Are you looking for a Golf GPS that will help transform your game?
Maybe you are trying to decide between a handheld GPS or a golf GPS watch? What is the best golf GPS for you?
We have reviewed a selection of the newest and best Golf GPS devices in 2021 to help you decide which one is going to make the most impact on the course.
If you have questions about charge time, battery life, course coverage, touchscreen & audio functions. We have comparisons & also the answers for you right here!
8 BEST GOLF GPS DEVICES OF 2021
- Garmin Approach G8 – Handheld
- Bushnell Phantom – Handheld
- Golfbuddy Voice 2 – Handheld
- Garmin Approach G10 – Handheld
- Garmin Approach G30 – Handheld
- Izzo Swami 6000 – Handheld
- Golf Buddy Voicex – Handheld
- Izzo Swami 5000 – Handheld
8 BEST GOLF GPS WATCHES OF 2021
- Garmin Approach S60 – Watch
- Garmin Approach S20 – Watch
- Bushnell iON 2 – Watch
- Garmin Approach S62 – Watch
- Garmin Approach S10 – Watch
- Garmin Approach S40 – Watch
- TecTecTec ULT-G – Watch
- SkyCaddie LX5 – Watch
Top Handheld Golf GPS Units
From larger colour touchscreen Golf GPS devices to pocket-size units that talk to you! We have a review for you.
- GolfBuddy Voice 2 GPS
- 1 inch LCD Screen
- 40,000 Preloaded Courses
- No Membership Fees
- 4.5/5 Customer Rating
Voice Distance Readout
14hrs Battery Life Per Charge
Green View Feature
- Garmin Approach G8
- 1.5 x 2.6 Inch Color Touchscreen
- 38,000 Preloaded Courses
- No Annual Fees
- 4.1/5 Customer Rating
PlaysLike Distance for slope adjustment
Bluetooth and WiFi Connectivity
Club Selection and Big Numbers Mode
- Bushnell Phantom GPS
- 35mm x 35mm Display
- 36,000+ Preloaded Courses
- No Membership Fees
- 4.5/5 Customer Rating
Bite Magnetic Mount
Compatible with Bushnell Golf App (Included)
Garmin Approach G8 Handheld Golf GPS
Since Garmin is a world leader in providing excellent quality GPS devices, it’s not a surprise that their Approach G8 has one of the highest rating spots for being the best handheld golf GPS rangefinder.
When it comes to Garmin, you should expect nothing less than top-notch functionality, superb accuracy, and the latest technologies to create a high-performing GPS rangefinder, and as expected, the Approach G8 has it all.
Trying to list all of its features would take another, give or take, 500 words – yeah, it’s that cool.
So, to highlight what makes it better than the rest starts with its 3-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, Slope Compensation, and Club Selection features.
Luckily for you, it has a serious case of the “I’m-better-than-the-rest” attitude, and with confidence like that, there was no other choice than to place this bad boy at the top as the best GPS handheld rangefinder.
Again, there are no additional yearly fees with this device.
GolfBuddy Voice 2
This nifty little Voice 2 GPS was the hands-down winner for being the best entry-level GPS golf rangefinder. I bet you can guess why – it talks! This feature alone is what attracts its many, and I mean many, fans.
It’s certainly very easy to use with its voice readout of the distance to the hole, distances to the front/middle/back of the green, shot distance measurement, and even a green view. It has also been updated to display the front, center, and back of the green all at once on the 1″ display.
It’s equipped with all the standard features you should expect from a unit, plus, it can speak in eight different languages.
It’s so unobtrusive during gameplay that you don’t even have to look at it if you didn’t want to, thanks to the voice factor. Just press the button and listen for the readout.
It also wouldn’t have won this spot if it wasn’t affordable. For less than $100 and no additional yearly fees, the GolfBuddy Voice is definitely a rangefinder worth trying out, it is a great device for the money.
Bushnell has upped the game with the new Phantom Golf GPS handheld device. It measures and delivers. It’ll also keep your cleats clean to help you avoid the traps that include pond scum.
Most importantly, it’s a device you don’t have to dig around in your pocket for. Unlike other ordinary devices that can be clipped to your cap or belt (it can do that too), it has a bite magnet mount that can be attached to any metal surface. Think golf carts and clubs while you’re riding to the next hole.
But, can it calculate for slope, track steps, or measure your shot? Do you want it to dance and sing too? It’s a simple device that punches out accurate distances to the front, back and center of the green. What more do you need? Oh right, maybe distances to hazards. Yep, it can do that too.
