In 2014 Garmin becomes the first golf GPS device manufacturer to provide slope-adjusted distances (wow!), the biggest change with the Garmin Approach G7 (and sibling Garmin Approach G8). Prior to now this, slope adjusted information was only available via (some) laser rangefinders. The G7 also offers club recommendations (based on tracking of prior shot distances), big numbers mode (um, it shows numbers…big), and the ability to receive email, text and call alerts if you have an iPhone 4S or later (we’ll pass – we’ve left the office for a reason). For those deciding between the G7 and the Garmin Approach G8: the G7 has a slightly smaller screen (2.6″ diagonal, 160 x 240 pixels), lacks the ability to point in the direction of the center of the green for blind shots, and no ability to download course updates via Wi-Fi. But then again, it’s $100 cheaper. The G7 and G8 both retain the sleek design of the prior generation Garmin G6, provide distances to front/center/back and doglegs, and the ability to pinpoint any target on the course. To plan their attack, users can display layup arcs at 100, 150, 200 and 250 yards on either of these devices.
Though it has a host of features, keep in mind that given the Garmin Approach G7 (and G8) can provide slope-adjusted distances and can recommend clubs, it runs afoul of Rule 14-3 and is therefore illegal for tournament play (even with a Local Rule permitting devices that can measure distance).
The Approach G7 has the same battery life as the rest of the family (estimated 15 hours), multiple scoring options for up to four players, and can track fairways hit, GIR and putts. New is also an online portal to upload scores and track progress over time (hello Garmin Connect! At last!). Oh, and it’s waterproof to boot.
The Approach G7 keeps the same price as the Garmin Approach G6 had at its introduction, and is $100 less than the Garmin Approach G8. Lacking only the ability to provide direction, a slightly larger screen and Wi-Fi in comparison to the G8, the G7 is certainly worth consideration.
As with other Garmin Approach devices, there are no annual fees for course updates.