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Best Golf Watch [2019]

Best Overall: Garmin Approach S20
When you want functionality, features, and a price that is easy to take, you want the S20 by Garmin. It’s packed with features that will elevate your golf game without having to mortgage your home.

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Garmin Approach S20

  • AutoShot Analyzes Your Shot And Provides Feedback
  • Monitors Swing Speed, Stroke, Tempo, And More
  • Keeps Tabs On Your Scoring And Accuracy

Premium Pick: Garmin Approach S60
Not only does it look good, but it also works great! It’s time to advance your game with the S60 from Garmin. With so many features built-in, there’s nothing you won’t be able to do when it comes to improving your golf game. And, the S60 can sync up with your smartphone so you don’t miss any important phone calls or messages too. Go ahead, spoil yourself!

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Garmin Approach S60

  • 1.2” Inch Full-Color, Sunlight-Readable Front Display
  • Quick-Fit Bands To Match Decor / Venue
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

Budget Pick:
For those looking to improve their game without breaking the bank, this sub-$100 golf watch is perfect. With plenty of information for someone starting out, they’ll easily see a score improvement in just a few visits to their local course.

How We Picked

Golf is a game a precision – everything can affect where your ball lands. The wind, the elevation, where your ball is, your club choice, the humidity in the air; it’s a game of skill. Without all of that information, it’s a guessing game. What separates the pros from “average joes” is their knowledge – what they know that you don’t.

But now you can be just like them!

Golf watches have advanced well beyond basic watches with a few nifty features. Now, they are full-fledged caddies on your wrist. They can give you information about the exact course you are on, what to expect, slope elevation, distance to the pin, hazards to watch out for, club suggestions, swing analysis, and so much more. It’s amazing what they can do now that they weren’t able to in the past.

But, how do you know which one to buy?

That’s what we are going to help you with. There are plenty of choices to ponder (hundreds), but we’re going to limit your search to just ten. From this list, you should easily be able to find the perfect golf watch for you. We’ve included a buyer’s guide to help you see what we use for evaluation purposes and a frequently asked questions section in case you have some questions yourself.

#1 Garmin Approach S60

Garmin Approach S60

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 40,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 10 Hours
  • Touchscreen: Yes
  • Max Wrist Circumference: 10”

Get ready to spoil yourself with the Garmin Approach S60. This is definitely one of the more expensive golf watches on the market right now, but it’s a proven winner. Garmin is one of the best GPS innovators in the world and they’ve built a watch that showcases their skills like no other.

Garmin Approach S60 front

Starting out, this is a beautiful watch. It looks very much like a standard watch with a circular face and high-contrast bezel (white band/black bezel). It comes in two color options (three configuration options in total): black leather band, black silicone band, white silicone band. In our opinion, the white looks the best of them all. The screen is a full-color display that can be controlled via a touchscreen. You can still use the buttons on the side to move through the different functions/select choices, but you’ll love the touchscreen more than any other part.

Garmin Approach S60 on golf course

As for features, you’ll be able to get yard measurements to the front/middle/back of the green, see the green with pin positioning, look at full-color course maps, access to auto-measuring shots, activity monitoring, touch targeting, and other sports apps too.

Garmin Approach S60 on wrist

The battery will last up to 10 hours on a single while in GPS mode and up to 10 days when on standby mode. While this is a little low, you get a full-featured, full-color display that is touchscreen receptive. Others can get away with longer battery life simply because they don’t have a touchscreen and/or color display.

What We Like

When you want all the features without looking like you are carrying an oversized calculator, you chose this watch. It’s a sleek masterpiece with tons of function. The full-color display can easily be seen even in the brightest of days while still giving you up to 10 full hours of gameplay on a single charge.

Overall

You spend a lot to look good – you buy great clubs, great clothes, so why not have the best when it comes to golfing watches too? The S60 by Garmin leads the pack when it comes to features and functions, all while looking good. With 40,000 courses already loaded in, you probably won’t be able to find a course that you frequent that it won’t already have ready for you.

