Best Golf GPS Watch Reviews: Ultimate Guides in 2017 ?

Best Golf GPS Watch Reviews: Ultimate Guide in 2017 ?

When it comes to helping your golf game, owning a great golfing GPS watch is essential. But with so many different models available, deciding on one can be difficult. Knowing what the best golf GPS watch out there is can make your decision a lot easier. That’s why if you are looking for great gps watches for golf, you need to know what to look for, avoid and expect from the one you want to purchase.

This review with the top 10 on the market, does all the hard work for you. The following list contains not only the best GPS watches based on ratings, but also pricing and overall customer satisfaction. Each review covers the features the watches offer as well as other information you will need to help you make a better decision. Having a top ten list with the best golf gps watch available can be considered a hole in one!

Quick Review for Top 10 Best Golf GPS Watch in 2017

GPS Golf WatchPreloaded Course MapsBattery LifeDisplay Editor's Review
Garmin Approach S20
Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch
More than 40,000 courses- Watch mode: Up to 8 weeks
- GPS mode: Up to 15 hours
Sunlight-readable, High-resolution, Monochrome
Garmin Approach S2
Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch
More than 30,000 courses- Watch mode: Up to 3 weeks
- GPS mode: Up to 8 hours
Monochrome LCD
Bushnell Neo Ion
Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch
More than 35,000 courses10 hours in averageNot provided
Garmin Approach S6
Garmin Approach S6 Golf GPS Watch
More than 38,000 courses- Watch mode: Up to 20 weeks
- GPS mode: Up to 10 hours
High-resolution Color Touchscreen
Garmin Approach S4
Garmin Approach S4  Golf GPS Watch
Up to 38,000 courses- Watch mode: Up to 6 weeks
- GPS mode: Up to 10 hours
High-resolution Touchscreen
Callaway GPSy
Callaway GPSy  Golf GPS Watch
More than 30,000 courses- Watch mode: 90 days
- GPS mode: Up to 10 hours
Not Provided
Garmin Approach X40
Garmin Approach X40  Golf GPS Band
More than 40,000 courses- Watch mode: Up to 5 days
- GPS mode: Up to 10 hours
Sunlight-readable, High-resolution Touchscreen, Monochrome
Garmin vívoactive
Garmin vívoactive  Golf GPS Watch
More than 38,000 courses - Watch mode: Up to 3 weeks
- GPS mode: Up to 10 hours
Color, Touchscreen
GolfBuddy Voice GPS
GolfBuddy Voice GPS
Up to 35,000 courses9 hours in averageMonochrome LCD
Garmin Approach S3
Garmin Approach S3 Golf GPS Watch
More than 29,500 courses - Watch mode: Up to 4 weeks
- GPS mode: Up to 8 hours
Monochrome LCD touchscreen

Garmin Approach S20 (Black) Golf GPS Watch

Garmin Approach S20 (Black) Golf GPS Watch

The Garmin Approach S20 (Black) Golf GPS Watch will instantly improve your golf game. With many great features, the S20 is bound to let you play better once you wear it. This GPS watch has an activity tracker which is very helpful. It displays time of day, and distance, calories burned, steps, and even hours of sleep monitoring. The bar alerts remind you to stay off the course or to stay active. It also comes with Smart Bluetooth Notifications since it pairs with your Smartphone.

With round analyzing, it measures shot distances for post round analysis. This Autoshot Round Analyzer & Stat Tracking is all done with auto-recording. The Garmin Approach also has USB charging cable. That feature is very convenient since it allows you to keep your S20 fully charged before you go on the golf course, or afterwards. Plus, it only weighs 1.5oz and has up to 8 weeks battery life when in activity mode.

One issue some people had with the Garmin Approach S20 was the hard to follow instructions. The manual is not very helpful and it is very hard to use. Part of that problem though can be attributed to this great GPS golf watch having so many features to cover. Another issue is having to learn about downloading courses. Since the watch does not have them, you will need to figure out how to do so. Still, once you calculate how to do so, it will make your golfing experience tremendously better. Using this feature will enable the watch to be much more accurate and precise. 


Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch

Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch

To anyone who may see you with this watch on your wrist, it may appear to be just another wristwatch. However, the Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch with Worldwide Courses is far from that. With so many useful and helpful features, the Garmin Approach S2 is one of the best golf gps units on the market today. Unlike other similar models out there, the S2 comes preloaded with over 30,000 worldwide courses. In addition, it also has a free lifetime course updates function as well.

