Best Golf GPS Watch Review – Our Complete 2018 Watch Buying Guide

best golf gps watch

Looking to buy the best golf GPS watch? Have you figured out what you need on the course? If you are facing the problem of trying to find the best golf GPS watch, then stay tuned; In this gps watch buying guide we will be discussing which can be the best option for you.


GPS Watch or Laser Rangefinder?

This could be a somewhat complex question to answer. Most people often get these two confused, and is a common question that can be found on several forums and discussion boards. To answer this question you can read this detailed post for more info on that.


Lets start by taking a look at our list of the top 10 best golf GPS watches out there:

Golf GPS Watches Specifications Author Ratings Pricing
G. Approach S60 * GPS Mode: 10 hours
* Pre-Courses 40,000+
View Price
Bushnell Neo Ion * GPS Mode: 16 hours
* Pre-Courses 35,000+
View Price
TomTom Golfer 2 * GPS Mode: 12 hours
* Pre-Courses 40,000+
View Price
Callaway GPSy GPS Watch * GPS Mode: 10-12 hours
* Pre-Courses 30,000+
View Price
Garmin Approach S4 * GPS Mode: 10 hours
* Watch Mode: 6 weeks
* Pre-Courses 30,000+
View Price
Garmin Approach S2 * GPS Mode: 8 hours
* Watch Mode: 3 weeks
* Pre-Courses 30,000+
View Price
Bushnell NEO XS * GPS Mode: 12 hours
* Watch Mode: 2 years
* Pre-Courses 33,000+
View Price
Garmin Approach X40 GPS Band * GPS Mode: 10 hours
* Watch Mode: 5 days
* Pre-Courses 40,000+
View Price
Garmin Approach S6 * GPS Mode: 10 hours
* Watch Mode: 14 weeks
* Pre-Courses 38,000+
View Price
TomTom Golfer GPS Watch * GPS Mode: 10 hours
* Pre-Courses 34,000+
View Price
GolfBuddy WT5 GPS Watch * GPS Mode: 8 hours
* Watch Mode: 35 days
* Pre-Courses 38,000+
View Price


Which Can Be The Best Golf Watch For Your Needs?

I have done a lot of research, trying to figure out which are the best golf GPS watches on the market. As of now, there are over 80 companies that are making the best golf GPS watches every day. So, you can imagine how much options there are out there to choose from.

However, in this list I decided to focus on the golf GPS watches that have the best features and good durability. Here are the top 5 golf GPS watches based on our research and feedback from top brands that are well known in the market. Know before you buy!


1. Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch

The Garmin Approach S2 is one of Amazon’s best selling golf gps watches. It is a stylish watch, and also has some great features. I have tried several different GPS watches from different brands, and the Approach S2 is simple, yet easy to use and highly sensitive to its GPS capabilities.

golf gps watches

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


Watch Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: This watch has over 40,000 pre-loaded courses installed from over 30 countries. The courses can also be updated easily at no additional cost. You don’t need any subscription to do so either.


  • Yardages: The Garmin Approach S2 can display the yardage to the front, back and middle of the green. It doesn’t matter in which area of the course you are in. Even under a blockage, it will still give you the correct yardage.


  • Battery: The lifetime of a GPS watch battery can be a very important factor. You must choose a GPS watch that has a good and long lasting battery. The Garmin Approach S2 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 port.
What's Included
  • 1 Lithium Ion Battery
  • Manual
  • Charger Clip
  • Customer Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction and previous customer experiences are always important whenever you are buying something. People who have previously used the product can give you an idea on how well the product handles and operates. In this case, we have found that customers are generally very pleased with this golf GPS watch, except for some few negative feedbacks about poor performance on measuring yardage and battery issues.


  • High-Sensitivity GPS Receiver
  • 40,000 Pre-Loaded Courses Installed
  • Easy to Setup
  • Poor battery life
  • Unstable yardage measurements


2. Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch

The Bushnell Neo Ion is one of Bushnell’s most popular golf watches. When it comes to GPS devices, Bushnell strives to deliver its best. Overall, the design and colors of this watch attracted me as well as the sharp digital display and layout.

It comes with 35,000+ courses from 30 countries across the world. It runs on a durable battery, and has some very cool features such as auto course recognition and auto hole advance. It is also convenient with its easy-to-read front, back and center distances. The Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch is legal for tournament play, and includes a 1 year limited warranty.


best golf gps watches

Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: The Bushnell Neo Ion is preloaded with over 35000+ courses, not only just from the US, but from 30 other different countries. There is no membership or download fees to update the courses.


  • 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 watch 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 has a shot distance calculator. It will measure how far you hit the ball, with the press of one button.


  • Customer Satisfaction: Customers of the Bushnell Neo Ion are happy with their purchase, along with myself. I have used the watch and can tell you that it is a great working device that is built for quality. People do discuss about the charging method improvements. Mac owners also experienced some problems with syncing their watch to their computers. It has a limited warranty of one-year, so if you face any problem they will short it out for you.


