Golf Watch Review: The BEST Golf GPS Watches of 2018 Golf Watch Review: The BEST Golf GPS Watches of 2018
Golf Watch Review-Garmin Golf-Best Golf GPS Watch Best Golf GPS Watches of 2018 If you’re looking for a golf accessory that will immediately shave... Golf Watch Review: The BEST Golf GPS Watches of 2018

Golf Watch Review-Garmin Golf-Best Golf GPS Watch

Best Golf GPS Watches of 2018

If you’re looking for a golf accessory that will immediately shave strokes off of your game, it’s time to take advantage of modern technology by purchasing one of the best golf GPS watches of 2018.  Having accurate yardage to various sections of the green, hazards, and layup areas is incredibly valuable and can definitely shave a few strokes off of your game.  For all intents and purposes, a golf GPS watch is essentially a caddie that is strapped to your wrist who has walked the course a thousand times.

Our aim is to help readers pinpoint the perfect golf GPS watch that will navigate the challenges of just about any golf course in the world.  Although most golf GPS watches have similar standard features, not all golf GPS watches are created equal.  Many offer unique features tailored to a particular type of player or a golfer’s lifestyle, while others have fewer features but are more affordable.

Whether you’re looking for a golf GPS watch that will accurately measure the distance from tee to green at all of your local courses, or you’re interested in a golf GPS watch that features a digital scorecard, course odometer, and other “bells and whistles,”  our reviews are constructed to provide you with analysis explaining what the market has to offer and the pros and cons of each golf GPS watch.  With that said, here are our recommendations:

Golf Watch Review-Garmin Golf-Best Golf GPS Watch

The Best Golf Watches of 2018:

  1. Garmin Approach S60 (NEW – best overall golf watch)
  2. Multisport Garmin Fenix 5 (best mutlisport golf gps watch)
  3. Garmin Approach S6 (best affordable color touch screen golf watch)
  4. Bushnell Excel Black (best golf watch for the money)
  5. New Garmin Approach X40 (best lightweight golf watch for an active lifestyle)
  6. Garmin Approach S2 (best entry-level golf watch)
  7. Garmin Approach S20 (runner-up best battery life)
  8. TomTom Golfer 2 (best for post-round analysis)

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After testing and analyzing a number of the best golf GPS watches on the market, we have narrowed the field down to our favorites.

The best golf GPS watches of 2018 perform a myriad of on-course functions ranging from accurately measuring dogleg distances to gauging the number of steps the wearer has walked while playing the course.  It is important to remember that no two players are exactly alike in terms of golf skill, on-course needs, or personal preferences.  In the end, your buying decision may differ from another player in your foursome, your golf instructor, or your long-time playing partner.

Regardless of your motivation for incorporating a golf GPS watch into your game, you will certainly benefit from learning as much as you can about the best devices on the market. Educated golfers who are in-the-know (and willing to implement high-tech accessories like golf GPS watches) stand a much better chance of maximizing their true golfing potential. Let’s take a look at the details of each individual golf GPS watch so that you can match the perfect accessory to your particular needs and desires.

Not all golf watches can make our top list, but they are worthy of a review.  Below are some other great golf watches that we’ve reviewed:


Garmin Approach S60 Golf GPS Watch

Image of the Garmin s60 golf gps watch. The best golf watch on the market.

Garmin Approach S60 Golf Watch Review

There’s a new kid on the block.  Garmin has finally released the Garmin s60 golf watch and it does not disappoint.  This golf watch is jammed to the brim with impressive technology and is leaps better than the already impressive Garmin Approach S6.  Garmin has definitely taken the golf watch to the next level and offers you its patented accuracy with new multi sport functionality.  Without sacrificing the quality of any features that make Garmin golf watches the best, they’ve added a ton more.  The features of the Garmin s60 are unmatched by competitors and Garmin has proved (once again) that they rein supreme in the world of golf watches.  As long as you don’t mind the price tag, this watch will provide you with everything you need on and off of the golf course.   Without a doubt, this is the best golf GPS watch of 2018.

