Best Golf GPS Watches & Handheld Devices (For 2021)

Your golf experts: Jordan Fuller & John Marshall.
Updated July 30, 2021. This article was thoroughly audited by multiple golf experts and coaches for its accuracy. You can read more about our rigorous testing protocol here.

The Rundown:

Best GPS Watch Overall: Garmin Approach S42
“With an AutoShot analyzer and a crystal clear 1.2-inch color touchscreen display, the Approach S42 is stylish & easy to read. The perfect companion to shave strokes from your average score.

Best for Beginners: TecTecTec ULT-G
“Easy to charge with instant course recognition & a great band, the TecTecTec ULT-G provides simple data readings with everything you need on the course – perfect for beginners.”

Best for Advanced Golfers: Garmin Approach S62
“The Garmin Approach S62 is a luxury watch with many golf-specific features such as accurate yardage via its PlaysLike Distance feature, a Virtual Caddie, and a responsive touchscreen.”

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In the modern era of golf, golf GPS wristwatches and handheld devices have revolutionized the game giving golfers of all skill levels the power to know exact distances to the pin from anywhere on the course.

Here’s a detailed guide to the 10 best golf gps devices available to golfers.

Sources researched
17
Sources researched
Customer reviews
14,358
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
63
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested
Product Name
Best GPS Watch
Best for Beginners
Best for Advanced Golfers
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, Lightweight with 1.2" Touchscreen, 42k+ Preloaded Courses, Gunmetal Ceramic Bezel and Black Silicone Band, 010-02572-10
TecTecTec ULT-G Golf GPS Watch, Preloaded Worldwide Courses, Lightweight, Simple, Easy-to-use Golf Watches
Garmin Approach S62, Premium Golf GPS Watch, Built-in Virtual Caddie, Mapping and Full Color Screen, Black (010-02200-00)
Our Grade
Rating: 98 / 100
Rating: 98 / 100
Rating: 97 / 100
Feature 1
AutoShot feature records statistics as you play and integrates directly with Garmin Connect
40,000 preloaded courses give specific measurements quickly to your wrist
Easy to read screen delivers accurate yardage in large black numbers that contrast well with the display
Feature 2
Tracks calories burned, distance walked, and other health-related stats
The quality of the band is exceptional and keeps the watch comfortable against your wrist
Preloaded with 36,000 courses that automatically update through Bluetooth connection
Best GPS Watch
Product Name
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, Lightweight with 1.2" Touchscreen, 42k+ Preloaded Courses, Gunmetal Ceramic Bezel and Black Silicone Band, 010-02572-10
Our Grade
Rating: 98 / 100
Feature 1
AutoShot feature records statistics as you play and integrates directly with Garmin Connect
Feature 2
Tracks calories burned, distance walked, and other health-related stats
Best for Beginners
Product Name
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
TecTecTec ULT-G Golf GPS Watch, Preloaded Worldwide Courses, Lightweight, Simple, Easy-to-use Golf Watches
Our Grade
Rating: 98 / 100
Feature 1
40,000 preloaded courses give specific measurements quickly to your wrist
Feature 2
The quality of the band is exceptional and keeps the watch comfortable against your wrist
Best for Advanced Golfers
Product Name
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Garmin Approach S62, Premium Golf GPS Watch, Built-in Virtual Caddie, Mapping and Full Color Screen, Black (010-02200-00)
Our Grade
Rating: 97 / 100
Feature 1
Easy to read screen delivers accurate yardage in large black numbers that contrast well with the display
Feature 2
Preloaded with 36,000 courses that automatically update through Bluetooth connection

Last updated on 2021-08-03. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Best Golf GPS Devices

Garmin Approach S42

Best Overall Golf GPS Option

Garmin Approach S42, GPS Golf Smartwatch, Lightweight with 1.2' Touchscreen, 42k+ Preloaded Courses, Gunmetal Ceramic Bezel and Black Silicone Band, 010-02572-10
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PROS

