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Best golf GPS watch 2020: take your game from good to great

T3 logo T3 4/30/2020 Luke Edwards
a close up of a person holding a cell phone: best golf GPS watch: TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition GPS © Provided by T3 best golf GPS watch: TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition GPS

The best golf GPS watches can be a real game-changer. Imagine playing every hole of any course as if it was your regular, which you know like the back of your golf glove. That is what a golf GPS watch aims to do for you. Big names like Garmin, Bushnell and SkyCaddie have been working for decades on perfecting this tech.

Knowledge is power, as they say, and that's no different when it comes to golf. If you know exactly how far you are from the pin, no matter where you are, then you can make a more informed decision on which club to use and how to swing. Essentially, a golf GPS could make the difference between a perfect shot and one that costs you another swing.

Of course the golf watch also helps take a load off your mind so you can stay relaxed and focused. It does this by counting your strokes for you, in many cases, so there's no need to keep a scorecard. More advanced models will even measure your swing details and some offer tips on how you can make improvements to your game. If you've already invested in some top clubs and the best golf balls, a good golf GPS watch can be the thing that help you take your game a step further.

Remove the guesswork from your game and potentially lower your handicap just by wearing a GPS watch. That's the simple part, now you have to pick one. Welcome to T3's guide to the best golf GPS watches 2020.

What's the best golf GPS watch right now?

  • The best GPS golf watches come preloaded with at least 30,000 courses from around the world, and are able to measure course elevation as well as your distance from the pin to help improve each shot. For long days on the green, it’s important to choose a watch that’s comfortable, with ample battery life and a bright screen that’s easy to read even in direct sunlight.
  • With that in mind, our top pick for golfers is the Garmin Approach S40 golf GPS. Newly launched this year, it’s packed with features to help you master any course. It also comes with a raft of standard smartwatch functions, including notifications from your mobile device and even accurate fitness tracking (steps, calories, distance covered, and so on).  


a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Garmin) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Garmin)

1. Garmin Approach S40

The best overall GPS golf watch

Battery life: Up to 15 hours in GPS mode | Courses: Over 41,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Clear colour display makes it easy to view
Cutting-edge GPS delivers accurate distances
Offers a raft of smartwatch features

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of GPS golf watches, Garmin has got the art down to a tee. Its latest wearable, launched this year, is crammed with features to help you master your swing, which is why it’s our top pick for the best golf GPS. A combination of cutting-edge GPS technology and a sunlight-readable 1.2-inch colour touchscreen enables you to calculate distances to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as any hazards. 

AutoShot game tracking records your every pitch and putt, so that you can learn from your mistakes post-match. And data from 41,000 global courses gives you the opportunity to compare your score with others who’ve played there. Add in Bluetooth, notifications from your smartphone, and accurate sleep and fitness tracking, and the Approach S40 is a true all-rounder when it comes to golf GPS watches.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Garmin) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Garmin)

2. Bushnell ION2 Golf GPS

The best GPS golf watch for keeping things simple

Battery life: Up to 12 hours in GPS mode | Courses: Over 36,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Reversible band
Easy to understand
Automatic course and hole recognition

Don’t want to be distracted by fancy graphics? The second-gen edition of Bushnell’s discontinued ION golf watch is simplicity in itself, delivering the stats that matter in an easy-to-digest numerical format. 

Automatic course and hole recognition means that you can get straight into the action without faffing around with dials. Built-in Bluetooth enables you to update course info without using your data. And the ION2’s generous battery life should be enough for three rounds. All of this comes in a sleek, modern package that’s rounded off by a distinctive reversible wristband, meaning your style will stay on course even when your balls don’t.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Garmin ) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Garmin )

3. TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Golf Edition GPS

Battery life: 25+ hours | Courses: Over 39,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Super stylish
Comprehensive play analysis
Useful as a WearOS smartwatch off the course too
Very expensive

The Tag Heuer Connected is already one of the most stylish – and most expensive – smartwatches you can buy, and now it has a golf specific edition. It's worth noting this is a Tag Heuer Golf app so you can use it on a standard Tag Heuer Connected watch, only using the phone's GPS instead. The watch is comfortable and features a large display which you can tap to control – ideal when scrolling a course map to see how far you have to the pin. Or switch to the connected phone and get everything in clear 3D too – complete with tips on which club to use. 

While the watch lasts an impressive 25 hours on GPS, you can let the connected phone's GPS do the work to extend battery life even further. Either way you'll be able to get text and call notifications from the watch while your phone is tucked away. You will need to enter your scores and shots manually as you play, which is less automated than a lot of the competition. But then this also doubles as a luxury smartwatch, which most of the others on this list can't claim.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: SkyCaddie) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: SkyCaddie)

4. SkyCaddie Linx GT

The best golf GPS watch for people who like gadgets

Battery life: Up to 8 hours in GPS mode | Courses: Over 35,000 | Waterproof: No, but it is water-resistant

Pairs with a brilliant app 
Loads of cool features
Robust build will withstand weather and stray balls!

