Garmin is the industry leader in golf GPS watches, and this list reinforces its reign. With five models recognized among the best, some of the accolades acknowledged here were quite interchangeable. Considering its capabilities, price, and reliability, the Garmin Approach S42 earned our nod as the best overall golf GPS watch for 2023.
With Green View technology that displays actual green shapes, golfers can drag and place the flagstick to its appropriate location for that round. AutoShot game-tracking technology provides data on strokes gained per category and tournament leaderboards through the Garmin Golf app.
The Golfbuddy Aim W11 proved to be a great choice for golfers on a budget as they shop for the golf GPS watch to take their game to the next level. The fully waterproof color touchscreen will never fail to display the task ahead of you on the course.
The SkyCaddie LX5 golf GPS watch has the largest color touchscreen available and is the best display on a golf GPS watch for 2023. The technology behind the SkyCaddie name is all over this device, as game analysis is made easier with app integration. Golfers can also get the distance to any spot on the hole by simply dragging on the touchscreen.
The Shot Scope V3 golf GPS watch is a superb device with many features. This $219.99 golf GPS watch will provide distances to the green, penalty areas, and landing areas to help you maneuver your way around the golf course.
First, think about whether you would get the most out of a GPS watch. If simplicity and convenience are important to you then a watch will deliver this, whereas some players may prefer the pinpoint flag accuracy of laser rangefinders. In the case of larger handheld GPS units, the chief benefit is the larger screen which gives a lot more detail and the touch screen functionality will be familiar to most users of modern phones.
Yes - Garmin is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to golf watches and it has multiple models and varying price points to suit the level of features you are after, starting from the entry level Approach S12 to the feature-packed Approach S62 and the elegant, premium MARQ Golfer.
Whilst Fitbit's aren't specifically designed for golfers in that they do not offer any specific GPS functionality out on the course, the device can still be used when playing golf with more of an eye on the fitness benefits. For example on Fitbit's you can mark your activity as golf and then you can track your steps during the round.
A golf watch is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to your golf game, as it provides the user with the right yardages when playing unfamiliar courses, as well as track your score and performance.
What's more, there are a number of fantastic models on the market, with all coming in at varying price points. But, what makes a model worthy of consideration when talking about the top models? Well, the best golf watches have to be accurate in terms of yardages provided and in terms of the GPS mapping on the screen. This is because, ultimately, you are wearing the watch for information and, if it is incorrect, the watch is pointless.
Not only that, but the best models have to sit comfortably on the wrist, be convenient and simple to use in relation to functionality and navigation, and also offer some degree of style. If you are wearing it on your wrist for the majority of the day then it has to look good.
Additionally, some golf watches are extremely versatile as most can be used for off-course purposes. These include fitness apps, as well as emails and work calls making them fantastic gifts for loved ones or relatives.
At Golf Monthly, we've recently tested the leading golf watches currently available, and these are our picks of the best. All the watches here have been reviewed by our team (opens in new tab), which means testing over multiple rounds out on the course, and this guide is updated on a regular basis to make sure it includes the best models.
In testing, it was easy to get the watch set up and the touch screen works well alongside the side buttons to move through the various options. With a larger screen compared to the S60, it is easy to navigate around and see hole details more clearly on the color maps.
In terms of other features, it comes with a built-in virtual caddie function enabling it to detect where the wind is coming from, gives information on shots from the past in regards to clubbing, and can even suggest the strategy on the course. Once we paired it with our phone, the watch could also take into account the wind conditions in real time when suggesting a club, which is next-level stuff.
Following on from the Bushnell iON Edge GPS Watch, the iON Elite certainly feels more cutting-edge, with the addition of a color touch screen and plethora of features making it perfect for the gadget-loving golfer.
Where this watch stands out though is in the features department. Specifically, the Slope Functionality, which is extremely rare even amongst the best golf watches. It was so easy to find via the golf settings, where all you need to do is toggle the Slope feature on/off. Another great addition is the tournament mode setting, which gave us 100% clarity on whether the set-up is legal for tournament play.