The Phantom is there when you want it, and it can be stashed away when you want to play pure. It’s tournament legal for comps, and it’ll give you an upper hand when you can’t read yardage markers. Stop handicapping yourself and get a Phantom. It doesn’t cost that much to improve your stroke!
Garmin Approach G10
When it comes to golf GPS devices, they don’t come more convenient than the Garmin Approach G10.
This easy-to-read Golf GPS comes with a bright clear screen with large numbers so you can easily see the yardage it provides from all over the hole as it doesn’t just show yardage for the hole but also the hazards surrounding it so you can keep your ball out of the water or sand.
Another convenient feature on this device is the clip making it easy to attach to your golf bag or an item of clothing to make it easily accessible on the course and with a battery life of 15 hours you don’t have to worry about it running out of charge.
The manual pin placement feature is another winner on this device, you take a look to scope out where the flag is on the green and adjust the screen accordingly and the G10 will automatically work out the yardages for you.
The Garmin Approach G10 also automatically updates when any new courses are added or courses are updated on the Garmin database. So if you’re looking for a GPS device that you buy and don’t have to worry about anything else and you can just enjoy it, this is the one for you.
Garmin Approach G30
Slightly smaller than the Garmin Approach G10, The Garmin Approach G30, with its medium size full colour touch screen is also convenient as its smaller 2.3-inch screen will easily fit in your pocket without making an impact on your game. Don’t worry about the small screen, if needed, it has a “big numbers” mode making the yardages it provides bigger and clearer.
Also, a reply to the G10 it has the manual pin placement so if the flag location has moved since the latest update then you can easily change it on the screen yourself. Another fantastic feature on this golf GPS is that it pairs with TruSwing, an assist that helps you decide which clubs to use, the speed and power behind your swing, and at what angle you have your club.
The amount of features the Garmin Approach G30 has for its price is pretty incredible including the upgrades from the G10 such as the color screen and the TruSwing pairing makes this device well worth the money. This is one of the best deals in the golf market just now.
Overall a fantastic Golf GPS, not overly advanced but contains all the perfect features for intermediate golfers.
Izzo Swami 6000
The Izzo Swami 6000, the upgrade from the Izzo Swami 5000 is a fantastic Golf GPS. Yes, the Izzo Swami 5000 was great but this is a step up for sure.
As a reply to some of the Garmin models, this GPS does not only show you the yardages to the hole itself but also the whole green and also gives you hazard distances to give you the best possible chance of staying clear of any sand bunkers and pools of water.
This is a super convenient golf GPS and one of the reasons for this is the 2-inch full colour screen will easily fit in your pocket without affecting your golf game. Another convenient feature is its built-in magnet so you can attach it to your belt or your cart (just don’t leave it there when the round is over!).
The Izzo Swami 6000 has over 38,000 downloaded onto the GPS device and with its scorecard feature, it can keep track of your score when you’re playing every one of them. You can even record the distance of every shot with it!
With over 16 hours of battery life and the Swami 6000 also being water-resistant, this is one of the best golf GPS devices you can get for one of the prices. Check Price in the link below!
Golf Buddy Voicex Easy-To-Use Smart Talking
Now I know that is a big name for a small golf GPS but the Golf Buddy Voicex lives up to it.
With a simple yet clear display, this great little device gives you the placement of the pin and also yardages of the surrounding areas such as the hazards that protect the flag like soldiers protecting their castle. It is also very durable and convenient as it is water-resistant and also has a clip-on feature so you could have it on your bag for example or even an item of clothing.
As well as recording your shot distances, the Voicex will already have the course you’re playing preloaded by the time you get to the first hole as it updates the most recent version of the course wirelessly when you are nearby.
Now they don’t call it the Voicex for no reason, the Golf Buddy Voicex will read out distances to you in a male or female voice whichever is your preference. So whether you’re a new or old golfer, you don’t have the best of eyesight or just don’t like having to manually get your distances it could be the best golf GPS for many golfers, check price and reviews below!
Izzo Swami 5000
Even though the new Izzo Swami 6000 is out, the Swami 5000 is still a bestseller for Izzo and to no surprise as it is a true favorite for many golfers.
A colorful golf GPS with a full-color display. This trendy and comfortable-to-hold golf GPS has over 38,000 courses preloaded and is ready to move onto the next hole when you are with automatic hole advancement and course recognition.
This GPS device will tell you distances for the whole green and of any hazards on the hole on its clear and colorful display. It also gives you the ability to record your scores from your last ten rounds which is a great way of analyzing your scores and keeping track of your improvement, allowing you to compare your recent scores with scores from months ago depending on how often you play.
