Golf GPS devices are giving golfers a high-tech advantage. Why waste time scribbling in your yardage book when orbiting satellites can pinpoint the distance to the green? With a data-packed handheld (or wrist-strapped) device, you can know each link as well as someone who plays on it every week.
If you want a little extra edge the next time you play, check out the best golf GPS devices you can buy right now.
1) Garmin Approach S6
- Price: $399.99
Can you really fit an entire golfing GPS that includes course maps on a watch?
The Garmin Approach S6 proves that you can, and it compensates for a watchface-sized screen by providing a full color display, a massive database of available golf courses, and a convenient zoom feature. After you input your driving range, it zooms in on the map of the link to display the area between the tee box and your selected distance. So if you can smack the ball 220 yards, you can clearly see what’s 200 yards ahead — right on your wrist.
Of course, if you want to get the golf GPS, but also a ton of other cool fitness smartwatch features, you could always pick up the Garmin Fenix 3 HR.
2) Garmin Approach G7
- Price: $249.99
If you like the Garmin Approach S6, but want something more smartphone-like, then the Garmin Approach G7 is just for you. It’s lightweight, but has a brightly colored screen that shows you holes from one of the many courses in the Garmin databases. It also includes the ability to record a host of statistics, including score, putts, fairways hit, and greens in regulation. That’s a godsend for data-loving golfers who don’t want to have to record their game-by-game stats by hand.
Garmin has also released the more advanced Garmin Approach G8. But you should only spring for that if you want to spend an extra $100 for a slightly bigger, multi-touch screen.
3) TomTom Golfer 2
- Price: $249.99
The TomTom Golf 2 is a GPS golf smartwatch that isn’t as advanced as the Garmin Approach S6 — but it costs less.
You won’t see a full color display or on-wrist course maps. However, you can see the course maps when you pair it with your smartphone. Other than that, it’s a convenient, helpful, and full-featured GPS golf watch. The 168 x 144 monochrome screen displays the position of the hole, score, distance, and even calories you’ve burned during your game. The 10 hour battery life isn’t long enough to use a regular watch, but it’s more than enough for an entire Sunday of golfing. To help improve your game, it even includes shot recognition and tracking features.
4) Arccos Golf
- Price: $299.99
Arccos Golf is primarily a golf training device rather than a golf GPS. It attaches to your club to track shots and provide you with data to help you improve your swing. However, it pairs with your iPhone to give you much of the same basic course information that a golf GPS provides. If you’re looking for a training aid, and don’t want to pay for a separate golf GPS, then this a good buy.
5) Golf Buddy PT4 GPS
- Price: $399.99
The Golf Buddy PT4 is another good option for golfers who are willing to spend a little bit extra for a quality golf GPS. The unusually large 4-inch screen displays bright and beautiful maps of just about any golf course in the country. When you add detailed stats tracking, the ability to place pins on courses, and distances to any spot on (or off) the fairway, you’ve got a winner.
One of the cooler features is the two green view modes: Basic Green View and High Contrast View, which gives you more precise data about the shape and dimensions of the green.
6) IZZO Swami 4000
- Price: $139.99
Is your budget a little tight because you bought a new set of golf clubs? With the IZZO Swami 4000, you can still get a good quality golf GPS if you’re willing to do without some of the bells and whistles.
The display is a smaller than usual at 1.8 inches, but that’s enough to display the basic info it provides. It calculates the distances to front, center, and back of the green. It also lets you know distances to the front and back of hazards and doglegs.
7) Bushnell Hybrid GPS Viewfinder Laser
- Price: $219.99
Is your golfing motto “Trust, but verify?” Or maybe you like the accuracy of a viewfinder laser, and you’re not quite ready to make the full switch to a golf GPS quite yet? If that’s the case, then you should snag the unusual Bushnell Golf Hybrid Laser/GPS.
Yes, it comes with a golf GPS with all the basic features. But that’s actually built into the side of a golf viewfinder, which you can use to double check the GPS calculations. This also might be useful if you happen to golf on super private or off-the-beaten path courses that might not show up in your typical golf course database. The GPS doesn’t include maps or collect your golfing stats, but it does provide you with important data about just about any link you might tee up on.