Best Golf Watches 2022

A golf watch can save you ample shots when out on the golf course. Here, we take a look at the best ones on the market

Best Golf Watches
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Best Golf Watches

A golf watch is one of the best investments you can make when it comes to your golf game, as it provides the user with the right yardages when playing unfamiliar courses, as well as track your score and performance.

What's more, there are a number of fantastic models on the market, with all coming in at varying price points. But, what makes a model worthy of consideration when talking about the top models? Well, the best golf watches have to be accurate in terms of yardages provided and in terms of the GPS mapping on the screen. This is because, ultimately, you are wearing the watch for information and, if it is incorrect, the watch is pointless. 

Not only that, but the best models have to sit comfortably on the wrist, be convenient and simple to use in relation to functionality and navigation, and also offer some degree of style. If you are wearing it on your wrist for the majority of the day then it has to look good. 

Additionally, some golf watches are extremely versatile as most can be used for off-course purposes. These include fitness apps, as well as emails and work calls making them fantastic gifts for loved ones or relatives. So, if you're thinking about buying a Golf watch as a present over the holiday period, why not check out our ideas on the best Christmas golf gifts!

At Golf Monthly, we've recently tested the leading golf watches currently available, and these are our picks of the best. All the watches here have been reviewed by our team (opens in new tab), which means testing over multiple rounds out on the course, and this guide is updated on a regular basis to make sure it includes the latest releases. 

In this video below, we test the leading golf watches out on the course

Best Golf Watches For Features

garmin s62 watchEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Displays wind speed and direction and even adjusts for slope

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 41,000
Battery life: 20 hours
Screen size: 3.3cm
Weight: 61g
Straps: Two

Reasons to buy

+
Modern, cutting-edge styling
+
Wide ranging features suitable for off-course use

Reasons to avoid

-
Hole map graphics look dated

The S62 leads the way among the best Garmin Golf watches and it is not hard to see why many, us included, put it right up there as one of the best golf GPS watches you can buy. It’s easy to get the watch set up and the touch screen works well alongside the side buttons to navigate through the various options. With a larger screen compared to the S60, it is easy to navigate around and see hole details more clearly on the color maps.

In terms of other features, 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. Once paired with your phone, the watch can also take into account the wind conditions in real time when suggesting a club, which is next-level stuff.

Another huge benefit is the versatility because it works just as well off the golf course as on it. There are also loads of fitness tracking options if you wanted to use it as a more rounded sports watch too. It can also receive email and text notifications.

Voice Caddie T9 Golf GPS Watch Review

(Image credit: Tom Miles)
Redefines what a smart golf watch can do

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 40,000+
Battery life : 27 Holes – 10 days Golf Mode - 27 holes
Screen size: 3cm
Weight: 48g

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, responsive touch screen
+
Plenty of strategy-enhancing features
+
Versatile for off-course wear

Reasons to avoid

-
Green undulations weren't always accurate
-
Automatic shot tracking wasn't obvious

Our first impression of the T9 was a good one. This watch is slick, modern and lightweight. With its shiny silver bezel, it has the off-course versatility that enhances its value. The color, reflective LCD touch screen is bright and readable in all light conditions and super responsive - it hardly requires any repeat swipes unless wearing a glove. 

It has the basics covered in terms of yardages on the main screen - front, middle and back - but you’ll notice a slope icon on the left. This is because it factors in slope on the distances for enhanced accuracy. You can turn on tournament mode to disable this feature and make the watch legal for competition play easily in the settings. What's more, the main screen also displays the hole number and par as well as your current score, assuming you’re entering it as you go along.

Bushnell Ion Elite Golf GPS Watch Review

(Image credit: Future)
Slope functionality on a GPS Watch

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 38,000
Battery life: 12+ hours
Screen size: 1.28"
Weight: 38g
Straps: Two

Reasons to buy

+
Wide variety of features and display modes
+
Slope feature and moveable pin enhance accuracy
+
Excellent value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Charging connection could be better

Following on from the Bushnell iON Edge GPS Watch, the Ion Elite certainly feels more cutting-edge, with the addition of a color touch screen and plethora of features making it perfect for the gadget-loving golfer.

Not only does it provide comfort and looks which won't look out of place on-and-off the course, but it is extremely simple to use, with just one button on the side serving as the on/off switch. Every other aspect is accessed by the touch screen, which is detailed, responsive and clear.

Where this watch stands out though is in the features department. Specifically, the Slope Functionality, which is extremely rare even among the best golf watches. You can access it via the golf settings, where you can choose to toggle the Slope feature on/off. Another great addition is the tournament mode setting, which gives you 100% clarity on whether the set-up is legal for tournament play.

