Best Golf Watches 2024

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)

Golf watches have been such a game changer for golfers as GPS technology has really transformed the on course experience. Gone are the days of looking for the yellow 150 yard marker and trying to estimate what club to hit. Now you have an accurate distance number  just by glancing at your wrist, while golf watches offer all sorts of other useful features too.  

When it comes to golf watches, users are truly spoilt for choice nowadays. Not only do the likes of tech giants, Garmin, produce an array of different models, but a number of other manufacturers create golf watches that cater to all golfing needs. Whether you're the most tech-savvy golfer who wants all the bells and whistles, or if you have simpler needs and just want a model that does the basics correctly, we've got you covered in this guide.

As mentioned, the market is swamped with excellent performing models and, in this guide, we have sought the best and the category they fall into. For those who are unsure what the difference is between golf watches and the best rangefinders and GPS', a golf watch can perform on the course as well as off it, providing plenty of features that aren't just golf related.

Joel Tadman
Joel Tadman

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 15 years and as the Technical Editor oversees all equipment testing. One of his areas of expertise is distance measuring devices and specifically GPS watches. As such, he knows what makes the perfect golf watch - performance, features, versatility, battery life, looks and value for money. Joel has personally used most of the watches in this guide. 

The Quick List

Best Golf Watches 2024

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Top pick

Garmin Approach S70 Golf Watch worn on the golf course

Garmin Approach S70 Golf Watch worn on the golf course

(Image credit: Future)
A user-friendly GPS golf watch that comes with a stunning display

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 43,000
Battery: 20 hours in GPS mode
Screen size: 1.4"
Weight: 56g
Straps: One

Reasons to buy

+
Packed full of technology and features
+
Can track shots and make suggestions
+
Improved looks and interface
+
Extended battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Abundance of tech and features could overwhelm some
-
USB-C charging cable might not cater for all
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?

YES IF:

You want a functional smart watch: The Approach S70 has more features than most people will know what to do with. It's rammed with functionality. 

You want a smart watch that oozes style: The sleek design and wide face on the Approach S70 mean it oozes class and style. 

You want versatility from your watch: Doubles as an everyday smartwatch. Send emails, messages, check the weather and use the Approach S70 to track your fitness and wellbeing

NO IF: 

❌ You want something a little more simple: While the Approach S70 is a great watch for gadget lovers, some may find its features overwhelming and many of its functions will not be required.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The new Garmin Approach S70 watch replaced the fantastic Approach S62 as the latest addition to the brand’s range of watches. It took everything good about the S62 and made it even better. You only need to take a look at some of the best Garmin smart watches on the market to see that they are some of the most stylish and innovative products money can buy. The Approach S70 is the current flagship model and is a big favorite among gadget-loving golfers, as well as those looking for a stylish and comprehensive golf GPS watch. From our testing sessions, we can also vouch that, while it does come packed with tools and applications, it is one of the most user-friendly products to date. 

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What you need to know: The Approach S70 was launched to upgrade the highly popular S62 and embodies Garmin’s commitment to producing high-quality smart watches that can deliver data that you can use to improve your game. It comes with a bigger screen, brighter display and a longer battery life than the S62 long with improved graphics. Its extensive feature list is the highlight and as such it is out top pick. 

Design: The S70 is one of the nicest looking smart watches we’ve tested, with the watch coming with a sleek ceramic bezel, similar to that of its predecessor the S62. This versatile watch has the capability to help you track your fitness and shots around the course and we think it looks great when worn in social or work settings too. It’s also very lightweight and the large ‘superbright’ AMOLED touchscreen display features bright, eye-catching colors that make it easy to read and use.

Features: Preloaded with more than 43,000 courses, the S70 packs a lot in for its price. It might seem expensive but you do get a lot for your money. When you get to the course the watch automatically downloads up-to-date maps for the track you’re playing and will display them on its colorful face. When you get your round underway it will flick between holes automatically and deliver fast and accurate distances to bunkers, trees, hazards and, of course, the hole. It will also provide players with accurate weather updates and when paired with the smartphone app can even give you 'plays like' distances that factor in the wind and elevation.

The S70 will keep track of your score and work as your personal caddie, offering up club recommendations based on your swing data. It’s also worth noting that the watch won’t just help you on the golf course, it's a fully functioning smartwatch that allows you to monitor emails, messages and keep track of your health and well-being, meaning it is unquestionably one of the most versatile golf watches in the game. 

Performance: While some may feel the vast array of features on this watch are overwhelming, Garmin have built the S70 with usability in mind. It has a lot of features but it's relatively straightforward to use. One thing that really impressed us in testing was that the watch will hold a charge for up to 16 days in smartwatch mode. In GPS mode it’ll run for 20 hours so you'll get several full rounds of it before needing to charge again (charging is done via a USB-C cable), making it ideal for holiday golf. It’s also water resistant, meaning if you do get caught in a downpour (which you shouldn’t considering the watches’ weather applications!), you’ll be safe in the knowledge the watch will be fine. The somewhat hefty price point is to be expected considering this is one of the best Garmin golf watches on the market.

