Two new 2016 GPS watches


Love them or hate them GPS watches have had a significant effect on golfers since they first hit the shelf and we recently put two of this year’s cohort to the test over ten rounds and were impressed with what was on offer.

Garmin Approach X40

First impressions
I don't usually wear a watch as I don't like playing with anything on my wrist. But the X40 is so lightweight and unrestricting I hardly noticed it.

For £199 the X40 is stuffed full of extra functions you won't ordinarily get on a golf specific GPS watch. Knowing how active I've been during a day, monitoring my sleep and analysing my heart rate and calories burnt, as well as recording how far I've ridden on my bike, is really useful information to know.

Auto Shot Tracking
Shot tracking usually relies on "tagging" shots before playing. But the X40 does all that on its own and asks at the end of each hole whether you hit or missed the fairway left or right and how many putts you had, which for me didn't intrude on my game at all. The data and analysis thrown up after the game is in-depth and more than enough for most golfers.

The verdict
The Approach is thoroughly well thought out. Its design is top drawer and I'm yet to come across a more useful GPS and lifestyle tracker. A real plus is the battery only needs charging every few days, too.

TomTom Golfer II

First impressions
I already own the original TomTom Golfer watch so I was able to compare the newer II model against it. Styling updates mean the new design is more comfortable.

I've used a lot of GPS systems over the years, but the Golfer II is the best I've tried. Most of the functions require little user input, which is where some others really fall down. The yardage accuracy is spot on and straight out of the box it's easy and intuitive to operate.

Shot Tracking
The shot tracking is really impressive; it's straightforward and gives plenty of stats to study post-round, so you can improve.

The verdict
I'm only interested in golf specifics and not worried about lifestyle tracking, so the TomTom is right up my street. Personally
I really like how it avoids manual shot tagging like I've tried before. I'd certainly recommend it to other golfers.