With the Swami 5000 also being water-resistant and having great battery life, you don’t have to worry about the rain adding another hour to your round or affecting your GPS device. All-round a great Golf GPS for its price and suitable for all golfers.
Top Golf GPS Watches
- Garmin Approach S20
- 1 inch Touchscreen Display
- 41,000+ Preloaded Courses
- No Annual Fees
- 4.4/5 Customer Rating
AutoShot Tracking analyzer
Integrated fitness tracker
- Garmin Approach S60
- 1.2 Inch Color Touchscreen
- 40,000+ Preloaded Courses
- No Annual Fees
- 4.1/5 Customer Rating
Multiple distances, anywhere on the course
Compatible with Garmin Connect
1G memory and history
- Bushnell ION 2 GPS Watch
- 23mm x 23mm Display
- 36,000+ Preloaded Courses
- No Membership Fees Required
- 4.4/5 Customer Rating
12hr Battery Life per Charge (Golf Mode)
Inexpensive at approx $170
Garmin Approach S60
You can always bet that there’s a Garmin in the hands of a golfer on the green anywhere across the world. How can there not be when they have over 40,000+ preloaded courses available in a golf watch?
The Approach S60 may be expensive, but it provides the best of what money can buy in the golf GPS world. Color screen with touch, slope measurements, and it’s completely waterproof. It charges in a jiffy, and you’ll be able to get two rounds in before it needs some juice.
The display screen is huge with 1.2 inches of color that can even be read in full sunlight. Compatible with Quick-Fit bands, you can change out colors to match your outfit, and we all know golfers like to look swank while they play!
Garmin Approach S20
Digital, sleek, and smart – it’s one of the best golf GPS watches out there that won’t fail you, it’s a Garmin. The Approach S20 has one of the best deals on the market with a very attractive price tag just like its square face and stylish display.
If there’s a golf watch that’ll help you break 80 and improve your handicap, it’s the S20. It won’t break the bank, and it has a ton to offer. Auto course and auto hole, compatibility with True Swing devices, and over 41,000 courses worldwide are just a few features it offers.
This watch has a long battery life offering up to 15 hours of play – that’s a lot of strokes you can master in a day. With a Green View Display, Digital Scorecard, and Smartphone Notifications available in this wearable GPS device, it’s more watch than you’ll ever need! View deal and read the full review below!
Bushnell ION 2 Golf GPS Watch
Ah, yes. The brand that offers everything you could ever want out of a rangefinder GPS watch without the pesky additional membership fees! With just the purchase of the iON2 watch, you’ll have access to over 36,000+ courses around the globe! That’s more than 30 countries for you to indulge your golfing hobby in.
It’s a tournament legal watch that you can have with you on the course at all times. If you’re worried about playtime, this unit has 12 hours of battery life to get you through three games of play without batting an eye!
You’ll have distances in a jiffy with Auto Course Recognition and Hole Advance features to get you set as you walk or cart the course. The easy-to-read front, back, and center green distances will be on display as well as hazard and layup distances – up to four per hole!
Extra features also include an integrated fitness step counter, round odometer, and a shot distance calculator so you can constantly improve your strokes.
The watch is super easy to charge since Bushnell throws in the USB cable that allows you to update your watch as well. Let it sit for 3 hours while you cat-nap and grab a bite to eat. Complete with a 1-year warranty, Bushnell has you covered! View deal and full review below!
Garmin Approach S62
The Garmin Approach S62 is a fantastic piece of kit and one of the highest rating golf GPS watches on the market in both the UK and the US. Not only is it a great technical golf GPS watch but it’s good-looking! You could leave the course and hit the bars and clubs wearing this watch!
The screen on the Garmin Approach S62 is almost 20% bigger than the watch face on the S60. The watch comes with over 40,000 preloaded courses on it and every one of them is displayed brilliantly on the full color display.
The S62 comes with a bunch of great features that will improve your golf game. One of these features is the “virtual caddie” that comes with the golf watch. Virtual Caddie takes wind speed and direction into account alongside the distance from the hole to produce a suggestion on which club you should use.
There are also plenty of other great features on this golf GPS watch such as green view where you can get a clear view of what the green is like, you also have a hazard view and pinpointer which tells you exactly where the flag and the hazards are on each hole.
The Garmin Approach S62 also comes with an impressive “playslike feature” almost like slope on a GPS Rangefinder which considers uphill and downhill shots. This is a great premium watch for all golfers, check price and more out here
Garmin Approach S10
A newer version of the Garmin Approach S20 this is a fantastic watch and great value for your money.
