Last Updated on December 17, 2021
The Best Golf GPS watches can improve your game in many ways. It particularly gives you the most accurate measurement readings, taking out the guesswork out of your game. With it, you will be able to learn your distance to the hole as well as other parts of the course.
With a Golf GPS watch, there’s no need for you to make blind shots. You can hit a shot and have the ball land on wherever you want it to go.
You will be able to detect nearby hazards such as bunkers and water. And you can play faster with more efficiency when you have a GPS watch worn on your wrist.
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At a glance
1. Bushnell Neo Ion 2 Golf GPS Watch
The Bushnell Neo Ion 2 replaces the Neo XS GPS watch which came out in 2014. I’ve used that once and I was so impressed with how lightweight and compact it was.
This one builds on that excellent design of the Neo XS, but has a longer battery life than its predecessor.
It is also easy to navigate that I think any golfer won’t have trouble using it.
This GPS watch can last three full rounds, which makes it a great watch for golfers who often forget their device after playing. Moreover, it comes fully charged right out of the box. You also don’t have to sync it up to your computer, too.
Ease of Use
I like that this unit automatically detects your course the first time you use it, and then moves holes as you do. In case it doesn’t, you simply have to push a button to set things right. Also, you can put it on before teeing off and not have to press another button.
In terms of accuracy, I have no complaints about this watch. I compared the distance measurements versus my buddy’s Bushnell laser, and the readings were practically the same.
And I love wearing this watch. It is simply comfy. It has a soft and flexible strap which I think will give most wearers a snug fit. I didn’t really feel uncomfortable while wearing it.
I really have no complaints on this watch although from what I’ve read on Amazon.com, some users say this isn’t the most durable GPS watch.
2. Garmin Approach S62 Premium Virtual
There are several factors that make the Garmin Approach S62 golf watches a popular tool among professionals and novice players alike. From a full color large display and bright screen, to the virtual caddie and 41,000 preloaded courses, there’s undoubtedly a lot to love about this GPS watch.
While it isn’t exactly a cheap golf watch, it’s a fantastic GPS unit that’s worth the money if you’re looking for a high quality device.
With precise distance, exact yardage and much more, you can rely on the Garmin Approach S62 smart watch to provide you with accurate distances and post round analysis.
Undoubtedly, one of the things that make this watch such a good choice is that it has a lot to offer. Wind speed and direction, the virtual caddie, Hazard Distance, fitness features and even that it’s great for everyday wear outside of the course are all things that make it a premium golf GPS watch.
Many of those who have bought the Garmin golf watch will agree that it’s well worth the investment, so if you’re looking for quality and a device you can rely on, the Garmin Approach S62 could be an excellent choice.
3. Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch
I haven’t had the chance to use one, but based on the comments posted on Amazon.com, this is one of the best golf GPS watches when it comes to accuracy.
Golfers who’ve had the chance to wear one say it is light, accurate, and very easy to operate.
Ease of Use
You don’t really need to be a techie in order to operate this GPS watch. You would likely learn how to use it by trial and error without spending too much time because of its three-button interface.
There’s a manual included, although many reviews on Amazon.com say it isn’t that helpful. It’s a good thing that the watch itself is easy to use.
According to most reviewers on Amazon.com, this is the best golf watch this year in terms of accuracy. They say that they’ve compared its readings with laser rangefinders, particularly in measuring hazards. Overall, the reviewers were pretty much satisfied with the performance of the golf watch.
Other golfers are raving about the excellent battery life of these GPS golf watches. They say that it can last up to 12 hours in golf mode.
When in time mode, the battery life can stretch up to 90 days. There are also other reviewers who say that they like its added features like stat tracking.
Like most Golf GPS watches, this unit is preloaded with more than 30,000 courses. In terms of price, it’s a mid-range GPS watch.
The major beef that users have with this unit is that setting it up is a bit tricky.
4. SkyCaddie LX5 GPS Watch
The brand is a relatively new entrant to the Golf GPS watch market.
It isn’t the top-rated Golf GPS watch on Amazon.com, and I can understand that given that you’ll have to pay annual fees to use it.
Poor battery life is a common concern, while some say that it isn’t as user-friendly as other golf GPS watches. Surprisingly, it gets some good feedback for being very stylish.
