Golf Gear Reviews

Garmin Approach G8 Handheld Golf GPS (with WiFi & Slope)


Last Updated: Mar 16, 2019 @ 12:27 am

Dimensions: 2.1 x 4.4 x 0.6 inches, 3.97 ounces
Screen Display Size: 1.5 x 2.6 inches, 3 inch diag
Display Type: Transflective Color TFT touchscreen
Tournament Legal: No
Measuring System: Yards/Meters
Measuring Distance: Distance & Slope
Waterproof: Yes IPX4
Fees: No annual fees, ever!

Our Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

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Garmin Approach G8 Review

The Garmin Approach G8 Golf GPS is a lightweight, sleek, and touchscreen golf rangefinder that is over-brimming with technology that can get you to the green in less strokes than ever before. With Plays Like Distance, Pin Pointer, Maps, Trak Stats, Club Advice, and so much more, you’ll never be caught without your G8 on the green again.

In fact, the G8 is pretty much exactly the same as the G7 (which is now discontinued), except for a few more additional features, such as Wi-Fi, PinPointer, and the 3 inch screen.

Oh, did I fail to mention the exception of the price too? Plenty of reviewers online think the added bonus features are worth it, giving it a great rating.

If you’re tech-savvy and you like having a smartphone-like device in the palm of your hand while you get your golf-groove on, then you’ll join the happy crowd and pay the extra $50 or so too.

  • Color display
  • 3″ touchscreen
  • Wi-fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Club Advice
  • PlaysLike Mode (for Slope)
  • Difficult setup
  • Reports of inaccurate readings


Approach G8 Golf GPS Q&A:

How big is the screen on the G8?

This device has a slightly bigger display screen than the G7, measuring in at 1.5 (W) x 2.6 (H) inches with a full 3 inch corner to corner distance; think how TV screens are measured.

This is still a pretty small handheld device, and compared to how big smartphones are these days, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if the G series got a little bigger. The screen is still very easy to see in the bright sunlight and even when the clouds roll in.

Don’t forget, it has that nice Big Numbers Mode too.


Can I view all the courses in color?

The G8 rangefinder has preloaded 38,000 courses, and you can access all of them in their full glory – in color. It would be a pretty sad touchscreen handheld GPS if it were to be in black and white. I’d feel like I was back in the 1940s.


Can the Approach G8 access Wi-Fi?

The GPS ingeniously has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The wi-fi ability to sync and upload score cards, stats, and courses via wi-fi is a feature that’s unique to the Approach G8 and is the feature that sets itself far apart from the mediocre.

Garmin got a jump lead on integrating wi-fi into their GPS products, I have a feeling they won’t be the last.


What is PinPointer Technology and does this device have it?

PinPointer is a feature that helps you to navigate the course when you’re in the dark – a blind spot that is. When you’ve got yourself in a situation where you don’t know in what direction the flag is, PinPointer technology will save the day.

When you’ve activated PinPointer, on the display of the G8, you will see a pointer icon, similar to that of a mouse icon on a computer. It essentially acts like a compass, pointing to the general direction of the hole.

Next time there’s a set of trees between you and the hole or your last bad shot landed you in an undesirable part of the fairway, PinPointer will come to your rescue.


Is the G8 relatively cheap?

This golf GPS is one of the more expensive ones you’ll find on the market. Garmin has adeptly integrated all their dexterous features into a quality handheld golf rangefinder, and it’s their top of the line golf device. It’s priced around $300, which puts it at about $50 more than the G7.

In the end, you’re paying more for Wi-Fi, the 3inch screen and better pixels, and the Pin Pointer feature. If you can’t go without these features, then you now know which one is for you.


How sensitive is the touchscreen?

Garmin’s golf GPS devices are known for their excellent touch sensitivity. The G8 is so sensitive, that it can be a turn off. Storing away in a pocket and pulling it out can be enough of an excessive action to get you to a wrong screen almost all of the time.

If you don’t mind the very few seconds of going back and getting to where you want to be, then this shouldn’t be an issue. Instead, there are many that appreciate the extra sensitivity, since many golf GPS devices are often found to have the opposite problem.


Noteworthy Features:

  • Color and 3 inch touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi for uploading and syncing courses, stats, and scorecards
  • Smart Notifications allow you to stay connected to your compatible smartphone
  • Bluetooth Connectivity for compatible Apple Iphones
  • Digital scorecard and stat tracking
  • Auto Course Recognition, Auto Hole Advance
  • 38,000 preloaded courses from around the globe
  • PinPointer technology for compass aid with blind shots
  • PlaysLike Distance for slope adjusted distances
  • Club Selection feature and Big Numbers Mode
  • Touch-targeting and manual pin placement for instant distances
  • Input user-created and saveable distances for each hole


Our Verdict on the G8

To ping up the strokes, the Garmin Approach G8 is more than smart, it’s genius! It’s probably more than what you need for a round of golf, but why not have luxury in the palm of your hand?

If you have Garmin in your car and on your phone, then you need a little Garmin in your golf game too!

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