If you want to improve your golf game, you must know your distances for each club and the yardages for shots out on the course. Having the best golf watch will help you with that.
Forget about guessing yardages to hazards or tight greens. That’s just a recipe for disaster.
A golf watch gives you accurate distances out on the course. However, it does much more than that to help your game.
These are the best golf watches for GPS and shot tracking in 2022.
Best Golf Watches: Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Garmin Approach S62
Runner-Up: Garmin Approach S12
Best Value: Garmin Approach S10
Value Runner-Up: Golf Buddy Aim W11
Excellent Premium: Garmin Approach S42
Alternative Premium: Garmin Approach S40
Best Shot Tracking: Shot Scope V3
Garmin Approach S62
This golf watch tracks your score and your activity. With a full-color touchscreen, it gives you a map of each hole. And that’s for over 41,000 golf courses worldwide.
- Track score and activity
- Maps the course
- Offers distances to hazards
- Accurate & user-friendly
- Full-color touchscreen
- Recommends clubs - accounts for slope and wind speed
- Stylish design can be worn anywhere
- Face is customizable
- Unable to enter scores after a game – not good if you forget the watch
The Garmin Approach S62 is the best golf watch overall. If you want to improve your game, this watch has everything you need and more.
With over 41,000 full-color CourseView maps preloaded worldwide, you won’t get caught short on your next golf trip. You’ll have all the data for different courses right there on your wrist.
And this golf watch is easy to use. So, you won’t be stuck fiddling around with it out on the course. It’s a relief to be able to concentrate on your golf instead of fighting with technology.
For each preloaded course, you’ll get yardages to the front, middle, and back of every green. And this watch has a Hazard View that points out any hazards on any given hole.
We love this feature because it even suggests where you should aim if you’re laying up before a hazard. Now that can potentially shave some strokes off your round.
The hole mapping feature gives you a visual of each hole in color. This is handy for approaching doglegs, for example.
Score tracking and activity tracking allow you to keep an eye on your score and your health. It’s good to have that data, so you’ve got a goal to aim at for your next round.
With a 20-hour battery life, this golf watch is one of the longest-lasting on the market. So there’s no need to worry about the battery dying during a round.
Garmin Approach S12
You can easily track your score with this golf watch. Its high-resolution sunlight-readable display is easy to read. This watch comes preloaded with over 42,000 golf courses.
- Good price
- Easy-to-read display, even in strong sunlight
- Looks great
- Accurate data
- Score tracking
- Yardages to hazards and doglegs
- No color screen display
The Garmin Approach S12 is our runner-up for the best golf watch. It gives you everything you need to improve your golf game.
If you like to play different courses, you’ll love this golf watch. It has over 42,000 preloaded courses worldwide.
You’ll get yardages to the front, middle, and back of every green on those courses. That gives golfers peace of mind when traveling to courses throughout the country or the world.
This watch also gives distances to hazards and doglegs. You can strategize and manage any course it displays.
And you don’t have to worry about being able to read all this data. The high-resolution sunlight-readable display is easy to read, even in intense sunlight.
With 30-hour battery life, you should get at least five rounds out of one charge. So, you don’t have to think about charging it every time you want a hit with your buddies.
Garmin Approach S10
This touchscreen golf watch allows you to track your scores. The hole-mapping feature offers the layout of each hole. It shows hazards and doglegs so you can play smart.
- Score tracking
- Hole mapping
- Hazards and doglegs
- Great price
- Easy to read (even in sunlight)
- Available in black, blue, and gray
- Upload scorecards to Garmin Express app
- GPS lapses sometimes (but rarely)
- No steps or activity tracking
- Watchband lacks durability
For value, the Garmin Approach S10 is the best golf watch. You get fantastic features for the money with this watch.
Score tracking lets you store your scores, giving you a number to beat for your next round. And you can upload every score to Garmin Express and see your progress.
This watch comes preloaded with 41,000 courses worldwide. You’ll get the layout of every hole on these courses with the hole-mapping feature.
