Golf GPS units have improved a lot over the years, and whilst I previously preferred a laser rangefinder, I now rate the best golf GPS units just as highly. As GPS technology improves and more reliable GPS units become available, the ability of GPS rangefinders is becoming substantial.
Having knowledge of the course you are playing on has obvious advantages, and this is what the best GPS golf rangefinder can do so well. Not only are they usually compact, but they can also be worn.
Many of the best golf GPS devices are watches, which make their use even more convenient, and the demand for quality golf GPS watch reviews higher, such as the best watches of the PGA tour.
So what is the best GPS golf watch? What is the best golf GPS? Where can I read golf GPS reviews? Here is your official guide to finding both the best GPS for golf and the best golf watch 2018. Below you will find GPS watch reviews and other golf measuring device reviews to find the best golf yardage device.
- 1 2018 Best Golf GPS And Best Golf Watch Comparison Chart
- 2 The Best GPS For Golf Types
- 3 Other Things To Consider For The Best GPS For Golf
- 4 Which Golf GPS Should I Buy?
- 5 Top Golf GPS Watches And Handheld GPS Reviews
- 5.1 The Best Golf GPS Watch Reviews
- 5.2 The Best Handheld Golf GPS Reviews
- 5.3 The Best Golf GPS Sensor Reviews
- 5.4 The Best Voice Golf GPS Reviews
2018 Best Golf GPS And Best Golf Watch Comparison Chart
Using the table below, you can compare GPS golf watches and devices with both our golf GPS comparison and our golf GPS watch comparison. You can also read full reviews of the top rated GPS watches and devices below to find the best golf GPS rangefinder.
|Name||Image||Type of GPS||Price||Preloaded Courses||Our Rating (/5)|
|Bushnell Neo Ghost Golf GPS||Handheld||check||30000+||4.0|
|Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch with Worldwide Courses||Watch||check||40000+||4.5|
|Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS||Handheld||check||40000+||4.0|
|TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch||Watch||check||40000+||4.0|
|Arccos On-Course Stats Tracking System||Sensor||check||35000+||4.0|
|Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch||Watch||check||40000+||4.0|
|IZZO Swami 4000+ Golf GPS||Handheld||check||30000+||4.5|
|GolfBuddy Voice GPS||Voice||check||35000+||4.5|
|Voice Caddie Golf VC300 Golf GPS||Voice||check||30000+||4.5|
|GolfBuddy VS4 Golf GPS||Voice||check||38000+||4.5|
|Garmin Approach G6 Golf||GPS||Check||25,000 courses||4.0|
The Best GPS For Golf Types
Within the field of the best golf GPS devices are different types of devices to suit different people and scenarios. If there are some that are still wondering how golf GPS units work, I have discussed this previously in my rangefinder buying guide.
What I left out is that there are many types of GPS devices for golf, not just rangefinders. In this section, I talk about these different types.
It’s completely possible to buy a cheap golf GPS with great features. The different types have different pros and cons as obviously the best GPS watch for golf works differently than the best handheld golf GPS. You will find the advantages and disadvantages of each type below.
A GPS watch is a wearable device that usually provides basic distance readings to the green. Some of the more advanced watches will also provide more in depth information, and others can even double as a fitness watch.
They can provide relatively fast readings, but are limited by their smaller screens and usually leave out extras such as hazards. You can read more in the best golf watch reviews below.
- They are fast
- Easy to use and carry as it is worn
- A cheap GPS golf watch is easy to find
- Usually lacks features
- Battery life is short when using GPS
Handheld GPS units can be a great option for those golfers wanting some more advanced features than a golf watch. The best golf yardage device can include features to measure shots and record your score.
Some of the best handheld golf GPS devices also integrate with your smartphone to receive notifications and sync information automatically. Handheld GPS units are more costly, but can be a great investment for serious golfers or those who want to improve their game.
- Larger screens
- More advanced features over GPS watches
- More costly
- Bulkier than other GPS units
Another great option to consider is a voice GPS. These GPS rangefinders work by clipping onto your clothing/belt/hat and delivering a voice reading of distances.
They are beneficial for simple readings and have the advantage of being lightweight and easy to use. Some voice GPS devices have screens, whilst others do not.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- They are a cheap golf GPS option
- Limited readings
- Some voice GPS units do not have screens
A sensor GPS is a new technology where sensors are attached to each club, providing information on the swing and sending it wirelessly to your smartphone. Therefore, your smart phone acts as a handheld GPS.
The readings these deliver are very accurate, but as they require the use of your smartphone, they do not really differ from handheld devices.
