Whether you’re a beginner looking to become better or a pro looking to level up your game, very few tools in golfing are as great as a golf GPS watch. With the aid of a golf GPS smartwatch, you can see your goals more clearly, and some even allow you to analyze your swings and the best clubs to use, and can also provide a map of the course. We compare them below to help you choose the best one for you.
There are plenty of good golf GPS watches on the market, each of which has different strengths and will be better for some. These are our favorites for best golf GPS watches 2023:
- Garmin Approach S62
- TecTecTec ULT-G
- Garmin Approach S42
- SkyCaddie LX5
- ShotScope V3
- Garmin Approach S12
Knowing the best golf GPS watches is only half of the battle. Especially when considering that, as stated before, they all have individual strengths and weaknesses.
This guide will help you determine which will work best for your needs and what you want to see next time you go golfing.
1. Garmin Approach S62
- FULL COLOR DISPLAY: Approach S62 is a premium GPS golf watch that integrates the critical information and mapping you need in full color on your wrist.
Being the flagship model of the Garmin golf watch empire, the Garmin Approach S62 is one of the best and most popular golf GPS watches on the market today.
If you are a golfing enthusiast and want to take your golfing to a higher level, this is one watch that will help you on the way.
The Approach S62 has some of the most advanced features you may need on the golf course, including shot-tracking and a virtual caddie assistant that will advise you on the best club for your next shot based on real-time analytics.
The S62 also has some improvements over some of the previous models, with one example being an enhanced screen that allows you to see even in direct sunlight.
With over 41 thousand golf courses loaded on this watch’s GPS, you can access the layout of golf courses all over the globe simply by looking at your wrist. Other improvements that warrant a further look are the 1.3-inch screen which is more than 15% bigger than the S60 and the improved GPS accuracy.
Using the Garmin Approach S62 alongside the Garmin App also has added benefits, such as more advanced analytics of your game. The app also allows you to use other features, such as updating the watch or using Garmin Pay.
With this watch, even blind shots will be a breeze with the watch’s ability to show you the direction of the pin and other possible hazards you may encounter on your way.
The S62 also has a bigger battery, allowing you to use the smartwatch mode for up to 14 days and the golf GPS mode for up to 20 hours, much longer than you should need.
With all of these great features in mind, this watch has a few downsides, which are equally as important.
The first sore point is that this watch, the current flagship, is one of the more expensive watches you can buy for golf. In addition to the hefty price tag, there are some complaints about the quality of the strap, and replacement straps are expensive.
There are also other possible issues with the S62, though some of these may be factory errors; there are reports that the screen doesn’t have a high enough brightness, that the watch often gets set up for the wrong region, and that it may freeze or reset. There are also some reports that the app the smartwatch connects to is lacking in some data, customizability, or may be inaccurate.
- The virtual caddie features can help your game by recommending the best club to use
- The pin-point features allow you to play with confidence even on blind shots
- The added backlight enables you to see in direct sunlight
- Since it’s the flagship model, the watch is quite expensive
- Some of the game statistics may be inaccurate
- Replacement watch straps may be costly
2. TecTecTec ULT-G
- 𝐒𝐌𝐀𝐑𝐓 𝐆𝐎𝐋𝐅 𝐖𝐀𝐓𝐂𝐇: The ULT-G Golf GPS watch includes sophisticated features that will make your works easier. A lot of useful features to take your...
- 𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐘 𝐓𝐎 𝐎𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐄: Learning to use the ULT-G watch is very simple. There are only four buttons to navigate the screen. Once the initial set-up is...
- 𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐘𝐓𝐇𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐍𝐄𝐄𝐃: Measures distances to the front, back, and middle of the green. Figure out the distance of your shots. Automatic hole...
If you’re looking for a started GPS golf watch, the TecTecTec ULT-G may be the perfect option if you’re on a budget. Though this watch may not be as extravagant as others on this list, it prides itself on its ability to give you everything you need without overdoing it.
The ULT-G is also known for being one of the most effortless golf watches to use and can get set up with only a few clicks. The ULT-G uses a simple range of codes to notify you of hazards and distances, such as the distances to the front, back, and middle of the green and can do this for more than 38 thousand courses.
Though the watch is quite simplistic in its design, it allows the battery to last you for up to two and a half 18-hole sets and still includes automatic hole progression while enabling you to measure the distance of your shots without any hassles.
In addition to all of these features, the team at TecTecTec gives you some bonuses, such as the full-year warranty you receive upon online registration and the 30-day money-back happiness guarantee. The TecTecTec team has also stated that they will send out a team to record a course that is not on their maps if they are informed.
With this in mind, there are features that you may want on your golf watch that the ULT-G does not offer. If you are a lover of the smartwatch look and feel, this watch’s simplistic and durable design may leave you wanting, and since it is relatively simple, there is also no map you can view on the watch to gain a more significant idea of your current hole.
This golf watch also lacks the basic features of other golf watches, such as the smartwatch capabilities and the general fitness tracking we have grown accustomed to seeing on almost every new smartwatch or golf watch.
