Which GPS Golf Device is Best

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Distance measuring devices nowadays come in several guises including compact GPS units and stylish GPS watches, each of which has something a little different to offer and at different price ranges.

The main benefit of investing in these devices is quick, accurate distances which can provide new levels of confidence as you are sure that you have chosen the right club, which will, in turn, help you to commit to shots more easily.

In this article, we will guide you through the list of which GPS golf device is best and highlight their main advantages and disadvantages.

 

Best Golf GPS 2018 Reviews

Garmin Approach G6 Handheld Touchscreen Golf Course GPS

Garmin Approach G6 Handheld Touchscreen Golf Course GPS

Boost your gaming confidence with the Garmin Approach G6, a Waterproof, rugged, touchscreen golfing device. It is preloaded with thousands of golf course maps. The G6Approach uses a highly sensitive GPS recipient to measure shot distances and show the exact yardage to greens and hazards. The Approach G6 has a smaller and lighter design than the Approach G5, which makes it ideal to walk the course. With its rough and rugged design, the G6 lightens your load regardless of how you get around the course.

Garmin Approach G6 Handheld Touchscreen Golf Course GPS
  • Preloaded with over 25,000 worldwide courses - no subscriptions required.^Slim, rugged, waterproof design.^2.6" glove-friendly touchscreen display and adjustable backlight.
  • Physical dimensions 2.1" x 3.7" x 0.8" (5.4 x 9.3 x 1.9 cm)

Features

  • 2.6” sunlight readable touchscreen display
  • Free course updates with no subscriptions or fees
  • Preloaded with thousands of North and Latin American courses
  • Touch Targeting
  • Green View

Pros

  • checkEasy to use
  • checkSleek pocket-size design
  • checkLong battery life
  • checkHighly Accurate
  • checkCan determine the distance to any point on a hole

Cons

  • ​Difficult to read under bright light

     

Verdict

The Garmin Approach G6 is a Garmin-branded golf GPS that delivers everything that the predecessor Garmin G5 unit does in a smaller pack and lower price. The G6 has a 2.6” touchscreen display that makes navigating among the G6’s different features simple and spontaneous.

The use of illustrations by Garmin makes everything much easier as the illustrations are much brighter than the photographs making them more viewable in all light conditions.  With the G6, there is entirely no set-up time as all the courses are pre-loaded on the devices. The only downside of the G6 is that it cannot track statistics. Also, the main yardage in the middle of the green is easy to read, but the other yardage points are a little difficult to understand.  By increasing the brightness a little, the readability of the device can be enhanced.  Overall, the Garmin Approach G6 offers more than just an average user experience.

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Izzo Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder

Izzo Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder

The Izzo Golf Swami 5000 GPs is the newest model by the Izzo Company. The Swami 5000 GPS has many features that are found on more expensive models from other brands, yet it is simple to use, fast and accurate, and inexpensive. The Swami 5000 features a scorecard that allows you to keep track of your score hole-by-hole.

With this feature, you can store your last ten rounds, and your total score is displayed at the bottom left of the screen. You can also get to measure how far your driver or irons go with the New Short Distance Measurement. With the full-color display of 2”, you can get more accurate distances to the front, center, and back of the green.

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Izzo Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder
  • Distances: F/C/B to greens; layup/carry to hazards & doglegs
  • Preloaded 38,000+ global course maps; no annual or download fees
  • Auto course recognition & hole-advance
  • New slimmer profile & larger 2-inch color LCD
  • New improved 12+ hr battery life & scorecard feature (save & view scores)

Features

  • New Scoreboard Feature
  • 30,000 preloaded golf courses
  • Auto-hole advancement
  • Short Distance Measurement
  • New Larger 2” full-color display
  • No annual fees and subscriptions

Pros

  • checkLong battery life
  • checkSlim profile
  • checkDurable and waterproof
  • checkNo annual fees or subscriptions

     

Cons

  • ​A little difficult to hook up the recharge cord

     

Verdict

The Swami 5000 gives you everything that you need right in the palm of your hand.  You can get distances to the front, center, and back of the green, and distances to the back and front of hazards for more than 30,000 courses worldwide. You get the courses at no charge. What’s more—it has a sleek new 2” color screen, 12-hours battery life that will last you up to three rounds, and a scorecard function that enables you to store and examine multiple rounds.

