Who couldn’t use a little more help on the course? Golf GPS watches and handheld devices have become increasingly popular over the years and it should come as no surprise that technology company Garmin is a major player in the field.
GPS devices come in handy on golf courses as they give accurate yardage distances to the greens and pin, measure shot distances, keep your round stats and scoring, and many other useful functions to help you play as well as you possibly can.
Browse a wider selection of Garmin GPS handheld devices and golf watches here for more options. But keep reading below to see the most popular and highly-rated Garmin GPS gadgets available right now. If you’re watch fan, check out our post on the best easy-to-use golf GPS watches.
Note: The following list is in no particular order.
1. Garmin Approach G6 Handheld Touchscreen Golf Course GPS
The Approach G6 Handheld GPS debuted over 5 years ago, but it’s still one of the more popular and practical golf devices from Garmin. With over 27,000 pre-loaded courses, the Approach G6 features a glove-friendly touchscreen which clearly displays the green view, your distance to the hole, and your scorecard at the touch of a button. You can also track your stats (greens in regulation, fairways hit, and putts per round) that can be accessed during the round or saved for later for your own assessment. Smaller than a cell phone, the G6 is compact enough to fit in your pocket (it measures 3.7 inches long by 2.1 inches wide by 0.8 inches deep) and it’s also waterproof for those rainy days on the course. You’ll also receive a belt clip, UBS cable, AC adapter, and a users manual. There are newer Approach models (we’ll visit a couple below), but if you’re looking for an easy-to-use, functional GPS device, the S6 has what you need.
Price: New from $279.95
Used from $205.95
- Hole-by-hole course preview feature
- Battery lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge
- Keeps stats like fairways hit, greens in regulation, putts per round
- Older model, does not have all the features of the newer Approach devices
- Older model, has been discontinued so quantities might be limited
2. 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. When you add a Garmin TruSwing to attach to your club, that device’s sensor will track your swing metrics data to help improve your consistency and overall game. 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 a lithium polymer battery.
- Pre-loaded with over 40,000 international golf courses
- AutoShot Round Analyzer measures shot distances for stat analysis
- TruSwing compatible
- Digital Scorecard allows you to save, review, share and print scorecards
- Can’t edit the list of clubs preloaded into the watch
- Not a touchscreen
- No full-color course maps
3. Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS
The Approach G8 came out a couple years after the G6 and while they have many of the same features such as manual pin positioning, shot distance measuring, stat tracking, digital scorecard ready, and being waterproof, the G8 has a handful of newer updates to expand its functionality. The G8 includes features like club selection mode, big numbers mode, automatic course update via WiFi, PlaysLike distance mode, and PinPointer, which will show you where the pin is even if it not visible to you. The G8 is also TruSwing compatible. If you purchase the TruSwing, you can attach it to your club and upon your swing, the device sensor will track your swing data to help you analyze and improve your stroke. You can check out the TruSwing Golf Club Sensor here. The G8 also boasts a 240 by 400 pixel display resolution and over 30,000 pre-loaded course maps.
Price: New from $349.99
Used from $264.95
- Updated to be USGA tournament play legal
- 3 inch color multi-touch display
- Get notifications (emails, texts, etc.) via BlueTooth
- PinPointer tells you where the pin is, even if it isn’t visible to you
- On the pricey side
- Some users felt it was difficult to see yardage numbers on the screen
- Some users felt the battery life wasn’t long enough
4. Garmin Approach G30 Golf Handheld GPS
Like the Approach G6 and G8 mentioned above, the G30 has all the basics of a golf GPS device — accurate distances to the green, stat tracking, green view, and 40,000 pre-loaded courses. The sleek, compact handheld features a 2.3-inch color touchscreen display and includes some new extras for even more help on the course. Some of them are: a round timer; step counter; SwingTempo mode; and hazard and dogleg yardages. The G30 is even smaller than the G8 and fits easily into your pocket. USGA tournament legal, the Approach G30 also has big number mode, PlaysLike distance mode, Swing Tempo, it’s TruSwing compatible. The G30 was released in early 2017 and it’s the newest Garmin handheld GPS golf model.
- Full-color mapping with Touch Target feature
- Shows accurate distances to greens, hazards, and doglegs
- You can receive email, texts, and messages on the device
- Stat tracking and scoring for up to 4 players
- Doesn’t have club suggestion or PinPointer
- Can’t mark course points of interest for future reference
5. 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 to $499.99
- Touch-targeting; touch the target on the display to see the distance to any point
- Full-color course maps
- Get smart notifications such as texts and emails
- 240 by 240 pixel display
- On the pricey side
- Some might find the watch bulky
- Battery doesn’t last as long as others (up to 10 hours in golf mode)
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