It would only take a few minutes to set up the SkyCaddie, from registering, downloading, and installing the CaddieSync Express.
Once you have activated it, you’ll have to choose a membership plan. Yes, that means you’ll have to pay for either a 1-year or 3-year plan for the Sky Caddie.3 Although this model does include your first 3-years.
Aside from the membership fees, you’ll have to pay to use this watch, another concern that Amazon.com reviewers with this watch are that it doesn’t come with a wall charger provided.
Ease of Use
There are five buttons in this watch, although there’s no button for switching it on/off since it is always on.
While you might not like the idea of a 0.8 square inch black and white screen, many reviews suggest that it is easy to read. You can also adjust the backlight on the watch to remain on for up to 20 seconds.
The brand says that this unit’s battery can last 10 hours while using its GPS, but many reviews on Amazon.com belie those claims. The golfers say that it can only last around 7 hours, and they aren’t exactly happy about it.
5. Garmin Approach S10
Another one of the fantastic golf GPS watches from Garmin is the Approach S10. While sleek and simple to use and less expensive than the previous device mentioned, it still has a lot to offer, including some of the great features of the Garmin Approach S62.
Simple Yet Effective
Despite being one of the cheaper golf watches out there, it has some great features; from its accurate distances, to 41,000 courses (don’t forget free wireless course updates, too).
One of the biggest complaints you’ll see about these golf GPS watches is that the strap isn’t quite as strong as it could be. If it splits you’re probably going to either have to buy a new band from Garmin themselves or one from another brand, which is an additional expense that some customers are unhappy with having to pay if they want better quality.
Even with the flimsy strap, it’s still an excellent watch overall and a good choice for those who want something that has a lot to offer for a great price. With everything that it can do, it’s not hard to see why the Garmin Approach S10 deserves a spot on a list of the best golf GPS devices.
6. POSMA GT1+ Golf Trainer GPS Golf Watch Range Finder
If you are looking for a budget-friendly golf watch, then you should consider this unit.
It is an entry-level golf watch that according to most reviews is well constructed and fits on the wrist very well.
But it’s not the best watch in terms of ease of use and battery life.
This waterproof golf watch is lightweight, measuring just 2 ounces. According to those who have used it, the GPS watch feels solid in their wrist. They say it is comfortable and doesn’t really affect their swing at all.
Ease of Use
The display is also easy to read, according to some Amazon.com reviewers. They say that it helps them track how far they are from the greens.
However, a majority of the reviewers on Amazon.com find this GPS watch to be very difficult to operate. The instruction manual, they say, is very confusing. They even wonder how a company could have come out with a poorly written user’s guide.
According to the company, this watch would last 8 hours in play mode. But many disappointed users say its battery life doesn’t last long. One reviewer points out that the watch wasn’t able to make it through an entire round despite having charged it the night before.
This is a very budget-friendly GPS watch, to be sure. It’s also very lightweight that you won’t notice that you have it on your wrist. But you’ll have to deal with some issues pertaining to its battery and ease of use.
7. Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch
As mentioned earlier, this isn’t the newest model in Bushnell’s roster of rangefinders. But this doesn’t mean that it’s a bad choice.
On the other hand, I am sure that the budget-conscious shopper will find this GPS watch a great buy.
It has a very decent line-up of features plus a pocket-friendly price.
As I have revealed earlier, I have had the opportunity to use this before. It’s one of the lightest GPS watches that I have ever worn. I weigh just 0.8 ounces, and there were times I didn’t realize I had this on my wrist.
Ease of Use
It has a very small screen, but I didn’t have any problems seeing the display. I would have to tank its suboptimal backlighting for that.
When I push any button, the LCD is illuminated well. The backlight remains on for around 10 seconds. It’s just bad that you can’t make the 10 seconds longer.
With five buttons and no touch screen, there should be no problems for you in navigating the menu of this watch. I really find its user interface intuitive. I hardly read the manual—which just shows how easy it is to use this device.
The XS also has lots of really good features such as auto-advance, shot tracking, and scoring.
If there’s anything I hated about this, it would have to be the lack of a wall charger. I had to use the cable for my smartphone in charging it.