The Swami 5000 also has a belt clip and a magnetic USB charger. It offers you maximum durability and waterproof ability. The only issue with the Izzo Swami 5000 is that it is a bit difficult to clip up the magnetic charger cable. For such a simple and inexpensive device, the Izzo Swami 5000 is a Golf GPS device that is suitable for any golfing experience.

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Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS

Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS

The Garmin Approach G8 is Garmin’s most feature-packed handheld GPS device. It is sleek, lightweight and durable, with a three-inch multi-touch color display. G8 offers precise distances for more than 30,000 international courses with free Wi-Fi course updates.

It has new features: the PlaysLike Distance that gives the golfer the distances to the target, adjusted for downhill or uphill shots: Smart Notification Messaging that allows you to link the device with your smartphone to receive messages; and Big Numbers Mode that increases the font size of the front, center and back distances. With the Wi-Fi connectivity, you can connect to the golf community within Garmin Connect and update courses automatically. It has an improved rechargeable 15 hour battery.

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Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS
  • Plays like Distance Gives The Golfer Distances To The Target, Adjusted For Uphill Or Downhill Shots. Display size : 1.5 Inch x 2.6 Inch (3.9 x 6.5 cm). 3.0 Inchdiag (7.6 cm)
  • Smart Notification Receive Email, Texts And Alerts From Your Iphone (4S Or Later) Directly On Your Golf Handheld;Physical dimensions:2.1 x 4.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Garmin Connect Online golf community lets you play, then share and compare your round; visit connect.garmin.com to find out more
  • Club Advice Remembers how far you hit each club, and provides recommendations on which club to use based on your shot distances PINPOINTER Provides blind shot assistance by pointing you in the right direction when you are unable to see the pin (G8 only)
  • Big Numbers Mode For easy viewing on your screen, increase the font size for distances to the front, back and middle of the greens AUTOMATIC COURSE UPDATE Device automatically updates courses with a Wi-Fi connection for no additional charge (G8 only)

Features

  • Three-inch multi-touch display
  • More than 30,000 preloaded international course
  • PlaysLike Distance
  • Smart Notification Messaging
  • PinPointer
  • Automatic Wi-Fi course updates

Pros

  • checkNo annual fees or subscriptions
  • checkQuick target to any point
  • checkShows slope-adjusted distances for both uphill and downhill shots
  • checkGarmin Connect Portal for saving scores and track progress
  • checkEasy to use
  • checkSaves scores and tracks progress

     

Cons

  • Fewer mapped targets
  • Connectivity to a mobile device is through Bluetooth only
  • Need to back out of the scoring screen after each hole to auto-advance to the next hole
  • Requires a sequence of 7 buttons to view your scoreboard

     

Verdict

With a 3” color display and more than 30,000 preloaded courses worldwide, the Garmin Approach G8 is one of the best golf GPS products on the market. The G8 automatically recognizes the course that you are playing on in a matter of few seconds. It also offers you a lot of accuracy and efficiency. It has a PinPointer feature that helps you with the blind shots as it helps you locate the direction of the pin more accurately.

When playing uphill or downhill, accuracy should not worry you as you can rely on the PlaysLike Distance. The Approach G8 displays distances adjusted for slope and elevation. The greatest benefit of using the Garmin Approach 8 is improved accuracy. While many other devices of the same price can offer you basic GPS functions, only a few of them will offer you accuracy similar to the G8. The Garmin Approach G8 will improve your overall gaming experience compared to its costs, given the many features it has.

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GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS/Rangefinder

GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS/Rangefinder, White/Blue

This is a second generation to the bestselling GolfBuddy that is one of the leading GPS brands in the Golf GPS and rangefinder industry. The GolfBuddy Voice 2 has an increased battery life, and shows the front, center, and back of the green accurately. The device automatically identifies the course and the hole immediately after you get to the course.

With a push of the button, you can prompt the Voice 2 to tell you the distance to the center. The Voice 2 has more than 40,000 pre-loaded courses with no fees or subscriptions. The Voice 2 has a Dynamic Green View that shows you the shape of the green as well as your angle of approach.