The Garmin S60 provides yardage to all positions on the green and any obstacle on the golf course.  It also features drag and drop technology that gives you the exact yardage and the exact shape of every green – a huge improvement.  The touch screen of the Garmin s60 is high resolution and presents extremely clear images.   We haven’t found, nor have we heard of, any drawbacks in the technology of this golf watch and, to be honest, we’re a little blown away.  With that said, lets get into the details:

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Functionality

Hazard Yardage –

As you’d imagine, the Garmin s60 displays the yardage to all layup positions, hazards, and doglegs on the course.   The clear color touch screen allows you to easily spot hazards.  Garmin introduced this technology with the Garmin S6 and, if anything, has refined the accuracy and clarity.   You can narrow yardages down to exact numbers, leaving no guess work.  Wan’t to know how many yards it is to the front, middle, and back of the bunker?  No problem.  The same goes for any other hazard and any portion of any fairway or green.  This technology is extremely valuable when playing a golf course for the first time.  We’ve all estimated the yardage to a creek only to come up short and lose a golf ball.  With this golf watch, that’s no longer a problem.

Image of the Garmin S60 golf watch in green view.

PinPlacement Technology –

Much like the Garmin S6, the Garmin Approach S60 golf watch’s touch screen allows you to move the flag stick to any location on the green. This gives you exact yardages to any ridge or shelf on any portion of any green.  This is a great improvement that prevents you from placing the ball on the wrong level or portion of the green.  Estimating the yardage to the pin and leaving the ball on the wrong portion of the green can leave you with mini-golf type putts.  As well all know too well, these positions tend to end in the dreaded three putt all too often.

Another advantage of this technology is that it helps you dial in the exact yardage from blind positions.  If you know the pin positions for the day, you can simply adjust the pin location on the watch (back, middle, or front) and pull a more appropriate club from your bag instead of guessing.

Golf Course Coverage –

Garmin has never cheaped out and charged customers fees for downloading courses to the golf watch or downloading watch updates.   With the Garmin S60, they have continued the trend of providing customers with a golf watch pre-loaded with tons of courses.  Much like the Garmin S6, the Garmin S60 comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 different golf courses across the globe.  You can head to the golf course and use it as soon as it’s charged.   The Garmin S60 auto-recognizes courses as soon as you enter golf mode.  And an improvement between this watch and the Garmin S6 is that it recognizes golf courses even faster.

Watch Face

Golf Watch Review-Garmin Golf-Best Golf GPS Watch

The Garmin S60 features a fully color 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter display size with 240 x 240 pixels.  This is a fairly significant improvement over the Garmin S6 which boasted 180 x 180 pixel resolution.  The watch weighs 1.8 oz and includes 1 GB of memory.  As we said before, everything displayed on this watch is crystal clear.  The Garmin S6 blew people’s minds and the resolution on this golf watch is even better.  You can be fully confident that you will be able to fully interact with this golf watch without being frustrated by the functionality of the screen.

Image of a black and a white garmin S60 golf gps watch.

Battery Life

Despite offering more power, more features, and more pixels, the Garmin s60 golf watch does not sacrifice any battery life.  The S60 will last for up to 10 hours in GPS mode and up to 10 days in smart mode before needing a recharge.   This means that you can play two full rounds with this golf watch before recharging.  The battery on this golf watch is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that plugs right into your computer or any usb charging unit.  If you just use the watch as a basic watch, it can last much longer than 10 days, but it really depends on how you use it.

Image of the Garmin approach s60 golf watch band.

Changeable Watch Bands

One of the basic, but really cool features of the Garmin Approach S60 is the ability to change the watch bands really easily.   This golf watch is already a very nice looking device that can be warn in any setting, but with the addition of changeable watch bands you can easily switch between a leather and a silicon watch band.  You can also switch the colors around and generally make the watch appropriate for multiple different occasions.  With this added feature there’s no reason to have a “work watch” and a “play watch.”  This golf watch will fit into (and impress people in) any scenario.

Swing Training & Analysis

Because the Garmin S60 is also compatible with TruSwing technology, it also features swing speed and club path analysis.  This will allow you to figure out your swing speeds with various clubs without the need to go to a trainer or to a golf store where they’ll guilt you into buying something.  The club path feature is also fantastic for analyzing your swing plane.  It will tell you if you’re coming in too steep (causing a slice or pull) or to flat (hook and/or skull).  TruSwing also offers a ton of other analysis of  your golf swing.  Buying this watch without TruSwing is still a great deal, but you can’t fully take advantage of the benefits without it.

