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The BEST Golf GPS Watches of 2020 | The Best Golf Watch Reviews

Best Golf GPS Watches of 2020

If you’re looking for a golf accessory that will immediately shave strokes off of your game, it’s time to take advantage of modern technology by purchasing one of the best golf GPS watches of 2019.  Having accurate yardage to various sections of the green, hazards, and layup areas is incredibly valuable and can definitely shave a few strokes off of your game.  For all intents and purposes, a golf GPS watch is essentially a caddie that is strapped to your wrist who has walked the course a thousand times. Adding a gps watch to your game is one the greatest things you can do to make better decisions on the course.

Our aim is to help readers pinpoint the perfect golf GPS watch that will navigate the challenges of just about any golf course in the world.  Although most golf GPS watches have similar standard features, not all golf GPS watches are created equal.  Many offer unique features tailored to a particular type of player or a golfer’s lifestyle, while others have fewer features but are more affordable.

Whether you’re looking for a golf GPS watch that will accurately measure the distance from tee to green at all of your local courses, or you’re interested in a golf GPS watch that features a digital scorecard, course odometer, and other “bells and whistles,”  our reviews are constructed to provide you with analysis explaining what the market has to offer and the pros and cons of each golf GPS watch.  With that said, here are our recommendations and reviews of the top golf gps watches available today:

The Best Golf Watches of 2020 are:

    1. Garmin Approach S60 (NEW – best overall golf watch)
    2. Multisport Garmin Fenix 5 (best multisport golf GPS watch)
    3. Garmin Approach S40 (best affordable color touchscreen golf watch)
    4. Bushnell Excel Black (best golf watch for the money)
    5. New Garmin Approach X40 (best lightweight golf watch for an active lifestyle)
    6. Garmin Approach X10 (best entry-level golf watch)
    7. Garmin Approach S20 (best golf watch for battery life)
    8. TomTom Golfer 2 (best for post-round analysis)

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After testing and analyzing a number of the best golf GPS watches on the market, we have narrowed the field down to our favorites.

The best golf GPS watches of 2020 perform a myriad of on-course functions ranging from accurately measuring dogleg distances to gauging the number of steps the wearer has walked while playing the course.  It is important to remember that no two players are exactly alike in terms of golf skill, on-course needs, or personal preferences. In the end, your buying decision may differ from another player in your foursome, your golf instructor, or your long-time playing partner.

Regardless of your motivation for incorporating a golf GPS watch into your game, you will certainly benefit from learning as much as you can about the best devices on the market. Educated golfers who are in-the-know (and willing to implement high-tech accessories like golf GPS watches) stand a much better chance of maximizing their true golfing potential. Let’s take a look at the details of each individual golf GPS watch so that you can match the perfect accessory to your particular needs and desires.

Not all golf watches can make our top list, but they are worthy of a review. Below are some other great golf watches that we’ve reviewed:


Garmin Approach S60 Golf GPS Watch

Image of the Garmin s60 golf gps watch. The best golf watch on the market.| twogolfguys.com best gps golf watch

Garmin Approach S60 Golf Watch Review

There’s a new kid on the block.  Garmin has finally released the Garmin Approach S60 golf watch and it does not disappoint.  This golf watch is jammed to the brim with impressive technology and is leaps better than the already impressive Garmin Approach S6.  Garmin has definitely taken the golf watch to the next level and offers you its patented accuracy with new multi-sport functionality.  Without sacrificing the quality of any features that make Garmin golf watches the best, they’ve added a ton more.  The features of the Garmin s60 are unmatched by competitors and Garmin has proved (once again) that they reign supreme in the world of golf watches.  As long as you don’t mind the price tag, this watch will provide you with everything you need on and off of the golf course.   Without a doubt, this is the best golf GPS watch of 2020.

The Garmin S60 provides yardage to all positions on the green and any obstacle on the golf course.  It also features drag and drop technology that gives you the exact yardage and the exact shape of every green – a huge improvement.  The touchscreen of the Garmin s60 is high resolution and presents extremely clear images.   We haven’t found, nor have we heard of, any drawbacks in the technology of this golf watch and, to be honest, we’re a little blown away.  With that said, let’s get into the details:

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

As you’d imagine, the Garmin s60 displays the yardage to all layup positions, hazards, and doglegs on the course.   The clear color touch screen allows you to easily spot hazards.  Garmin introduced this technology with the Garmin S6 and, if anything, has refined the accuracy and clarity.   You can narrow yardages down to exact numbers, leaving no guesswork.  Want to know how many yards it is to the front, middle, and back of the bunker?  No problem.  The same goes for any other hazard and any portion of any fairway or green.  This technology is extremely valuable when playing a golf course for the first time.  We’ve all estimated the yardage to a creek only to come up short and lose a golf ball.  With this golf watch, that’s no longer a problem.

Image of the Garmin S60 golf watch in green view. | twogolfguys.com best golf gps watch

PinPlacement Technology –

Much like the Garmin S6, the Garmin Approach S60 golf watch’s touchscreen allows you to move the flagstick to any location on the green. This gives you exact yardages to any ridge or shelf on any portion of any green.  This is a great improvement that prevents you from placing the ball on the wrong level or portion of the green.  Estimating the yardage to the pin and leaving the ball on the wrong portion of the green can leave you with mini-golf type putts.  As we all know too well, these positions tend to end in the dreaded three-putt all too often.

Another advantage of this technology is that it helps you dial in the exact yardage from blind positions.  If you know the pin positions for the day, you can simply adjust the pin location on the watch (back, middle, or front) and pull a more appropriate club from your bag instead of guessing.

Golf Course Coverage –

Garmin has never cheaped out and charged customers fees for downloading courses to the golf watch or downloading watch updates.   With the Garmin S60, they have continued the trend of providing customers with a golf watch pre-loaded with tons of courses.  Much like the Garmin S6, the Garmin S60 comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 different golf courses across the globe.  You can head to the golf course and use it as soon as it’s charged.   The Garmin S60 auto-recognizes courses as soon as you enter golf mode.  And an improvement between this watch and the Garmin S6 is that it recognizes golf courses even faster.

Watch Face

The Garmin S60 features a fully color 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter display size with 240 x 240 pixels.  This is a fairly significant improvement over the Garmin S6 which boasted 180 x 180 pixel resolution.  The watch weighs 1.8 oz and includes 1 GB of memory.  As we said before, everything displayed on this watch is crystal clear.  The Garmin S6 blew people’s minds and the resolution on this golf watch is even better.  You can be fully confident that you will be able to fully interact with this golf watch without being frustrated by the functionality of the screen.

Image of a black and a white garmin S60 golf gps watch. | twogolfguys.com best golf gps watch

Battery Life

Despite offering more power, more features, and more pixels, the Garmin s60 golf watch does not sacrifice any battery life.  The S60 will last for up to 10 hours in GPS mode and up to 10 days in smart mode before needing a recharge.   This means that you can play two full rounds with this golf watch before recharging.  The battery on this golf watch is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that plugs right into your computer or any usb charging unit.  If you just use the watch as a basic watch, it can last much longer than 10 days, but it really depends on how you use it.

Image of the Garmin brand approach s60 golf watch band | twogolfguys.com top golf gps watch

Changeable Watch Bands

One of the basic, but really cool features of the Garmin Approach S60 is the ability to change the watch bands really easily.   This golf watch is already a very nice looking device that can be worn in any setting, but with the addition of changeable watch bands, you can easily switch between a leather and a silicon watch band.  You can also switch the colors around and generally make the watch appropriate for multiple different occasions.  With this added feature there’s no reason to have a “work watch” and a “play watch.”  This golf watch will fit into (and impress people in) any scenario.

Swing Training & Analysis

Because the Garmin S60 is also compatible with TruSwing technology, it also features swing speed and club path analysis.  This will allow you to figure out your swing speeds with various clubs without the need to go to a trainer or to a golf store where they’ll guilt you into buying something.  The club path feature is also fantastic for analyzing your swing plane.  It will tell you if you’re coming in too steep (causing a slice or pull) or to flat (hook and/or skull).  TruSwing also offers a ton of other analysis of your golf swing.  Buying this watch without TruSwing is still a great deal, but you can’t fully take advantage of the benefits without it.

Scorecard and Stats Feature

This Garmin S60 allows you to keep your score on the watch itself.  This is a great feature that eliminates the need for scorecards.  Because the watch comes with 1GB of memory it will store several rounds of golf before needing to be uploaded to a computer for analysis.  This feature really gives you an accurate picture of your golf game and what your real handicap is.  No more faking your score and guessing your handicap.  This golf watch offers you real analysis that you can compare with your buddies through the Garmin connect phone app.

Bluetooth and Connect IQ

The Garmin S60 is fully Bluetooth compatible and can pair with any Bluetooth capable device.  It will display your text messages, phone calls, ESPN alerts, emails, song selections, and anything else you can connect to via Bluetooth.  The technology is seamless and the interface/usability of the watch’s Bluetooth feature is one of the best improvements from the Garmin S6.   This golf watch will even give you the weather and will countdown how much time you have before it rains.  Kind of ridiculous…

Image of Garmin brand's Approach S60 gps watch in activity mode.

Multi-Activity Tracker

Another one of the great new features (sensing a trend yet?) with the Garmin S60 is its activity tracking technology.  Not only will this golf watch accurately track your heart rate (with the purchase of an accessory), but it will also track activities other than golf.  This golf watch comes preloaded with technology that can accurately track you while skiing, snowboarding, XC Skiing, stand up paddle-boarding, rowing, indoor rowing, swimming, walking, running, riding a bike, as well as other activities.  Garmin basically took some of the best technology from their running and overall activity watches and added it to this golf watch.  When you consider that Garmin charges about $600.00 for their activity watches, the price tag for the Garmin Approach S60 suddenly becomes appealing instead of burdensome.

Other Features

The Garmin S60 is packed with a million other cool features.  Way too many to explain in detail in one review.  As you have likely gathered by now, this golf watch boasts significant improvements over the Garmin S6 (which is still an incredible golf watch).  Below are some (but not all) of the other features of the Garmin Approach S60:

  • Water resistant to 50 meters
  • Auto shot sensor for post-round analysis
  • Calorie burn calculator
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Exercise intensity tracker
  • Auto step goal based on daily activity
  • Customizable home screen (just like your phone or computer)
  • Digital scorecard
  • Handicap scoring

Style

Needless to say, the Garmin Approach S60 is a great looking watch.  In our opinion, this is Garmin’s best-looking golf watch to date.  It has a sporty yet sophisticated look that pairs well with gym shorts, jeans, or a suit.   For the days and nights that you want to dress it up, the watch bands are easily changeable to fit into any atmosphere.

