- Golf is an intricate game, custom-made for gentlemen and ladies. While other sports bring out the animal in you, golf brings out a more sophisticated being in you, your inner Tywin Lannister. You enter the course, and it is Red Wedding, a strategic massacre of the targets, or perhaps your dignity, depending on how well you play. In essence, a lot is at stake, and you could sure use some help. This is where Golf GPS devices come in.
- With our golf GPS reviews, you can remove the smoke and make a pick from our roster of genuinely great products. Focusing on you alone, we have sorted through the expert reviews of professionals for a comprehensive take on golf GPS gizmos.
COMPARISON CHART : TOP 5 BEST GOLF GPS REVIEWS
Battery Life ( Watch )
Battery Life ( GPS )
up to 10 hours
up to 3 rounds
up to 8 hours
up to 8 hours
up to 15 hours
Price & Customer Feedback
1. What is Golf GPS & How Does It Work?
GPS or Global Navigation System is the same commercial system that is used in car navigation and your phone navigation apps. With this feature, you are utilizing the power of satellites in space to pinpoint your location. Started as a military enterprise, this concept and it benefit vent commercial now. The location determination depends on GPS receivers in your device that constantly receive location information from three satellites that are hovering above your location. The signal from each satellite indicates that you must be located in a circular range on the surface of the Earth.
Wherever the signals of three GPS satellites intersect, that's where device pinpoints your location. The fact that the enormous power of space technology is being used for distance measurement on a golf course is humbling.
Beginners trying to learn the ropes can find electronic caddies in the form of these wondrous GPS-enabled golf devices. Too much competition in this niche market means you are going to be bombarded by a variety of Bushnell this and Callaway that. Garmin Connect and Truswing can sound like alien technology.
We publish individual reviews and lists of top golf range-finding devices in different niches
HOW WE TEST GOLF GPS DEVICE
We Explore, We Study, We Protect !
2. How Will It Help?
It will improve your games:
Contrary to what non-conformists believe, golf GPS watches do not make you a slave to technology. Instead they help you point out and confirm to your best instincts. This conditioning comes with a little help from a passive mentor that these golf watches can be. It goes a long way in reducing your golf handicap.
The whole idea behind golf GPS watches is a about providing distance. It does the work of laser rangefinders at half the price and size. Granted Laser rangefinders are more accurate, usually within a yard. But golf GPS watches are accurate within a few yards and eliminate the shaky hand conundrum and the time consuming process of determining distances to center, back and front.
Distances to 'invisible' targets:
Well, not literally. Laser rangefinders require the targets to be in line of sight for distance measurement. This is because they are dependent on a forward and backward traveing laser wave to measure the distance. Any obstacle should not obstruct this wave on the course. Since golf GPS watches depend on navigation satellites, they do not need to generate line-of-sight waves. Golf watches will calculate the distance measurements to out of sight targets as well.
Since the user interface of golf GPS watches is akin to contemporary golf GPS watch, it offers a similar array of options. Once you get acquainted with your play and operation of the golf watch, you can customize the settings for future games.
Aides better, efficient and confident game:
Golf is a game of instincts. Rangefinders are but minor contributors to the match outcome. New players may find the premise of golf staggering, given the need to beat the golf course and nature. A good golf GPS device lets you test your gut feeling and get on with the game faster. It keeps you from second-guessing the distance as you would with laser rangefinder which is prone to human error. The ability to track statistics using the golf GPS device gives you additional information on the key points to improve your game.
3. Which Golf GPS Watch To Buy?
Distance measuring capabilities:
The primary reason of having a golf GPS watch is to find accurate distances to center, back and front of the green. Laser rangefinders take the privileged spot when it comes to accuracy of distance measurement. But the golf GPS watches are also catching up with better GPS receivers. The web is replete with reviews of various golf watches, and you can refer to them to get an idea of how to fare relatively in terms of accurate distance measurement
Once the most important feature is spotted, the question appears: how much are you willing to pay for it? The golf GPS watches run north of low price. Depending on the features you need and the models that are allowed in competitions, you might want to strike a balance between the cost and features. If you are just starting to practice and you are looking to hone your instincts in the game, then you should look for a fancier golf GPS watch priced accordingly.
A significant concern that is usually overlooked. The distance measurement capability of the Golf GPS watches is dependent on the device having access to the course maps of the golf course where you’ll play. Most of the golf watches come with at least 20,000+ golf course maps preloaded onto them. However, if yours is not a well-known course, it may not be on the list. Check the manufacturer’s extended list of available course maps. They can be downloaded to the GPS enabled golf watch for a subscription fee. If it is not on either of these lists, it will be difficult to get the maker to add the course. It is best to opt for models that do not require a subscription fee to download more courses.
