Best Golf GPS Devices Reviewed & Rated for Quality and Performance
Are you an avid golfer looking for a top of the line GPS? Well, you have come to the right place and we are eager to share with your days of research to find you’re the best GPS. Individuals can expect a wide variety of GPS below that offer a handful of features that makes all of them worth considering. Whether you are opting in for a high quality multi-color display GPS system or a simple voice guidance golf GPS, all of them have been proven to be some of the best available today. With that in mind, we are eager to share the top ten best GPS that an individual can buy today for their next day on the green. Let’s begin with the first one!
What is a Golf GPS?
A GPS device is a global positioning system that uses exchanges of satellite data to provide information on the location of the device and other locations in its vicinity. It is used in a number of applications for locating, navigating or analyzing geographical space.
A golf GPS uses this same data to provide information on the location and surroundings on and around a golf course to help the player improve his or her game.
Golf GPS devices are used to provide assistance to the player by offering information about the environment that he or she would likely not have without it.
Finding distances and subsequently choosing through clubs can be difficult, but a golf GPS unit makes this process much easier. They are especially helpful for playing on new courses with which you may be unfamiliar, but they also work for those just looking to improve their scores.
Unlike many other forms of GPS devices, golf GPS systems are meant to be kept on your person and carried around during golf play. Golf GPS units are available in both handheld and watch styles to suit the various needs of many players.
Golf GPS vs Laser Rangefinders
There are many significant differences between laser rangefinders and GPS golf units. Both devices offer benefits to the player, and both present limitations compared to the other as well. The differences between each type may affect the way an individual golfer is able to play.
GPS units are programmed to detect the locations of various features on the golf course and subsequently compute and provide distance data based on this information. A GPS device may cost anywhere from $100 to $400, and many come with additional membership costs or subscription fees to update course information.
In contrast, laser rangefinders measure the distance from the unit to an object based on the time it takes the rangefinder’s laser beam to reflect off the object. The downside compared to GPS units is the fact that user faults may affect the results of the reading while the distances given by GPS devices are already provided.
Laser rangefinders can cost between $200 and $500, and they do not require subsequent membership or subscription fees. In this way, rangefinders may be considered superior to GPS devices.
Rangefinders offer the ability to measure distances to other players to determine if others on the course are out of range while GPS units can provide aerial views of each hole when on an unfamiliar course.
Rangefinders are easy to operate and only require you to aim the device and fire it, but a GPS may require you to set it up, download software, and then install it for some courses.
Once on the course, you still may be required to find the appropriate hole after the unit detects the course. Once the GPS unit is ready, the device is easy to operate with data that is immediately available.
A concern with GPS devices is the fact that distances are only provided for some features if the manufacturer decides to include them. The user can position the cursor to find specific objects, but the accuracy of the distance results may depend upon the user’s skill in placing the cursor in the right position.
A concern with laser rangefinders is the difficulty that can come from attempting to measure targets at long distances that do not have pins or other reflective surfaces.
It can also be harder to return accurate readings on features such as sand and water due to their horizontal position, and the laser’s performance may decline in poor weather conditions.
What Types are Available?
GPS units for golf are available in two different styles including handheld golf GPS devices and golf GPS watches. Both types serve their own benefits over the other to suit the playing needs and lifestyles of individual golfers.
The devices provide many of the same advantages, but they often differ significantly in their capabilities. Even within each category, individual models vary in their features when compared to one another.
Those looking to buy the best GPS for golf are often concerned as to whether they should buy a handheld or watch unit. The type of GPS will not enhance or hinder your game by default, but it is still helpful to understand the differences between the two.
Handheld GPS devices provide larger and more colorful screens that are not capable of being created in smaller watch models. These devices are usually more advanced and provide more features in addition to more details when returning readings. They also offer more information on shot execution or the conditions before making a shot.
GPS golf watches offer the benefit of being smaller in size compared to handheld devices. They are more lightweight as they are only placed on the wrist or clipped to hats, pockets or belts.
For this same reason, they are also easier to carry around. These watches can usually be changed from GPS mode to watch mode to help preserve the life of the unit’s battery.
10 Best Golf GPS Devices
1. GolfBuddy Voice
When it comes to quality features, individuals can expect that this golf GPS is designed with some of the best top of the line features in the industry. For instance, one of the best features of this particular golf GPS is that it comes with eight different spoken languages pre-loaded, so individuals can choose the ideal language that they want to use. With that, they can also change the language depending on the country they are golfing in. Other quality features are the auto distance information, shot distance measurements, and pre-loaded with hundreds of different golf courses worldwide.
When it comes to using a golf GPS, individuals want user-friendliness and quality when it comes to the interface. With that said, we can say that the interface of this particular GPS is one of the best quality interfaces with a simple design that is pretty self-explanatory. With a simple to read design, a vibrant and screen with large numbers and letters, we highly recommend the user interface of this GPS for the quality and design.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value for this particular GPS, we can that it is one of the best quality GPS in the industry today. With over 2k reviews, it is one of the best because the brand is one of the top of the line golf brands in the world. With that, this brand has excelled at creating one of the best GPS when it comes to quality in the voice, the GPS, and the design features. As the first one, we highly recommend for golfers that want an easy to understand and durable GPS.
