Best Golf GPS Watches Review 2017 - Buying Guide

Looking to buy the best golf GPS watch? Have you figured out what you need on the course? A GPS watch or a laser rangefinder? A very difficult question to answer. People always get the two confused. This is the most abundant topic in the forums. Don’t worry about this -read my article all about it! OK, now I can safely assume you have decided to use a GPS watch instead of a laser device. Now again, you face the problem of trying to find the best golf GPS watch! I am here to help you yet again! I will help you decide which golf GPS watch is best for you. First, take a look at this quick list of the ten best golf GPS watches out there.

Golf GPS WatchesPre-CoursesBatteryAuthor Ratings
Bushnell Neo Ion
(Author's Choice)
35000+ Courses GPS Mode: 16 hours Check Now
Garmin Approach S2 30000+ Courses GPS Mode: 8 hours
Watch Mode: 3 weeks
Check Now
Callaway GPSy GPS Watch 30000+ Courses GPS Mode: 10-12 hours Check Now
Garmin Approach S4 30000+ Courses GPS Mode: 10 hours
Watch Mode: 6 weeks
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TomTom Golf- Golfer 2
(Author's Choice)
40000+ Courses GPS Mode: 12 hours Check Now
Bushnell NEO XS 33000+ Courses GPS Mode: 12 hours
Watch Mode: 2 years
Check Now
Garmin Approach X40 GPS Band 40000+ Courses GPS Mode: 10 hours
Watch Mode: 5 days
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Garmin Approach S6 38000+ Courses GPS Mode: 10 hours
Watch Mode: 14 weeks
Check Now
TomTom Golfer GPS Watch 34000+ Courses GPS Mode: 10 hours Check Now
GolfBuddy WT5 GPS Watch 38000+ Courses GPS Mode: 8 hours
Watch Mode: 35 days
Check Now

Let's find The Best Golf GPS Watch for you

I have done a lot of research, trying to figure out which are the best GPS watches on the market. There are over 80 companies that are making GPS watches every day. So, you can imagine how much work I needed to do (and we also know that I make mistakes sometimes). However, I tried my best to make a list compiling all the best golf GPS watches that have great features as well as great durability. Here I am, reviewing the top 5 golf GPS watches from top brands by the experts. Know before you buy!

The Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch is a "Best Seller" on Amazon. It is a stylish watch, and also has some great features. I have tried a lot of GPS watches from different brands. The worst thing that happens, is the companies make big promises before you buy the watch, but after buying it, you soon realize that the promises don’t hold. That's mainly why I decided to help you to choose the best one among all available GPS watches.

Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch is very comfortable to use, and it has a high-sensitivity GPS receiver. You can have the measurement of the front, back, and middle of greens. It uses a long lasting battery. The battery lasts up to 3 weeks in watch mode and up to 8 hours in GPS mode. It is quite similar to Garmin Approach S1 but it has some improvement in getting the distances perfectly.

Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: It has over 30,000 courses installed from over 30 countries. You can update the courses for as long as you want, free of cost! You don't need any subscription to do so.
  • Yardages: The Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch can give you the yardage to the front, back and middle of the green. It doesn't matter where you are in the course. Even if you under a blockage, it will still give you yardage.
  • Battery: The lifetime of a GPS watch's battery is a very important factor. You must choose a GPS watch that has a good and long lasting battery. The Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It can last up to 3 weeks in watch mode and up to 8 hours in GPS mode. You can recharge the battery via USB.
What's Included
  • 1 Lithium Ion Battery
  • Manual
  • Charger Clip
  • Customer Satisfaction: This is another crucial thing you should check whenever you are buying something. Only the people who have actually used the product can tell you how the product is. That's why I checked tons of forums and marketplaces, and I found that customers are very pleased with this GPS watch, except,there exists some negative feedback about poor performance on jumping around on different holes.
  • High-Sensitivity GPS Receiver
  • 30,000 Courses Installed
  • Easy to Setup
  • Expensive
  • Poor Performance on Jumping on Different Holes.

The Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch is a great watch from Bushnell. When it comes to GPS devices, Bushnell never disappoints us. That's why I didn't bother to look that deeply into this watch. The design attracted me, and thus, I bought it. As usual, it didn't let me down. It has over 35,000+ courses from 30 countries across the world. It runs on a durable battery, and it has some very cool features like auto course recognition and auto hole advance. It is also convenient with easy-to-read front, back and center distances. The Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch is legal for all kinds of tournaments.

Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: The Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch is preloaded with over 35000+ courses, not only just from the US, but from all different parts of the world. There is no membership or download fees to update the courses later, and it is for the lifetime.
  • Auto Course and Hole Recognition: This device has Auto Course and Hole Recognition features that can automatically recognize the courses and holes in the green.


