If you have been a golfer for any period of time, I am sure you have got your ‘tools of the trade’ down to a fine art! However, in recent years, a new piece of kit has emerged that can play a vital part in your golf game! Fitness watch? GPS watch? Call it what you will, but these new fangled watches can do a lot to help your golf game. But which is best for you? Let’s go over this together!
Before we start, I just want to say that any products detailed in this article can be viewed over at Amazon simply by clicking the image. This is how you can get the latest pricing and product availability.
7 Things to Look for in a Golfing GPS/ Fitness Watch?
When it comes to golfing, there are a few things that you’ll want to take into account when choosing a GPS/fitness watch. In my opinion, these are the main ones:
You will want a watch that is comfortable to wear and doesn’t feel too heavy on your wrist. You shouldn’t even be able to tell you are wearing a watch ideally!
2. Golfing Features
As a golfer, you will want your watch to have some unique features to help your golf game. These days a lot of these watches come with virtual caddies and help with yardages on shots. Some watches even talk to you as a caddy would! Amazing stuff, right!
3. Not Just for Golf
A lot of golfers get excited by all the golf related features a watch has, forgetting that for most of the watches life you will be wearing it in non-golf situations 🙂 So you need to make sure that the watch doesn’t stick out as an ugly ‘only good for golf’ device. It should fit in as a regular smartwatch, only to turn into a golfing beast on the course 🙂
4. Quality + Support
These watches can get pricey, so you want to make sure that you are buying a smartwatch that will last. Also, from a company that will offer support when there are issues.
5. Battery Life
I know I put this one last, but in terms of importance, this one is near the top. What good is a golfing smartwatch if it keeps running out of battery and needs to be charged too much? Therefore, good battery life should be a top priority.
A golf watch is pretty much useless if it is wildly inaccurate! You will end up over or under hitting all your shots and your golf buddies will wonder why you are even bothering with a golf watch at all 🙂
You see, these watches are backed by GPS technology. This technology is usually a few yards out on total accuracy, but any more than this and you should look at a different model. GPS technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and this should be reflected in the accuracy of your golf watch.
Think of how many times you look at your watch….it’s a lot, right? And when you are out on the golf course, you will be gleaning a lot of important information by looking at your watches display. Therefore, you need a quality display that is clear and bright. That can be viewed in heavy sunlight and helps you see what you need in a glance.
Whether your display is touch sensitive or not is a matter of personal choice. Some people love touch sensitive watch displays and others prefer using buttons on the side of the watch to control its functions. I would recommend you try the two types out in a electronic store before buying your watch 🙂
My Favorite Golfing Fitness/ GPS Watches in 2023
1. Garmin Approach S62, Premium Golf GPS Watch
There is a saying you have probably heard a lot in your life ‘you get what you pay for’ and in the case of the Garmin S62 golf watch, this is as true as ever!
Yes, this is one of the most expensive watches on this list, but the feature list and quality of this watch are unmatched! If you can afford this watch, you certainly won’t regret buying it!
First of all, this is the ultimate stealth golf watch. When not in ‘golf mode’ it has a classy looking watch face that makes this thing look like an expensive Swiss watch or something.
The 1.3 inch screen looks awesome too! It’s color and clear to read. It also has a scratch resistant ceramic bezel to make sure it will wear well out on the course.
In terms of golfing features, this watch is crazy. Their virtual caddy system includes over 41000 maps of golf course preloaded! Club suggestions that take into account things such as wind speed and even shows you where to aim! The virtual caddy system even learns from your past shot performance when recommending clubs and shot distances! Crazy!
It even has a hazard view to let you look at the hazards on each hole you play. The golf features are way too much to list here!
Pair this to a 20 hour battery life when using GPS out on the course, or 14 days when in regular smartwatch mode, and you are onto a winner.
To top it all off, you are buying from Garmin, one of the most trusted GPS device providers around. You can rest assured you are getting a quality product from a quality company!
If you are looking for the ultimate golf GPS watch, this is the watch for you! As long as you are willing to pay for it!
2. Garmin Approach S12 GPS Golf Watch
Maybe you love the look of the Garmin Approach S62 above, but baulk at the cost. Or maybe you are looking for a simpler and cleaner golf watch experience? If that is you, why not take a look at the Garmin S12 golf watch instead.
You are still getting that Germin quality and accuracy, but just in a simpler package. Swap out that 1.3 inch color screen for a 0.9 inch monochrome one.
To put it into basic terms, get this watch if all you want is yardage to the hole as the main feature. If you require a watch that can micro analyse your shots, taking into account several variables, the more expensive S62 above would be for you.
Also, some people might prefer the simpler and more user friendly approach this watch has. If you are a slight technophobe, all those extra features on the S62 may just confuse you 🙂
And the S12 still has all the score keeping and golf map facilities of its more expensive brother! And this less demanding screen means the watch has battery life of up to 30 hours in full GPS mode.
3. TecTecTec ULT-G Stylish, Lightweight and Multi-Functional Golf GPS Watch
If you are looking for a more budget friendly golf GPS watch and fitness tracker, you should look at this TecTecTec variety. Yes, it has a weird brand name, but hidden underneath is a surprisingly capable golfing watch.
This watch is more in line with the feature set of the Garmin G12 watch above. It has over 38000 worldwide golf course available to download, with a one touch auto course recognition feature. It will also help you with your yardages and highlighting of course hazards.
Just be aware that this watch has a smaller non-touch sensitive display. You operate the functions with the buttons on the side of the watch. If you have poor eyesight, you may struggle to look at the details on the screen.
However, the big upside here is the price. You are getting a watch with all the main features a golfer would need at a fraction of the cost of a similar Garmin. And, although you don’t have that ‘big brand’ security, TecTecTec does offer a one-year warranty, so you don’t have anything to worry about on that front.
4. Shot Scope G3 GPS Watch
If you are on a budget but the TecTecTec watch above is a bit too basic for your liking, this Shot Scope G3 may fit the bill. You will pay a little more but you will get some additional features such as a color screen that is bigger and easier to read than the TecTecTec!
I also like the sleek and slim design, looking a lot like a clone of the famous Apple watch (in my opinion anyway!). It even has 4 interchangeable color straps for extra ‘style’ on the golf course 🙂
As with the TecTecTec, it comes with over 36000 golf courses pre-loaded and the expected help with distances and hazard awareness. This watch can also record the distance of the last shot you hit.
As with the TecTecTec, this watch may be good for those that want a simple yet solid golf watch experience. And this Shot Scope looks a tad better on your wrist than the TecTecTec, at only slightly more money.
And, although you are dealing with an unknown brand, the GPS is accurate, and the warranty is also a year in length, the same as the TecTecTec.
5. The Apple Watch
As you can see from this list, if you want a high-quality golf watch, you have to go with Garmin products pretty much. However, don’t forget the trusty Apple watch that a lot of people love! Although it doesn’t come across as something designed for golf, simply add one of the high quality golf apps from the Apple app store and you pretty much have all the features of other top golfing watches. My Apple golf app of choice is Hole 19.
Just be aware that you won’t have all of the more advanced virtual caddy features from the S62, that will take several factors into account to help you judge shots.
The upside is you have a watch that isn’t just good for golf, and looks great on your wrist! And you are buying from a top notch brand. If you are already using products from the Apple eco-system, this could be the option for you. The downside is these are in the same price bracket as the Garmin S62 and not quite as golf focused!
There you have it, my full and comprehensive guide to the best GPS golfing watches on the market. I know it can be daunting when buying these kinds of tech products, but I hope that today I have at least given you a good starting point on your journey to buying your ideal golfing watch 🙂