  • AutoShot analyzer automatically measures shot distances for post-round breakdown
  • Pairs with Garmin Golf app for live scoring, automatic course scorecard, and stats review
  • Crystal clear 1.2-inch color touchscreen display with interchangeable bands

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a full readout that gives you a complete layout of the upcoming hole

Our choice for the best overall Golf GPS option is the Approach S20 Garmin Approach S42. Not only does the S42 provide value, but the watch comes equipped with over 42,000 courses, the ability to automatically track your shots for easy scoring, and bird’s eye view of the green for pinpoint placement from the fairway.

Paired with the Garmin Golf app on your smartphone, golfers can create advanced analytics for their game. With these detailed stats, you can easily craft improvement plans to shave strokes from your average score.

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Color Touchscreen Display

The 1.2-inch color touchscreen display is easy to read and very stylish. Scrolling through the many apps and widgets on the watch is simple and fun to use.

Another outstanding feature of the S42 is the backlight display. Even in the most blinding sun imaginable, you’ll still be able to see the numbers on the screen with color and clarity. 

Green View

One of the best features on the watch is Green View. As you get closer to the hole, the watch displays the true shape of the green, allowing you to drag and drop a pin to provide accurate distances from your ball. 

If you like to play a strategic game, the Green View is a priceless feature for helping you hit the zones on the green for the best putting opportunities.

Along with the Green View, the watch also displays the front, center, and back distances of the green, providing plenty of data to help you choose the right club for your upcoming shot.

While the S42 might not reach the heights of its big brother, the S62 and its flashy features, the S42 remains the best overall option for amateurs looking to get into the GPS game at an affordable price.

TecTecTec ULT-G

Best Value Golf GPS Device for Beginning Golfers

TecTecTec ULT-G Golf GPS Watch, Preloaded Worldwide Courses, Lightweight, Simple, Easy-to-use Golf Watches
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PROS

  • Clear display provides simple setup and data readings
  • 38,000 preloaded courses with instant GPS recognition 
  • Measurements to several areas of green plus hazard distances

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a full readout that gives you a complete layout of the upcoming hole

Worn on your wrist, the TecTecTec ULT-G GPS Watch delivers instant course recognition with hole advance, distances to the front, center, and back of green, along with hazard distance, and free updates with no subscription fees.

Easy to charge using the included USB cable, the ULT-G is incredibly lightweight, rain-resistant, and features an automatic backlight to help you read the screen early in the morning or late in the evening without issue. 

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Auto Course Recognition

Along with the lack of subscription fees, the ULT-G also instantly recognizes the course you are playing on with its internal GPS tracker. Once you step on the first tee and engage the display, the watch uploads the course information providing crisp, clear readings that offer wonderfully accurate data.

The watch also offers premium water-resistant performance, allowing you to get the yardages you need, even in light or heavy rain. Very reliable, this watch offers enough battery power to last for up to 2.5 rounds without the need for a recharge.

38,000 Preloaded Courses

Working with the auto-recognition feature, the watch comes preloaded with 38,000 courses. The TecTecTec course database is routinely updated with new courses and redesigns, giving you the latest layout data for accurate distance reading that help you choose the correct club every time.

With all of these features, the TecTecTec remains one of the best value purchases for golfers looking for a low-priced GPS device for the course. Great for beginning golfers and high handicappers, the ULT-G watch delivers exceptional accuracy along with a clean display that gives you the essential information you need to stick your next shot close to the cup.

Garmin Approach S62

Best Golf GPS Device for Advanced Golfers

Garmin Approach S62, Premium Golf GPS Watch, Built-in Virtual Caddie, Mapping and Full Color Screen, Black (010-02200-00)
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PROS

  • 1.3-inch color touchscreen offers quick, clear information
  • Virtual Caddie assists you in choosing the right club on every shot
  • PlaysLike Distance feature factors in elevation for accurate yardage

CONS

  • Doesn’t provide a broad variety of yardage readings like a rangefinder

Garmin’s latest addition to the Approach GPS line is the S62, a sophisticated, incredible piece of golfing equipment that looks as good as a luxury watch but with so many more golf-specific features to offer.

