The Best Watch for Golf 2023: Reviews and Buying Guide

If a GPS unit the size of your phone is a bit too cumbersome for you, the golf GPS watch can be a perfect alternative. One of the first things to stand out about a golf GPS watch is the fact that it has multiple functions.

Whether you are trying to track your game, your steps, or even your heart rate, golf watches are a good option to consider. However, every company that has a golf watch is incredibly different in the technology and features they provide.

I tested dozens of golf watches this year, and these are the nine best options that I could find. Each of these has some unique characteristics to help it stand out from others on the market.

Garmin Approach S62

The Garmin Approach S62 is a popular golf GPS watch with impressive shot tracking functionality. If you are interested in learning more about things like shot distance, greens in regulation, and putts made, the Garmin Approach S62 could be a good choice.

There are 41,000 courses on this model, and it does feature touchscreen capability. I like the hazard view option and the ability to see what the windspeed is as I’m playing. With the Approach S62, you don’t even need to bring a scorecard with you; everything can be done on the watch.

The heart rate monitor is accurate and if you are a golfer that works out, runs, or even swims, the Garmin Approach S62 has all the functionality you should need.

One downside with this particular product is that it takes a little longer to set up, program, and then make changes. Some players struggle with the fact that it takes time to input their stats as they play; it’s a bit of an adjustment to the normal course of play.

Features

  • PlayBetter HD Tempered Glass Screen Protector
  • USB Charging Adapters
  • 13% Larger Display than other GPS watches on the market
  • Wind Speed and Direction View
  • Touchscreen

Specs

  • Courses: 41,000
  • Battery Life: 20 Hours in GPS Mode
  • Screen Size: 1.3
  • Weight: 1.8
  • Lifestyle Tracking: Yes

Pros

  • Advanced features
  • Great lifestyle functionality
  • Golf performance stats
  • Full-color mapping

Cons

  • Garmin products are priced a little higher
  • Some trouble with programming

Bottom Line:

Garmin is a great name when it comes to golf technology. Whether you are playing in tournaments, looking for solid fitness tracking, or want accurate numbers on each hole, this is a strong choice.

Click here to read our full review.

Sky Caddie LX5

Sky Caddie was one of the original companies when it came to portable golf GPS units. Years ago, these large golf GPS models were considered top-of-the-line. They came with preloaded golf courses and a view of the hole, as well as some pretty quick loading yardages to the front, middle, and back.

A lot has changed since then.

Luckily Sky Caddie has continued to progress as well, and the new LX5 is one of the best golf GPS watches on the market. My favorite thing about the Sky Caddie LX5 is the ability to move the pin around and get more of an accurate number to the pin.

One of the reasons I still keep my rangefinder in the bag is that I like to know where the pin is; with the Sky Caddie LX5, that is easy to do. The color touchscreen is easy to see, and you can zoom in on targets to get more accurate readings.

There are 35,000 preloaded courses included in your three year subscription. As time goes on and you want to continue to use the Sky Caddie, you will have to pay the yearly fee.

Features

  • Zoom and pan for extra details
  • Dynamic RangeVue to help with club selection
  • 3 Year Prepaid Worldwide Membership
  • PlayBetter 500mAh Portable Charger option
  • IntelliGreen allows for the positioning of the pin

Specs

  • Courses: 35, 000
  • Battery Life: 2 Rounds
  • Screen Size: 1.39″
  • Weight: 12.5 ounces
  • Lifestyle Tracking: Yes

Pros

  • Large screen that is easy to read
  • Includes 3 year subscription to Sky Golf
  • Sleek Black Bezel design, other options with ceramic accents
  • The battery can last for two rounds

Cons

  • Watch face is large if you want something more sleek
  • SkyCaddie does require a subscription

Bottom Line:

The images on the Sky Caddie LX5 golf GPS Watch are really impressive. In addition, the ability to check your heart rate and use this as a lifestyle watch is also great. However, when you invest in anything with Sky Caddie, there is an ongoing subscription that needs to be paid. If you don’t care about long term spending and want a watch that feels like a mix of a GPS and a rangefinder, this is a good choice.

