- The Best Golf GPS Handheld Devices
- The Best Golf GPS Watches
- The Best Golf GPS Speakers
- Golf GPS Watch or Handheld GPS Device?
- GPS Watch Selection Criteria to Consider
- Best GPS Watches For Golfers
- Handheld GPS Selection Criteria to Consider
- Best Handheld Golf GPS Devices
- GPS Speaker Selection Criteria to Consider
- Best GPS Speakers
- Golf GPS vs Rangefinder
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Are GPS Devices Used in Golf?
- How Does Golf GPS Work?
- Which Golf GPS Is Most Accurate?
- What Is The Easiest Golf GPS To Use?
- Can I Use My Phone as a Golf GPS?
- What Is The Best Value GPS Golf Watch?
- Is A Golf GPS Worth It?
- Which GPS Golf Watch Has The Longest Battery Life?
- Is Apple Watch A Good Golf Watch?
The best golf GPS devices eliminate the guesswork on the course to improve your play. They also often include extra features like launch monitors, scorekeeping, and heart rate monitors.
This article will look at the market’s top golf GPS devices to help you on the course. We’ll also cover GPS watches and speakers.To help you choose, we’ve broken these distance golf GPS trackers into three device categories:
- Golf GPS Devices
- Golf GPS Watches
- Golf GPS Speakers
If you’re wanting to pick up a GPS device to make your pre-shot routine easier and to help you select the right club, read on to learn the pros, cons, and prices to see which will fit your budget. Let’s dive into the top products in each category to start. Then you can read more details on your favorite products below.
The Best Golf GPS Handheld Devices
|Overall Best Golf Handheld GPS Device||Best Premium Golf GPS Handheld Device||Best Color Screen Golf GPS Handheld Device|
|Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS||Izzo Swami 6000 Golf GPS||Golf Buddy Voice 2|
|Weight (ounces)||1.09 ounces||1.60 ounces||1.44 ounces|
|Rating||4.3 Stars||4.8 Stars||4.6 Stars|
The Best Golf GPS Watches
|Best Overall Golf GPS Watch||Best Premium Golf GPS Watch||Best Color Screen Golf GPS Watch|
|TecTecTec ULT-G Golf GPS Watch||Garmin Approach S62 Golf GPS Watch
|Garmin Approach S40 Golf GPS Watch
|Weight (ounces)||1.09 ounces||1.60 ounces||1.44 ounces|
|Rating||4.8 Stars||4.6 Stars||4.3 Stars|
The Best Golf GPS Speakers
|Best Overall Golf GPS Speaker||Best Premium Golf GPS Speaker|
|Bushnell Wingman GPS Speaker||Precision Pro Ace Smart GPS Golf Speaker|
|Weight (ounces)||24 ounces||26.4 ounces|
|Rating||4.6 Stars||4.8 Stars|
Golf GPS Watch or Handheld GPS Device?
Many golf pundits have strived to solve this question without significant success.
- A GPS watch passively sits on your wrist, always ready to go. But has a smaller screen and may provide added weight to your swing.
- A GPS handheld device often has a larger screen, but you need to pull it out of your pocket or golf bag when you want to use it.
Your personal preference and skills will play a big part in the selection. Let’s cover both in-depth to help you decide.
GPS Watch Selection Criteria to Consider
Before diving into the golf GPS reviews, here’s a detailed buyer’s guide so you can complete an informed purchase today if you wish.
Golf watches are not dissimilar to smartphones that provide golf apps to aid you in finding your way around any of the pre-loaded golf courses.
The interface ought to be clear and easy to operate and not have too many confusing options. It must complement and aid the golfer in bettering their golf game.
The best watches are protected from inclement weather and ultraviolet rays.
Number of Courses Mapped
Several watches have more than 30,000 courses previously mapped out and stored in memory, waiting to be chosen and then deliver the appropriate information as you play in conjunction with the GPS satellites. The more advanced watches will recognize the course you are on via the GPS satellites and preload the course.
