Golf is and always has been a game of measurements. Knowing the 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.
As a casual golfer, you probably don't have a personal caddy. Finding distances and selecting the right clubs can be an adventure itself. But that doesn't mean you can't play like the pros. Having a golf GPS is like having your own trusted caddy.
It used to be, years ago, that the best way to tell yardage while playing was the use of binoculars. However, this wasn't the best method as most of the golfers' games boiled down to just guesswork. But today, with advancements in technology, inaccurate guesswork is a thing of the past, with various devices helping golfers narrow down exact yardage like never before.
Best golf GPS devices, including golf watch and handheld devices, are now available. It gives you tips to shave off a few strokes, but more importantly, it helps you navigate the course well. Whether you golf alone or with your buddies, the best golf GPS devices will surely help you improve your game and impress your friends.
With tons of products in the market, we pick the best golf GPS watches and the best handheld golf GPS for you.
Our Best Handheld GPS Devices in 2021
- Izzo Swami 6000 (Best Overall Handheld Golf GPS Device)
"The Swami is sitting perfectly in your hands and is like a little caddy that you can put in your pockets. It seems so obvious that knowing distances helps you pick the right clubs for your shots. You will still be shocked at how much better your game gets after getting one of these devices."
- GolfBuddy Voice 2 (Best on a Budget)
"Golf Buddy GPS Voice 2 also got the attention all over the world. It is simply very easy to use."
- SkyCaddie SX500 (Upgrade Pick)
"A relatively expensive handheld GPS device but also provides an abundance of information that is useful during rounds."
- Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS (Best Handheld Device for Beginners)
- Garmin Approach G8 (Most Featured Packed Handheld Device)
Our Best Golf GPS Watches in 2021
- Garmin Approach S20 (Overall Best Golf GPS Watch)
"The S20 allows you to take your stats tracking to the next level and feels like you're always bringing your personal cheat sheet to the course. Treat yourself and enjoy your hobby a little more!"
- Garmin Approach S10 (Best GPS Watch on a Budget)
"Despite the simplicity of S10, it provides the features that you are looking for in a golf GPS device to help you come up with insights for your next shot."
- Garmin Approach S60 (Best GPS Watch for Upgrade)
"S60 may be expensive, but it is worth investing in. It offers plenty of course details and a lot of outstanding features."
- SkyCaddie LX5 (Best for Mid Handicappers)
- TecTecTec ULT-G (Most Simple Golf Watch)
- Our Best Handheld GPS Devices in 2021
- Our Best Golf GPS Watches in 2021
- Best Handheld Golf GPS
- Best GPS Watches
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is the difference between golf watches and golf handheld devices?
- What is a GPS Smartphone App?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of golf GPS?
- Does golf GPS devices need a subscription?
- Why Should I Get A GPS Watch?
- What Features Can I Expect From A Golf GPS?
- How Can A Golf GPS Watch Help Me With Choosing The Right Clubs For My Strokes?
- How Will My Game Improve With A Golf GPS?
- How Much Money Should I Expect To Spend On A Good Golf Watch?
- Testing Criteria used for evaluation
Best Handheld Golf GPS
Izzo Swami 6000
Best Golf GPS Handheld Device
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Do you remember those beepers that a lot of people carried back in the 90s before cell phones were popular? The Izzo Swami 6000 is similar in design to many of those devices but in the form of a Golf GPS and much, much cooler.
Much like much other golf GPS on the market, the Izzo Swami comes pre-loaded with over 38,000 of the world's golf courses. In contrast to many of the competitors, the Swami 6000 has a feature that allows the GPS to automatically detect which golf course you are on the second you step onto the tee-box. It gives golfers a reading of the course from the get-go.
The Swami also has an incredibly vibrant full-color screen. While the screen can, at times, seem cluttered due to its size, you are still able to see all the parts of the course. You can see and get accurate distances to the front, center, and back of the green accordingly.
While playing, the Izzo Swami 6000 can automatically update, giving you a precise course reading as you move along the course. If you ever find that something seems a bit off about the reading that the GPS is giving you, the device actually comes built with a course-map editor. It allows you to tweak the course's map as you see fit.
While it looks like a beeper in design, this device is far and away more useful than those little annoying things ever were. If you are looking for an accurate and relatively affordable Golf GPS handheld, we can fully recommend the Swami.
GolfBuddy GPS Voice 2
Best Handheld GPS on a Budget
While it doesn't have a colored screen or smartphone capabilities, the Golfbuddy Voice 2 golf has one important feature that other Golf GPS do not: audio readings of the course.
If you wear glasses or are getting a bit older, sometimes even the best of digital displays can come up a bit blurry and hard to read. The Voice 2 eliminates this issue almost entirely by literally telling the golfer, through a digital voice, about yardage distances between themselves and various objects on the course.
This feature alone can make this GPS an invaluable tool. It is the best GPS for many senior golfers, as it can help them with their golf game in ways that other GPS cannot. It can help golfers with various language preferences as well, thanks to the GPS' 8 different language options.