- Auto distance information feature that is of the best quality design.
- Pre-loaded with 35,000+ courses from all over the world.
- It offers eight different languages that individuals can listen to or receive instructions from.
- Offers distance to the center, back, and front of the green.
- Quality design with a large screen.
- Simple design that is easy to understand.
- Golfers have mentioned that this product comes with basic features.
2. Bushnell NEO XS
This particular GPS acts as a watch as well. With that said, individuals do not have to carry it in their pocket, they can actually wear it around their wrist thanks to the quality handles. With that said, the design is lightweight and easy to wear. The band is durable and can easily withstand the test of time as well as the elements that it is exposed to. Simply strap it around your wrist and start using it.
This particular GPS is rather simple compared to most brands today. With that in mind, we can say that it still offers quality features that individuals can appreciate. The watch itself is preloaded with over 25,000 different courses around the United States, Canada, Australia, UK, Ireland, Sweden, and more. With that, individuals can play with this particular GPS straight out of the box.
Cost And Value
As we take the cost and value into consideration for this GPS, we can say it is one of the best quality GPS’s that an individual can buy considering the brand that makes it. With that in mind, although the GPS is rather simple, it is one of the costliest GPS’s out there because of the design and the brand. However, we recommend it for the professional golfer that wants quality and style all in one simple package.
- Lightweight and portable golf watch that is also a GPS for golf.
- Simple to use design with simple to understand instructions.
- Ready to play straight out of the box.
- Preloaded with over 25,000 different courses in the United States and other countries.
- Three different designs and color choices to choose from.
- No membership fees needed, use the moment you get it.
- Shot distance calculator, auto hole recognition, and more features available.
- Waterproof up to 10 meters.
- Legal for tournament play and comes with a one-year warranty.
- One of the priciest GPSes to buy today.
3. GolfBuddy Voice 2
One of the best benefits of a GPS golf rangefinder is when the screen shows you a dynamic green view. The screen is intended to show the shape of the green so individuals can clearly see where they are on the map. It also will display the hole number, the par number, and the right/left green where available. Other than that, the screen is one of the best when it comes to durability and outside brightness.
This particular brand is known for their quality and a large selection of Golf GPS rangefinders. With that in mind, this particular golf GPS offers different quality features. Some of these quality features include a shot distance measurement system that shows the shot distance. Other features include time mode to keep track of the time as well as distances to the center, back and front of the green from where an individual is standing.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration for this particular brand, we can say that these are some of the best quality golf GPS in the industry today. With three different color choices to choose from, individuals will find that the price is well worth the quality of the GPS. Other than it is made from one of the top of the line brands in the industry, individuals are guaranteed a wide variety of great features for the price.
- Easy to use and talking GPS that is preprogrammed with thousands of courses worldwide.
- Showcases the distance to the front, the center, and the back of the green with a dynamic green view.
- There is both a male and female voice option that can be selected.
- Up to a 14-hour battery life.
- Water resistant design up to a certain point.
- Automatic hole and course recognition which enhances the quality.
- Has over eight different preloaded languages.
- Legal for tournament play for sports professionals.
- Play up to two rounds per charge.
- Individuals have mentioned that it needs to be charged after every round of golf.
4. Voice Caddie VC 300
When it comes to a GPS rangefinder, individuals should be aware by now that the features of the rangefinder are one of the most important aspects of a rangefinder. With that said, this one is one of the top of the line rangefinders reaching close to 5 stars. Now, the rangefinder offers everything from shot distance measurement to distance from the front, center, and the back of the green. Other than that, individuals can expect that this GPS rangefinder offers an automatic course and hole recognition alongside no annual subscription fee and no hidden costs. With that said, another important element is the volume control features and the fact that it comes with over eight different languages as well as voice guidance to the green.
When it comes to a masterful design, this is one of the best GPSes in the industry. In fact, this GPS is designed with an ergonomic design that includes a hand free operation that has a touchpad. The design is very unique and intuitive, offering a lightweight design where all an individuals have to do is listen to the voice and use the touchpad for simple commands. With that said, we can say that it is one of the best golf GPS for the quality and the design.
Cost And Value
As we talk cost and value, we can say that this may be our favorite golf GPS so far. I mean, the style alone makes it one of the coolest GPSes out there. It is ultralight, ultra-smart and can even speak eight different languages on many different international courses. The voice guidance is superb and individuals highly tout this particular GPS system for the technology and the innovative design. With that said, this innovative design comes with a price tag that can compete with some of the most well known and exclusive golf brands in the industry. In any case, we highly recommend it for the professional golfer that wants a quality GPS.
- Quality GPS design that is cool, lightweight, and easy to use.
- The design is easy to hold in one hand.
- Intuitive and hands-free operation that includes a quality touchpad.
- No annual costs or hidden fees to use the touchpad.
- Shot distance measurement and more features.
- Four different color choices to choose from.
