Apple Watch for golfing: Does Apple Watch have golf GPS?

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Thanks to increases in technology, a simple game of golf can now be an activity where experts are made. When it comes to golfing, nowadays there is no excuse not to miss a putt and it is possible to have a much more accurate game thanks to the introduction of GPS golf systems directly integrated into watches, making it a whole lot easier to get that hole in one.

Today, you will find that it is possible to buy GPS watches which are sold specifically as rangefinders and which track everything from the course, from the swing distance to your score and a whole lot more. With so many favorite smart watches out on the market however, such as the original Apple watch, consumers wish to find ways to integrate their watches into the golfing world sometimes without having to purchase a separate watch solely for the purpose of playing golf.

With its slim, lightweight and comfortable design, the Apple Watch would be perfect for using when playing golf; however with the S1 model, the only way to play would be to have your iPhone some place nearby, which isn’t always a possibility.

Although the first Apple watch did not include GPS, and tethering your phone for a GPS signal is not the best nor fastest thing in the world, thankfully the Series 2 and latest Series 3 models do offer GPS and are an upgrade from the first, including brand new built-in GPS tracking. You will come to learn that there are actually a few options out there to help the famous smart watches become a little more golf-friendly along the way without having to part with your cash on a specific golf GPS watch!

Therefore, if you want to discover how that is possible, in this article we will share some information on the GPS specs of both the Apple Watch S2, as well as the Apple Watch S3 and how you can use their built-in GPS systems to improve your golfing skills to the max together with an integrated golf app. As well as this, we will be discussing the apps in question a bit further, showing which ones are best so that you can use them to up your game on the golfing green.

The Apple Watch Series 2 – GPS

Famous for its sleek, smooth and modern design, the original Apple watch quickly became one of the second best-selling watch brands ever, after Rolex. The first series did not come with built in GPS, and therefore the only way to get GPS-like use was by downloading certain apps and using them together with the iPhone. However, the sensitivity and reliability somewhat lacked in accuracy.

The second series, however, received a huge update, and was the first one to offer not only a GPS sensor, but also a GLONASS “Global Navigation Satellite System”, which is an alternative space-based satellite navigation system. When used and combined together, these make tracking very accurate and perfect for use on the golf course. This is what makes the Series 2 a popular option when it comes to rangefinders.

Not only is the best thing about the Apple watch Series 2 its fantastic GPS and GLONASS features, but also the extra added fact that it features a 50% waterproof screen! This is a super durable smart watch which is probably more adapted to sportsmen and women, as its able to resist water up to 50 meters as well as perform a whole lot more advanced sport features! Therefore, when it comes to golfing, the Apple Series 2 model would be perfect to use for all your rangefinders needs.

The Apple Watch Series 3 – GPS

The latest and best Apple watch currently on the market is the S3. Much like the S2, this one offers a lot of similar features; however. its GPS system is much more accurate than ever before and offers higher sensitivity. Its redesigned fitness tracker is especially favored for its high level of accuracy. You can also track your heart rate and recovery rate after a workout.

In terms of golf GPS, the S3 can easily be integrated with one of the golf apps mentioned below. With its higher level of accuracy, and performance boost, you are guaranteed to enjoy your next time playing golf.

Check the S3’s GPA stats out in more detail here:

Apple Watch Golf GPS apps

When it comes to apps and the Apple watch, there are actually a number of different golf apps out there which exist in the iTunes store that can be quickly downloaded and used right away. How do they work with the watch? Remember these watches cannot be used without first pairing them to a compatible iPhone first. Simply search for golf GPS apps and then download them on your iPhone.

Once they are downloaded, you can begin to set up and use them on the watch whenever you please. Some can even be used without even having to take your iPhone out of your bag, and some are better than others – it’s all about trial and error! The one thing they do have in common is that they all help to take the golfing experience to a whole new level without breaking the bank. Without further ado, below are some of the most popular apps people are raving about which can be used together with the Apple watch.


If you want to use GPS when you are golfing but don’t want to splash out on a golf GPS watch, or perhaps you are only a casual golfer but want a little extra support on the playing field, then the Golfshot app is a winner! Golfshot is a free GPS app which you can download, and it works directly with the Apple watch’s built-in GPS. The app allows you real-time distances to your next target, hazards and the green. It offers on the spot club recommendations, as well as simple shot tracking – making it easier to make all of your putts worthwhile.

