Watch v GPS v Laser - Which Is Best For You?

With a wealth of measurement devices on the market, we ask which type you should be using in your golf.

Watch v GPS v Laser

With a wealth of measurement devices on the market, we ask which type you should be using in your golf.

Watch v GPS v Laser - Which Is Best For You?

The development of technology in golf has taken leaps and bounds in the past few years especially in terms of devices that measure yardages and layouts of golf courses and golf holes. With the incredible breadth and depth of equipment on offer today, there is simply no excuse for getting the wrong yardage anymore.

Three such types of measuring device are GPS, watch and laser rangefinders, each of which have clear and distinct benefits. The question is, which one should you use?

In the video below Neil Tappin and Joel Tadman break down watches, handheld GPS devices and lasers to talk about the plus and minus points of each to hopefully help you make a smarter buying decision!

WATCH: Watch v GPS v Laser - Which Is Best For You?



Simplicity and convenience are the key here. If you are the type of player who would rather have a quick glance at their wrist to know the yardage rather than using a larger GPS or laser, then a watch could be the way to go.

GPS watches nowadays are a lot more compact, slim-lined and light making them ideal because they do not hamper the swing or distract in any way.

Additionally with a GPS watch you need to think about the level of functionality you want. If you simply want front, middle and back yardages there are lots of inexpensive options. But if you want next-level features then there are plenty of ultra-premium options too - models that give detailed hole maps, track shots

That being said there will be many people who don't want to play golf with a watch on so these people should look below for other options.

Related: Best Golf GPS Watches Buying Guide


The chief bonus here is the large screen which gives a lot more detail and the touch screen functionality will be familiar to most users because of modern phones. You get clear hazard information and overhead maps of the hole too which could guide your strategy and save you shots.

Another possible avenue to go down is an electric trolley with GPS built in, for those golfers trying to kill two birds with one stone.

Related: Best Golf GPS Devices Buying Guide


Best Laser Rangefinders 2020

Laser rangefinders give golfers pinpoint flag accuracy and that’s one of the reasons many golfers favour them over more simplistic GPS watches and other smaller units.

They also usually run on batteries and so can be left in your bag between games for a much more hassle-free user experience than GPS units, which need regular charging.

It should be noted that some rangefinders do take more time to get used to than others, so that is something to be wary of, but this usually doesn't take too long and overall rangefinders are a great time-saving option.

Related: Best Golf Laser Rangefinders Buying Guide

So which should you use?

Well all of the devices have benefits and the question of which type you should use boils down to what you want from your measuring device.

What will I need to consider?

  • Your routine: A glance at a watch is 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: Laser rangefinders run on powerful batteries that are easily replaced every six months to a year, while GPS devices normally need charging via a USB, so consider which would be easiest for you on a week-to-week basis.


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