We take you through the best golf GPS devices 2020 has to offer to help you make a decision on which is right for your game and your bank balance.
Distance measuring devices – or DMDs as they are often known – come in various guises nowadays, including compact GPS units and stylish GPS watches, each of which offer something a little different and at different price points.
The main benefit you’ll get for your investment is quick, accurate distances, which can provide new levels of confidence at address because you’re sure you’ve chosen the right club, which in turn helps you commit to shots much more easily.
With many of the GPS devices you also get hazard information and overhead maps of the hole, which will hopefully guide your strategy and thusly save you shots, especially on blind holes and at courses you’ve never played.
What will I need to consider?
– Your routine A glance at a watch is much quicker than taking a device out of its case, so weigh up if extra detail or less disruption is most important to you.
– Your course If your course has lots of doglegs, blind tee shots, or you play at other clubs in matches or socially, then you might want the extra information a GPS offers over a laser.
– Added extras The larger GPS units often include scorecard and stat tracking capabilities, while some devices measure shots or steps taken, so bear all this in mind.
– Battery power Laser rangefinders run on powerful batteries that are easily replaced every six months to a year, while GPS devices normally need charging via a USB after two to four rounds, so consider which would be easiest for you on a week-to-week basis.
Below are some of our favourite GPS Watches. With some of the products you’ll see a ‘Buy Now’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item, but this doesn’t affect the amount you pay.
Best Golf GPS Devices 2020
GOLF GPS WATCHES
Garmin Approach S62
GM Says: One of the most obvious features compared to other models is the slightly bigger face with more contrast in the screen which gives a clearer view. Additionally it comes with a built-in virtual caddie function where it can detect where the wind is coming from, gives information on shots from the past in regards to clubbing and therefore suggests to you the strategy on the course
GolfBuddy Aim W10
GM Says: The AIM series from GolfBuddy stands for Accurate, Innovative, Measurable and that about sums it up. The accuracy of the Aim W10 is excellent. Preloaded with 40,000 courses, the Aim W10 will pinpoint your position and give super-accurate yardages.
In terms of innovation, features include a full-colour 1.3” touch screen display, plus green undulation and slope-adjusted distance readings (where available) to give the golfer better, real-life views and more control around the course. There are also excellent new zoom in/out functions around the green.
Buy Now from EBay for $189.72
TAG Heuer Connected Moudlar 45 Golf Edition GPS
The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 ‘Golf Edition’ digital wristwatch is made from shock-resistant materials, features a 45mm touchscreen, is pre-loaded with more than 39,000 courses and provides comprehensive performance analysis post round via the connected app.
It features a black ceramic bezel ring, which is laser engraved with a scale of 1 to 18 – indicating the 18 holes in a round of golf. Filled in with white lacquer, the scale stands out from the predominantly black finish of the lightweight watch. It also boasts a 25-hour battery life, 4gb of storage and lets you send messages, receive notifications, play music and download other apps.
Bushnell Excel GPS
GM Says: For little over £200 you’ll find a watch that pairs via Bluetooth to the Bushnell Golf App to allow you to book tee times, view 3D course flyovers and receive notifications. The Excel also has improved battery life – lasting three plus rounds before needing a charge. Additional features include a colour display with auto brightness adjustment, pedometer, odometer and the ability to get up to four hazard distances per hole.
Buy Now from EBay for $149.95
GM Says: If you want lots of functionality for under £200, this is a great option. It has a full colour touchscreen that allows you to view complete hole layouts as in the image above. You also get dynamic green view for accurate distances from your approach, as well as moveable pin positions for laser-like accuracy.
Shot Scope V2
GM Says: Shot Scope’s pioneering, innovative distance measuring device combines advanced GPS technology with its popular automatic performance tracking. The LCD screen displays distances to the front, middle and back of the green from the golfer’s real-time position, using Smart GPS. It also provides yardages to bunkers and water hazards. There is no subscription fee and there are 40,000 courses available worldwide.
Garmin Approach S60
GM Says: This feature-packed and stylish offering provides detailed full colour maps for over 40,000 courses on its large sunlight-readable colour touchscreen face. You can use its drag-and-drop functionality to measure lay-up distances and to move pin positions for added accuracy. It can also be used to monitor runs, swims and bike rides for great additional value.
SkyCaddie Linx GT
GM Says: SkyCaddie’s top-of-the-range GPS watch offers game-tracking with GPS accuracy when integrated with the SkyCaddie Mobile GPS App. It’s core function is to act as a standalone GPS watch with SkyCaddie’s foot mapped hole data providing accurate distances at over 35,000 courses. Its built-in shot tracking system – when combined with SkyCaddie SmartTag club tags – allows golfers to track the club, location and distance of each shot for stats they can see on their mobile phone. Each captured shot is synchronised automatically in real time too, avoiding the need to connect to a computer after the round. It also boasts a multi-sport odometer that tracks distance, pace and speed for running or cycling.
Garmin Approach S40
GM Says: Versatile and light, the S40 can receive phone notifications and automatically records the location and distance of each shot for post-round analysis.
