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Golf GPS devices allow golfers (and even PGA spectators) to know exactly how far the ball is from the green. When you’re on the course, you can simply look at your GPS watch to tell the distance to the back, front and center of the green before you select your iron. Or you can check a handheld GPS device to get a bird’s eye view and a better perspective on a hole before you tee off.
Many people prefer a GPS device to a rangefinder. For example, a GPS watch can be used with a quick look at the wrist and without slowing down the pace of play at all. While other GPS devices can give you more information about the course, such as where the bunkers are.
There are many different GPS options. Some people like the simplicity of a GPS watch, others like a handheld or cart-attaching device and a bunch even opt for a smartphone app. Want to learn a little more about these devices before making a decision on what will work best for you? Check out these best golf GPS options to add more precision and accuracy to your game.
Best Overall: Garmin Approach G8 Golf Course GPS
The Garmen Approach G8 Golf Course GPS is a full-color handheld GPS device that is perfect for any golfer. The roughly four-inch-by-two-inch device does everything a great GPS device needs to, from telling you your distance to the green to adjusting distances for elevation. The simple device only requires two buttons for streamlined usage on the course and features colorful maps illustrating the hole you’re golfing.
This popular golf GPS option also includes free and automatic Wi-Fi golf course updates and variable fonts for better visualization. Your previous games will be remembered by this Garmin GPS and you can even share information on the device with friends via Garmin’s website. The G8 also lets you receive smartphone notifications on the GPS and tells you the distance and direction you need to hit your ball even when the flag is out of sight.
Best App: Arccos 360 Golf Performance Tracking System
Don’t want to carry a GPS handheld device? Why not try an app? The Arccos Tracking System consists of small sensors that you can plug into the top of your clubs and an app that allows you to track every shot you take. Using a combination of Bluetooth and GPS, your Accos tracker can let you see a bird’s eye view of the golf course you are on and the exact distance and speed of your shot.
Accos comes with a one-year subscription to its premium service and lets friends compete with each other for farthest drive, best shot and other statistics even if they live far away from one another. The sensor fits easily into the top of most grips and its lightweight composition doesn’t affect your swing. The app is loaded with 40,000 golf courses and can remember and compare every one of your shots with the millions of other shots Arccos users have taken.
Best Voice: GolfBuddy Voice GPS
Simple and efficient, the best audio GPS for golf on the market is the GolfBuddy Voice GPS. Rated highly by thousands of Amazon reviewers, the Golf Buddy Voice is a small electronic device that can tell you how far you have to the pin in eight different languages, as well as display the information on the small black and white screen. This small device can be kept in a bag, pocket or cart and tells golfers what their distance is to the front, middle and back of the green is.
This compact device is pre-loaded with more than 35,000 courses and can hold up to 40,000. There are no fees for any aspect of the Golf Buddy Voice. It's a great tool for senior golfers as well as multilingual foursomes. You can play multiple rounds of golf on a single charge.
Best Watch: Garmin Approach S60 GPS Watch
GPS watches have become some of the most popular ways to tell how well you shot the ball. Unlike handheld GPSes or connected apps, the watches let you see that crucial distance number in a flash by looking at your wrist rather than pausing to pull out a gadget. There are a lot of watches out there that work great for golf, but the Garmin Approach S60 GPS watch is the best.
This sporty Garmin watch has a high-quality touchscreen display to show you the green, water hazards, bunkers and fairway, all in full color. It comes with 40,000 pre-loaded courses from around the world and quickly tells you your location and distance to the green. The battery can last up to 10 hours as a golf GPS device and 10 days as a simple watch. Additionally, the screen is made for use in bright, sunny conditions. Available in white or black silicone or with a black leather strap, the Garmin is a comfortable and good-looking option that does everything you need in a GPS golf watch.
Best Value: IZZO Golf Swami 5000
The IZZO Golf Swami 5000 is a great value, but it is far from cheap. This durable, water-resistant handheld GPS device includes 38,000 pre-loaded golf courses and a full-color two-inch, LCD display. Giving you the distance to the front, back and center of the green, as well as layup to doglegs and hazards, the IZZO does everything the top-of-the-line GPSes do for a fraction of the price. However, the IZZO also includes an array of functions not found on every GPS, such as a scorecard mode, a longer battery life and magnetic charging. This value device is great as a gift and you won’t have to worry about keeping it in your bag.
Best Handheld: Skygolf Skycaddie Touch GPS
Skycaddie, a major brand in golf gadgets, features a handheld GPS device that golfers will love. With a large, three-inch, full-color touchscreen, golfers can navigate the more than 35,000 pre-loaded golf courses on the GPS with the ease and intuition of handling a smartphone.
Easily understand your location, your distance to greens, bunkers and hazards on a detailed and colorful map in the palm of your hand with the SkygolfSkycaddie Touch GPS. With an eagle-eye view, this device lets you zoom in, so you know the distance you need for a birdie. You can update this GPS wirelessly via Bluetooth.
Best for the Cart - Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS
If you don’t want to carry a GPS in your hand or on your wrist, use the Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS. Designed to be left attached to a cart via its attached clip, the Bushnell device lets you keep your hands free. This GPS unit has almost 40,000 courses pre-loaded and a 10-hour battery life. You can even mark up to four hazards per hole on this device. The Bushnell Phantom has a very simple black and gray display, showing the hole number, the par and the three green distances.