With over 41,000 courses preloaded to the watch, the S62 can help you find the yardage to just about any shot from anywhere you play in the world.

The S62 works in concert with Garmin’s Golf App, a streamlined application that allows you to get advanced data, track your scores, and find tournaments around the globe.

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Color Display

Easily the most eye-popping feature on the S62 is the 1.3-inch color touchscreen. Larger than previous Approach models, the new touchscreen allows you to focus on the distance and upcoming hole with startling accuracy.

Another cool benefit to the touchscreen is that Garmin has loaded their Connect IQ Store with custom watch faces, apps, and widgets to help you customize your S62 to best help your life.

Virtual Caddie

Garmin’s Virtual Caddie software comes with the Approach S62, offering golfers the ability to get assistance with every shot based upon their previous history. After five rounds with the S62, the Virtual Caddie will gain a dynamic understanding of how you play the game.

The software accumulates data from these previous rounds including your distance with each club, then takes that information and looks at the upcoming shot as it calculates wind, elevation, and hole location to provide you with the ideal club.

Featuring a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 20 hours, the Approach S62 delivers a first-rate luxury golfing experience that you carry on your wrist to your next tee time.

Bushnell Neo Ion 2

Best Golf GPS For Mid-Level Golfers: Stylish with an extensive display at an affordable price

Bushnell unisex-adult Neo Ion 2 Golf GPS Watch, Silver/Green, Large
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PROS

  • Bluetooth compatibility for wireless updates for new courses
  • Exceptionally long battery life with capacity for three rounds before charging
  • Clear readout presents accurate yardages from variety of locations on course

CONS

  • Charger is made from a thin plastic and needs extra care to not break

The Bushnell Neo Ion 2 is a well-designed accessory that is worth its very affordable price when you consider all of the essential features it presents to the golfer.

From distances to three areas on the green to the integration with the company’s excellent smartphone app, the Neo Ion 2 dazzles behind the power of its preloaded course count of over 36,000.

If there’s a negative worth noting, it is with the charger made from flimsy plastic. It is cumbersome and can be hard to center on the back of the watch for charging. It would be wise to make sure to reinforce the charger without letting a pet or child mishandle the device, or it could easily break.

If you are in the market for an outstanding GPS watch that can help on the golf course, the Bushnell Neo Ion 2 provides a host of useful features that will make your life easier on the links and help you improve your game.

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Bushnell Golf App

The Neo Ion 2 works in unison with the Bushnell Golf App (just like the Bushnell Wingman GPS Speaker). This application is an advanced app that gives you such amenities as a 3D flyover of holes as well as an overhead angle that provides yardage distances to all areas. 

The app also gives you wireless updates of new or updated pre loaded courses and sends them to the watch via your Bluetooth connection.

Large Display

Once we were on the course, we were impressed with the Neo Ion 2’s bright and very accurate readout featuring large numbers and easy to cycle through information. Not only is your shot distance just a click away, but you also get precise yardage to the front, center, and back of the green, along with the distance to any upcoming hazards for a complete view of the hole in front of you.

When using with the app, you should have a full view of what lies ahead on the hole and what club you’ll need to use to get there.

Garmin Approach X40 Golf GPS Watch

Best Golf GPS For Advanced Golfers: slim, accurate GPS watch

Garmin Approach X40, GPS Golf Band and Activity Tracker with Heart Rate Monitoring, White
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PROS

  • Does an exceptional job at showing distance to greens, hazards, and yardage needed to clear doglegs
  • Monitors heart rate so you can use the X40 off the course as a health tracker
  • AutoShot integration for helping you compile statistics that will help you improve

CONS

  • Slim design can be off-putting for golfers who like a larger display

The Approach X40 is a more compact GPS wristwatch that provides plenty of detail during your round. With a slender, yet clear display, the X40 has many of the same features that golfers have been enjoying on the more traditional S20 and S60 watches from Garmin.

