What Is The Best Smart Watch For Golfers?

Thinking about getting a smart watch for golf? There's a wide range of options to choose from...

What Is The Best Smart Watch For Golfers?
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

What Is The Best Smart Watch For Golfers?

Smart watches are becoming one of the top GPS tools you can use and as a result they are becoming more and more popular in today's world, with the devices offering up plenty of great features on your wrist. You'll be able to see notifications, track your health, make phone calls and much more. Lots of active people also use them for exercise and playing music when out and about to save taking their smartphones with them.

On top of all those features, many will also help your golf game. Whilst there are some excellent golf specific watches out there, it can be argued the best golf watches also double as a smart watch and vice-versa. Thankfully there really are lots of options to choose from right now. Here we list some things to consider when purchasing your new smart watch. Also if you would prefer a laser, check out our guide on the best golf rangefinders too or watch the video below where we dissect the key differences between GPS, watches, and lasers. 

What Is The Best Smart Watch For Golfers?

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. As such, it is worth considering how many features, and which ones, you want your watch to have.

garmin approach s62 watch

The S62 is one of the best models on the market when it comes to features

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

If it is a beautiful screen that you're after, the SkyCaddie LX5 may be your preferred option, as it has the largest color touchscreen of any golf GPS watch (3.5cm). Whereas if you're looking for something slightly different, the Samsung Galaxy Active2 watch features technology from GolfBuddy and will work very well for Samsung and Android phone users. 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. The Garmin Approach S62 (opens in new tab) is also an excellent model for features

Versatility

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. Garmin's designs usually have the functionality to work anywhere and look the part in any situation really, as do the models from Samsung, SkyCaddie and Tag Heuer. 

samsung galaxy active 2 watch

The Samsung Galaxy is a model for gadget loves

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Apple or Android?

If you're an iPhone user then an Apple watch could be the one to go for. You might not think of an Apple watch as an out-and-out golf GPS device, but many of the best golf GPS apps can be downloaded to use on your wrist.

The Apple watches look seriously cool and offer some wonderful technologies iPhone users will be used to. You can make phone calls from them, watch videos, play music, pay for things, send messages and much more. They also come with customizable straps to ensure that the watch looks and feels just how you want it to.

If you're an Android user then a regular Android smart watch will also serve you well as the aforementioned GPS apps are compatible on both Android and iOS. Whether it's Samsung, Huawei or your favorite lifestyle watch brand, all smart watches will have certain apps and capabilities to help you play better. Just make sure you know what you're looking - whether it's a beautiful display, a great battery life or a multitude of features to help you off the course too.

Budget

If you're looking for something at the cheaper end of the scale you will find it, as there are plenty of great devices on the market at some very reasonable prices. If you're just looking for a smart watch to offer up GPS yardages on the course and tell the time off of it, you won't need to spend much more than $150. We think models like the Garmin Approach S12, Bushnell iON Edge and Shot Scope V3 watches are all excellent examples of this.

cheap v expensive golf GPS watch

(Image credit: Future)

If you've got more money to play with, a Fenix watch from Garmin or the ultra-premium MARQ will have you covered with a huge amount of features - they each lay claim to being near the top of the list when asking what is the best smart watch for golfers. Additionally the Tag Heuer Connected Golf Edition watch looks and performs great on and off the course, and you'll certainly be the envy of your four-ball. Importantly there is a watch seemingly at every price point so be aware of how much you are willing, or able, to spend here and pick a model accordingly. Also we actually did a cheap vs expensive watch test so watch that if you want more of an idea on the performance differences based on price point.