Golf Monthly's TomTom Golfer 2 review, a GPS watch with automatic shot detection and a host of other features designed to help golfers lower their scores
The TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch detects tee and approach shots automatically, which can then be analysed after your round using the TomTom MySports free app.
Uncertainty off the tee is eliminated by measuring distances to reach and carry hazards as well as lay up points on over 40,000 worldwide courses. Golfers can see distances for drives and approach shots at-a-glance and then analyse their strokes in TomTom MySports after the game.
The TomTom MySports post-game analysis gives insights into shot patterns and a host of other information like greens in regulation. Rounds can be studied hole-by-hole in order to build on your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Sleek, lightweight, water-resistant and durable for long-lasting comfort the TomTom Golfer 2 is designed to be worn both on and off the course.
The Original TomTom Golfer GPS watch was a good product, but a little chunky on your wrist and didn’t quite provide the clarity of detail serious golfers are looking for.
The Golfer 2 solves these problems and comes in a much more slimmed down and unobtrusive package. It is very much an evolution of the previous design as it keeps the four way navigation controller under the display, with the addition of a metal tri-folding clasp to provide a more premium, watch like feel. There is also aluminium detailing throughout to enhance the look further.
The big, unique selling point of the TomTom Golfer 2 is the automatic shot detection feature, which registers every shot other than putts. From our experience, it went off a little too frequently and when a shot is registered, it vibrates and makes a beeping sound, which couldn’t be turned off during our testing period but an update has since been released where you can turn off the buzzing sound in the settings. The update has also improved the accuracy of the automatic shot detection and allows golfers to cancel detected swings within 10 seconds.
We’ve got no problem with the vibration, as it’s good to know a shot has been recorded without looking at it, but the beep sound seems unnecessary and could be distracting to your playing partners.
The Golfer 2 will only record one swing within a 3m area, so if it detects a practice swing inadvertently that’s ok because it won’t then detect your actual shot. TomTom say this device also has an automatic scorecard but if you want to keep score as you go round, you have to add putts manually after finishing the hole (they are not detected), which doesn’t take long to do.
The fact that the Golfer 2 automatically detects shots means it can measure the distance of each shot you hit. Once you hit a drive and walk to your ball, a counter on the screen will count up so when you arrive at your ball, you know how far you hit the previous drive.
This feature worked well most of the time. There were occasions where it went off during a practice swing, which was fine for the reasons above, but also on other occasions like putting my bag down on the ground or when I crossed my arms – one way to manually add a shot is to cover the screen with your palm.
The new device also has two different degrees of hazard information. The ‘at a glance’ information gives you basic numbers, but then cover the screen with the palm of your hand and you get the distances to reach and carry each hazard.
A slight bugbear is how out of the box it is not ready for use. You have to sync it to your computer having downloaded the TomTom Mysports software to set up an account, which takes a bit of time but the instructions are easy to follow.
It then uses Bluetooth to pair the device to the app on your phone, which is the way you receive course updates and sync the device to your phone after the round.
Once you finish your round, sync the data from the watch to your phone. Provided the shots detected were correct, you get some pretty useful data – shot pattern off the tee, greens in regulation, average distances on par 3s, 4s and 5s, your scorecard, shots per hole etc. It displays these distances in metres, and you don’t appear to be able to change it to yards. That aside, it gives you a very thorough visual assessment of your performance that is easy to digest.
Once you’ve logged a few rounds on your home course, the Ultimate round feature will come into its own. This will tell you your scoring potential by collating your best score recorded on each hole. It’s a nice little feature that gives you something to aspire to and focuses on the positives on your game – it can be easy to focus on where you need to improve all the time.
All in all, this is an excellent GPS watch that provides a host of useful information to look at after your round and assess your strengths and weaknesses. The shot detection feature works well most of the time and the look and feel of the watch is second to none.