BEST GOLF GPS OF 2020
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BEST GOLF GPS OF 2020

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BEST GOLF GPS OF 2020
Garmin Approach S62
Garmin Marq
Garmin Approach S60
SkyCaddie SX500
Shot Scope V3
Best Golf GPS
Garmin Approach S62

With 41,000 courses pre-loaded, chances are your home course is one of them. The S62 does everything you need a golf GPS to do. It gives you wind direction and “play like” distances. Off the course, you can utilize the fitness functions and can link it to your phone.

  • Best Golf GPS 2020
  • 41,000 pre-loaded courses
  • 20-hour battery life
  • Screen is 17-percent larger than S60
  • Links to your phone to be used off the course
  • Easy-to-use Touch Screen
Garmin Marq

Garmin delivers a true luxury GPS watch with the Marq. It’s an all-in-one device. It comes with 41,000 pre-loaded courses, virtual caddie, hazard view and more. The Marq is the only watch you’ll need. It offers fitness functions, health tracking, ski maps, etc.

  • 41,000 pre-loaded courses
  • Attractive to wear
  • 28-hour battery life in GPS mode
  • Multiple golf features
  • Transitions off the course and offers many lifestyle features
  • Difficult to learn and navigate function offerings
  • $1,850
Garmin Approach S60

Like the S62 and the Marq Golfer, the S60 functions as a golf GPS and a lifestyle watch. It has a big touch screen, making it easy to navigate. The S60 also comes with 41,000 pre-loaded courses.

  • 41,000 pre-loaded courses
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Health-tracking features
  • Large touch screen
  • Sometimes picks up practice swings
SkyCaddie SX500

If you’re the golfer who wants every course detail, the SkyCaddie SX500 is for you. It’s intuitive design barely requires a manual. The screen is large but the visuals are outstanding. It’s club-selection feature helps golfers dial in distances for every club.

  • Fast course connectivity
  • Outstanding visuals
  • Club customization feature
  • Durable case
  • Long battery life
  • Bigger than an iPhone
  • No fitness features
Best Value
Shot Scope V3

The ShotScope V3 is simple, straight-forward and of high quality. For less than $200, you get a GPS watch that includes shot and performance tracking as well as 35,000 pre-loaded courses. It’s comfortable and easy to use.

  • Best Value Golf GPS 2020
  • Not overly complicated
  • Has shot-tracking feature
  • Comfortable strap
  • 35,000 pre-loaded courses
  • Side buttons are occasionally mistakenly pressed during a swing when not locked

Are you only scratching the surface of your golf potential? Perhaps course management is holding you back. It might be time to consider a golf GPS device that provides visuals of the course; another tool to gather information before every shot.

Garmin has three variations of golf GPS watches in our top five but they certainly aren’t the only option. SkyCaddie and ShotScope are worth considering. Price can range from thousands of dollars to just under $200.

Finding the right GPS can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in. We tested the top GPS devices to ensure you have the best information when it comes time to buy.

Whether you’re looking to buy a GPS today, advice to get started on your search or just want a closer look at what’s on the market, this guide will help you find the right device to fit your needs.

How We Test

We're here to help you find the perfect golf GPS to fit your needs.

To do that, we employ a thorough and fully independent testing process that leaves no feature unexplored, no detail unchecked, and no stone unturned.

Our Metrics

Golf GPSs are tested head to head using rigorous protocols.

The metrics we consider when rating travel bags include Display, Features, Functionality, Accuracy.

BEST GPS WATCH - Garmin Approach S62

BEST GPS WATCH - Garmin Approach S62

The Garmin Approach S62 has everything a golfer could need. 41,000 preloaded courses, 20 hour battery life, wind direction and "play-like" distances all contribute to the S62's top finish. The screen is 17% bigger than the S60. It also offers smart watch capabilities and can link to your phone.

 

FEATURES THAT MATTER

Display

Size and clarity are essential for providing the best possible overview of any hole. The best GPS devices tend to have digital or LCD displays with touch-screen technology.