With a bunch of positive feedback, it is only natural that there are some negative points as well, including the fact that the battery seems to lose its capacity reasonably quickly. Though working perfectly at first, there is also a chance that the watch may become somewhat inaccurate and jumble up the holes of your course or detect the wrong area, which can mess up your statistics and tracking.
- This golf watch is straightforward to use
- It comes with a year warranty and a 30-day happiness guarantee
- The golf watch includes automatic hole progression
- The ULT-G isn’t as expensive as other watches
- The look and feel of the watch are lacking compared to others
- There is no touchscreen functionality; using buttons instead
- There are no general fitness-tracking capabilities
3. Garmin Approach S42
- 1.2” easy-to-read color touchscreen display with interchangeable quick release bands
- Battery life: up to 15 hours in GPS mode, and up to 10 days in smartwatch mode
- Green View feature allows manual pin positioning; quickly reference distances to the front, middle and back of the green as well as hazards and doglegs
The Garmin Approach S42, though not as advanced as the current flagship, is a brilliant smartwatch that combines all the features you expect a smartwatch to have with the added help of a golf-tracking watch.
Not only is this smartwatch light-weight and good-looking, and has some spectacular features that will help you improve your golfing abilities.
This model also has an impressive battery life, with the golf features allowing you to use it for up to 15 hours, and the smartwatch mode can last for more than a week on a full charge.
In addition to the excellent battery life, the watch also allows you to keep score on your wrist and has a sunlight-friendly display ensuring you can use it even when the sun is shining directly on it.
This golf GPS smartwatch also has some unique features, such as the green view, which allows you to look at the distances of the green and allow more accurate placement of the pin by dragging it manually.
The green view also lets you view the green’s actual shape, and the S42 allows this view on more than 42 thousand golf courses worldwide.
With the automatic shot detection, you can also use your S42 to track and calculate the distance of your shots, another great feature.
Best of all, since this isn’t the flagship model, the price of the Garmin Approach S42 is much more manageable, and there are even package deals that include other Garmin equipment that you can use to enhance your golfing game.
Though this is a great mid-range golf GPS smartwatch, some problems and features are still lacking.
Firstly, the instructions may be unclear and difficult to understand if you are not used to using a Garmin golf smartwatch. In addition, it can take some time to get used to the watch and its features, and it may not be as easy to use as some may expect.
There is also a chance for additional issues, such as its sensitivity to rain, which makes the screen somewhat buggy. In addition, there may be some issues with the green view and accuracy of the distances, and the watch may show you hazards that are not part of the hole you are currently playing, which may be distracting for some.
- The S42 is more affordable than the S62
- The watch is stylish enough to use as a smartwatch when you’re not golfing
- Being able to drag the pin allows for better accuracy
- The watch is still on the more expensive side
- Setting up the smartwatch can be difficult with the unclear instructions
- Sometimes the S42 isn’t accurate or doesn’t detect your shots
4. SkyCaddie LX5
- Included is a 3 Year Prepaid Worldwide Membership to over 35,000 ground verified course maps
- Golf's largest brightest color touchscreen 1.39" Full HD graphics for stunning hole and green images
- Zoom in and pan for extra detail, slide the cursor for precision targeting to hazards or layups
When looking at golf GPS watches, the SkyCaddie golf watches are right up there with the Garmin watches both in price and capabilities.
The SkyCaddie LX5 is also one of the most feature-rich golf GPS watches on the market, allowing you to see your course, analyze your shots, and look stylish.
One of the most notable strong points of using the SkyCaddie LX5, or most other SkyCaddie watches, is that the SkyCaddie team goes the courses they upload to make their measurements and tracking as accurate as possible.
Some of the highlights you can expect from the LX5 model include the ability to move the crosshair of your watch to any point on the course to see the distances from hazards or other hindrances. And the feature that allows it to center and align the screen with your current position automatically. In addition, one of the watch’s views will enable you to easily choose the best club for your shot due to the overlay.
With some of the more advanced features, you can also input the necessary information for your SkyCaddie LX5 to show you the perfect view of the pin aligned and accurate to your location, even when the pin isn’t within your field of view. If you want to, you can use all of the automatic features, including finding your course, zooming in as you move closer, and even giving you the green depth.
You can also use your smartwatch to keep your score and have most of the usual features, including the fitness tracking you’d expect.
On the other hand, though the SkyCaddie LX5 is similar in price to the Garmin Approach S42, it does not have as many courses mapped out, being closer to 35 thousand compared to the Garmin’s 42 thousand.
In addition, though it allows you a view to helping you choose the best club to use, it does not include a feature like the virtual caddie, and some of the data you may want needs to get recorded manually.
Some other aspects to consider are that this smartwatch can be a bit difficult to set up, and at times it can take up to 15 minutes to locate your course, so you may want to get it started ahead of time. There may also be hole detection problems, requiring you to fiddle with the watch instead of focusing on the game.