A battery life of 12 hours means you’ll get about three rounds out of one charge. However, you don’t have to reserve it solely for golf because it’s a stylish watch and can be worn anywhere.
Golf Buddy Aim W11
This golf watch offers you dynamic shot distance. The touchscreen is speedy, so you won’t wait around for important data. Its low-light mode works well on overcast days and evenings.
- Get a detailed view of the course with the zoom feature
- View holes in depth
- Dual-arc distances for every hole
- Yardages to hazards
- Choose the correct club with slope readings
- Speedy touchscreen
- Low-light mode
- Great value
- Band is quite large and feels loose
The Golf Buddy Aim W11 is the runner-up for the best golf watch in terms of value. With this watch, you’ll get accurate distances for 40,000 golf courses in 170 countries worldwide.
The Zoom-In/Out Smart Hole View allows you to get in-depth views of each hole on any of those courses. That detail means you can plan and approach every hole with the best strategy.
Yardages to targets and hazards on the course also allow you to manage your game. And the color touchscreen gives distances to the front, middle, and back of every green. That data is essential if you want to increase your greens in regulation percentages.
All these features at a great price make this golf watch a fantastic value.
The Garmin Approach S42 is an excellent premium golf watch. Its color display is easy to read, and the watch is easy to use overall.
With the Green View feature, you can manually position the pin. That’s valuable if the flag is tucked away in the corner of the green and you want to go pin-seeking.
This watch gives you distances to the front, middle, and back of the green. For course management, it also offers yardages to hazards and doglegs.
With 15-hour battery life, you can expect to get a few rounds between charges.
Garmin Approach S40
This watch allows you to track your activity on the course. The sunlight-readable screen is easy to read in bright sunlight. It comes in three colors: black, light gold, and stainless steel.
- Manually position pins with Green View
- Yardages to hazards and doglegs
- Measures and records shot distances
- GPS useful for multiple sports
- Sync phone notifications to watch
- Activity tracking
- Sunlight-readable screen
- Can’t track score
- Phone notifications don’t always sync to the watch
The Garmin Approach S40 makes our list of the best golf watch as an alternative premium option. It has the same database as the S62, so you’ll get 1,000 preloaded courses.
The 1.2” touchscreen is easy to read. And it’s sunlight-readable, so that’s also the case even in intense sunlight.
This stylish watch comes in three colors: black, light gold, and stainless steel. If you ever want to switch up the style, you can easily change the bands.
Like the S42, it has a battery life of 15 hours. So, it’s unlikely you’ll get caught short of juice out on the course.
Shot Scope V3 GPS Watch
Whether you are looking for more awareness of your golf game or simply tired of pacing off yardages to the pin, this GPS watch is a perfect choice. I love the price point, the functionality, and the fact that I never need to take it off. If you want to open your eyes to the areas of your game that need extra work, the Shot Scope V3 will undoubtedly help.
- Excellent automatic shot tracking
- Great price
- Smart GPS chip recognizes what club to hit
- Use it without syncing to a phone
- Perfect for everyday use
- One-year warranty included
- Doesn’t map the holes
The Shot Scope V3 is the best golf watch when it comes to shot tracking. The automatic shot tracking works brilliantly.
That’s down to the Power-Sense strap, the standout feature, which automatically records every shot as you play. Having the ability to view every shot you make on the course can lead to fast improvement.
You’ll get distances to greens and hazards with this watch. Also, you can record your putting statistics and view your work on the greens.
The battery lasts up to 10 hours, so you should at least get a couple of rounds in.
What Features to Consider When Buying the Best Golf Watch
When buying the best golf watch, you should consider these features: GPS, hole mapping, score tracking, shot tracking, battery life, and screen.
An accurate GPS is an essential feature of the best golf watch. You must have accurate yardages to the greens. And if the watch offers distances to hazards and doglegs, it must also be accurate.
The last thing you want is to land in the water or overshoot the green because of inaccurate yardages. That makes your golf watch useless out on the course. You might as well be guessing the distances from the course markers.