Not as stylish as other watches such as the Garmin Approach S62 but this watch will still do the job. It doesn’t have everything but it has enough. It’s not as good-looking as others but it’s not bad looking either, a style related to that of an apple watch, it’s clear display allows you to easily read all of your distances and information that you need whilst on the course.
With over 40,000 courses already preloaded onto the S10 you should be ready to go whichever course you visit. Another nice feature this golf watch has is activity tracking which allows you to track your activity and calories on and off the course
The Garmin Approach S10 is also compatible with Tru-Swing, a golf assist that helps you decide which clubs to use, the power behind your swing, and the angle of your club.
If you’re looking for a simple yet super effective golf watch, this is the best golf GPS watch for you. View deal and reviews below!
Garmin Approach S40
The Garmin Approach S40 is one of the best Golf GPS watches for intermediate to advanced golfers and also fits in the middle price range.
This super stylish watch looks great on and off the golf course and will get noticed on your wrist. As well as being as stylish as it is, it also has fantastic features to help improve your golf game.
You now have pin placement on your wrist with the green view feature on the S40. Green view shows you a perfect view of the whole green in color display and if the pin hasn’t already updated its position, you can do it manually on your touchscreen watch.
Alongside the 41,000 courses already preloaded on your watch, you have automatic course and hole recognition meaning the watch will have the course loaded by the time you get to the first tee and will automatically move onto the next hole when you do.
The Garmin Approach S40 also pairs with your phone so you can receive messages and notifications meaning you don’t miss a thing, even when on the golf course.
Your S40 will also track every shot you take letting you see your improvement from months ago at the start of the golf season to the end. This is also a good indicator of the yards you make with each club. The Garmin Approach S40 will do all of this without running out of charge for 15 hours… and that’s in GPS Mode. It will go for 10 days without running GPS.
All in all, this is a brilliant Golf GPS watch and will easily suit every golfer.
This golf GPS watch by TecTecTec, whilst not as stylish as some of the Garmin options, has everything you need for the course.
TecTecTec has gone for simplicity and efficiency with the ULT-G. It has a bunch of great features that will help improve your golf game. With 38,000 courses preloaded on the ULT-G, it has automatic hold progression for when you are on the course. You can also access information about each course on the watch too.
The easy-to-read simple screen gives you distances of all areas on the green from the pin to the front, back, and center of the green as well as the hazards leading up to the green.
One of the best things about this watch is how easy it is to use, there are only four buttons to click to set up the TecTecTec watch (similar to the designs of some of the ShotScope Golf GPS watches) and once you have set it up, it automatically finds the course you are on and you are good to go.
With a battery that will get through over 2 rounds and its water-resistant build, the ULT-G is an ideal option for all weathers on the course.
If you’re looking for something simple and not too flashy, or have enjoyed a Shot Scope watch in the past, I’d choose this Golf GPS watch.
The SkyCaddie LX5 is the owner of the largest color touchscreen in golf at just under 1.4 inches.
Its awesome OLED color display shows you the course maps of 35,000 courses that are preloaded onto this SkyCaddie watch in HD. You can zoom in and out on these fantastic images and pinpoint individual hazards, lay-ups, and areas of the green to get exact distances for each. The zoom feature is also great for getting a good view and scope of the shape of the green.
With WiFi connectivity, you can record your shots and scores on the SkyCaddie LX5 which lets you compare your improvements from the start of the round to the end or even from months ago until now. This is a good way to figure out what your best clubs are in different situations.
The battery life on the SkyCaddie will get you through two rounds and can also keep track of your heart rate and count your steps whilst you golf.
If you prefer a more in-depth display of your courses then this is a brilliant GPS Golf watch for you with its HD OLED touchscreen.
Golf GPS Watch VS Handheld
When it comes to the time to choose between a Golf GPS Watch and a Golf GPS Handheld unit, it depends on your personal preference. What suits one golfer may not suit another and there are many reasons for this.
That’s one thing we can all agree on about Golf, none of us play the same way, we all have our own clubs we prefer, our own stances, our own golf shoes and even use the balls we like the most… and with Golf GPS units, it’s no different. So here is a table of some of the pros and cons of each to help you decide the best option for you.
|WATCH PROS||HANDHELD PROS|
|Easy to access as it is wearable.||Bigger Screens.|
|Hard to drop or lose with it attached to your wrist.||More Data.|
|Lighter than the Handhelds.||Easier to Read.|
|Can be Fashionable, Stylish, and can double up as a smartwatch such as an apple or Samsung device.||Easier to use manual pin placement.|
|Adjustable Straps to fit everyone.||Clear Displays|
|WATCH CONS||HANDHELD CONS|
|A lot of golfers don’t like to wear watches whilst they play.||Easily dropped or damaged.|
|Smaller Screens.||Can obstruct swing whilst in a pocket or attached to clothing.|
|Sometimes fewer data.||Heavier than a watch.|
|Harder to Read.||Maintenance and keeping them clean after being in pockets and bags.|
Which is More Convenient? A Handheld Golf GPS or a Golf GPS Watch?
