To say golf technology has changed over the years is an understatement.
GPS watches and bands have become increasingly popular with golfers of all abilities. The main function of a golf GPS is to provide you with accurate yardage readings while on the golf course. Want to know how many yards you are to the pin? A simple glance at your watch and you’ll know exactly how far away you are, so you’ll know what club to hit. But the GPS watches offer so much more. Many standard functions on GPS watches include stat tracking and compiling, front, center, and back of green distances, auto course recognition, and shot distance calculators. The best gps golf watch will help you make the right decisions and shots on the golf course, resulting in improved scores.
Browse a wider selection of golf GPS watches and bands if this list doesn’t have the style you’re looking for. But keep reading below to see some of the most popular GPS watches available today. And if a watch isn’t your style, check out our post on the best golf rangefinders on the market today.
1. Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch
The Garmin Approach S20 Golf Watch combines style, comfort and performance at a very reasonable price. Not only can you get accurate yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green, as well as shot distances, new technology and functions highlight the watch. AutoShot Round Analyzer, which tracks your shots, measures distance and records shot locations so you can assess your round. Add a Garmin TruSwing, attach to your club, and that sensor will track your swing to help improve your swing and consistency.
The S20 also has a Green View Display, which shows you the exact shape and layout of the green. Available in four colors — Black, White, Midnight Teal, and Slate — the S20 contains over 40,000 pre-loaded international courses (with free updates), is sun-light readable, the high-resolution touchscreen is golf glove-friendly, it will alert you on smartphone notifications, and it comes with one lithium polymer battery.
Price: $129.99; price varies depending on style and availability
- Pre-loaded with over 40,000 international golf courses
- AutoShot Round Analyzer measures shot distances for stat analysis
- Golf glove-friendly touchscreen display
- Digital Scorecard allows you to save, review, share and print scorecards
- Can’t edit the list of clubs preloaded into the watch
- Some users feel there are too many options and functions
2. Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch
The watch is pre-loaded with over 35,000 courses in over 30 countries and a long-lasting battery (included with the purchase), the Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch provides functionality and comfort in a sleek design. It gives accurate yardage measurements in front, center and back distances to the green.
The easy-to-use Bushnell Neo Ion also features auto course recognition and auto hole advance, practically making your watch a golf course encyclopedia in a compact model. Other highlights include hazard and layup distances (up to four per hole), a shot distance calculator, a comfortable dual injected silicone band, and a course step odometer.
Note: there is an updated version of this item. Check out the Bushnell Neo Ion 2 GPS Golf Watch here.
Price: $129.98 (35 percent off MSRP)
- Pre-loaded with over 35,000 courses in over 30 countries
- Long battery life (play 3 rounds between charges)
- Legal for tournament play
- Auto course recognition
- Some users found the charging mechanism difficult
- Some users experienced satellite issues
3. Callaway GPSy Golf GPS Watch
Not only does Callaway put out top-notch equipment and clothing, they also make high-quality and high-performance GPS watches. The GPSy Watch is a perfect example. Expect accurate yardage measurements from front, center, and back of green distances as well as layup and hazard distances.
The scorekeeping function tracks scores, but also green in regulation and putts per round. Other features include waterproof construction, shot distance measurement, over 30,000 pre-loaded courses worldwide, auto course and hole recognition, and a long-lasting battery, which is included.
Price: Starting at $99.99 (50 percent off MSRP)
- Scorekeeper tracks greens in regulation and putts per round
- Auto course recognition
- No annual fees or subscriptions
- Some users felt the screen was difficult to read when watch got wet
- Some users felt the battery life was not as good as advertised
4. TomTom Golfer 2 GPS Watch
TomTom has packed a bunch of useful options in its sleek Golfer 2 GPS Watch. With automatic shot detection and shot history analysis, your game is certain to improve with these new functions. You’ll get accurate yardage measurements and thanks to the green- and hazard-view options, you’ll know exactly what distance you’ll need to hit the ball to stay out of the water or bunker.
Other features include water-resistant construction up to 40 meters, over 40,000 pre-loaded courses (and free course updates), lightweight slim design, wireless syncing, and complete round tracking. The TomTom 2 also comes with a charger, a user manual, and a battery life up to 11 hours.
Price: From $154.99
- Shot history analysis
- Automatic shot detection
- Easy-to-view green and hazard graphics
- Water-resistant to 40 meters
- Some users had trouble with the software syncing
- No step-counting function
5. GolfBuddy WTX Smart Golf GPS Watch
The easy-to-use, fast touch interface system of the GolfBuddy WTX Smart Golf GPS Watch makes it simple to get all the information and numbers you need for certain game improvement — accurate yardage measurements, distances to the front, center, and back of the green, and shot distance, to name a few.
And a unique feature to GolfBuddy is the dynamic green view. It’s the best gps golf watch for visualizing the actual course. This function actually turns the green view on the watch to match the exact angle of the green you’re looking at, rather than the middle of the fairway like most other GPS watches. Other highlights include over 38,000 pre-loaded courses, accurate distances to doglegs and hazards, activity tracking, interchangeable outer screen, and it’s legal for tournament play.