The X40 does have tremendous app integration with the beloved Garmin Connect system, so all of your drives, putts, and yardage are recorded for analysis at your convenience.

The watch also works very well as a health tracker, providing instant updates on your heart rate and reminds you when you need to move if you’ve been stationary for too long. 

All the great golf features in the body of a first-rate health tracker, the X40 is a winner.

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Advanced Display

A golfer might look at the X40’s display and immediately think that it is too small. But they’d be missing how the company has maximized the space on the screen to provide a tremendous amount of information. 

Golfers have instant access to yardages from anywhere on the hole as well as a look at the shape of the green.

A Touchscreen that Pairs with Smartphone

The display also pairs with your smartphone to provide email, text message and other critical alerts so you’ll never miss a chance to respond. 

The X40’s screen utilizes a touchscreen so you can get information faster so you’ll never hold up your playing group as you look over your next shot.

Pre loaded Courses

The X40 comes with thousands of pre loaded courses, and through the Garmin Connect system, the watch will continue to get lifetime updates for free. 

Each course you play will give you the opportunity to see yardages from a variety of tee locations as well as a glimpse into the shape and break on the green.

GolfBuddy GB9 WTX+ Smartwatch Golf GPS

Alternative Choice For Mid-Level Golfers: Stylish with an extensive display, ideal for mid-level golfers

GolfBuddy WTX Smart Golf GPS Watch, Black
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PROS

  • A simple touchscreen interface that keeps all of the necessary information moving smoothly to help you with your shot selection
  • With over 38,000 pre loaded courses with free lifetime updates
  • Provides a wealth of information from yardage, pin selection, hazards, shot distance and a hole overview all as you play the course

CONS

  • The GolfBuddy App is not as detailed and user-friendly as Garmin and Bushnell’s systems

GolfBuddy has created a user-friendly watch that has a classic look yet provides advanced technology that rewards golfers on the course. 

With a slick touchscreen that keeps the information moving, the GB9 GPS watch gives the golfer everything they could need when playing a round.

From shot distance to broad overviews of each hole, the GB9 has one of the more detailed screens we’ve seen in a wristwatch. 

Although we were disappointed with GolfBuddy’s lack of a sophisticated app to integrate with the watch, the GB9 was still a useful gadget that delivered superior performance on the links.

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Dynamic Color on Display

One of the details that sets the GB9 apart from other watches is that the touchscreen features rich color to enhance your experience. 

With a slight touch from your finger, you can access the overview of a hole, the distances to the front, back and center of the green and the pin’s location. 

The color of the GB9 gives crisp contrast while you plan your next shot so you can see potential hazards and avoid those pesky bunkers.

Long Lasting Battery

With the demand on the watch via the advanced graphics, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the watch lasted over eight hours on a single charge. 

While this probably won’t get you more than a round per charge, it does allow plenty of power if you want to stick around for another nine holes.

Smartphone App

While GolfBuddy’s smartphone app will keep your courses up-to-date with free updates, it won’t do more of the advanced features like keep the statistics you’ll find on the Garmin and Bushnell watches we reviewed earlier.