Click here to read our full review.

 

TecTecTec ULT-G

If you are kind of rough on some of your golf gear and products, the TecTecTec ULT-G could be a good option to consider. This is a really durable design, and frankly, it’s kind of cheap. When it comes to golf GPS watches, you can pay $400 or more quite easily. The TecTEcTec ULT-G comes in at a fraction of that cost.

However, with lower-priced options like this, you may find that the functionality does not quite compare. With TecTecTec ULT-G, what you see is what you get. Simple yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green.

If you like simplicity and want to keep the pricing down, this is an excellent option to consider. Chances are your golf club will be one of the 41,000 course maps included with the TecTecTec ULT-G.

Features

  • Bluetooth connectivity to your Smartphone
  • Long battery life
  • Simple To Setup
  • Waterproof, durable design

Specs

  • Courses: 38,000
  • Battery Life: 2.5 Rounds
  • Screen Size:
  • Weight: 181g
  • Lifestyle Tracking: No

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fair pricing
  • Quick loading yardages

Cons

  • The screen can be hard to read in the sun
  • No lifestyle tracking

Bottom Line:

TecTecTec makes durable golf products for golfers on a tight budget. If that describes you, this could be a good solution for your golf game. With water-resistant technology and quick readings, it’s certainly not the fanciest model on the market, but the TecTecTEc ULT-G gets the job done.

Click here to read our full review.

Golf Buddy Aim

The Golf Buddy AIM is a fairly priced option that has all the major features of the premium golf GPS watches. With a digital scorecard to keep track of your round and manual pin placement, you can pretty much get anything you need from this tool.

There are also slope adjusted distances included in this technology, and it is an entirely waterproof design. The touchscreen is really easy to work with, and the images are clear. With 40,000 golf courses already in place, you won’t have trouble finding a spot; you can use the Golf Buddy AIM.

The only real negative I could say about this model is the fact that the images are not quite as clear as they are with other options. Although it looks good, the picture quality is a bit cheaper than you find in other top models. In addition, lifestyle tracking lacks a bit of functionality on this particular model.

Features

  • Automatic course updates
  • Zoom In/Out
  • Full Color Touch Screen Display
  • IPX7 Waterproof

Specs

  • Courses: 40,000
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 Hours, 45 holes in golf mode
  • Screen Size: 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 ounces
  • Lifestyle Tracking: Basic

Pros

  • One of the more accessible golf watches to use
  • Automatically recognizes the course and the hole you are one
  • In depth hole view
  • Clear screen and green view
  • Fair pricing, considering the color and touchscreen

Cons

  • Lifestyle tracking features are not that impressive
  • Image quality is not as clear as SkyCaddie or Garmin

Bottom Line:

I like the Golf Buddy AIM. It’s fairly priced and has all the features and functionality of the higher end models, but it doesn’t feel like a rip-off. The battery life is also one of the best that I worked with. The Golf Buddy AIM typically comes with a few extra watch straps to help increase the longevity here.

Click here to read our full review.

Garmin Approach S12

Don’t be surprised to see Garmin products a few times on our list of the best golf watch technology in the game. The Garmin Approach S12 is a more affordable option with fewer bells and whistles but plenty of functionality.

Although this is not a color option you will find that this wearable GPS does have accurate measurements to bunkers, dogleg corners, and layups. In addition, you can keep score while you are playing.

The Garmin Approach S12 is sunlight readable so seeing the accurate yardages it produces is not that difficult.