The Garmin S2 golf gps wrist watch can immediately help you improve your golf game or take it to another level. That’s because it delivers precise yardages. From Front, back and middle of the green, the precision is outstanding. This includes dogleg distances and Layup as well to help improve your usability through the entire hole.

Another great function to appreciate is being able to store or print an individual, digital scorecard. This unit lets you measure singular shot distances. That means any shots that are played in any part of the course can be precisely calculated by the S2. Although some users reported issues with charging, that could be attributed to the way a person is doing so. In some cases, leaving the unit charging for too long can end up damaging the batteries. Another minor problem is that it does not have high-resolution display nor auto-shot. However, if those features are really important to you, then you can choose the similar Garmin Approach X40 or the S20 since both have them. Overall though, this is one of the better GPS golf watches available today. 


Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch

Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch

Making the list in the best gps golf watch review is the Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS watch. With a lot great useful and helpful features, this unit will provide a helping hand to your golfing game. The Neo Ion comes preloaded with over 35,000 golf courses from over 30 different countries. This means that your favorite golf courses you play in, are already programmed in there.

The Bushnell Ion also comes with auto course recognition for easier game play. That also includes an auto hole advance feature as well. You can get about 3 rounds of play from the long lasting battery from just one charge. One of things you will love about the Ion is the comfortable, sleek and well packed design of the unit. That includes a dual injected silicone sports band which is very comfy. You can even use this GPS golf watch as a pedometer when not playing golf.

When you do golf gps systems comparison, the Bushnell Ion is a great buy for the money. The yardage readout are always spot on and it shows F, C, B of green. Plus, it has layup distances and hazards as well. An issue some users had with this unit was the pliable material the watch band is made of. Another problem a few reported was having problems reading the small numbers at times. Still, when it  comes to overall performance, pricing and delivery, the Bushnell Neo Ion is a very smart buy.


Garmin Approach S6 Golf GPS Watch

Garmin Approach S6 Golf GPS Watch

For those looking for a top rated golf gps watch, the Garmin Approach S6 GPS Golf Watch is one to consider. When it comes to overall functions, the Garmin Approach is full of them. One of those features is the very handy and useful touchscreen. The sunlight readable and high-resolution color touch screen is one of the things that sets the S6 miles apart from the competition.

The touchscreen is even glove-friendly and color resistive. Other functions are the swing strength which let you train yourself on improving your swing. It does this by calculating just how hard you swing your clubs each time you take a shot. There is also the SwingTempo feature which helps with that as well. If that wasn’t enough, the Garmin Approach comes with a Pinpointer function to provide you with blind shot assistance. This comes in handy each time you can’t see the pin as it helps point you in the right direction. There is also touch targeting and a long battery life of up to 10 hours.

When you compare golf gps devices, the Garmin Approach S6, ranks among the best. Some did complain of having difficulty with the touchscreen at times due to it not being sensitive enough. This included smudges and fingerprints left on it. However, that is a common issue with all touch screens. Other minor problems included the Bluetooth sometimes not working properly and having a hard time reading the fine print. Still, this is still considered one of the best GPS golf watch gadgets out there.


Garmin Approach S4 Golf GPS Golf Watch

Garmin Approach S4 Golf GPS Golf Watch

The Garmin Approach S4 GPS Golf Watch is one of the top rated golf gps devices on our review listing. The reason for this is based on the pricing, ratings and many functions it offers. The S4 comes fully equipped with a Hi-res touchcreen and an eye catching design. Golfers can appreciate the 30,000 plus preloaded worldwide golf courses found on the unit. And with a free lifetime course update offer, you will never have to worry about the watch not being up to date.

While on the golf course, users will enjoy the green view button. This dedicated button is there to show the true layout of the green as well the shape. All can be done with a push of this button. Once you do so, you can then locate the to day’s pin manually. The sunlight readable touchscreen is both glove-friendly and high-resolution. Even with that function, the battery last up to 10 hours while in GPS mode. The rechargeable battery can also last up to 6 weeks in watch mode.

It is no surprise that the Garmin Approach has made it to the top of this gps golf watch reviews list. With the smart notifications feature, you don’t ever have to miss any more text, RSS alert or email. Since it acts as a wireless extension to compatible cell phones, you get any notifications your phone receives. A few users found the pin placement and green view a bit awkward. It can also be a bit complicated due to the many features. Nonetheless, all of the various functions is what makes this a top of the line GPS watch.


Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch

Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch

For those that take their game of golf seriously or want to get better at it, the Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch is a must have. This unit will help golf players get assistance on the hazards and doglegs as well as accurate readings to the distances to the greens. All the while, you can do so with the convenience of a wrist watch. That may explain why you will always find a top spot for the Callaway GPSy on most reviews of golf gps watches.

The GPSy comes preloaded with over 30,000 course maps from all over the world. There is never any subscription fees or download needed either. One of the things that makes this GPS watch such a must have unit on the golf course is the useful features it has. One of them is the auto course recognition. There is also a very handy scorekeeper and an odometer function. Both let you easily keep track of your round data during your play. The readouts also includes GIR and putts per round, hole/total score and other useful data.

While you’re out on the golf course playing, the battery last up to 10 hours in GPS mode. But it will last upwards to 40 days if in watch mode though. You can also choose to set it in either digital or analog format. The Callaway GPSy comes in two colors as well; both black and white. There is one drawback though since it offers no Bluetooth connection to your cell phone or other devices which other similar units have. But if you are looking for great gps golf watches for men or women, then the Callaway GPSy is worth considering.


Garmin Approach X40 Golf GPS Band

Garmin Approach X40 Golf GPS Band

For those interested in a highly rated and affordable golf wrist watch, the Garmin Approach X40 GPS Golf Band is worth considering. This unit has tons of features which make it an excellent buy. The X40 comes with the Garmin Connect Compatibility, AutoShot, Activity Tracking, and the TruSwing Compatible functions. There are also a few others to evaluate such as the Smart notifications feature and the long life the battery has. For those that need an extension to their gadget, the Garmin Approach X40 can do that as well. Since it connects with your devices, it can provide notifications while you’re out on the field. You no longer have to miss text messages, phone calls, emails or other important notifications while you’re playing golf.

Another feature which makes this GPS golf watch an even smarter buy is the 24/7 Heart rate monitoring it offers. You can use it to track and keep tab on your heart rate all day and night. If you want to know the accuracy of the tracking you can simply visit for more details. Users who travel all over the world will appreciate the free live courses updates you receive too. Plus, you can use this GPS watch as a regular wristwatch whenever you are off the green.

When out on the golf course, you can take advantage of the very helpful and useful scorecard function. Apart from being very easy to use, it lets you scroll down to keep track of individual player’s scores. The design on this watch is also very rugged, sleek and well built. With its accurate precision, it is no wonder the Garmin X40  keeps making the reviews of gps golf watches top ten list.

Some users did not like having to wait for the satellite to load when out on the golf course. In some cases, it may take up to 2 minutes to locate one. Also, the many functions it has make it a bit confusing to use; especially since the manual lacks all the information needed to do so. Yet once you get passed all of that, most can and will love this unit for its many features, customer ratings, pricing and what it offers.


Garmin vívoactive Black Golf GPS Watch

Garmin vívoactive Black Golf GPS Watch

The Garmin vivoactive Black GPS smartwatch ranks amongst the best golf gps devices out there for several reasons. There’s the high resolution color touchscreen, the ultra-thin, compact and innovative design and lots of useful features. The Garmin vivoactive is also more than just a great gps golf watch. This unit also has many built-in sports apps such as for biking, swimming and GPS-enabled running. With the Garmin vivoactive, you can easily track your stats as you work out. The easy to read color touch screen works very well even under direct sunlight. You can use the accelerometer-based technology to see how many calories you have burned, your stroke counts per length and tally hole number and par.

For all of your golfing needs, this device has more than 38,000 courses from all over the world. That means you can use the GPS to measure layup and dogleg distances. Since the vivoactive pairs with your Smartphone, you can receive notifications for just about everything. The unit will display alerts for emails, texts messages, incoming calls and even social media updates. Plus, there’s no need to worry about battery life since it can be recharged quickly. The battery last up to 10 hours in GPS mode and up to 3 weeks in activity watch mode.

One drawback some had with the Garmin was with how dim the display can sometimes be. That might make it difficult to read at times depending on the light and where you are. Others complained about the vivoactive having issues connecting to the ConnectIQ store. Nonetheless, both of these issues can be expected depending on the light situations and connection. Overall though, the Garmin vivoactive Black is still one of the best all around GPS watch devices out there.

