We take you through the best golf GPS devices to help you make a decision on which is right for your game and your bank balance.
Best Golf GPS
Distance measuring devices – or DMDs as they are often known – come in various guises nowadays, including compact GPS units and stylish GPS watches, each of which offer something a little different and at different price points.
The main benefit you’ll get for your investment is quick, accurate distances, which can provide new levels of confidence at address because you’re sure you’ve chosen the right club, which in turn helps you commit to shots much more easily.
With many of the GPS devices you also get hazard information and overhead maps of the hole, which will hopefully guide your strategy and thusly save you shots, especially on blind holes and at courses you’ve never played.
If you would rather go for a rangefinder, we also recommend checking out our guide on the best golf laser rangefinders, or if you want to take your game to the next level, the best golf launch monitors.
What will I need to consider?
– Your routine The best golf GPS watches only require a quick glance so they are much quicker than taking a device out of its case, so weigh up if extra detail or less disruption is most important to you.
– Your course If your course has lots of doglegs, blind tee shots, or you play at other clubs in matches or socially, then you might want the extra information a GPS offers over a laser.
– Added extras The larger GPS units often include scorecard and stat tracking capabilities, while some devices measure shots or steps taken, so bear all this in mind.
– Battery power GPS devices normally need charging via a USB after two to four rounds, so consider which would be easiest for you on a week-to-week basis.
Best Golf GPS Watches
Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch
+ Modern, cutting-edge styling
+ Wide ranging features suitable for off-course use
– Hole map graphics look dated
One of the most obvious features compared to other models is the slightly bigger face with more contrast in the screen which gives a clearer view. Additionally it comes with a built-in virtual caddie function where it can detect where the wind is coming from, gives information on shots from the past in regards to clubbing and therefore suggests to you the strategy on the course. As far as the best Garmin golf watches go, this is right up there.
GolfBuddy Aim W10 GPS Golf Watch
+ Simple to set up and use
+ Looks at home off the course
– Bulky strap design
The Aim series from GolfBuddy stands for Accurate, Innovative, Measurable and that about sums it up. The accuracy of the Aim W10 is excellent. Preloaded with 40,000 courses, the Aim W10 will pinpoint your position and give super-accurate yardages.
In terms of innovation, features include a full-colour 1.3” touch screen display, plus green undulation and slope-adjusted distance readings (where available) to give the golfer better, real-life views and more control around the course. There are also excellent new zoom in/out functions around the green.
TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition
+ Offers seamless shot measurement with no need for tags in clubs
+ Bright, detailed display and partnering app
– Very expensive
The best golf GPS devices have to look good and this model more than delivers on that front. This premium, luxury watch features an ultra-lightweight 45-mm black titanium case and a matte black ceramic bezel with 18 engraved and lacquered graduations that serve as a reference for the performance at each hole. The crown is now flanked by two functional pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock, to be used alongside the TAG Heuer Golf app to record shots and shot distances with optimal precision in action.
Sky Caddie LX5 GPS Watch
+ Large colour screen brings out the finest details
+ Hole maps are ground verified on foot
– Lacks off-course versatility
Featuring the largest colour touchscreen on a golf GPS watch (3.5cm), the LX5 provides clear aerial views of the hole ahead with a moveable pointer telling you the distance to your chosen spot. Arc lines help improve strategy while you can zoom in on the green and move the pin position for a more precise distance. Over 35,000 courses, which have been ground-verified on foot, come preloaded.
Bushnell Excel GPS Watch
+ Simple but accurate distances
+ Provides access to Bushnell app for hole flyovers
– Lacks features some golfers desire
With the Excel you’ll find a watch that pairs via Bluetooth to the Bushnell Golf App to allow you to book tee times, view 3D course flyovers and receive notifications. It also has improved battery life – lasting three plus rounds before needing a charge. Additional features include a colour display with auto brightness adjustment, pedometer, odometer and the ability to get up to four hazard distances per hole.
Shot Scope V3 Golf GPS Watch And Tracker
+ Combines GPS distances with performance tracking
+ Compact, streamlined design is very comfortable
– A small number of shots can go undetected
The V3 is 60 per cent smaller than the V2 and also has a new daylight-readable colour screen. In GPS + Performance Tracking mode, the V3 will automatically detect shot locations using tags placed in the tops of your grips. The PinCollect feature means golfers can input the pin position with the touch of a button to provide enhanced approach and short game statistics, displayed within the free Shot Scope app.
Garmin Approach S60 GPS Watch
+ Sleek, modern design
+ Impressive hole graphics and wide variety of information
– Many features may go unused
This feature-packed and stylish offering provides detailed full colour maps for over 40,000 courses on its large sunlight-readable colour touchscreen face. You can use its drag-and-drop functionality to measure lay-up distances and to move pin positions for added accuracy. It can also be used to monitor runs, swims and bike rides for great additional value.
Garmin Approach S40 Golf GPS
+ Stylish and feature packed
+ Arguably offers the best value from Garmin devices
– Shot tracking functionality complicated to implement
Versatile and light, the S40 can receive phone notifications and automatically records the location and distance of each shot for post-round analysis.
Garmin Approach S20 GPS Watch
+ Great level of features for the price
+ Moveable flag pointer for greater accuracy
– Buttons are fiddly to press one handed
This Garmin watch features a high-resolution display and covers over 40,000 courses. It accurately measures distances to hazards such as bunkers and water, plus front, middle and back yardages, layups and doglegs. For extra help its Green View feature displays the shape of the green with manual pin placements available. It also caters for activity tracking and receives notifications from your phone.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Golf Edition 44mm
+ Thin and neat strap design
+ Choice of two types of hole map graphics
– Fiddly to access certain features
Samsung has joined forces with GolfBuddy to create this GPS watch, which features a rotating touch digital bezel to make it even more convenient to navigate while maximising the screen size. It comes pre-loaded with the Smart Caddie app pre-installed and with a lifetime premium subscription worth £76. You can see if you’re within range of the green with Dual Arc and read how to drain putts with the Green Undulation feature. The partnering app provides real-time information to help users elevate their performance on the course.
