For my husbands last birthday, I wanted to get him something special, and I knew this year a knife sharpener wouldn’t cut it. He’s recently developed an interest in golf, so I decided a golf gadget would make the perfect gift.
I always thought golf gadgets were just for looks, but I quickly learned that some can be incredibly helpful for improving game-play.
One of these gadgets is a golf GPS.
A top golf GPS does two things; it maps out the course and it lets the player know exactly where they are located on the course, so I went with that – and my husband loved it. It maps out the course he’s playing on, measures distances and even helps him to select the club to play with.
Even the kids found it pretty cool which is why it made such a great gift for him.
Every golfer knows that you simply don’t swing the club and have the ball land where you wish. Golf is a game of estimation and calculations, and there is a lot to consider – distances, hazards, layups and the weather.
Previously, calculations such as distances and club selection were to be done manually. It meant longer game-play and less accuracy. A golf GPS device fixes this.
They are designed to make playing golf easier. It uses GPS technology to map the course you are playing on and to provide exact readings of distances, hazards and other information so you’re well prepared to play.
How do they work?
Golf GPS’s are loaded with various courses, either on hand held devices or watches and deliver readings based on the GPS information relayed from the device. This makes them very accurate. They save a lot of time in doing so and in addition to this, they are very easy to use.
This has made them one of the most essential parts of playing golf, so much so that many golfers will not play without one.
Golf GPS’s can differ based on the specific type. Two of the main types, hand held and watches, are detailed below.
Types Of Golf GPS Devices
A golf GPS watch is a small GPS unit that is worn on your wrist. They perform both golf GPS functions, such as delivering distance readings and hazard locations, as well as other basic watch functions like telling the time.
Some have maps while others just read back data on the course. They are usually preloaded with thousands of courses and are lightweight and easy to use. They can, however, be quite costly.
Golf GPS Hand Held Device
GPS hand held devices for golf can differ depending on the make, model and price range. They can be as small as a watch or larger like a smartphone.
Some have touch screens whilst others are navigated by buttons on the sides.
If you want a more hands-on experience, these devices are generally better as they can offer more functionality. These are also often the cheapest golf GPS units.
Features Of Top Rated Golf GPS Devices
Features of GPS units for golf can differ a lot. Some units may or may not have these features – it really depends on their quality and price range.
Accurate Distance Measurements
By far the most important aspect of any GPS unit is to correctly locate. They identify various aspects about the ground you are playing on, distances of the hole and offers unparalleled measurements, usually to the point of a few yards difference – something only the top golfers are usually able to achieve.
Identify Potential Hazards
A golf GPS is a smart unit with loads of information on thousands of golf courses around the world. This means they know everything about the course you are playing on, including the location of various hazards. Since you will be aware of this, you will be able to adjust your game-play accordingly.
Assists In Club Selection
By knowing the course you’re playing on and your exact location, you’ll now exactly which club to use. Often this suggestion is offered by the GPS unit itself, reducing the need to estimate and helping you to get down to business.
Providing statistics helps you to analyse your game-play which overall helps you to finish the game with a lower score than you previously would. Over time this helps you improve dramatically even without the GPS unit. Statistics include feedback on how far you’ve hit, how hard you’ve swung and helps to improve confidence.
The Best Rated Golf GPS Devices Include…
Great battery life – GPS units usually need to be charged to be used, which means a good battery life is important when you’re playing. This can differ considerably so it’s worth noting the particular battery life of your unit.
Weather readings – Some GPS units will include additional features to help with your swing, such as the wind speed and direction so that you can adapt your swing accordingly.
Additional features – The golf course can be the perfect place to burn some extra calories, and some units even report things such as steps taken and calories burned while playing and even relay your heart rate – if you’re looking for a GPS watch that can double as a fitness watch, take note of the ones that do this.
Top 9 Golf GPS Unit 2019 Reviews
Below you will find the best golf GPS Australia reviews. Refer to the chart above to do a golf GPS devices comparison of the products below.
Cost effective, small but efficient. The Bushnell NEO Ghost receives some of the best Bushnell GPS reviews is a super compact GPS unit which packs a huge 33,000 courses into it’s small design. There are also distance estimates from the front, back and centre with auto course recognition and hazards to boot making it one of the best golf GPS units.
So why is it so cheap? It does lack a colour screen which means courses aren’t fully visible on the screen. There are also no extra features such as drag and drop technology. However, it remains pretty flexible as it can also be worn as a wristwatch, and it comes in some neat colours.
On top of this, it has a long battery life meaning you can play 3 rounds on a single charge. It also has the quality you’d expect from Bushnell. It’s easy to see why it regularly features in the best golf GPS reviews.
If you’re looking for something that offers a bit of audio feedback, the GolfBuddy GPS may be exactly what you’re looking for. With standout reviews that state accurate yardage readings and detection of hazards, the GolfBuddy Voice 2 is a standout device in the best GolfBuddy GPS reviews.
The specifications of this GPS are pretty similar to others on this list – there is auto hole recognition, preloaded with around 38,000 courses and with the ability to hold upwards of 40,000.
The feature you won’t find on many other GPS golf units, however, is the voice readings. The audio readings are clear and concise, particularly for such a small GPS unit. It also has the ability to read in 8 different languages.