If you are searching to buy a cheap golf gps watch that can still help you on the golf course, then the GolfBuddy Voice GPS watch may be the one for you. While it may not cost as much as a lot of similar GPS devices on the market today, the GolfBuddy has a ton of identical features. The unit comes preloaded with over 35,000 plus worldwide golf courses. This helps makes it easier for you when you are ready to play the game. Best of all, they are all 100% free. Another great feature to love on the GolfBuddy is the voice telling. It lets you know the distance very accurately so you no longer have to guess just how far the distance is. This is very useful when you want to know the precise distance to front, center or back of the green.

Those who purchased this GPS watch also raved about how easy it is to carry and take with you. You can clip it on to your hat, shirt or belt with no problem. If that wasn’t enough, the GolfBuddy also comes pre-loaded with 8 different spoken languages. Although not technically a wrist watch, when it comes to a useful golf distance watch, the GolfBuddy does the job.

Some users did report having problems with the exact distance on certain golf courses at times. That may be due to the unit needing to be updated more frequently. However, when you consider the price and all that you get in return from this unit, it makes it a great buy.


Garmin Approach S3 Golf GPS Watch

Garmin Approach S3 Golf GPS Watch

For anyone searching for the best rated golf gps watches out there, then the Garmin Approach S3 GPS Golf Watch could be the one for you. With its sleek, innovative and beautiful design, this unit looks nothing like what you expect from a GPS golf watch. It is both waterproof and very rugged which can come in handy out on the golf courses.

The Garmin Approach is full of awesome functions as well. There is the free lifetime course updates that comes with the 27,000 plus worldwide courses available. In addition, the S3 has a glove friendly touchscreen with high resolution display. With the Touch; Move the Pin feature, you can manually use the touchscreen to move the pin to the day’s location easily. Whenever you are on par-3’s, this can be very helpful since it lets you dial in the distance you need. You can also keep score for individual players with the digital scorecard option. All of these features help make the Garmin Approach S3 one of the best golf navigation devices on the market today.

Some users did have an issue with the unit since it does not let you connect to either your Smartphone or similar devices to stay in touch. But for those that have a cell phone they take with them anyway, this may not matter anyway. In any event, for anyone on the market for a reliable and stylish GPS watch, the Garmin S3 is worth looking into.

Things to consider when purchase a Golf GPS Watch

There are several things to consider before you purchase any golf watches with gps. The factors to consider largely depend on you and what you expect from the device. First, you need to think about the battery life. If you spend a lot of time during each round then you may want to purchase one with a longer lasting battery. Second, you should always think about the features the GPS watch may have. Since every player is different, the functions of the unit may depend on you.

Players with more experience may choose to purchase one with more advance features. Also, if you are not too good with electronic devices, buying one with too many functions can work against you. Users should also think about the design they want as well as the data support they will get with the unit. There is also the ease of use of the GPS watch device, the ruggedness and finally, the cost. Depending on how much you want to spend on your golf watch is one of the things that will ultimately let you decide on which models to consider and which ones to avoid.

How to buy the best Golf GPS Watch

When it comes to how to buy the best golf gps watch on the market, then that is very important as well. Choosing a reputable and reliable place that will not give you a hard time if you run into problems with the unit is important. Amazon is one of the best places to purchase your unit because of how great their return policy is. They also stand by each product they sell so you know you won’t have any problems getting your money back either.

So when it comes to purchasing the best gps watch for golf, just remember that there are many out there available to choose from. Finding the right one for you is the key.


The best golf GPS watch should be a timeless piece that makes golfing experience, simpler and more enthralling. The watch should make it easy to understand the layout of a golf course, know with precision yardage to the front, back and center of the green for better shots. Besides, the watches should be easy to use, comfortable to wear, and enabled with after play scorecards for further personal assessments. Whether one is a new golfing enthusiast or an experienced professional, getting the right watch is the most crucial platform for assurance of better results.

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About the author

Gilbert M. Harvey

Hello! My name is Gilbert M. Harvey and I really love golf. I have been playing this game since my early teenage years. I have learnt the ropes over time and I can now play at a higher level. My golfing journey was not a bed of roses. Being an amateur was the hardest part because it always felt like I was never going to get a breakthrough. The game initially seemed to be evading me. I gave several tries and contemplated quitting but somehow I held on and I don’t regret.Read More

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