Features

  • Score tracking
  • Garmin Golf App connectivity
  • Compatibility with other Garmin devices

Specs

  • Courses: 42,000
  • Battery Life: Up to 30 Hours
  • Screen Size: .9” x .9”
  • Weight: 1.2 oz
  • Lifestyle Tracking: Yes

Pros

  • More preloaded courses than other models
  • Simple setup and functionality
  • Very long battery life
  • PowerBank option

Cons

  • Not a color display
  • No ability to move the pin to the exact location

Bottom Line:

Some Garmin products can get really complicated with game tracking and even lifestyle tracking features. The Garmin S62 is not like that. This is a simple option with accurate numbers that you can trust. I like this golf GPS watch for players that are undecided about switching from a rangefinder to a watch; it’s an uncomplicated way to enjoy a more accurate round of golf.

Click here to read our full review.

Tag Heuer Connected Golf

Tag Heuer is one of the biggest names in the game when it comes to watches. If you think of the Bushnell as a premium laser rangefinder, look at the Tag Heuer as an ultra-premium golf GPS watch. This watch can do anything that the other watches on the market can do. There are 40,000 courses preloaded, and you will get tremendous functionality.

Players can track their game and their progress. In addition, you can work on your lifestyle training as the watch will be there with you through all of it.

This is a perfect looking watch with a magnetic ball marker built into the strap. The ball marker helps automatically track your shots, making this a bit like using a launch monitor. The color-coded segments on the golf scorecard view allow you to see where you stand in relationship to par.

They just thought of everything when they created the Tag Heuer Connected Golf, and you can certainly see why they charged so much for the watch. The Tag Heuer Connected Golf watch does have some issues with battery life. If you play more than one round back to back, this won’t be the watch for you.

Features

  • Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Flat sapphire crystal glass
  • 50m water resistance
  • Ceramic Black Sand Blasted Bezel

Specs

  • Courses: 40,000
  • Battery Life: 1 Full Day (5 Hours Golfing)
  • Screen Size: 1.39 inches
  • Weight:
  • Lifestyle Tracking: Advanced

Pros

  • Great looking smartwatch with tons of functionality
  • Interchangeable Strap system
  • Swing tracking
  • Preloaded workouts and fitness tracking
  • Connectivity with the impressive golf app

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Shorter battery life, only good for one round

Bottom Line:

If you have the money to spend, this is one of the best options out there. With auto shot tracking and an impressive design that you can wear on and off the course, this is a really great watch. However, it’s worth mentioning here that this is not specifically just for golf; it has golf functionality. Think about what your priorities are before investing in something like this.

Click here to read our full review.

Shot Scope V3

The Shot Scope V3 is one of the best golf GPS options for those that are looking to track their golf stats. With the Shot Scope V3, you can add tracking tags to your golf clubs to help get more information. This information can then be used when trying to determine which clubs to take out on any given hole.

With the impressive Shot Scope technology seen in both GPS and rangefinder units, the overall features here are quite good. Golfers can get a distance to the front, middle, and back of the green. In addition, there is a way to move the pin to zero in on the exact location of the pin.

There is a Shot Scope app that will help you make changes to settings and allows you to log in to see what your stats look like. When comparing the Shot Scope V3 to something like a Garmin golf watch, there are some differences in overall look and quality.

However, I liked what the Shot Scope V3 had to offer and found that the accurate distances and virtual caddie information were quite helpful.

Features

  • Comes with tracking tags
  • Pin Collect Technology
  • Last Shot Distance

Specs

  • Courses: 36,000
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 Hours
  • Screen Size: 34 millimeters
  • Weight: 1.45 ounces
  • Lifestyle Tracking: No

Pros

  • Easy to read the screen in direct sunlight
  • Some of the best score and data tracking technology offered in GPS devices
  • Easy-to-navigate buttons
  • Portable charger option

Cons

  • Fewer courses than other models
  • Lifestyle tracking is limited

Bottom Line:

Considering the tracking tags and the impressive ability to play your round of golf and have everything reordered for you, I like what the Shot Scope has to offer. In addition, the tracking tags did not impact my game negatively in any way. However, notifications about how I played and my stats were a really nice benefit.