PROS

  • Best features of any golf GPS watch on the market
  • No membership or subscription required.
  • 40,000+ pre-loaded courses
  • Accurate from anywhere on the course
  • Crystal clear screen
  • Super high-resolution color touchscreen
  • Customizable watch bands
  • Customizable home screen
  • Set the Bluetooth and other features to fit your preferences
  • Precise pin locations for accurate yardage
  • Digital Scorecard
  • Garmin Connect Technology
  • Activity tracking for multiple sports
  • Too many other cool features to list

Cons

  • Cost
  • Sometimes the watch picks up practice swings
  • So much technology that it takes a little effort to learn all of the features (but this is also kind of a pro)
  • Glass screen (we haven’t heard any complaints about this cracking, but we would love feedback if yours cracks)

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

Buy this golf watch.  Period.  It’s the best golf watch on the market by far.  The improvements that Garmin has made to this golf watch over its impressive Garmin S6 justify the increased cost.  No other golf watch on the market features this much technology.  And no other golf watch on the market provides golf watch technology as clear and easy to use as the Approach S60.   Quite simply, it is the best golf watch money can buy and you won’t be disappointed.

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Video:  If you’re concerned that this watch may be too complicated for you to use, check out the below helpful video, which explains how to use many of the Garmin S60’s features.   There are also many other videos that you can watch in the series that explain other features of the golf watch:

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Garmin Fenix 5 Golf GPS Watch Review

Image of a Garmin Fenix 5 golf gps watch. Best multisport golf gps watch | twogolfguys.com best golf gps watch

Garmin has done it again.  Just when you think they’ve made the best golf gps watch in the Garmin S60, they come out with the Garmin Fenix 5.  To be clear, the Fenix 5 is more than a golf gps watch.  It’s a multisport watch that is designed to take a beating and keep on ticking.  Garmin not only focused on jamming the Fenix 5 with technology, but they also made several versions in several sizes so that you can tailor the Fenix 5 to your specific style and needs.  While the Garmin S60 rains supreme in the world of the best golf watches, the Garmin Fenix 5 is by far the best multisport watch for golfers.  This is a small, but important distinction.   There’s no real debate that the Fenix 5 is the best multisport golf GPS watch of 2020.

The golf features of the Garmin Fenix 5 are solid.  You don’t have to worry about the watch sacrificing golf features to jam in features for rowers, runners, and swimmers (with the exception of preloaded courses).  The Garmin Fenix 5 provides yardages to the entire green and to all obstacles on the golf course.  It also has pin drop technology that gives you precise yardage for all golf shots.  As you’d expect with a premium sports watch, the Fenix 5 has a high resolution screen.  To top it off, the battery life of this watch is insane.  It easily beats the competition and provides you with hours and hours of use.  Overall, the Fenix 5 is a phenomenal choice for any golfer looking for a durable yet stylish mutlisport watch.  As long as you don’t mind the price tag, this is definitely the one of the best golf watches money can buy. With that said, lets get into the details:

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Golf Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

You’re probably wondering if the Garmin sacrificed some of the best golf watch features when creating the Fenix 5 multisport watch.   For the most part, they didn’t.   The Fenix 5 accurately and clearly displays just about any yardage position that you could ever want on a golf course.   The clear color screen allows you to easily spot positions on the course that may be of interest.  The Garmin S6 and S60 both have this technology and Garmin keeps getting better and better at refining it.   On the Fenix 5, you can literally figure out the yardage to just about every position on the golf course.

  Image of the Garmin Fenix 5 golf watch. Golf watch in golf mode.

PinPlacement Technology –

Just like the Garmin S60, the Fenix 5 golf watch allows you to use the screen to move the flagstick to any portion of the green.  This technology provides you with precise yardages to any level or corner of any green.  This is a great feature for pitching and chipping around the greens.  We all know how frustrating it can be to pitch to the green and end up on the wrong level or portion.  If you’re anything like me, this typically ends in a three-putt.

Pin placement is also great for blind shots.  If you know the pin position of the golf course for the day, you can approximate it on the watch and get a better yardage from a hazard or other location off of the fairway.  Better yardage equals better scores, which is how you have more fun.

Golf Course Coverage –

No golf watch is without its drawbacks.  The best golf watches typically come preloaded with about 40,000 golf courses.  This allows you to charge the device, drive to a golf course and start playing.  Pretty convenient.  With the Garmin Fenix 5, you’re golf round will require a little more planning.  This multisport watch requires you to download the golf course that you’ll be playing via the Garmin Connect mobile application before you can use it for golf-related activity on the golf course.  For those of you that don’t want to think about downloading a golf course before you play it (people like me), we recommend the Garmin S60.

Enhanced GPS

The Garmin Fenix 5 takes GPS to the next level.  Even the best golf watches have simple GPS technology that is great for a golf course but not for challenging environments.  Because the Garmin Fenix 5 is designed for hard mountainous terrain, it comes preloaded with advanced GPS and GLONASS satellite reception.  This means that the watch will track you faster and more accurately than other golf GPS watches.  A great improvement on the Garmin S6 and the Garmin S60.

Image of the Garmin Fenix 5 golf watch. Personalized watch faces. | twogolfguys.com best golf gps watch

Watch Face

The Garmin Fenix 5 comes in three different case-housing sizes, but with one screen size.  The case housing sizes are the materials that make up the watch head (42MM, 47MM, and 51MM).  The actual screen size of the watch is 1.1 inches in diameter.  This is large enough to display all information clearly without being too bulky or flashy.  Its screen also comes in either glass or sapphire crystal depending on the model that you purchase.  The display resolution is 218 x 218 pixels, which is great, but slightly less than the Garmin S60 (240 x 240).  The watch weighs 67 grams if you get a silicone band and includes 64MB of memory (less than the Garmin S60).  As you can tell from the image above, you can also personalize the watch face just like you can on a computer screen.

Image of the Garmin Fenix 5 golf watch. Golf watch with clear screen.

Battery Life

The battery life is where this golf watch really stands out.  The Fenix 5 multisport watch destroys its competition in this category.   The Fenix 5 lasts up to 9 days in smartwatch mode, 20 hours in GPS mode, or 35 hours in its tracking battery saver mode.  In golf speak, this means that you can get five full golf rounds out of this watch without needing to recharge it – even if the golf rounds last nearly five hours each.  This is simply unheard of.  We think that the great battery life spawns from the watch’s multisport design.  This watch was designed for hiking and exploring the outdoors, it is built to last without a charge for safety reasons if a hiker gets lost.  The beautify of that for a golfer is that you can squeeze more golf rounds out of this watch.  Though you may not need it to save your life on the golf course, it can certainly save you strokes on the golf rounds where you didn’t have time to charge your watch beforehand.

Image of Garmin Fenix 5 golf gps watch. Golf watch with metal band. | twogolfguys.com best golf gps watch

Changeable Watch Bands

If you’re a watch person that really values style then you’ll love the Fenix 5.  It has a ton of different watches sizes, colors, and bands.  Because of its classic and sleek watch-head, you can slap a metal, silicon, or leather band on this watch for whatever occasion.  This is a work watch and a play watch.  It can be paired with suit or a pair of running shorts.  If you’re really looking for versatility, get the version of the watch that most fits your needs and purchase a watch band (or two) for those special occasions.  This is a much smarter approach than buying multiple watches for multiple occasions.

Swing Training & Analysis

Because the Garmin Fenix 5 is also compatible with TruSwing technology. If you’re familiar with this technology, it allows you to analyze just about every aspect of your swing.  Simply strap the truswing to your golf club, turn it on, and pair it to your mobile device (or watch).  The device will trace each golf swing from start to finish.  And it will provide you with amazing feedback on your swingpath, clubface angle at impact, swing speed, etc.

Scorecard and Stats Feature

This Garmin Fenix 5 allows you to keep your score on the watch itself.  There is no need for you to have a paper scorecard anymore.  And there is certainly no reason for you to have a scorebook that tracks the aggregate of your scores.  All of this can be done on your Garmin Fenix 5  and you can access the aggregate data through the Garmin Connect mobile application.  You can also break down the important stats about your game (putts per round, driving accuracy, chips, etc.).

Bluetooth and Connect IQ

The Garmin Fenix 5 is fully bluetooth compatible and can pair with any bluetooth capable device.  It will display your text messages, phone calls, ESPN alerts, emails, song selections, and anything else you can connect to via bluetooth.  The technology is amazing and the interface/usability of the watch’s bluetooth feature is a great improvement on the Garmin Approach S6.   It’s particularly useful if you typically receive a lot of text messages or emails while out on the golf course.  Instead of worrying about your phone chiming during a backswing, you can just silence your phone and check your golf watch.

Image of multiple garmin fenix 5 golf watches. best golf watch for multisport functionality. | twogolfguys.com best golf gps watch

Multi-Activity Tracker

By far the best aspect of the Garmin Fenix 5 watch is its multisport functionality.  It offers you an insane number of features for multiple sports.  This golf watch accurately tracks your heart rate and provides you with a ton of data that you can use to analyze your performance.  In addition to simple step counters and tracking running, this watch tracks athletic performance and training.  The watch is actually smart enough to let you know whether you’re training effectively, if you’ve peaked, or if you’re training too hard.  It’s like having a personal trainer on your wrist while you workout or play sports.  This watch tracks too many sports to mention here, but a few include: skiing, snowboarding, XC Skiing, stand up paddleboarding, rowing, indoor rowing, swimming, walking, running, riding a bike, hiking, rock climbing, etc.

Mapping & Navigation

We’re in the business of providing golf reviews so we’re not going to spend too much time on the non-golf related features of the Fenix 5.  However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention the mapping technology that is a part of this watch.   The Garmin Fenix 5 features a ton of mapping and navigation features.  It has full color TOPO U.S. mapping preloaded into the watch.  It also has compass features and a built-in altimeter, which measures elevation.

Other Features

The Garmin Fenix 5 is packed with a million other cool features as well.  Way too many to explain in this review.  As you have likely gathered by now, this watch can do just about anything that you want it to do if you’re into sports.  Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the features of the Garmin Fenix 5:

  • Water resistant to 100 meters (better than any other golf watch)
  • Auto shot sensor for post-round analysis
  • Calorie burn calculator
  • Enhanced mapping
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Exercise intensity tracker
  • Customizable home screen
  • Digital scorecard
  • Handicap scoring
  • Personal Trainer Features
  • Enhanced GPS
  • Altimeter

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

Buy the Fenix 5 multisport watch if you’re really into the outdoors and playing more sports than golf.  It’s the best multisport watch on the market by far.  It offers you so many cool features for so many activities that it’s well worth the money.  Although this watch isn’t as impressive as the Garmin S60 for strictly golf features, it is a close second while giving you a million other features. If you buy this watch we doubt you’ll be disappointed, its one of the best multisport watches on the market.

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Garmin Approach S40 Golf Watch Review

Silver Garmin Approach S40 best golf watch

Garmin has finally come out with a new golf watch with the Garmin Approach S40 and it does not disappoint. Just like the Garmin Approach S60, this golf watch has a ton of technology packed into it. With the Garmin Approach S40, it appears that Garmin made a more affordable version of the Approach S60, which undoubtedly is still the king of the best golf gps watches. The Garmin Approach S40 boasts some amazing features and is no doubt one of the best golf watches on the market.