Bushnell Phantom 2

Best Handheld Golf GPS Device

Bushnell Phantom 2 (Gray Camo) Handheld Golf GPS Power Bundle | Includes PlayBetter Portable Charger | 2021 Golf GPS Device | Built-in Magnetic Mount, 38,000+ Courses, Accurate Distances
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PROS

  • Ability to track advanced data with distances to hazards, layups, and greens
  • Preloaded with 38,000 courses with instant course recognition
  • Very affordable handheld device with clear yardage display

CONS

  • Need an app on a smartphone to see the layout of the hole, so juggling two devices might not be appealing for some golfers

Highly affordable, the Bushnell Phantom 2 is a handheld device that easily tracks the GPS distances around the course of your upcoming shots. The easy to read screen offers front, back, and center distances on the green, plus a powerful BITE magnetic mount that makes for stable riding on your golf cart.

Featuring a brighter, backlit display, the larger screen makes the Phantom 2 an upgrade over older models. Visibility remains incredibly high, even in the sun with the Phantom 2.

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38,000 Preloaded Courses

The technology incorporated on the Phantom 2 is entertaining and helpful for your game. The device comes preloaded with over 38,000 courses, and when paired with the Bushnell Golf App, you can quickly track your round and find the distances for every shot you’ll face on the links.

The Phantom 2 also comes with auto course recognition that immediately finds your course and assists with auto hole advance so you are always on the right hole.

A shot distance calculator is also installed to provide accurate readings for your drives and entry shots into the green.

Advanced Data Readings

The Phantom 2 can also provide up to six yardage readings for hazards and layup zones on the hole. These quick distances help you craft your strategy for the upcoming shot.

The same holds true for the green as the device also features greenview with a movable pin placement. If you are wanting to land the ball in certain locations on the green, the pin can provide accurate distances to help you choose the right club.

With over 18 hours of battery life, the Phantom 2 will last several rounds before you need to recharge, making it a great GPS device for golfers that are on a budget and need to maximize value with their equipment.

GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS/Rangefinder

Best For High Handicappers: Great compact device

GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS/Rangefinder
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PROS

  • An advanced voice-enabled golf GPS device that gives clear readout via voice or text
  • Provides accurate distances to the front, back and center of the green on second shots
  • Snap-on clip keeps the Voice 2 secure against your hat or bag

CONS

  • Has a long load up time when you arrive at the course, so plan ahead when using

The Voice 2 from Golf Buddy is another popular version of their petite yet highly capable line of voice-enabled best golf GPS devices. 

Golf Buddy has taken the Voice 2 and increased the battery life while keeping the same high contrast, large number display that gives users an exact yardage for their next shot.

Legal for tournament use, the Voice 2 is water resistant and comes with a battery that lasts up to 14 hours per charge, good for over two rounds of use. With eight languages pre-loaded, the Voice 2 delivers outstanding performance.

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Easy-To-Use Interface

The Voice 2 is remarkably easy to set up and use. Once you choose a male or female voice to guide your round, the Golf Buddy devices provide automatic course and hole recognition. 

We recommend that you show up early to allow the device to load the course you are playing, but overall, the Voice 2 is painless and straightforward to operate.

Multiple Yardage Readouts

Not only will you get the distance of each shot after it happens, but the Voice 2 will get you ready for your upcoming shot with accurate yardage to various areas of the green. 

You shouldn’t have a problem picking the right club when you see how precise the yardage is using the Voice 2.

Dynamic Green View Technology

Once you are close to the green, the Voice 2 is going to give you a complete look of the shape and slope of the surface. You’ll be able to see where you need to play your shot for the easiest birdie putt. 

Beginning golfers who use the Voice 2 commonly see their average improve dramatically in the following rounds after using this golf GPS device.

Garmin Approach G10 Golf GPS Device

Best for Senior Golfers: Accuracy matched with convenience

Garmin Approach G10, Compact and Handheld Golf GPS with 1.3-inch Display, Black
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PROS

  • Very convenient device that easily clips onto bag or belt for quick access to yardage
  • Multiple yardage readouts for hazards and green with manual pin placement
  • 15-hour battery gives golfers the ability to play three rounds without charging

CONS

  • No app integration to use with smartphone or web browser

The Garmin Approach G10 Golf GPS device is a stunner fueled by a large, bright screen for easy to read numbers. The G10 provides yardages to all areas of the hole from hazards to green.