- Individuals wish it would come with a power supply.
5. Garmin Approach G8
So, instead of talking about the same features that individuals have come to know for golf GPS and rangefinders, we want to share the rare and unusual features that golfers can expect from his quality brand. One of those features is that they have created this GPS with a Club Advice Reminder system. This feature means that the GPS will remember what club you used per hit and how far it hit as well as provides recommendations on the best clubs to hit in certain circumstances. Other features include the brand’s Garmin Connect Online system which allows you to interact with a whole group of other golfers.
Smart Notification Features
When it comes to one of the best quality and top of the line golf GPS in the industry today, this is it. In fact, this GPS has the ability to notify an individual of different phone notifications by connecting your cell phone to the GPS. Never miss a phone call, text, email, or alert when playing golf with this quality one of a kind feature. With that, individuals can expect the GPS to have a handful of other features such as the ability to share their scorecard online as well as a digital image of alerts, the green, and more.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration for this particular golf GPS, we can say that individuals will love the quality of the GPS alongside the handful of features. This may be one of the best GPS in the industry for the quality interactive screen, the handful of features, the quality design, and the overall brand. However, the price heavily reflects the value of the GPS with this being one of the most expensive ones on the market today. However, if you are a professional and want the crème de la crème of the GPS industry, we recommend this one.
- Multi-touch display that features a colored green and a slim and sleek design.
- Touch and durable exterior to withstand ware and tare.
- Preloaded with over 30,000 international courses.
- PinPointer tells an individual where the pin is, even if you cannot see it.
- Automatic Wi-Fi updates for courses as well as no fees or subscriptions.
- Share and compare with the Garmin community connect feature.
- Easy to understand design that is of the best quality.
- Smart notifications for messaging.
- One of the most expensive and not as compact as other ones.
6. Voice Caddie VC 200
When it comes to a golf GPS, individuals prefer to be able to use it the moment they get it. No individual wants to have to go through the hassle of having to subscribe or pay any extra fees for a membership and more. With that said, individuals can expect that this golf GPS is perfectly designed for ease of use where all an individual has to do is turn it on and go. It also offers no annual subscription fee or hidden costs to be able to use the GPS. Lastly, it is filled with thousands of pre-loaded courses.
As a quality GPS that individuals can enjoy. The design of this GPS is one of the best in the industry. In fact, the GPS offers a simple and easy to use design that is both lightweight and very portable. With that said, the design is a one-touch operation that has a voice recognition and voice guidance to the green. Other features include an automatic hole and course recognition as an understanding of the middle, back, and front of the green.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration for this item, we can say it is one of the best in the industry for individuals that are starting off that want a simple voice guidance GPS system. With other features to consider, it can be clipped on a cap for easy access and for individuals that want to be able to hear the instructions. Also, it is priced really well and with two different color choices to choose from, we can see why this is one of the best choices out there.
- Voice guidance to the green design that is easy to use and effective.
- Unique and lightweight design that can withstand the test of time.
- Durable outer shell in the case of drops and ware and tare.
- Automatic course recognition available.
- No annual fees or added costs.
- Charge it easily and take it on the go.
- Ideal for individuals that want a simple starter GPS.
- Clip it to your hat anytime.
- No display screens.
7. IZZO Golf Swami 5000
When it comes to a quality golf GPS, individuals can expect the display of this GPS to be one of the best full-color displays in the industry. In fact, the display is one of the best and most rare since most brands do not create golf GPS with a display. Other than that, the display is 2” and can showcase everything from shot distance to accurate distance readings from the front, center, and back of the green. Other than that, the display has large numbers and lettering for individuals that want an easy to read display.
When it comes to a durable design, this may be one of the best gold GPSes available today for the functionality and design. The buttons are durable, and the display is very durable. Other than that, the GPS can last over twelve hours long and the easy charge magnetic charger is very simple to use alongside a new simple and slim profile design. Individuals can easily save and view their scores as well as use it from the moment they get it.
Cost And Value
When we take cost and value into consideration, we can say that the value of this GPS is what makes it one of the best GPS for the price. Other than that, we highly recommend it for the value and the efficiency that one can have with the GPS. The durable design is very simple to use, and individuals can trust that this item will be able to withstand the test of time. With a slew of features, we can see why individuals consider this one of the best GPSes available.
- Quality design that is simple to use.
- Save and view your scorecard and track your growth.
- Easy charger design and powerful battery that can last twelve hours.
- Slim profile design with a full color display that is two inches long.
- Plenty of features that individuals will enjoy.
- Preloaded with over 38,000 different global courses around the world.
- New slimmer profile design that is of the best quality.
- Water resistant design with ridges on the side for better grip.
- Individuals have mentioned that the unite is somewhat slow to respond or react.
8. Garmin Approach G10
When it comes to a quality GPS that is jam-packed with golf features to build confidence in the golfer, this is one of them. This brand does not stray from quality or being generous with the number of quality features that they offer. In fact, this brand is known for having some of the most dynamic quality features in many of their GPS. This one, for instance, has a digital scorecard that individuals can use to keep track of their growth and share with the Garmin Connect community. Other than that, other beneficial and quality features include free course updates with over 40,000 preloaded courses, so far the most courses of one GPS on this list. Many other features an individual can find in the Pro’s section of this product.