But, when it comes to handhelds, it’s all in the convenience of having it when you want it and putting it away when you don’t.
Handheld rangefinders are all palm size or smaller. With dimensions like these, they can be easily stowed away in the pockets of your slacks. Most of the time they also come with cases and clips that can attach to your belt or golfing bag. Some of them can even attach to the brim of your hat or the hem of your sleeve.
Less frequently used are the neck lanyards that you can attach your handheld to. This isn’t a very popular option since it can interfere with your swing.
But, the wearable watch isn’t immune to this issue either. Sometimes the easily pressed buttons on a bulky GPS watch can be accidentally activated when swinging or simply by any movement that involves the wrist.
However, the watch is undoubtedly the easiest device to stow and pull out when you need it because it’s all available at the turn of your wrist. Its wearability factor makes it the most practical GPS rangefinder to have while on the green.
Which Has More Features?
But, if you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned if there’s a difference in features between the two, it’s because there really isn’t any.
Although it may seem like the handhelds would have a lot more features, you’d be surprised to know that GPS watches have come a long way from their basic functioning days, even improving since 2016 when they burst onto the golf scene.
They’re now just as competitive as handhelds, including the touchscreen factor too.
Features to Consider in a GPS Device
GPS devices are increasing in popularity in the golf industry and more innovative as technology evolves. You will need to ask yourself if you prefer a watch, touchscreen, or audio-capable device.
They tend to be cheaper than a laser rangefinder with more jam-packed features too. This may be the convincing nudge you’re looking for when trying to decide between the two.
When it comes to a GPS golf rangefinder, here are a few features you’ll want to consider before buying:
- Ease of use/functionality/navigation
- Speed of operation
- Any annual fees or membership dues
- Available charging equipment
- Course details and availability
These features are all discussed in detail in each of our reviews so click through to the device you are interested in to find out more.
A note about fees…
I do have to mention that a qualifying factor to determine which were the best GPS rangefinders for our reviews was if there were any annual or membership fees involved.
Since paying additional fees isn’t necessarily popular among most consumers, probably like yourself, it acted as a detriment. If there were fees involved, course coverage and availability, as well as overall functionality, were taken into consideration.
To have to pay more each year, you should expect the absolute best. So, did any of these GPS devices with additional fees make the cut? Nope! All of the GPS devices listed here have no membership or annual fees!
Which is the Best Golf GPS for You?
Deciding which portable G.P.S device is best for you is influenced by many factors.
Do you want a device that is a touchscreen? Would you prefer a watch or a handheld device? Is being able to obtain audio distance readouts important to you?
Because each of these features is a matter of individual preference, I can’t tell you which you need to take your game to the next level. What I can do is point you in the direction of top-rated golf G.P.S devices in a variety of categories that will fit your budget.
If you are new to golf, or to the possibility of using a G.P.S device to enhance your game, you just need a device that is going to give you the basic features to help you get the distance to the hole.
In this instance you might consider one of the following entry-level devices:
If you are looking for a device with a few more features, you may be looking for a mid-range G.P.S. A mid-level G.P.S device would offer more distances to hazards and maybe even a manual pin placement feature so that you could input distances yourself.
The mid-level devices you may want to consider are:
And finally, if you want the best-of-the-best regardless of price, you will be looking at one of the best rated G.P.S devices – those in position one in the tables above.
Here are the top-level devices to consider:
There is a G.P.S device for everybody, it is just a matter of deciding what is important to you, what you are willing to spend – and then going for it!
The satisfaction of knowing the distance every time and taking your game to the next level will be worth the investment.
Things to consider before you use your new GPS Device on the course
Always make sure your GPS is charged and if not to take a portable charger with you if you have one available.
Another thing you will need to check before heading out to play is if your GPS device automatically loads the courses or if you will need to download it yourself beforehand.
If you have a handheld device or a watch but don’t wear it whilst playing and just carry it then it is always best to have one pocket just for your GPS Device whether it is in an item of clothing or your bag, this helps prevent you from losing your device but also keeps it cleaner and safer if it is the only thing that is in that one pocket.