The size is another factor that can be disregarded, and it does impact the decision and your game. If worn on a wrist, a large and bulky device might really get in the way of your powerful swing. A slight interference with your swing can affect the ball’s trajectory and distance, and you might lose the game. The size can affect your game negatively or positively - you have to be careful.
With so many competitors in the field, the manufacturers of Golf GPS watches try to make their devices as easy to use as possible. It definitely skews the balance in favor of their product, especially amongst non-tech-savvy golfers. Constantly having to sync to PC, a complex navigation for basic information and poor customer service from the software vendor can doom the product sales
If you have ever owned a smartphone, you know the pain of running out of battery life when you really need it. And believe you me, you don’t want to be stranded at the same altar at a golf course.
So check the reviews and product information for a correct idea of how long the battery lasts, and whether the battery life decreases with age.
This is a no brainer. Once you start golf GPS watch hunting, you start looking out for the best that a watch can do. You should try not to hit the extremes regarding a number of features. Too many can bewilder you and too less can annoy you. Find the balance between the price and a number of features.
While shopping indoors, it won’t strike you that the screen of the golf GPS watch may not work as well in the sun. Outside, in the glare of sunlight, you might have to peer into the screen to be able to read the information. Instead, check for negative display watches or ask the sales personnel for an opinion.
Style and Design:
Inner beauty is not everything after all. The golf GPS watch is going to be your fashion faux pas if it looks as shiny as a fake Rolex. Look for classy, stylish designs and you will not be disappointed. Wear and check if it sits comfortably on your wrist.
Long term perfomance:
For this, you will have to rely solely on buyer reviews. A few products enter with a bang in the market but then decline into mediocrity with easily broken bands, reduced battery life or permanent ‘hanging.’ If you don’t trust your gut, you can find out what other people’s experience with the mentioned golf GPS watch was like.
OTHER USE FOR THESE TYPE OF GOLF GPS
Golf GPS Watches:
Easily the most conspicuous of Golf GPS systems, the GPS watch is a caddie on your wrist. Distance to front, center and back are the most common parameters measured in golf. A watch that does it while automatically updating your advancement through the golf course is indeed technology you need.
Clip-on/ Voice clip-on Golf GPS device:
According to customer reviews, in most of these golf GPS clip-ons, the voice has not been a bother. In fact, the luxury of getting distances hands-free has found many takers.
Golf GPS Handhelds:
The user interface in these golf GPS systems will be similar to your smartphones so the familiarity makes it easy to navigate.
Once you have made up your mind to jump on the Golf GPS bandwagon, take a look at the following devices that we handpicked and broke down for unbiased reviews:
BUSHNELL NEO XS GOLF GPS WATCH REVIEW
Bushnell Neo Golf GPS watch XS is a tournament grade, GPS-enabled caddie on your wrist.
BUSHNELL NEO XS GOLF GPS WATCH REVIEWS
WHAT MAKES IT GREAT?
- Pre-loaded with a whopping 33,000-plus courses in over 30 countries, the Neo XS Golf GPS watch holds a primetime spot in the show of GPS goodies.
- Neo XS GPS Golf Watch’s battery is rechargeable and can be handled through a USB charging cable.
- You can preset the time after which the watch must exit Play Golf mode. This way the charge is conserved even if you forget to switch off the watch.
- Building upon Neo X’s capability, this watch will give you four hazards per hole instead of two.
- Bushnell’s experience in GPS arena certainly registers when you have the ultra-comfortable Neo XS on your wrist.
- Neo XS boasts of Auto Course Recognition which allows it to locate your course in their database quickly. This is coupled with the Tee Time setting feature. You can configure the tee time up to 7 days in advance
- These Golf GPS watch automatically enters the Play Golf mode 7 minutes prior to the set time and starts off course recognition. Auto-hole advance, a key feature, allows you to play hassle-free without adjusting your position in the device after every shot
- Battery life has visibly improved over its previous cousins. It tracks the pace of play by telling you how long it has been since tee-off
- In-built odometer counts the number of steps you walk. The menu of Neo XS is fairly easy to navigate even if you are not tech-savvy
- The light, thin golf GPS watch, Neo XS claims that it is legal for tournament play.
- Looks-wise it seems to have owned Neo X. It has a aerodynamic stylish design over the latter’s Neanderthal look.
- Most people have registered a favorable opinion about Neo Golf GPS watch. Handling it is a clean and easy process right out of the box.
