Best Handheld Golf GPS 2024

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In the fast-evolving landscape of golf technology, best handheld golf GPS devices have become essential tools for enthusiasts aiming to enhance their performance on the greens. At the forefront of this innovation is Garmin, a leader in the field of golf GPS. Renowned for excellence, Garmin’s Approach series, including the handheld GPS devices and GPS watches, integrates cutting-edge features such as comprehensive course mapping, real-time shot tracking, and user-friendly interfaces. These devices cater to the demands of golfers, whether seasoned pros or avid amateurs, providing precise data and performance insights. The market also boasts top-tier GPS devices like the Bushnell Phantom, offering versatility and accuracy. As golfers increasingly seek optimal performance, these handheld golf GPS devices, often equipped with launch monitors, have become indispensable companions. Explore the pinnacle of golf equipment technology and elevate your game with confidence.


Our team of highly experienced golfers tested each device thoroughly over multiple rounds on various courses. We evaluated ease of use, accuracy, features, and overall value for money. Each device was also compared to our current Editor’s Choice winner, the SkyCaddie SX550, to determine its place in the market.

During testing, we found that all three devices offered accurate distances to various points on the course. The SkyCaddie SX550 stood out for its extensive course mapping and Dynamic HoleVue feature, offering a clear view of each hole’s layout. The Bushnell Phantom 2 Slope GPS impressed with its value for money and user-friendly features, while the Garmin Approach G12 excelled in portability and battery life.


Top Handheld Golf GPS Models of 2024

Garmin Approach G8041,0000+15 hours3,5 inches282 x 470
Garmin Approach G1242,000+30 hours0,9 inches1.8 x 2 x 0.5 inches
SkyCaddie SX55035,000+14 hours5,5 inches‎9.06 x 7.01 x 5.08 inches
Bushnell Golf Phantom 238,000+18 hours2,2 inches‎0.67 x 2.28 x 2.95 inches


Rated 4.4/5 (of 563+ customer reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.




✅ You are willing to invest in a high-end golf GPS with advanced features

✅ You want a device that can also serve as a launch monitor

✅ You enjoy competing, comparing, and connecting with fellow golfers through the Garmin Golf app


❌ You have a limited budget

❌ Improved screen visibility in bright sunlight is crucial for you.

Use mine all of the time. Love the swing speed and ball speed measures at the range; really helps me tweak my swing


Great range tool. I’ve had a chance to compare it to Trackman and GCQuad and it’s been accurate enough for the cost (+/- a couple yards)

As a GPS it’s pretty robust too. Optional elevation toggle as well as being able to drag your pin location around. I think they added a feature for green elevation maps if you have the Garmin subscription as well but I haven’t used it much on the course after getting Arccos.


I have one as well. I use it both on the course and practice hitting into an indoor net. Usually yardages are pretty accurate, when i go to a range, i measure my shots with a laser and it is usually within 2/3 yards. It helps me to practice my striking because if you hit the ball with the toe or the heel, it will show shorter distance so i like this. Its a tad bit expensive but for me its worth it. On the course, its very helpful to see distances to hazards or greens, measure those nice shots that you hit and with a little bit of pratice, it is easier to place the flag on the g80 to get a very close distance to the flag. Usually within 2 yards when measured with a laser. Battery life is great, lasts for 5-6 rounds and you can track your scores there. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • Loaded with advanced features like Garmin’s PlaysLike Distance and Green View for accurate yardage.
  • Comes pre-loaded with over 41,000 courses, quickly detecting the course you’re on.
  • Offers a plethora of easily accessible features thanks to its responsive touchscreen.
  • Conveniently portable – can be placed in your pocket or attached to your bag or trolley using a special mount.
  • Comes with a launch monitor that tracks club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo and estimated distance.
  • Connects with the Garmin Golf app for competition and connection with other golfers.
  • Offers games and practice modes for swing improvement and friendly competition.
  • Accurate carry distances with irons and wedges, providing a useful reference.
  • The screen visibility still needs to improve, especially in bright sunlight conditions.
  • May not incorporate recent changes to your home course.
  • Distances provided may not always be precise; can differ by a few yards when compared to a laser rangefinder.
  • The screen size is relatively small and the maximum brightness setting can still appear dark, pale, and hazy.
  • Carry distances with the driver on the launch monitor may vary by around 10 yards when compared to the Foresight Sports GCQuad.

Read our full Garmin G80 GPS Reviews


Rated 4.6/5 (of 169+ customer reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.




