Best Golf GPS Watches

Golf Wear March 17, 2022
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Best Golf GPS Watches

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Golf watches these days can do so much more than just tell time. They give you vital stats and help you keep track of your score.

Plus, they look stylish for golfers of any skill level. We’re going to show you why these are rapidly becoming indispensable golfing gear and how you can buy the right one for yourself.

Then, we’ll cover some of the best ones on the market so that you have a good idea of what’s available. If you aren’t convinced that you need one and that there are some good choices, then your mind may be changed after reading this in-depth look at golf GPS watches.

At a Glance: Best Rated Golf GPS Watches

In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

PICTURENAMERATINGSHOPS
Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch
1
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Bushnell Neo Ion 2 Golf GPS Watch
2
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GolfBuddy WT6 Golf GPS Watch
3
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Garmin Approach X40 GPS Golf Band
4
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GolfBuddy WTX Smart Golf GPS Watch
5
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Precision Pro Golf GPS Band
6
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TomTom Golfer (Blue)
7
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IZZO Golf Swami GPS Band
8
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GOLFBUDDY aim W10 Golf GPS Watch
9
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Garmin Approach S2-Series GPS Golf Watch
10
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Best Rated Golf GPS Watches Reviewed

Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Large, easy-to-read display
  • Very comfortable watch
  • Lots of features for golfers to enjoy
Cons
  • Connectivity issues with smartphones
  • Measuring distance can be overly complicated in some instances
Pros
  • Large, easy-to-read display
  • Very comfortable watch
  • Lots of features for golfers to enjoy
Cons
  • Connectivity issues with smartphones
  • Measuring distance can be overly complicated in some instances
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

Garmin has created one of the most comfortable and easy to use GPS watches for golfing. It has a large, readable display that isn’t cluttered by a bunch of information and useless details. The band is soft and breathable, with large air holes to reduce sweating and chafing.

The stats are detailed, allowing you to track swing consistency, putts per round, fairways hit and more. It also doubles as an exercise watch, encouraging you to stay active wherever you are. It will tell you how much exercise you are getting by detailing the steps you have taken and the calories you have burned, so it is a great choice for people who are trying to be more active and who want to live healthier lifestyles.

The watch can be complicated to use in some circumstances, and unless you are scoring, you have to go through a lot of trouble to measure the distance of a shot. It also has some connectivity issues. It is supposed to be able to connect to smart phones and sync up data with them, but that doesn’t always work like it is supposed to, and the connection can be lost fairly easily.


Bushnell Neo Ion 2 Golf GPS Watch
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Comes preloaded with thousands of courses
  • Automatically does much of the measuring for you
  • Can connect to Bluetooth devices for course updates
Cons
  • Display can be too simple
Pros
  • Comes preloaded with thousands of courses
  • Automatically does much of the measuring for you
  • Can connect to Bluetooth devices for course updates
Cons
  • Display can be too simple
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

Bushnell offers a golfing watch that comes with a ton of features, including all the expected functionality of a high quality watch, such as stop watch and date functions. You’ll find it easy to start playing with this watch just about anywhere, as it comes preloaded with tons of golf courses already.

Plus you can connect to a Bluetooth device to have it receive updates for any course you may be playing on. The watch will automatically map courses and save data as you play, so that you have to do very little to get the information you want from it.

The watch display gives you a large readout that is easy to see, but it is also a very simplified readout. Many times you will find yourself having to press a few buttons and go through some menus to find the information you need to use as you make your shots, which can slow you down a bit. It would be nice if Bushnell gave more detailed information on the main screen, but all the expected GPS functions are there.


GolfBuddy WT6 Golf GPS Watch
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Very affordable price
  • Works automatically to store data
  • Very simple to use
Cons
  • Not as much functionality as some of the more expensive watches
Pros
  • Very affordable price
  • Works automatically to store data
  • Very simple to use
Cons
  • Not as much functionality as some of the more expensive watches
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

If some of the other choices on this list are a bit too expensive for you (most averaging close to $180), then this one’s price tag may be a breath of fresh air. Coming in at under $100 at most retailers, GolfBuddy has created a watch that manages to be affordable while still providing you with most of the expected golf GPS watch functionality.

It comes with a dedicated golf button that makes it easy to see the information you want- such as distance- without sacrificing its usefulness as a conventional watch. The display is large and readable, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking at the watch to get the information you need. The watch will automatically recognize and store data about holes and courses, saving you from having to do very much.