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Garmin Approach S60

  • 1.2” Inch Full-Color, Sunlight-Readable Front Display
  • Quick-Fit Bands To Match Decor / Venue
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

#2 GolfBuddy WTX GPS Smart Golf Watch

GolfBuddy WTX GPS Smart Golf Watch

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 38,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 10 Hours
  • Touchscreen: Yes

Sometimes you just have to take a buddy with you, so take your GoldBuddy WTX GPS Smart Golf Watch with you and have more fun than ever before. Everyone knows that you have more fun when you spend time with your buddies – and this is a buddy that won’t give you a hard time for that bad slice that ended up in the trees; instead, it will give you the information needed to clean it up – that’s a good buddy!

GolfBuddy WTX functions

GolfBuddy designed the WTX with simplicity in mind. Starting out, it is a circular-frame watch shrouded in gunmetal gray. The front screen is black with large, high-contrast displays great for bright days. The watchband is a black silicone band that has plenty of sizing holes to adjust it most any wrist. Going back to the front screen, it is a touchscreen, so you can simply swipe left/right to access all kinds of information in moments.

Any buddy that can help is a good buddy, and this buddy has plenty of helpful information. For instance, you can see the distance to the front/middle/back of the green from your location, the distance to any hazards for your hole, a birds-eye view of the hole you are on, where the pin is located, your shot distance, and basic time information. It even has a built-in pedometer and sedentary timer. One major boost for this buddy is the fact that it is USGA/R&A compliant; something not all of the watches on this list can claim. Plus, it works with both Android and Apple notifications so you won’t miss any updates while you’re out on the course with your buddies – now you can’t say you forget to get the milk on your way home (sorry guys).

GolfBuddy WTX on golf course

Battery life is projected to last around an average round of golf before needing to be recharged; this is on full brightness, so be mindful if you are nearing the end of your round. Finishing up, this is covered by a one-year limited warranty from GolfBuddy, so you can enjoy it without worrying about any potential issues.

What We Like

For some, being USGA compliant is a BIG plus! Some of the watches being used on a tournament could cost you dearly, especially if you place and someone decides to challenge the decision. With this watch, you wouldn’t have to worry about being stripped of your winnings/title because of a rule violation for electronic devices.

Overall

It’s time to get some new buddies, you know the ones that won’t make fun of you when you miss a shot. The GolfBuddy WTX is a sleek, fashionable golf watch that has plenty of features to improve your golf game. Plus, it’s able to be used during tournament play unless local rules prohibit it. So, take your buddy with you for every game and watch your score get better and better.

GolfBuddy WTX GPS Smart Golf Watch

  • USGA Compliant
  • Interchangeable Front Faces
  • Access To More Than 40,000 Courses

#3 Garmin Approach S2

Garmin Approach S2

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 30,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 8 Hours
  • Touchscreen: No

Garmin has a lot of golfing watches, all of which are great for improving your scores. Some are feature-loaded with touchscreens while others are more basic in design. Each of them is built with a purpose and within a certain budget range. This is one of their lower/middle offerings that gives you enough information to help take you from “meh” to “wow” in a few trips to your local course.

Garmin Approach S2 on gold course

Here is another circular-framed watch shrouded in all black. The silicone band seems to extend over the watch itself, leaving just the grey/black screen untouched. On really bright days, you may need to use your hand/hat to help with visibility as the black might fade into the display if you aren’t careful. The screen is not a touchscreen, instead relying on two buttons on the left and right (four in total) to navigate through the features/functions.

The GPS has been increased significantly in order to work under trees and other obstacles. As with most every golf watch, you’ll have access to the distance to green front/middle/back, as well as distance to the next dogleg (with suggestions), as well as measuring shot distances, and figuring out how far to the pin you are. It also comes with the ability to track and print out your own scorecard after the game.

Garmin Approach S2 front

The battery life is good, giving you around 8 hours of GPS tracking before needing a recharge. Part of this is the simplified, non-touchscreen interface. The GPS still manages to drain in fast simply because of the increase in connectivity with the satellites. As always, Garmin gives you a one-year limited warranty to protect it from any major issues caused by them in the manufacturing process.

What We Like

The built-in GPS has been strengthened significantly. Where some watches get a little “out of sync” when covered by trees, the Approach S2 just keeps on going. The display is considered sunlight-readable, though we would say it is unless it’s extremely bright (then you’ll need to use a hand/hat for shade).