The Approach G10 also updates automatically with the latest courses added to the Garmin system, so you don’t have to worry about heading to a new course without a map for your golf GPS.

Very portable with a clip that can attach to your bag or belt for quick access, the G10 is an absolute delight.

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Detailed Green View

One of the best features of the G10 is the precision yardage to the green through the manual pin placement. All you need to do on the course is spot the location of the pin and adjust the screen to match. After you finish placing the pin, the G10 will automatically recalculate the yardage and give you a new reading.

Although yardage to the pin is important, the Garmin G10 also provides the measurement to the front, center, and back of the green. This feature is especially useful when looking to avoid a ridge in the green that might cause a tough putt.

Accurate Yardage to Green and Hazards 

One of the most essential features of any golf GPS is the accuracy of the measurement it gives to the golfer. The last thing a golfer wants is a poor reading that costs them a precious shot by hitting too far or too short.

The G10 not only provides outstanding accuracy on shots to the green, but also performs well when judging the distance to hazards. If you are worried your drive might reach the bunker, then you give the G10 a look right before the shot for very precise yardage to help you avoid trouble. The same goes for water as the Approach G10 GPS from Garmin helps you steer clear of losing a golf ball by giving you an accurate reading.

IZZO Golf Swami 5000 Golf GPS Rangefinder

Best For Mid-Level Golfers: Fun handheld Golf GPS device

Izzo Swami 6000 Handheld Golf GPS Water-Resistant Color Display With Built In Magnets For Hands-Free Use Yellow, 3.75' x 2' x 1'
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PROS

  • Great look and feel when it sets in your hand with large display and buttons for easy use
  • Save your scores on the device for later viewing and analysis
  • Provides immediate shot distance and accurate readings for layup, hazards and green distance

CONS

  • Doesn’t have the app integration that most of Swami’s higher-priced golf GPS rangefinder devices seem to feature

IZZO’s most popular golf GPS handheld device is the Swami 5000. With a fun look and feel, the 5000 is a colorful handheld rangefinder gadget that provides the golfer with a vivid look at the hole ahead.

With over 38,000 courses preloaded onto the device, you can take the Swami 5000 just about anywhere in the world and be ready to go the moment you hit the links. 

Water resistant and with an improved battery, the 5000 provides the standard auto course recognition and hole advancement seen on most of the best golf GPS devices at this price point.

With a stylish interface, the lightweight Swami 5000 is a great device for intermediate golfers of all ages.

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Advanced Readouts of Greens and Fairway

The 5000 does a terrific job of providing the distance to the front, back, and center of the green. It also gives the golfer a precise location of upcoming hazards and doglegs to help the user avoid trouble.

The advanced color display is clear for easy reading and detailed enough to get a sense of where the trouble lies on each hole.

New Course-Specific Technology

Although the Swami doesn’t have the app integration that we love with our golf GPS devices, the 5000 does have a very simple to use interface that provides on the spot shot distance, distance to the pin, and allows you to keep score for your last ten rounds upon your device for later analysis.

With over 30,000 courses at your fingertips, you won’t have to worry that the Swami won’t know where you are playing the day’s round.

Golf Buddy VoiceX Easy-to-Use Smart Talking Golf GPS

Best For Beginners: Solid clip-on golf GPS

GolfBuddy VoiceX Golf GPS Rangefinder w/ LCD Display & iOS Android APP Support
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PROS

  • Small with a handy clip-on attachment makes this easy to stick on your golf hat or bag
  • Clear readout display with yardage to all areas of the green for precise shot making
  • Syncs with a smartphone app to wirelessly update course information for up to the moment changes

CONS

  • Doesn’t have an app that keeps track of statistics and the software isn’t very advanced

The GolfBuddy VoiceX GPS handheld device is a compact gadget that packs a nice little punch on the golf course. 

