Best Golf GPS Devices

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 19, 2019
The better you know the golf course, the higher the chances of your victory are; GPS trackers are created for the very purpose of helping you navigate the field. So, we’ve picked 5 models to assist you in achieving the best results every time you’re on the course. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
FUNCTIONS
COURSES
DISPLAY
BATTERY LIFE
USABILITY
WARRANTY
 
PROS

This GPS golf watch is compatible with the Garmin TruSwing™ wireless sensor that allows you to analyze all the essential swing metrics (trajectory, tempo, angle, and more) to get the maximum control over the swing and the ball flight.

CONS

The instructions could be more clear.

OUR VERDICT

This stylish and functional accessory is lightweight and comfortable to wear. With that, the unit has a large high-resolution display and provides accurate activity tracking. It comes preloaded with over 41,000 golf courses all over the world and the map updates automatically. Irreplaceable on the green, the watch will also come in handy for everyday use.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Watch

FUNCTIONS

GPS time sync, Automatic daylight saving time, Alarm clock, Sunrise/Sunset times, Accelerometer, Activity tracking features, Yardage to the front/center/back of the green

COURSES

40,000 + courses, Automatic map updates

DISPLAY

Sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel display (128 x 128 pixels resolution)

BATTERY LIFE

Up to 8 weeks (watch mode),

Up to 15 hours (GPS mode)

USABILITY

5 ATM Water rating, 64 MB Memory, Bluetooth® Smart and ANT+® connectivity, iPhone®, Android™ smartphone compatibility, TruSwing™ compatibility

WARRANTY

1 year limited 

PROS

Utilizing a built-in magnet technology, this Bushnell golf GPS device can be easily mounted on any metal surface, for example, on your golf cart. Plus, the item comes with a clip for attaching it to your bag or belt.

CONS

The Bluetooth might take some time to connect.

OUR VERDICT

The Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS will allow you to get the optimum ball trajectory. As a result, you will make as little strokes as possible to complete a hole. This high-sensitive handheld GPS will give you accurate data of front/center/back distances for greater performance. The battery will last up to 2 games on one charge.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Handheld 

FUNCTIONS

Distances to the front/center/back of the green, Auto course recognition, Auto hole advance

COURSES

36,000 courses in 30 countries, Wireless course updates

DISPLAY

Easy-to-read monochrome LCD display

BATTERY LIFE

Up to 10 hours (GPS mode)

USABILITY

Bluetooth connectivity, Built-in magnet technology, Clip holder included, Bushnell Golf app included

WARRANTY

1 year limited 

PROS

If you like walking the links, you will appreciate this handheld golf GPS with a built-in odometer. It will help you to track the distance you cover each time.

CONS

The buttons can be accidentally activated.

OUR VERDICT

This portable accessory was designed to help you improve your golfing performance. It features a digital scorecard that will allow you to keep track of your golf statistics by displaying your score during each round. Moreover, the item is IPX7 water-rated, so you can rest assured it will survive if you happen to get caught in rain.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Handheld 

FUNCTIONS

Odometer, Alarm clock, Yardage to the front/center/back of the green, Yardage to layups/doglegs, Digital scorecard

COURSES

40,000 + courses, Automatic map updates

DISPLAY

1.3" Sunlight-readable, high-resolution, monochrome LCD display

BATTERY LIFE

Up to 15 hours (GPS mode)

USABILITY

Clip-on device, Water-resistant, USB port

WARRANTY

1 year limited 

PROS

An ergonomic belt clip adds to usability greatly. And by purchasing a special band additionally, you can even use this compact GolfBuddy GPS as a watch.

CONS
Built-in speakers are located on the back panel.
OUR VERDICT

If you choose the GolfBuddy GPS, you'll be able to play golf in different countries of the world thanks to a great number of preloaded courses. And in case you lack some courses, you can download them for free.

detailed parameters
TYPE
Handheld
FUNCTIONS

Distances to front/center/back of the green, Shot distance measurement, Automatic course and hole recognition

COURSES

40,000 courses, Free lifetime course & software updates

DISPLAY
1" monochrome LCD display
BATTERY LIFE

Up to 14 hours (GPS mode)

USABILITY

Multilingual with male/female voice options, Legal for tournament play, Water-resistant, Dynamic Green View technology with distance readings from the golfer’s perspective

WARRANTY
1 year limited
PROS

You will be able to clearly see all the details on the large, color display of this golf GPS rangefinder. When you come back from the course, you can download the score data to your PC using the included USB cable.