8. GOLF BUDDY Aim W10 GPS Golf Watch
There are some interesting points to mention, and features like the automatic hole recognition and manual pin placement are certainly worthwhile, but the app is not to be overlooked. Smartphone apps really can help to add more usability to a GPS watch and this one is a great example of this
Take a look at our full Golf Buddy W10 review if you want to know the full lowdown.
9. Garmin Approach S12
Another Garmin watch with a more affordable price tag is the Garmin Approach S12, featuring a simple round watch design, sunlight-readable high-resolution screen and a battery life up to 30 hours in GPS mode. The 3 different color options are a small but appreciated touch, allowing you to pick the one that best suits your style.
A Simple Garmin Watch
From the outside, the S12 may seem a little plain when compared to the other products in their range. The Garmin Approach S62 certainly looks like the superior choice at first glance, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the S12 is bad. It aims to be a simple device while still offering everything you need at a great price and most will agree that it does just that.
Ease of Use
There are so many ways that this GPS watch can help to make your life simpler when playing golf. Not only is it easy to check the front, middle and back of the green, but it will also keep your score for you and upload it to the Garmin golf app. It offers plenty of hours to give you all the time you need to play and practice your golf game.
Even with its reasonable price, this product offers some great specs. It’s worthwhile for both beginner golfers and any serious golfers, too.
10. Shot Scope V3 GPS Watch
An improvement over the Shot Scope G3, this smart watch offers quite a lot to any players who are hoping to improve their golf game. Use it alongside the smart phone app and you’re likely to see why it belongs on this list.
Automatic Performance Tracking
One of the improvements made over the G3 model is the Automatic shot tracking feature, which is great alongside the new Shot Scope statistics platform on the app to help you further analyse your shots. Accurate readings and precise yardages are just another thing that make it an ideal choice for most golfers on their practice rounds and in game.
Extra features that are worth mentioning are hazard distances and the fact that it comes with 16 tracking tags as standard.
Ease of Use
The Shot Scope V3 is an overall simple watch that you shouldn’t have any trouble using. With a daylight readable, full color screen, more than 10 hours battery life in golf mode and the many preloaded courses (over 36,000), it’s an excellent device.
Even if the Shot Scope V3 isn’t a luxury watch; unique features and a great golf app are two things that any golfer can benefit from, especially when coupled with an affordable cost which overall makes it one of the best GPS devices out there.
We might have given you plenty of options, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what golf GPS devices you want. If you’re still unsure on how to pick the right one for you, we’re here to help.
How to Find the Right Golf Watch
Key features of golf watches
There are so many different products on the market, each of which has their own set of features that set them apart from the rest. However, there are often things that you’ll want from any golf watch you pick up. In fact, many golf GPS watches will share some basic features that essentially define a good product. A few of these include:
- A variety of pre-loaded courses
- General simplicity in use
- Fitness tracking
- Long battery life
- Strong and sturdy design
It’s common for decent GPS watches to come with a wide range of pre-loaded courses. The number you’ll see the most on practically every product description is 30,000 – unless they’re a more expensive option, in which case they might offer even more.
Of course, having plenty of golf courses available can be convenient and beneficial to pretty much any player. To make matters even better, many watches will update automatically on Wi-Fi, sometimes even expanding on the number of courses in its library for future use. Free updates like this certainly can come in handy and help to make your device even more useful as time goes on.
Ease of use
Fortunately, most of these are incredibly simple and easy to use, which is perfect for any beginner – as well as seasoned golfers who don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of configuring a complex watch for no good reason.
Even if the technology they use is complicated, most brands put in the effort to make them usable for all customers. In most cases, the most amount of work you’ll have to do is navigate the pages and how the different features work.
Other factors, like a screen that can be seen even in bright sunlight, also contribute to how easy and simple of an experience you’ll have.
Smart watches tend to have fitness tracking and many golf watches are no different. One of the benefits of this is that these features can be used at any time, whether you’re playing golf or working out.
Of course, the capabilities will vary from one watch to another, but most will provide information like step and calorie tracking, both of which could help you to see how much exercise you’re getting from your games and any other part of your day to day life.
If you want your watch to last during your games, you’re going to need to pay close attention to the average battery life of the products you’re considering buying. Most good ones will have at least 10 hours of playtime, with higher-end models generally offering even more time before needing a recharge.
Their battery life tends to change between golf and watch mode too. While they drain faster when using GPS, they can often last much longer when used as an ordinary watch.