The Garmin Approach S40 provides yardage to all of the traditional positions on the green (front, middle, back) in addition to any obstacle/hazard on the golf course.  Just like the S60, this golf watch features drag and drop technology that gives you the exact yardage and the exact shape of every green.  It also boasts a color touch screen and high resolution making it extremely user friendly. If you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line golf watch but want to save a little money, this is one of the best golf watches for you. With that said, let’s get into the details:

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

The Garmin S40 will provide you with the front, middle, and back of the green in addition to the yardage to all layup positions, hazards, and doglegs on the golf course. However, unlike the Garmin Approach S60, you cannot use the color touch screen to get yardages to multiple spots on a hazard. For example, if you wanted to know how far it is to a bunker and how far it is to clear it, you can do this on the Garmin Approach S60 but not the S40. The same goes for attempting to find a yardage to a point in the fairway (for a layup position for example). If you really like having every little detail, you should check out the Garmin S60.

Three Garmin S40 golf gps watches.

PinPlacement Technology –

Much like the Garmin Approach S60, the Garmin Approach S40 golf watch’s touch screen allows you to move the flagstick to any location on the green. This gives you exact yardages to any ridge or shelf on any portion of any green. This really comes in handy on those tricky pitch shots from yardages you’re not used to.

Golf Course Coverage –

This golf watch (like all of the best golf watches) comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 different golf courses across the globe. The Garmin Approach S40 automatically recognizes golf courses as soon as you enter golf gps mode.

Watch Face 

The Garmin Approach S40 features a color sunlight-readable 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter display size with 240 x 240 pixels.  This golf watch is lightweight at only 1.5 oz and has a slimmer profile than comparable golf watches. It includes 64MB of memory.

Garmin Approach S40 side profile

Battery Life

The Garmin Approach S40 will last for up to 15 hours in GPS mode and up to 10 days in smart mode before needing a recharge.  This new and improved Garmin golf watch boasts 5 more hours of battery life in gps mode than the more expensive Garmin Approach S60. This means that you can play two full rounds with this golf watch before recharging.  The battery on this golf watch is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that plugs right into your computer or any usb charging unit.

Changeable Watch Bands

Garmin markets the Approach S40 has a versatile watch that you can wear in a number of different social settings. Accordingly, you can easily change the watch bands of this golf watch to dress it up or dress it down.

Garmin Approach S40 Pin placement technology

Become a Better Golfer

This golf watch is compatible with several devices that can help you improve your game. If you’re looking to track swing speeds, swing plane, shot distance, etc. this golf watch will be a great addition to your game. The Approach S40 and accompanying devices are perfect for the range. You can dial in your swing without looking like you’re doing a Roy McAvoy impersonation. Something we all want to avoid.

True Swing

Because the Garmin Approach S40 is also compatible with TruSwing technology, it also features swing speed and club path analysis.  This will allow you to figure out your swing speeds with various clubs without the need to go to a trainer or to a golf store where they’ll guilt you into buying something.  The club path feature is also fantastic for analyzing your swing plane.  It will tell you if you’re coming in too steep (causing a slice or pull) or to flat (hook and/or skull).  TruSwing also offers a ton of other analysis of your golf swing.  Buying this watch without TruSwing is still a great deal, but you can’t fully take advantage of the benefits without it.

Approach CT10

The Garmin CT10 is another great game analysis tool developed by Garmin that is compatible with the Garmin Approach S40. The Garmin CT10 tracks the distance that you hit all of your clubs. The device attaches to the handle of your golf club and tracks every swing you take with that club. This is a great tool for understanding your distances and really dialing in proper club selection. One of the great benefits of this CT10 device is that its battery life can last up to 4 years.

Garmin Approach S40 golf watch score function.

Scorecard and Stats Feature

This Garmin Approach S40 allows you to keep your score on the watch, which can be uploaded to a computer for analysis.  This feature really gives you an accurate picture of your golf game and handicap.  This golf watch offers you real score tracking that you can compare with your buddies through the Garmin Connect phone app.

Bluetooth and Connect IQ

The Garmin Approach S40 is fully bluetooth compatible and can pair with any bluetooth capable device.  It will display your text messages, phone calls, ESPN alerts, emails, song selections, and anything else you can connect to via bluetooth.  This golf watch will even give you the weather and will countdown how much time you have before it rains.

Front of Garmin Approach S40 golf watch scorecard feature.

Multi-Activity Tracker

The Garmin Approach S40 is also packed with great multisport activity tracking technology.  Not only will this golf watch accurately track your heart rate (with the purchase of an accessory), but it will also track activities other than golf.  This golf watch comes preloaded with technology that can accurately track you while swimming, running, cycling, as well as other activities.

 PROS

  • More affordable than the Garmin Approach S60
  • Superior battery life in GPS mode
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • 40,000+ pre-loaded courses
  • Accurate from anywhere on the course
  • Crystal clear screen
  • Super high-resolution color touch screen
  • Customizable watch bands
  • Set the bluetooth and other features to fit your preferences
  • Precise pin locations for accurate yardage
  • Digital Scorecard
  • Garmin Connect Technology
  • Activity tracking for multiple sports

Cons

  • Need a heart rate monitor to pair with the device
  • No swing tempo training like the Garmin Approach S60
  • Cannot get yardage to any point on the course like the Garmin Approach S60
  • Less storage than the Garmin Approach S60
  • Fewer multisport functions than the Garmin Approach S60

Is this the best golf watch for you?

This is easily one of the best golf watches on the market.  If you’re looking for an alternative to the more expensive Garmin Approach S60, this is the perfect option. It has all of the features that you need in a great golf watch and won’t hold you back. Without a doubt, it’ll be a great addition to your game.

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Video:  Feel free to check out the Garmin S40s Golf Watch video below for more information. As a warning, it’s not like traditional Garmin videos. It features some weird music and seems more like a fashion video than a helpful explanatory golf technology video.

For more of our golf watch reviews please check out our best golf watch page.

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Bushnell Excel Black Golf GPS Watch Review

Image of the Bushnell Excel Black golf gps watch. New bushnell golf watch.

The Bushnell Excel Black golf GPS watch is the newest addition to Bushnell’s line.  The Bushnell Excel Black replaced the Bushnell’s NEO-ion golf GPS watch.   Like other Bushnell golf watches, the Bushnell Excel Black is far cheaper than the Garmin products.  The price alone makes it one of the best golf GPS watches on the market.  If you’re looking for a golf watch with new technology that is far cheaper than the Garmin watches, this is the best golf watch for you.

Although the premium Garmin products allow you to drag the pin to the exact location on the green for precise yardages, the Bushnell Excel Black does not.  However, if you’re looking for a simpler golf watch at a fraction of the price, this is still a great option.  The Bushnell Excel Black gives golfers the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green.  It also gives you yardage to hazards and layups distances and boasts a few other great features.  The best feature about this golf watch is its improved battery life.  You can get up to three full golf rounds out of the watch without requiring a recharge.  Let’s get into the details:

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

The Bushnell Excel Black, just like the Bushnell NEO-iON, gives you the yardage to up to four layup positions or hazards on every hole.  This is pretty standard for any golf watch that considers itself “premium.”  The accuracy of this watch is right up there with any other golf gps watch.  This shouldn’t be surprising as this technology is no longer brand new.  The great thing about the best golf watches these days is that almost all of the kinks have been worked out.

Image of three bushnell excel black golf gps watch. Bushnell's newest golf watch.

Golf Course Coverage –

The Bushnell Excel Black comes pre-loaded with over 35,000 golf courses just like the Bushnell NEO-ion.  There is no need to connect to a computer to preload them.  As long as your watch is charged, it will auto-locate the golf course with the GPS function.  The Bushnell Excel Black also has automatic course recognition and a hole advance feature to avoid the need for manual updates every hole.

Watch Face –

The Bushnell Excel Black features a pretty decent sized watch face.  It has a 25mm x 25mm screen, which a good size for user interaction.  The watch face isn’t too large like some other golf GPS watches.  A golf watch face that’s too large can interfere with your golf swing, which entirely defeats the purpose of wearing the device.  Those of you really worried about a golf watch interfering with your golf swing, the watch weighs 1.6 ounces and has dimensions of 13.75mm x 45mm x 54mm.  Although this golf watch has many great features, it is sometimes difficult to view the screen in changing sunlight conditions.  Bushnell seems to have dropped the ball in this area little bit, but the price is still right for what you get out of the watch.

Image of the Bushnell Excel Black golf gps watch. Multifunction golf watch.

Battery Life –

The Bushnell Excel Black lasts for over 14 hours on a single charge.   This is one of the best battery life’s that Bushnell has produced.  Unfortunately, when you actually play a round of golf with this golf watch, the battery life can be a bit unpredictable.   Sometimes you can squeeze three full golf rounds out of it and sometimes you can’t.  It really depends on what other features you’re also using while (bluetooth notifications, etc.).

Full Aerial views –

One of the big improvements of the Bushnell Excel Black is the full color air shots of each hole on the golf course.  This feature allows you to see hazards on the course, hole shapes, and gives you distances.  This a feature common to the premium Garmin golf watch products, but Bushnell is now introducing it.  The only drawback (kind of a big one) is that the golf watch itself doesn’t display golf courses on the watch’s color screen.  You have to access the color golf courses via your mobile telephone that is paired with your golf watch.

Swing Tempo and Swing Speed –

One of the big improvements of the Bushnell Excel Black is the inclusion of a swing tempo and swing speed feature.  Previous Bushnell products left this feature out.  This gives you the ability to practice with this golf watch in addition to playing with it.  Any time your golf technology can help you get better on the practice range and the golf course – it’s a good thing.

Style –

While some golf GPS watches can only really be worn with athletic clothing, the Garmin Excel Black can easily be worn to the office.  It’s a sleek watch and the aesthetics are a big improvement on the Bushnell NEO-iON.  It’s not clunky, it’s not flashy, and can be worn easily with a business suit.

 PROS

  • Affordable
  • Tons of pre-loaded courses
  • No membership or subscription requirement
  • Accurate (even from the rough or out of bounds areas)
  • Easy to read and use
  • Yardage to up to four different hazards
  • Extra Long Battery life
  • Shot distance calculator
  • Waterproof

CONS

  • No color touchscreen showing golf courses
  • Can be hard to read in changing light conditions
  • GPS is rumored to suddenly “lose” track of golfers mid-round on occasion

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

The Bushnell Excel Black offers golfers who don’t want to spend $300 a great option for a golf watch.  While this watch doesn’t have all of the features of the Garmin color touchscreen products, you get what you pay for.  This golf watch can be purchased for under $200 and features great battery life, a ton of preloaded golf courses, and other great features.  Pound for pound this is one of the best golf watches for the money.

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Garmin Approach S6 Golf GPS Watch

Image of three Garmin S6 golf GPS watch faces, the best golf gps watch of 2017

Garmin Approach S6 Golf GPS Watch Review

Garmin’s Approach S6 golf GPS watch is one of their newer models and is a successor of the S5.  This watch is a high-end golf GPS watch with features that changed the golf gps watch market forever.  If you’re in the market for a color touchscreen golf watch and can’t afford the Garmin Approach S60, this is the product for you.  Quite simply, Garmin has mastered the golf GPS watch and has cornered the market on high-end products.  This is definitely one of the best golf GPS watches.