CONS

It takes 7 hours to fully charge the battery.

OUR VERDICT

The Izzo Golf Swami 5000 is a great choice for anyone who is going to participate in a golf tournament. It will help you get precise distances and hit accurate shots. The golf GPS rangefinder has intuitive controls and is comfortable to hold in hand.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Handheld 

FUNCTIONS

Auto course recognition, Hole-advance, Distances to the front, center, and back of the green, Distances to front and back of hazards and doglegs, Shot distance measurement

COURSES

38,000 + global course maps, Free course updates

DISPLAY

2" color LCD display

BATTERY LIFE

12 + hours (GPS mode)

USABILITY

Water-resistant, Magnetic charger, USB port

WARRANTY

1 year 

Garmin Approach S20

Successful Approach

The Garmin Approach S20 is currently one of the top offerings on the market. This fantastic GPS watch not only displays and records shot distances but also allows you to see the layout of the field. A high-sensitivity GPS receiver built into the watch provides all the necessary distance data (the distance to the next pin, doglegs and layups, and to the front/back/middle of the green). Moreover, the CourseView feature updates frequently-played courses automatically.

Featuring a built-in odometer, the item will track your activity displaying steps, distance, calories burned, and even hours of sleep. Needless to say, the Garmin Approach S20 also doubles as a watch measuring the time.

The device has a high-resolution display and a comfortable fit band. The watchband has a stylish design that makes the accessory a trendy choice for women and men alike. And to suit every taste and style, this model is available in black, white, midnight teal, and slate color.

Review of Garmin Approach S20 GPS Golf Watch with Step Tracking

Improve Your Golf Results While Staying Connected

Golf makes us forget about everything, and this is one of the reasons it is so popular. However, enwrapped in the game, you might miss an important call. Luckily, this GPS golf watch can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. In such a way, you will get notifications on messages and promptly read important emails.

But let's go back to the game! This innovative GPS device is compatible with the Garmin TruSwing™ sensor allowing you to monitor the speed, trajectory of your swing, critical club angles, and other parameters. Analyzing the metrics will help you see how the ball flight is affected by each of the factors and, therefore, you can figure out how to improve your shot results.

To add to its benefits, this durable model is water-rated to 5 ATM (50 meters). It is equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and one charge lasts up to 15 hours in a GPS mode; up to 8 weeks in an activity tracking mode.

Summing up, the Approach S20 is a fantastic device designed to help you play with confidence and style. Irreplaceable on the green, it can become your healthy lifestyle companion as an everyday watch.

Garmin Approach S20 GPS Golf Watch with Step Tracking in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

The GPS function and syncing is fantastic. It is spot on when compared to a laser or the PGA markers.

Display

Fits nice, long lasting battery, easy to read display.

Features

Alerts you to messages on smartphone, when connected via Bluetooth
 

Bushnell Phantom

For Tournament Play

This professional rangefinder is a great choice for both experienced players and beginners. This is due to the fact that this model is legal for tournament play, as it complies with USGA rule 14-3/.05.

The item has a large easy-to-read display for showing distances to the front, center, and back of the green. Moreover, it can show up to four hazard distances per hole.

The Bushnell Phantom will help you feel more confident on the court in any weather: you can adjust the display contrast for better visibility. Lower contrast level will provide the best viewing quality in bright sunlight while the higher level will come in very useful when the sky is cloudy.

This GPS is a fantastic choice for avid golfers; 36,000 courses in 30 countries are preloaded into its memory. With that, the device can be used right out of the box - you do not need to subscribe or pay membership fees. You can get the updates via the Bushnell Golf App free of charge and use a wireless Bluetooth connection for downloading them to the unit. This app will also allow you to get more detailed information about the course using your smartphone.