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GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS/Rangefinder, White/Blue
  • Easy to use talking Golf GPS reads Your distances aloud at the press of a button. 8 preloaded languages with a choice of male or female voice
  • Displays real distances to the front, Back and centre of the green. Automatic Golf club, course and hole recognition
  • Dynamic green view Technology with distance readings from the golfer's perspective
  • Up to 14-hour battery life (2+ rounds per charge) and water resistant
  • Preloaded with 40, 000 courses in over 170 countries- with free updates available via USB Sync

Features

  • Short Distance Measurement
  • Dynamic Green View technology with distance readings
  • Water Resistance
  • Multilingual distances to front, center, and back of the green
  • 40,000 pre-loaded courses
  • Male/female voice options

Pros

  • checkWater resistant
  • checkAutomatic course and hole recognition
  • checkNo annual fees and subscriptions

     

Cons

  • The sound is a bit mechanical which makes it hard to hear
  • Expensive
  • Black and white screen

     

Verdict

A voice GPS is one of the most important devices that you can possess on the course.  And with a quality one like the Voice 2 from GolfBuddy, you will never have to guess the yardages from the front, back or center as it gives you accurate measurements.

The device has a voice option that allows you to get the distance using voice commands, so you don’t have to look at it each time you want new information. Compared to other expensive brands, the GolfBuddy Voice 2 offers you several benefits thanks to its many features.

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Garmin Approach G10 Golf GPS

Garmin Approach G10 Golf GPS with Garmin Lanyard Carabiner & Belt Clip | Pocket-Sized Handheld GPS Bundle | 010-01959-00

The Garmin Approach G10 is Garmin’s smallest and most compact golf GPS as of now. It is a convenient golf GPS which easily clips on to your belt, pocket or bag. The G10 comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 international golf courses and offers precise distances to the front, back and center of the green, as well as hazards, green view, and pin placements among others.

It has a 1.3-inch sunlight readable, high-resolution screen. The G10 also offers a preview of the green layout and displays the shape of the green manual pin placements. It also features a digital scorecard that helps you to keep track of your score throughout your rounds. The G10 has a compact design with a high sensitivity GPS that offers the golfer information like yardage, hazards and more in a convenient form factor with a built-in clip.

Garmin Approach G10 Golf GPS with Garmin Lanyard Carabiner & Belt Clip | Pocket-Sized Handheld GPS Bundle | 010-01959-00
  • [GARMIN APPROACH G10 BUNDLE INCLUDES] - Garmin Approach G10 Handheld Golf GPS, Garmin Lanyard Carabiner Clip, Belt Clip & USB Charging Cable
  • [ULTIMATE GPS, TINY UNIT] - The Garmin Approach G10 Golf GPS packs Garmin's precise GPS technology into a pocket-sized, easy-to-use handheld unit
  • [PIN PLACEMENT] - Features Green View to take a look at the shape of the green and manually move the pin placement
  • [40,000+ PRE-LOADED COURSES] - Comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 worldwide courses & includes Free WiFi lifetime course updates
  • [PERFECT ACCESSORY] - Easily attach your device to the lanyard which securely holds the anodized aluminum carabiner to your belt loop, jacket or bag.

Features

  • Accurate yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green
  • Pin Replacement
  • Garmin Connect
  • Digital Scorecard
  • High resolution, 1.3 inches, sunlight readable display
  • Rugged, lightweight and water resistant
  • Approved for completion purposes

Pros

  • checkSmall and lightweight
  • checkOver 40,000 preloaded golf courses
  • checkGreenView with manual pin positioning
  • checkDigital scorecard and App
  • checkHazards/course targets
  • checkLong battery life

     

Cons

  • Basic black and white screen
  • No step tracking features
  • No touch targeting
  • No smart notifications

     

Verdict

The Garmin Approach G10 is a small and very compact GPS device loaded with many features.  It contains all the attributes that you can expect to find in a standard golf GPS device. The G10 also has a bright screen that makes it easy to read data.

For a device loaded with many features, the G10 has an exceptional battery life of up to 15 hours. Even with the minor flaws that this device has, you will find out that this is a device that you can fully rely on for your golf GPS needs. The Garmin Approach G10 is a top-notch GPS device that will offer you reliable information at an affordable price.

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Buyer’s Guide

Since the invention of GPS, it has gained widespread use. The use of GPS in golf is not a new trend as it has been around for some time. In golf, GPS is mainly used as a rangefinder to determine the distance of the golfer to the green and other crucial points.

Typically, a golf GPS device has data about golf courses to offer correct and reliable information to the golfer that can enhance the pace of play. With the many GPS devices on the market today, it is important to ensure that you find the best one. Buying a device that is worth your money, and one that fits your requirements, is essential. Here are some important factors to consider when purchasing a GPS Device.