One more thing to note is that you will need the mobile app to use this watch to its full potential, and though you may receive an initial free subscription to this service, it will eventually cost you additional money.
One of the features you need the app to use correctly is scorekeeping, which must be uploaded to the app before you can get an in-depth view of the results.
- The SkyCaddie team prides itself on the accuracy of their devices
- The automatic features can make using the watch much more game-friendly
- The smartwatch features include fitness tracking
- You require an app to make full use of the watch’s functionality
- You need to pay to keep using the app
- The SkyCaddie LX5 is still relatively expensive
5. Shot Scope V3
- EVERYTHING YOU NEED; Shows distances to the front, back and middle of the green. Accurate to within plus or minus one yard. Distances to all hazards are included. Measure the distance of...
With around 36 thousand preloaded courses and relatively advanced features, the Shot Scope V3 is another excellent choice if you are searching for a golf GPS watch.
Though this watch does not give you an areal view of the course or the hole, it provides you with the necessary information, including the hazards you must avoid while playing.
There is a ton of information this watch can help you with, and even more the golf watch can record while you play, most of which it does automatically. The addition of a tag on the strap of the golf watch and the added shot tracking tags allows the watch to automatically detect when you take a shot and record it for later.
One of the great features of the Shot Scope V3 is the ability to upload your round to the mobile app and the online dashboard, allowing you to edit your game to add any penalties you may not have added during the game. Another bonus of this watch is that you can choose your mode and set it between GPS and tracking, tracking, or just GPS.
Though this watch is relatively simple, it gives you all that you need at the press of some buttons, and it always shows the time at the top, which some other golf watches do not.
The price of this watch is pretty reasonable for its capabilities, and it comes with a set of shot tracking tags, the ones mentioned before, that you do not need to pay any extra for, unlike some other watches.
Though you can wear this golf watch as a regular watch, it does not have smartwatch capabilities such as showing notifications or helping you with general fitness tracking, which is why it gets mainly used for golfing and not as an everyday watch.
You may also be able to tell that it’s not a regular watch simply by looking at it, since though it fits well, it doesn’t look like what you’d expect from a smartwatch.
Another feature that may count as a negative for some is that at the end of your hole, you need to manually use the pin collect mode to ensure your GPS picks up where the ball ended, and this is also when you need to confirm your putt score.
- The price of a Shot Scope V3 is relatively low when considering the included tracking tags
- It is reasonably simple to use most of the features of this golf watch
- The ability to change and fine-tune your round after the fact can help with more accurate statistics
- The GPS isn’t the most accurate and can be quite a few yards off
- The shot tracking isn’t always reliable, and you may have to add shots after the round
- It does not show you a map of the area, meaning you still have to rely on what you can see
- The watch, though possible, isn’t made for use off the golf course
6. Garmin Approach S12
- New round watch design with a high-resolution sunlight-readable display
- Battery life: up to 30 hours in GPS Mode
- More than 42,000 courses preloaded from around the world
Though not as advanced as some other Garmin golf watches, the Approach S12 is still full of features. The S12 is an excellent choice if you want a Gramin watch that can do everything you need without being overly complicated.
While it may not look like the others, the S12 still comes with all the same courses loaded onto the watch, over 42 thousand of them. In addition, this watch still allows you to keep score, read the distances of any hazards, and track how far you are from the from, middle, and back of the green.
For the S12, the Gramin watch does not give a full-view map of the course you play, but it is simple to use and understand, with some great features that allow you to quickly choose where you’re playing based on your location and the courses in the area.
In addition, this watch allows you to set the flag to any known possibilities by using a simplified course map, and you can use the shot tracker by selecting it and walking to where your last shot landed.
There is also the benefit that, like other Garmin golf watches, it works with their CT golf sensors without compatibility issues, and the battery life of this watch is even better than the S64’s GPS time, reaching up to 30 hours.
Considering all the abovementioned factors, the lack of a more detailed map may be a negative point for some, and other factors may also influence your choice.
Despite being called a watch, the Garmin Approach S12 does not have the same abilities as more advanced Garmin watches that can get worn on the golf course or as a regular watch with a smartwatch’s advanced features, including fitness tracking.
This Garmin model also has a less impressive screen than other models and does not have touch functionality, instead opting for using four buttons on the sides of the watch to help you navigate and utilize its functionality.
Though the S12 is cheaper than other models, you may also have to wait longer for a satellite connection, and the screen is small and can be harder to read.
- The minimalized style makes the S12 very easy to use
- The battery can last up to 30 hours, longer than the Garmin Approach S64
- Though it is more straightforward, it is still compatible with the Garmin sensors
- There is no touchscreen functionality
- The screen is smaller and can be hard to read
- The watch does not have smartwatch capabilities, making it a dedicated golfing watch
Conclusion: Best GPS Watches for Golf
Gone are the days of needing handheld devices to help you enhance your golf game, with the addition of some brilliant tools you can keep easily on your wrist.
Whether you’re looking for an entry-level golf GPS watch or want to level up your game with something more hi-tech, the list above will provide you with some of the best options on the market.