The Garmin S6 provides yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green with high resolution finishes unlike any other golf GPS watch.  This watch features a high-resolution color touchscreen, which allows you to drag the pin to any location on the green.  This feature allows you to dial in your shot down to the yard.  When you’re playing a course with a large green, no more guessing the distance to the “middle-back” portion of the green.

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

Like other high-end golf GPS watches, the Garmin S6 displays yardage to all layup positions and doglegs.  You can easily spot hazards on the touch screen of the watch and measure yardages to any portion of any hazard on a golf course – a feature unmatched by any other golf GPS watch on the market.  Regardless of what handicap you have, these features are going to shave strokes off of your game.  Unlike other golf GPS watches, because you can see the hazards and get detailed yardage on a color screen, you will even save strokes on golf courses that you have never played before.

PinPlacement Technology

This golf GPS watch allows you to move the pin to precise locations on the green on a large touch screen giving you the most precise distances to the pin of any golf GPS watch on the market.  To get this advantage, simply touch and drag the pin to the exact location on the green.  If you find yourself in a position to hit a blind shot to the green, this function also allows you to electronically location the direction of the green.  This eliminates the need to walk all the way up to a point where you can see the pin, only to forget where to aim when you get back to your ball.  For information about this feature, check out the video below:

Image of garmin approach s6 watch screen. Golf gps watch shoes the flap position.

Golf Course Coverage –

The Garmin S6 comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 different golf courses across the globe and does not require any type of membership/subscription fee or downloads of any kind.  Simply charge it up and head to the course.   The Garmin S6 also features automatic course recognition and the traditional hole advance feature that automatically places you on the next hole depending on your GPS location.

Watch Face –

The Garmin S6 features a 4.5 cm x 4.5 x 1.42 cm screen that is 1” in diameter.  This screen is big enough to display the entire hole in full color at a 180 x 180 pixel resolution.  The watch weighs 1.6 oz (lighter than the Bushnell NEO-iON).  When looking at the watch you can easily see all of the yardages, hazards, etc., without feeling like you have a bulky computer on your wrist.

Image of eight different Garmin S6 watch faces showing different functions on the best golf gps watch of 2017

Battery Life –

According to Garmin’s website, the Garmin S6 will last for upwards of 10 hours on GPS mode and up to 20 weeks in watch mode.  To translate that into golf rounds, in my experience, this watch lasts for about 27 holes before you need to recharge it.  This is slightly less than other golf GPS watches that can typically last about 36 holes or longer.  That being said, other golf GPS watches do not feature a high-resolution color touchscreen, so you kind of have to pick your poison.  Either you have fewer features and a longer battery life or a lot of features and a shorter battery life.  To put it simply, my old Nokia brick cell phone’s battery lasted a lot longer than my iPhone battery does, but I still have an iPhone.

Swing Metrics

My favorite unique feature of this watch is the swing metrics function, which is unmatched by any other golf GPS watch on the market.  There are three different functions of swing metrics, 1) SwingTempo, 2)Tempo Training, and 3) Swing Strength.

SwingTempo

This feature of the Garmin S6 measures the relationship between upswing and downswing and expresses it as a ratio. In studies of successful golf swings, an ideal ratio of 3:1 has emerged, even with individual variations of speed. In plain English, this feature measures the tempo of your swing to train you to swing at the ideal tempo as measured and studied by golf professionals.

image of a man swinging a golf club next to the gamin s6 golf gps watch.

TempoTraining

This feature uses the 3:1 ratio identified by the SwingTempo technology and gives you audible tones to synchronize your swing mechanics and fine-tune swing tempo. In plain English, it audibly signals to you during your swing so that you know how your swing matches an ideal tempo.  This feature is fantastic for the driving range, especially if you have a short and stubby swing that needs to be elongated for a smoother rhythm.

Swing Strength

This feature gives you an idea of the swing power that you are exerting for any given swing.  This is another incredibly helpful feature for practicing on the golf range.  It can be used to improve your consistency when practicing shots using a ½ swing or ¾ swing when you’re trying to get a feel for those shots that are in between clubs.  It is especially helpful when practicing with your wedges to avoid the awful feeling of flying the green or leaving it short after placing the ball between 30-80 yards of the pin.

Image of the swing strength function screen on the Garmin S6 golf gps watch next to a man swinging a golf club.

Other Features

The Garmin S6 is water resistant up to 50 meters and includes an odometer for step tracking during a round.  Although step tracking if a basic feature of almost all golf GPS watches these days, most watches are water resistant to only 10 meters (except for the Bushnell NEO-iON, which is waterproof).

Scorecard and Stats Feature

This golf GPS watch allows you to keep the score on the watch itself, eliminating the need for scorecards and small pencils. This feature is a big improvement from the S2 version, as the S6 allows you to keep Stroke Play and Stableford scores, which can be downloaded to a computer and analyzed after the round. You can also keep track of the number of putts per hole, greens & fairways hit in regulation, as well as the average distance of various shots all on the GPS watch.  If you’re really into the stats, you can compare stats with other players online through Garmin Connect and simulate your best possible golf round by pairing all of you best scores on individual holes on a given golf course.  Stat nerd heaven!!

Image of the best golf gps watches's scorecard function - Garmin S6 golf gps watch.

Bluetooth Feature

This golf GPS watch is also equipped with a Bluetooth feature that allows you to pair it with your cell phone. This allows the user to receive emails, texts, alerts and other notifications right on the watch. The Garmin S6 displays whatever your iPad® or iPhone® (4s or later) can display wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Style

The Garmin S6 is an athletic looking watch that has an almost futuristic feel to it. It’s light weight (1.6oz) and can be worn casually or with a business suit (depending on the color).  Although it does have a sportier feel to it, I don’t mind strolling into the office with this watch on my wrist (though it will definitely attract some attention).

 PROS

  • Best features of any golf GPS watch on the market
  • Tons of pre-loaded courses
  • No membership or subscription required.
  • Accurate (even from the rough or out of bounds areas)
  • Easy to read and use
  • High-resolution color touchscreen
  • High level of personalization
  • SwingMetrics Technology
  • Movable pin locations for precise yardage
  • Uploadable scorecard feature for accurate round tracking
  • Exact yardage to different hazards
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Scorecard features
  • Garmin Connect Technology

 CONS

  • Far less technology than the Garmin Approach S60
  • The touch screen can difficult to use if you have large fingers
  • Requires frequent recharging due to the large high resolution touch screen
  • Watch sometimes unlocks and switches to different modes

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

  • This one is a great option if you don’t watch to spend the money on a Garmin Approach S60.  The Garmin S6 still packs a serious punch and offers you everything you need in a golf gps watch.  If you’re in the market for a high end golf watch and love fancy features and customization, this is a great option.  It’s far cheaper than the Garmin Approach S60 and will still blow all of your golf buddies minds.  From the golf range to the golf course, the Garmin S6 is solid and it offers almost every feature that you could want in a golf GPS watch.

Garmin Approach X10 Golf GPS Watch Review

Image of the Garmin Approach X10 pin placement screen.

During the 2018 golf season, Garmin expanded into the affordable golf watch market.  Historically, Garmin has made high-end golf watches packed full of cutting-edge features.  The Garmin Approach X10 is  Garmin’s more affordable version of the Garmin Approach X40, but it does not disappoint.  It comes loaded with all of the golf features that matter most and it won’t break the bank.  The Garmin Approach X10 comes preloaded with more than 41,000 courses worldwide.  If you’re a golfer who values an unobtrusive band over a fashionable watch then the Garmin Approach X10 may be the best golf watch for you.

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Image of the Garmin approach x10 golf watch. An unobtrusive and affordable golf watch.

Garmin Approach X10 Design

The Garmin Approach X10 is all about its sleek design. The golf watch weighs only 1.1 ounces and you can barely tell that it’s even on your wrist when you wear it.   It has a narrow screen that is sunlight readable with a singular button and a touchscreen display.  The Garmin Approach X10 also has a 5 ATM water rating, which means that you can wear the watch underwater up to 40 meters (or 130ft).  And if you’re hesitant about the narrow nature of the touchscreen, don’t be – it displays course information clearly.   The only drawback is that it can be difficult to navigate at times for people with large fingers.

Some of the best golf watch features

The Garmin Approach X10 features yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green like all of the best golf watches.  It also features hazard yardages and yardage to layup positions on any hole that you’re playing.  Its auto-advance hole feature eliminates the need to manually advance to the next hole and its digital scorecard eliminates the need for a paper card and pencil.  But what’s surprising is that the Garmin Approach X10 also features Garmin’s drag and drop pin placement technology, which allows you to move the pin to any location on the green for exact yardage.  This is a feature typically found on Garmin’s premium line of products, but that you’ll also find on the X10.   Overall, the Garmin X10 is the best golf watch for the money for golfers looking for an affordable and low profile golf watch.

If you like this golf watch, but also want extra fitness tracking features, such as a heart-rate monitor, then you should check out the Garmin Approach X40.

Image of the Garmin Approach X10 golf watch hazard yardage screen.

Battery Life

The Garmin Approach X10 boasts phenomenal battery life.  Because of its slim profile and small screen, it can last up to 3 full rounds of golf (12 hours) in GPS mode.  This is better than almost any other golf watch out there (with the exception of the Garmin Approach S10).  When the golf watch is not in GPS mode, it can last up to 14 weeks without needing a recharge.

Pros

  • Affordable and Easy to use
  • Great performance
  • Waterproof
  • Great battery life
  • Very comfortable and light in weight
  • Updates and courses are added every year which are free of cost

Cons

  • No Bluetooth feature
  • No heart-rate monitor

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Bushnell NEO-iON Golf GPS Watch

Image of three bushnell brand neo ion golf GPS watches in different colors. This is the second best golf GPS watch of 2017

Bushnell NEO-ION Golf GPS Watch Review

The Bushnell NEO-iON golf GPS watch is the newest watch in Bushnell’s line and is the successor of Bushnell’s NEO XS golf GPS watch (released in 2014).   The price point of the Bushnell NEO-iON along with its unique features make it one of the most competitive golf GPS watches on the market.  This watch is not the Garmin S6, but it is certainly one of the best golf GPS watches.

The Bushnell NEO-iON provides the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green like other traditional golf GPS watches, but it also offers a ton of great features and boasts a fantastic battery life.  If you don’t mind a slightly larger watch face, don’t want to spend over $200, and enjoy unique features, this is the watch for you.  To top it all off, this golf GPS watch is tournament legal and complies with USGA rule 14-3/.05, so feel free to shut down your buddies when they get jealous that you’re landing the ball inside of ten feet.

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

Unlike other similarly priced golf GPS watches, the Bushnell NEO-iON displays up to four layup or hazard distances per hole.  Whether you’re a golfer that is hungry for the details of the course so that you can play aggressive or someone who is a course calculator that always wants to know the layup (me), this watch gives you exactly what you need and is a step up from the similarly priced Garmin S2 and Bushnell NEO XS.

Image of the bushnell neo ion golf GPS watch hazard distance function in the foreground and woman on a golf course in the background.