Outside of everything else, you’re going to want to make sure that your device will last. Most people don’t mind spending the extra money to ensure that the watch they’re buying is not only of a high quality, but built well so that they don’t have to buy a replacement after little usage.
There are several ways that durability can present itself; from the strength of the screen, to waterproofing. All of these factors are well worth considering, especially if you’re looking for a golf watch that will last.
All this and more
Of course, this is far from all that you’ll find in a good GPS golf watch. Other features, like a manual pin setting, swing analysis and a bright watch face are all important to look out for too. For the most part, they can just help to provide you with an overall better experience and more functionality.
Most good brands will aim to meet the requirements listed above and more, so be sure to do your research on what to expect from different products
Even if the final decision will all come down to personal preference, it’s essential that you have all the facts to give you the best chance of purchasing the right one for your needs.
Of course, for most golfers, there’s going to be a budget in mind. You can often find some great options below $500, but remember that even those at $200 could be a good choice if you need a cheaper option.
Essentially, you need to find out how much you’re willing to spend and find out what products are within your price range. Fortunately, most good golf watches aren’t too expensive anyway, but make sure to consider your options carefully and if the product is worth its cost. Low prices don’t always mean great value, but in some cases, neither do high prices – it’s all about the potential of the individual watch.
The Garmin Approach S62, for example, might be on the higher end of the price scale, but it offers plenty to compensate for its large cost, making it a valuable tool for anyone out on the golf course.
What is the Best Overall Golf Watch?
it’s hard to pick just one, especially when there are so many good options out there. From the virtual caddy feature on the Garmin Approach S42, S62 and many other watches in their range to the accuracy and exact distances of the Callaway GPSy Golf Watch, there are so many things that make the best golf watches a notch above the rest.
How accurate are golf GPS watches?
Typically, factors like accuracy and reliability will depend on the watch itself. Remember that in general, you get what you pay for – so if you want perfect precision, it’s often best to go for a more premium golf GPS watch. If you don’t mind being off by one or two yards, there are some good middle ground products out there too.
How do golf GPS watches work?
These smart watches send signals back and forth to the GPS satellites orbiting the earth, gathering information on your coordinates and calculating the distance between you and the coordinates of the hole. Golf courses are set as they are so you can move around freely and see the distances change as the watch updates the information based on where you are.
Are the distances as good as those from rangefinders?
With both golf watches and handheld GPS devices, especially the higher quality ones, you can get some fairly accurate readings. Often, the best GPS watches on the market will only be as accurate as average laser rangefinders and not quite as good as the higher quality ones (like those from Bushnell and Garmin). Still, they can be a great option for beginner and experienced players alike.
They all use the same satellites, but the rangefinders simply have more power to provide highly detailed maps and course information. For any beginning golfer though, there’s no doubt that a golf watch or handheld unit can be a huge benefit and cost effective alternative to an often pricey laser rangefinder.
Where can I use golf watches?
This can often depend on the pre-loaded courses that the watch itself includes, but in most cases you’ll find that there are so many different options that you can play at most courses with your golf watch. Most models (even at a lower price point) have over 30,000 courses, so you generally won’t have much to worry about.
Garmin Approach watches tend to have a wide range of options, which is one of the reasons why any one of them can be a great GPS device for novice and seasoned golfers.
How can a golf watch help me improve?
There are several ways that these GPS devices can assist you in your games. Most can give you accurate data on the distance between you and the hole ahead, as well as information on hazards along the way. Better yet, some brands are innovating to add even more functionality, like sensors and shot statistics to provide you with even more information on your shots.
Things like a distance calculator, autoshot game tracking and accurate yardages are all good examples of features that can be used to help you improve. When paired with a good smartphone app (like the Bushnell app for example), you can get even more out of your golf GPS device.
There you have it—five of the top-rated golf GPS watch on Amazon.com. I believe any of these watches will help you improve your game the next time you hit the golf course.
It’s hard for me to pick a clear-cut favorite although the Bushnell watches are really good. But it’s really up to you to determine the best Golf GPS watch on this list. All I know is that these watches are very easy to use, compact, and relatively accurate. Ones like the Garmin Approach S62 and the cheaper golf GPS watches from the brand are also well worth checking out too.