Samsung Galaxy5 Pro Golf Edition Watch Review

(Image credit: Mike Bailey)
Perfect for on and off course activities

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 40,000
Battery life: N/A
Screen size: 1.79"
Weight: 46.5g
Straps: 5

Reasons to buy

+
Accurate way to get yardages and keep score
+
Includes all the non golf features of the Samsung Galaxy5 Pro smartwatch
+
Golf application is as detailed as a golfer could want

Reasons to avoid

-
Won't work for iPhone users

When it comes to a golf watch, simplicity is arguably the most important factor and, with this Galaxy5 Pro Golf Edition, that is certainly the case, as it provides the basics like hole maps, distances and scoring. What's more, it is also preloaded with the Golf Buddy Smart Caddie, a special app developed for the Galaxy smartwatch by GolfzonDeca.

On the course, you have luxury and ability of keeping track of every club and every shot you hit, and how far you hit the ball. That in turn, will basically chart all your tendencies - fairways hit, greens in regulation, putts, etc. The app can recommend what clubs to hit in certain situations once you start entering data.

Off the course, you can also access the other features that you find in other Samsung models, such as health and fitness, as well as emails, calls and texts.

skycaddie lx5 gps golf watch review


(Image credit: Future)
Boasts the largest screen for exceptional detail and ground-verified accuracy

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 35,000
Battery life: Up to two rounds
Screen size: 3.5cm
Weight : 65.2g
Straps : One

Reasons to buy

+
Large color touch screen brings out the finest details
+
Hole maps are ground verified on foot

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited off-course versatility. Membership fee required after 3 years

Featuring the largest color 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, instantly making it one of the best golf GPS watches around. This watch is lightweight (65g) and comfortable to wear too and while it might look a bit clunky off the course, serious golfers will love the functionality on offer as well as the ease of use.

TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition Watch Review


(Image credit: Future)
The next best thing to having a caddie by your side

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 40,000
Battery life: 24 hours
Screen size: 3.5cm
Weight: N/A
Straps: Nine

Reasons to buy

+
Crystal clear display
+
Shot tracking enhances strategy
+
Exceptional app experience

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive versus the competition

A no-brainer inclusion in this list of the best golf watches, 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.

This new E4 model boasts several improvements from the previous TAG Heuer model we tested too. Technical improvements include a new automated shot-tracker, redesigned golf software and a new buckle with magnetic ball marker built into the strap. It should also be easier to control the watch’s golf functions plus you now get high-resolution 2D maps showing hazards and distances on more than 40,000 golf courses around the world.

Another thing worth mentioning is the graphics. The hole maps are really clear and, now that you can twist the main dial to scroll, it’s really straightforward to pick out certain points you want to hit to. One of the most interesting features on this is the ‘driving range’ feature. Once you’ve connected the watch to the app, this feature will plot all your drives on a certain hole and color code the positions based on your scores. This then allows you to see what clubs work best on each tee shot, ideal for optimizing strategy

Voice Caddie A2 GPS Watch Review

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)
Superb value for money at just $250

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 40,000+
Battery life: 10 days/Golf Mode (GPS) 10 hours
Screen size: 1.9"
Weight : 50g
Straps: One

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to use
+
Interactive color hole maps
+
Option of slope adjusted distances

Reasons to avoid

-
Course can sometimes take a long to locate

This stylish, modern and waterproof sports watch is noticeably lightweight and the flexible white strap with a significant amount of buckle holes allow for a secure yet comfortable fit. 

Along with the fit, it is extremely easy to use. This is thanks to the A2 using a combination of the colour touch screen and four corner buttons. You can use either, depending on your preference - for example, the right hand buttons double as up and down functions on certain menus, but you can swipe the screen up or down to achieve the same thing. 

Lastly, the touch screen itself is responsive enough and becomes brighter when you lift it up to look at it, a clever feature that no doubt saves on battery life too, with the A2 crammed with features and technology.

Shot Scope V3 GPS Watch and Tracker


(Image credit: Golf monthly)
Provides GPS distances and seamless shot tracking for performance analysis

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 36,000
Battery life: Two plus rounds
Screen size: 3.4cm
Weight: 41g
Straps: Four colors

Reasons to buy

+
Combines GPS distances with performance tracking
+
Compact, streamlined design is very comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-
A small number of shots can go undetected

The V3 is 60 per cent smaller than the old V2 and also has a new daylight-readable color screen to show front, middle and back distances as well as hazard information. 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. In our experience, it took a while to remember to do this but it soon became second nature.