Garmin Approach X40 GPS Golf Band
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Monitors vitals as well as provides golfing data
  • Very long battery life
  • Measures shots and distances automatically
Cons
  • Very expensive
Pros
  • Monitors vitals as well as provides golfing data
  • Very long battery life
  • Measures shots and distances automatically
Cons
  • Very expensive
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

Garmin is definitely the king when it comes to high quality golf watches. Like its other products, this one is a bit more expensive than the average, but it is packed with features and is made to very strict standards of quality control. This isn’t the kind of watch that will stop working on you shortly after you buy it or that is going to be uncomfortable and make you regret putting money down on it.

The X40 version of the Garmin watch offers a sleeker, more streamlined look that is less likely to be nicked by your club as you play or cause you discomfort. It’s a very lightweight model that does not get in the way, yet it has a large and very readable display. This watch also connects to iPhone and other smart devices to give you more detailed information and lets you download the course information before you even go to play.


GolfBuddy WTX Smart Golf GPS Watch
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Works incredibly fast to give you accurate and detailed information
  • Made to be super easy to use
  • Visual map feature lets you see your location on the course
Cons
  • Easily water damaged
Pros
  • Works incredibly fast to give you accurate and detailed information
  • Made to be super easy to use
  • Visual map feature lets you see your location on the course
Cons
  • Easily water damaged
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

GolfBuddy makes some high end watches as well, and this is a great example of a watch that offers enough functionality to warrant its higher price tag. It works super fast and calculates information at blistering speeds, all from the touch of a few buttons that make it simple to use.

It’s one of the few watches that gives you a map of your location on the course in relation of the other holes, which is great as a visual references for your game. On top of all its golf functionality, it also works as an exercise watch, monitoring your activity. The WTX works with your Bluetooth and smart devices to give you even more functions and data as well as downloading information on the courses you will be playing.

This is not an all-weather watch, and you need to be aware of how susceptible to water damage this device is. Just a little water can not only damage the watch severely but also void the warranty, so only use it in fair weather conditions.


Precision Pro Golf GPS Band
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Readable display with large numbers
  • Provides numerous measuring tools
  • Priced very competitively compared to similar watches
  • Lightweight and comfortable
Cons
  • The band is not very durable
Pros
  • Readable display with large numbers
  • Provides numerous measuring tools
  • Priced very competitively compared to similar watches
  • Lightweight and comfortable
Cons
  • The band is not very durable
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

If most golf watches are too thick, heavy and bulky for you, then try this slimmer and lighter band. It’s also cheaper than most other quality golf watches but still offers a lot of functions that are going to help you with your game. Precision Pro has preloaded around 35,000 courses from around the world on this watch, which is a bit less than some of the better watches on this list, but still an incredible amount of data.

Automatic course and distance measuring are built in, so you don’t have to press any buttons to have your shots measured. You can simply glance at the watch after each hit to see how you did. The simplified, large display makes that easy to do, only displaying the information you need for the moment and not needlessly cluttering the screen with numbers.

The watch works quite well and should last you for a while, but the band that holds it onto your wrist is another story. It can come detached far too easily and you may not even realize it has fallen off until it is too late, since the watch is so light.


TomTom Golfer (Blue)
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Tons of detailed information
  • Very accurate readouts
  • Lots of preloaded courses
Cons
  • The price tag is super high
Pros
  • Tons of detailed information
  • Very accurate readouts
  • Lots of preloaded courses
Cons
  • The price tag is super high
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

TomTom offers one of the most expensive golfing watches available, but it is also one of the most accurate. With other watches of lower quality, you get some inconsistency in the readings, with distance sometimes in error of 15-20 yards. You won’t have that kind of problem with this watch, as it is super accurate and packed with detailed information that can take your golf game to the next level.

At the end of your game, you can see what your best holes were and get a summary that shows you what holes you should have played for your best overall score. More than 40,000 golf courses from all over the world are already on this device, and you can add more by connecting it to your Bluetooth device. You’ll be able to see where the hazards are before you try for any shots, enabling your shots to be more precise.


IZZO Golf Swami GPS Band
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Lots of features for the price tag
  • Very light and comfy to wear
  • Comes with golf courses loaded onto it already
Cons
  • Not that durable
  • Works slowly at times
Pros
  • Lots of features for the price tag
  • Very light and comfy to wear
  • Comes with golf courses loaded onto it already
Cons
  • Not that durable
  • Works slowly at times
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

This watch from Izzo has everything you would expect from a pro golf GPS watch, but at a lower price point than most. It’s lightweight and breathable, but that comes at a cost, as the band can be easily broken. It is also preloaded with thousands of golf courses, and the watch will calculate distance for you while you play.