Golf Course Coverage –

The Bushnell NEO-iON comes pre-loaded with over 35,000 different golf courses across the globe and does not require any type of membership/subscription fee or downloads of any kind.  Simply charge it up and head to the course.   The Bushnell NEO-iON is also programmed with automatic course recognition and a hole advance feature to avoid the need for manual updates every hole.

Watch Face –

The NEO-iON features a larger screen than the NEO XS, which provides the user with easy to read yardages to the green and other course features.  Although this watch face is a larger size, it somehow avoids a clunky feel and does not get in the way when you swing the golf club.  For you detail oriented golf nerds out there, the screen display area measures 23mm x 23mm and the watch weighs 1.8 ounces (only .2 oz heavier than the Garmin S6).

Image of the bushnell neo ion golf GPS watch yardage function. This is the second best golf GPS watch of 2017.

Battery Life –

According to Bushnell’s website, the NEO-iON will last for upwards of 16 hours on a single charge and takes two and a half hours to fully recharge.  To translate that into golf rounds, in my experience, this watch lasts for three full rounds before needing an additional charge (and still has juice left).  The battery beats out a lot of other watches, including the Garmin S6, Garmin S2, and Garmin X40.  If you are concerned about battery life alone, the NEO-ion is one of the best golf GPS watches for battery life.

Shot Distance Calculator

My favorite unique feature of this golf GPS watch is its shot distance calculator.  The shot distance calculator takes all of the guess work out of figuring out how far you hit the ball, and over time, will make you a much more consistent golfer.  This feature allows you to measure the distance of each of your shots.  It eliminates all of the guess work that comes along with a changed swing, a windy day, playing a new golf ball, or a day where you’re simply just crushing the golf ball (or not).

Other Features

The Bushnell NEO-iON is loaded with extra features that you won’t find with other comparability priced watches.  This golf GPS watch is waterproof (as opposed to water resistant), has an odometer (step counter), and a 1 year warranty.

Style

While some other golf GPS watches can easily be worn to the office, the Bushnell NEO-iON boasts a more athletic look and feel. While the watch isn’t clunky or flashy (depending on what color you choose), it’s better worn with a casual outfit or athletic wear as opposed to a business suit.  That being said, it is a very nice looking athletic watch.  Save the silver or gold watch for the office, and put this phenomenal piece of machinery to use on the golf course.

 PROS

  • Affordable
  • Tons of pre-loaded courses
  • No membership or subscription requirement
  • Accurate (even from the rough or out of bounds areas)
  • Easy to read and use
  • Yardage to up to four different hazards
  • Long Battery life
  • Shot distance calculator
  • waterproof (as opposed to water resistant)

CONS

  • Oversized watch face (though this is also kind of a pro)
  • No digital scorecard (compare to the Garmin S2)
  • No swing tracking technology (compare to the Garmin S6 and Garmin X40)

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

  • If you’re in the market for a golf GPS watch and you do not want to spend $200, buy the Bushnell NEO-ion. Bang for buck, it has no real competition on the market.  The NEO-iON offers almost every basic feature that you could want in a golf GPS watch, including a few extras.  With the inclusion of the shot distance calculator, the Bushnell NEO-iON is one of the best golf GPS watches for the money.

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Garmin Approach X40 Golf GPS Watch

Image of four different colors of the garmin x40 golf GPS watch. This is the best golf GPS watch of 2017 for people with an active lifestyle.

Garmin Approach X40 Golf GPS Watch Review

Garmin’s Approach X40 golf GPS watch is their newest watch on the market.  It’s far slimmer and simpler than their Garmin S6 model.  With this watch, it appears that Garmin has made the decision to move away from fancy color screen technology towards a sleeker more athletic design. Despite this watch’s low profile, it comes loaded with a ton of cool features and is definitely worth checking out if you’re comfortable spending around $250.

The Garmin X40 provides the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green like traditional golf GPS watches.  However, the X40 combines the popular step tracking/activity tracker/heart rate monitor technology into the golf experience.  If you’re in the market for a golf GPS watch and like fitness trackers and/or are fearful of a larger watch interfering with your golf swing, this is the golf GPS watch for you.  Garmin’s innovative approach to this golf GPS watch makes it one of the best golf GPS watches.

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage:

Like other high-end golf GPS watches, the Garmin X40 displays yardage to all layup positions, doglegs, and other hazards.  You can easily spot hazards on the watch screen and measure the distance to any portion of any hazard on a golf course.  Although the hazard yardage screen is a bit funky, it is accurate and efficient once you get the hang of it.

 Golf Course Coverage:

Like other Garmin products, the X40 comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 different golf courses across the globe and does not require any type of membership/subscription fee or downloads.  Simply charge it up and head to the course.   The X40 features free course updates, so as Garmin improves its course rolodex, your rolodex grows too.

Watch Face:

The Garmin X40 features a 1.00” x 0.42” display screen that is 160 x 68 pixels.  This is a much smaller screen than any other golf GPS watch on the market and mirrors the look and feel of an activity tracker.  However, don’t think that the small screen display is unable to convey critical information.  This sunlight-readable screen is big enough to display everything that you need to shave strokes off of your game.

Image of a white Garmin X40 golf GPS watch on a man's arm with the pin placement function.

Green View Display:

The X40 golf GPS watch was specifically designed with Green View Display, which shows you the shape and contours of the green as you play each hole. In addition to seeing how the green slopes, you can move the pin around to get exact yardages to various portions of a green.  This feature allows you to really dial in your short game.  You can accurately pitch wedges to the flagstick and figure out how the ball will roll on the green without walking up to the green before your pitch like the pros.  This feature is definitely a great addition, and an unexpected one considering the size of the watch face.

Golf Band: 

The Garmin X40 golf GPS watch is the thinnest and lightest golf GPS watch on the market.  The slim band makes this a great option for golfers who have reservations about swinging a golf club with a watch on their wrist.  With the addition of activity tracking technology on a golf GPS watch, Garmin is clearly trying to cash in on the Fitbit and activity tracking craze. However, in doing so, Garmin may have unintentionally (or intentionally) eliminated a major concern of many golfers interested in golf GPS watch technology.  This watch’s low profile and slim band makes you forget that you even have it on your wrist.  If you have reservations about wearing a large watch while swinging the golf club, this is one of the best golf GPS watches.

This golf GPS watch is also water resistant up to 50 meters and is a great option for golfers with active lifestyles.

Activity Tracking/Heart Rate Monitor –

The activity tracking technology in the X40 shows distance traveled, steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, and activity intensity.  The band measures your heart rate throughout the day and does not require the use of a heart rate strap.   The heart rate monitor checks your heart rate at varying levels of consistency depending on your level of activity.  When you engage in a physical activity, the heart rate monitor provides feedback more frequently as the device is attempting to provide you with accurate information.  However, when you are not engaged in an activity, the monitor checks your heart rate less frequently.

Overall, the devices is fairly useful for tracking heart rate when you are moving around but suffers from the limitations of a wrist-based heart monitoring device.

Battery Life –

According to Garmin’s website, the Garmin X40 features a lithium-ion battery that will last for  upwards of 10 hours in GPS mode.  Put simply, I’ve found that the x40 lasts for up to three full golf rounds.   This is a bit better than Garmin’s S6 golf GPS watch, likely due to the smaller screen.  Three rounds of golf is above average for a golf GPS watch as other golf GPS watches typically last about 36 holes.  Because this golf watch has so many features jam packed into it, I give the X40 a slight edge in the battery department over most golf GPS watches on the market.

AutoShot Round Analyzer –

A great feature of this golf GPS watch is the AutoShot Round Analyzer.  This feature automatically detects shots during the round from tee to green and is fantastic for post round analysis.   It allows you to figure out which holes you excelled or struggled on for a given round.  When looking at data historically, you can see how you have played various courses and holes throughout the year.

Other Features:

Garmin Connect Golf Community –

A new feature of the latest line of Garmin golf GPS watches is the Garmin Connect feature.  This feature allows users to track rounds, upload data to the internet, and compare the results with the Garmin community.   This gives the watch an almost video game like aspect that allows you to see how you stack up against the competition at most courses around the world.

Scorecard and Stats Feature – 

This Garmin X40 golf GPS watch allows you to keep the score on the watch itself (similar to the S6) and allows you to upload your scores and rounds to a computer for post-round analysis.  Additionally, if you play a course multiple times a year, the X40 allows you to patch together your best scores on each hole so that you can assemble your perfect round.

TruSwing Technology –

The Garmin X40 golf GPS watch also has an optional feature called TruSwing.  This technology attaches to your golf club and gives you real-time 3-dimensional animations of your golf swing and other metrics that are great for figuring out how to optimize your game.  This feature is great for the golf range and provides helpful stats that shave strokes off of your game.

Image of the Garmin Connect function of the garmin X40 golf gps watch. This is the best golf GPS watch of 2017 for people with an active lifestyle.

Bluetooth Feature –

This golf GPS watch is equipped with a Bluetooth feature (much like the S6) that allows you to pair it with your cell phone and other Bluetooth capable devices. This allows the user to receive emails, texts, alerts and more right on your watch.  When an alert comes into your watch, the X40 will vibrate to send a signal to the user.

Image of the bluetooth function of the garmin X40 gps golf watch. A text message appears on the golf gps watch screen.

Style –

This golf GPS watch is a sleek low profile golf watch that includes all of the features you want in a golf GPS device.  In addition to measuring your heart rate and offering activity tracking like a Fitbit, it eliminates the need for an additional activity tracking device.  The Garmin X40 is super lightweight at 1.1oz and has an athletic feel to it.  This watch is not the most stylish watch on the market but it certainly won’t offend anyone, and most people will likely assume that you have a Fitbit.    

 PROS

  • Some of the best features of any golf GPS watch on the market
  • Tons of pre-loaded courses
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • Accurate (even from the rough or out of bounds areas)
  • Activity Tracker for running, golfing, etc.
  • Heart rate monitor
  • TruSwing Technology
  • Movable pin locations for precise yardage
  • Uploadable scorecard feature for accurate round tracking
  • Exact yardage to different hazards
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Scorecard features
  • Garmin Connect Technology

CONS

  • Cost
  • The small screen takes a bit of getting used to and can be difficult to navigate
  • The shot distance calculator can be glitchy at times

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

  • This golf GPS watch is the best option for a golfer with an active lifestyle.  It gives accurate yardage, has a great battery, and provides distances to the hazards.  But what makes this GPS watch one of the best golf GPS watches is the additional technology that is somehow jam-packed into this small device.  Not only does it measure your heart rate and offer activity tracking like a Fitbit, but it also provides the Garmin connect technology allowing you to connect with the golf community around you.  If you’re in the market for a high-end golf GPS watch, but love the technology of a FitBit, this is the golf GPS watch for you.

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For more information, feel free to check out Garmin’s Promotional video below:

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Garmin Approach S10 Golf GPS Watch Review

Image of Garmin S10 Approach Golf watch. Great affordable golf watch.

