Top 5 GPS Golf Watches for 2020
Some golfers swear by them, others think they’re an overpriced sundial, whatever your thoughts on the ever evolving technology of smart watches, we thought we would highlight our top 5 smart GPS golf watches on the market right now.
With more and more of these watches moving into an affordable price bracket, they are becoming a popular tool to help golfers improve their game. The main feature of golf watches being a GPS tracker that lets you know how far from the pin you are, they can be great for those of us that don’t have a personal caddy with us on our rounds.
Some of the more savvy golf watches at the top end of our budget list collect historic shot data to give you suggestions on what club to use, some even take into account the current wind conditions! Whilst some of the cheaper options on our list will only provide you with the basic yardage data, still pretty useful though.
Golf watches are a popular alternative to range-finders, and with wearable tech being one of the biggest trends in recent years it is not hard to see why these have become so popular out on the courses.
1: Garmin S60 GPS Golf Watch – ££££
Read any online list of top golf watches and Garmin will probably come out top, there’s a reason for this, they have been producing great golf watches for years and really know what they’re doing. We struggled to choose between a few different watches in their current range but decided to go for the latest S60, the S40 and S20 are also great watches so be sure to check them out.
The Garmin S60 GPS golf watch is a great looking piece of kit, we really appreciate its sleek design and uncluttered bezel. They have taken a similar approach when it comes to usability on the course. The bright and detailed touchscreen allows you to clearly see all the data being displayed, even in direct sunlight. Measure lay-up distances on over 40,000 preloaded golf courses and use the easy drag and drop function to give you accurate distance to pin data. And just as an added bonus, Garmin decided to throw in the feature to track your runs, swims, and bike rides for when you’re feeling extra athletic.
Being a smart watch it will connect to your phone via Bluetooth to send notifications of new messages and emails right to your wrist. Download the Garmin Golf App on your mobile to keep track of your previous scores and also put them into the app leader board for extra bragging rights, or in our case, not so much.
As this is one of the newer golf watches from Garmin it is on the more expensive side of our list, selling for around £300-£350 at time of writing (depending on what colour you choose).
Available in white or black from Amazon.
2. Garmin S10 – Best Golf Watch for the money – £
We tried to avoid filling this list with the Garmin range, but it was a struggle to find another watch that came close to the performance of the S10 within the budget. In fact, trying to find a new golf watch under £100 at the moment is near impossible unless you opt for a lesser known brand without the support you would get from the likes of Garmin. You don’t get a colour screen like with the S60, but its impressive 12 hours battery in GPS golf mode and 14 weeks in watch mode, adds to its appeal.
The Garmin AutoShot game tracker measures your shot distances and auto-records them for review on your Garmin connect account. As with most of the watches on this list you will also receive notifications for calls, texts, emails and other alerts right on your wrist.
Starting at £135 we think it’s a pretty good price for the accuracy and data you get.
3. TOMTOM Golfer 2 – ££
The TomTom Golfer watch is another great example of a well built GPS golf watch, it looks great and has all the functionality you would expect from a golf smart watch. With over 40,000 preloaded courses for you to choose from and an easy to read display the TomTom is a great all round performer.
There are a few small drawbacks that are holding this watch back for us and these include having to download the TomTom software onto your laptop or computer before you can use the watch, a bit of hassle that isn’t expected in this day and age. There’s also no shot- measurement function which a lot of the other basic golf watches out there offer. Put these aside and you have a good performing watch for the price point of £199.
4. GolfBuddy W10 Golf GPS Watch – ££
This was a bit of a dark horse for us, it performed better than expected and we really like the design of the watch. The golf course display is a bit harder to read than some of the others we’ve tested but once you get used to it it’s fine.
The colour display can be used to pinch and zoom to areas of the course you would like more detail on, allowing you to get more accurate distance data. It has 11 hours of battery when being used in golf mode and the UK based support team is a bonus should you ever find yourself needing some help (unfortunately this only applies to the watch and not with your golf technique).
We think it’s worth the current price at £199 and is a serious competitor to the Garmin lot.
5. Tag Heuer CONNECTED MODULAR 45 – £££££
As you might have imagined with a watch from Tag Heuer, the Connected Modular 45 is no budget watch, with used watches setting you back around £800 and new ones closing in on £3k.
You do get a lot of watch for your money, with it being primarily a smartwatch to start with you then get the option to download a golf application for the watch. Tag Heuer have spent a lot of money and time developing a great golf app to work on the watch, it provides all the data you could need, and more, allowing it to compete with some of the top golf watches out there in the market right now.
Setting up the watch to allow for its full golf functionality requires two free apps to be downloaded on your Android or Apple device, the Google Wear OS and TAG Heuer Golf apps. The app allows you to log each shot on the watch, with the ability to add your club details, and see the distance remaining to the hole, with additional information about any hazards.
Don’t get too excited just yet though, we still think you’re paying over the odds just to have the name ‘Tag’ on your wrist. If you enjoy showing off the fancy name to all your friends then this is the golf watch for you.
BONUS ROUND! – SmartWatch and App
Similar to the Tag Connected Modular 45 mentioned above there are a few other generic smart watches out there that use separate golf based apps to provide course data to the watch interface.
Unlike our golf specific GPS watches mentioned above, most smart watches don’t have accurate enough GPS trackers to provide data directly to the watch. Meaning they will use the GPS from your phone. In most instances this is enough but we’ve heard mixed reviews about connection issues between the watches and phones, which can be frustrating when out on the course. I think this is the main reason why there is still a market for golf specific watches.
We’ve listed a few combinations of smart watches and apps available if you want to investigate them further.