Overall

The Approach S2 is designed to work on most any course in the US and abroad. It is preloaded with 30,000+ courses, so you should be able to find your course rather easily. As it is Garmin, it has one of the best GPS systems already built-in. Since they’ve strengthened the signal, it’s a beast no matter where you are or what you are under.

Garmin Approach S2

  • Super-Strong GPS Signal
  • Clean, Simple Design
  • 8-Hour Battery Life

#4 Callaway GPSy Golf Watch

Callaway GPSy Golf Watch

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 30,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 12 Hours
  • Touchscreen: No

If there’s a brand that knows a lot about golf, it’s Callaway. They’ve been around for a long time and have obviously paired up with a watchmaker to create a golf watch worth considering.

Breaking away from the traditional circular-framed look, the GPSy is rectangular in shape and thin. It has a silicone-type band that has dimples on the inside (like a golf ball) and ridges that extend horizontally on the outer band. The logo is on the top of the display (using almost 1/4 of the screen) and the name is on the bottom of the display (again, using almost 1/4 of the screen); they could have maxed out the screen size but opted for branding instead. You can choose to go green with this one as it has a green band with a white display; we think this one looks the best of the two.

Callaway GPSy Golf Watch in white and green

Feature-wise, you get the standard distances to green front/middle/back, layup and carry distances, shot distance, previous runs, hazards, and score history. Where this stands out is the auto-course detection and auto-hole advance. Plus, the time and date automatically set no matter what time zone you are in.

The battery will last up to 12 hours in GPS mode and up to 90 days in time/standby mode. As with all of the other watches on our list so far, this one also comes with a one-year limited warranty from Callaway.

What We Like

The Green/White color option looks great and stands out in a sea of black watches. Yes, this is only aesthetic, but it really looks better than those other bland offerings. Of course, it has a long-life battery that will easily last your whole round and it can be used as a standard timepiece for up to 90 days on a single charge.

Overall

Everyone knows the Callaway name and now they’ve started creating timepieces specifically for what they/you do. Callaway is all about golf, so their watches are built with the intention of taking your game to the next level. If you’ve been in the rough too many times, it’s time to get a watch that was designed to keep you on the fairways.

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Callaway GPSy Golf Watch

  • Auto-Course Detection
  • Auto-Hole Advance
  • 12-Hour Battery Life

#5 Garmin Approach X40

Garmin Approach X40

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 40,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 10 Hours
  • Touchscreen: Yes

With the FitBit’s becoming so popular, it’s no surprise that Garmin followed such a successful design. It’s a clean, easy-to-use, touchscreen watch with a rubberized, nubby-textured wristband. It comes preloaded with more than 40,000 golf courses from all over the world. It comes with the standard distance to green front/middle/back, hazard alerts, doglegs, and green view display.

Garmin Approach X40 on golfer

But, what separates it from the rest of the pack is the ability to keep track of your heart rate and steps walked. Plus, it works with Android and Apple notifications so you’ll never miss another important message again.

Garmin Approach X40 back

The battery is designed to last for up to 10 hours in GPS mode. The GPS is a little stronger in this one when compared to the X10 (below), making it drain the battery a little faster. As always, you’ll get a one-year limited warranty through Garmin.

Garmin Approach X40 box

What We Like

This is more health-conscious when compared to most of the other options. Now, you can watch your heart race when you slice one into the woods in real-time. Of course, you can also learn to watch your heart rate to help minimize any mistakes from being worked up too – remember, this is a tool.

Overall

It’s shaped like a FitBit and it kind of works like one. But, its primary purpose is to improve your golf game first. The X40 from Garmin is the best overall value on our list and it easily fits in most budgets.

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Garmin Approach X40

  • Built-In Heart Rate Monitor And Activity Tracker
  • 40,000+ Preloaded Courses
  • 10-Hour Battery Life

#6 Bushnell Neo Ion 2

Bushnell Neo Ion 2

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 36,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 12 Hours
  • Touchscreen: No

Bushnell is known for their outdoor/adventure equipment, so it’s not too much to say they know a thing about the outdoors. Plus, this watch is built more for durability than looks; a common design theme with Bushnell products.

Bushnell Neo Ion 2 band

This circular-styled watch has a rubber band that comes in two color combinations: black/blue or silver/green. Generally, we are swayed to the brighter colors, but we prefer the black/blue combination this time. The front display is rather basic, with large letters/numbers that are easily seen in most environments. The watch will display front/center/back distances, shot distance calculator, and can be paired with their app for even more information. The app is where all the information is, showing you hole layouts and 3D flyovers.

