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(TOP 5) Best Golf GPS Review And Guides 2020

best golf gps

If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for golf GPS:

What is a golf GPS?

A golf GPS is a device that relies on a network of satellites to provide a golfer with accurate yardages to any area of a golf course. This information allows the golfer to determine which club they should hit from the location they are currently in. 

By knowing the distance to the middle of the green or to a hazard, you will be able to determine safe areas to hit your golf ball. The detailed course maps will tell the player everything they need to know about the golf hole as soon as they approach it.

Why should I buy a golf GPS?

A golf GPS provides a golfer with a lot of great benefits like yardages to the front, center, and back of greens as well as the yardages to hazards and dog legs. On more advanced models, a golf GPS can feature in depth maps that will show the player exactly what lies ahead.

For a player that plays a lot of new courses, a golf GPS is a huge advantage because it will tell you everything you need to know about a hole as soon as you step up to it. Finally, a device like this can sometimes provide benefits like statistic tracking, club recommendations, fitness tracking, and more.

Golf GPS Basics:

 A golf GPS downloads golf courses and gives the player a detailed map of the hole they’re currently playing. A device like this allows you to see the shapes of fairways and greens as well as the locations of hazards and bunkers.

If you’re playing a course for the first time, a golf GPS device is a great advantage because it will tell you everything you need to know in great detail. One advantage that a golf GPS has over a laser rangefinder is the fact that you can use them even when it’s raining or foggy.

A golf GPS usually looks like a smartphone with a display screen and a couple buttons. You can also get them in a watch version that will simply give you the yardage and may even offer some other round tracking statistics like steps walked, distance traveled and calories burned.

If you’re a golfer that plays a lot of new courses, a golf GPS could be a great addition to your golf bag. Not only do they tell you all the yardages you’ll need to know, they’ll also offer an interactive map of the course.

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Golf GPS Styles:

Handheld-

A handheld golf GPS will be about the size of a cell phone with a large screen and one or several buttons. This style will offer the player a detailed map of the hole they’re playing with yardages marking hazards and all other important information around the green.

A golf GPS will have thousands of preloaded courses as soon as you get it so finding the course you’re playing probably won’t be an issue. A handheld unit will come with a charging cable and it will need to be charged every few rounds.

This type of GPS will usually have a feature that allows you to keep your score as well which replaces the need for a scorecard and a pencil.

Watch-

The golf GPS watch is another popular version of golf GPS because of the unique benefits that they offer the player. One of the most obvious advantages is the ability to get the yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green or any hazard at a moment’s notice.

Another reason golfers will choose the golf GPS watch is because they’ll usually offer shot tracking and a post round analysis which is useful to learn about. Another popular feature is step tracking which a lot of fitness focused players will enjoy having.

Golf watches will also give the player an overview of the hole with all important information that you’d need to know. This style does not slow down the place of play at all like a rangefinder might.

Golf GPS Cost:

Generally, a golf GPS will cost between $100 to $300 depending on the unit and the features that you’re interested in. This is a worthwhile expense for an avid golfer based on the benefits that come with these devices.

5 Best Handheld Golf GPS

1. Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS

The Phantom golf GPS from Bushnell is one of the highest rated golf GPS devices available today. The long lasting battery life will allow you to play two full rounds before having to charge the device.

 This GPS comes preloaded with 36,000 golf courses covering 30 countries. The display will tell you the distance of up to four different hazards on any given hole and will tell you the distance of the front, center, and back of every green.

This smart device GPS automatically recognizes the course you’re playing and will know when it’s time to switch to a different hole. The integrated BITE magnets on the back of the device makes it easy to stick on any metal surface.

This is a great design for those who like to ride in a cart. For those who would rather walk, the built in clip allows you to attach it to your bag. The Phantom GPS comes in four different color options and is a great value for the price.

Pros

  • 36,000 preloaded courses
  • Hazard distances
  • Auto hole recognition
  • 3D hole flyovers and course layout maps with Bushnell app/free with watch
  • Magnets to hold onto cart
  • Multiple color options
  • Long battery life
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Magnet strength is questionable

2. Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS

The Approach G30 from Garmin is a handheld golf GPS device with a touch screen. The full color display allows for clear course mapping. The design of the G30 is sleek and compact which makes it perfect for carrying around the course.

The GPS system is highly accurate and will give the distances to greens, hazards, trees, and doglegs. The touch screen enables the user to pinpoint any spot to receive accurate yardage.