You may find yourself planning to play a course that is not preloaded — no problem; some watches will allow you to download the course you want to play via Wi-Fi. This feature will similarly update previously loaded courses with the most recent developments and modifications.
The green may not always be clearly visible from your position. Unless you are well acquainted with the course, you may easily select an inappropriate club or attempt to hit the ball into an area beside the green. Several watches will permit you to see the green’s layout, including the green’s width and depth. Many watches will provide you with three different readings for the front, middle, and back of the green.
Manual Pin Adjustments
Now that you have an unobstructed vision of what the green looks like, the pin positioning could play a role in your club selection. Even though many courses indicate whether the flag is positioned in the front, middle, or back, the feature allows you to relocate the pin position on the green to offer a more accurate reading and therefore allow you to get the ball closer to the pin.
The most standard reading provided by rangefinders and golf watches is the yardage information to specified hazards and the green.
Shot Distance Tracking
The distance that your previous shot covered is essential to establish how far you hit a particular club for future reference (and occasionally boast about how far you hit a drive).
This is done by setting the measurement on once you hit a shot and start your long walk toward your ball. You can measure the distance from the starting point to the endpoint based on GPS tracking, not the number of steps taken to reach your ball.
The more sophisticated watches have sensors to observe your swing speed and path for fine-tuning.
In addition to tracking your swing data, the more advanced watches will track your score and enable you to track how you are playing compared to previous rounds.
The battery life of your golf watch is crucial as it should be capable of lasting for a bare minimum of 18 holes before needing a recharge. Many golf watches can be worn outside of the golf environment and typically have a battery life exceeding 10 days.
Usability Outside Golf
Manufacturers of golf watches often make the watches able to be used as everyday watches. The top-end golf watches will even permit you to check in on your emails or answer your phone while playing golf or away from the course.
The GPS Watch Highlights
- A golf watch is lightweight and easy to carry around on your arm. A watch is much closer and simpler to gain access to than a device stored in a case, most likely in your bag or the cart. Therefore, it will create less of a disturbance and allow you to speed up play.
- A golf yardage finder will give you the distance to the hole from any point on the course. If you are satisfied with it during your performance, you will be fine with those watches.
- Some golf watches can be utilized as everyday watches as well.
- On the negative side, the watch’s display is probably smaller than that of a handheld device.
Best GPS Watches For Golfers
- Accurate measurements to the front, back, and middle of the green
- Also shows distance to hazards and doglegs
- 38,000 preloaded courses
- Connect to a course with a single press of a button
- Amazingly easy to set up/use
- Rain and dust resistant
- Inexpensive, with no subscription or update fees
- Battery life is OK, but not the best
- Lacking advanced features that some players like
- Not a very flashy design
The TecTecTec ULT-G GPS watch is easy to set up, easy to use, and remarkably robust, to which thousands of reviewers can attest. It purposely left out many of the bells and whistles seen on other GPS watches, meaning you won’t have to comb through a bunch of rarely-used features just to get going. All the information you need is presented, clear as day, on a sharp LCD screen.
TecTecTec has access to over a whopping 38,000 courses. Once you’ve got it set up, simply press the satellite button to connect to your course, and then enjoy instant yard measurements to the front, back, and middle of every green, accurate to within plus or minus one yard.
In addition to yard measurements for greens, the ULT-G also provides yardage information for hazards and doglegs. So, if any nasty surprises are lurking around the corner, you’ll be ready for them.
The screen has an automatic backlight, and the display is easily visible even in bright sunlight.
It also has automatic course recognition, as well as automatic hole progression. This helps keep a steady and smooth progression of the play, which is why it is our top favorite of our list of best golf GPS watches.
It’s Bluetooth capable, meaning you should have no trouble securing essential software updates – and don’t worry, there are no additional costs involved with updates. And for the icing on the cake, this watch is USGA compliant.
Oh, and it also tells the time. It is a watch, after all!
The ULT-G will last for roughly two and a half 18-hole rounds before it needs recharging. It will last a lot longer when it’s not being used as a GPS and just a regular watch. It comes with a USB charger.