Battery life for this watch is up to 12 hours on a single charge (or three rounds as defined by the manufacturer). Bushnell ups the warranty ante with a two-year limited warranty which doubles the warranties of the others on our list.

Bushnell Neo Ion 2 box

What We Like

For those who want something that looks a little less refined, this is great. It looks like it could take a few licks and keep on ticking. Not only that, but it reserves the most basic information for the watch, making it USGA-safe while allowing you to pair up to a phone for even more information.

Overall

While it is priced in the mid/high range, it’s a great looking watch that is built for the outdoors. Bushnell has never been one to shy away from rugged looks and this watch continues that trend. Even so, it still does great providing enough information to help your game.

Bushnell Neo Ion 2

  • Durable Built
  • Two-Year Limited Warranty
  • Loaded With More Than 36,000 Courses Worldwide

#7 Garmin Approach S20

Garmin Approach S20

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 40,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 10 Hours
  • Touchscreen: Yes

Here’s another rectangular-based watch from Garmin. They do a great job of maximizing the display with a huge, high-contrast touchscreen. It still looks basic, but it is what is inside of this that makes it stand out.

Garmin Approach S20 front

So, it comes with all the standard features that we’ve covered so many times already. But, this one has several unique features including AutoShot Round Analyzer with Garmin Connect. It keeps track of all your shots, distances, and gives you an overview and analysis of your game. It also monitors your swing speed, tempo, time up/down, and so much more. It also monitors your steps and reminds you to keep moving if you get a little lazy.

Garmin Approach S20 on wrist of golfer

Battery life is standard at 10 hours on a full charge while in GPS mode; nothing really changes here. And as always, you get the one-year limited warranty from Garmin.

Garmin Approach S20 and box

What We Like

For those who want more than a basic watch, this is it. This is one of the best overall value offerings on our list. It records so much information about your game, you’ll be amazed at what it has to tell you.

Overall

If you want to take over your game like never before, then you have to buy the Garmin Approach S20. It’s loaded with so much data, you wonder how you can even swing your clubs. If you want all the information you can get your hands on, don’t skip this – buy it.

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Garmin Approach S20

  • AutoShot Analyzes Your Shot And Provides Feedback
  • Monitors Swing Speed, Stroke, Tempo, And More
  • Keeps Tabs On Your Scoring And Accuracy

#8 GolfBuddy GB9 WTX+

GolfBuddy GB9 WTX+

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 38,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 10 Hours
  • Touchscreen: Yes

We already talked about the little brother, but now it’s time to talk about the big brother who has a few more features.

GolfBuddy GB9 WTX+ front

Basically, GolfBuddy decided to upgrade the WTX by giving in more functionality and cleaning it up some. For starters, they increased the GPS signal strength tremendously, making it easier to find your course and location. Plus, it is able to calculate your distances faster as it has a stronger processing core. They also gave it smartphone compatibility with onsite updates available via Bluetooth. And if you want to track your steps, you can with the built-in odometer.

GolfBuddy GB9 WTX+ in box

What We Like

This is still USGA compliant which we really like. The improved GPS signal definitely makes it easier to lock onto your position faster. If you don’t want to stand around waiting for the data to load, this is the perfect accessory.

Overall

When you want the best, you get the PLUS. The WTX+ by GolfBuddy will definitely make your next day out one to remember. You’ll have so much information on your wrist, you’ll feel like a superhero.

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GolfBuddy GB9 WTX+

  • USGA Compliant
  • Stronger GPS Signal
  • Downloaded Course Information Onsite

#9 Garmin Approach X10

Garmin Approach X10

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 41,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 12 Hours
  • Touchscreen: Yes

Garmin absolutely dominates the GPS market and it’s no surprise that they dominated our list too. Here’s another example of how they are able to marry GPS with golf like no other.

Garmin Approach X10 front

Shaped like a FitBit, those around you may think you are trying to keep track of calories more than fixing your golf game. This is a simple, clean, nubby-textured watch with a black/gray touchscreen that is simple. It comes preloaded with over 41,000 courses over the world and you can update it yearly through Garmin Express. You can track course distance to green front/middle/back, hazards, doglegs, and green layouts from anywhere on the course. This was built to do one thing – make you better.

