability to measure speed and playtime, and a few of them are even able to keep track of score for you, making them even more convenient.


Buying Factors for Best Golf GPS Watches

There are a ton of these GPS watches that are available on the market today. Many of these watches come with a variety of different prices and extra features. For that reason it is important to know what to look for before buying any of the products.

Basic Features

When buying a watch, you will want one that has at least the basic features, such as distance to the green, as a standard. Every one of these watches should at least be able to give you accurate yardage to hazards and other landmarks around the course, and if they can't so at least that, then you should pass on it.

Advanced Features

To go along with the above, you may want to look for a watch that has special features you may like, such as blu-tooth or score card. These features are not needed, however, and can sometimes cost more, so it is really up to the player if they want these things with their watch.

Ease of Use

You will also want a watch that is easy to use, so you are not fiddling around with various switches and other things while in the middle of play. If you have to stop dead during your game just so you can figure out which switch does what on your watch, then chances are that it is not the watch for you.

Battery Life

It probably is a given, but when you buy a GPS watch, you are going to want one that has good battery life. Nothing would be worse than being in the middle of the game and having your watch go out on you, so you will want a watch with a battery that can last you from the first tee to the eighteenth hole.

Maps

Maps for courses should come pre-loaded on your watch, but seeing as you never know what course you'll be playing on next, you will want a watch that has as many courses loaded as possible. This way, no matter where you play, your watch can likely provide you with an accurate representation of the course you are on.

Subscription Fees

Finally, be wary of watches that make you pay a subscription fee to use them. These watches should come with all their features and unlimited use at the time of purchase, so you should never have to pay monthly to use them.

For a more comprehensive list of buying factors, check this buying guide for golf GPS which includes handheld devices.


Quick Summary of The Best Golf GPS Watch

Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Watch

Longest Battery Life

  • Long battery life
  • Easy-to-read front/center/back distances
  • Over 33000 courses
TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch

2nd Best Overall

  • Tracks your shot and gives insight about your game
  • Creates a virtual summary of your best hole combination
  • Over 40000 courses
Callaway GPSy

Good alternative

  • Score keeper feature
  • Futuristic interface
  • Over 30000 courses
POSMA GT1 Golf Trainer GPS Golf Watch

Best Affordable

  • Lots of features for its affordable price
  • Allows for best time control in golfing
  • Over 27000 courses
Garmin Approach S6

Best Overall

  • Hi-res touchscreen display
  • Swing training feature to improve skills
  • Very stylish
  • Over 38000 courses

If you want to get a GPS watch and retire your smartphone or rangefinder, then these five choices for best golf GPS watches are sure to give you what you are looking for. Thanks for taking the time to join us today, and we'll see you on the links!

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