The best golf watch 2020
The best golf watches in 2020 do a lot more than just give you a yardage to the green. The best golf watch can track every shot you hit, giving you an accurate average yardage for how far you hit every club in your bag (we almost guarantee the reality will be a bit shorter than you think). And some golf watches can even use this information to act as a virtual caddie, recommending the right club for your next shot.
But we know a good golf watch isn’t cheap, so we want to make sure you’re getting the best golf watch for your money.
Here you’ll find our pick of the best golf watches available. So if you want the best cheap golf watch, the best golf watch to track your game, or the best overall golf watch, we’ve got you covered.
Garmin Approach S10 GPS golf watch, £139.99
Garmin are the market-leaders when it comes to golf watches and even their entry model, the Garmin Approach S10, will really help your golf game.
The Garmin Approach S10 may not offer as many features as some of the more expensive golf watches on the market, but for the price, it is a fantastic golf watch.
The Garmin Approach S10 comes preloaded with 41,000 worldwide golf courses and the watch will automatically identify the course you’re playing using your GPS location.
The Approach S10 provides accurate yardages to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as hazards and doglegs. It knows when you’ve finished the hole and will automatically display information for the next hole, so you don’t need to press anything.
The Garmin S10 golf watch itself is sleek and lightweight, while the high-resolution display is easy to read in all conditions.
You can use the Garmin Approach S10 to keep score, and it automatically adds up the total distance you’ve covered and the time you’ve spent playing.
The Garmin Approach S10 has a battery life of up to 12 hours, so it’s easily good enough for two rounds. It may even do three rounds, but you’re probably taking a risk of it running out during the third, so we’d recommend charging the watch after every two rounds.
The Garmin Approach S10 doesn’t track your game the way some of the pricier golf watches do, but you can use it to keep score during your round and then upload each round you play to Garmin Express to keep track of your scores throughout the season. There’s no extra cost for doing that.
The ShotScope V2 does everything you would expect of a standard GPS golf watch – it comes with 40,000 courses and shows you yardages to the front, middle and back of the green – but it is so much more than that.
The ShotScope V2 comes with 16 sensors. You screw one into the end of each of your clubs (the 16 means you've got one for each club and two spares) and this enables the watch to automatically detect every shot you hit. It can then map your entire round, shot-by-shot, and collect a huge amount of helpful data about your golf game. You won't notice the sensors at all, as they are so light and screw snugly into the grip of your club, and they mean you don't have to think about tagging your club before you hit a shot, which can be a distraction with other golf shot-tracking systems. The only thing you need to do manually is press a button on the side of the watch when you're stood by the hole, retrieving your ball. That tells the watch where the pin position was on that day.
The amount of data the ShotScope V2 offers you is fantastic. It gives you over a 100 statistics, covering the kind of things you normally see on tour. Here are a few examples of what the ShotScope V2 can show you, but there's loads more:
– Approach shot proximity to the hole
– Greens in regulation
– Up and down percentage
– Driving distance
– Fairways hit / fairways missed left / fairways missed right
– Average yardage with each club, plus your longest shot with each club
– Putts per round
– Putts holed percentage from different distances
– Average holes per three-putt
The data is incredibly detailed. If you're into your golf stats, you could lose hours poring over every part of your game. But most importantly, the statistics from the ShotScope V2 can teach you things about your game that you wouldn't otherwise have realised. That will help you determine which parts of your game you need to work on, and help you make better decisions out on the course, saving you shots.
The only negative to the ShotScope V2 is the watch itself. It's quite bulky and not the best-looking golf watch on the market. That said, once it's on, it's perfectly comfortable and you won't notice it while you're playing. We're expecting a V3 to be released in the not-too-distant future, which will hopefully come in a sleaker package.
SkyCaddie LINX GT GPS golf watch, £149.95
SkyCaddie map all of their courses on foot to ensure optimum accuracy.
The SkyCaddie LINX GT offers distanes to every part of the green and every hazard on the course.