Portability

When it comes to golf GPS, portability is an essential factor to consider. The device should be comfortable enough in weight and size to allow you to carry it around easily. The display size needs to be large enough for easy view and small enough to fit your pocket.

Reflective Screens

Direct sunlight can make it quite difficult to read the screen of a GPS device. Devices with a reflective coating are more readable in bright sunlight.

Waterproof

The GPS device you choose should be water resistant so that you don’t have to worry every time you drop it in water or get soaked in the rain. A water-resistant GPS device is a great investment.

Course Maps

Free preloaded course maps are essential for a good golf GPS. This will save you extra costs of buying course maps.

Design/Model

The model of the golf GPS should not only make it appear more visually appealing but should also be practical. The plan should make it easier to use and move around with if it’s a handheld device, as well as making it easy to hold and fit in the pocket. The design should be simple but attractive and functional.

Features and Tech Specs

When shopping for a GPS device, the features and the tech specifications are perhaps the most important thing that you should consider. The more features a GPS has, the better it is for you. However, if the device doesn’t have many features, ensure that it has basic ones like pinpointing and shot measurement.

User-Friendly

There are some advanced devices that can be complicated to use, especially for an individual who is not technically minded. It is good that you find a device that has most of the required features and is easy to use. It is equally important that you go with the interface that you are familiar with; for instance, if you are comfortable with a touchscreen interface, find a GPS utilizing touchscreen.

Battery Life

Enough battery power is needed to last for the whole round. There is nothing more annoying than your GPS running out of power when you are in the middle of the game. To avoid this, choose a device with a long battery life.

Budget

There are many golf GPS devices on the market. Hence you will have minimal trouble finding one that is within your budget. You must keep in mind that there is other golf equipment that you will have to buy, so don’t spend all your money on a GPS device.

Golf GPS Device FAQs

1)    How do GPS Watches Work?

By integrating GPS technology in a fitness watch, the watch measures a series of points that are used to obtain measurements like speed, distance, and pace accurately. These metrics give the runner real-time insight into their running performance. When it comes to measuring elevations, most of the fitness watches utilize barometric altimeters to determine the changes in pressure at different levels of elevation during workouts and provide concurrent data on elevation change.

2)    How to Make a Garmin Watch Face

Garmin has launched a face creation app for its range of Connect IQ Compatible devices: Face-It. The Face-It app is available on App Stores like Google Play and allows users to select photos in their smartphone gallery and convert them into watch faces. To install a face watch, you install the app and run it on your phone. You then will be asked to select a picture from your phone’s library. Once you have designed the watch face, click ‘send to device’ and the Garmin Connect will fire up. You will need to synchronize your device as normal.

3)    How accurate are handheld GPS units?

The accuracy of GPS is measured in two ways: Circular Error Probable (CEP) and 95 Percent Confidence. With the 95th percentile, if you buy a device with an accuracy of 10 meters, this means that the device may contain an error of 10-meter circle and a 5 percent probability of the error being greater than 10 meters. With the CEP, you measure the horizontal accuracy of the GPS. The reason being that the total points used to calculate the accuracy of the handheld GPS, half of the data-points are outside the circle centered around the estimated efficiency of the GPS device. You must, however, note that both the CEP and 95 percentile are estimated and are not guaranteed errors.

4)    How to Choose a Handheld GPS

When buying a handheld GPS, you need to consider some factors. First, consider the intended use of the device as there are units that have many attractive features, but you need to be sure of what you need. Secondly, choose a system that can be easily updated. Also, you have a choice of black and white or a colored unit and note the difference in prices of these options where the colored one is more expensive. Finally, consider the accessories that can be used with your choice of device.

5)    How to measure watch pins

Watchbands are measured between the lugs and the buckle. To measure the watch band pin, merely use a ruler with millimeter markings to find out the inside distance.

Conclusion

Buying a golf GPS device is the best decision that any golfer, including pros, can make. These devices offer real benefits, and in the end, they help you play better. GPS devices provide you with quick, easy and precise information, and help you with blind spots.

By using a GPS device, you can enhance your golfing experience as it helps you to gain confidence in the game.  Considering the many models of Golf GPS units available, you need to choose the best one. Take into account the features of the device and your needs. This review of the best golf GPS devices of 2018 help with a comprehensive buying guide.

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