Therefore, make sure you can trust the GPS on your golf watch. Every watch on our list has an accurate GPS, the bare minimum requirement.
Unlike GPS, hole mapping isn’t essential on a golf watch. However, this feature is extremely helpful during a round.
Getting a visual representation of the hole is beneficial for planning each shot. You can see any bunkers and wooded areas, for instance, and avoid them.
This allows you to manage the course and get into the best positions. Sometimes approaching the green from the best position is all you need to set up that precious birdie.
Score tracking is also a valuable feature to have on a golf watch. It’s handy because you don’t have to keep removing a card or your phone to record scores.
Also, having your scores on the watch – or a connected app – gives you a good overview of your game. This overview is essential for creating goals for your next round.
Maybe you double-bogeyed a certain hole the last two times you played it. Having that score recorded can give you the motivation and concentration to better it the next time.
So, score tracking is a great way to improve your game.
Shot tracking is another feature to consider when buying the best golf watch. This feature also helps you improve your game.
Shot tracking tells you how far you hit each club. Knowing your hitting distances is crucial to game improvement.
Also, it tells you where each shot is going. When you see your dispersion, you get to understand trends in your game.
Maybe shot tracking shows that you’re missing a lot of greens left. Now, you’ve identified a problem area to work on.
That’s sure to help you improve.
The battery life of a golf watch is super important. You don’t want to charge your watch before a round only for it to die halfway through.
Each watch on our list lasts multiple rounds. So, you should never be caught short out on the course.
You’ll also want to consider the screen when buying the best golf watch. It’s crucial to have a clear view on the screen, especially if the watch has hole mapping. And if you play a lot of golf on sunny days, you’ll want a sunlight-readable screen.
Which Golf GPS Watch is Most Accurate?
The Garmin Approach S62 is the most accurate golf GPS watch. It’s one of the reasons why it’s the overall best golf watch on our list.
You can be confident in the yardages this watch gives you out on the course. Whether giving you distances to the green or a hazard, it offers accurate readings.
Is a Golf GPS Watch Worth it?
Yes, a golf GPS watch is worth it. The best ones offer accurate yardages, which is essential for game improvement.
However, they also give you other features to improve your game. You can get visual aids for each hole through hole mapping, score tracking, and shot tracking. All this is geared towards improvement.
However, those features aren’t the only ones you can get in a golf GPS watch. Some also give you activity tracking to keep an eye on your fitness too.
Also, many golf GPS watches are stylish and can be used on and off the course. This versatility makes them great value for money.
Should I Use a Golf GPS Watch or a Laser Rangefinder?
Whether you use a golf GPS watch or a laser rangefinder depends on your needs because they offer you different things. A golf GPS watch gives you more data and features.
You get distances to greens and hazards and features like shot tracking and hole mapping. So, a golf GPS watch gives you a more comprehensive overview of the course.
With a laser rangefinder, you have to look through the scope and scan your surroundings to get a detailed view of the course. However, a rangefinder can pinpoint a specific target like a flag and get a laser reading of the distance.
Therefore, a rangefinder is a phenomenal tool if you want to attack pins. Unlike a golf GPS watch, it’ll give you the exact distance to the stick.
But if you have shaky hands, it can be hard to get accurate readings with a rangefinder. So, you’ll likely prefer a golf GPS watch if that’s the case, while others may prefer a laser rangefinder.
What is the Best Golf GPS App for Apple Watch?
The best golf GPS apps for Apple Watch are 18Birdies and SwingU. Both apps offer excellent free features, as well as fantastic premium features.
Check out our article on the Best Apple Watch Golf Apps for more information.
Overall, the Garmin Approach S62 is the best golf watch. It’s the most accurate golf watch out there.
It has everything you need to improve your game. You can’t go wrong with this golf watch.
If you’re after a value option, the Garmin Approach S10 has got you covered. Not only do you get excellent features for the money, but you can wear this stylish watch anywhere.
We’re confident you’ll identify the features you need and choose the best golf watch for you.
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