Golfers looking for the best display should consider the SkyCaddie SX500 or the Garmin S62 . Both provide clear and concise visuals that are easy to navigate.

Features

Today’s GPS devices not only have color screens and visuals of the hole but some have lifestyle/everyday plug-ins as part of the standard feature set. That means you can ditch your smartwatch because your golf watch offers things like step and fitness trackers, stopwatches and more. Having the functionality of multiple devices rolled into one unit makes life much simpler.

If you have to have everything, there’s no better GPS device than the Garmin Marq or the Casio Pro Trek Smart.

Functionality

The majority of GPS units today have 10,000+ course layouts pre-loaded. There are GPS devices that require you to download the courses which can take extra time and become frustrating.

Simplicity is key. The best devices that allow you to navigate with ease are the SkyCaddie SX500 and Shot Scope V3.

EXPERT TIP - Don't Sweat Accuracy

All GPS devices use the same satellites to calculate the distance to targets, so there's almost no difference in accuracy from brand to brand. Readings are typically within one or two yards of each other. For that reason, accuracy is significantly less of a consideration than most any other category we test. Instead, focus on features and functionality. That's where the real differences lie.

The Best Golf GPS 2020 - Features

ProductCoursesScore TrackingLifestyle TrackingHole MappingBattery
Bushnell ion 2

Check Price
36,000+YYAPP12 HOUR
Bushnell Phantom

Check Price
36,000+YNAPP10 HOURS
Casio Pro Trek Smart

Check Price
41,000+YYAPP10 HOURS
Garmin Approach G80

Check Price
41,000+YNY15 HOURS
Garmin Approach S60

Check Price
41,000+YYY10 HOURS
Garmin Approach S62

Check Price
41,000+YYY20 HOURS
Garmin Marq

Check Price
41,000+YYY28 HOURS
Golf Buddy aim W10

Check Price
40,000+YYY13 HOURS
Izzo Swami 6000

Check Price
30,000+YNN12 HOURS
Shot Scope G3

Check Price
35,000+YNAPP10 HOURS
Shot Scope V3

Check Price
35,000+YNAPP10 HOURS
SkyCaddie LX5

Check Price
35,000+YYY10 HOURS
SkyCaddie SX400

Check Price
35,000+YYY14 HOURS
SkyCaddie SX500

Check Price
35,000+YNY14 HOURS
BEST HANDHELD GPS - SkyCaddie SX500

BEST HANDHELD GPS - SkyCaddie SX500

SkyCaddie's SX500 has top of the line visuals. The big color screen is easy to navigate through course maps and the club customization feature. A durable case and long battery life makes it one less thing to worry about.

More Tips

  • Some GPS devices give an inside scoop when you’re playing a new course. Look for hole-by-hole mapping and visual layouts of potential hazards.
  • Most GPS watches are water-resistant.
  • Some GPS watches can double as a smartwatch. They’re more expensive but they offer bonus features like step and fitness trackers as well as calendar apps, etc.
  • Depending on the manufacturer, some devices can have a monthly or yearly subscription to update courses. Ensure you take that into account before purchasing.

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The Best Golf GPS 2020 - Results

ProductsDisplayFeaturesFunctionalityAccuracyTotal
Garmin Approach S62

Check Price
1st3rd5th1st94.5
Garmin Marq

Check Price
2nd1st11th1st94
Garmin Approach S60

Check Price
2nd4th6th1st93.5
SkyCaddie SX500

Check Price
1st9th1st1st92.5
SkyCaddie SX400

Check Price
2nd9th1st1st92
Garmin Approach G80

Check Price
6th7th6th1st91.5
Bushnell ion 2

Check Price
12th5th6th1st91
Golf Buddy aim W10

Check Price
6th8th6th1st91
Shot Scope V3

Check Price
9th11th1st1st91
Sky Caddie LX5

Check Price
6th5th11th1st90.5
Casio Pro Trek Smart

Check Price
14th2nd14th1st89.5
Shot Scope G3

Check Price
9th12th1st1st89
Bushnell Phantom

Check Price
9th13th6th1st84.5
Izzo Swami 6000

Check Price
12th13th11th14th82
Best GPS + Shot Tracking Device - Shot Scope V3

Best GPS + Shot Tracking Device - Shot Scope V3

The Shot Scope V3 provides personal performance statistics that give you insight into the gaps in your game. With over 100 statistics to analyze and 16 tracking tags with Smart GPS chips, the V3 helps you seamlessly track your game. It's not overly complicated and easy to use on one of 35,000 preloaded courses.