TomTom Golfer 2
GM Says: This GPS watch is designed to help you improve your game by detecting each time you hit a shot automatically, so your round can then be analysed using Tom Tom’s MySports app. It also boasts an auto scorecard alongside its distances to the green and key hazards.
Garmin Approach S20
GM Says: This Garmin watch features a high-resolution display and covers over 40,000 courses. It accurately measures distances to hazards such as bunkers and water, plus front, middle and back yardages, layups and doglegs. For extra help its Green View feature displays the shape of the green with manual pin placements available. It also caters for activity tracking and receives notifications from your phone.
Buy Now from EBay for $149.99
GPS HANDHELD DEVICES
GM Says: The SX400 is SkyCaddie’s attempt to make a more compact handheld compared to the SX500. It features SkyCaddie’s Pin Position feature which provides the ability to get distances to the day’s pin positions. Dynamic HoleVue technology is present as well as the IntelliPath Technology, which gives yardages to targets along and beyond your target line.
Buy Now from EBay for $249.95
Garmin Approach G80
GM says: Another quality offering from Garmin, the Approach G80 is at the premium end of the GPS spectrum and when you consider the number of features available, this comes as no surprise.
Obviously you get distances to the front, middle and back of the green, but they take it one step further with features such as Garmin’s PlaysLike Distance gives you distances to the target, adjusted for uphill or downhill shots, which can be easily turned off for tournament play. Meanwhile, Green View allows you to zoom in on the green to get precise yardages according to wherever the pin is on the day.
Keeping pace with the social world, the Garmin Approach G80 works with the free Garmin Golf app, which lets you compete, compare and connect with fellow golfers – great fun if that’s your thing. All this comes in a slim device with a 3.5″, sunlight-readable, colour, touchscreen display.
SkyCaddie SX500 GPS
GM Says: Replacing the Touch, the SX500 features a 5” full HD colour touch screen and uses in-built WiFi to download the latest, ground-verified courses on foot from more than 35,000 available for improved accuracy. The green view will also dynamically rotate to show full IntelliGreen Pro information from the golfer’s own angle of attack. It also features multiple yardage arcs overlaid on the fairway landing areas and greens and a built in 13-megapixel camera. The SX500 could well be one of the most complete handheld GPS devices ever made but be weary of the annual membership costs that apply after a year.
Buy Now from EBay for $349.95
Garmin Approach G30
GM Says: The Approach G30 has a 2.3-inch colour touchscreen for users to see features like Green View and Touch Targeting to provide more accurate yardage information. Thanks to its Big Numbers Mode, it displays yardages in a large font for at- a-glance viewing and also displays a hole view with a moveable pointer. The Approach G30 can be mounted in a multitude of ways, like on a user’s belt, trolley or golf bag, and is compatible with the Garmin TruSwing analyser to improve swing consistency. Users can also get smart notifications for incoming calls, texts.
Bushnell Neo Ghost
GM says: This pocket-sized GPS comes pre-loaded with over 33,000 courses, and as well as the front, centre and back yardages you’d expect, it also offers measurements to hazards and run outs, all for less than £100. Auto-course and hole recognition make it user friendly, while its shot measurement feature and different colour options are other handy extras.
Buy Now from EBay for $87.99
Golf Buddy VTX
GM says: Pre-loaded with over 38,000 courses, the Golf Buddy VTX handheld GPS comes with a number of new features, including voice audio and Bluetooth connectivity. Distances are clearly displayed to the front, middle and back of green, as well as hazards, giving golfers a thorough picture of what lies ahead on every hole. It helps users to plot their way around virtually any course they tee it up on with the main distances well covered. Should the user stray off line, Golf Buddy’s Dynamic Green View will adjust to provide an accurate yardage, so there’s no guesswork involved or uncertainty when stood over the ball.
Buy Now from EBay for $139.95
GM Says: This provides font, middle, back and up to four hazard yard adages per hole, while a shot-measurement option can measure drives or approaches.
Buy Now from EBay for $99.99
Golf Buddy PT4
GM says: This is the largest unit in this showcase, but that also means there’s more space on the four-inch LCD screen for extra features, like a pinch and zoom hole view that gives you a closer look at hazards and landing areas, arcs that display clear lay-up points and the option to move the pin around the green. Stat collection and scoring is also easy to input.
Golf Buddy Voice 2
GM Says: Offers audio distances to the front, middle and back of the green. At just 4.5cm square, it can be easily clipped to a belt or cap, or kept in your pocket.
Buy Now from EBay for $79.99
GM says: The world’s first golf GPS band is slimmer and lighter than a watch and displays its front, middle and back yardages via a tickertape-style LED dot display. Using the BB5, golfers can also measure their shot distances, record the number of steps they take and tell the time.
Buy Now from EBay for $84.99
Garmin Approach X40
GM Says: Combines comprehensive golfing data for more than 40,000 international courses, Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate and daily activity tracking. Among the plentiful features, the new AutoShot game tracking feature automatically tracks shots along the fairway and measures distances for detailed post- game analysis on Garmin Connect.
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