Review of Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS

Cart Mountable GPS

It's nice to have your golf GPS at hand and this particular model has even more to offer. The unit has a built-in magnet that will allow you to mount the GPS device on any metal surface such as your golf cart bar. This way, all the important data will be right at your eye level anytime you need it. Besides, the purchase comes with a clip holder that will help you attach the item to your belt or your golf bag.

The Bushnell Phantom is available in black, green, and red/blue color schemes. Just keep in mind that the model with a blue, green, or red housing is easier to spot and you are less likely to accidentally leave it attached to your cart.

This model has a built-in battery and comes with a charging USB cable compatible with all USB ports. The battery is quite capacious - it will last 10 hours on one charge, so you will be able to play up to two golf sessions without recharging. The only downside is that you cannot use the GPS while it is charging (in case you decide to use your golf cart charger). In other words, you'd better check the battery status (select “Battery” from the settings menu) before you go golfing.

All in all, this ergonomic rangefinder supported by the Bushnell Golf app will allow you to comfortably check yardages and study the layouts of your golf course.

Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Garmin Approach G10

Overcoming Hazards

Getting the ball in the hole might be rather tricky because of the obstructions on the course. Therefore, knowing their exact location will let you score better. The Garmin Approach G10 is the right tool to help you identify the distance to doglegs, sand traps, water, and other hazards which can increase the number of strokes to complete the hole. And, of course, it will show you the distance to the front, middle, and back of the green.

Equipped with a high-sensitivity GPS, the device will quickly acquire satellite signal and display all the important distances. Moreover, it will show you the shape of the green and pin placements (you can move the pin manually). All the data is easy to read on a large 1.3" square display.

One more useful feature of this GPS device is a digital scorecard that will help you keep track of your achievements throughout each round, for later consideration and analysis. For this purpose, you can upload the data to your PC and to Garmin Connect golf community, using a USB cable. Analyzing your performance and monitoring your success will surely motivate you for new achievements!

Review of Garmin Approach G10 Handheld Golf GPS

Compact and Convenient

If you like neat and functional accessories, this model is just what you need. The item has a handy portable design. You can either keep it in your pocket or clip it onto your golf bag or belt. Besides, the GBS has a hanging hole which allows you to attach a carabiner and wear the item on your belt loop. Just keep in mind that since the item has sensitive buttons, they can be activated accidentally.

This model is equipped with a long-lasting battery that ensures excellent GPS performance for up to 15 hours on one charge. That is to say, you can take the fully-charged unit away for a golfing weekend and never worry about battery life.

Lastly, this handheld golf GPS has over 40,000 courses preloaded in its memory. Moreover, you can use the CourseView updater to get free updates (no fees or subscriptions are required).

In a word, the Garmin Approach G10 is a compact, convenient, and durable device that will facilitate your performance throughout the game quite a lot.

Garmin Approach G10 Handheld Golf GPS in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Definitely worth the price for a solid-performing golfer GPS.

Display

VERY clear readable display. Even had the map for Golf in UTOPIA, TX

Features

Like the club distance feature and score. All good, highly recommend.
 

GolfBuddy Voice 2

Your Personal Voice Helper

If you’re looking for an informative golf navigation system to carry around easily, you won’t find a better model than the GolfBuddy Voice 2. This compact device with 1-inch monochrome display measures distances to front/center/back of the green properly and is able to represent the information in two ways – either on the screen or via built-in speakers. 

To listen to the necessary data, you only need to press a large button on the body. Also, the device boasts 8 preset language functions which can be extended to 11 by additional download; by the way, you can choose between male or female voice options. 

Waterproof casing coupled with belt clip offers you an opportunity to use the gadget under any weather conditions with maximum comfort. On top of that, GolfBuddy Voice 2 model is one of few models that can be used during professional tournaments.

Review of GolfBuddy Voice 2

Accuracy Comes First

Accuracy is of the utmost importance in a GPS since it influences the end result of a game, especially if you’re going to use the gadget during a tournament. If you choose the GolfBuddy Voice 2, you can be certain of the precision of its measurements. Of course, there is always a chance of slight tolerance, but it’s only a couple of yards.