As another quality feature of this particular system, we were incredibly shocked by the powerful battery life of this particular golf GPS. In fact, it has the longest running battery life form of the GPSes we have shared with our readers. The battery life can last up to fifteen hours thanks to a long-running lithium-ion battery that is rechargeable. With that in mind, individuals can easily spend all weekend playing their favorite rounds of golfs.
Cost And Value
As we take cost and value into consideration for this particular item we were shocked at the amount of value that this brand offers from this particular golf GPS for the price. With that in mind, we can say that this golf GPS excels in performance, battery life, and features. With a compact and easy to carry design, individuals can clip it to their belt, golf cart bag, or any other area they feel they will be able to hear and use the item. With that said, the price is well below what it should be priced at and individuals will find it to be one of the best.
- Compact and sleek design that conveniently clips anywhere.
- Sleek and fun design that is well built and very durable.
- Plenty of features that are of the best quality.
- Digital scoreboard that allows an individual to play and easily track their score.
- Green view display with distance to the front, back, and middle of the green plus any hazards.
- Free course updates for a lifetime.
- Cost effective and cost friendly.
- Individuals have mentioned that because of the small size it can be easy to lose it.
9. Garmin Approach G7
When it comes to golf, the more people you find to play with, the better right? With that said, this brand offers the Garmin Connect system with this particular golf GPS. With that said, individuals can easily share and compare their stats as well as download their rounds and track improvements as they go, making it an interactive hub for fans of golf.
There really is not much difference between this particular golf GPS and other golf GPS by the same brand. This one, in particular, has a 2.6” multi-color touch display and a compact design. With that said, this generation is easy to use and includes everything from smart notification features to the Club Advice feature which remembers what particular the club you used during a particular moment. Other than that, the display shows the distance from the middle, back, and front of the green as well as a pinpointer. With a slew of features, the only difference is that this one is a bit bulkier.
Cost And Value
If individuals want the same quality as the G8 without the price tag, we highly recommend the G7 for only a couple of bucks less. We found no real difference between the two other than this one being a bit bulkier and having a few fewer features. In any case, the quality of this GPS is unprecedented, and it is still pricier than other GPS brands that are more modern. The reason is that this GPS revolutionized an industry and created a way for brands to succeed thanks to masterful features and quality.
- Plays like distance and gives golfers the ability adjust their uphill or downhill shot.
- Smart notifications where an individual can receive texts, alerts, and messages.
- Garmin connect system that allows individuals to share their progress online.
- Big numbers mode for an easy to view screen.
- Distances to the back, middle, and front of the green.
- Quality design with over 30,000+ courses.
- Long lasting battery that is rechargeable.
- Individuals have mentioned that the newer G8 is more compact and lightweight.
10. Arcos Golf 360
This may be one of the most innovative designs in the industry today. This particular golf GPS uses your phone and a specialized sensor design for individuals to easily track their stats and progress. With fourteen sensors, one for every club in your bag, individuals can easily track their stats, progress, and more by downloading the app which is connected to all of the sensors. No more carrying around a GPS, it is literally attached to all of your clubs.
When it comes to the quality design of this tracking system, we can say that it is one of the best-designed tracking systems in the industry today. In fact, the features include knowing exactly how far you have hit the ball, know your exact GPS at any point in time, and know what your strengths and weaknesses are in golf. With live shot tracking, GPS tracking with over, 40,000 maps, and even performance output, we can see why this is one of the top of the line systems in the industry.
Cost And Value
So, how much does this quality item run for? Well, we can say that this may be the ideal GPS for both the novice individual that is serious about taking their golf to the next level or a professional that wants a quality tracker. With that said, individuals can expect to pay a pricey amount for this GPS system. Not nearly as much as other GPS systems, but it is still considered one of the most expensive systems. For the price, we believe it is completely worth it for individuals hat love innovation and love quality products that can withstand the test of time.
- One of the most innovative golf creations in the industry today.
- Fourteen ultralight sensors that keep track of every club, every hit, every speed, and your point of location.
- Know your distance to any point by connecting it to your phone.
- Receive real time feedback about your shot.
- Hands-free and fully automatic design.
- Free mobile app for both iOS and Android Phones.
- Designed to last many years.
- Individuals have mentioned that it has missed tracking a shot before.
Now that we have discussed the best top of the line golf GPS that an individual can buy today, have you found your perfect one? Whether it is the Garmin G8 or the simpler GolfBuddy GPS, we are secure that individuals will enjoy the quality of all of the GPS below. They are all designed with user friendliness in mind and individuals will enjoy the quality of whichever GPS they opt in for. With that in mind, we hope you have enjoyed our selection. However, if you are still looking for your ideal GPS, we want to share our criteria that we used to evaluate and pick out the best golf GPS in the industry.