Best accompanying app

Bushnell Ion Elite Golf GPS Watch being worn on the golf course

Bushnell Ion Elite Golf GPS Watch being worn on the golf course

(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
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?

YES IF: 

You want a smart watch with a big screen: If you are a player who struggles to see smaller graphics, this is a fantastic option as it has a large, clear screen.

You want a smart watch with plenty of features: This watch boasts a plethora of features so is perfect for the gadget loving golfer. 

You want a watch that is easy to use: Seamless to use and offering great visuals, the Bushnell Ion Elite is ideal for golfers who don't want to be baffled by tech. 

NO IF: 

❌ You want something that is compact: This watch comes up a little chunky on your wrist.

❌ You want a watch that is easy to charge: The connection on the charging system of this watch is a bit flimsy so you need to be careful when charging it.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Bushnell are known for producing some of the best golf technology and this model lives up to the brand’s reputation. We think many players will enjoy wearing this versatile golf watch on the golf course. It delivers plenty of functionality as well as style while offering plenty of value for money. We really liked the stainless steel bezel on the watch and feel it looked great on our wrist. It’s an upgrade on 2021’s ION Edge that was functional, yet basic. It seems the brand has taken things to the next level here as they look to cater to gadget-loving golfers out there. 

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What you need to know: This watch is a significant upgrade on the Bushnell ION Edge. We loved the visuals on this watch and feel this will be a real winner among those looking for a feature-packed wearable they can use on and off the course. It is primarily a GPS Golf watch and comes with the many of the same features you’ll find on other top models on this list, but it does lack some versatility in terms of the fitness and lifestyle features it delivers. Nevertheless, it does what it sets out to achieve and offers plenty functionality and style to help golfers enjoy their time on the course and hopefully help them shoot lower scores. The accompanying app also differentiates it from the competition thanks to functionality and performance.

Design: The Ion Elite comes with a much brighter and premium look than its predecessor thanks to the metallic bezel and vibrant touch screen. It should compliment any outfit well and we especially loved the white strap that it came with as it was tacky and comfortable, which ensured it held the watch in position nicely. It’s also water-resistant to an IP67 rating, which is one of the highest levels of protection offered by an IP rating. Definitely something to consider if you regularly find yourself playing in wet conditions. 

Features: It is not as versatile as the Garmin Approach S70 mentioned above, but this is an out-and-out golf watch that packs in a ton of features that all golfers will enjoy. When you arrive on the course it will quickly locate where you are and deliver accurate maps to the front, middle and back of the green. Then there are icons in the four corners that you press to access other display modes and functions - such as hazards/lay ups, hole-maps, green view and scoring. In testing we found the hole-maps especially useful as they delivered an excellent view over the course which will help you plan your strategy. The scoring screen is intuitive too, as not only does it log what you scored on each hole but it will also help you keep note of the fairways you hit and missed. The slope functionality delivers yardages that are compensated for the terrain in front of you and was a real highlight for us.

Performance: We struggled to find faults in the performance of this watch. It can be a little laggy at times when loading different applications and features, but on the whole we would say it was fast and delivered accurate distances throughout our round. The visual display the watch delivered was excellent and it also comes with 12+ hours of battery life, allowing you to squeeze in around two rounds of golf from just one charge. Whats more, if you pair it up with the Bushnell Golf app then you’ll be able to see all of your swing stats, data and scores laid out in an easy-to-navigate display. Not to mention access to hole flyovers and more in-depth performance analysis capabilities, which undoubtedly adds value.

Best for green reading

Voice Caddie T9 Golf GPS Watch Review

Golf Monthly testing the Voice Caddie T9 Golf GPS Watch on the course

(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
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?

YES IF:

You want a responsive touchscreen: Having a responsive screen is a real bonus when things like water and sweat come into play on the golf course.

You want a watch that factors in slope gradients: Factoring in slope when providing distances is not something that too many watches can do, but this one can! 

You want a stylish watch: This modern and lightweight option will catch the eye of many golfers due to its sleek and classy styling.

NO IF:

❌ You want automatic shot tracking: The watch does offer some autonomous shot tracking but it does require some input on the course which can be distracting and difficult to always remember. 

❌ You want a watch with a big screen: The screen is excellent but its size is a touch smaller than many other options.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The Voice Caddie T9 smart golf watch offers plenty of functionality that many golfers will enjoy. Golfers of all abilities will be able to benefit from heat-mapped greens, hole-by-hole fly overs, analytics and usability that all come in a sleek and modern-looking package. It even comes with plenty of off-course versatility that does increase its value.  

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