✅ You want the most detailed and accurate yardages available from a GPS device

✅ You like to have clear visuals of each hole and its hazards

✅ You appreciate a responsive touchscreen and user-friendly interface

✅ You are willing to invest in annual membership costs for continued accuracy and updates


❌ Portability is a top priority for you, as the device may be a bit cumbersome without additional accessories

❌ You prefer not to have to pay ongoing membership fees

Haven’t seen much about them posted on here so I figured I’d leave my thoughts on it. I’ve had it about 6 months and even though I don’t get out to play as much as I used to (about 1-2 times a month at a minimum) it’s kinda worth it. It comes in really handy when I’m playing somewhere new and have no clue what’s up ahead.

Some of the things I like are 1) the club distances show up. After a few rounds, it got good at estimating what club I needed to land wherever the target or green was. 2) I was able to actually keep track of my score way better because it asks for it after each hole 3) keeps me off my phone because I don’t have to mess with the phone using apps and whatnot. Very straightforward golf gps

Some of the things I don’t like are 1) it’s expensive. 2) occasionally courses moved greens or got rid of bunkers or added something & is not up to date on SkyCaddie 3) everyone always asks “how far am I out” once they see it. Same whenever you bust out a rangefinder

All in all, it’s really durable. Dropped it a few times and there’s not a scratch on it. The battery lasts a few rounds if I forget to charge it. It’s easily readable in the Sun. It hasn’t ever fallen off the mount whether it is clipped on the golf cart or push cart. And it’s nice to review rounds online once it syncs up to the computer.

Any questions feel free to ask away

SkyCaddie crew for nine years now. Love it and it changed my game and helped me pick out my new clubs.

I never use the handheld, I instead use on my phone the SkyGolf app. With that it has a full GPS of the hole, I can click on any object for distance in seconds but the tracker is the best part. I bought new irons, on every shot I would tap the club I used, then tap the next shot. Over the next 20 rounds I had a perfect club gap measurement, my PW was off by 7 yards, was able to get it +.05* and now it is exactly in the right distance. Year one I now know what holes to put the driver away, where my ideal approach to the green (AW from 105yd) so I now aim to a spot 105y from the green off the tee. Tracks a lot of great data, has a “game analyzer” that shows you every part of your game and what needs to be approved. It is “free” when you pay for the Eagle Package with SkyCaddie which is $99 USD for three years access and included three boxes of Bridgestone e12 Soft balls. I hate paying the extra over a free for life Garmin but it is worth it for the SkyGolf tracking app IMHO.

Trust me on this… TRUST ME… The GPS yardage is *useless* until you know exactly what you hit your clubs. Use the SkyGolf for 20 rounds and you will be better, smarter and never go back.

Good Luck man, see you on the links in…. *sigh*…. five more months.

  • Provides the same level of detail as the yardage and green books used by Tour professionals, acting as a personal, digital yardage book on the course.
  • Preloaded with 35,000 courses, all of which have been walked and mapped by SkyCaddie’s trained course mappers for accurate fairway sizes, green shapes, and hazard distances.
  • Offers a detailed picture of a golf course with its extensive course mapping, providing accurate yardages and outlines of greens and fairways.
  • The device automatically switches holes and views (from fairway to green when you have 150 yards or less into a hole), allowing for touch-free operation.
  • Features a 5.5″ color HD touchscreen, offering a bright, clear display and smooth operation.
  • SkyCaddie’s Dynamic HoleVue reorients the device from your position on the hole, providing accurate information no matter your angle of approach.
  • Comes with a year’s free ‘Birdie’ membership for course updates.
  • The size of the device, while providing a broad display, can be cumbersome and may require a carry case or trolley mount for optimal use.
  • The SX550 operates on a paid subscription plan after the first year, which may not appeal to some users. The subscription offers course updates, which can be seen as beneficial, but is an extra cost to consider.

Read our full SkyCaddie SX550 GPS Review


Rated 4.7/5 (of 678+ customer reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.




✅ You value simplicity and quick start-up time in a GPS device

✅ You want accurate yardages, including slope compensation, for improved shot execution and confidence on hilly courses

✅ You appreciate versatile storage options and a lightweight design

✅ The Slope feature can be easily disabled for competition play


❌ You are looking for a GPS device with advanced features and graphics

❌ You prefer a more substantial and solid-feeling device in your hand

❌ You plan on using the Slope feature during competition play, as it is not legal according to the Rules of Golf.

I use the phantom 2 GPS. Got it on sale for $100 CAD.

I got tired of pulling my range finder out so often. Quick glance and I swing.