Click here to read our full review.

 

Garmin Approach S42

Hopefully, you are not too surprised to see another Garmin option on our list. The Garmin golf GPS watches undoubtedly dominate the market. The S42 has a 1.2-inch screen, so it is slightly more small scale than others on the market.

In addition, the Garmin Approach S42 also does a great job of tracking your golf game. I found that a few times during the course of a round, it missed a swing, and this was frustrating. I’m hoping that the more I get used to the watch and its features, the easier it will be for this to be a bit more accurate.

I did not use the watch with the Approach CT10 Club tracking sensors, but that is one way to increase the overall accuracy of the information being collected. Green View mode was great and allowed for manual pin positioning; I had no trouble knowing exactly how far I was from the hole.

Features

  • AutoShot round analyzer
  • CourseView maps are clear and detailed
  • Can be paired with Approach CT10 Club Tacking Sensors
  • 10 Days Battery life in Smartwatch Mode
  • Built-in sports profiles

Specs

  • Courses: 42,000
  • Battery Life: 15 Hours in GPS mode
  • Screen Size: 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.45 ounces
  • Lifestyle Tracking: Yes

Pros

  • Easy to read touchscreen
  • Green View with manual pin positioning
  • It can be paired with a compatible smartphone
  • Great lifestyle tracking functionality

Cons

  • Has some quirks with swing recording
  • Challenging to setup initially

Bottom Line:

Whether you play with the Garmin Approach 60, Garmin Approach S10, Garmin Approach S62, or others, you will have to plan to spend a little time working on learning the technology. These are not the simplest products to use, and you have to take some time to learn how to program them. Once you get that down, the functionality is hard to beat.

Click here to read our full review.

Bushnell Ion

If you are a golfer that enjoys using a rangefinder, chances are you are well aware of the impressive features of the Bushnell name. To compete in the golf GPS watch space, the Bushnell Ion Edge was released. This is a reasonably priced golf watch with some impressive features, but it’s not anything incredible.

There are 38,000 preloaded courses and the ability to calculate your shot distances based on your location. On each hole, you can get up to six hazard distances. In addition, I liked the movable pin placement feature. It made it easier to get a better idea of where to land my golf balls.

As you make your way around the golf course, the Bushnell Ion will automatically adjust to where you are. When you look at this compared to something like the Tag Heuer Golf Edition, the features don’t really even compare, but for golfers that like the Bushnell name and want something simple and accurate, it can be a good choice.

Features

  • Greenview with movable pin placement
  • Auto Advance features
  • Cleaning cloth to ensure accurate view at all times

Specs

  • Courses: 38,000 courses
  • Battery Life: 15 Hours
  • Screen Size: 1″
  • Weight: 1.8 ounces
  • Lifestyle Tracking: No

Pros

  • Very fair pricing
  • Long battery life
  • Shot distance calculator
  • Touchscreen display

Cons

  • Not as impressive as the Rangefinders from Bushnell
  • Fewer courses preloaded than other models

Bottom Line:

The Bushnell Ion is a fairly priced option, and with the Bushnell name behind it, you won’t have to worry about longevity. However, it’s not as impressive as the rangefinders from Bushnell are.

Click here to read our full review.

Buyers Guide: What To Look For In A Golf GPS Watch

Now that you have a better idea as to which golf GPS watches are the best on the market, it’s time to understand a bit better which of these could be a good fit for your game. There are some critical things to consider. 

Color or Black and White

The more expensive golf watches have a color screen. If you are a visual person that does well seeing these types of contrasts in color between the hazards and the area where you want the ball to land, you will enjoy the technology of the color screens.

Black and white technology is simpler and, therefore, less expensive. Try to determine which kind of a player you are. Are you going to be looking at the watch for direction throughout your round, or do you just want to know how far it is to the center of the green?