Garmin has manufactured the best golf watches for a long time now.   They have a long line of products that offer something for everyone.   One of Garmin’s newer additions is the Garmin Approach S10.   It’s a great golf watch and is one of the best golf watches for golfers looking for an affordable golf watch with slim profile.  Like other Garmin golf watches, the approach is pre-loaded with over 41,000 golf courses around the world.  It also comes with a high-resolution 1.3-inch screen.  Its slim profile and pure bang-for-your-buck efficiency makes the Garmin Approach S10 one of the best golf watches for the money.

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Image of three Garmin Approach S10 golf gps watches. Best golf watch for the money.

Design and Features

The Garmin S10 Approach golf watch is a classic and simple looking watch.  It’s not bulky, it’s not flashy, it’s not trying to be something that it’s not.   Garmin is clearly offering a watch that looks like an apple watch.  Sim, unobtrusive, and light, the Garmin S10 comes with some great features.  To keep costs down, the screen is not a touchscreen.  You navigate the golf watch using four buttons placed along the sides of the watch-face.   The golf watch also features a comfortable silicone strap and is water-resistant up to 50m.

Sunlight Readable Screen

This high-resolution screen on the Garmin Approach S1 is sunlight readable.  This means that you can easily see the watch screen (and the information on it) on bright sunny days on the course.  A huge issue with some golf watches is the glare that reflects off of the screen’s surface in direct sunlight.  This the watch hard to read and can be really frustrating.  The Garmin Approach S10’s screen is somewhat like an Amazon Kindle screen in that it doesn’t reflect glare when you stare into it.  This is a simple but great feature of this golf watch.

Battery Life

The Garmin Approach S10 boasts an excellent battery life.  Many golf watches survive around 20 holes before requiring a recharge with better performing watches lasting up to 36 holes (two rounds).  The Garmin Approach S10 can last up to 54 holes (three full golf rounds) while in GPS mode before requiring a charge.  This is better than any other golf watch on the market, making the Garmin Approach S10 one of the best golf watches for long battery life.  If you’re not playing golf, this golf watch can last up to 14 weeks in normal watch mode.

Yardage and Course Coverage

The Garmin Approach S10 will give you the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green and will give you yardages to various hazards that you’ll find on the golf course.   The golf watch will also measure each of your shots and features a digital scorecard eliminating the need for paper scorecards.  The golf watch will auto-detect your movement to the next hole and unlike other golf watches, doesn’t seem to get confused while you’re on the golf course.  While this golf watch isn’t packed with a ton of bonuses or extras, it offers you everything you need when playing.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Great battery life
  • Water-resistant
  • Affordable
  • Good overall performance

Cons

  • Can be slow in picking up the course details
  • Doesn’t come with any standout features

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Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch

Image of three different colors of the Garmin S2 golf GPS watch. This is one of the best golf GPS watch of 2017 because it is the most popular golf GPS watch.

Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch Review

The Approach S2 is one of the best golf GPS watches on the market year after year.  This is why (not so) surprisingly, it is still one of the best golf GPS watches.  It has staying power – plain and simple.  The Garmin S2 golf GPS watch provides the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green and gives you yardage to two layup areas on a given hole.  This golf GPS watch is also one of the most affordable golf GPS devices on the market.  If you are on a budget, have a simple game and value consistency, this is the watch for you.

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

This watch does not offer yardage to bunkers or over ponds and similar hazards and it does not give you the width of the fairway.  In that regard, the watch is limited in its capability.  If you’re a golfer that is hungry for every detail of the course, you may consider purchasing the Garmin Approach S6.  However, for the budget-conscious weekend golfer, this watch has tremendous value.

Technology –

Garmin is currently selling the Garmin x40 golf GPS watch so the S2 is not exactly “new” technology.  However, it is a smart and affordable alternative to some of the more expensive watches.  With 38,000 different golf courses across the globe loaded into the watch, you’ll be hard pressed to find a course that isn’t covered.  The Garmin S2 also features a built-in digital scorecard, which allows you to enter your scores directly into your watch with ease.  No more logging scores in scorecards with pencils and pens, only to lose the scorecard and the valuable round data.

Watch Face –

The Approach S2 has a one-inch monochrome LCD with 64 x 32 pixels.  The watch offers front-middle-back yardage, yardage to the layup position and the dogleg, and a scorecard for digitally keeping your score in real time (and uploading your rounds to the computer later on).

Image of garmin s2 golf gps watch. Time, distance, layup, and yardage.

Battery Life

The Garmin S2 boasts a battery life of about 36 holes of golf while you’re actively using the golf GPS function.  This is enough for a long day on the golf course with your friends.  But remember, it must be fully charged for you to get this much golf out of it.  If you’re not using the GPS function, the watch will stay powered for about three weeks without needing a charge.

Style –

This is a versatile watch that can be worn casually or to work.  The black model is not clunky or flashy, but is nice enough to get noticed by anyone paying attention.  If you’re into a bit more flash, the Garmin S2 golf GPS watch comes in a variety of colors.

 

This is an image of the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green on a blue garmin s2 golf gps watch.

 PROS

  • Affordable
  • Tons of pre-loaded courses
  • Accurate (even from the rough or out of bounds areas)
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to wear
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Scorecard function
  • Yardage to the dogleg and layup locations

 CONS

  • Does not offer yardages to bunkers or lakes
  • At times you’ll have to manually adjust it to reflect the correct hole

Is this the best golf gps watch for you? 

  • The functionality of a GPS watch is more important than a fancy layout or a touch screen and this watch makes your game more predictable for the right price.   This watch has been sold (new) on amazon for as low as $99.  Buy this watch if this is your first time purchasing a GPS watch or if you’re frustrated with another model.  Because this watch is predictable and offers great features, it is still one of the best golf GPS watches. If you’re interested in checking the current price on amazon.com, check out the link below.

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Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch

Image of four colors of the Garmin S20 golf watch. Blue, Black, Grey, and white.

Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch Review

Garmin’s Approach S20 golf GPS watch was released before the Garmin x40, but is still considered to be one of the newer golf watches on the market.  The S20 is not as slim or sleek as the x40, but has a larger watch face and comes with many of the same features.  With this golf watch, Garmin is attempting to appeal to consumers who are interested in an Apple watch. The design of this watch seems to mimic the Apple watch while providing some of the familiar features that Garmin provides in other golf watches. We rate the Garmin S20 as one of the best golf watches for golfers prioritizing battery life and cool practice range features.

The Garmin S20 provides the yardage to all portions of the green like other new-age golf watches.  Although the S20 doesn’t come with the heart-rate monitoring software of the X40, it still has all of the other cool features. What makes the S20 stand out from other golf watches is its super long battery life.  If you’re in the market for a golf GPS watch with great technology that boasts a great battery life, this is the golf watch for you.

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage – 

The Garmin S20 golf watch gives you the yardage to all layup positions on the course, including the bunkers, doglegs, lakes, and other hazards.  The watch face on this golf watch is larger than the X40’s and measures the distance to any portion of any hazard on a golf course.  With the larger watch face, it’s a little easier to navigate the screen on this golf watch. It is also easier to see the data on the screen of this golf watch.

 Golf Course Coverage – 

Just like other Garmin golf watches, the S20 golf watch comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 different golf courses. This golf watch does not require any subscriptions or monthly fees. After purchasing this golf watch, you simply need to charge it and turn it on.   Like all Garmin golf watch products, the S20 features free course updates.

Image of a white Garmin S20 golf watch on a man's left arm.

Watch Face – 

The Garmin S20 features a 0.9” x 0.9” (23 x 23 mm) display screen that is 168 x 68 pixels.  This is a much larger screen than x40 golf watch and mirrors the look and feel of an apple watch. The screen is sunlight readable making it easy to see the golf watch during the round. Although this golf watch does not have a touch screen, its simple design gives it an extended battery life and is large enough to display everything you need to better manage your golf round.

The Garmin S20 golf watch features a breathable and lightweight watchband that is very lightweight for its size at 1.5 0z. The golf watch is also waterproof (as opposed to water resistant) to 50 meters.

Green View Display – 

The S20 golf GPS watch also features the green view display feature. This feature provides the shape and contours of the green on every golf hole. You can also move the pin around to place the pin in different areas of the green giving you near-perfect yardage to the target.  This is a great feature of the golf watch and pushes it into the “high-end” category.

Activity Tracking –

The S20 is jam packed with cool activity tracking technology. This S20 golf watch does not come with a heart rate monitor like the X40, but is still great for tracking daily step counts and running. The golf watch can also be set to remind you to move around after being stagnate for a period of time. If you sit at a desk for a living, this is a great feature to get you on your feet at regular intervals.

Battery Life –

The battery life on the Garmin S20 golf watch is its stand out feature. According to Garmin’s website, the Garmin S20 features a lithium-ion battery that will last for 15 hours on full GPS mode before the golf watch needs to be recharged. This is 10 hours longer than the Garmin X40 and much longer than the Garmin S6.  Put simply, this is the best golf watch battery in the Garmin line of golf watches.

Other Features:

Image of the Garmin S20 golf watch with four different screen displays. Shot distance, Pin placement, bluetooth, and GarminConnect.

AutoShot Round Analyzer –

The Garmin S20 golf watch comes with the AutoShot Round Analyzer just like other new products in the Garmin line.  This feature automatically detects shots during the round and gives you data on all of your strokes.   This is a great feature of this golf watch and is a big reason why Garmin leads the field in golf watch technology.

Garmin Connect Golf Community –

The Garmin S20 golf watch Garmin Connect feature tracks golf rounds and allows you to upload data to the internet. After doing so, you can compare your golf watch data with the Garmin community to see how you stack up.   This feels sort of like a video game feature allowing you to see how you compare to other golfers.

Scorecard and Stats Feature – 

This Garmin S20 golf watch allows you to keep the score on the golf watch. This feature saves you time and frustration that comes with recording the score on a scorecard and keeping track of it after your round. All Garmin golf watches come with this feature. It’s a great option for detail-oriented post-round analysis.

TruSwing Technology –

The Garmin S20 golf watch also has an optional feature called TruSwing.  TrueSwing is a great practice feature that attaches to your golf club. TrueSwing gives you real-time 3-dimensional animations of your golf swing and other metrics that are great for figuring out how to optimize your game.  This feature is great for the golf range and provides helpful stats that shave strokes off of your game.

Image of the Garmin Connect technology of the S20 golf watch.

Bluetooth Feature –

This golf watch is equipped with a Bluetooth feature (much like the X40 and S6). This familiar feature allows you to pair it with your cell phone and other Bluetooth capable devices. This allows the user to receive emails, texts, alerts and more right on your watch.

Style –

The Garmin S20 golf watch has a fairly sleek and stylish look and feel. Garmin has a habit of mimicking the style of popular watch technology and this golf watch is no different. The S20 golf watch is Garmin’s version of the Apple watch. As such, it’s a pretty stylish watch that can be worn to the office and in casual settings. Although the golf watchband is athletic looking, it has a high end feel that will do well in most settings.