It’s a simple to use and accessible watch with a large, easy-to-read display. Just don’t expect the watch to work as fast or as well as some of the other watches on this list. It may not last as long either, since it isn’t terribly hardy, but if you want something that’s comfortable and cheaper than most of the other options here, then this is a good watch to start with.


GOLFBUDDY aim W10 Golf GPS Watch
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Free course downloads
  • Just as much functionality as more expensive models, but at a better price
Cons
  • Can be kind of slow
  • You sometimes have to go through a lot of menus and press a lot of buttons to get the info you want
Pros
  • Free course downloads
  • Just as much functionality as more expensive models, but at a better price
Cons
  • Can be kind of slow
  • You sometimes have to go through a lot of menus and press a lot of buttons to get the info you want
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

This is like a simplified version some of GolfBuddy’s better watches. It’s cheaper than the higher end versions, but it offers a lot of the same functionality. Even though this watch typically retails for around $100, you still get the visual locator which shows you were you are in relating of the rest of the course.

It’s a handy graphic that makes the watch feel like more than just a numbers machine and that helps you visualize the rest of course as you play. This watch will point out hazards to you and let you access new courses to download without having to pay any fees or subscribe to any membership plan.

Because there is a lower price point on this one, though, you can expect the graphical display to be on the lower end and some of the features to work a bit slower or be more ponderous to use than some of the more advanced and pricier watches.


Garmin Approach S2-Series GPS Golf Watch
Product
Overall Score
Pros
  • Great battery life
  • High quality design that is built to last
  • Free course updates and downloads for the watch’s lifetime
Cons
  • Battery can have trouble holding a charge after a few months
Pros
  • Great battery life
  • High quality design that is built to last
  • Free course updates and downloads for the watch’s lifetime
Cons
  • Battery can have trouble holding a charge after a few months
Price
Quality
Accuracy
Durability
Customer Reviews

Garmin already has close to 40,000 courses preloaded onto this watch, with the option to download as many more as you want for the lifetime of the watch absolutely free. The watch gives you yardage to the back, front and the middle of the green.

No matter where you are on the course, the watch can measure distance for you and you can store and even print out the stats for later. The battery life is substantial, and it can last for as long as three weeks if you are just using the watch, and as long as eight hours on GPS mode.


What to Consider Before You Buy

Not every GPS watch is going to work well for you, and there are a few considerations to keep in mind as you shop. The best golf GPS watch will be one that you consider all the following criteria for:

  • Accuracy– You want a GPS watch that can actually tell you the distance of the shots you make or the shots you plan to take. If you know how far the shot you have to make will be, then you can choose the appropriate club and use the appropriate force instead of estimating with your eyes. If the accuracy is off, that can throw off your shots, give you false confidence and hurt your training efforts. You’ll be thinking you’re hitting one distance when you are actually hitting another.
  • Stat Storage– You may not want the distraction of looking at the watch every few minutes as you play your game, but after you play all the holes, you will benefit from checking your stats as you relax. Modern watches often have the functionality built into them to save your scores and stats from the game, according to US Golf Pro, and that can make a big difference in how you train for the future and how you modify your tactics to improve your playstyle.
  • Pre-Loaded Courses– This is another function that many modern watches include, and it allows you to enjoy accurate information that has already been verified before you set foot on the course. The watch already knows the distance between the holes and how far each shot needs to be, and that can be a huge help in making accurate shots and not overshooting or undershooting when you are playing somewhere you haven’t been before.
  • Durability- Some people can be kind of rough on their GPS watch, knocking it with the club, putting it through some bad weather and wearing it for hours at a time while they are sweating. All of this can wear down the watch and hurt its lifespan, and you need to ensure that you get a watch that is worth what you paid for it. Know your golfing habits and how rough you may end up being with the watch before you pick one. You can find water resistant and extra tough watches that will work well for even the roughest style of play.

Final Thoughts

GPS watches can have a ton of functions packed into them, or just a few. Now, simply because all those option are there, that doesn’t mean you will use them all. You may only find that you use a couple of the functions but still value the watch over similar instruments like a rangefinder.

For many, the GPS watch is simply a practical device. You can wear it while you play and check your yardage any time you want instead of having to put down your club to pull out a rangefinder. It keeps you in the game and focused, doing just as much for you as the rangefinder without all the distractions.

Amy is a writer and amateur golfer. She has been playing golf casually for over 20 years and wants to inspire others by providing helpful information and resources to learning this great game. Amy is a writer and amateur golfer. She has been playing golf casually for over 20 years and wants to inspire others by providing helpful information and resources to learning this great game.
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