  • Battery: The Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch uses a long-lasting battery. You can play over three full rounds between charges. It has a battery life of 16 hours in GPS mode. As this watch uses a rechargeable battery, you can recharge it with the included USB cable. It takes around 2.5 hours to fully recharge the battery.
What's Included
  • Batteries
  • USB charging/sync cable included
  • Yardage: You can get the distances to the front, center, and back of the green easily with this GPS watch.
  • Shot Distance Calculator: The Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch has a shot distance calculator. It will measure how far you hit the ball, simply by the press of one button.
  • Customer Satisfaction: The research I’ve done has shown that customers of the Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch are happy with their purchase. In fact, I am one of those happy buyers as well. I have used the watch and can tell you that you will not regret purchasing it. Only some people are talking about the charging method improvements. It has a limited warranty of one-year, so if you face any problem, they will short it out.
  • Easy to Use.
  • Rainproof
  • Tournaments Legal
  • No Membership or Download Fees
  • Expensive than other GPS watches.
  • Some customers are complaining that they are having some issue when syncing data.

The Garmin Approach S4 GPS Golf Watch is lightweight and very comfortable to wear. After S2, S4 is their top selling golf GPS watch in the US. It is an improved version of the Garmin Approach S3. Garmin has added a dedicated Green View Button so that you can quickly access the green. It can also receive emails, texts, and alerts when it is paired with a compatible Apple iPhone. The touchscreen will give the user a better experience. It is preloaded with more than 30,000 golf courses, and you don't have to pay any subscription fees. The Garmin S4 has digital scorecard options for the individual, and you can save the score and review it whenever you need.

Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: The Garmin Approach S4 GPS Golf Watch comes with over 30,000 preloaded golf courses. As I said, you won't have to pay a single buck for any of them. You can also update them later.
  • Display: The S4 has a highly performed touchscreen display. Sunlight will not be an issue when trying to read the screen because the screen is sunlight readable.
  • Green View Button: The Garmin Approach S4 has a dedicated green view button that lets you turn to the green view screen quickly, just by clicking a single button.
  • Battery: The S4 uses a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 10 hours in GPS mode and around 6 weeks in watch mode. You can charge the battery with the USB cable.
What's Included
  • Charging/Data Clip
  • Manual
  • Battery
  • Watch Mode: The Garmin Approach S4 is very stylish and has a unique design. You can use the device as a normal watch if you are not playing.  It can receive emails, texts, and alerts when it is connected to a compatible iPhone.
  • Customer Satisfaction: I have seen a lot of positive feedback from the customers of the Garmin Approach S4. It has over 240 customers’ responses on Amazon.
  • Yardages to the front, middle and back of Green
  • Touch Targeting
  • Rainproof (10 meters)
  • Expensive
  • Handhelds Bulky
  • GolfApp Should be Improved

Callaway is a famous brand in the USA. They have been doing business for a long time with a good reputation. The Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch is one of their most selling GPS watches. In fact, I saw one of my colleagues using it on the course when we were playing on the weekend. After seeing its gorgeous design and great performance, I fell in love with it. After using the Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch, I decided to use the Callaway watch. It was an amazing device with over 30,000+ courses and maps from around the world. You will not need to pay any other subscription or download fees in the future.

The GPSy Watch is waterproof to 1 ATM designation. The Callaway GPSy Golf GPS delivers fast, accurate distances to greens, hazards, and doglegs, via the convenience of wearable technology. You can get the distances of the front, center, and back of the green with a simple turn of your wrist.

Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: The Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch is preloaded with 30,000+ worldwide courses and maps,allowing you to play even if you are out of the USA or you are on tour. If you want to upgrade the course list in future, you can do that easily and off course, free of cost, as it doesn't require any subscription or download fees.
  • Yardages: You can get the distances of the front, center and back to the green with the Callaway GPSy Golf GPS.
  • Auto Course Recognition: The GPS watch can automatically recognize the course with its Auto Course Recognition features. It uses a GPS (Global Positioning System) to find out your location and match it with the available courses near you.
  • Auto Hole Advance: This feature is similar to Auto Course Recognition. It can detect the holes of the courses itself.
  • Shot Distance Measurement: Like the Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch, it also has the Shot Distance Measurement feature.
  • Battery: It uses a long-lasting battery that can last 10-12 hours in GPS mode and 90+ hours in watch mode.
What's Included
  • Battery
  • Scorekeeper Function: Scorekeeper Function lets you record all of the data from the game. Many of the GPS watches don't have the ability to keep track of your scores, but the Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch can do so.
  • Customer Satisfaction: The Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch is a popular GPS watch made by Callaway. It is very good and easy to use. Customers of the Callaway GPSy Golf GPS seem to be quite satisfied. However, people complain about its price. If I’m to be honest, I think it's worth it.
  • No annual fees or subscriptions
  • Less expensive
  • Battery lasts less than advertised

Garmin has made a lot of great GPS watches over the years, but the Approach S20 Golf Watch is the perfect golfing partner. It is stylish, convenient, lightweight and easy to use. It is preloaded with more than 40,000 courses from around the world, and the courses and maps will automatically be updated. It has a high-sensitive GPS receiver that can detect the courses in an instant. Whether you play in your town or outside of your country, the Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch will fetch the nearest courses information automatically. It uses a long-running lithium-ion battery that can give you great support while playing rounds.

Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: The Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch is preloaded with over 40,000 courses from different parts of the world. This watch will automatically update the courses.  
  • Autoshot: The round analyzer of the watch measures shot distances, and you can analyze the data after playing the game. You can keep track all of your scores using the Garmin Connect account.
  • Activity Tracking: The Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch can store all of your activity, such as your running data, calories burned, distance and time of day. It can even track your sleeping hours.
  • Green View Display: The Green View Display feature of the S20 can show you the full view of the green. Even if you are behind the green, it will still show you the green.
  • Battery: The Garmin S20 uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It can last up to 15 hours in GPS mode and up to 8 weeks in watch mode. It can be recharged via USB.
What's Included
  • Charging/data clip
  • Battery
  • Manual
  • Watch Mode: It has some additional features like an odometer and an alarm clock. You can use the Garmin S20 as a stylish watch even if you are not playing golf.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Where to start! It has around 100 customer reviews on Amazon, where you can see their feedback about the Garmin Approach S20. I checked almost all of the famous online markets such as Amazon and Ebay and found some awesome feedback from verified customers. Although some of them were complaining about the wireless synching, the majority of people had a great experience with the S20 watch.
  • Can be paired with new TruSwing golf swing sensor
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Measures Shot Distances 
  • Wireless Synching Data Sometimes doesn't work
  • No Customization with Connect IQ 

We are in an era of modern technology. The world is getting smaller day by day. There are a lot of improvements being developed in all areas of life. As for sports, the Golf GPS watches are the latest device with a lot of facilities. This provides the best golfing experience while being in style. They are very light and convenient to carry. You can simply wrap them around your wrist and play without having the tension of the rangefinder.

This device can map out the courses for you, so you don't have to carry the whole city map with you. It can also measure the distance of the target (flag) accurately. You can see the reading on the display of the watch. The best feature of this kind of device is that we can measure the distances of the target during a foggy day because it relies on a GPS, not a laser.

Let's find which GPS watch what will be the best for you to play in style!

Can a golf GPS watch make your swing better?

Well, unfortunately not. How you can improve your swing abilities by simply wearing a simple metal watch! It can only help you to guess the distances of the flags. It will not play your shot nor improve your swing. You can only improve your golf swing by practicing and playing more and more game. A golf GPS watch can't measure the club's speed.  But this device can improve your overall golfing experience. 

Things to consider before buying a GPS golf watch

We looked at a few GPS watches already, and I think they are amazing, don’t you agree? Did you choose one of them that you like the best? Do you want to buy it? If yes, I would recommend you not to buy it if you haven’t had any experience with one before, or if you don't know the parameters given bellow. Take a look:

Design and Shapes

First one is to check is design. Design means the shape, color etc. of the device. Design matters! Check the design of the watch before deciding if it’s for you.


This one makes a big difference when comparing watches. Be sure first what features the device has. This will also depend on your budget. If you are on a tight budget, then try to find a watch that has all the important (compulsory) features.

Battery Life

This is one of the most important features that you should pay close attention to, since I don’t think you’d enjoy carrying around a charger while you play. To be honestly, I really hate that! So, you must look in to the battery life before buying a watch.

Data Support

There is a lot of watches that have limited access memory. In fact, they charge extra sometimes to download any data like courses out of "limited memory". Also, don't forget to check its compatibility with other devices like smartphones.


Finally price. Yes, it is one of the most crucial parts of choosing any kind of device. You probably have a budget. So, you have to choose the watch with all the features I mentioned above, while keeping it within your budget. I know,it’s hard, but I highly recommend you do that.

If need to know anything else please don't hesitate to contact me.

Things to avoid before buying?

People usually do these type of mistakes.

Product Research

This is the first mistake people make. Suppose you are going to buy a GPS watch.You should check its features, its availability (whether it is in stock or not) if it’s the latest version etc.

Many people do not research these things, so you should avoid making this type of mistake.

Avoiding customer's reviews

Customer's reviews are very important. They have used the product before you, and know how they feel about the product. Generally, they can say whether the product was good or bad. You should check on a few sites and forums to know what other people are saying about the product before you buy it.