 PROS

  • Great battery life
  • 40,000+ of pre-loaded courses
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • Precise pin locations
  • Activity Tracking technology
  • Heart rate monitor
  • TruSwing Technology
  • Accurate
  • Digital scorecard feature
  • Exact yardage to different hazards
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Waterproof
  • Garmin Connect Technology

 CONS

  • A little expensive
  • Does not include a touch screen
  • Must purchase other Garmin products to take advantage of TrueSwing and other features

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

This golf watch is the best option for a golfer looking for a product that can last multiple rounds.  The Garmin S20 is accurate, has reliable features, and is compatible with Garmin’s best golf watch technology.  To take full advantage of this golf watch, you should buy the Garmin TruSwing Technology.

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For more information, feel free to check out Garmin’s Promotional video below:

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Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Watch

This is an image of three Bushnell NEO XS golf GPS watches, one of the best golf GPS watches of 2017.

Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Watch Review

The Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS watch is a solid and competitively priced entry-level GPS watch that offers functionality and a few features that may surprise you.  The GPS watch provides accurate yardage and is easy to read.  Although it doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of the high-end GPS watches, it certainly gets the job done.  While it’s not at the top of our list, Bushnell’s solid product squeaks in on the elite list of the best.  This watch’s readability, dependability, and price make it one of the best golf GPS watches.

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Functionality

Pre-loaded Courses –  

This GPS watch offers over 33,000 courses in 30+ countries and does not require registration or a subscription fee.  This is a standard number of courses for most GPS watches and will provide you with coverage for all of your rounds.  Just don’t expect it to locate that six hole executive jungle course in Indonesia.

Hazard Yardage – 

This GPS watch provides the yardage to up to four hazards on a hole.  This equates to yardage to bunkers, lakes, creeks, and other round-ruining impediments.  The hazard function is somewhat of a luxury for a golf GPS watch at this price and can be extremely helpful.

Other Features – 

The Bushnell NEO XS golf GPS watch includes many of the standard golf GPS watch extras.  It automatically locates the golfer to advance holes, selects the course that you are on using GPS satellites, and includes an odometer.  However, one unique feature that the watch includes is the “tee time” feature.  This feature allows the golfer to enter an anticipated tee time causing the watch to automatically enter golf mode seven minutes before the specified tee time.  Admittedly, I have no idea why this feature exists.

Watch Face –

The Bushnell Neo XS Golf GPS Watch offers yardage to the front, middle, and back portions of the green.  The watch-face is easy to read and avoids looking cramped with data.   See below for a few of the color options and a clear view of the yardage function.

This is an image of three different colors of the Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Watch in three different colors.

Style –

The Bushnell neo XS golf GPS watch is aesthetically sound.  It avoids the “clunky” look and feel that some GPS watches suffer from, and can you can wear it in just about any setting.

This is an image of the yardage function on a bushnell neo XS golf gps watch on a man's arm.

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

Overall, this watch is a great option for budget-conscious golfers looking for more than the traditional “front, middle, back” yardages to the green.  The price point for this GPS watch is great and it includes a few features that you may not find with similarly priced items.  We recommend comparing this watch to the Garmin S2 before making a purchase.  But there is no doubt that this is one of the best golf GPS watches for the money.   Click the link below if you’re interested in checking out the price on amazon.com.

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Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch Review

Image of a white and black Callaway brand Golf GPSY golf watch.

The Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch is Callaway’s attempt to crack into the golf watch market.  Technically, this golf watch is produced by IZZO and simply marketed by Callaway.  But we’ll refer to the golf watch as a Callaway watch to make things easier.  The Callaway GPSy is a fairly slim golf watch with a nice sized face for displaying relevant information.  It is not a flash and bang GPS watch like the touch screen Garmin S6, but it is a solid meat and potatoes watch that is available at an affordable price. If you’re in the market for a golf GPS watch that is light weight, easy to read, and affordable, this is the best golf watch for you.

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Image of a black callaway GPSy golf watch.

Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

The Callaway GPSy golf watch gives you the yardage to all greens, hazards and dogleg positions on the course.  The watch face on this golf watch is a rectangle shape as opposed to a round watch face.  This gives the watch more surface area to display yardages to various points on the golf course.  This subtle but important design difference makes this a great watch for golfers who have a hard time seeing yardages on small golf watches – and those who prefer a simple and clean design.

Score Tracker –

This golf watch also come with a scorekeeper function that tracks scores, greens in regulation (GIR), and putts per round.  This is a great little update to this watch that gives you game improvement tech right on your wrist.  With this feature, post round analysis is much easier and you can really isolate the strengths and weaknesses of your game.

 Golf Course Coverage –

Just like many other golf watches, the Callaway GPSy golf watch golf watch comes pre-loaded with over 30,000 golf courses.  This is fewer than some of the Garmin products (40,000+), but it is enough to cover just about any municipal golf course or private club.  This golf watch does not have the the drawbacks of a subscription-based device and requires no subscriptions or monthly fees.  After charging this device, you only need to turn it on.  For any course updates that become available, you simply need to plug it into your computer to run the software.

Image of a white and green callaway GPSy golf watch.

Watch Face –

The Callaway GPSy golf watch measures 10.25” x 1.5” x 0.5”, 1.28” and weighs 2.24oz. The screen is sunlight readable and rectangle making it easy to see the golf watch during sunny days.  Although this golf watch does not have a touch screen, it has a simple design and provides the user with accurate yardage to almost all relevant points on the golf course.

Battery Life –

According to Callaway, the battery life on the Callaway GPSy golf watch lasts for 90 days in non-GPS mode and 10-12 hours in GPS mode.  This means that you should be able to get 36 holes of golf in before you have to recharge it for the next round.

PROS

  • Solid battery life
  • 30,000+ of pre-loaded courses
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • Scorekeeper technology for post round analysis
  • Accurate
  • Hazard Yardages

 CONS

  • Does not include a touch screen
  • No connectivity for online comparison
  • Fewer golf courses than comparable Garmin watches
  • Limited functionality when compared to the newest technology available

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

The Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch is a great golf watch for golfers looking for a sleek, simply, and lightweight golf watch.  This golf watch is not jam-packed with all kinds of tech, but gives you exactly what you need to improve your scores.  This golf watch provides you with accurate yardages, a digital scorekeeper, and has a solid battery life.  All in all, this is one of the best golf GPS watches for golfers looking for a reliable, simple, and lightweight golf watch.

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TomTom Golfer 2 Golf GPS Watch Review

Image of a black and grey Tom Tom 2 golf watch.

The TomTom Golfer 2 golf GPS watch is the updated version of the original TomTom Golfer golf watch.   This version of the golf watch offers great improvements and makes the golf watch a bit more modern and lightweight.  You probably recognize the TomTom brand from car GPS units.  Long before TomTom manufactured golf GPS watches, TomTom produced the handheld GPS units that we used when driving before the advent of cell phone navigation.  For TomTom, the transition to golf GPS watches was natural (much like it was for Garmin).  The TomTom Golfer 2 golf watch offers golfers a clean and simple golf watch that is lightweight.  This golf watch also has a unique characteristics that separate it from the competition and is one of the best golf watches for the money.

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Image of TomTom golfer 2 golf GPS watch. Watch screen shows yardage to hazards.

Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

The TomTom Golfer 2 golf watch gives you the exact yardage to all hazards on the golf course.  The watch come equipped with “hazard view” function that gives you he yardage to the front of a hazard as well as the yardage to clear it.  It will also identify the type of hazard (water, bunker, etc.).  This is a great characteristic of the golf watch.  Many golf watches tell you the distance to the hazard (giving you a layup option), but fail to tell you the yardage to clear the hazard.  This yardage is particularly helpful when you want to play aggressively (on a par 5) or simply believe that you can clear the hazard but want to double check the yardage for proper club selection.

Autoshot Detector & Shot History –

The TomTom Golfer 2 features a few unique features that other golf watches do not have.  With the TomTom Golfer 2, the golf watch will automatically detect a swing of the golf club and will track how far you walk to your next shot.  This provides you with real time shot by shot data covering how far you hit the golf ball.  This an be very helpful on days where you’re hitting it a bit longer or shorter than usual.  In addition to detecting the distance the golf ball has traveled, the TomTom Golfer 2 records each shot for post round analysis.  With this data you can easily see where you picked up extra strokes during a given round.  If you see that you have a bunch of 30 yard chip shots following a round, you’ll know that you need to sharpen your accuracy on approach shots.  Like other high-quality golf watches, the TomTom Golfer 2 also boasts an scorecard for easy scorekeeping.

 Golf Course Coverage –

Most golf watches are moving away from subscription requirements and monthly fees.   These added costs are simply unnecessary and burdensome and can tank a golf watch company due to the competition.  Thankfully, TomTom agrees and does not charge a subscription fee or monthly fee for updates.  Simply charge the golf watch and turn it on.  The TomTom Golfer 2 comes preloaded with 40,000+ golf courses worldwide.  As an added benefit of the TomTom Golfer 2 golf watch, you can receive course updates wirelessly from your smartphone for free.  This is a unique benefit of this device.  With most other golf watches, you have to plug your watch into your computer to update the courses.  The fact that you can do it wirelessly from your smartphone is great.  If TomTom adds a golf course since your last update and you happen to show up to that course, you’re covered as long as you have your smartphone – free of charge

Image of a grey TomTom Golfer 2 Golf Watch.

Watch Face –

The display size of the TomTom Golfer 2 golf watch measures .87x.98″ and it is .5″ thick.  This is much slimmer than its predecessor.  The new design is vivid and easier to see.  Its rectangle shape is an added benefit that allow the layout of the watch to be clean and logical with a top to bottom flow.  By making the watch a rectangle TomTom is maximizing the use of the watch’s surface area.

Battery Life & Activity Tracker –

According to TomTom, the battery life on the TomTom Golfer 2 golf watch lasts for 11 hours in GPS mode.  This is pretty good when compared to its competitors.  This golf watch will last you two long weekend rounds at the very least and potentially more if you play fast.  This golf watch also comes loaded with an activity tracker.  For all of you who like to track steps and exercise either during golf or when off of the golf course, this is a great feature of this watch.

PROS

  • Autoshot detection
  • Waterproof to 40 meters
  • Solid battery life
  • 40,000+ of pre-loaded courses
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • Shot history tracker
  • Scorecard
  • Accurate
  • Hazard yardages to the front and back of hazards
  • Easy to read watch face
  • Interchangeable bands
  • Activity Tracker
  • Wireless updates

 CONS

  • Does not include a touch screen
  • Low tech screen and display
  • Greenview function is not helpful for reading greens
  • Scoring starts from 0 as opposed to 4 (for a par 4)
  • Autoshot detection sometimes accidentally detects other movements

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

As you can tell by our list of pros and cons, we really like this golf watch.  It boasts a ton of features that are only found on the high priced premium golf watches without matching the price tag.  This golf watch offers you just about everything that you could want in a golf watch for a great price.  Although there are a few kinks that TomTom needs to work out, this is one of the best golf watches for the money when you consider all that you get.  If you’re a golfer who wants a clean watch with great features and you particularly like to engage in post round analytics, this is the best golf watch for you.