This thing has certainly been built to last. It’s lightweight yet has a very robust design. It is both dust and rain-resistant and comes with a one-year warranty.
- Best GPS watch available
- Large touchscreen for easy viewing
- The adjustable strap is particularly comfortable
- Easy charging system
- 42,000 pre-loaded courses
- Long battery life
- Swappable bands for style variations.
- Virtual caddie
- Provides fewer yardage readings than rangefinders
- Prone to picking up practice swings
This is one of the sleekest and chic golf GPS watches available and one of the best Garmin watches. It is also robust, and the face is made of Gorilla Glass 3, which will shield it should it fall or be struck by a stray golf ball.
The 0.86-inch Quickfit band completes the looks of this watch magnificently, and these bands are effortlessly swappable for style variations.
There are 41000 courses from across the globe pre-loaded onto the 1 GB memory.
- The watch tracks your activity through the Garmin Connect app for review after your round.
- It measures the distance of your last shot automatically
- Unlike the S60, it comes with a virtual caddie and measures wind and distance
- After a period of inactivity, this GPS watch will notify you of a moving bar on display. The bar will disappear after movement.
- The Garmin S62 calculates your current position swiftly and accurately.
- A compass, gyroscope, and accelerometer provide you with ample information during your round.
- The green view feature allows you to place the pin on the green for a more accurate distance reading.
The battery will last up to 20 hours in GPS mode, and the watch is functional for roughly 14 days as an everyday watch before it requires a recharge. This is an improvement from its predecessor, the S60.
- The large 1.3″ color display is an upgrade from the previous S60, easily readable in direct sunlight, and has a touchscreen display
- Personalization of the watch is possible, and you can effortlessly put your favorite background via the Face It app on your smartphone.
- Points of interest, such as hazards and doglegs, are presented accurately on the full-color map of the hole you are currently playing.
The Garmin Connect app delivers free course updates via an associated smartphone. Furthermore, receiving call and text notifications and regulating the music stored on your associated smartphone from here is possible.
- The vibrant color display makes it an easy read
- Accurate distances
- Reasonably Priced
- Automatically records shot distances
- Green charting with manual modifications
- Records short game
- Connects via Bluetooth smartphone app
- Fewer features that the Garmin S60
- Slow startup time
Garmin has been at the forefront of GPS technology for decades and has moved on from only supplying the mobile market with GPS devices to including their technology in golf watches. There are many watches in the Garmin range, and we have looked at the most popular and well-loved watches.
The S40 is waterproof, and there are 41,000 courses from around the globe loaded, allowing you to compare your score against other golfers.
The color screen measures 1.2” and is extremely responsive and easy to read in strong sunlight.
The color screen also allows you to view the aerial layout and the elevations on the green and permits you to move the pin for more precise placement and distance calculation.
Distances to hazards, front, middle, and back of the green are displayed clearly on the screen.
The AutoShot Game Tracking automatically records the distance that your ball traveled without you having to instigate the command. This records your shot distances and also every pitch and putt for post-match analysis.
The battery life on the S40 is on the higher end of the scale and will last for roughly 15 hours in GPS mode and will work for up to 10 days as a non-GPS watch, making it a great everyday partner.
1.2-inch color display
Usability Outside Golf
Quick-release bands on the S40 can turn the watch from a sporty golf watch into a formal watch when fitted with a leather band. The watch can moreover be connected to your mobile phone via Bluetooth to track fitness activities and sleep patterns.
Other Notable Golf Watches
Some other notable golf watches that just missed out on our top picks include:
You may also want to consider some golf watch accessories, like:
- Portable chargers
- Screen protectors
- Extra straps
Handheld GPS Selection Criteria to Consider
Synchronization / App Integration
You will want to confirm that the device can synchronize with the golf app via Bluetooth or wi-fi for software updates, course information, and to download new courses that have become available on the app.
Some apps can integrate with your smartphone, allowing you to track your stats electronically and make information on your round accessible online to family, friends, or other golfers wherever they may be on the planet.