This streamlined, everyday design makes it instantly appealing and the tacky rubber strap is comfortable to wear and stays in position when walking and swinging a club so once it’s on, you really don’t notice you’re wearing it. If you're into your stats and want to see where you need to improve, this is the watch for you.

Best Golf Watches For Simplicity

Bushnell iON Edge GPS Watch, man wearing Bushnell iON Edge watch, yardages displayed on golf watchEditors Choice 2022

Basic graphics but offers a wide array of features, including a moveable pin and hazards

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 38,000
Battery life: 16+ hours
Screen size: 2.7cm
Weight: 32.5g
Straps: Two

Reasons to buy

+
Neutral styling and comfortable to wear
+
Has ability to keep your score

Reasons to avoid

-
Touchscreen could be more responsive

The iON Edge from Bushnell might not blow you away in terms of how it looks, but it does offer simple functionality along with accurate distances. It ticks every box a golfer looks for, like offering hazard information and automatic hole advance - you can even cycle through pin positions on the green for greater accuracy.

It takes time and patience to work out exactly where all the features are - mostly through trial and error - but if you play a lot of golf, it should only be into your second or third round when you feel you're really using the iON Edge to its full potential. The graphics are basic but easy to read in different light conditions. If you prioritize simplicity over bells and whistles, it's the perfect option.

Garmin Approach S12 GPS watch

The Garmin Approach S12 provides simple, at-a-glance distances in a sleek package

(Image credit: Tom Miles)
Easy to use for golfers that want a faff-free experience

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 42,000
Battery life: 30 hours
Screen size: 2.3cm
Weight: 34g
Straps: Three

Reasons to buy

+
Very easy to use right from the get-go
+
Big-Numbers mode a great feature

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited off course functionality

While not as stylish as the more feature-packed S42, the S12 comes in at a slightly lower price point that represents excellent value. With more than 40,000 preloaded courses, finding your desired venue is extremely quick and easy. From there, we found the usability of this watch to be brilliant. Off the tee it provides loads of information on things like distances to bunkers, water hazards and ideal lay-up yardages, while you can also move the flag around to get a more exact number.

Another performance aspect we really liked was the measure-shot feature that does as you’d expect – it tracks how far you’ve struck a given shot. It’s also really easy to input scores and a few stats at the end of each hole, giving golfers an idea of what they’ve done well and perhaps not so well after the round. Finally, Big-Numbers mode, coupled with the sunlight-readable dial, is great for those whose eyesight maybe isn’t what it once was. All in all, this is an impressive and affordable product from Garmin.

Additionally we recently compared the S12 up against the iON Edge above as both are excellent models at cheap price points in the golf watch category. 

golfbuddy aim w11 watch, golfbuddy golf watch, golf gps watch, course map on watch


For golfers seeking functionality on a tight budget

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 40,000
Battery life: 13 hours
Screen size: 3.3cm
Weight: 50g
Straps: Two

Reasons to buy

+
Packed with shot-saving features
+
Looks at home off the course

Reasons to avoid

-
Touchscreen can lag slightly

The Aim W11 has been improved in a number of ways from the popular W10 model. The first noticeable difference versus the W10 is the new ceramic bezel that adorns the outside of the aim W11. This is an excellent aesthetic improvement and creates an altogether more premium look that is much less distracting on the eye than the previous bezel.

The accuracy of the Aim W11 is excellent. Preloaded with 40,000 courses, the Aim W11 will pinpoint your position and give super-accurate yardages. In terms of innovation, features include a full-color 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. Additionally if you are a fan of GolfBuddy gear, check out our guide on the best Golfbuddy rangerfinders too.

samsung galaxy watch


(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Crystal clear screen and tracks your fitness activities

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 40,000
Battery life: 60 hours
Screen size: 3.45cm
Weight: 30g
Straps: Three

Reasons to buy

+
Thin and neat strap design
+
Choice of two types of hole map graphics

Reasons to avoid

-
Complicated to get fully set up

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, which is still small compared to others in this guide but one of the clearest.

It comes pre-loaded with the Smart Caddie app pre-installed and with a lifetime premium subscription worth £76 and while the set up process is laborious, what it unlocks is worth the time invested. You can see if you’re within range of the green with Dual Arc and read the putting surfaces with the Green Undulation feature, although only a small number of courses worldwide have this function available.

Much of the navigation and functionality on this watch is unique to the market, which makes it an appealing prospect to the gadget lover. It also doubles as a versatile fitness watch and you can get incoming emails too.