- Neo XS is available in black/yellow, charcoal/orange and white/blue combinations and the band can easily wrap around an 8-1/2 inch wrist.
- Statistics is lacking owing to the device's small size
GARMIN VIVOACTIVE GOLF GPS WATCH REVIEW
The Garmin Vivoactive Golf GPS Watch comes with a heart rate monitor included in the package. This watch can also be purchased without the monitor which would reduce the price.
GARMIN VIVOACTIVE GOLF GPS WATCH REVIEW
WHAT MAKE IT GREAT?
- The Vivoactive watch display is ultra-thin and has a high resolution, color touchscreen display.
- The screen is even sunlight readable.
- The Vivoactive watch has inbuilt apps to track many of your sport activities and is GPS-enabled.
- The tracked statistics can be even checked even away from your phone.
- This GPS watch gives smart notifications by vibrating when you receive texts, emails and alerts.
- You can receive notifications from a calendar app, social media apps, and other apps as well.
- The heart rate monitor can be strapped to your chest to track the heartbeat rate in your sporting activities.
- The Vivoactive gives a good battery life of about three weeks in all watch/activity mode and up to 10 hours in GPS mode
- All in all, this Vivoactive watch is for a true sports person.
DISTANCES, TIME PLAY
- Occasionally patchy notifications
- Limited apps library
GARMIN APPROACH S2 GPS GOLF WATCH REVIEW
There is nothing that a Garmin S2 (previously, rum if you are a pirate) can’t solve. Being a wearable golf GPS gear with fewer features has seemingly bolstered its reputation. Because when it comes to golf rangefinders, it turns out that less is more
GARMIN APPROACH S2 GPS GOLF WATCH
WHAT MAKES IT GREAT?
- The S2 sits comfortably and light on your wrist even as it stores 30,000 preloaded worldwide courses.
- The lifetime free update feature applies here as well. The display is sunlight readable and has a backlight.
- The set-up process is relatively user-friendly. Four buttons control the entire operation of this GPS golf watch.
- Switch it on and it will automatically detect the course and locate your coordinates.
LAYUP, DOGLEG VIEW
- You can charge it on PC using the USB cable provided or buy an adapter for direct socket charging.
- The hole number you are playing at, the yardages and dogleg or layup view are instantly available.
- S2 also provides shot distance measurement feature. You can toggle between measurement and hole view without disturbing the ongoing shot analysis process.
- Automatic hole advance feature means you don’t have to fiddle to update location after every hole.
- An in-built Odometer measures the number of steps you take
- The scorecard can be downloaded on the computer when the S2 is connected to it. If you fear the analysis paralysis phenomenon, then S2 offers the bare basics for your game
- No touchscreen means battery drains relatively slowly
GARMIN APPROACH G8 GOLF COURSE GPS REVIEW
Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS lives up to the expectations of the Garmin users who used the Approach G6 or G7 previously. The Approach G8 Golf GPS has added features like the ability to downloaded courses over Wi-Fi, without having to connect the device to a computer.
GARMIN APPROACH G8 GOLF COURSE GPS REVIEW
WHAT MAKES IT GREAT?
- The Garmin G8 device has a relatively large screen, and also it has the capability to point you to the middle of the green if you have got a blind shot by chance. Its PinPointer technology works flawlessly.
- The Garmin Approach G8 GPS has the same smart and sleek design as its predecessors and a battery life of about 15 hours.
- Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS lives up to the expectations of the Garmin users who used the Approach G6 or G7 previously.
- The Approach G8 Golf GPS has added features like the ability to download courses over Wi-Fi, without having to connect the device to a computer.
- Though there are some great features like these, the Garmin Approach G8 seems to be a little expensive.
- The Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS device has the ability to point to any target on the course and can display layup arcs too at 100, 150, 200 and 250 yards.
- It provides accurate distances to the front, middle and back of the green
- This golf GPS offers club selection advice to help you pick the best club for your play.
- The G8 can receive all your communication too, though it wouldn’t be too essential as golfers tend to concentrate more on the game instead of having to involve in the same old world of work.
- No takers for all work and no play, right? Still, for receiving any urgent messages and emails, this feature could be useful.
GOLFBUDDY VOICE GPS REVIEW
A GolfBuddy Voice GPS can easily remedy your Golf GPS rangefinder needs.
GOLFBUDDY VOICE GPS REVIEW
WHAT MAKES IT GREAT?
- The GolfBuddy Voice GPS packs 35,000+ courses worldwide and spoken instructions in 8 languages.
