Golf watches are a relatively new invention that have quickly taken the market by storm. They’re an endless source of information to help your game, and they’re right there on your wrist, easily accessible whenever you need them.
With a golf watch, you will be able to ensure that you’re playing the best possible round.
A GPS golf watch has complete and faultless knowledge of your course, can calculate the distance to the pin, will alert you of any upcoming hazards and even deliver yardages to various positions on the course. Some of the top models will even suggest the right type of club from your bag.
While golf watches in their current shape or form have only existed for a comparatively short time, they are evolving at the speed of light. New models keep coming out, flooding the market with options – and they all seem so great.
This can, however, make it difficult to know where to start when looking for a golf watch.
That’s why we have created this buyer’s guide – to help you find the best golf watch for your needs.
Our top pick: Garmin Approach X40 Golf Watch
Undoubtedly one of the most impressive watches on the market, the X40 is a stand out in Garmin’s range of high-end golf watches. Being sleek and lightweight, this watch will provide assistance when you need it, but won’t interfere with your game.
With a unique, fit-bit inspired design, the X40 is a stylish golf watch that will impress you not just with its sleek look, but also with its capabilities.
It comes packed with more than 40,000 preloaded courses and includes auto shot tracking which measures your shot distances and auto records these for post-round analysis via your Garmin Connect account. It also has a remarkably sensitive GPS receiver.
It also features 24/7 heart rate monitoring and an activity tracker, along with smart notifications that let you monitor incoming calls, texts, and other notifications and alerts, without pulling out your phone.
- Great lightweight design
- Tracks distance to greens, hazards, doglegs
- Auto-recording for post-round analysis
- Integrated daily activity tracker and heart rate monitor
- Very accurate GPS
- It can involve a bit of a learning curve
TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch
This golf watch is made by a brand whose name is recognised as being at the forefront of GPS technology and devices. Fortunately for us golfers, TomTom has ventured into the market of golf watches with the incredible TomTom GOLFER 2.
This watch will allow you to review your shot history, it will know every inch of your course, and allow you to manipulate the latest course data. It has everything you need and more in a golf watch.
While the screen is on the larger side, it does have customisable straps and a slim profile design.
- Auto shot detection
- Ultra-slim and lightweight
- Large surface
- Customisable straps
- Weather resistant
- Not the most affordable option
Callaway GPSY Watch
Callaway are experts when it comes to golf equipment, and it shows through the design of the impressive GPSY golf watch. It has an interesting design complemented by its pleasing colour palette.
It measures correct distances to the front, centre, and back of the green, shot distance, has an odometer, along with many other features.
- Scorekeeper feature that tracks scores, GIR, and putts per round
- Auto-hole advancement
- Precise shot distance measurement
- More affordable than other options
- The charger is unique to the watch
Bushnell ION 2 GPS Watch
This golf GPS watch is a throwback to the older days of first electronic watches in terms of design, but with a number of features that make it a wonderful pick.
It has a remarkably long battery life, so you won’t have to worry about it dying on you mid-round. It comes pre-loaded with over 36,000 courses in 30 different countries.
- Bushnell golf app is included in your purchase
- Shot distance calculator & odometer features
- Bluetooth access enabled
- The charger is unique to this watch
Apple Watch Series 4
For those that enjoy Apple products, a stand-out option for a golf watch is the Apple Watch combined with the Hole19 Golf GPS & Scorecard App.
With this combo, you are pairing one of the most high-end smart watches on the market with an exceptional golf app that is constantly updated to remain best-in-class.
This app is the most popular golf GPS app in Australia and has guided golfers through over 10 million rounds globally.
The Apple Watch is sleek and comfortable, making it the wearable of choice for many sportspeople. It is water resistant to over 50-meters, has a remarkably large display, and a premium aluminum case.
- More than just a golf watch – includes a number of extra features
- Electrical and optical heart sensors
- Ultra-fast 64-bit dual-core processor
- Hole19 app constantly updated
- More expensive than other options
Golf Watch Buyer’s Guide
It’s important that you pick a watch that you both enjoy using and will deliver the information you want while playing your round. There are many models up for sale, each with its own unique set of features, but only you can know what is truly important to you.
Below you will find a list of features and qualities that you need to think about prior to picking a golf watch.
The best watches on the market offer accuracy to within three yards and that is what you should be aiming for. The watches we have reviewed below all offer this level of accuracy.
If you are not too bothered about ultra-precision, there are models on the market that oscillate within a few yards of each other.
Earlier models of golf GPS watches were infamous for their relatively short battery life. Fortunately, as technology has advanced, so have golf watches.
You can usually expect a golf watch to get through at least three rounds, with many of them lasting even longer. Ask yourself how long a battery life you require and purchase accordingly.
As these watches are made for sport, they are all quite comfortable – no one wants a watch that interrupts their game. Common features to assist with comfort include customisable straps to ensure a snug fit and a slim-line watch face to reduce interference with your clothing or golf glove.
Some golf watches can be larger and heavier than others. Golfers with smaller arms or wrists, or are particular about the weight of their watch, may opt for a lighter model (start by searching for devices under 60g).
A GPS golf watch will come with tens of thousands of courses pre-loaded onto the device. This allows your watch to properly guide you throughout your round. It’s good to try to find one that has at least 30,000 courses or more to ensure you’ll be covered wherever you choose to play.
A GPS golf watch relies on a network of satellites, just like the GPS you use in your car or your phone. Your precise GPS location is then mapped onto the pre-loaded courses to provide incredibly accurate location data.