If you’re serious about golf, you may well have decided you want to up your game and use some clever golfing tech, rather than rely on plain old guess work. Whilst golf tech has been around for a few years, the golf GPS units from the last couple of years have really come on leaps and bounds. One main factor, of course, being the integration of the tech into watches and small lightweight handhelds.

As most of us are aware, you have the option of a golfing app on your smartphone, and for many this may well be the best option. However, if you want to get serious you’re going to want a dedicated device.

So, which is the best golf GPS unit out there in 2017? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that of course. It really depends on how and where you play, and what you objectives are.

Golf GPS Watches, Rangefinders and Handhelds

Golf Watch, Rangefinder, or Handheld?

The term ‘Golf GPS’ covers a multitude of units including watches, handhelds & rangefinders. In summary, the differences are:

Golf Watches

Some golf watches double up as handhelds, so you can remove the strap and carry them around or stick them in your pocket. The higher-end watches (i.e. the more expensive watches) are able to pair with your phone over bluetooth so you can receive email & text notifications via your watch. Wearing a watch is obviously very handy as just a quick glance will show you the distance to front, middle or back of the green. Most watches also give you a quick and easy way of selecting your club.

Golf Watches

Although not quite as conenient as a watch, a dedicated handheld device is often favoured by serious golfers. These tend to be he same size as a smartphone and fit nicely in the hand. You’re able to see the hole from above on detailed hole maps, which is very useful on blind shots and not something that a laser range finder is good for. Most handhelds offer additional functionality over watches, such as the ability to enter your score.

Laser Range Finders

These devices tend to suit better players that require more precise distances to the flag. You can use them off the tee to determine the distance to certain fixed points on a golf course, such as the flag, trees, and hazards. Although be aware that limitations come when you don’t have a view of the flag for your approach or when hazards are hidden off the tee, in those cases you may well be better off with a handheld or watch.
A couple of our favourite golf GPS budget buys are the TomTom Golfer and the Izzo Swami 4000+. Which one is best really depends on if you’re after a watch or a handheld.

Best Golf GPS 2017

TomTom Golfer
This is certainly a good looking watch, and competitively priced too – especially when using our Online Golf voucher code! It’s waterproof and comfortable, and we don’t feel that the lack of a colour display holds it back. Hazards and greens are all clearly visible. Also consider the TomTom Golfer Premium Edition with comes with an Italian leather strap.

Izzo Swami 4000+
Our favourite handheld out there. It’s been out for a year or two now, but we still love it. It can be bought really cheap now too, espeically when using our voucher code discount at Online Golf. It includes distances to hazards and doglegs, and features a 1.8 inch colour screen. It’s solidly built and feels great in your hand.

If you have a bit more cash to splash and want the best golf watch out there, then we’d recommend the Garmin Approach S6.

Garmin Approach S6
Chunkier than the TomTom of course, but packing a lot of tech! A great looking colour touchscreen shows birds-eye views of your course, and can even connect to your smartphone to read emails and text messages.

 

 

Top 5 Best Golf GPS 2017

Created with Compare Ninja

 

The above shows our top 5 Golf GPS units, based on popularity and functionality/price ratio.

A few things to look out for when buying your Golf GPS:

– Size (dimensions & weight)
– Battery life
– Number of pre-loaded courses
– Screen (most are colour these days, although some monochrome are still out there when colour isn’t needed, especially on watches)
– Membership plans and subscription fees
– Tournament approved (are you allowed to use it)

 

Garmin Approach Golf Watch Comparison

 