Let’s move onto the criteria and frequently asked questions and what individuals should consider before purchasing a quality golf GPS.
Criteria Used to Evaluate Golf GPS
Per usual, it is time that we discuss the criteria that we used to evaluate our products! We hope that individuals have found their ideal golf GPS with this list or have at least found benefit in the insight that we have shared. With that in mind, we want to share our criteria in the case that you are desiring to know more about our selection process or how you can point out a well-designed golf GPS from a cheap one. Now, our criteria is a set of guidelines that we discuss before we begin the research and then adjust while we conduct the research. With that said, we were eager to talk about the best golf GPS because we have talked about golf GPS watches before and we wanted to see how they compared. Other than that, there are a wide plethora of massive golf brands that have become synonymous with premier golf quality gear and technology. Therefore, we wanted to showcase these brands as well as introduce possible new brands that individuals may not know of. With that, this list is run by a select few because, in truth, no one else can beat them when it comes to value and quality.
Now, this criterion should be used by golf enthusiasts as they are desiring a quality golf GPS and we are eager to share with you what we consider the most important aspects of a golf GPS. Without further wait, we are eager, to begin with, the first criteria of this list, the overall quality of the GPS and how it feels in your hand.
Quality of The GPS & How It Feels
As the first criteria on this list, we wanted to share with our audience what we think when it comes to the overall quality of a golf GPS and what we consider quality. To start off, appearances can be deceiving so a product that looks like high-end quality, in reality, can be completely awful. Therefore, when it comes to quality we also focused a lot of our attention on the reviews and what individuals had to say about the product. As far as quality goes, our primary intention was to share the top designed GPS as well as a variety of GPS that is intended for either a professional or the novice golfer.
As far as quality, we believe that there are many facets of quality when it comes to a GPS, which we have broken up into different criteria below. However, overall one of the most important is how the GPS feels in the hand. With that in mind, we read a lot of reviews when it comes to the handheld GPS and users have found that the best GPS is the sportier style that has palm traction ridges on the sides or other quality materials to ensure that it does not fall out of the hand and break. However, most of the GPS that we have shared can easily be clipped to a hat, belt, or shorts for easy access and listening to the voice guided system.
Other than that, some GPS are designed as pocket GPS and of course, the #10 product is the most high end of all. With this, an individual can easily track their score by simply screwing an end cap to their club and using it as a GPS via their cellphone. With that said, the technology that we have encountered when it comes to these GPS is phenomenal. Let’s talk about the GPS durability and Material design of the GPS.
Golf GPS Durability and Material Design
When it comes to the GOLF GPS material and durability, individuals want the top of the line when it comes to assurance that their golf GPS will be able to withstand the test of time. With that said, a properly designed GOLF GPS is built from some of the best materials today and individuals can expect it to be very durable in nature. However, some GOLF GPS are very high end and should only be used with most care possible.
When it comes to the GOLF GPS material, we learned that many of them are designed from the toughest exterior shell casing made of plastic or other tough materials. In fact, many of the GOLF GPS that we have shared are actually designed to be waterproof for up to ten meters. With that in mind, if an individual has an accident they do not have to worry about the GPS not being able to withstand the fall. Now, most of the exterior materials are even designed to be shock resistant in the case that it falls. In individuals can find this from the bigger palm-sized gold GPS.
However, one of the best elements of all the ones we have shared is that they are actually designed with a clip so an individual can easily place it on his or her belt, shorts, or cap, depending on the size. Speaking of size, when it comes to the design, we found that this was one of the most important criteria to consider for this list.
The design of a golf GPS is one of the most important aspects that individuals consider. Therefore, we made it our top priority to share both the coolest designs in the industry as well as the most well thought out and manufactured designs available today. With that in mind, we have noticed there are three sizes of GPS.
There is a small-sized GPS which comes standards with some really cool features and at times does not even have a screen. This GPS is the one that is designed for the novice golfer and has a voice-automated guidance system for easy use. With that in mind, they tend to come with a clip where an individual can clip it onto his or her cap for easy listening.
Then there is a medium-sized GPS, these are the ones that usually come with a high-quality screen that also displays an image of the green. These come with another handful of features, which we will share below and a voice automated guidance system. However, the biggest benefit is found on the small screen because it displays distance information, an image of the green, and other important information that individuals may find useful. With that said, the last one is the larger-sized GPS which are designed for professional golfers.
The larger-sized GPS is one of the most common among professional golfers because they come with an enormity of features. However, the most vital feature of this GPS is that it is designed with a high-quality resolution display that gives off plenty of information and also has online connectivity. With that in mind, most large GPS for golf offer the screen as a multi-color screen with an extremely high-quality image and layout of the green. With that in mind, let’s discuss a bit further about the screen and why this is one of the most important criteria to look out for.