- Can provide detailed information
- Great accuracy
- As they require a smartphone, they do not really differ from a handheld device
Other Things To Consider For The Best GPS For Golf
Because they use GPS technology, even top golf GPS devices tend to have a short battery life. Combine this with more features and the more drain on battery there is.
Battery life is improving over the years with improvements in technology, especially in 2018 with high quality satellites, GPS units can be used in any weather condition, anywhere in the world. Not only is the battery life of top golf GPS watches improving, but so too are their features, with GPS golf watch reviews even better in 2018.
More than just a GPS, some devices double as score cards, fitness trackers and stopwatches. Most golfers just require basic distance readings, so whilst these features can be great, they are not essential in improving skill.
There are other things too that some of golf’s best GPS units include, such as integrating with your smart phone and updating automatically. How important these features are is up to you. The features differ greatly from the features of laser rangefinders. You can compare the features in our laser rangefinder reviews.
Ongoing subscriptions can be good and a bad thing. On one hand, you may be offered continued support through a paid subscription allowing you to update and get the most up to date technology.
On the other hand, there are devices that offer this for free, and so you may be left wondering if a paid subscription is worth it. Not all of these are rip offs, but remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and you do get what you pay for.
Some GPS’ are easier to use than others, but there are several things that can improve usability. One such thing is a large screen and voice readings with the touch of a button.
This depends on the type of GPS unit you choose to purchase, and because the best golf watch GPS differs from the best golf distance finder, read our golf GPS reviews below and see what will be easiest for you.
Which Golf GPS Should I Buy?
To accurately answer this question, you need to consider how you are likely to use the device in your own life. Do you want the best wrist golf GPS so that you can use the device as a watch, or do you just want an accurate golf GPS cheap?
Although I wish I could make it easier for you, there are just too many great golf GPS units available, and what makes the best golf GPS for one person may not make the best one for another. Whilst testing every top rated golf GPS would help, for most golfers this is not an option.
But you do have the next best thing. By reading our reviews below, you can make an educated decision on the best one for you.
In doing so, I recommend you ask yourself the following questions…
- How much am I willing to pay?
- How often will I use my golf GPS?
- What type of GPS best suits my lifestyle?
These questions are all as important as each other in narrowing down the cost, type and investment when you do a golf GPS devices comparison.
The last thing you want to do is buy a cheap golf GPS rangefinder and find that it does not have the features you need, so read the reviews below and find the right one for you.
Top Golf GPS Watches And Handheld GPS Reviews
The Best Golf GPS Watch Reviews
Want to know which golf GPS watch is best? You can compare the golf watches above in the GPS watch comparison chart and read golf watch reviews below.
Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch with Worldwide Courses Review
Garmin are a trusted brand that build top rated golf GPS watches and devices, and the Garmin Approach S2 is a simple, attractive and accurate golf watch.
When considering what is the best GPS golf watch, one must balance features and looks. Thankfully, this watch has both. The watch has great looks, is comfortable on the wrist and is easy to use, making it a standout for those wanting the best golf GPS watch.
As a watch, the time and date are updated automatically. As a GPS, the watch gets about 8 hours of battery life with continuous use, and provides accurate distance readings for around 40,000 preloaded courses, so to find a course missing is rare.
Although the watch is what I would consider to be simple, if this is what you want it could be best rangefinder watch, with a scorecard to track your score and pedometer to track your fitness.
The watch also comes in a range of colors to suit your style, and features a strong face that I doubt will scratch easily.
The watch does need to be charged via your computer however. I recommend purchasing a wall plug for convenience. This is a cheap golf GPS watch that is a standout in my golf watch GPS reviews.
TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch Review
Another trusted brand in crafting quality GPS units, the TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch has been designed as TomTom’s best golf yardard watch. When I compare golf GPS watches, this watch has to have one of the best displays I have seen. The screen is large and has great clarity in varying weather conditions.
There is always enough to focus on in golf, so with automated shot detection and an auto-score card, all you are left to do is bring your wrist to eye level. The battery life of the watch is also excellent and what one would expect in the best GPS watch. I think it is the most comfortable, best rated golf GPS watch to wear.
The watch also includes a feature to detect calories burnt, and therefore many rangefinder watch reviews state that they use this as their fitness watch.
TomTom has included over 40,000 preloaded courses and updates are done daily. Progress can also be easily tracked in the MySports app on your smartphone. This is a great watch for improving performance and tracking your game-play.
Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch Review
What about the Garmin S20 Vs TomTom Golfer 2? These are both great golf watches, but the S20 is extra special. For some golfers, nothing but the best golf GPS watch will do, and a standout in golf GPS watch reviews 2018 is the Garmin Approach S20. I have already mentioned that Garmin is a great brand in my reviews of golf GPS watches, but this watch is a standout in its own right, and one that does not lack features.
Firstly, the watch is quick to connect to GPS and includes over 40,000 preloaded courses. Battery life has been substantially improved over older models making it a pleasure to use for extended periods of time.
In use, clubs can be added to each swing and, in addition to readings, it includes an activity tracker which can be synced to your phone.
The screen is not a touch screen. However I do not see this as a disadvantage when gloves are often used when playing golf. The watch has side buttons to navigate the interface. I found the Garmin Approach S20 a pleasure to use.
Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch
If you need a watch that is trusted to work, the Bushnell Neo Ion Golf is one you’ll want to look at. Available in a few different price ranges, they all have one thing in common – over 35,000 courses all over the world.
With a 16 hour battery life and only a 2.5 hour charge time, its perfect for use at anytime and for longer, extended days on the golf course.
It has all the main features you’d expect of the best rangefinders – you can set up to 4 hazards or layups. It has auto course recognition and even includes a step counter – a definite advantage if you want this to double as a fitness watch.
Now as with all GPS units, satellite issues can sometimes arise – but they seldom occur with this watch. With respect to the features, battery life and quality, it’s a great value golf watch.You can see the latest prices here.
The Best Handheld Golf GPS Reviews
Bushnell Neo Ghost Golf GPS Review
I know I am not alone in loving Bushnell rangefinders, and if you are after the best golf yardage finder that is easy to use and from a trusted brand then look no further than the Neo Ghost Golf GPS.
Read any other Bushnell golf GPS review and you will see that many others agree with me in thinking this is the best GPS golf device compared to its closest competitors. Here’s why I think so…
Firstly, the GPS is simple to use. It includes auto-hole recognition so that using it is as simple as looking at the screen, and readings are given for front, middle and back yardages, with the reading being spot on.
The GPS comes preloaded with over 30,000 courses, with nearly all golf GPS rangefinder reviews stating that their course was included. Even if it isn’t, individual courses are easily downloadable. Another great feature is shot distance, which works like a stopwatch to detect distances.
I do have a couple of things to mention though. The GPS takes a short while to start, and so it is recommended that you start it before playing. Also, some reviews had trouble with the device shutting down automatically, but this can be fixed in the menu.
Of the best small golf GPS devices, the Bushnell Neo is my pick.
Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS Review
Garmin are experts in the field of GPS systems and therefore if you want the best golf GPS units, it is hard to top them. The Approach G8 is an example of their ability to produce some of the best rated golf GPS units, not to mention it’s just a cool GPS unit.
The Approach G8 brings some of the latest features to a screen with excellent clarity under any weather conditions, which us golfers know is important in the best golf GPS review. The large numbers on the display are easy to read and the display is crisp.
The GPS gives more than just distance readings (of course it does that). It gives you information on the things you have always wanted to know, such as how far you hit the ball with the measure a shot feature and how far you are from the green with the pin pointer.
Club advice is also given, with the GPS recording distances for reference and providing recommendations.
iPhone users can also receive alerts on the device from their phone so for golfers that tend to go through emails during game-play, this GPS is perfect.
IZZO Swami 4000+ Golf GPS Review
A large display and simple interface are what make the IZZO Swami 4000+ Golf GPS a great device for me, and this is why I included it in my GPS Golf reviews.
The IZZO Swami includes auto-course recognition, delivering accurate readings of distances to green in every direction. Secondary to this, the device gives readings to doglegs, traps and hazards, and includes a shot distance feature so that you can know how far you swung.
As one of the cheapest golf GPS devices, it is not perfect. The main issue I had was that the device only advances to the next hole automatically when you are on the green.
Battery life is also fair, but not amazing. However, if we are speaking simplicity and value, this is the best GPS golf device.
Garmin Approach G10 Handheld Golf GPS Review
The Garmin Approach G10 is the perfect golf GPS to slap onto your belt or bag making it effortless to use on the green.
It’ got great features such as a super high sensitivity GPS receiver, green view which allows you to manually place pins and the ability to track your statistics. Its simple to use, water rated and has a long lasting battery of about 15 hours.
The battery appears to be one of the major drawcords of this golf GPS. The little features also make a difference such as the hazards and layups which certainly leads to a more accurate club selection.
Unfortunately it isn’t perfect. The main issue with this GPS unit is that there I no voice feature. It also doesn’t include a strap which means you have less flexibility to wear it as a watch. However you can easily pickup a universal strap from Walmart, so it’s not a huge issue.