Garmin Approach X10 on wrist

Battery life is amazing as it easily gets up to 12 hours without missing a beat; you won’t be at hole 17 with a dead watch. As with all the other Garmin watch products, you get a one-year limited warranty to protect your investment.

What We Like

It comes packed with 41,000 courses right out of the box. Even so, you can add even more using the Garmin Express system each year without having to spend anything on subscriptions and/or data plans.

Overall

For those who just want a simple watch that speaks golf, here it is. The Garmin Approach X10 is perfect for a simple day on the course where you need a little extra information to hone your skills. It easily falls into middle-territory when it comes to price, so your wallet won’t be left bleeding after the purchase.

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Garmin Approach X10

  • Comes In Two Different Colors – Black, Blue
  • 41,000+ Preloaded Courses
  • 12-Hour Battery Life

#10 CANMORE TW-353

CANMORE TW-353

Specs:

  • Courses Preloaded: 38,000 (Worldwide)
  • Battery Life (GPS Mode): 14 Hours
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Max Wrist Circumference: 9”

For those looking to get their feet wet without falling into the pond, the CANMORE TW-353 GPS Golf Watch is the perfect option. This is a sub-$100 golf watch that gives you a good amount of information without causing brain overload.

CANMORE TW-353 front

It’s a rather bland looking watch with a diagonally-striped, rubber watchband. For color options, it comes in one color: black. The watch itself is square with rounded edges and a sloping beveled edge. The screen is black with high-contrast, white lettering that stands out easily. It has three rounded buttons on the right edge that allow you to move between functions. As far as functionality goes, you have access to distance to front/center/back of green, distance to hazard(s), shot distance, and a scoring card.

CANMORE TW-353 worn by golfer

As for battery life, it will last up to 60 days on a single charge in standby mode and up to 14 hours while in GPS mode. It can be powered using a USB cable or battery pack while on-the-go. However, it does not like fast-charging power supplies as they can exceed the 5V recommended voltage (this will void the watch warranty). On that note, you also get a one-year limited warranty covered through TrueToSource.

What We Like

For someone just starting out, this is a great watch. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to the other options on our list, provides plenty of information, and is easy to use. The 14-hour battery life is great for long days on the course and it is waterproof so a little rain won’t hurt it.

Overall

Looking for a good gift for your favorite day/husband/friend? If they love golf, but struggle to stay under par, this is perfect for them! It’s a sub-$100, budget-friendly watch that will give them more than enough information to help them improve their lagging scores. With access to over 38,000 courses currently, it probably has their favorite course already stored – if not, they can download extra courses from the website.

Buyer’s Guide To Find The Best Golf Watch

Brand

First off, we are not brand bandwagoners. We do not endorse or perhaps simply because of their marketing department or because everyone else does. What we do endorse is a brand that builds quality products time and time again. What we can say is that there are some brands that are known for their quality products in the golfing market and there are some brands that are known for their quality products in the GPS and mapping market.

The golf watches on our list are from reputable brands with a proven track history. They have built more than one good product and are backed by hundreds of endorsers. Of course, brand is only one aspect of what we look for in a product. Do not be sold simply on brand, but rather on quality, dependability, and trustworthiness.

Quality

The next factor that we look at this how well-built a golf watch is. Nothing can be more frustrating than buying a fairly expensive watch the last a few rounds before it breaks. This kind of goes back to brand, especially when you consider how long a company has been in business.

Sometimes, you happen to be the one that gets the lemon in the bunch. When that happens, you should be able to get a replacement rather easily. A company that has been around for a long time is more likely to replace a broken or defective watch without much hassle than a company that has been around for a short time and needs all of their profits.

All of the watches on our list come from trusted brands that have a rich history in building quality products. Plus, the reviews paper these watches tremendously (we will get to reviews in a minute).

Price

The price range for a golf watch varies greatly – from as little as $50 to well over $500; of course, you get what you pay for (to an extent). It is important to remember to look at every aspect of a golf watch before making a purchase. After you have done your due diligence, you might realize that buying the cheapest golf watch is not the best idea. But, you might also realize that buying the most expensive golf watch is not the best idea either.