Garmin Approach S2
Garmin Approach S3
 Garmin Approach S4  Garmin Approach S5 Garmin Approach S6 Garmin Approach S20
Dimensions:
4.5 x 6.9 x 1.4 cm
4.5 x 6.9 x 1.4 cm
1.48 x 6.13 x 4.6 cm
4.5 cm x 4.5 x 1.42 cm
4.5 cm x 4.5 x 1.42 cm
37.4 x 47.6 x 11.3 mm
Display:
2.54 cm diameter
2.54 cm diameter
2.54 cm diameter
2.54 cm diameter
1.0″ (2.54 cm) diameter
0.9” x 0.9”
(23 x 23 mm)
Resolution:
64 x 32 pixels
128 x 128 pixels
128 x 128 pixels
180 x 180 pixels
180 x 180 pixels
128 x 128 pixels
Display type:
monochrome LCD
monochrome LCD
high-res touchscreen
high-res color touchscreen
high-res color touchscreen
sunlight-readable, high-resolution, monochrome
Touchscreen:
x
x
Weight:
52 g
58.5 g
58.5 g
46.6 g
46.6 g
42.2 g

Battery:

rechargeable lithium-ion
rechargeable lithium-ion
rechargeable lithium-ion
rechargeable lithium-ion
rechargeable lithium-ion
rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life:
3 weeks (watch mode); 8 hours (GPS mode)
4 weeks (watch mode); 8 hours (GPS mode)
6 weeks (watch mode); 10 hours (GPS mode)
20 weeks (watch mode);
10 hours (GPS mode)
20 weeks (watch mode);
10 hours (GPS mode)
up to 8 weeks (activity mode); up to 15 hours (GPS mode)
Waterproof:
yes (10 m)
yes (IPX7)
yes (10 m)
yes (50 m)
yes (50 m)
yes (50 m)
High-sensitivity receiver:
Reverse background color:
x
(white/black)
(white/black)
(white/black/custom)
(white/black/custom)
Tournament Use
x
x
Preloaded course maps:
yes  (over 30,000)
yes  (over 38,000)
yes  (over 30,000)
yes  (over 40,000)
Course capacity:
unlimited
unlimited
unlimited
unlimited
unlimited
unlimited
Touch-targeting:
x
x
x
x
Manual pin positioning:
x
Measures shot distance:
Course preview:
x
x
x
x
x
x
Tracks stats:
x
x
Save locations:
x
Digital scorecard:
yes (scoring options include Stroke Play for a single player)
yes (scoring options include Stroke Play and Stableford for a single player)
yes (scoring options include Stroke Play and Stableford for a single player)
yes (scoring options include Stroke Play and Stableford for a single player)
yes (scoring options include Stroke Play and Stableford for a single player)
yes (scoring options include Stroke Play for a single player)
Computer scorecard review:
Maps with Layup and Arcs:
x
x
x
x
x
x
Smart Notification:
x
x
Round timer:
x
Odometer & Alarm clock:
(odomoter)
PlaysLike distance:
x
x
x
x
x
x
Club suggestion:
x
x
x
x
x
x
Big numbers mode:
x
x
x
x
x
x
PinPointer:
x
x
x
x
x
Automatic Course update via WiFi :
x
x
x
x
x
x
Dedicated GreenView button: 
x
x
x
x
SwingStrength™:
x
x
x
x
x
SwingTempo:
x
x
x
x
x
TempoTraining: 
x
x
x
x
x
TruSwing compatible: 
x
x
x
Hazards/course targets: 
x
x
x
x
x
Step counter
x
x
x
x
x
Auto goal:
x
x
x
x
x
Move bar:
x
x
x
x
x
Sleep monitoring:
x
x
x
x
x

 

 

Garmin Golf GPS Model Comparison

Garmin Website screenshot

If you’re looking to compare the differences between the Garmin Approach watches & handhelds, we’d recommend visiting the official Garmin site. You’re able to tick the models that you want to compare and see the features side by side.

Compare Garmin Approach models on Garmin.com here.

 

Online Golf EXCLUSIVE 10% Golf GPS Voucher Code

Online Golf EXCLUSIVE Voucher Code

Okay, so we may have mentioned this already,  but just in case you haven’t yet noticed, we have an EXCLUSIVE discount code that gives you an EXTRA 10% off any golf GPS purchases at Online Golf. This is on top of any existing offers, and makes for some extremely competitive prices on some golf GPS models.

Just add your golf GPS to your basket as normal, then in the promotional box enter our exclusive OnlineGolf voucher code. The 10% discount will be applied and the new price will show.

View the Latest Golf GPS Units