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In recent years, the game of golf has started to incorporate sophisticated technology, and the use of this technology during games is becoming increasingly necessary from both a competitive and convenience standpoint.
One of the ways that you can enhance your experience and performance by using technology while golfing is with a golf GPS (global positioning system), and the purpose of this article is to compare existing products and help you source the best golf GPS on the market.
If you have never heard of or used a golf GPS before, don’t worry. They are simply machines that golfers and spectators use to know how long the ball is from the green.
They can assist with things like club selection and strategic shot-making for players, and enable spectators to feel more connected with the round of golf that they are watching.
Golf GPS products give us a newfound insight into golf, which is why they are booming in popularity. However, there are lots of products out there, and they all have strengths and weaknesses that are worth assessing before you part with your cash.
If you’ve never owned a GPS before, you might not know what features are going to be most beneficial for you. This article aims to ensure that you understand these machines and can find the one that will fit your needs best.
Let’s begin by learning a little about what distinguishes one GPS from the other, as well as what makes for a good golf GPS.
The Garmin Approach S20 Watch possesses a progressive Autoshoot feature that analyzes shot distances with auto-recording for post-round analysis. Having access to this kind of data is undoubtably valuable to any golfer.
Using it, you can optimize your shots, understand the course better and get a general overview of how good of a round you had compared to average statistics.
This GPS watch will also track your activity and statistics. The sleek watch band is designed with comfort in mind, and the screen is 128 pixels square, big enough to provide a great amount of helpful data.
The Garmin Approach S20 Watch comes in multiple colors, providing its wearer with the option to coordinate it with their golfing attire. This watch can help you analyze your shots, record your score, and interact with other golfers on the course and those who have golfed the course before.
Features activity tracking
Autoshot round analyzer
Comfortable and sleek
If you’re looking for a simple Golf GPS that’s back-to-basics and easy-to-understand, you need to check out the Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS. The Phantom can mount to your golf cart or any other metal surface and is the textbook example of an original golf GPS.
The watch is durable and although it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of an expensive unit, you will most certainly enjoy a great round of golf with it. It gives you basic, actionable data with long battery life, and it also has 36,000 preloaded courses.
The interface is easy to use and it features auto course recognition. This might not be the fanciest or flashy out there, but it’s affordable and powerful.
Easy to use interface
Connects via Bluetooth
Long battery life
Thousands of preloaded courses
Auto hole advance
Doesn't give advanced statistics or update to an online account
Are you looking for an essential, easy-to-use golf GPS? The GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS is a great choice. It does exactly what it says on the tin and it comes at an affordable price
The Voice 2 is water resistant and provides the distance to the front, center and back with dynamic green view technology that provides player-perspective distance readings.
In addition the GPS is voice activated and preloaded with up to 11 languages, an essential and highly beneficial feature for all golfers that want to focus on their game.
Regardless of the low price, the buyer is able to personalise their GolfBuddy Voice 2 by selecting from a range of modish colors.
The dimensions are a neat 1.76″ x 1.78″ x 0.49″ and holds a course capacity of 40,000.
If you’re looking for something basic that provides you with the essential data at a great price, this should be on your list to check out.
Easy to use
Gives distance to green
Not a complicated interface
Has voice technology
Sometimes off by a few yards
Fairly limited functionality
The SkyCaddie is the premium choice for golfers that want an easy-to-use handheld GPS.
It has a 5-inch high-definition touch, is preloaded with over 35,000 courses, and connects to Wi-Fi to download all necessary updates and course downloads. It truly does everything at once while also giving you shot and score tracking.
If you want an all-in-one solution, this is the option for you. The color screen lets you see the Green in real-time and the device is packed with data for the player to download up-t0-date courses.
High-definition color screen
Allows you to see the shape of the course
Thousands of preloaded maps
More expensive than other GPS products
Are you seeking a Voice GPS but have found yourself dissatisfied with similar devices on the market? The GolfBuddy is a trusted device for you to consider! This neat and mighty GPS gives its user accurate distance readings and comes with thousands of preloaded courses.
It automatically advances holes and loads courses, and also features up to 8 different languages. Also, the device possesses an 8-hour battery life, making The GolfBuddy Voice GPS an undoubtably superb value for money.
Gives you accurate distance information to the next green
Preloaded with thousands of courses
8 different languages
Does not provide any advanced statistics
Does not track score
As technological developments continue within our world and therefore filter into our sporting environments, sportsmen and sportswomen are increasingly turning to new products to improve their game and remain competitive with other adopters.
Golf is not exempt from these developments.
Some skeptics may propose that technological developments ruin or impurify a sport, but we think that a golf GPS can be a handy item to own for golfers of any standard.