I have the phantom 2. Yardage is accurate to front/middle/back. Every small course I’ve played was already preloaded. You need the Bushnell app to download rounds for review (FIR, GIR, putts, etc). Battery lasts 3-4 rounds. It comes with a bag or belt clip but I use the internal magnet to put it on the cart. I’m paranoid about forgetting it so always drop in my pocket somewhere on 18. Haven’t used my range finder in 2 years.

  • The Bushnell Phantom 2 Slope GPS compensates for changes in gradient on a hilly course, providing more accurate yardages and boosting player confidence.
  • This GPS device includes a movable pin position for more specific flag distances, lay-up and hazard information, and the capability to keep score.
  • In terms of accuracy, the Phantom 2 Slope GPS performs comparably with other leading GPS devices, differing only by a few yards at most.
  • The Slope feature, which adjusts for elevation changes, can be easily disabled for competition play.
  • The device’s simplicity and quick start-up time, approximately 10 seconds, make it user-friendly and efficient.
  • Its lightweight and compact design, along with the Bite magnetic mount feature, allows for versatile storage options during a round.
  • Access to the Bushnell app provides users with color hole maps, flyovers, additional scoring, and performance insights, enhancing the value for money.
  • At a modest price point and available in two colors – black and camo grey – it offers excellent value for the money.
  • The Slope-adjusted distances are not legal for competition play, so users must remember to disable the Slope mode for official games.
  • The graphics on the device screen are fairly basic and might appear archaic to some users, despite being easy to read from a distance.
  • While the lightweight and compact design is generally an advantage, players who prefer a more substantial feel may find the device slightly lacking.
  • The device may not be suitable for those looking for advanced features as it focuses on simplicity and ease of use.

Read our full Bushnell Phantom 2 Slope GPS Review


Rated 4.5/5 (of 488+ customer reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.




✅ You value convenience and portability in a GPS device

✅ You are looking for an affordable, yet feature-rich option

✅ You want long battery life for extended use on the course

✅ You enjoy tracking scores and stats on your phone through the Garmin Golf app


❌ You prefer larger buttons or screens for easier navigation and readability

❌ You are prone to losing small items or tend to misplace them easily

❌ You prefer a more traditional, larger GPS device with physical buttons instead of touchscreen capabilities.

Garmin Approach G12. Basically a pocket watch sized golf GPS. Has a hat/belt clip too, but I’d just stick it in my pocket with a lanyard.

It has automatic shot tracking too if you pony up for the c12 sensors.

I have the approach s62 (watch)… And I’m still deciding if I’m going to be able to get used to having something on my wrist while playing.


I really like the garmin s12. It doesn’t have a color screen or some of the features of the other Garmin models but its battery life is the longest and lasts multiple rounds of golf.


I will probably get a Phantom 2, also. I tried a couple of apps on my phone, and the whole take it out, put it back was annoying to me. Plus I am not good enough to need the gps to adjust for uphill/downhill (aka “Slope” if you see that feature listed). That presumes a higher accuracy than I have. So some of that depends on his level. Another non-watch alternative is the Garmin Approach G12 (there is an S12 watch version for an extra 30 or 40$). Approach G12 clips on your belt or bag, and is on sale for about the same price as the Phantom right now.

  • The compact and lightweight design allows for easy portability and convenience. It can be clipped to a golf bag, hat, or clothes, and fits comfortably in a trouser pocket.
  • Preloaded with 42,000 courses globally, providing a comprehensive range of options for golfers.
  • The ‘big numbers mode’ displays the middle distance larger than other measurements, improving readability even on a small screen.
  • Offers multiple view modes, including hole number, par of the hole, flag distance, hazard information, and suggested lay-up distances.
  • Impressive battery life, with up to 30 hours of usage on a single charge.
  • The G12 can be paired with a smartphone and with the Garmin Golf app, golfers can keep scores, and stats, compete with other users in the virtual golf world, and access full-color hole maps.
  • The G12 is competitively priced and offers a high value-to-cost ratio given the level of features provided.
  • The small size of the device could make it easier to lose if not securely attached or stored.
  • The buttons on the side of the GPS take some practice to get used to and may be too small for some users, leading to accidental clicks.
  • Golfers who prefer larger buttons or a larger screen may find the G12’s small size not to their liking and might prefer a larger device like the Garmin Approach G80 GPS.

Read our full Garmin G12 GPS Review



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Dominic J. Leon
Dominic J. Leon. I am a golfer with a deep passion for golf right from my childhood. I have added unbiased product reviews for all the latest golf equipment from the market leaders. Follow me on: Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Tumblr.
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