The G30 allows you to touch to press the location of the pin and find the yardage to any area of the green. The device comes preloaded with more than 40,000 golf courses so you should have no problem finding your home course.

This rangefinder features an electronic scorecard and allows you to track your round while you play. You can connect this GPS to your phone and receive notifications like texts and phone calls.

Pros

  • Sleek and compact
  • Touch screen
  • Full color display
  • Auto hole recognition
  • 40,000 preloaded courses
  • Electronic scorecard
  • Waterproof
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Small screen

3. SkyCaddie SX500 Golf GPS

This five inch touch screen is one of the brightest and most brilliant displays in the golf GPS game. The SkyCaddie SX500 offers the player the option to adjust a cursor to any given landing point on their very detailed map of the course in order to find a distance to any point.

The SX500 GPS includes their Intelligreen Pro technology which shows the golfer the exact shape of the green and the area around the green. This feature includes an interactive cursor and will adjust based on the angle of approach you have into the green.

SkyCaddie’s Holevue technology allows you to move a cursor to any point of the hole and receive a distance to that area and other points around it. The information that a smart golf GPS like this offers is a gamechanger and will help you lower your scores.

Finally, the SX500 offers round tracking statistics and scoring which will help players have a better understanding of their golf game. All of the information saved can be stored to a SkyGolf360 account.

Pros

  • 40 geo-referenced targets per hole
  • 5” touch screen
  • Score keeping
  • Statistic tracking
  • Adjust for angle of attack to green
  • Intelligreen Pro
  • Holevue technology
  • Highly water resistant

Cons

  • Not waterproof

4. Garmin Approach G8 Golf GPS

The Garmin Approach G8 has a slim profile with a 3” and is considerably lightweight. PlaysLike distances will take slope into consideration when telling the player a distance which is a useful feature when playing golf courses with a lot of slopes.

Another feature that is good for sloped golf courses is the G8’s PinPointer technology that tells the player where the pin is, even when they can’t see it. The distances given will include the front, center, and back of the green.

A colored layup chart ranging from 100-250 yards will tell you exactly how far you need to hit a certain shot on that hole in order to be safe. The club recommender feature will remember how far you hit each club and recommend a club to you based on that information.

Pros

  • Slope distances
  • Layup chart
  • Club recommender
  • PinPointer
  • Scorecard feature
  • Waterproof

Cons

    5. Izzo Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS

    The Swami 5000 from Izzo golf is a handheld golf GPS that offers players the distance to the front, center, and back of all greens as well as the layup and carry of all hazards and dog legs on the course. This rangefinder comes with 38,000 preloaded golf courses which will be recognized automatically when you arrive at the course.

    This device has a slim profile and includes a two inch color LCD screen. Some important features to mention with this model are round tracking statistics and a built in scorecard to keep track of your round with ease.

    Finally, this GPS will tell you how far you hit your previous shot which is always fun to know, especially on those long drives. The Swami 5000 is water resistant and will last up to 12 hours.

    Pros

    • Water resistant device
    • Long battery life
    • Scorecard
    • Stat tracking
    • Shot measurement
    • 38,000 preloaded courses

    Cons

    • Complaints regarding the lifespan of the unit
    • Not waterproof

    5 Best Golf GPS Watches

    1. Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch

    The Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch is one of the best GPS watches on the market today. It includes their Autoshot round analyzer which will record your shots for an in depth analysis after the round. The sleek watch band allows it to easily transition from a stylish everyday watch to an accurate golf GPS. The 128×128 pixel display is clear and easy to read even in the sunlight. The band is made of silicone and the entire watch is waterproof.

    This model can connect to your phone, allowing you to receive notifications like texts and calls. The Garmin Approach S20 is bluetooth compatible and it can be paired with the Garmin TruSwing sensor to monitor the statistics of your swing.

    It also includes activity tracking which will tell you things like the distance you’ve walked, the calories you’ve burned and much more. This is a unique feature for those who like to keep track of their daily exercise statistics.

    Finally, this GPS watch will also track your stats for the round. This includes the number of greens and fairways hit and how many putts you had in your round.