The number of golf courses pre-loaded on the device is extremely important but would be of no value if it does not incorporate courses that you may play frequently. Some of the top-of-the-range devices have included more than 40,000 pre-loaded courses covering more than 30 countries.
Check whether there are courses in your location that have not been pre-loaded and ascertain whether they are likely to become available soon.
The latest GPS devices have many features to assist golfers at all levels in achieving the best results possible. We will highlight the best features of every device to enable you to make the best decision on whether the features are essential or nice-to-have features.
GPS devices are available in a wide range of prices, and it will be up to you to set the budget upfront and then stick to the budget. There are so many features available, and one can easily get carried away by the features and forget about the budget
The essential parts of the display are the clearness and dimension and if the device will be able to show the full length of the hole in a clear layout.
Another area to consider is if the display has touchscreen technology to move about sections of the hole and zoom in for a clearer insight into what you can expect along the way.
The battery in the GPS device must have ample life for you to finish at least 18 holes. Most devices have a battery life of over 8 hours or even multiple days, so this should be fine.
Handheld GPS Highlights
- Handheld devices are normally larger and bulkier than GPS watches and have larger displays making it easier to interpret the distances displayed on the screen. The golfer that wants an all-around experience may prefer a handheld device.
- Handheld devices can store more functionality and statistics due to their size.
- On the negative side, the increased bulk makes it difficult to carry around while playing, and it requires storage either in your bag or on the cart.
Best Handheld Golf GPS Devices
- Long battery life
- Exceedingly accurate
- Easy to read display.
- Terrific value for money
- Could take a while to detect the course
- Long startup
The Swami 6000 by Izzo Golf has a classic handheld appearance with an easy-to-read 2-inch color LCD. The Swami 6000 also provides distances to the front and back of hazards and doglegs. In addition to this, it provides distances to the front, middle, and back of the green, which is why it’s among the best handheld golf GPS 2023.
It comes preloaded with 38,000 global golf courses and auto-locates your course upon startup.
The Magnahold internal magnets enable you to mount it securely to a cart frame. It offers four modes: green, hazards, scorecard, and shot distance.
- Automatic hole advancement with a digital scorecard.
- Shot distance measurement.
- GIR (greens in regulation) and PPR (putts per round) tracking
The 2-inch easy-to-read color display will provide you with a complete hole layout.
The Swami 6000 is water-resistant and uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that runs for 16 hours at a time.
- Voice caddy activation and response
- Automatic map rotation
- Rugged design
- Highly water-resistant
- Extended battery life.
- No maps beyond the green shape view
- Small screen
There are 40,000+ courses on the Golf Buddy Voice 2.
What makes Golf buddy unique is the fact that it lies somewhere between a voice speaker and handheld GPS. You can also get a wristband to make it like a watch. You could consider this the perfect middle ground if you’re unsure which golf GPS type is best.
The GPS notes the distance to the pin with astonishing accuracy, which makes club selection straightforward as it overlays fairway landing areas and greens.
Shot tracking with scoring and statistic tracking on every shot you hit during the round of golf and stores it in your Golf Buddy account for review and analysis of your round.
The Golf Buddy has huge 2-day battery life due to its low-power screen.
Unfortunately, the Golf Buddy only has a 1-inch black and white display.
Even though the screen is small, the display shows large numbers, so you will not need your glasses to see them even if the device is in your cart mount.
Accurate distances to the front, center, and back of the green are displayed together with the hole number being played, par, and handicap of the hole.
- It’s easy to use the GPS and all the features.
- It’s almost competitive with laser technology
- Phenomenally clear 3-inch color display
- Particularly accurate
- Relatively expensive
- A little bulky
The handheld Approach G30 is rated as one of the best handheld GPS devices available and is aimed at golfers that need just the right amount of features without blowing the bank. It provides a load of functionality and assists people that struggle with smaller fonts by allowing you to switch to a larger font mode.
More than 40,000 golf courses are spanning the globe preloaded on the G30, and more courses are loaded regularly. This makes it one of the best-covered GPS devices in golf.