If you are an individual seeking a quality golf GPS, we are eager to share the criteria that we have found to be one of the most efficient and sought out after in the golf industry. We will discuss the cost and value later on. However, it is important to say that most golf GPS that has a screen tend to be pricier than others. Other factors that raise the price is the size of the screen as well as the color display. In this process, our goal was to discover the best GPS that have quality displays. We learned that there are different varieties of displays, some that are small and only show a small amount of information and more quality GPS that shows a lot of information. With that in mind, there are a couple of GPS that is used in the form of a cellphone app so individuals can easily use the GPS and receive accurate information. With that in mind, one of the biggest aspects of a golf GPS that defines the quality is the features. Therefore, let’s move on to what may be one of the most important criteria to consider when it comes to buying the proper golf GPS. Let’s begin!
This may be one of the most important and extensive criteria that we took to consider. Not only because we wanted to showcase and share a wide variety of features, we also wanted to ensure that individuals would enjoy the features and find them useful. With that said, we have found that the features are broken down into two different categories. The most simple and cost-friendly brands tend to have standard features that they use as a baseline of features while more expensive brands use exclusive quality features. With that said, the features are as follow.
- Standard Features
When it comes to buying a quality GOLF GPS, we discovered that most brands tend to use a handful of features that are the base for their products. The first of the most notable features is that all brands have the GPS pre-programmed with thousands of golf courses worldwide. Even the most cost-friendly brand has about 25,000 GPS preprogrammed while more quality brands have about 40,000+ golf courses. With that said, other standard features include a voice guidance to the green recognition as well as a GPS feature that allows individuals to easily recognize their distance from the back, center, and front of the green. Alongside this, some standard features also include a small blueprint image of the course so individuals can see where they are exactly. Now, let’s move on to the crème de la crème of the golf industry.
- Exclusive Features
The next feature that we are eager to discuss is considered the top of the line features that many professionals use. These features are exclusive to some of the best quality GPS available in the industry. With that said, individuals can expect many features to be of the best quality. As far as exclusive features, we noticed that the primary feature that brands include is a high-resolution color display that displays the green, information, and more. With that said, the screen is used to display other important and accurate information such as the distance to the green, shot distance, and more.
However, one of the most notable features that we found to be one of the best for golfers is the alert notification center and system. This is when a brand includes the ability to Bluetooth your phone to the GPS and an individual can receive phone calls, texts, alerts, emails and more thanks to the quality of the GPS. Another exclusive feature of more quality brands is that the product is water-resistant so individuals can use it anywhere and in the case of an accident, the product will be okay.
- Battery Life
As the last feature, we want to take into consideration, we found that the battery was an important criterion to take into consideration. The overall battery life of the product is one of the most important aspects. Most high-quality brands use a double-lithium battery that can last up to fifteen hours on the course. However, the most standard battery life is six to ten hours of golf fun. With that in mind, they are all rechargeable and come with everything an individual needs to be able and to charge them properly.
Cost And Value
Now that we have discussed the top of the line GPS that an individual can buy, it is time we talk about the last criteria that we considered to be one of the most important when it comes to a properly designed GPS and that is the cost and the value of the item. With that in mind, we want to say that a GPS for golf is one of the most expensive items an individual can buy. However, our primary intention was to share a wide variety of golf GPS that individuals would find beneficial for their level of expertise. In fact, this list has a wide range of less expensive GPS to more expensive GPS and individuals can expect that they will find the right GPS for their day on the course. Speaking of value, we wanted to ensure that all of the brands on the list offered the best quality amount of value for the price. Therefore, we researched each brand specifically to ensure individuals that the brand is highly recognized as one of the best in the industry.
With that said, we also wanted to be able to share different brands to give some recognition to the little guides. However, GolfBuddy and Garmin run the gamut as having the best value for the cost brands and designs.
Now that we have discussed the top of the line GPS for golf and the criteria that we used to evaluate the best GPS, we hope we have given our audience a bit of insight as to how they can decide and choose their ideal GPS. We cannot end this article without sharing the most frequently asked questions!
Other Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Golf GPS
Accuracy is arguably one of the most important factors when it comes to purchasing a golf GPS device. You will only be able to see improvement in your game by being able to rely on a unit that provides real results based on the course and the way you play.
You can get a feel for the relative accuracy of various models by checking golf GPS watch reviews. Most units are fairly as accurate as the typical player would need them to be. If you rely heavily on your GPS unit to handle your game, this factor should be considered much more heavily.
Size is another significant factor in choosing a golf GPS model as the size of a unit may determine your comfort and willingness to continue using it. The dimensions of the unit, as well as its weight, are both mentioned when considering size, and users will have different expectations based on whether they choose a handheld or a watch unit.
Some players want something that is portable and can fit in the pocket. Others want a model that boasts a large screen to show details up close. Find a model that fits comfortably no matter what you wear or what equipment you take along.
Course coverage is important to golfers that play very often as well as those that play a lot when traveling. The number of pre-loaded courses a device provides is important to ensure you have the information you need wherever you go, and the ability to download more is important as well.
Some manufacturers may require additional fees for this access, so it’s worth looking to find models that don’t. More affordable GPS models may offer fewer course data, but this is fine for those that don’t play often or usually use the same courses.
With the ability to download, this shouldn’t even be a significant problem, but the additional information may be limited. You may be willing to invest more in order to get more international courses with your device.
