Best Reviewer may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
You’re out on the fairway, about halfway to the pin and you’re trying to choose a club. The old way of doing it would be to look at the course map and estimate how far out you are from the green.
About 2/3 of the way there on a 450-yard fairway, that’s about 150 out… but, hey, why not throw some science on it? Modern golfers have options which remove all the guesswork.
Many GPS units come with options for golfers and have grown in popularity. Here we provide you our best picks in 2019 for golf course GPS devices.
Read Related Article: Best Electric Golf Cart 2020
Table of Contents
|1. Garmin Approach S60
|2. SkyCaddie SX500
|3. Bushnell iON2
|4. Garmin Approach G80
|5. Casio WSD-F30 Pro Trek
Our Best Product Reviews and Comparisons
1. Garmin Approach S60
The Garmin Approach S60 is a GPS golf watch that is easy to set up, syncs via Bluetooth to any smartphone with the Garmin Connect app, and is water resistant (to 165 feet).
The large face display is usable even while wearing a golf glove and is easy to navigate.
This watch retails for $400.
- Large, bright touchscreen
- Health tracking
- Easy charging and long battery life
- 41,000 course maps
The touchscreen allows users to zoom in and out to see a larger course view for hazards. The watch features a “green view” allowing for adjustment of the pin position for better estimation of distance.
Battery life is excellent, enough for 36 holes between recharges. Comparison by users with laser rangefinders has validated the accuracy of the S60.
The S60 also has health tracking, so there are other uses besides golfing. There are just too many features to list here.
Some reported problems with the battery not holding charge, causing the watch to shut off shortly after beginning of use.
- Large touchscreen
- Health tracking
- 41,000 course maps
- Phone notifications can be muted during play
- Detects practice swings, not game swings
2. SkyCaddie SX500
The GPS of the SX500 is fast in responding to satellite connections and also has a great battery life (one user played for 9 hours and the battery was still at 50%). The screen is large and easy to read, with great HD graphic display.
The SX500 is also water resistant, which is rather important on the course, and has a rugged rubber case cover with grips.
The SX500 retails for $400.
- 5” Touchscreen
- 35,000 Course maps
- IntelliGreen Technology (changes shape of the green based on your angle of approach
Long battery life is a big bonus for SX500. Also, the large, easy-to-read display makes for easy use.
The rugged case and water resistance of the SX500 shows that it is intended for outdoor use. Distances between points can be estimated by simply a stroke of your fingers from point to point.
The SX500 is a bit bulky to carry around and does not easily fit in a pocket. If you are taking a cart, no problem, but carrying it may require you to stow it in the bag between shots.
Also, to access the course maps requires a SkyGolf membership at $30-60 per year after the first year of use.
- Excellent visual display
- Map customization features
- Long battery life
- Fast satellite connection
- No fitness tracking
3. Bushnell iON2
The display on the iON2 is simple, but effective and accurate. The watch also includes fitness features, so it can do more than be a golf assistant.
The iON2 connects quickly to satellites and contains 36,000 course maps. Setup is intuitive and battery lasts 3 rounds (27 holes) before needing a recharge.
There is no map display, but the watch will sync to any smartphone with the Bushnell golf app and the course maps can be viewing and interacted with there.
The iON2 retails for $150.
- 36,000 Course maps
- Connects to smartphone with the app
- Good battery life
The basic display of the iON2 is simple, but not lacking in detail. The display provides the distance to the front, center, and back of the green on your approach path, in addition to distances to intervening hazards.
Maps of these data can be viewed on a Bluetooth synced smartphone by using the Bushnell golf app.
Some reported problems with the iON2 being unable to GPS locate. The charger connection also has delicate pins that can break if users are not careful. Some reported battery problems.
- Fast satellite connection
- 36000 course maps
- Easy to start using
- Affordable for what you get
- No touchscreen
4. Garmin Approach G80
The Garmin Approach G80 is the hand-held version of its brother, the G60 watch, with some important additional features.
The G80 has an integrated launch monitor, which will calculate and track club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo, and estimated distance for the shot. It has a clear, crisp display and is pocket-sized (2.3” x 4.5”).
The G80 retails for $400.
- Launch monitor
- 3-Round battery life
- 41,000 Course maps
The case of the G80 is rugged and can be clipped on the bag with the bag clip accessory. The touch screen makes getting data for shots as easy as the stroke of a finger.
The biggest feature that tends to attract users is the launch monitor (read “performance monitor”), which is assisted by radar. That is not a misprint: the G80 has a built-in radar to drive its launch monitor system.
There are reports of data drift, without any protocol for recalibration.
- Easy to use
- Long battery life (36 holes worth)
- Can interface with the Garmin smartphone app
- Some problems with data drift and inaccuracy over time of use.
5. Casio WSD-F30 Pro Trek
The WSD-F30 Pro Trek is a durable multi-function GPS watch that has golf GPS functions by using the Hole19 app (Hole19 is a Google OS-based app produced by Hole19).
It is water resistant to 50 meters. The Hole19 app contains 42,000 course maps, providing distances to the front, center, and back of the green based on approach.
The Pro Trek can also sync to any smartphone using the Wear OS Google app.
The Pro Trek retails for $550.
- Compass, altimeter, barometer, microphone
- Activity monitor
- Syncs to smartphone
Full color course Hole19 maps on the watch face. The battery saver function extends battery life and is highly recommended.
The watch is very durable and many users like the fact that it is an all-around GPS watch with hiking and communication features. Locations can be geocached to a synced smartphone.
Does not have a BPM monitor.
- Hiking/geocaching features
- Two screens
- Slow to charge
- No health features (such as BPM)