Using slope technology, the G30 will provide you with the actual distances that the shot will play. It will adjust the distance, considering whether the shot is playing uphill or downhill.
Based on data collected from previous rounds, it will recommend which club to select for your next shot.
The device’s battery life is set at 15 hours, enabling you to complete 3 rounds of golf.
The 3-inch color touchscreen displays numbers in big digits for ease of viewing. You can also touch the area that you are targeting to land the ball for more detail regarding distances and possible areas of concern.
The display will show you the layout of the hole you are playing on and the green view, allowing you to toggle between the two views.
Green view mode allows you to position the pin for more accurate distances.
Blindshot assistance will provide you with the direction and distance to the green when you are in a blind spot, and are unable to see the green.
Automatic updates are received wherever you have contact with wi-fi and are free.
You will be able to connect to your iPhone and receive notifications, emails, texts, and other alerts sent to your phone to ensure that you do not miss out on any critical information.
GPS Speaker Selection Criteria to Consider
GPS golf speakers come in a wide range of prices, and it will be up to you to set the budget upfront and then stick to it. There are so many features available, and you can easily get carried away by the features and forget about the price.
The quality of sound is the most important when it comes to speakers.
You need good volume from your speaker if you are out in the open on the golf course.
Most of the time, you will be carrying around your golf speaker on the course or on your cart, The size could be a hindrance to your play, and most carts also have a weight limit, so be sure to consider the size of the speaker when buying it.
Since the speakers are designed to be portable, battery life is a vital feature to consider when buying your GPS speaker. You don’t want your GPS speaker going off in the middle of your round.
Best GPS Speakers
- Accurate GPS
- Remote control
- Plenty of data
- High volume
- Good water resistance
- Magnetic latch on
- Low bass
- No EQ display
- No pin GPS
If you need a good wingman with you on the course, then the Bushnell Wingman GPS golf is the best golf yardage device for you. If you follow Bushnell, then you must know that they have some of the best golf GPS rangefinder products on the market. The Bushnell wingman speaker incorporates this technology to give you a high-quality audible GPS golf tracker.
It comes with an app that has up to 36,000 pre-installed courses
- The wingman has a detachable magnetic remote that lets you read yardage from the front, middle, and back, making it one of the golf yardage devices.
- It also features outstanding sound quality with very high volume.
- The bite technology lets you latch it onto your cat or any metal as you bring it along your rounds.
- It uses the Bushnell golf app
The Bushnell wingman GPS speaker has 10 hours worth of audio time. This should get you through 18 holes and probably even 36 holes.
- Audio GPS
- Speaker remote control
- Has LCD display for distance from the rangefinder
- Magnetic cart mount
- Customizable layout
- Not bulky
- Not user-friendly
- Too much information at once
If you want to remove the obstacle of guessing your yardage from your play, then the Precision Pro Ace Smart GPS speaker does exactly that. Precision Pro also produces some of the best GPS golf rangefinders, so it’s no surprise that their speakers are up to standard. With this speaker, all you need to do is pull up to your ball, and it will calculate the yardage for you and report it by audio. You can do all this and still listen to music at the same time.
However, the Precision pro may be a little intimidating for your first time.
It comes preloaded with 37,000 course maps.
- The magnetic cart mount makes it reliable and stress-free to carry around the course.
- Precision Pro uses “My slope technology” to calculate the yardage based on many factors, like a slope, to customize the calculations to your game.
- The LCD display shows readings directly from your rangefinder.
- Small remote that controls the speaker features and fits perfectly in your pocket
- If you lose your speaker, it also has Find my Precision Pro technology that will pin its exact location.
In terms of battery life, the Precision pro lasts a whole 20 hours, so you never have to worry about charging no matter how long your golf rounds are.
Golf GPS vs Rangefinder
The Capabilities of a Golf GPS are:
- Show a detailed map of each hole.
- Show the distance between you and the pin for more accurate approach shots.
- Can show hazards that may be out of sight at your current position.
- Can be used as a regular watch in some cases.
- Access to hazard distances from the ball. Great for deciding whether or not to lay up.