A GPS doesn’t change anything fundamental about the game, except for maybe the club selection process. A GPS provides players with a means of seeing the layout of the hole and how far away they are from it.
This could previously be done manually using markers or paper course maps obtained from the clubhouse. This is just a more efficient way of doing the same job.
A GPS can provide you with a lot of information very quickly, allowing you to make more accurate and useful decisions about club selection.
This contributes to the intensity of the game by increasing the pace of play and also increasing fan interaction and awareness.
Golf has a reputation for being a reasonably tricky sport to remain engaged in as a spectator when compared against other more high-action sports, which is one of the reasons why it is lagging behind other major sports in both television viewership and attendance figures.
Having a GPS golf tracker can make a world of difference for an attendee, making spectatorship much more interactive and fun. Whether you are a golfer or a spectator, a GPS tracker can undoubtedly enhance your experience.
As with many luxuries in golf, the answer to this question depends on how comfortable, accurate, and competitive you want to be on the course. A GPS is not a necessary piece of equipment to play golf by any stretch.
You can get by without one, and many golfers do. However, if you determine that the convenience and the increased accuracy and ease of club selection would be beneficial for you, then a GPS could be worth spending some cash on.
If you want one, but don’t want to spend a lot, there are many budget options out there. It just boils down to how much you are willing to spend and how much functionality you want to get out of your GPS.
These systems are relatively complex electronic, and even though they are quite easy to use, many factors should affect your decision-making process about which product, if any, you should buy.
We’re going to point out some key features of GPS products and explain how they could impact your decision.
You may find that some of these aren’t crucial to you, but we think it’s essential that you have an awareness of them regardless.
Golf GPS products are great tools for any golfer or spectator, but if you have trouble using them effectively or don’t understand how they work, it’s going to be hard to benefit from them.
You should make sure that you get a GPS that is easy for you to use and has features that you can navigate.
This will allow you to get the most out of your GPS instead of scrambling trying to figure out which button does what.
An excellent way to determine ease of use is to examine photographs of and watch videos about a particular product to decide whether the device and its layout are compatible with your needs.
If you are going to invest in a GPS, you want it to be accurate.
If you’re a spectator, you can probably settle for a product with high but not exact accuracy, but if you’re a player, you want an accurate or near-exact system to give you the best competitive edge.
This means getting the best and most accurate golf GPS that you can for your budget.
Descriptions of GPS products will generally disclose how accurate they are before you purchase them, so there shouldn’t be any guesswork here. If you are struggling to locate this information at the first time of looking, don’t be afraid to do a bit of digging.
It’s crucial to figure out if a product is going to be the right choice for you from an accuracy standpoint before you commit to it.
If you are playing a nice leisurely game with your buddies on a Sunday, you might not care how fast your GPS loads your data.
However, if you are playing a cash game in an intense competition, you want your ball data as quick as you can get it.
Higher speeds of operation will allow more time for you to make your club selection and decide on a strategy for your shot before you attempt it.
This is a neglected feature, but it can be a significant impact from a strategic and convenience standpoint.
Nobody wants to wait forever for their electronics to work, so make sure that whichever GPS you select provides s data at a speed that you can tolerate.
Technology is remarkable—when it works. The chances are that you’ve had your fair share of frustrations when technology fails to work as intended.
If this is the case, you know how much it can get in the way of your intentions.
The best way to discover how user-friendly a GPS is to set up and sync is to examine what the production company has said about it in their promotional sales materials.
Ideally, you want a GPS that is very easy to set up and syncs quickly with little effort. The GPS should be a tool for you to golf more effectively, not a hindrance that you have to contend with on the course.
One of the factors that potential often overlook is the possible recurring costs of a GPS. This isn’t something that applies to every product, but we recommend being on the lookout for service fees when deciding on a product.
A company that offers a GPS with additional fees might attempt to sell you the device up front for a low price, but the device is ultimately useless unless you complete your monthly or annual payments to use the GPS service.
You should be sure to weigh up costs and benefits in these situations, mainly if you are skeptical.
We wouldn’t recommend taking on large monthly payments for a GPS unless you are playing golf at a level that earns you enough money to justify the cost.
We also recommend that you are very diligent in your research of a golf GPS so that you are sure of what your monthly commitment will be to use the product.
As always, avoid getting tied down to any contract that you don’t understand.
When we say charging, we mean a couple of different things. The first thing that you want to be aware of is how long it takes to charge your GPS.
If you are frequently golfing multiple times a day, you probably want to aim for a product with low charging time.
This will mean that you don’t have to wait for an age for your GPS to charge before you head out for a day on the course, and you can always give it a quick recharge as you refresh in the clubhouse between rounds.