The Linx GT may be lagging behind some golf wearables in terms of battery life and waterproofing, but you’d be hard-pushed to find a watch with cooler on-course features. As well as your usual, accurate distance calculations, this robust but lightweight wrist companion pairs with the superb SkyCaddie mobile app to give you vivid HD views of the hole you’re playing, ensuring that your approach is absolutely spot-on. The watch is compatible with the SkyGolf 360 cloud service, which means your friends can follow your progress no matter where they are in the world. And the Linx GT can also read SmartTags, enabling you to easily make a note of which club worked best on each hole.

a close up of a device: (Image credit: Shot Scope) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Shot Scope)

5. Shot Scope V2

The best golf GPS watch for analysing your game

Battery life: Up to 7 hours in GPS mode | Courses: Over 40,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Exhaustive statistical analysis
Smart GPS chip delivers accurate distance measuring
Distances are available in metres or yards

If you’re the kind of person who loves poring over statistics, the Shot Scope V2 may be the watch for you. This sturdy wearable uses ClubSense technology, along with tags attached to the grips of your clubs, to automatically track your distance from a particular hole and the club you’re using to take your shot. This information is then used to provide incredibly detailed analysis of your game, and enable you to relive your most memorable hits.

The Shot Scope V2 may not have the best battery life in this list, but it does boast an awesome database of worldwide golf courses, and also features a strap that can be adjusted to fit 11 different wrist sizes – so no chance of getting blisters as you swing for glory.

a close up of a watch: (Image credit: Garmin ) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: Garmin )

6. Garmin Approach S62

Incredible screen clarity and a handy virtual caddie

Battery life: 20 hours on GPS | Courses: Over 41,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Sunlight readable 1.3-inch colour screen
Virtual caddie assistant
App supported

The Garmin Approach S62 is the company's flagship golfing watch, which means it's not cheap but you get a lot for your money. The screen is a large 1.3-inch colour display that's built for outdoors; even in bright sunlight it offers at-a-glance clarity. You'll see all sorts from wind speed and direction to green view previews and blind pinpointing when you can't see your target. The watch will keep going on GPS mode for over 20 hours and is supported by an app for even more in depth data and analysis from your phone during or after your round.

The virtual caddie is a huge feature which offers detailed information to help you best assess how to play your next shot, including the right club to use in the face of wind or inclines, for example. The fact the watch looks good, is rugged and waterproof, is just a nice bonus. It also offers other Garmin features like heart rate tracking, blood oxygen levels, contactless payments and connected smartphone notifications. This really does it all.

(Image credit: TomTom ) © Provided by T3 (Image credit: TomTom )

7. TomTom Golfer 2 SE

The golf GPS watch is especially impressive when it comes to automation

Battery life: 10 hours | Courses: Over 40,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Accurate distances
Good app support
Live shot distances
Battery life

The upgraded TomTom Golfer 2 SE is a really impressive watch when it comes to automation. This will allow you to play your game without giving much thought to tracking since it will record all your shots automatically for you. It will offer GPS tracking so you can glance at the screen to see just how far the pin is from where you are at any point during your round. You will likely have to stick to just one round though, as the battery isn't amazing and likely won't last you two rounds – if you have that luxury as an option.

The app that goes with this watch is slick and offers great analysis and clear data layouts so you can see how your shots played on that particular course – ideal for working on making progress. The original Golfer 2 had frankly irritating buzzer notifications but his new SE model now allows you to turn those off if you want, which is a nice addition – it's the little details which can make all the difference to your game.

a screenshot of a cellphone: Best golf GPS watch: Callaway GPSy Sport Watch © Provided by T3 Best golf GPS watch: Callaway GPSy Sport Watch

8. Callaway GPSy Sport Watch

This popular golf GPS watch is packed full of features

Battery life: 10-12 hours | Courses: 30,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Built in score tracker
Notifies you of hazard distances 
Hazard information could be more accurate 

This big golf name offers the big features you'd expect from its dedicated golf watch. That means GPS tracking to offer green lay-up and carry distances plus hazards and dog-legs. This will also auto-recognise and track your game so you don't need to fill out a pesky score card. Over 30,000 courses are available and a 12-hour battery life means you can get a full day's golfing in without needing a charge. The display is big and clear so you can get what you need at a glance, leaving you to stay focused on your game.

a close up of a watch: Best golf GPS watch: Golf Buddy WTX © Provided by T3 Best golf GPS watch: Golf Buddy WTX

9. Golf Buddy WTX

Waterproof and with over 36,000 courses covered

Battery life: 8 hours | Courses: 38,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Large colour screen
Dynamic green view helps plan shots

The large colour screen of the Golf Buddy WTX, which is clear even in daylight, as a welcoming way to view data on over 38,000 courses that it has stored. Thanks to a lift-to-view display you can save battery while still having info access one handed. That means distance and hazard tracking plus a flyover view for each hole. 

One really nice feature is dynamic green view. This allows you to plan your pitch from the angle of your approach shot. Of course GPS keeps your location accurate throughout and hole progression happens automatically as the watch realises you've moved on. Updates, via the smartphone app, also mean data is kept up to date for your courses.

a close up of a watch: Best golf GPS watch: Bushnell Neo iON GPS Watch © Provided by T3 Best golf GPS watch: Bushnell Neo iON GPS Watch

10. Bushnell Neo iON GPS Watch

A fairly basic watch, but it'll do the job well

Battery life: 12 hours | Courses: 35,000 | Waterproof: Yes

Great battery life
Autocourse recognition
Not as advanced as the others on this list

If you’re just getting into golf and fancy a helping hand, this Bushnell GPS golf watch will provide you with all the information you need to make sure your swing’s on par with the rest of the team. It features auto course recognition and auto hole advance with accurate and easy to read distances. It’ll also clue you in to nearby hazards and counts your steps so you can work out how many calories you’ve burned off round the course, and it won’t cost you the earth, either. 


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