- Contending with Voice Caddie GPS VC300, GolfBuddy Voice has been bought and tested by a larger customer base with rave reviews. Not surprising, since it evolves from GolfBuddy’s rich heritage of powerful handheld devices which are exhaustive in their detailing.
- Not surprising, since it evolves from GolfBuddy’s rich heritage of powerful handheld devices which are exhaustive in their detailing.
- Distance to front/back/center can be heard in the order center-near-far which can be cycled through by the click of a single button.
- Since GolfBuddy Voice GPS has both a screen and voice guidance, you can check shot distance on either of them.
- It has Auto Hole and Course recognition which makes it a hands-free device.
- Since you will find most of the courses on it, there’s no download or fees to start your golfing streak.
- The screen provides more versatility to it by displaying distance and a small course graphic.
- It is clip-on that will give you the audio distance information you need at the touch of a button. It is available in a single color.
- GolfBuddy Voice GPS’ skeletal design is for your range finding needs alone which is what most golfers need.
- GolfBuddy Voice is a nifty little device that serves the basic capability and provides a bit of screen assistance as well in case the voice is not enough
- The battery can play through 3 rounds before dying. It can be used straight out of the box
- To make things easier, it comes with 35,000 courses with 8 languages
- This golf GPS device is said to be very accurate
- GolfBuddy Voice borrows heavily from this expertise to wrap sophisticated functionality into few button presses and sound commands.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
1. What kinds of golf GPS devices are legal in tournaments?
If the Local Rule is in effect, then you can use Golf GPS watches, handheld golf GPS systems, clip-ons or even phone apps. The device must only provide approved distance related information. It is best to check out with the club for the rules. Devices offering wind and slope measurement are strictly not allowed – you don’t want to get in trouble with the club authorities.
2. Most smartphones come with inbuilt spirit levels. Are they allowed in golf?
Under the purview of the local rule, a smartphone will be allowed if and only if you do not access the spirit level application during the round of golf. The app must not provide any aid in your game of golf.
3. What about a compass feature? Does it count as an unapproved application in a device?
As per changes made in 2014, compass feature is now allowed in golf under Local Rule. Compass only points the direction and is not considered as a restricted parameter in the golf GPS devices.
4. Does the application of the Local Rule at a club override the tournament committee’s take on distance measuring devices if the tournament is being held at that club?
No. The tournament committee has the final say on restriction (or lack of it) on distance measuring devices during the competition irrespective of the club rule. The competition committee rule trumps local club rule during the tournament.
5. The display of my Golf GPS watch is difficult to read in sunlight. What should I do ?
Try to buy a negative display version as in Bushnell Neo XS Golf GPS watch. Or try buying a Garmin Vivoactive which has a high-resolution sunlight readable display
6. Can I find a list of course freely available on the golf GPS device ?
If there are preloaded courses on the device, there would be a course library available on their website.
6. Where can the clip-on Golf GPS devices be clipped on to ?
They can be clipped on to your hat, visor or belt.
7. Are voice Golf GPS devices annoying for other players ?
Most of these devices come with volume control. You can adjust the volume to a level that only you can hear it. GolfBuddy Voice GPS has been reported to be clear and quiet at the same time.
8. Can I add more courses to my Golf GPS Device ?
Sure, if provided your vendor has it in their library. They might or might not charge you for it. That depends on the vendor.
TIPS FOR USING GOLF GPS PRODUCT
Here are some useful tips which teach you how to effectively use your golf GPS products.
- While both GPS products and laser rangefinders ultimately give you the right choice of the golf club, they use different ways to achieve this goal. Check what suits the you most.
- Some people say that some of the GPS devices have replaced caddies by giving almost all information provided by a caddie. So, make use of the product as you might take help from a caddie.
- Some models of GPS devices even offer an overview of the map for each hole in color and some devices, so before you actually tee off, checks out the trouble spots and the target spots.
- While giving accurate distances, the golf GPS device can help you decide the best club to use, improve your play with speed play and help you plan a strategic game.
- Whichever GPS golf product you choose, before you get too comfortable and attached to it, try to check if that device is tournament legal. Else you might end up with a device handicap and spoil the game when you enter the competition.
- As the distances are very accurate, plan the game strategically by scoping out the targets in advance using the GPS devices.
INFOGRAPHIC: HOW TO CHOOSE BEST GOLF GPS
Golf GPS devices are getting increasingly popular. The technology involved with these are pulsing way ahead of the game so much so that any piece of information, be it about your swing, your shot or the course can be recorded and checked out to improve your game. Golf GPS Reviews could be an essential learning aids in the cutthroat game that golf is.
Hope this buying guide about Golf GPS Reviews is helpful.
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