It’s small and compact, making it ideal for clipping onto your belt or pocket, and it can even be used as a golf watch with an appropriate band – yes, it is that small!.
Unfortunately, the battery life isn’t it’s greatest selling point. While it will last you around 36 holes, it will definitely need charging each and every time you use it.
A great option for people looking for the best golf GPS device which relays simple information to them automatically.
The next best golf GPS on the market is the Garmin Approach S8.
The ultimate hand held GPS unit can be tricky to find. This device has some of the best Garmin golf GPS reviews.
The device does exactly what it’s meant to, which is to deliver accurate readings of the golf course with shot distance measurement and dynamic green view features.
It has features which help give it the best estimate while on the course, including uphill and downhill adjustments and auto course recognition. This basically means that it is ready to use as soon as you switch it on. There’s a huge amount of courses included and, what’s more, there’s no annual fee to keep these updated.
While this is all good, it can be a little overwhelming to navigate when you first get started if you want to start using a few of the additional features. However, battery life is good and the device itself is solid.
A good buy golf GPS if you’re on the lookout for a top hand held golf GPS.
The much anticipated Garmin Approach S60 was released not too long ago, and we were curious to see what all the hype was about.
The watch is an update from the hugely popular S6 and has been able to help take things to the next level but with a heavy price tag to match.
One of the most impressive features of this watch is the drag and drop technology, where you can place a pin anywhere on the course and estimate yardage from there. You can see all hazards and doglegs, not to mention all on a large bright coloured screen.
Unfortunately, it does not include a heart rate monitor like the Flex – this would have made it perfect. Even so, it’s still pretty close to it!
The band is super easy to change and requires no tools, and the battery life is long – 10 hours as a GPS and a huge 10 days as a watch. A great buy – if you’re willing to spend the money.
There’s obviously a lot of golf watches on the market, so what makes the golfer 2 receive the best TomTom golf GPS reviews?
The TomTom Golfer 2 is an upgraded version of the popular TomTom Golfer, including some additional features and a super sleek, thin design.
One of the best parts of this watch is the pairing with the MySports app. The watch can be used to detect tees and shot automatically and deliver all this information directly to the app.
It also includes an auto scorecard meaning that you needn’t record this yourself, drastically reducing time spent on the golf course. The app also includes a post-game analysis so that you can see where your weaknesses exist and improve for next time.
There are over 40,000 preloaded courses, and battery life has been extended on the golfer 2 to make it, even more, user-friendly.
The need to pay yearly membership fees can turn some people off, and if that’s you, stop reading. The Skycaddie charges a membership fee if you wish to use the GPS. This can sometimes be the price of a simpler GPS unit every year, which may sound exorbitant for some people who just need a simple GPS unit.
So why is it so costly? This best golf GPS rangefinder offers high quality HD maps that are up to date – making it one of the very best GPS hand held units. These maps are the envy of others with total clarity, the ability to be zoomed close without losing clarity and display specific areas of the course you’re playing on – the very best of their kind.
With a large 3 inch display, it’s easy to read and can even be used with gloves on.
However, this doesn’t make it perfect by any means. Some reviews have found the screen is not as responsive as one would expect on a unit such as this. The battery life didn’t achieve the full 12-14 hours as stated by the manufacturer, and the setup process is long and arduous.
So is it worth it? It really depends on whether or not you need a golf rangefinder with high graphics of not. At such a high membership price, we’re also not sure.
Another top product from Bushnell is the Excel golf watch. This watch has a few additional features on top of the standard features on the hand held version.
The features start with an auto-course and hole recognition. Readings are delivered from the front, back and centre which are easy to read and accurate. You are able to set up to 4 hazards per round. There’s also Bluetooth and an easy to read, colour display.
The watch isn’t packed full of bells and whistles, but it is user-friendly which is what makes it so appealing. It’s a reliable piece of technology with a long battery life and is lightweight and comfortable. It has a sleek design and is among the best price golf GPS devices.
The next best value golf GPS is the Izzo Swami. Perhaps the top feature of this handheld golf GPS device is that it requires no downloads or subscriptions in order to operate. This isn’t always included in other handheld golf GPS devices so it’s worth keeping in mind.
This particular handheld golf GPS is preloaded with over 38,000 courses, and as the courses are located all over the world, the GPS is a great option for travel. It is complete with a shot distance feature and green view.
Another feature we love is it’s ability to automatically recognise the green it’s on, which GPS reviews Australia have reported works well. In addition, it’s water resistance and long battery life lead it to being among the best GPS golf units.
The next best handheld golf GPS is from Callaway – the Callaway Eclipse. Although this device is tiny, it’s size doesn’t deter it from being a top rated golf GPS for several reasons.
Firstly, as with the other best golf GPS units, this particular model features uses advanced GPS technology to automatically detect shot measurement and hole location.
This is also one of the best small golf GPS units for recording play – it offers the ability to track and save your score, negating the need for a scorecard and making play all the more convenient.
In addition, this cheap golf GPS can easily be attached to your keys or belt, and its tiny size makes it all the more convenient and less cumbersome, leading us to rate it as the best affordable golf GPS.