Golf GPS Will Help You Master the Course

Latest Golf GPS Models and Features

Without an expert caddie along, there's a lot of guesswork involved in determining the distance to the hole, and various course targets, such as bunker or stream carries. The latest generation of golf GPS units give you quick and accurate guidance from anywhere on the course. Beyond basic distance-to-the-hole data, many devices tell you the length of your last shot (and store the info for future reference); distance to, and location of targets and hazards; distance to the front, middle, and back of the green, and more. Here are the latest and greatest golf GPS units.

Garmin Approach G8

Garmin Approach G8 Golf GPS
Garmin Approach G8 Golf GPS. Garmin

The G8 becomes the new top of the line from Garmin. It boasts an all-new chassis that is slimmer and lighter than its predecessors. It also has Garmin's largest golf GPS screen, at 240 x 400 pixels and 1.5 x 2.6 inches. As you might expect, the G8 has every feature you can imagine and some you may not have thought of. Like other Garmins, it comes with a free, and free-to-update database of 30,000+ courses world-wide. It also has Smart Notification technology, which communicates with your smartphone to receive emails, texts, and call alerts (I won't be using those on the course!).

Garmin Approach G6 Golf GPS

Garmin Approach G6 golf gps review
Garmin reduces the size and bulk of handheld golf GPS devices with the introduction of it G6 model. Garmin

I'm impressed with the compact size (about 2 x 4 inches), long battery life (15 hours), and on-the-course and scoring features of the Garmin Approach G6. For example, the course maps, which come from an included free and updatable database of 26,500 courses, now include shot layup arcs, which show at-a-glance arc lines on the maps for 100, 150, and 200-yard layups.

Other features include a nice digital scorecard for a foursome, including stroke play, stableford, skins and match play with adjustable handicaps. You may also track your stats, determine average distances for the clubs you hit, and course customization.

Despite its smaller overall form, the screen of the G6 is nearly the same size as that of the Garmin G5 (shown below).

TomTom Golfer GPS Watch

The TomTom Golfer GPS rangefinder watch features one-button control. TomTom

The TomTom Golfer uses a one-button tactile control that lets you scroll up or down, as well as as right and left through the watch menus. The control has several advantages over a touchscreen, including ease of use with a gloved hand, and reliable control that is not affected by wet conditions.

Callaway uPro MX Golf GPS

uPro MX Golf GPS
Callaway uPro MX Golf GPS. Callaway

Callaway's latest golf GPS handheld, the uPro MX, is slimmed down to 2 inches by 4 inches, with a thickness of just 0.7 inch. This gives it a noticeably lighter feel, and it fits into a pocket. It has a high-resolution, multi-gesture touchscreen that remains visible in full sunlight. There are no annual fees, and the 25,000-course database is free to download and update. Callaway's "AnyPoint" lets you measure to any point, anywhere on the hole. "GreenView" gives you distances to the front, center, and back of every green. "HazardView" shows you distances to hazards, as well as the type and shape of the hazard. The uPro MX scoring and stats features work with Callaway's uxplore website to record and analyze your rounds in detail.

Garmin Approach G5 Golf GPS

Garmin Approach G5 golf GPS
Garmin Approach G5 golf GPS. Garmin

The Garmin Approach G5 is rugged, waterproof, and features a large, bright, color touchscreen. All of the G5's features are driven by easy-to-follow menus on the touchscreen. In a move that has shaken up the golf GPS market, Garmin preloads a database of 14,000+ courses for free, and adds courses and updates for free via its Web site. I was able to find most, but not all of my local courses, so check the course database. I really like the G5's ability to show distances to and from anywhere on the course just by touching and dragging. Touch your target for a distance, or touch and move the flag for precision distance. The G5 also has a good score-keeping utility. See the link to my review below.

SkyCaddie SGX Golf GPS

SkyCaddie SGX golf GPS
SkyCaddie SGX Golf GPS. SkyCaddie

The SGX is SkyCaddie's newest, top-of-the-line model. It has a slimmer, more rectangular shape than previous models, and a bulbous, thumbstick navigation device below the 3-inch (diagonal) TFT screen. Like other SkyCaddie models, the SGX accesses a 26,000-plus course database that is verified by on-the-ground course walkers. SkyCaddie pre-loads basic information for all of the courses, and membership plans (for full-featured course database access) range in price from $29.95 per year (for a single state) to $59.95 per year (global). Other SGX features include:

  • Distances to hazards, carries, and layups.
  • Hole view with zoom.
  • IntelliGreen Pro, showing major green contours.
  • Shot distance.
  • Digital scorecard.

See the SkyCaddie course database.

Garmin Approach S1 Golf GPS Watch

Garmin Approach S1 Golf GPS watch
Garmin Approach S1 Golf GPS watch. Garmin

This year, Garmin introduced a whole new take on golf GPS with its Approach S1 watch. While golf handhelds continue to add ever-more features, the Approach S1 distills golf GPS down to basic simplicity, displaying distances to the front, back, and middle of the green, in simple black-and-white. The Approach S1 will also measure your shot distances from anywhere on the course, and an odometer will tell you how far you walked. Like other Garmin golf products, the Approach S1 comes pre-loaded with 16,500+ courses, and access to the master course database for updates is free. The watch is very sturdy and waterproof. It detects course proximity automatically, so courses are easy to initiate. Having distances on your wrist is very handy!

Garmin Approach S2

Motorola MOTOACTV Golf Edition GPS Watch
The Garmin. Motorola

Garmin pioneered wristwatch golf GPS devices, and now offers three models, with the addition of the new Approach S2. The S2 ($249) fits in between the S1 and S3 in price and features. The S2 comes with free product lifetime golf course map updates, and comes preloaded with more than 30,000 courses located around the world (the $179 S1 has memory for a maximum of 18,000 courses). The S2 is controlled by buttons, rather than the S3's ($349) touchscreen. The S2 also comes in additional colors, including white, white-and-purple, and black. Besides distance to the hole, features include touch-targeting, manual pin positioning (for more accurate distance), measured shot distance, stats tracking, and more.

Bushnell Yardage Pro Golf GPS

Bushnell Yardage Pro GPS
Bushnell Yardage Pro GPS. Bushnell

The Bushnell Yardage Pro features three modes: a "play" mode that shows distance to the front, center, and back of the green; a "score card" screen including hole in play, par, handicap, and yardage from a pre-selected tee box; and a "drive distance" screen that also shows distance to the pin. The Bushnell Yardage Pro golf GPS uses the same database and course download membership program ($34.99 per year) as the iGolf units in this review. The Yardage Pro's screen includes a backlight for play in low-light conditions. It uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and comes with charger and a bag/belt clip.


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