One of the main drawbacks to purchasing and maintaining a golf GPS device is having to encounter extra fees on top of the cost of purchase. This adds to the cost of use over time, and it can be a painful investment to make if you see yourself upgrading to newer models often.
The fees may come from membership, use of extra features, subscription to download new courses or even hidden charges. Most manufacturers won’t require additional fees for use, but be aware just in case the model you plan to purchase is one of the few that will.
Ease of Use
If you can’t figure your way around your GPS unit, there is little purpose in buying or owning it. The ease of use of a unit defines its ability to be set up, operated and maintained. Many units have highly complex features. These come in handy to perform a variety of tasks you need, but it can be a burden if managing them is too difficult.
You should look for a device that will provide the features you want while still allowing you to focus on your game without getting distracted by buttons and functions.
One of the driving motivations behind choosing one golf GPS model over another is the number or type of features the model offers. You want to have enough features to satisfy your needs on the course, but you don’t want to have so many that you feel overwhelmed.
You should find a model that fits best with what you need, and avoid those that provide too much or offer too little for your golfing circumstances. The more advanced the features, the more you will invest into the unit’s cost.
The battery life of your GPS unit is a highly significant factor like many others. It will determine the length of time you will get to spend for a round of golf or how many rounds you will be able to manage for a single charge. It is important to find a model that is easy to boot and operates for multiple rounds at a time.
Some models offer a tradeoff between battery life and features as having additional functions can sometimes drain the battery further. If features are a priority, the reduced battery life can be overlooked. If not, aim for a unit with a longer life.
The design of a golf GPS includes its shape, form, color, and theme. Many players opt for models that have a more modern look just as a personal preference. The function of the unit is a more important feature, but the appearance can also affect how well you “get along” with the device.
You want a unit with a comfortable design whether it is a watch or handheld style. A watch style should fit well on the wrist without being too bulky, and it should clip well to other areas. A handheld unit should be thin and narrow enough to slide into a pocket and fit in the hand without pain or discomfort.
Your GPS should allow you to sync your device with your PC in order to download and add new courses or update existing ones. Some units will not have the support that is as thorough as you may like it to be, so look carefully when comparing models. You may also want to check the compatibility your unit has with your smartphone.
Each user has different opinions and preferences regarding the importance of certain characteristics, and some people place a high value on durability. Any electronic device should be able to withstand certain conditions such as bumps or falls, but golf GPS devices are unique.
These devices are made to be used often and made to be used outside among the elements. You should purchase a unit with a weather-resistant design, and it’s even better if it’s waterproof. It should be able to survive minor impacts as well.
The cost of your unit will be determined by many variables. You can expect to pay more for GPS devices that provide more features and vice versa. If your budget is a top concern, you should look for a model that balances features that are suitable for your needs with a price you find to be decent.
You may see your GPS as a significant investment, so you should feel fine if you decide to splurge in this case. If you don’t need the fanciest features, you can settle for a basic device in order to get a much better price.
Reliability is an important factor that shows up in many different ways. You want a golf GPS that provides you with consistent performance and doesn’t provide strange results or loses function randomly. You also want it to be able to maintain its quality down the line.
Should your device actually malfunction, you will want access to reliable customer service with a suitable warranty upon purchase. The reliability you can expect may vary between manufacturers or even between models from the same brand.
The course availability is one of the most important features to look for in your GPS unit, but the detail for each course is important as well. The course detail will include all objects accounted for on the green, the shape of the course and other features.
It will correctly provide the distance to hazards as well as the green. Having coverage for thousands of courses around the world serves little purpose if the accuracy and detail of each course are not up to par.
If possible, make a golf GPS watch comparison with models you feel comfortable with in order to determine which ones have the most detail.
Many users will be pleased with having the basic features and functions they need to locate objects on the course, but some people may want more out of their device. Any advanced features serve to make your GPS unit more capable of assisting and improving your game as well as your golfing experience.
Having a digital scorecard allows you to keep track of your progress and that of those playing with you, and many models even allow you to save and print the information.
Shot tracking provides the statistics you need to thoroughly analyze your skill, and club selection helps your score by suggesting the clubs you need to nail a certain shot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I buy a handheld or a watch GPS unit?
A: The type of GPS model you buy will not necessarily determine how successfully it will improve your golf game. The type of GPS devices that are available provides variety for each player’s needs. Some golfers want a larger screen to view information while some look for portability and smaller size.
Q: Is using a GPS device during play a violation of regulations?
A: Using a GPS device during recreational play is permitted in handicap scoring. It is important to check individual regulations for each event for professional or USGA sanctioned events. Distance measuring devices may be permitted by Local Rule.
Q: What extra features should I look for on a high-end model?
A: Many high-quality GPS units offer exceptional features compared to those with just the basic characteristics. Some models offer all of the best features, but many will feature some and lack others.
The best golf watch may possess features including course recognition, hole advance, digital scorecards or layup distances.
Q: How long will my batteries last on my device?
A: The battery life for your GPS unit will vary by model. The duration your batteries last will depend upon the frequency with which you use the device or how you use it when on the course.
