Garmin Approach G30 golf GPS handheld has some clear advantages over the GPS watches and clip-on units. A good handheld device plays to these strengths and compensates for the trouble of carrying a non-wearable device. A well-executed handheld with a comprehensive feature set at a reasonable price is rare. The feature set looks almost as varied as that of the top-rated Garmin G8 but G3 adds the tournament-legal tag to itself. So we plunged right into a deeper inspection.
- Compact with colored screen
- Comprehensive views and greens
- Manual pin positioning
- USGA local rule-compliant distances
- Digital Scorecard and computer analysis
- Intuitive user interface
- Close competition from G10 and G40
Garmin Approach G30 golf GPS handheld is a slightly simplified version of the Garmin G8 with its best features intact. Garmin G8 is a very advanced golf GPS with slop-elevated distances. Even though the function can be turned off, it still puts G8’s tournament legality into question. Garmin G30 puts the doubts to rest and chucks this feature. And it retains all the other popular functions that made G8 so versatile.
Garmin Approach G30 vs G6, G8
This is a smaller handheld than both Garmin G6 and G8 so it’s easier to carry. The display and design go with the newer preferences of the golfers. The TruSwing-compatible Garmin Approach G30 is a complete distance-measuring and golf analysis unit. It can go way beyond the basic functionality of a golf GPS watch and help you improve your game in a compact size and budget. If you don’t want to spend on a color screen and Bluetooth notification, the smaller Garmin G10 is worth considering. The Garmin Approach X40 is the golf watch with nearest similar feature set as the Garmin G30. But if you don’t want to peer and stab at a small screen, G30 wins hands down at the same price.
The Garmin Approach G30 golf GPS handheld has a number of notable features and a brand new design.
Size and Weight:
The Garmin G30 is noticeably smaller than the Garmin G8 at 2.1” x 3” x 0.8”. The G8 is slightly sleeker at 0.6”depth. The G30 weighs only 2.5 ounces as opposed to the 3.97 ounces of Garmin G8.
The screen of Garmin G30 measures 2.3 inches diagonally and 1.4” x 1.85” in length and breadth. All the operations are controlled by the Transreflective TFT color screen. The screen resolution is 200x265. It is large enough to operate with gloves on. It’s readable in sunlight as well. The G10 has a colored screen of white against black which might be nominally difficult to peer into.
The Garmin G30 has only one button, the power button at the top of device. Rest all the functions are controlled by the touchscreen. As soon as you open up, you get a Play option. Once you click on that, it automatically searches for the nearest golf course. Otherwise you can manually type in the course name and search for it.
This golf GPS handheld is IPX7-rated waterproof. Which means it can remain under up to 1m water for 30 minutes without damage. We wouldn’t take it for an underwater dive though.
In the Green View, you get a graphic representation of the current greens. You also have a dynamic Green View which gives you the Greens representation and your angle of approach. The default Hole View has a representation of the Greens with red, white and blue arcs showing 100, 150 and 200 yards layups to the green. Your hole number and par information along with distances are on the top corners of the screen. You can click on the top right corner to have distances to front, center and back of the greens displayed in large figures.
You can touch any point on the display of Garmin G30 and get yardages to that point. This is an important feature that helps you strategize during the game. G10 does not have this facility.
The hazard, layup and dogleg distances are mapped on the course maps of Garmin G30. Tap on the hazard or dogleg and immediately find distances to them. Layup distances are provided for 250, 200, 150 and 100-yard markers. You can also save the locations of unmarked hazards, if any, for future games.
The Garmin G30 golf GPS has a digital scorecard for up to 4 players. You can even choose between scoring options of Stroke play, Match play, Stableford and Skins. It can remember the scores of up to last 10 rounds and display the total score. This synchronizes to your Garmin Connect app through Bluetooth.
You can view the saved rounds, shots and player statistics on the Garmin G30 GPS itself. You can connect to Garmin Connect and view this on another device later through a USB connection. Insights into your game help you understand how you have improved.
You can stay connected on the move with Bluetooth notifications from your phone. The screen allows you to read the full text of the messages. You can receive alerts, emails, texts all on your G30 screen but cannot reply to them from the device.
The Garmin G30 golf GPS can connect to their TruSwing golf swing analyzer. It measures swing tempo, swing speed, maps club path, shaft angle and shaft lean etc. Tech-savvy golfers will learn quite a bit from this deluge of information.
The Garmin G30 golf GPS will measure the distance of your shots so that you can map the club capabilities. It does not make club recommendations like Garmin G8 though.
Big Number Mode:
Whatever the limitations of size be on pictorial representations, the Garmin G30 shows the distances in large font in the Big Numbers mode.
In spite of the large screen, the Garmin G30 golf GPS lasts 15 hours per charge. There’s a USB cable which connects to the back of the unit for charging.
The yardages are accurate within 1-3 yards of the actual distance.
The Garmin Approach G30 golf GPS makes its entry in a competitive segment. It competes with the high-end Garmin G8 and the smaller affordable Garmin G10. There’s also the G40 watch at the same price. Compared to the G8, it ditches the costly features like slope-elevated distances and the automatic Wi-Fi updates and takes a $100 price drop. The user lauded this and its accuracy and ease of operation. The small size is the only issue which large-fingered golfers had an issue with.
The Garmin Approach G30 golf GPS offers a unique set of features within a reasonable budget. The sizing decision has polarized the audience since some golfers love the portability and the others want a larger touchscreen. It has Garmin’s most popular features within a sturdy waterproof body. You also get connectivity to your smartphone and access to your golf statistics. A golfer with a moderate budget who uses all the features to his/her advantage should check out this product.
Last updated on August 10th, 2018 at 06:51 pm