Golf Buddy WT5


Golf Buddy

Key Features: Fee Free. 37,000 courses pre-loaded. Pin Placement Technology allows you to put the flag into 9 different positions on the green. Distances to targets and hazards. Distances to green front, centre and back. Digital scorecard. Watch mode. Waterproof. Dynamic Green View. Shot distance measurement. 

Out of the box: The WT5 came with two bars of battery life so it’s advisable to charge it before playing. The charging cradle was a bit fiddly to attach correctly and the time and date need to be set manually unless the device is outside and connected to a satellite. 

First use: Set-up time on 1st tee: 1.36 mins. Black and white screen. Not our favourite design but performed very well. A uncluttered screen can be toggled to show a wealth of information. Hazard information is displayed quite intuitively with distances to and carries over obstacles and an indication of whether the hazards are left or right.

Verdict: A fully featured GPS that’s easy to set up and use. No subscription fees is also bound to appeal to less serious golfers.

SkyCaddie Linx


Distance Devices

Key Features: Preloaded with 35,000 mapped courses. Distances to front, centre and back of greens. TrueGround Layup targets from tee to green. Free SkyGolf App allows further analysis on your smartphone. Additional Fitness features. Daily pin placement downloads. Ability to upgrade to IntelliGreen and 40 targets per hole. 

Out of the box: You need to create an account online and download an app to your smartphone. If you want anything other than basic course maps you choose from price plans ranging from £29.95 to £44.95 a year.

First use: Set-up time on 1st tee: 2.25 mins. Black and white screen. This is a pretty chunky watch, but the strap is really comfortable and fits the wrist nicely. The display is clear and simple. It’s useful to see the green shape from the angle you’re attacking it from and the lay-up yardages came in handy. Where others use aerial photography SkyCaddie map courses on foot... a more accurate policy, they say.

Verdict: A feature-packed GPS watch that can be used with the Sky Golf app for further round analysis. Not the sleekest but it performs admirably.

Garmin Approach S6


Distance Devices

Key Features: CourseView button shows exact distances and a true shape and layout of an entire hole. High resolution, sunlight readable, glove friendly colour touch screen. More than 38,000 courses available with no subs or fees. Swing Tempo gauge. Get email and texts from your phone.

Out of the box: Our device came with 50% battery life so ideally needed charging before play. Simple to charge and quick to get ready for its first use.

First use: Set-up time on 1st tee: 1.21 mins. Colour screen. The face is a touch screen which is quite impressive on a device this small. We liked how we could simply move the pin locations by dragging the flag to a new area of the green, but it was pretty fiddly. If you have particularly large fingers it might be a real struggle. The screen is colour but the graphics are tiny so the overheads of each hole need to be zoomed into to get a really good idea of where hazards are located.

Verdict: There's nothing wrong with the S6: it does the job it's meant to do. It's just difficult to recommend when it's up against such stiff competition.




Distance Devices

Key Features: Waterproof. 53g. Measures distance you've walked and calories burned. 34,000 International courses preloaded. Gives distances to front, middle and back of green. Distances to hazards. Lay up distances. Round tracking. One button control.

Out of the box: We had to download TomTom's MySport software to a laptop before using the watch. So long as you charge the watch through the same computer it then keeps updating course information and software on the device. TomTom recommend charging the device before its first use.

First use: Set-up time on 1st tee: 1.10 mins. Black and white screen. For us the most stylish and best build quality of the GPS watches on test. Graphics are basic but that's not to knock the information you're being given. If you're using the watch to help navigate a new course the plan views don't give a very accurate representation of where the hazards are though it gives distances to them and to carry them. We liked lay-up yardages to 100/150 and 200 yards.

Verdict: Good looking watch that benefits from a top quality build and is easy to use.

Callaway GPSync


Distance Devices

Key Features: Preloaded with over 30,000 golf courses worldwide. Distances to the front, centre and back of greens. Distances to hazards and dog-legs. Syncs with a smartphone for email and texts. No annual fees or subscriptions. Score tracker, GIR and putts per round.

Out of the box: The battery came ¾ charged. It's really easy to attach the charger and very simple to use for the first time.

First use: Set-up time on 1st tee: 1.07 mins. Black and white screen. The Callaway could never be accused of being subtle, it's a beast of a watch. That said its all-black finish is probably the least offensive of all the watches on test. A very solid display, simple to set up, easy to use and understand. Not quite as sophisticated as some, as from the tee hazards are highlighted with distances to and over but you're not told if they are on the left or right side of the fairway.

Verdict: If you just want the relevant yardages with the minimum amount of fuss the Callaway is a decent option. Really straightforward and easy and we loved how you simply plug it in, charge it up and off you go.

Bushnell Neo XS


Distance Devices

Key Features: Pre-loaded with 33,000+ courses. Long battery life lasts over three rounds. Distances to front, centre and back of greens. Hazard and lay-up distances. Comfortable sports band strap. Round odometer. Shot distance calculator. No membership or download fees.

Out of the box: The battery needed charging before our first round, but very simple to plug into a USB connector on your computer.

First use: Set-up time on 1st tee: 2.08 mins. Black and white screen. The XS is a decent little package. The watch strap is soft and comfortable and the face is not as overwhelming as some. It does everything it's meant to, it's reliable, it looks good and of course it runs smoothly but when it comes to desirability there's plenty of choice and stiff competition around this crowded price point.

Verdict: A very good GPS watch for golf. If you want a watch that doesn't look like a huge GPS watch on your wrist then the Bushnell certainly should be on your list of ones to check out further. It may not quite be our favourite but it certainly does the job and looks the part.

Distance Devices

Distance Devices