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Other Golf GPS Watch Reviews

Many golf companies are getting into the golf GPS watch business these days.  The GPS watch technology has become fairly stable and accurate.  This is allowing many companies to create products in an increasingly competitive market.  With our best golf GPS watches of 2020 review, we strive to provide you with accurate and bias-free information about the best products on the market.  However, we would also like to provide you with a complete picture of the golf GPS market.  To that end, below you’ll find golf GPS watch reviews for the golf watches that we do not consider the best golf GPS watches of 2020, but still warrant analysis.  Because all golfers are different, some of these watches may be right for you even though they did not make our short list of the best golf GPS watches of 2020.


SkyCaddie Golf GPS Watch

Image of a black and yellow skycaddie brand golf GPS watch. This is not one of the best golf gps watches of 2017.

SkyCaddie Golf GPS Watch Review

The SkyCaddie Golf GPS Watch is a meat and potatoes watch that offers its users the very basics.  If I had to distill this review into a few words, this golf GPS watch “gets the job done.”  It’s an option for someone just getting into golf, but there are better options available for the price.  If you want the very basics of a golf GPS watch but do not want to spend a lot of money, we recommend checking out the Garmin S2.  Because there are better options out there for a similar price, the SkyCaddie golf GPS watch is not one of the best golf GPS watches.

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Functionality

Basics

Performance-wise the SkyCaddie Golf GPS Watch offers the user distance to the front, middle, and back of the green like other comparable products.  If you’re a weekend golfer, you really don’t need more than these yardages.

Course Availability –

The watch offers just over 30,000 golf courses worldwide.  This is about 3,000 courses fewer than comparable golf GPS watches on the market.  If you’re primarily playing in the U.S. and well-traveled courses internationally, this probably wont make much of a difference.  But it’s something to keep in mind.

Extras –

The SkyCaddie golf GPS watch comes with the standard extras that all GPS watches should offer.  This watch is water resistant to 30 meters and has an odometer.  This golf GPS watch can also track the distance, time, and speed of any run, walk, or bike ride.  It also has a “pace of play” feature to track your playing time and automatically switches holes as you play your round.

Watch Face –

Below is a picture of the GPS watch face in different modes to give you a better idea of how it will look while you’re on the course.  The watch face is clear, clean, and easy to read. This is a definite plus for anyone that has trouble seeing small images.

Image of six skycaddie brand golf gps watch faces. The image shows yardage, time, odometer, scorecard.

Style

Although you should never purchase a golf GPS watch for the way it looks, style still matters. A good golf GPS watch should be stylish.  It should allow its wearer to go from the office to the course without any real cause for concern.  Visually, this watch won’t offend anyone and can generally be worn in any setting.  The SkyCaddie Golf GPS Watch avoids looking like a Timex, and can be worn with a business suit.  Although you won’t get a compliment while sitting at the bar when you’re wearing it, you won’t feel self conscious either.

Image of the watch face on the skycaddie golf gps watch on a man's arm. This is a closeup image of the skycaddie golf GPS watch band on a man's arm.

 Pros

  • Fairly affordable
  • Accurate
  • good battery life

Cons

  • No yardage to golf course hazards
  • Better options are on the market
  • Annoying and expensive registration requirement
  • Not plug and play ready

Is this the best golf gps watch for you?

This golf GPS watch was designed for the budget-conscious golfer, but does not come without its drawbacks.  On the up side, it’s running about $20-30 cheaper than comparable watches right now.  It’s a solid option for a golfer looking for a basic golf GPS watch who has an absolute maximum budget.  Although it is not one of the best golf GPS watches, this golf watch gets the job done.

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Why Use Golf Watch Technology?

As golfers, we’re always looking to improve our games.  While we may not play quite like Jason Day or Dustin Johnson, we can definitely manage our games like them.  And the simplest, most effective way to manage your game and lower your scores is to have accurate yardages and information provided by the latest in golf watch technology.

How will a golf watch help my game?

We’re all looking to shoot lower scores because golf is more enjoyable when you’re busy making birdies and pars.    In order to see more circles on the scorecard we need accurate information.  A golf watch is essentially a caddie for non-professionals.  As yourself, when was the last time you watched a pro play without a caddy?  Even the best golfers in the world can’t hit perfect golf shots every time they strike a ball.  But one thing both professional and amateur golfers alike can do to play better golf is obtain accurate yardages.

You may think you can obtain yardages from sprinkler heads on the golf course, but there is a trend to remove them.  Even if you’re lucky enough to find one, yardage markers often have only the yardage to the middle of the green.  This leaves golfers without the true distance to the pin.  The last thing you want to do when hitting a golf shot to the green is guess the yardage.  It’s difficult enough to hit a wedge to a scoring distance, but if you’re guessing yardages it becomes almost impossible.

Although some courses have GPS yardage systems on their carts, these carts are not prevalent enough to rely on.  Additionally, if you like to walk the golf course, they won’t help you during your round.  These golf cart GPS systems also tend to be less accurate than the latest golf watch technology.

Golf watch technology is getting sophisticated

Golf watches like the Garmin S6 feature color touch screens allowing you to move the pin anywhere on the green.  The advanced technology in these golf watches allow you to obtain laser sharp yardages.  No more guessing involved.  They make the most difficult game on the planet a little easier – something every golfer can appreciate.  In golf, a subtle change can mean all the difference in the world.  It’s safe to say that if the professionals could use golf watches in tournament play, they most certainly would.

I just play for fun, so why use a golf watch?

It’s true, not every golfer cares about their score at the end of the day.  As a matter of fact, a lot of golfers don’t keep score.  Golf is about more than shooting a low number.  Good times with friends, some solid shots, and maybe a birdie or two should be good enough.  This type of thinking will certainly help your psychological health.  While a chunked wedge isn’t the end of the world, playing an  slow round can still be very annoying.  Thankfully, innovations like golf watches are speeding up the game.  It’s not necessary to spend time looking for yardage markers when you have a golf watch strapped to your wrist.  A device that feeds you accurate yardages from any spot on the course.  Golf watches save you time and effort so you can focus on  joking with friends and hitting quality shots.

Can a golf watch make my swing better?

Unfortunately, simply wearing a golf watch won’t make your swing into a carbon copy of Justin Thomas’.  And a smashed 340-yard high draw may not be your next tee shot.  But the good news is that many golf watches come equipped with features designed to improve your swing.  Some golf watches feature tempo trainers.  Basically, the golf watch makes audible beeps to signal three key moments in the golf swing.  If you ever find yourself “getting quick” or “rushing” your swing, a range session with a golf watch can help out quite a bit.  High-end golf watches (namely, the Garmin line of golf watches) can give you a glimpse of your swing power and other helpful technology.

However, golf watches are not perfect technology.  They won’t tell you your clubhead speed, and strapping your golf  watch to your driver head is a bad idea.  But there is no question that golf watches can do a lot to help your game.

Which golf GPS watch should I use?

There area wide variety of golf watches and the best one for you depends on your style and budget.  There are a handful of core features that pretty much all golf watches have in common.  They tend to come with thousands of pre-loaded courses, they give you yardages to the front, middle, and back of the greens, the watch displays are easy to read, and they’re lightweight so they feel comfortable on your wrist.  High-end golf watches separate themselves from other golf watches by offering advanced features.  These features include swing aides, other relevant information like the distances to hazards, more preloaded courses, color displays, longer lasting batteries, and touch screens.  For example, the Garmin S6 has a touchscreen allowing  you to move the pin to obtain even more precise yardages.

The technology in these watches is beyond impressive.  While the most economical golf watches hover around $99, the most advanced watches can cost over $300.  There are a number of manufacturers out there but Garmin owns the majority of the market and makes quality watches across the complete price point spectrum.  The best golf watch for you is largely dependent on how much you’re comfortable spending.  We consider the Garmin S6 to be one of the best golf watches on the market.  It boasts the most advanced features of any golf watch and has a stylish look and feel.  If you’re comfortable spending over $300 on a golf watch, the Garmin S6 or similar golf watch should be high on your list.

What if I don’t want to spend a lot of money?

If you don’t want to spend over $300 on the very top notch golf watches don’t worry.   The most important feature a golf watch can offer is accurate yardages.  And there are plenty of golf watches on the market that give you the precise distances to hazards and greens.  Golf will always be both fun and frustrating, but a golf watch is a worthy investment.  You’ll play faster, hit it closer, and shoot lower scores.  Simply put, you’ll enjoy your time on the course more.  And that’s really what the game is all about.

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19 thoughts on “The BEST Golf GPS Watches of 2020 | The Best Golf Watch Reviews”

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    1. Hi Shelby, you can submit via scholarship at twogolfguys.com. We had submissions come in yesterday and today so it’s definitely working.

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  3. The Garmin S2 works well. However, the battery has a life of 18 months, and is not user replaceable. Garmin charges $80 to replace it…..

    1. Thanks for the comment Frank! I’m surprised to hear that your Garmin S2 only lasted 18 months. I owned and used this watch for over three years with zero issues. In fact, when compared with some of the newer watches, its batter life is actually a bit better because of its simple and classic design. Perhaps you could try contacting Garmin? Though i’d imagine the warranty has probably expired.

      If you figure out a way to replace it yourself, i’ve found a replacement battery on Amazon for only $25. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O1C9AYU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=tgg-gw-20. Good luck and swing well!

    1. Hi Ev,

      The S6 does calculate shot distance. All you need to do is click a button on the outer rim of the watch when you would like to begin measuring the distance (from the tee or other location) and it will automatically track the yards between the starting point and the end point (wherever your golf ball lands). Hope you enjoy!

  4. Hi Guys … I am about to purchase the Garmin Fenix 5X for many reasons , it does everything any of the above watches can do ( so I’ve been told ) and so much more . Ive been told that It is the Rolls Royce of GPS watches . Do you agree to this ? Any issues you know about re this purchase , Would you guys recommend the Fenix 5X or another ? Thanks

    1. If cost isn’t an issue get the 5X if you multi sport.

      If you only want a golf watch then it’s kinda wasting money.

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  6. Thanks for your in depth reviews. I was going to pull trigger on the Garmin Approach S60 and then saw the new Skycaddie Linx GT and it looks like a better model. Have you reviewed and/or what are your thoughts?

    In addition, I really want to have a nice looking all around watch with the golf GPS and tracking capability. Have you reviewed any of the Android wearables with compatible apps vs. dedicated golf watches? I am hoping the new Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro would be the one. Have you seen or have any other recomendations for watches and apps?

    Thanks,

  7. Wow, this is a tremendously detailed review of the best golf GPS watches. An older model I had broke down recently, and so I’m looking for a new watch. It’s no surprise that the Garmin Approach S20 is on this list – people are praising it left and right. I’m very close to deciding on the S20 at this point, although a few other models do interest me. I know this is a little off topic, but what are your thoughts on the Garmin Approach G8 (not a watch)? Thanks!

  8. one thing I cant figure out is if the Fenix 5 is required to be connected to your phone or if you can download the course you want and leave your phone at home or in the car.

    1. Hi Nick – the Garmin Fenix 5 updates via a Bluetooth connection to the Garmin Connect mobile app on your cell phone. As long as your cell phone has a data or wifi connection and the watch is synced up with your phone, the watch will update automatically

  9. I think the best GPS watch is the S60, excellent analysis and very detailed everything. Thank you, guys! Greetings!

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