Price: $134.95 (20 percent off MSRP)
- Hole layout view with your current position
- Bright, easy-to-read display
- Dynamic green view matches the angle of the green you’re actually looking at
- Users felt the battery didn’t last very long
- On the pricey side
6. Garmin Approach S60 GPS Golf Watch
The Garmin Approach S60 GPS Watch is loaded with useful functions for both golf and other sports in a sleek design. First of all, the S60 has all the usual features of a golf GPS device — yardage distances to the front, middle, and back of the green; yardage to layups; accurate shot distance measurements; digital scorecard; stat tracking; and pre-loaded courses (over 40,000) from around the world.
But some new additions really set the S60 apart from the older models. Those features include: TruSwing compatibility; Garmin AutoShot; PlaysLike distance; PinPointer; SwingTempo; and Tempo Training. But the S60 is just golf. It also has other built-in sports apps like cycling, swimming, running, and outdoor sports such as skiing, snowboarding, paddleboarding, and rowing. The Approach S60 is waterproof and also has a step counter, heart rate features, and smart phone compatibility. You’re going to pay a little more, but there really are so many extras.
Price: $399.99 (silicone wrist band) and $499.99 (leather wrist band)
- Has PlaysLike Distance feature
- Includes built-in sports apps for cycling, swimming, running, skiing, and more
- Waterproof with step counter and heart rate features
- On the pricey side
- Some will smaller wrists might find the watch a little bulky
7. GolfBuddy WT5 GPS Golf Watch
The GolfBuddy WT5 GPS Golf Watch is an older model, dating back to 2015, but certainly still holds functionality and effectiveness today, thanks to multiple high tech features. Some of these include Dynamic Green View, Pin Placement, Digital Scoreboard, and GPS Tracking. Other highlights are available distances to the front/center/back of the green, shot distance measurement, and distances to targets and hazards up to 11 per hole.
The watch also automatic course and hole recognition and is pre-loaded over 38,000 golf courses worldwide. As for comfort, the WT5 has a thinner design in both the face and band than the previous editions. The watch, which also serves as a digital time keeper with a rechargeable battery, is available in two different color schemes — Black/Blue (pictured above) and White/Orange.
Price: White/Orange $129.97; Black/Blue $165.00
- Has Dynamic Green View and Pin Placement features
- Yard distances on up to 11 targets and hazards per hole
- Slimmer design for a more comfortable fit
- Doesn’t have an audio function
- Older model from 2015
8. Dream Sport GPS Golf Watch
If you’re looking for a straightforward golf watch that keeps track of the basic stats and won’t cost you hundreds of dollars, check out the GPS Golf Watch from Dream Sport. It’s got the essential functions to store your golf stats, including accurate distance measurements for the entire green, distances to hazards and targets (up to 4 per hole), easy-to-read scorecard (128 X 128 pixel screen), and automatic course/hole recognition. Another major plus is that it’s also water-resistant up to 50 meters. And Dream Sport’s watch currently costs just a bit over $100.
In additional to those characteristics, the Dream Sport Golf Watch features a round odometer, over 36,000 preloaded golf courses in over 80 countries (with free updating available), long battery life (up to 12 hours in GPS mode and 50-60 days in time mode), automatic time and date set, and an 18 month warranty.
- Battery lasts up to 12 hours in GPS mode and 50-60 days in time mode
- Waterproof up to 50 meters
- Lower price than most others on the list
- Doesn’t have the technology as some of the bigger brands like Garmin, GolfBuddy
- Features aren’t multi-sport; limited to golf
9. Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch
One of Bushnell’s most popular GPS golf watch is the NEO XS, which is an older model, debuting in 2013. This watch is considered an easy-to-use device with basic and accurate GPS features. You can accurate measurements to the front/center/back of the green distances, as well as hazard and layup marks (up to 4 per hole). The vibrant, clear screen makes it easy to read all the figures and distances.
Other highlights include water resistance up to 10 meters, long battery life (3 rounds before charging), auto course and hole recognition, and round odometer with shot distance calculator. Preloaded with over 33,000 courses in over 30 countries, the NEO XS is tournament play legal and comes with a limited 1 year warranty from Bushnell.
Price: New $400.00; Used from $189.99
- Easy to use and waterproof to 10 meters
- Excellent battery life; 3 rounds before charging
- Legal for tournament play
- On the pricey side for a new watch
- Older model doesn’t have ability to track scores and statistics
10. Garmin Approach X40 Golf Course GPS Band
The final device on the list is another entry from Garmin, the Approach X40. What sets this model apart from the others we’ve already reviewed is that the X40 is band as opposed to the traditional watch. While it has a soft, comfortable band, the screen face is a bit smaller, but that also means less bulk and weight. Featuring a touchscreen, the band features highlights such as accurate distance measurements, wrist heart rate monitoring technology, auto-shot tracking, and green view display.
You can also receive smart phone notifications, including incoming calls and texts. Available in 4 different colors — Limelight (pictured above), Black/Gray, Midnight Blue, and White/Black — the X40 comes in 2 sizes — Regular (5.4 inches to 7.6 inches around) and Extra Large (7.1 inches to 8.8 inches).
- Shot tracking helps with post-round analysis
- Includes heart rate measuring technology
- Available in 4 different colors
- On the pricey side
- Some users felt the battery life didn’t last long