You can also sync the SkyCaddie LINX GT with your smartphone via bluetooth to see an expanded view of the entire hole on your phone screen. It's a great solution for golfers who want the ease of a golf watch with the extra detail you sometimes want from a handheld golf GPS.
You can also turn the SkyCaddie LINX GT into a shot-tracking device by installing a sensor in the end of each of your clubs and tagging it before each shot. Doing so gives you a map of your round and a wealth of statistics that can be analysed on the SkyCaddie mobile app. SkyCaddie offer a range of membership options. Your watch gives you free lifetime access to 'SkyGolf 360 Go Play, or you can plump for a paid-for membership if you want a little extra in terms of worldwide courses and shot-tracking.
The Bushnell Excel GPS watch is a very smart watch in its own right, offering all the yardages to the front, middle and back of the green you would expect, as well as distances to up to four hazards. It also lets you easily record shot distances and time your round.
But it's when paired with your mobile phone using the free Bushnell Golf App that things get really clever. Paired with your phone, you'll get full colour aerial hole layouts, 3D flyovers, swing analysis and you can even book tee times! It's a seriously smart piece of kit, especially given the competitive price.
The Bushnell Excel is also one of, if not the best-looking golf watches available.
Garmin Approach S62 GPS golf watch, £479.99
The Garmin Approach S62 won't be the golf watch for everyone, purely due to the price. But, if you can afford it, The Garmin Approach S62 is quite simply the best golf watch money can buy.
For starters, the Garmin Approach S62 is probably the most stylish golf watch available. It looks good enough to wear all the time, not just on the golf course. And you can do that, as the Garmin Approach S62 battery life will last up to a fortnight when you're just using it as a normal watch. In golf mode, the Garmin S62 battery life is up to 20 hours, which is a lot longer than most golf GPS watches.
The Garmin Approach S62 has a full-colour display on a 1.3" screen, which is 17 per cent larger than the Garmin Approach S60 and readable even in bright sunlight.
The Garmin Approach S62's larger display comes in particularly handy when using the 'Green View' feature, which shows the true shape of the green and lets you zoom in and drag-and-drop the pin for greater accuracy.
If you've carved a shot way off into the woods and don't even know where the green is anymore, or if you're just playing a blind approach shot, the Garmin S62's 'PinPointer' will act like a compass to point you directly towards the hole.
The 'Hazard View' lets you quickly scroll through each hazard and get a yardage to the front and back, helping you decide whether to lay up or take on the carry distance.
The Garmin Approach S62 also collects stats. Pair it with the Garmin Golf app to get strokes gained information and lots more.
It can use this information to act as a caddie on your wrist, factoring in wind speed and direction to suggest a club based on the distance you typically hit with each of the clubs in your bag.
Even if you prefer to pick clubs for yourself, the Approach S62 makes that easier, offering adjusted distances to allow for uphill and downhill shots, and for wind speed and direction.
It is so helpful it almost feels like cheating. And, in a way, it is, as some of those features wouldn't be allowed in any normal golf competition. But you can turn them off and use the Garmin Approach S62 as a normal golf watch, which most amateur competitions will allow.
The Garmin Apprach S62 is a lot more than just a fantastic golf watch. It monitors your heart rate and can even estimate blood oxygen levels. It can receive emails and texts. And it can also be used for running, cycling and swimming, as well as golf. You can even use it to make contactless payments via Garmin Pay.
GolfBuddy Aim W10 GPS golf watch, £249.99
The GolfBuddy Aim W10 offers a full-colour touch screen display which is impressive at this mid-range price point. You can use it to zoom in and out around the green, place the pin in the right spot, and even see green undulations.
The GolfBuddy Aim W10 also offers slope-adjusted distances and can sync with your smartphone via the GolfBuddy app.
The GolfBuddy W10 comes pre-loaded with an impressive 40,000 courses and you get free updates.
The 11-hour battery life means the GolfBuddy Aim W10 will easily get you through two rounds between charges, or possibly three if you play relatively quickly!