With a clear and easy to read display, the VoiceX provides golfers with an array of relevant information like pin placement, shot distance and yardage to various areas of the green.

The VoiceX updates wirelessly as you approach the golf course, preloading the most current version of the course to your device. If you don’t want to have to punch buttons all day, then the VoiceX earns its name by audibly reading the distances to you in your choice of male or female voice.

Insanely affordable and perfect for the beginning golfer in your family, the VoiceX is a solid golf GPS device.

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Simple Audio Golf GPS Device

One of the largest charms of the VoiceX is how small yet smart it is for the beginning golfer. The automatic hole recognition makes it a simple device to learn and use. 

For older golfers who have trouble seeing smaller letters and numbers, the VoiceX’s audio feature will come in very handy during your round.

Water Resistant

One of the highlights of the VoiceX durability is the fact that it is water resistant. If you are a young player participating in tournaments, the VoiceX is ideal because it can withstand wet weather during a round.

Precise Yardage Readouts

The VoiceX also provides multiple yardages on each hole so you can avoid water hazards, bunkers and flying the green with your second shot. 

We found that the large yardage numbers contrasted well within the display. Also after each drive, you’ll be able to see your shot distance for immediate feedback during the round.


How to Pick the Best Golf GPS Devices

Display Quality

Golf GPS handheld devices and wristwatches are handy tools that use a screen to convey yardage and other pertinent information. Since the display is essential for passing this information along, the quality of the display is a critical feature.

But not all devices convey those details equally. Wristwatches have far less area to give the golfer a full spectrum of the yardage to the front and back of the green. 

The wrist-bound devices are different than handheld devices that could potentially give the golfer a fuller idea of what lies ahead on the fairway or green.

Golf GPS handheld devices are known for having better display quality because the unit is larger for more screen room and the larger gadget can utilize better technology. 

For golfers who want a handheld that displays the entire hole, then the display becomes even more critical.

Accuracy

One of the benefits of owning a golf GPS device is that the yardage shown is relatively precise to allow you to choose the right club for your shot and avoid imminent hazards as well. 

Most companies that manufacture golf GPS devices state that their device provides an accurate measurement give or take a yard in any direction.

Whether it be a golf GPS watch or device, knowing that the GPS will provide accurate readings for your next shot is quite essential to finding the right GPS unit. 

So after purchase, it is not a bad idea to continue to test and see if your unit is giving you accurate readouts within the stated margin of error.

Accuracy on any golf GPS device is also dependent on housing the correct coordinates within the company’s app or website. 

If the course has recently undergone renovations, then the GPS devices may have old information causing it to display the wrong yardage on each hole.

Durability

Watches and handheld GPS devices must be durable to be worthy of purchase, but each gadget has its positives and negatives in this area.

Wristwatches do better with the stress of a round of golf. Since they are in a fixed position on the wrist, they tend to last longer than handheld devices. 

Watches are more compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry and far more likely to stay out away from damage on the course or perhaps even getting lost during a round.

Handheld devices are more apt to being damaged during a round. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen to all golfers who own a handheld gadget, but it is a warning that the durability of the device over the lifetime of the unit will be tested. 

Proper storage and finding a safe spot for the device to remain during driving or walking is crucial to keeping the unit secure.

App Integration

One of the latest features that seem to be getting more publicity is how the GPS device integrates with your smartphone. 

Whether it be on a website or a sophisticated app, finding a GPS that takes accurate readings on the course will open your post-round world into diving into the statistics that could give you insight on how to improve your game.

Perhaps your second shots are missing the green with a high frequency? Then the app will let you know as it takes into account the readings from your last several rounds. 

For the GPS device for golf to achieve elite status, it must have a solid foundation that can be used in an app or through a reliable website.

Courses Included

Every GPS device comes with thousands of preloaded courses already installed on the unit. 

