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Best golf GPS watch 2022: Improve your game from just £99

Pete Clark
21 Dec 2021

Track your yardage, avoid hazards and improve shot selection with these GPS watches

Whether you’re looking to improve your long or short game, having the best golf GPS watch is like having an experienced caddy strapped to your wrist. Capable of far more than merely telling the time, the best golf GPS watches will help you play to the best of your abilities.

The laser-powered rangefinders of the past were only helpful for measuring your distance to the pin. Modern watches can do so much more, from alerting you to hazards to delivering yardages to specific positions on the green. Some advanced models will even recommend the ideal club for each stroke.

This is a competitive market space, with a huge selection of models and brands to choose from, which can make picking the right watch for you a tricky task. To help make things easier, we’ve put together a roundup of the best golf GPS watches, as well as a buying guide to run you through the key features to consider when picking a watch.

The best golf GPS watch: At a glance

How to choose the best golf GPS watch for you

How exactly do golf GPS watches work and what features should I look out for?

Satellites will help you navigate your way around whatever course you’re on, with all the watches on this list preloaded with at least 30,000 courses. Naturally, you should try and look for one that has as many preloaded courses as possible.

As well as basic information such as yards to the centre, front and back of the green, more advanced models will let you know when a hazard is coming up and will show you a map of the hole you're on. Some of these more advanced watches will also offer a touch targeting feature, allowing you to tap the screen and see your distance to different points on the course.

If you want to be really nerdy, you may also want to look for one that comes with a smartphone app. You can then sync your watch to the app and it will go really granular about your last round – giving you total shots, fairways hit and total putts.

How much battery life do I need?

Golf GPS watches have advanced a long way in a short time. The issue with earlier models was their short lifespan, with some cutting out at the very worst moment on the green. Luckily, that's changed in recent times and most golf watches these days should easily see you through three rounds or more.

How accurate are GPS watches?

Each of the watches on our list should be accurate to within three yards, and after using many different manufacturers and models in the real world, we can confirm that to be the case. Comparing measurements on the tee box has always shown the watches to be within a few yards, or fewer, of each other.

How comfortable are they to wear while playing?

These watches are all designed with sport in mind, so they tend to be comfortable enough. However, the design is something you should bear in mind. From my experience with these watches, we’d suggest going for devices that weigh less than 60g – these will feel almost invisible while you’re mid-swing.

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The best golf GPS watch to buy

1. Garmin Approach S10: The best golf GPS watch for beginners

Price: £130 | Buy now from Amazon

Don’t let the price fool you – Garmin’s budget-friendly golf GPS watch is a still a highly useful tool. If you’ve never played a round with a GPS watch on before, this is the one to ease you in. With automatic course detection, accurate yardage to specific points on the green and digital scoring, you almost don’t have to touch the GPS watch from the first to the eighteenth.

This watch is also compatible with the free Garmin Connect app, allowing you to track your stats and progress across a whole season. With 41,000 courses preloaded onto the watch, plus free updates adding new courses as they become available, you’ll be able to track your progress no matter where you’re teeing off.

The watch itself is lightweight and actually rather stylish, plus the sunlight-readable display means that it’ll still be useful on a bright summer day.

Key specs – Size: 4.1 x 1 x 3.6cm; Weight: 36.3g; Display size: 2.3 x 2.3cm; Battery life: 12 hours; Waterproof: Yes; Course capacity: 41,000

2. Garmin Approach S62: The best golf GPS watch for serious players

Price: From £434 | Buy now from Amazon

Yet another entry from Garmin, and the most expensive watch in our roundup, the Approach S62 is the best watch for those who are seriously into their golf. Some might baulk at the price, but with the sheer number of features the S62 offers – too many to list here – you can be sure you’re getting more than enough for your money.

With a 1.3in screen, it has more display real estate than the older Approach S60 – all the better to admire the watch’s 41,000 preloaded courses. As well as giving you full-colour maps, Green View and Autoshot, the S62 has surpassed older models such as the S20 by offering Pinpointer and PlaysLike Distance features for extra accuracy, as well as additional fitness tracking details such as a heart rate monitor and relaxation reminders. Another standout feature is the virtual caddie, which makes suggestions on which club to use based on your performance as well as wind speed and direction.

Casual players might not want to fork out this much, but if you’re serious about improving, you’ll struggle to find a better option than this. And since it doubles as a regular smartwatch, complete with a stylish design, you can keep it on when you’re not out on the course.

Key specs – Size: 4.7 x 4.7 x 1.48cm; Weight: 61g; Display size: 3.3 x 3.3cm; Battery life: 20 hours (GPS mode), 14 days (smartwatch mode); Waterproof: Yes; Course capacity: 41,000

3. Shot Scope V3: The best-looking golf GPS watch

Price: From £163 | Buy now from Amazon

If you're after a serviceable alternative to the Garmin watches above, the Shot Scope V3 is well worth consideration. This affordable model has all the features you'd expect from a modern golf GPS watch – and more.

The V3 comes with 16 sensors, allowing you to screw one into the end of each of your clubs and benefit from what Shot Scope claims is an industry-leading golf GPS system. Other features include the ability to track a huge number of statistics, including drive distance, fairways hit and putts per round, as well as built-in Bluetooth and an accompanying app that allows you to examine your round in greater detail.

We also think that the Shot Scope V3 is one of the best-looking golf GPS watches on the market, weighing just 40g and featuring a minimalist design that means you barely notice you're wearing it when out on the course.

If the V3 is a touch expensive for your taste, consider its younger sibling the G3.

Key specs – Size: 3.9 x 3.4 x 1cm; Weight: 41g; Display size: 3.4 x 3.4cm; Battery life: 10 hours (GPS mode), 10 days (smartwatch mode); Waterproof: Yes; Course capacity: 36,000

4. Bushnell Neo iON 2 GPS Watch: The best golf GPS watch for comfort

Price: £99 | Buy now from Amazon

Bushnell has been the gold standard for laser-powered rangefinders for years, but now the company is branching out with this Neo iON 2 GPS watch.

As with the others on this list, you get the front, centre and back distances to the pin on the face, as well as the yards needed to beat upcoming hazards. One definite highlight is the Tee Time Function, which means that you can set the watch to automatically turn on when you’re about to step up to the first tee. The auto-hole function also automatically skips through to the next hole on the course, meaning you can play an entire round without fiddling once with the watch.

Unfortunately, you don’t get a visual representation of the hole itself and there’s no smartphone app to dissect your round with afterwards. But this is a keenly priced and solid option.

Key specs – Size: 4.5 x 5.4 x 1.5cm; Weight: 51g; Display size: 2.3cm diameter; Battery life: 12 hours; Waterproof: Yes; Course capacity: 36,000