One more feature that should be taken into account is that this model not only displays the distance to front/center/back of the green but also measures yardage to different parts of the field from your perspective. 

The number of preloaded courses is worth mentioning too. With 40,000 maps (the number can be extended via free software provided by the manufacturer) around the globe, you’ll be able to play at as many fields as you want. Finally, don’t overlook hassle-free controls (buttons on the side panel) with the ability of additional voice guide.

GolfBuddy Voice 2 in the use

Prevent Injuries

Although golf seems like a calm game, it’s still possible to get injured during a round. Since the syndrome of golfer’s elbow is associated with the game most frequently, taking care of your arms with compression sleeves seems to be a sensible decision. Knees are also likely to suffer, so a knee brace will come in handy for every sportsperson.

Detailed review of GolfBuddy Voice 2

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
GolfBuddy Voice 2 Training Video
 

Izzo Golf Swami 5000

Large, Color Display for Excellent Visibility

This innovative GPS by IZZO Golf offers a perfect combination of ergonomics and functionality. Featuring a full-color 2” display that is pretty large for a device of this kind, the unit will allow you to clearly see all the golf course details.

Not only will you get distances to the front, middle, and back of the green; you will also get distances to hazards (water, sand traps, out of bounds, etc) with simple-to-read icons. The unit advances to the next hole automatically and even makes a shot distance measurement - an option that was not available in earlier Izzo models. The GPS comes with over 38,000 preloaded course maps that are constantly updated; no annual fees are required.

The golf rangefinder has a Scorecard Feature that will help you keep track of your score. It will store the data for the last 10 rounds and show the total score at the screen's bottom-left corner.

The operation is pretty intuitive. All the buttons are located on the front panel which is very convenient. Plus, this model comes with easy-to-follow instructions, so it won't take long before you learn how to use all the functions.

Review of Izzo Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder

Comfy and Durable

Comfortable gear is essential in any sport. In addition to high-quality golf shoes, a bag, and a set of clubs, you need quality golf gadgets that are affordable, functional, and convenient in use. The Izzo Golf Swami 5000 is exactly like that.

It has a non-slip rubberized housing and is nice to hold in hand; an ergonomic clip will allow you to attach the unit to your belt.

This particular model features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will last up to 12 hours in GPS mode. We should admit that it takes quite a while to recharge the unit (7 hours). There is one more thing that some users consider a bit inconvenient: the device comes equipped with a magnetic charger (the cord is attached to the device with magnets) which might be accidentally disconnected during use. Other than that, though, we didn't spot any other flaws.

The Izzo Golf Swami 5000 is a great golf GPS that will help lower the handicap and faithfully serve you in any weather. It's fitted with a high-quality screen that is easy to read even in bright sunlight and it has a water-resistant housing.

Izzo Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder in the use

Additional Info

User Manual


 

Infographics

Comparison of Golf GPS Devices

What Is a Golf GPS?

It’s impossible to imagine modern life without technologies – they penetrate into every sphere of our life including sports. Why should golf be an exception? Golf GPS navigation system is becoming more and more popular among the players who want to achieve the highest results in their careers.

The device was mainly created to measure yardage to different parts of the green, shot distance, and hazard distance. However, the manufacturers often include additional functions such as odometer, pin positions, automatic hole recognition, etc. Also, most GPS devices have preloaded golf courses so that users can easily navigate in a new place.

As a rule, these gadgets are divided into two types – watches and handheld models. No matter which one you choose, their battery life is usually long enough to play several games or even spend the whole weekend hitting balls into holes.

To make your game even more productive, golf shoes will definitely come in handy. And with a golf bag, it will be more convenient for you to store and transport your golf equipment. You might also be interested in one of these laser range finders.

Best Golf GPS Devices

What Features to Compare

Functions

Before choosing a golf GPS, first, consider its functions as they determine how helpful a device will be. Most golf distance measuring devices display the yardage to the front/center/back of the green, to various hazards such as water or sand traps, and, of course, to the hole. Knowing these distances, you will not only feel more confident on the green, but you will also be able to take more precise shots.