Most companies vary in the sheer number of clubs featured on the device, but if you have a few courses that you primarily play, it would be wise to look ahead and see if those courses are present on the device.

If the device is consistently updated, then new courses that are popping up in your area will soon make their way onto your GPS watch or handheld unit.

Finding a device that comes preloaded with at least 25,000 courses won’t be difficult to find in the GPS market. Most have over 35,000 preloaded for immediate use. 

However you go with your GPS device, make sure that it has the courses that are important to you already taken care of on the device.


Questions & Answers

Why do I need a GPS device on the golf course?

Easy to use, advanced GPS devices can give golfers a large amount of information in a small unit. GPS devices allow golfers to not only see the layout of the upcoming hole but assist in helping them choose a strategy for what clubs you’ll need on each shot.

With clear displays and colorful backdrops, GPS devices provide golfers with a full array of insight into each shot before it occurs. 

Also, these devices not only show the golfer yardage and detailed maps but also have the capability of storing statistics on the round as the golfer plays all 18 holes.

For amateurs, detailed GPS devices can assist in helping them understand the yardage to the front, center, and back of the green. These devices can also give the golfer the precise distance to hazards such as water, sand and heavy rough.

What are the key characteristics I should look out for in a great golf GPS device?

There are five key features that golfers should look. Quality of display, accuracy of the readings, durability of the device, the app integration with your smartphone and how many pre-loaded courses come with the device are essential features that golfers must explore before buying a unit.

Since most GPS devices come in either a handheld device or wristwatch, the quality of the display is crucial to receiving all the information. 

Some handheld devices give you a complete picture of the hole before you play, a terrific advantage for golfers playing a course for the first time. Wristwatches are more concise with the information they show on their display and less comprehensive.

Finding a GPS device that is well known for being accurate is also an essential feature to research. Most of the advanced devices give a precise reading to the hole within one yard of actual distance.

Finding a device that is durable is vital for making sure that you get value for your money. With the rigors of traveling and playing with a golf bag causing potential damage, you’ll want to make sure your GPS device is cared for during travel and play.

And then the last two features involve the sophistication of the device’s technology. Most GPS devices integrate via an app on your smartphone. The application can tally stats like total strokes, driving distance, and the number of putts. 

Then this information is download to a website for a breakdown of your overall game. You’ll see where you need to improve to continue to shave strokes from your average.

Finally, each GPS device comes preloaded with courses from around the country. If you play one course the majority of the time, then you’ll need to make sure that the course’s layout comes preloaded onto your device.

Watch vs. Handheld: Which one should I pick?

In the debate between golf wristwatch devices versus handheld units, the answer comes down to preference.

For those who don’t want to carry around a handheld device, then the watch is a perfect alternative that gives accurate yardage while resting on your wrist. 

The downside to a wristwatch is that the display is small, so the information provided will be focused on the distance to the flag and other limited measurements.

Golfers wanting a complete experience may be inclined to lean toward choosing the handheld device. 

While some handheld units only give out yardage numbers, other devices provide a full layout of the upcoming hole, allowing the golfer to formulate a strategy that will dictate the correct club usage.

Which one is more convenient?

For convenience, it is hard to beat the wristwatch. The watch is compact, lightweight and doesn’t need attention. You just strap it to your wrist and then use it while you play.

The downside to the handheld device is that you must find a way to keep it handy while also not damaging it during play. Golfers who don’t like the handheld devices say maintenance is their number one complaint about the device.

Which one has more features?

Handheld devices win the battle on what device has more features. With a larger display and the ability to tally a host of statistics as you play, handheld GPS golf devices also work well with smartphone apps to give you a comprehensive overview of the layout and yardage to all areas of the course.

Golf GPS watches are reasonably straightforward with the smaller display giving you yardage to the pin and possibly a couple of other areas of the green. 

However, you could find yourself lost when trying to decide the distance to possible bunkers or water hazards.