There is a lot that goes into price – brand, employees, research and development, advanced technologies, advanced materials, store location, and even stock options. All of this factors into the price of a golf watch. So, does that mean that a watch that costs $100 is just as good as they watch the cost $400? Possibly… However, there is a better chance that a $250 watch is just as good as a $400 watch.

Remember, if the price is “too good to be true”, it probably is. Somewhere, they were able to cut corners in order to keep the cost down significantly more than everyone else. Instead of focusing on price first, focus on the features that you need, then look to see what watches meet your feature needs. If you were able to find a watch that fits your needs and still falls into your budget, great. Otherwise, you either need to change your budget or change your needs.

Reviews

No matter how much marketing departments put out about their products, there is something to be said about customer reviews. Don’t expect them to be 100% positive ever. The best companies handle negative reviews openly and quickly and that’s what is important.

If you go online and see nothing but 100% satisfied reviews, something is wrong. Now, there are exceptions to this rule. In the past, the only way to get a good review was to ask for it or pay for it. However, there are systems in place that make leaving the review much easier and beneficial for the purchaser and the company. So, you will see good reviews and better views now.

This gives you a chance to see what people like and what people hate. If you were on the fence about a specific product, a customer’s review may sway your decision for/against the product in question. Now, if there is only one better review in the whole bunch, then the user may be more the problem than the product. Before you make a final decision, always make sure that you can verify that the problem is real by finding multiple users who clean the same problem.

One final point to remember, reviews can still be paid for (though this is immoral and illegal). That being said, use all of the factors to make your purchasing decision rather than just one factor (in this case, reviews).

Ease Of Use

Buying a new golf watch can be an exciting experience unless you do not know what you are doing. Even more frustrating, you do know what you are doing and you still cannot figure it out.

Most golf watches are fairly simple in design and interface. With a simple flick of a finger, you can be scrolling through all of the different settings and seeing all of the information you need. However, that is just not the case with some watches. Some are so complex and convoluted, you always need a PhD in order to use it.

This is where customer reviews can really help you make a good decision. If everyone is complaining about the interface and how hard it is to use, then you probably need to stay away from it too.

Features

Golf watches can do a lot of things to help improve your game. However, you might not need all of them, especially depending on your level of gameplay.

If you are a beginner, then look for features/functions the show you shot distance, birds-eye views of the course, and even include a pedometer. For someone with little experience, you might be more interested in swing data, club suggestions, and scorecard tracking. For the advanced, you might look for golf swing analysis and shot/progress tracking.

Of course, you could buy one with everything in it even if you are a beginner. All you would need to do is avoid getting overwhelmed with too much data and not knowing what to do with (your gameplay could actually go downhill).

Battery Life

For the most part, your game could literally live and/or die by the battery. Dependent on the information provided from your golf watch, then it is imperative that you make sure to find a watch with a long battery life.

Some of these losses are extremely advanced, using very large screens with bright displays. Because they are trying to do so much, they might die faster than normal. Most golfers will make sure that their watch is fully charged before heading out. However, we all forget to do things sometimes. Most watches will last around 12 hours or more. Some come with portable chargers and/or the ability to be charged while on break.

Consider how long you will be away from the power source when looking for your next golf watch.

Glof Watch Garmin S60 on the course

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why would I want a golf watch?

A: Golf watches are used to help you improve your score by giving you information that can help you make better choices. For instance, a golf watch can show you how far from the green you are, helping you to pick the right club for your distance. A golf watch can show you a bird’s-eye view of the course helping you to plan for and/or navigate around doglegs and other hazards.

Basically, a golf watch is a tool that can help you shoot more efficiently. Golf watches do much more than tell time, they tell you where you are, what to expect, and can even track your progress on certain courses/holes (certain models).

Q: Can a golf watch improve my score?

A: By itself, a golf watch cannot improve your score. But, a golf watch can help you make adjustments that can help you to improve your score. Knowledge is power and having extra information gives you more power over your game.

If you struggle with reading distances, choosing the right club, preparing for other hazards, a golf watch can help. And while it can’t swing the club for you, it can help you to make adjustments that could affect and/or improve your score.

Q: How difficult is it to use a golf watch?