If you play golf all over the world, pay attention to the number of preloaded courses. As the new courses are opened quite often, the option to add new maps will also come in very useful. Getting updates for free and without membership or subscription is one more pleasant bonus you can get with the best golf GPS devices.

On top of that, take notice of additional functions to get even more benefit from the game. For example, an integrated odometer will display the distance you have covered. Some sophisticated GPS devices are compatible with innovative sensors that will allow you to analyze the speed, trajectory of your swing, and other important parameters. Studying this data will help you to minimize mishits and improve your overall performance on the green.

Battery Life

You also want to take battery life into consideration as it varies from model to model and mainly depends on the gadget’s design. GPS watches are compact and work for up to 16 hours on one charge. Handheld devices, on the other hand, usually have bigger displays (as compared to watches) and consume more energy, although not too much, they still work for 14-15 hours in GPS mode. Most models feature a rechargeable battery and a USB port for charging and come equipped with a USB cable. In such a way you will be able to connect them to your computer for charging or updating preloaded maps.

Usability

Finally, don’t overlook the item's usability. Since golf is played in all weathers, a waterproof casing will definitely come in handy. Quality golf GPS units have user-friendly LCD screens so that the readings are clearly visible in broad daylight. Most handheld devices have a belt clip so that they can be attached to your golf bag or belt. Some have built-in magnets for attaching to metal surfaces.

One more important addition is a digital scorecard that will allow you to monitor your progress while you are on the green and analyze it later. If you want to track your progress and compare the results of several rounds, make sure your new device boasts PC sync option. And a voice assistant feature will come to your liking if you don’t want to get distracted during the game.

FAQ:

Q: My golf GPS doesn’t identify the course. What’s wrong?

A: Although modern golf navigation systems include thousands of courses all over the world, chances are not all of them are preloaded on your GPS. Thus, it's possible that your gadget doesn’t show you a map of a field you’re going to play. One more thing that can lead a situation like this is you being too far from the course; in this case, you only need to come closer so that a gadget could identify it.

Q: Satellite connection seems to be inconsistent. What should I do?

A: Sometimes, satellite connection can really be lost because of different obstacles such as trees, for example. Some users of GPS devices also claim that gadgets can malfunction when being in a pocket. To reconnect your GPS, step out to an open area and give your item some time to catch the signal; if it doesn’t help, try to reset it.

Q: Is it possible to add golf courses manually in every GPS device?

A: You might need to specifically search for a model with a function like that, they do exist. However, generally, even those navigators that can't be updated manually are updated automatically from time to time for free or on condition of registration.

Q: Can I use a golf GPS device during tournaments?

A: Golf rules restrict the use of the devices that can help a player get an advantage over his/her rivals. Since golf GPS is like that, its application during amateurish or professional tournaments is prohibited. The same limit is imposed on using smartphone apps during a stipulated round. Nevertheless, some models with the bare minimum of functions are approved for tournaments.

Q: Why should I buy a golf GPS if I can’t use it during a tournament or stipulated round?

A: Playing golf with a GPS can help you improve your skills, control the strength of every hit, determine the distance by eye, and feel more confident on a course. Having practiced playing with such a device for some time, it’ll be easy for you to beat your competitors even without it.

Q: Which model should I choose, a rangefinder or a watch?
A: It mainly depends on the purpose of your purchase. Opt for a GPS watch if you need a stylish accessory with the minimal number of functions. But if you want to see the maximum of course information, one of handheld models will probably be better. Take notice of the usability too. Whereas watch models are literally imperceptible during a game, a handheld device should always be carried with you.

Sources:

1. Anna Bush How to choose the golf GPS Watch, Medium. November 26, 2016.

2. GPS watch, Wikipedia. October 31, 2016.

3. Golf GPS Watch Buyers Guide 2016, CompsMag. June 11, 2016.

4. Alison Potter How to Buy the Best Golf Watch, Which?

5. Mike Bailey Golf course navigation: Should you use a laser rangefinder or GPS on the course? Golf Advisor. August 12, 2015.

6. How to Play Golf, wikiHow.

7. Robert Loescher Best Golf GPS - Choosing the Right One, HubPages. February 21, 2015.

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