  • Easy to use
  • Rainproof
  • Legal for tournaments
  • No membership or download fees
  • More expensive than other GPS watches.
  • Mac users have experienced issues when syncing watch


3. Garmin Approach S4 GPS Golf Watch

The Garmin Approach S4 is lightweight and very comfortable to wear. After the S2, the S4 is their best golf GPS watch with the highest number of sales 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 which is very nice. The Approach S4 features a touchscreen display that will give you a much better experience and easy navigation. It is preloaded with more than 30,000 golf courses, and you don’t have to pay any subscription fees. The Garmin S4 also has digital scorecard options, and you can save the score and review it later whenever you need to.


best golf gps watch review

Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: The Garmin Approach S4 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 Approach S4 has an HD glove-friendly touchscreen display, that is also 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 stylish and has a unique design. The current available colors are: Green/Black, Blue/Black and White.  You can use the device as a normal watch if you are not playing.  It can receive emails, texts, and alerts when its connected to a compatible iPhone.


  • Customer Satisfaction: With over 240 customer responses on Amazon, the overall majority of previous owners are happy with their purchase. However, a few customers experienced screen locking and battery life issues.
  • Yardages to the front, middle and back of Green
  • Touch targeting
  • Rainproof (up to 10 meters)
  • Expensive
  • Battry life doesnt last very long
  • Golf App could be improved


4. Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch

It is no doubt that Callaway is a famous and trusted brand among golfers. They have been doing business for a long time, and have been able to maintain good reputation. The Callaway GPSy is one of their best golf GPS watch to hit the market.

After seeing its nice square design and overall great performance, I fell in love with it. The Bushnell Neo Ion, and the Callaway GPSy are 2 of my favorite watches to wear in the field. This great watch features 30,000+ courses and maps from around the world. No subscriptions or annual fees are required for this watch.


Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch review

The GPSy Watch is waterproof to 1 ATM designation. It can withstand rainy showers, but it is recommended to not be submerged in any liquid. The Callaway GPSy delivers fast, accurate distances to greens, hazards, and doglegs. 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 is preloaded with 30,000+ worldwide courses and maps, allowing you to play even if you are out of the USA or if on tour. If you want to upgrade the course list in future, you can do so free of cost, as it doesn’t require any subscription or download fees.


  • Yardages: You can get accurate yardage 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.
What's Included
  • Battery
  • Shot Distance Measurement: Like the Bushnell Neo Ion, it also includes 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.


  • Scorekeeper Function: The Scorekeeper Function lets you record all of the data from the game. Most GPS watches don’t have the ability to keep track of your scores, but the Callaway GPSy can easily do so.


  • Customer Satisfaction: Customers of the Callaway GPSy Golf GPS seem to be quite satisfied. However, some people complain about screen moisture inside the watch, and can also be somewhat fragile.


  • Auto-course recognition
  • Scorekeeper tracking
  • Battery lasts less than advertised
  • Moisture can be a problem for screen


5. Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch

Garmin has made a lot of great golf GPS watches over the years, but the Garmin Approach S20 is the perfect golfing partner and their best golf gps watch to date. It is stylish, convenient, lightweight and easy to use. Its 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.


Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch

Features and Specifications

  • Preloaded Courses: The Garmin Approach S20 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, and the number of fairways hit as well.


  • 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: With over 100 customer reviews on Amazon, verified customers expressed their overall positive satisfaction for this watch. Although some customers complained about wireless syncing issues, and poor customer support.


  • Can be paired with the TruSwing golf swing sensor
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Measures shot distances
  • Wireless syncing data issues
  • Poor customer support


Check Out The Top Rangefinders Here


Adapting To Modern Golfing Technology

We are in an era of modern technology, and constant improvements are being developed in all areas of life. As for sports, golf gps watches are the latest devices that give us an advantage in the field. 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, and numerous other features such as time, calories burned, sleeping hours and more. The best feature that this device can offer us is the measure of target distances during harsh conditions because it relies on a GPS, rather than a laser.


Will Buying A GPS Watch Help Me Swing Better?

Well, unfortunately not. Improving your swing abilities by simply wearing a watch will not suffice. But it CAN help you know the correct distances of the flags, and improve your overall golfing experience.



Things to Consider Before Buying a Golf GPS Watch

We have already looked at a few golf GPS watches, their unique functions and what to expect from them. After reading our list of the best gps watches, have you chosen which is the right one for you? If so, I would recommend reading the following considerations before making your purchase:



This one makes a big difference when comparing watches. Be sure you check 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 necessary features you are looking for.



Design means the shape, color, quality, comfortability, etc. of the watch. Design matters! Check the design of the watch before deciding if it’s right for you.


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. Look at the hours it takes to fully charge the watch on average, if its rechargeable or needs batteries, etc. before buying a watch.


Data Support

There are several watches out there that have limited access memory. Watches with limited memory will impact the number of maps and courses your device can store. Also, don’t forget to check its compatibility with smartphone devices.



Finally price. Yes, its one of the most crucial parts of choosing any kind of device. If you have a budget, choose the watch with the necessary capabilities you need, rather than spend the money on unwanted features that will ultimately just eat up your budget.


Conclusion To Our Golf GPS Watch Guide

Thanks for taking the time and checking out our best golf gps watch review guide! If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.