Scorecard and Stats Feature

This Garmin S60 allows you to keep your score on the watch itself.  This is a great feature that eliminates the need for scorecards.  Because the watch comes with 1GB of memory it will store several rounds of golf before needing to be uploaded to a computer for analysis.  This feature really gives you an accurate picture of your golf game and what your real handicap is.  No more faking your score and guessing your handicap.  This golf watch offers you real analysis that you can compare with your buddies through the Garmin connect phone app.

Bluetooth and Connect IQ

The Garmin S60 is fully bluetooth compatible and can pair with any bluetooth capable device.  It will display your text messages, phone calls, ESPN alerts, emails, song selections, and anything else you can connect to via bluetooth.  The technology is seamless and the interface/usability of the watch’s bluetooth feature is one of the best improvements from the Garmin S6.   This golf watch will even give you the weather and will countdown how much time you have before it rains.  Kind of ridiculous…

Image of Garmin Approach S60 in activity mode.

Multi-Activity Tracker

Another one of the great new features (sensing a trend yet?) with the Garmin S60 is its activity tracking technology.  Not only will this golf watch accurately track your heart rate (with the purchase of an accessory), but it will also track activities other than golf.  This golf watch comes preloaded with technology that can accurately track you while skiing, snowboarding, XC Skiing, stand up paddleboarding, rowing, indoor rowing, swimming, walking, running, riding a bike, as well as other activities.  Garmin basically took some of the best technology from their running and overall activity watches and added it to this golf watch.  When you consider that Garmin charges about $600.00 for their activity watches, the price tag for the Garmin Approach S60 suddenly becomes appealing instead of burdensome.

Golf Watch Review-Garmin Golf-Best Golf GPS Watch

Other Features

Golf Watch Review-Garmin Golf-Best Golf GPS Watch

The Garmin S60 is packed with a million other cool features.  Way too many to explain in detail in one review.  As you have likely gathered by now, this golf watch boasts significant improvements over the Garmin S6 (which is still an incredible golf watch).  Below are some (but not all) of the other features of the Garmin Approach S60:

  • Water resistant to 50 meters
  • Auto shot sensor for post round analysis
  • Calorie burn calculator
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Exercise intensity tracker
  • Auto step goal based on daily activity
  • Customizable home screen (just like your phone or computer)
  • Digital scorecard
  • Handicap scoring

Style

Needless to say, the Garmin Approach S60 is a great looking watch.  In our opinion, this is Garmin’s best looking golf watch to date.  It has a sporty yet sophisticated look that pairs well with gym shorts, jeans, or a suit.   For the days and nights that you want to dress it up, the watch bands are easily changeable to fit into any atmosphere.

Golf Watch Review-Garmin Golf-Best Golf GPS Watch

PROS

  • Best features of any golf GPS watch on the market
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • 40,000+ pre-loaded courses
  • Accurate from anywhere on the course
  • Crystal clear screen
  • Super high resolution color touch screen
  • Customizable watch bands
  • Customizable home screen
  • Set the bluetooth and other features to fit your preferences
  • Precise pin locations for accurate yardage
  • Digital Scorecard
  • Garmin Connect Technology
  • Activity tracking for multiple sports
  • Too many other cool features to list

Cons

  • Cost
  • Sometimes the watch picks up practice swings
  • So much technology that it takes a little effort to learn all of the features (but this is also kind of a pro)
  • Glass screen (we haven’t heard any complaints about this cracking, but we would love feedback if yours cracks)

Verdict

Buy this golf watch.  Period.  It’s the best golf watch on the market by far.  The improvements that Garmin has made to this golf watch over its impressive Garmin S6 justify the increased cost.  No other golf watch on the market features this much technology.  And no other golf watch on the market provides golf watch technology as clear and easy to use as the Approach S60.   Quite simply, it is the best golf watch money can buy and you won’t be disappointed.

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Video:  If you’re concerned that this watch may be too complicated for you to use, check out the below helpful video, which explains how to use many of the Garmin S60’s features.   There are also many other videos that you can watch in the series that explain other


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