The added ability to zoom in on targets makes the golfing experience a lot more accurate as you can finally get a good look at your field while getting a good feel for the environment and terrain around you. Its crisp, clear aerial images if the green and hole allow the user to truly see their course, giving them a sense of confidence in their game. Although it is possible to use with the iPhone at a distance, it is recommended by some users to use with your iPhone 2 or 3 in your pocket while playing for extra sensitivity and accuracy. There is also a paid version of the Golfshot app, which includes some extra pro advantages; however, the free version includes enough for the average golfer to work with.

If you are interested to see this app in action, check out this fun customer review:

Trackmygolf GPS

Trackmygolf is an app which makes your golfing experience so much easier. The smartwatch integration enables automatic stroke counting and swing analysis without ever needing your phone nearby! The app automatically records the GPS location of each swing you make, helping to identify your exact distance from the hole with measuring accuracy and tracking your club distance on over 35,000 golf courses! This means the app can be used on most courses, and is perfect to help you find your way on a new course.

As well as this, you can quickly edit your shots as you desire, track live club usage, and discover key insights and statistics to improve your play in an instant. Trackmygolf can even help the user to differentiate between a practice swing and a real swing; therefore, if you are looking to greatly improve your golfing skills, this app is perfect for your smartwatch!


Hole 19 is a social platform for golfers. This gives very accurate distances to the front, center and middle of the green, and allows the user to keep score on their watch as well. Users can record their distances and share their rounds with friends directly on the platform with fellow users, as well as on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This one is definitely a great app for the competitive people out there!


Another great rangefinder Apple Watch app is the popular 18Birdies. This app really excels at scoring, and features the ability to add strokes, fairways hit/missed, putts, chips and greens in regulation. Like all the other apps, this provides real-time distance and supplies accurate distances to the front, center and back of the tee! All the user has to do is swing.

This particular iPhone app is extremely well-designed and filled with a few extra fun games, rewards and some instructions. There is even a premium tier which includes club recommendations and advanced statistics.

FunGolf GPS

This app was created specifically for golfers –by golfers! If you own an Apple watch series 2 or 3, then FunGolf is another excellent app which can take your golfing skills to the next level. With over 34,000 professionally mapped golf courses worldwide already on the app, this app is a delight to use! Having your yardages on your wrist make for an unmatched golfing experience. The app features stunning 3D maps, which allow you to view your exact course in 3D as well as offline! Scorecards are also available and are easy to enter.

The professional statistics allow you to track your progress and work on improving your skills at the same time, featuring a comprehensive collection of statistics to take a look at. Like a few other of the golf GPS apps, it is also possible to track your shots and receive a history of drive accuracy, distance and greens in regulation. This app even recommends which club is best suited to you! Together with your Apple S2 or S3, this app can definitely help improve your golfing skills overall.

Which golf rangefinder option is best?

If you are unsure which option is best for you when it comes to rangefinders, then perhaps it is important to consider your level and how often you play golf. If you are a complete beginner, or new to playing golf altogether, then perhaps the golf apps integrated with your phone alone will provide you with a better start than buying a golf GPS device outright.

If you are more along the road of an amateur or professional, then perhaps investing in a golf GPS watch will be more advantageous for you, for example a Garmin or Bushnell model. ln the same way, if you are more of an expert then the apps together with the iPhone will still provide a pretty good, and highly accurate level of tracking – and possibly save you some money too. So both options are viable and depend on the individual user, and their overall preference!

To conclude, and answer the question does an Apple watch have golf GPS? Well the series 1 does not, but as you have found out S2 and S3 do! So long as Apple keeps making better GPS systems in their new models, the accuracy is bound to increase in the future, making having an iPhone nearby a piece of history! It is possible therefore to use a simple Apple watch with apps, to get your GPS rangefinders going on the golf course and at the same time save some money!

Being one of the most favored brands worldwide, it would be a pity for Apple not to be up to date in the golf GPS world, and thankfully they have options so that their customers can still wear their favorite watches, and get all of the same benefits that they would with a normal golf GPS watch!


Hopefully this article has shown you which Apple models work best with the golf GPS apps, and the best apps themselves which are useful and which you yourself can take advantage of the next time you go golfing.

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