    Pros

    • Waterproof
    • Golf stat tracking
    • Fitness tracking
    • Device connects to phone
    • Swing tracking with Garmin Truswing
    • Great value

    Cons

    • Some complaints on the accuracy of the GPS

    2. Bushnell Neo Ion 2 Golf GPS Watch

    The Neo Ion 2 is another excellent golf GPS from Bushnell. This model has one of the longest lasting battery lives and can last you up to three rounds before needing to be recharged. This device comes with 36,00 courses and the bluetooth allows for wireless course updates.

    The Neo Ion 2 has automatic course recognition and automatic hole advance. The watch face is easy to read and has a clear display. This device will give you the distance to the front, back, and center of the green as well as the distance of up to four different hazards.

    The Bushnell app is included for free with this GPS. This app offers 3D hole flyovers and hole layout maps. This device includes useful features like the shot distance calculator and a round odometer.

     Another great feature of this watch is the fact that it includes a fitness step counter which is a popular request of active watches today.  This stylish GPS watch is available in two color options, black/light blue and grey/neon yellow.

    Pros

    • Long battery life
    • 36,000 preloaded courses
    • Fitness step counter
    • Color options
    • Distances up to four hazards
    • Waterproof
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • No course layout on the watch
    • Doesn’t track statistics

    3. Garmin Approach S60

    The large 1.2” display combined with the sleek design of the Garmin Approach S60 makes it a favorite of many golfers. This device comes with more than 40,000 preloaded courses.

    The Garmin Approach S60 will give the player distances to greens, hazards, and dog legs using their in depth course map. You will also receive yardages to the front, back, and center of every green which makes it easier for you to decide which club is best for that shot. 

    This watch will last about 10 hours in GPS mode and about 10 days in regular watch mode. The quickfit band makes it easy to fit to any sized wrists without needing tools.

    Pros

    • Over 40,000 preloaded courses
    • Sleek looking device
    • Activity tracking
    • Long battery life (10 hours in GPS mode)
    • Full course map
    • Slope distances
    • Waterproof

    Cons

    • Expensive

    4. TecTecTec ULT-G Golf GPS Watch

    The TecTecTec TLT-G is a high quality golf GPS watch that accurately measures distances to within a yard. This includes the distances to the front, center, and back of the green as well as the distance to the hazards.

    This device comes with 38,000 pre downloaded courses and automatically progresses to the next hole when the time is right and will recognize the course you’re playing without you having to lift a finger. The simple design includes four buttons which makes it easy to use, even for the first time.

    This watch is durable and can withstand small amounts of water and dust. The battery life is long enough to get you through 2.5 rounds of golf on a single charge. TecTecTec offers a one-year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee. This device is a great value for convenience and accuracy.

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • 38,000 preloaded courses
    • Simple device and easy to use
    • Sporty look
    • Long battery life

    Cons

    • Not as many features as other popular GPS watches
    • Not waterproof

    5. Garmin Approach X10 Golf GPS Watch

    If you’re searching for a simple golf GPS, look no further than the Garmin Approach X10. This lightweight device has a slim, sleek profile and an easy to read touch screen.

    The Approach X10 will give the player the yardage to the front, center, and back of each green as well as the distance to all hazards and doglegs. The interactive green view allows you to place the pin in any location in order to get a specific distance to any point of the green while also showing the shape of the green.

    This device is great for any player that is looking for basic yardages on a moment’s notice. It will not have the interactive golf course maps that many other units have but it will give yardages to all important aspects of the course.

    Pros

    • Lightweight
    • Sleek
    • Distances to front, center, and back of green
    • Over 41,000 pre-loaded courses
    • Waterproof

    Cons

    • Not a long battery life

    Question and Answer:

    Are golf GPS’ tournament legal?

    It’s best to check with tournament rules before using one but generally speaking, golf GPS’ and rangefinders can be used as long as they don’t provide slope information.

    Are golf GPS’ waterproof?

    There are many waterproof options available but they will likely be more expensive. A waterproof GPS is a huge advantage because it allows a golfer to use their GPS worry free in any weather conditions.

    How accurate are golf GPS’?

    A GPS software for golf will typically be accurate to three or four yards.

    Is a golf GPS better than a rangefinder?

    This isn’t simply a yes or no question because the choice is based entirely on preference. A golf GPS will offer a map of the course with specific yardages while a rangefinder will give you yardages to areas of your choice.

    What’s the best golf rangefinder for the money?

    With all of the high quality options available to golfers today, there is no best answer to this question. Each rangefinder or GPS system is going to have it’s benefits but it;s mostly a matter of preference.