- Shot performance tracking for detailed data to analyze your game.
The Capabilities of Golf Rangefinders are:
- Accurate distance from you to the pin for approach shots.
- Can show the distance from you to hazards.
- Degree of elevation to the target, or slope.
- Can be useful for telling the distance to anything as long as the laser picks the object up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are GPS Devices Used in Golf?
In the early years of golf, players depended on markings on the course, whether on the side of the fairway or later markings on the fairway, indicating the distance to the green.
It was not always clear whether it was describing the distance to the green’s front, middle, or back. Distances to hazards were mostly an estimation but certainly not perfect.
With the advent of the GPS and gadgets made available to the general public to ascertain distances, the need for GPS rangefinders rapidly increased. They became the best golf distance-measuring devices
Present-day golf GPS units can quite conceivably provide precise information within 5 feet, making the shot selection and club choice significantly simpler. They are furthermore able to display the layout of the hole, inclusive of all hazards, and even the green layout and pin position
How Does Golf GPS Work?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) consists of more than 30 navigation satellites circling the earth. A GPS receiver in your device listens for these signals, and when 4 or more of these satellites provide information to your device, it can calculate your current position.
The course details are preloaded on your device with the locations of the relevant greens, hazards, and other points of interest.
Which Golf GPS Is Most Accurate?
Garmin has been the leader in golf GPS navigation systems since 1991 and introduced more than 35 patents by the turn of the century. The best technology reviewed in this article is the Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS.
What Is The Easiest Golf GPS To Use?
Garmin produces some of the best and most user-friendly GPS handheld devices. Many consider the Golf Buddy Voice 2 handheld device the easiest to use with its simplified and effective buttons and menu structure.
Can I Use My Phone as a Golf GPS?
You can, in fact, use your phone as a golf GPS device using a golf GPS app. These apps let you use GPS technology on your smartphone so that you don’t have to buy an extra device.
These apps not only have course maps and locations, but they can also have launch monitors to track your club distances. They also have scorekeeping, and you can get most of these features for free. One good app is Golfshot which is among the best GPS apps for golf.
What Is The Best Value GPS Golf Watch?
It is not only in the handheld category that Garmin excels. The best watch in this review is the Garmin Approach S62 Premium GPS Golf Watch offering many additional features.
Is A Golf GPS Worth It?
Although GPS devices don’t offer the accuracy that you will get from rangefinders that are accurate to within 1 yard, they supply distances to the front, middle, and back of the green. They can also store loads of information by tracking the distances you hit the ball, scores, and more. This enables you to identify areas of your game that must be refined.
Which GPS Golf Watch Has The Longest Battery Life?
Many GPS devices offer a battery life of 14 hours of uninterrupted use. Most handheld devices reviewed offer 14 hours or more battery life, sufficient for approximately 3 18-hole rounds.
Is Apple Watch A Good Golf Watch?
Apple was one of the first technology companies to release a watch linking their cellphone technology to a watch.
You can now link many apps available to your Apple watch to provide GPS distances and store the history of your completed rounds. Since you can use your Apple Watch for many things, it’s a great choice for those who have found some apps that meet their needs.
Read more: The Best Apps for Apple Watch This Year
Ultimately, your selection of the best golf GPS device depends on which features fit your preference. As technology improves, more functionality is added to golf watches, and screens are made larger for ease of reading.
Golfers are being spoilt for choice with the various devices available to determine the distance left to the green and other relevant information regarding hazards. GPS devices can now recommend the club you require based on your past performance, and you can review your performance in the comfort of your home to prepare better for your next round.
Although watches and handhelds offer the best GPS for golf, speakers are also becoming popular in the market. Our best golf GPS speakers are the Bushnell Wingman GPS Speaker and the Precision Pro Ace Smart GPS Golf Speaker.
Chris's love for golf is only rivaled by his wanderlust. A globetrotter at heart, He’s played courses throughout Europe and Asia and at home in NSW, Australia. With a writing style as smooth as his golf swing, he’ll help you find the right gear to match your skill level and style. You can connect with Chris on LinkedIn.