GolfBuddy WTX Golf GPS Watch
+ Clear colour hole graphics
+ Touch screen assists with strategy decisions
– Time consuming set up process
If you want lots of functionality for under £200, this is a great option. It has a full colour touchscreen that allows you to view complete hole layouts as in the image above. You also get dynamic green view for accurate distances from your approach, as well as moveable pin positions for laser-like accuracy. GolfBuddy also make excellent lasers too so check out our buying guide on the best GolfBuddy rangefinders as well.
Best Golf GPS Handhelds
SkyCaddie SX400 GPS Rangefinder
+ Vivid display with exceptional detail
+ Ground verified course maps for enhanced accuracy and updates
– Arguably still too bulky to be pocket sized
The SX400 is SkyCaddie’s attempt to make a more compact handheld compared to the SX500. It features SkyCaddie’s Pin Position feature which provides the ability to get distances to the day’s pin positions. Dynamic HoleVue technology is present as well as the IntelliPath Technology, which gives yardages to targets along and beyond your target line.
Garmin Approach G80 GPS
+ Great array of features
+ Can even be used as a launch monitor
– Screen could be easier to see in bright sunlight
Another quality offering from Garmin, the Approach G80 is at the premium end of the GPS spectrum and when you consider the number of features available, this comes as no surprise.
Obviously you get distances to the front, middle and back of the green, but they take it one step further with features such as Garmin’s PlaysLike Distance gives you distances to the target, adjusted for uphill or downhill shots, which can be easily turned off for tournament play. Meanwhile, Green View allows you to zoom in on the green to get precise yardages according to wherever the pin is on the day.
Keeping pace with the social world, the Garmin Approach G80 works with the free Garmin Golf app, which lets you compete, compare and connect with fellow golfers – great fun if that’s your thing. All this comes in a slim device with a 3.5″, sunlight-readable, colour, touchscreen display.
SkyCaddie SX500 GPS Rangefinder
+ Very easy to use due to large touchscreen
+ Undoubtedly the most detailed offering out there
– Oversized design could be inconvenient for storage
Replacing the Touch, the SX500 features a 5” full HD colour touch screen and uses in-built WiFi to download the latest, ground-verified courses on foot from more than 35,000 available for improved accuracy. The green view will also dynamically rotate to show full IntelliGreen Pro information from the golfer’s own angle of attack.
It also features multiple yardage arcs overlaid on the fairway landing areas and greens and a built in 13-megapixel camera. The SX500 could well be one of the most complete handheld, and one of the best golf GPS devices ever made but be weary of the annual membership costs that apply after a year.
Garmin Approach G30 GPS
The Approach G30 has a 2.3-inch colour touchscreen for users to see features like Green View and Touch Targeting to provide more accurate yardage information. Thanks to its Big Numbers Mode, it displays yardages in a large font for at- a-glance viewing and also displays a hole view with a moveable pointer. The Approach G30 can be mounted in a multitude of ways, like on a user’s belt, trolley or golf bag, and is compatible with the Garmin TruSwing analyser to improve swing consistency. Users can also get smart notifications for incoming calls, texts.
Golf Buddy VTX GPS
Pre-loaded with over 38,000 courses, the Golf Buddy VTX handheld GPS comes with a number of new features, including voice audio and Bluetooth connectivity. Distances are clearly displayed to the front, middle and back of green, as well as hazards, giving golfers a thorough picture of what lies ahead on every hole. It helps users to plot their way around virtually any course they tee it up on with the main distances well covered. Should the user stray off line, Golf Buddy’s Dynamic Green View will adjust to provide an accurate yardage, so there’s no guesswork involved or uncertainty when stood over the ball.
Best Golf GPS Speakers
Bushnell Wingman GPS Speaker
The Bushnell Wingman is a speaker that provide golfers with audible front, middle and back distances with the ability to listen to the music of their choice from their smartphone. It comes with Bushnell’s Magnetic Bite technology, which allows the speaker to be secured to any golf buggy without the need for an aftermarket accessory. It also offers Auto hole advance, 10+ hour battery life and a USB charging port.
Best Golf GPS Wearables
Bushnell Phantom GPS
This basic, entry-level unit provides font, middle, back and up to four hazard yard adages per hole, while a shot-measurement option can measure drives or approaches. Also we recommend taking a look at our guide on the best Bushnell golf rangefinders as well if you like the brand in particular.
GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS
Offers audio distances to the front, middle and back of the green. At just 4.5cm square, it can be easily clipped to a belt or cap, or kept in your pocket.
Microsoft Fitness and Activity Tracker Wrist Band
GolfBuddy BB5 GPS Wrist Band
The world’s first golf GPS band is slimmer and lighter than a watch and displays its front, middle and back yardages via a tickertape-style LED dot display. Using the BB5, golfers can also measure their shot distances, record the number of steps they take and tell the time.
Garmin Approach X40 GPS Wrist Band
Combines comprehensive golfing data for more than 40,000 international courses, Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate and daily activity tracking. Among the plentiful features, the new AutoShot game tracking feature automatically tracks shots along the fairway and measures distances for detailed post- game analysis on Garmin Connect.