In addition to the voice capabilities for telling you the distance of various objects, the GolfBuddy can do the same for telling you the distance of your own shot distance, letting you know exactly how far your ball is flying. It provides astounding accuracy on golf units about the real distances to the front, back, and center of the green, thanks in part to being loaded with information on 38,000 golf courses.
Sure, there may be fancier devices available for purchase. Still, just for its prominent feature, the Voice 2 golf GPS is probably one of the excellent golf GPS that you can find, giving every golfer a chance to play better. Voice 2 is the best golf GPS unit and is a perfect addition to every golfer's golf accessories
If you're one of those who believes more information is always better, then the abundance of information and course detail the SkyCaddie SX500 offers will be right up your ally.
This handheld GPS has a lot of astounding features. It has a 5 inch HD touch screen. It has a clear screen, stunning resolution, and very responsive. You don't need to use your glasses when you want to read the yardage because it also has a big number mode. This handheld GPS device has different automated features like auto-course select, auto-zoom, and auto-hole advance. It is pre-loaded with over 35,000 ground verified courses.
If you are playing in a place with unpredictable weather, you have nothing to worry about as this GPS device is highly water-resistant. You don't have to worry when it starts drizzling while you are playing. The new IntelliPatch technology of SkyCaddie is indeed a great help for each player. It provides the distance to your target. You can save time trying to figure out the distance of the desired landing area.
The battery life of this handheld GPS is also quite impressive. It is a rechargeable battery that can last 12-14 hours of continuous use. It also has auto dim features that can be set for 30 seconds to 30 minutes if you want to save is battery life.
Like any other golf GPS, this also comes with a warranty but only six months. And it only comes with a free subscription for the first year. After that, you will be paying membership fees. The price depends on the plan that you wish to avail.
Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS
Best Handheld Device for Beginners
The next handheld device that comes on our list is the Bushnell Phantom golf GPS. It has almost the same look as the Garmin 10. It provides a simple interface and is easy to use. It can easily be slide on the pocket as this handheld device has a dimension of 0.4x3.1x5.16 inches only.
Bushnell Phantom is straightforward to use. This GPS handheld device has only a few buttons, and it is easy to read the front, center, and back of the green. It also has 36,000 pre-loaded courses in 30 countries. Forget about the cords connectivity if you want to update some courses as this apps has Bluetooth features.
It is very convenient to carry this golf GPS to carry throughout the round. This handheld golf GPS features BITE magnetic mount technology in which you can attach it to cart or metal surfaces. The back of the magnet has a clip to stick to your cart, bag, or belt easily. You can also remove the magnet if you wish to slide and keep it inside your pocket. The purchase of this handheld device comes with free access to Bushnell Golf App.
With the simplicity of use and fair price, this Phantom GPS is the best golf GPS for beginners.
Garmin Approach G8
Most Featured Packed Handheld Device
This handheld device is relatively expensive than the other golf GPS on the list, but it is worth the price. It has 30,000 pre-loaded courses. Garmin 8 is one of the best golf GPS that stands out when it comes to design. It has a slim and sleek design. It is also lightweight and pretty sturdy.
With G8, a golfer can adjust the uphill and the downhill shots distance target. It partly functions as a golf GPS rangefinder. It also remembers your clubs' shot distance and recommends what kinds of clubs are ideal for you based on your shots.
It is also easy to navigate using this handheld device. It has a 3" color touchscreen with a two-button at the lower part for easy access to score measure and a green view pin pointer. It also allows the golfer to see the shot distance with a colorful layout arch of yardage up to 250 yards. It helps you with activity tracking and stats because you can download and print the stats you have during your round. To see distances between the position and the pin, this golf GPS also features a green view mode.
One feature that G8 has and that other handheld devices are missing is its smart notification. Even if you are out there playing, you can receive an email, text, or alert on your phone. Therefore save you from worrying that you may miss some important news or even if you are at play. You can also connect this one with your iPhone.
It also updates automatically through wi-fi and also features the Garmin Connect, in which you can share and compare data with a fellow golf enthusiast like you through an online community.
Best GPS Watches
Garmin Approach S20
Overall Best Golf GPS Watch
If you took a peek at the list of GPS golf watches recommended by us, then you probably noticed right away that all three recommendations come from Garmin. They are dominating the GPS watch market for golfers, but for a good reason.
Garmin usually offers a smartwatch with all golf GPS features you could ask for. The S20 relies on a database of 40,000 golf courses and comes with free updates for those. It has never been easier to keep track of your round, compare, and analyze your data than with the S20.
It has a stunning display and offers all the information necessary to drastically improve your golf game. It comes with a comfortable wristband that allows for longer stretches of wearing it without becoming uncomfortable.
At the same time, you stay connected and will be notified about that email that you've been waiting for. The S20 syncs with your Garmin Connect account and makes it easy to keep all your stats and data in one place and access it from anywhere. You're going to wish you had gotten one of these sooner. Through Garmin Connect you can collect enough data overtime to get a really good understanding of your strengths and weaknesses - even on a per club level. 15 hours of battery life in GPS mode should also be plenty in case you forgot your charger for a weekend trip.