It is generally accepted that most watch units will last longer when switched to watch mode.
Q: Where should I put my GPS when I’m playing?
A: If you have a larger unit, it is best to keep it away in a pocket, bag or other enclosure to keep it safe from falls and the environmental elements. Smaller units not kept on a wristband can be clipped to the hat, pocket or belt to keep them out of the way but still in reach.
Q: Where Should You Buy a Golf GPS?
A: There are various sources available from which you may buy golf GPS devices. Knowing where to buy the right GPS unit can be as hard as being able to choose between units. It can be helpful to purchase your unit at sporting goods stores in your area.
This allows you to test out each unit or compare models to one another. Buying online can also be a helpful choice if you are in need of a cheap golf GPS unit. Buying online from Amazon.com allows you to view some of the most popular and efficient golf GPS devices on the market.
Buying this way also allows you to take advantage of reduced prices compared to buying from sporting goods stores, and some prices go even lower during periods of the week.
Q: How to Distinguish a Quality Golf GPS From a Cheap One?
A: Knowing how to spot and avoid cheaply made GPS units is important in being able to narrow down your choices and find a quality unit.
You should be on the lookout for certain characteristics that make quality GPS models stand out from poorly made varieties. Of course, such traits are not standard across models, but it is still wise to have certain expectations in mind for any golf GPS device.
Finding models from well-known brands is one of the first steps in purchasing a quality GPS unit. Not every brand name model will perform well for your needs, but it is common for bigger brands to have built better reputations for quality and dependability in comparison to those which are less known.
The structure and build of the unit are also important to ensure that it is rugged enough to last over time in a variety of outdoor conditions or when traveling.
The best golf GPS watch will have necessary course information upfront without presenting hidden fees, and fees will be made known upon purchase if they are required. Quality golf GPS watches will also have additional features beyond standard distance readings, and they will have an appealing physical appearance.
The look of a device may not seem like an important factor, but most high-quality units have an updated modern look. Lastly, it is important for a GPS unit to have PC compatibility in order to update new course information as needed.
Q: Who Makes the Best Golf GPS?
Garmin is one of the most well-known manufacturers of GPS devices for various uses, and it is also one of the most popular golf GPS brands. They produce golf GPS units that are leaders when it comes to course coverage. Models from this brand are often lightweight, but their handheld units still feature large screens.
They feature rechargeable batteries and have some of the longest operating times among golf GPS devices. They produce waterproof units that often provide extra features. Popular models from Garmin include those in the Approach series such as the S1 and S2 watch and the G6 and G8 handheld units.
Bushnell is another popular brand of golf GPS units. GPS watch models from Bushnell are known for covering over 30,000 courses. They are also one of the few brands that allow the user to add on to the course information as needed. Bushnell units have rechargeable batteries with operating times longer than many other brands.
Their drawbacks include the lack of color screens and rotating greens that many other models provide as well as a lack of scorecards and statistics. Its NEO XS model is one of the more affordable and popular golf GPS models, but its Hybrid Laser GPS is one of the most expensive.
GolfBuddy is known for producing a number of impressive GPS models as well. Many of their models feature course coverage from 35,000 to 40,000 maps. They tend to be heavier than models from other brands.
The operating times for these models are in the medium range, and many last for usually 9 to 10 hours. The GolfBuddy Platinum has an operating time of 18 hours. The GolfBuddy Voice model is unique in that it provides distance readings through the audio in order to keep the user’s hands-free to play.
Models from IZZO feature course coverage of over 30,000 maps. The brand makes some of the most affordable golf GPS units, and its praised IZZO Swami 4000 handheld model is one of the lowest in cost in best-selling and popular models from various brands.
The IZZO Swami WATCH model is another popular GPS device, and it is also very affordable. It features course recognition and easy setup, and its battery has an operating time of 6 to 8 hours.
SkyCaddie is among the Top 4 brands when it comes to course availability, and its models usually offer over 35,000-course maps. These units have some of the largest screens as well as offering good visibility as well as color displays for vivid imagery.
The batteries on SkyCaddie units last very long per charge compared to many others. SkyCaddie offers GPS models in a wide variety, and they are available in a range of prices. Popular units from this brand include the Aire, Breeze, Voice, and LINX, models. The downside to this brand is that many models require yearly fees.
Making Your Decision
By now you have been provided with a collection of information to help you in your buying process. Even with all of the information you’ve been given, the decision rests solely in your hands. Start the process by getting down to the basics of what you expect in your GPS model.
Read and analyze handheld GPS reviews or those for watch models if those are your preference. Find the models that meet your needs above the others. Narrow down your choices by removing units that are just not suitable for your style, budget or expectations.
Take the models you have selected at this point and proceed by comparing them to one another. Consider all factors that come in to play even if smaller ones may not seem very significant.
The smallest difference between models can have a huge impact once you make it this far into the selection process. The GPS for which you should aim should make your playing improve while making your experience better in general.
You have the tools you need to choose a golf GPS that will totally transform your game, so get started with your search, get out there and buy one.