The other factor that you’re going to want to examine is battery life.
Ideally, you want to source a GPS with a battery that lasts long enough for you to play at least one complete round of golf.
If the GPS battery dies in the middle of the fourth hole, this is not conducive to a good round, especially if you have become accustomed to using a GPS as an integral part of your game.
Make sure that everything about the charging and battery system is going to be suitable for your needs before you buy a GPS. This will ensure minimum frustration and maximum utility.
What good is a GPS screen if you can’t tell what’s going on because of low picture quality? It’s essential to consider picture resolutions and screen size when you’re shopping for a GPS, particularly if you have problems with your sight.
A clearer picture will allow you to read the data that the GPS is presenting more accurately, making it easier to act upon.
The other factor that affects how well you can see detail is the course information that is available on the GPS.
You might want to opt for a device that is going to give you the most data as possible with the least investment. Using this strategy is likely to get you a product that represents excellent value.
Getting the maximum details of a course from your GPS is vital for making the right decisions about power and club selection.
Without accurate or precise data, you might struggle to make critical decisions on the course that directly affect your score and performance.
Since GPS is a complex piece of electronic equipment, several features and options are integrated into it.
The decision that you have to make when you purchase one is how many features and how much functionality you need.
If you prefer something reliable, simple, and uncomplicated, you can get away with spending less on additional features such as weather and wind conditions.
It just depends on what you feel you need and how much you are willing to pay.
Value is an incredibly important factor in your decision-making process for any product, not just a GPS. However, you may not know what makes a GPS a good value buy.
If that’s the case, we’re here to help!
We believe that a GPS that provides excellent value is one that offers you a large number of features, durability, and functionality in return for a standard or below-average investment.
For instance, if you see a GPS that has all the features that you want at a price tag that you’d be willing to spend on something of lower quality and versatility, that product can be considered a good value from your perspective.
You might think of a golf GPS as a singular machine that only comes in one iteration, but there are two different types of golf GPS: the watch GPS and Handheld GPS.
They each have their benefits, but they’re both popular amongst those that find either of them more tailored to their own game.
Some people prefer to have a golf GPS built into their watch or purchase a golf GPS suitable for their watch.
People who use these watches enjoy certain benefits such as the convenience, mobility, and simplicity of use that comes with the watch GPS.
However, there are some drawbacks, as well. If you are using a watch GPS, you’re probably not getting a huge screen.
Because of the smaller screen, you can’t fit as much data or information on the interface, or at the very least it is likely to make makes masses of data look untidy and difficult to understand.
The small screen limits the amount of use that you can get from this type of GPS and complicates your ability to make quick, informed decisions based on the information that the device provides.
On the other hand, you have the larger and less compact handheld GPS. Many people prefer these because they give you the best of both worlds.
They are often small enough to fit in a pocket while also giving you a big enough screen to have easy access to a lot of detailed data.
They’re also large enough to house bigger batteries with more capacity; therefore, their charge generally lasts longer.
The only downside that we can identify with a handheld device is that they are a little harder to access than a wristwatch.
With a watch GPS, you can look at your wrist to see the data that you need.
With a handheld, you have to pull it out of your pocket or wherever you are keeping it to access the data
We don’t see this as a deal breaker, as we said earlier that most GPS systems are small enough to fit in the pocket and it doesn’t require much more effort to retrieve it than to look at a product on your wrist.
In either case, you have to interrupt your game to use the product.
It depends on your personal preference. You should go with whichever type of GPS you think will be more comfortable and convenient for you to use.
Generally, we would recommend a handheld since you are enjoying the mobility and additional functionality that they provide, but there’s nothing wrong with getting a wrist GPS as well.
It’s up to you!
Now that we ‘ve shared our knowledge of golf GPS products and which factors you should consider when trying to select the right one for you, why don’t you look back at some of the best options currently on the market that we have provided for you?
When analyzing these GPSs, we took into account all of the factors that we discussed in our guide.
We are confident that regardless of your GPS preferences, you’ll be able to find something in this guide that will suit your needs.
We conclude that the Garmin Approach Watch is one of the all-around golf GPS products out there.
Though we love handheld units, this watch ticks all the boxes, It gives you a ton of data by watch standards, is incredibly mobile, and has a lot of useful functionality.
It can help you track scores and keep track of advanced statistics as they relate to your golf game. It’s also priced very competitively, while not being the cheapest option out there.
For what it provides, we think it represents excellent value, and it certainly offers players and spectators alike more data than a lot of units out there that are in the same price bracket
Though we recommend the Garmin Approach, you can select whichever GPS from our list that suits you the best.
Remember to analyze each of the decision-making factors that we discussed, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the best golf GPS for you!