TecTecTec ULT-G GPS Watch Review

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
For golfers who want a very user-friendly model with simplicity at its core

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 38,000
Battery life: 2 1/2 rounds
Screen size: N/A
Weight: 159 grams
Straps: One

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to set up
+
User friendly on course
+
High level of accuracy

Reasons to avoid

-
No touch screen functionality
-
Limited number of features

We recently got our hands on the ULT-G from TecTecTec and we were pleasantly surprised with the performance on offer, just like we were with the KLYR rangefinder from the same brand. 

The watch looks sharp and felt far more solid than its design might suggest. The band was also quite nice, making the watch comfortable to wear, and once our tester had the device set up, its display was easy to read. It was easy to pair with a phone and the app, but it is also worth noting that you don’t have to use the app to use the ULT-G on the golf course, and the device offers 38,000 preloaded courses with no subscription or update fees.

In addition to front, back, and center yardages (meters are also available, as well as five language options), the ULT-G provided distances to hazards and importantly the accuracy was good here. What limits the watch is the variety of features available, but to be honest this is not something to be that annoyed about given the watch can be found for less than $100 with certain retailers. As such if you are a golfer who wants a user-friendly design that is simply focused on golf and doesn't break the bank, this could be the watch for you. (As such it is one of the best value golf watches on the market!)

Best Golf Watches For Versatility

Garmin Marq golfer GPS watch on wrist

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
For the stylish golfer that wants something elegant to wear off the course

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 41,000
Battery life: 28 hours
Screen size: 3.4cm
Weight: 88g
Straps: 12 (price varies)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent graphics and display
+
Styling ideal for off-course wear

Reasons to avoid

-
A touch bulky on your wrist

One of the best Garmin golf watches in the current range, this MARQ is built with premium materials, including a 46-millimeter titanium case and ceramic bezel with custom etched 1-18 golf hole markings. It provides front, middle and back distance on over 41,000 preloaded golf courses and allows for seamless game-tracking.

Golf-specific features include the PlaysLike Distance that takes into account changes in elevation, a Hazard View that allows golfers to quickly scroll through each hazard on the upcoming shot with critical distance information and a Virtual Caddie to analyse factors like wind speed and even club selection.

This watch looks really smart and you can even pair it with Garmin's CT tracking sensors and see you performance stats right there on the watch screen. Design wise, it's probably a watch you'd wear as much off the course as you would on it but it arguably offers the most features of any golf GPS watch, similar to the Approach S62 which has more of a sporty, lightweight design.

GolfBuddy AIM W10 watch, golfbuddy golf watch, golf gps watch,


Arguably offers the best value for money now

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 40,000
Battery life: 10 hours
Screen size: 3.3cm
Weight: 55g
Straps: Two

Reasons to buy

+
Can keep score and can compensate for slope
+
Hole maps feature useful lay-up arcs

Reasons to avoid

-
Fiddly to charge. No touch targeting on hole maps

The Aim W10 has to be one of the better value options showcased in this list because of the array of features available for the price. We liked the clear yardages during our testing and with only one button, the trial and error process of learning how to navigate the various features, like the scorecard function and access to hazard information, soon becomes second nature after swiping in different directions.

It is lightweight but a little bulky, although it still doesn't interfere with the swing. The color hole maps are basic, but provide a clear enough graphical view of what lies ahead, and the lay up arcs help you plot the best route. We liked how you can manually move the pin position for greater accuracy and it does have slope compensation capabilities, but not on any courses near us so we weren't able to test that.

The charger didn't fit very well either - it had to be positioned in a very specific way - which was frustrating, but something we learned with time and from a full charge, we easily got two rounds out of it in full golf GPS mode with life to spare.

best garmin approach s42 watch deals


(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Offers an appealing blend of simplicity and features in a sleek package

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 42,000
Battery life: 15 hours
Screen size: 3cm
Weight: 43g
Straps: Three

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish watch that can be worn on and off the course
+
A host of features like strokes gained stats and fitness tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes a few rounds to get the hang of all its uses

There is so much to like about this watch. First of all, it’s a great size and feels very well made from the moment you put it on your wrist. We also really liked the analogue display that makes it suitable for wearing in social settings, too.

Moving onto the course and this is where the touchscreen comes into its own. One click of the button on the side sparks the S42 into ‘golf mode’ and from there, it’s easy to scroll through the host of features. As always, front, middle and back yardages are available but if you know the pin locations, you can click on the display to move the flag and get an exact yardage.

Other great golf-related features include things like the AutoShot round analyser that tracks and records shot distances, as well as yardages to bunkers, hazards and ideal lay-up zones. But it doesn’t stop there. Once off the course, golfers who have paired their watch to the Garmin app will be able to look through their strokes gained stats, which will highlight areas of their game that could be improved.