A: Most golf watches are extremely easy-to-use, being able to go from the box to the course without any issues. Most of the data that you will need has already been preloaded into the watch.

If you have ever used a digital watch and/or a smartwatch, then using a golf watch will be a breeze. Both of these watches led the design that we see most in golf watches today. Most of the screens can be navigated to quickly was just a flick of a finger, without requiring any special access and/or accessories.

Q: Can I use a golf watch in a competition?

A: Yes and no.

This is an interesting question and one that has a lot of gray areas. In the past, you were not allowed to use any type of electronics during a tournament. Then, as the technology became more accessible, changes were made. Today, the rules are even more lenient than ever, allowing golf watches and other GPS devices to be used in certain tournaments and/or games; however, you still have to follow rule 14-3.

Rule 14-3 states that a golf player is not to use any type of device that helps them in a game. Basically, it helps a player overcome a deficient skill set and/or judgment, giving them an unfair advantage against other players that are equipped with the same devices. Now, this rule was revised in 2006 to allow for the use of distance-measuring devices. Later in 2016, the rules were revised again to allow of equipment that could have specialized features as long as they were turned off and not accessed during gameplay. And finally, there is a “local rule” that says that the course/tournament itself can allow/disallow devices as desired.

So, what is not allowed as defined by the USGA?

Your device cannot measure and/or gauge distances for slope, weather conditions and/or wind speeds, contact a coach during gameplay, provide swing analysis information, or make any type of club suggestions. If these features cannot be turned off, then your golf watch is not allowable as defined by the USGA.

Q: What is the difference between a golf watch and a handheld device?

A: With the advancements in technology, pretty much nothing more than whether you want something in your hand or on your hand. In the past, a rangefinder had a lot more information available than a golf watch. But manufacturers have consistently pushed new features into smaller devices like golf watches.

Golf watches are now quit was so much information, it is almost impossible to consider a rangefinder as necessary. In most cases, a golf watch can provide as much information, if not more, information than a rangefinder. Plus, a golf watch is lightweight and affixed to your wrist where a rangefinder would have to be stored in your bag and/or pocket and pulled out whatever it was needed.

Q: Are golf watches as accurate as rangefinders?

A: For the most part, yes they are. Being the GPS can generally narrow you down to a 3m circle, there is a good chance you will be just as accurate as any laser rangefinder. Now, if 9 feet of approximation is not good enough for you, then a laser rangefinder will be better. However, rangefinders are heavier and bulkier then there watch counterparts. As such, most golfers are willing to give up the 3m approximation for comfort and portability.

Q: What if the course I want to play on isn’t loaded into my golf watch?

A: For the most part, this is not going to happen. However, if it does, all you have to do is contact the manufacturer and speak with them about adding the course. In most cases, the course can be added quickly and then downloaded to your golf watch whatever becomes available.

Q: Are golf watches waterproof?

A: Most watches are at the minimum water-resistant. However, some of the more expensive watches are waterproof as this is becoming more and more common with watches in general. With the advancements in technology, there is almost no reason to buy a watch that is not at least water-resistant.

Q: Do golf watches work internationally?

A: Not all watches have been preloaded with information to work internationally. However, most golf watches can download data packs that give information for overseas or international courses. Some watches will not work internationally as they cannot access information through the international cellular network. If you need access to this information, then you need to make sure that your watches capable of international play.

Q: Do golf watches scratch easily?

A: In some cases, yes a golf watch could be scratched. However, most golf watches have highly scratch-resistant cases and lenses. When golf watches were first introduced, they did get scratched easily as the technology had not improved enough to be affordable. Nowadays, this technology is commonplace and available in most any watch on the market.

Conclusion

So, there is our list of the best golf watches for 2019!

Every watch that made our list is a great option for you and your golf game. If you’ve been struggling to make par, it’s time to start looking for a few pointers from someone else.

A golf watch doesn’t have opinions, just answers. If you need to know how far from the pin you are, it’s got that. Need to see around that dogleg, they can do that. Some can even show you more detailed information like golf swing analysis, club suggestions, and more. It’s almost like having your own personal caddy.

We truly hope that you found a golf watch to help you with your game. If not, you still have the buyer’s guide to help you narrow down your search. And if you had questions, we hope that our frequently asked questions section help out (if not, let us know what we missed).

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-11-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API