Lifestyle Tracking

Lifestyle tracking is an excellent benefit of a golf watch. Depending on the watch you choose, you may find that it will track your steps, your heart rate, or even your sleep. This kind of tracking makes it easier for you to work on your lifestyle outside of the course.

What I love the most about lifestyle tracking in the golf GPS watch is that I don’t have to change to something like the Fitbit after a round of golf; I can keep the golf watch on and still know what my exercise output was that day.

Pin Adjustability

One of the major negatives of a GPS is the fact that you can’t tell exactly where the pin is on the green. However, that technology is changing. We are moving away from simply seeing the front, back, and middle of the green and moving more toward the adjustability of the pin location.

Pin adjustability is usually done manually with a touchscreen, and although there can be some issues here with errors, it’s still more accurate than just having the front, middle, and back in place.

PlaysLike Technology

Many golf watches feature a technology that gives you information about how far you have to the hole with slope and wind included in the measurement. If you are looking for more accuracy, this is a great feature to have in the watch that you use.

Be smart about club selection after being given yardage from your golf watch; if something seems off, take a look at this technology to make sure it is calibrated correctly.

Pricing

As you can see from our list of the best golf watches, the pricing here runs from around $100 to more than $2000. The key is to look for features and functionality first and then compare what offers you the most for your money.

It’s easier to justify a higher cost on a golf GPS watch that has some features that you find in a golf game tracker, fitness watch, or even launch monitor.

If you are new to the world of golf watches and don’t want to break the bank, a value model can make more sense.

Screen Size

The screen size on a golf watch is vital for those that have a hard time seeing. The watches give a lot of information to players, but if you can’t read it, the information is useless. Touchscreens often allow for zooming in and out, and that makes things considerably easier to read.

If you have vision issues, go with the slightly larger screen size and pick something with simple numbers as opposed to a wide range of information. Getting a quick reading for the front, middle, and back of the green may be all that you need.

If you truly struggle with the screen size of these golf GPS watches, I would recommend going with a traditional GPS instead of the watch. The ease of use may be well worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the best golf GPS watches in the game. Remember that you also have to consider what works for your budget when deciding on a golf watch.

What is the best golf GPS watch 2022?

The best golf watch of 2022 was a tie between the Sky Caddie LX5 and the Garmin Approach S62. Each of these watches offers impressive visuals, accurate yardages, and touchscreen functionality.

Are Golf Watches waterproof?

Most golf watches are waterproof. It’s always important to make sure the watch is not just water resistant before you jump in and go for a swim.

Do golf watches have a long battery life?

Most golf watches will last anywhere from one to two rounds before the battery needs to be charged. GPS mode is a bit of a battery drainer. Some golf watches are sold with a portable charger to help improve overall battery life.

Is a golf watch good for tennis?

If a golf watch has tracking for other sports, steps, or heart rate information, it can often be a good fit for tennis players as well.

Final Thoughts

I hope you now feel more confident in your ability to purchase a golf watch that will work for your game. The golf watch is an excellent solution in that it is small but powerful when it comes to information. If you are tired of having so many gadgets to keep track of, the golf watch is a great solution as it just sits on your wrist. As you can tell from our list of the best golf watches, the Garmin name is a strong one in this space. However, the Sky Caddie and Bushnell are also worth considering.

Brittany Olizarowicz

Brittany Olizarowicz

Britt has close to 30 years of experience in the game of golf. She has played college golf, turned professional and worked as a Class A PGA teaching professional, and has years of writing experience. Her passion is for sharing what she knows about the game and helping others succeed. If Britt is not writing catch her on the golf course as she still loves to play golf several days a week.

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Launched in the spring of 2009 to shed light on the confusing world of golf equipment.

Our testing staff includes players ranging from low to high handicappers to provide perspectives relevant to all golfers, regardless of ability level. Each product is tested by all staff members to give you the best insight possible.
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