One final thing well worth a mention is the fitness aspect. Included in the S42’s repertoire is the ability to show you steps taken, distance covered, calories burned and how well you’ve slept. If you’re willing to invest a little bit of time and money, this is a superb product.

How we test golf watches

At Golf Monthly we have a comprehensive testing procedure around golf watches (opens in new tab). This involves using different models out on the course, over a number of rounds and importantly in different conditions too because this gives us an idea on how particular models deal with sunlight, rain and wind. 

As the entire team are regular golfers, watches usually get a thorough testing and often get compared to one another side by side to test for things like accuracy, waterproofing, durability and other features. That way we can give honest and insightful feedback to you, the reader. We also look to try out watches off the golf course too if they have been designed as such, because this gives us an idea on versatility. 

The final thing we wanted to mention in this section is no manufacturer can buy a good review. Our testing team reviews golf equipment and makes its own opinion on how good or bad the product is. 

How To Choose The Right Golf GPS Watch

Features - If you have decided you want a GPS watch, now you need to think about what features are important to you. If you’re looking for your standard front, middle and back GPS yardages then a budget watch will do the trick, however there are some incredible watches out there that offer much more.

Alternatively, there are watches which can go into much greater detail when providing yardages, course detail, hazard information and so on. Obviously there are models with larger screens too which can be a particularly useful feature. Some also can help you record your score, track your shots, and many also have fitness features for off the golf course as well.

Versatility - Speaking of off the golf course, many brands make models that can be used on and off the golf course because of the range of features, and overall styling. If that is important to you, then several models above will cater to this need.

Your routine - When looking at buying a golf watch it is important to think about what you do during your routine on the golf course. Are you a fast player who just needs a quick glance at numbers on a screen, or are you more of a deliberate player that wants as much detail as possible before committing to a shot? There are models that fit into different routines and styles so be aware of how you play the game. Ultimately a glance at a watch is much quicker than taking a device out of its case or dragging pointers on the screen, so weigh up if extra detail or less disruption is most important to you.

Golf course - Next it is worth considering what type of golf course you play on regularly. We have found that courses with lots of doglegs and blind tee shots require the in-depth GPS information of a watch, whereas courses that are more out in front of you are perhaps more suited to the simplicity of a laser. Additionally if you play at other clubs in matches or socially, then you may want the extra information a GPS offers over a laser. Additionally be aware of how many golf courses are preloaded onto different watches as well. 

Battery power - Laser rangefinders run on powerful batteries that are easily replaced every six months to a year, while GPS devices normally need charging regularly via a USB, so consider if you have the discipline to keep it topped up ready for your next round.

Budget - Finally we should mention budget. If you want a simple model then there are budget-friendly options. However if you want to spend more you can with Garmin and TAG Heuer in particular offering ultra-premium models.

FAQs

Should I use a GPS watch or a laser rangefinder?

First, think about whether you would get the most out of a GPS watch. If simplicity and convenience are important to you then a watch will deliver this, whereas some players may prefer the pinpoint flag accuracy of laser rangefinders. In the case of larger handheld GPS units, the chief benefit is the larger screen which gives a lot more detail and the touch screen functionality will be familiar to most users of modern phones.

Which is the best golf watch to buy?

This is dependent on what you are looking for. If you value color hole maps, then the SkyCaddie LX5 impresses in this area. The Shot Scope V3 offers shot tracking as well as GPS information while both Bushnell and Garmin provide options that offer simplicity, although Garmin do also have some featured-packed models too.

Is a Garmin golf watch worth it?

Yes - Garmin is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to golf watches and it has multiple models and varying price points to suit the level of features you are after, starting from the entry level Approach S12 to the feature-packed Approach S62 and the elegant, premium MARQ Golfer.

Is a Fitbit good for golfers?

Whilst Fitbit's aren't specifically designed for golfers in that they do not offer any specific GPS functionality out on the course, the device can still be used when playing golf with more of an eye on the fitness benefits. For example on Fitbit's you can mark your activity as golf and then you can track your steps during the round. 

That being said you can download apps to your Fitbit device which offer GPS functionality as well but we have not been able to test these for accuracy yet. 

We hope you enjoyed this guide on the best golf watches and for more gear content, like the best golf simulator or best golf GPS apps, check out the Golf Monthly website.

We also recommend checking out our guides on the best golf GPS devices, best golf rangefinders, best golf launch monitors, and the best smart phone for golfers should you be looking to expand your arsenal of golf gadgets.