Our first impression of the T9 was a good one as the watch is slick, modern and lightweight. What's more, we found that the color, reflective LCD touch screen is bright and readable in all light conditions and super responsive - it hardly requires any repeat swipes unless you are wearing a glove.
It has the basics covered in terms of yardages on the main screen - front, middle and back - but we noticed the slope icon on the left hand-side that factors in slope on the distances for enhanced accuracy. We found that you can turn on tournament mode to disable this feature and make the watch legal for competition play.
When it comes to a golf watch, simplicity is arguably the most important factor and, with this Galaxy5 Pro Golf Edition, that is certainly the case, as it provides the basics like hole maps, distances and scoring. What's more, when we switched it on, we found that it was already preloaded with the Golf Buddy Smart Caddie, a special app developed for the Galaxy smartwatch by GolfzonDeca.
Out of the box, you will see over 35,000 pre-loaded courses, which have been ground-verified on foot, instantly making it one of the best golf watches around. This watch is lightweight (65g) and comfortable to wear too and, whilst it might look a bit clunky off the course, we think serious golfers will love the functionality on offer as well as the ease of use.
A no-brainer inclusion in this list, this premium, luxury watch features an ultra-lightweight 45-mm black titanium case and a matte black ceramic bezel with 18 engraved and lacquered graduations that serve as a reference for the performance at each hole.
Lastly, we found that the touch screen itself is very responsive and becomes brighter when you lift it up to look at it, a clever feature that no doubt saves on battery life too. All in all, this is a comprehensive golf watch that is both insightful and intuitive. Not only does it provide with the requisite information and then a whole lot more, it presents it in a clear fashion that is simple to navigate.
While not as stylish as the more feature-packed S42, the S12 comes in at a slightly lower price point that represents excellent value. With more than 40,000 preloaded courses, we found that locating the desired venue was extremely quick and easy. From there, we found the usability of this watch to be brilliant. Off the tee it provided loads of information on things like distances to bunkers, water hazards and ideal lay-up yardages, while we were also able to move the flag around to get a more exact number.
In testing, we found that the accuracy of the Aim W11 is excellent. Preloaded with 40,000 courses, the watch pinpointed our position and gave super-accurate yardages. In terms of innovation, features include a full-color touch screen display, plus green undulation and slope-adjusted distance readings (where available) to give better, real-life views and more control around the course.
There are also excellent new zoom in/out functions around the green and, additionally, if you are a fan of GolfBuddy gear, we have created a guide on the best Golfbuddy rangerfinders (opens in new tab) too.
The iON Edge from Bushnell didn't blow us away in terms of looks, but it does offer simple functionality along with accurate distances. It ticks every box a golfer looks for, like offering hazard information and automatic hole advance - you can even cycle through pin positions on the green for greater accuracy.
Samsung has joined forces with GolfBuddy to create this GPS watch, which features a rotating touch digital bezel to make it even more convenient to navigate while maximizing the screen size, which is still small compared to others in this guide but one of the clearest.
Much of the navigation and functionality on this watch is unique to the market, which makes it an appealing prospect to the gadget lover. It also doubles as a versatile fitness watch and you can get incoming emails too.
In addition to front, back, and center yardages (meters are also available, as well as five language options), the ULT-G provided distances to hazards and, importantly, we found the accuracy to be good here. What limits the watch is the variety of features available but, to be honest, people should not get too annoyed given the watch can be found for less than $100 with certain retailers.
One of the best Garmin golf watches (opens in new tab) in the current range, the MARQ is built with premium materials, including a 46-millimeter titanium case and ceramic bezel with custom-etched 1-18 golf hole markings. It provides front, middle and back distance on over 41,000 preloaded golf courses and also allows for seamless game-tracking.
In testing, we found that the golf-specific features included the PlaysLike Distance, which takes into account changes in elevation, a Hazard View that allows you to quickly scroll through each hazard on the upcoming shot with critical distance information and a Virtual Caddie to analyse factors like wind speed and even club selection. 781b155fdc