For a simple effective GPS rangefinder to improve your gameplay, this is a great option.
The Best Golf GPS Sensor Reviews
Arccos On-Course Stats Tracking System Review
If both watches and GPS units are not your thing, then take a look at the Arccos On-Course Stats Tracking System. Arccos have designed a fully automated system to detect your swing making this a standout in our GPS golf rangefinder reviews.
Straight from the box, Arccos provides 14 sensors attached to each club. The sensors send information wirelessly to your smartphone, providing you with information on hits, misses, distances and statistics.
Plus, they never need to be charged as they rely on your smartphone. This should not drain too much battery and should last a good day, depending on your phone. It is available for both iPhone and Andorid.
The GPS works incredibly well and scores high for golf GPS ratings, without any effort on your behalf, and the individual sensors allow you to know the precise distances for each club. This is a definite advantage for anyone looking to improve their skill.
The Best Voice Golf GPS Reviews
GolfBuddy Voice GPS Review
In the category of voice GPS devices, GolfBuddy is a continually cited as a standout, and I have to agree. Golf Buddy reviews are overwhelmingly positive for one reason, they work well! The GolfBuddy Voice GPS is one such example, providing clear and accurate readings without complication.
The biggest pro of the GolfBuddy Voice GPS for me is that it is compact. The device is easily clipped on your person and forgotten about. The voice readings it gives are very clear but not disturbing as some other voice GPS units can be. I found the battery life to be good for about 36 holes, and I found that other Golf Buddy GPS reviews agreed.
The device also includes a shot distance reader, and displays readings in 8 different languages. So for the convenience of being updated whilst you walk, this is the golf GPS best for the job.
Voice Caddie VC300 Golf GPS Review
The Voice Caddie is probably the best golf GPS system to serve as proof that you do not need to spend a fortune to find the best value golf GPS. The Voice Caddie has become a favorite of mine and is the best cheap golf GPS I have used.
This unique voice GPS looks as good as it is to use, and is a great option for the golfer that wants an easy to follow voice GPS. The Voice Caddie provides clear readings and as accurate readings as the best golf distance measuring devices.
Auto-hole recognition works well and gives clear readings to the front, back and center of the green.
The GPS is lightweight and looks fantastic. It is easily attached to headgear for easy access to the devices readings. As one of the most accurate golf GPS voice systems, the battery works hard and therefore the life is only fair. Due to this, I would recommend purchasing a charger for the car.
GolfBuddy VS4 Golf GPS Review
With the popularity of the GolfBuddy Voice GPS, many golfers want the convenience that voice GPS units afford but do not want to forgo a watch. And now they do not have to.
The GolfBuddy VS4 can be used as both a golf GPS watch or handheld device, giving you flexibility any day of the week. What I really love about the GolfBuddy VS4 is that it can be used in any way that I want, either clipped to my belt, hat or my wrist by attaching bands. With this in mind, you are getting a golf GPS watch cheap!
The top GPS units offer, with auto course recognition, auto hole recognition and a long lasting battery life of up to 10 hours. The GPS features a large display, and the fact that it is water resistant makes it the best GPS rangefinder for any weather.
GolfBuddy are popular for their accurate and quality GPS units, and I love that I can include this device not just in my reviews of GPS golf watches. The device is quite small however, as would be expected with its ability to be worn as a watch, but still larger than the next best golf distance watch, and is a great versatile device for any golfer. I hope to do more Golf Buddy watch reviews.
Garmin Approach G6 Handheld rangefinder review
The Garmin Approach G6 comes preloaded with 25,000 courses and does not require an ongoing subscription or payment to keep it updated. This, in my view, is what makes it one of the best GPS golf rangefinders. The device is waterproof, and the touchscreen can be used with gloves on, with the screen being very responsive to touch. The colored display is easy to read, shows distances and hazards, and you can layup distances onscreen by dragging the cursor (or inputting the yardage).
The battery lasts up to 15 hours in total, so it can be charged and last the entire weekend. Also making this the best GPS rangefinder is an inbuilt electronic scorecard and tracker, so that you note your progress electronically (and see the trends overall).
The device is lightweight and the screen is clear, but like other GPS golf rangefinder reviews I’ve read, this device can still get confused at times. This just seems to be typical of GPS units, and does not happen frequently enough to really worry about.
Overall, this is a fantastic GPS golf rangefinder with lifetime updates and preloaded courses. Sounds good to me!
You can also find the best laser golf rangerfinders here.
Do you own a golf GPS? What is your pick for the best golf GPS and the best golf watch?