Garmin Approach G30 GPS

Read our Garmin Approach G30 GPS review to see our thoughts on this pocket-sized device

Golf Monthly Verdict

We think this compact unit will best suit those who want all the features of the leading GPS devices in a practical pocket sized unit.

Reasons to buy
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    From its simple front, middle and back screen to its colour hole maps, this versatile unit can be left in your pocket or clipped to your bag, which ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of golfers.

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Reasons to avoid
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    The small touchscreen made clicking some options a little fiddly, while the £269.99 retail price makes it more expensive than a lot of its rivals.

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Read our Garmin Approach G30 GPS review to see what we thought of this pocket-sized golf GPS device

Garmin Approach G30 GPS Review

Key Technology

This compact GPS can be worn on your belt, clipped to your bag or left in your pocket. It boasts a 2.3 inch colour touchscreen with colour hole mapping and a Big Numbers Mode that displays yardages clearly. A moveable pointer also aids strategy decisions, while Green View reveals the shape of the green and lets you manually position pins to get laser rangefinder like yardages.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS Review

In terms of shelf appeal there's nothing to fault here. It has a simple power button and boasts the modern curves we're used to with today's phones and tablets. As you'd expect it is lightweight, while it also has a rubber bezel to protect its edges if it is ever dropped.

For such a small unit, this provided us with all the information we needed, all accessed via a responsive touchscreen. The colour hole map (below middle) is the default screen, displaying the key stats along with red, white and blue arcs for 100, 150 and 200 yards to the green. Tapping on this screen also allowed us to work out the distance to a preferred lay-up position.

The screen we used most during testing is probably the large front, middle and back yardage screen (below right), which was easy to use at a quick glance. From here you can touch the green icon in the bottom right corner to bring up an enlarged view of the green where you can move the flag around, but this proved quite fiddly on such a small screen.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS Review

The Garmin Approach G30 has a brilliant colour screen

We also liked being able to see our group's score on one screen (above left), while pop up phone notifications are a discreet, if not now common, helpful addition. The Garmin Approach G30 can also track putts and fairways hit or missed, which are summarised at the end of your round and can be synched to the Garmin Connect app via Bluetooth.

While it is clearly on the smaller side when compared to other popular GPS units, the G30's chunky bag/belt clip was really solid so we weren't worried about losing it. Its only downfall would be when paired with players with waning eyesight or large fingers, who might struggle with the touchscreen functionality.

Overall this GPS device looks good, offers great functionality and thanks to its compact size has a real USP versus rival GPS units. At £269.99 however, it does cost more than many popular GPS watches, so unless the colour hole views are important to you, you may want to shop around.

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Jake O'Reilly specilaises in equipment coverage, and joined the Golf Monthly team in 2013. Before this he graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a Sports Journalism and Media degree, and worked at a number of British golf magazines. Follow Jake on Twitter @jake0reilly