Why should I use a GPS device?

Q: Can golf watches fit both men and women?

A: Most watches have adjustable straps. If you have very small wrists, you can purchase separate straps.

Q: Why should I purchase a GPS unit rather than a rangefinder?

A: The deciding factor is often visuals. If you are a golfer who plays several different courses a year, you will encounter unfamiliar layouts. That’s where having a golf GPS with course layout displays is a huge benefit and arguably an advantage over rangefinders. GPS models also give yardages to the front, middle and back of greens as well as bunkers.

Q: Do golf watches have health features built in for everyday use??

A: Certain GPS watches do have built-in features that keep track of your health on a day-to-day basis. Such features include pedometer, heart rate monitor, calorie counter, distance walked and much more. Some watches can even fetch your text messages, phone calls and check the weather.

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      Tim

      3 years ago

      Great article as usual. Does anyone know of a watch that tracks shots and makes club recommendations based on avg yards per club as you play?

      Reply

      Duncan Deaville

      4 years ago

      As a registered ShotScope V2 user I got a V3 at special pre-release price. It’s great, a much better version, upgrade of the V2. Also need to add that the only con mentioned about the buttons being accidentally pressed in play has been fixed with a firmware update. Post round data is amazing. They even combined data for my hybrid from my old V2 tag and new V3 tag – excellent customer service. Think they are modifying tag for putter with counter balanced grips, I trimmed my tag down a bit to a length that would go into the grip. But one now!!!

      Reply

      Jim W Rosteck

      4 years ago

      Instead of saying some may require a membership or subscription, why don’t you say which ones they are? I think Skycaddie subscription should be listed under “cons”.

      Reply

      CJ Andrews

      4 years ago

      As a new user and owner of a Shot Scope V3, I thought I should give my opinion. For years I have primarily used the GolfShot app for my iPhone and my trusty Bushnell laser range finder. I primarily used GolfShot for the ability to keep score, track fairways, greens hit and putts. Occasionally I would use it to cover distances over bunkers, maybe front edge etc, but mostly relied on my range finder for accurate distances. Wanting to squeeze a little more out of my game led me to explore Shot SCope V3, the price made it attractive to try it out to see if I would like it and if I could make use of the data it gathers. After a good 7 rounds I am happy I purchased it. While I still grab my Bushnell and still keep score on Golfshot (which I will do until my subscription expires) I like the tracking features and the easy distances to the front, middle and back of the greens. They are accurate and helpful and usually within a few yards of the Goflshot App. The tracking feature isn’t foolproof, but the latest firmware update now confirms the club you are swinging on the watch so you can be sure its accurately tracking shots. I have only played one practice 9 with the upgrade and it was cool to see the club I was hitting displayed on the watch so I knew I wouldn’t later have to adjust clubs. Where I find the Shot Scope superior to say Golfshot, is I am now very cognizant of which clubs I am hitting into greens and can specifically tailor practice sessions or lessons around where I am missing out on scoring opportunities. I now know with confidence, my 50 degree wedge is letting me down the most, and when I miss it’s right, usually flag high. I also know on my home course I have rarely hit a 5 iron or 3 wood in the last 7 rounds. Having only struck those clubs 2% of the time. That’s the kind of data the tracking gives you, but you also have to take the time to edit your round afterwards on your mobile device or laptop to be sure it’s accurate. If you do, you should have more than enough data to know where you need to spend the most time. Apparently upgrades are coming as well that let you see Strokes Gained Putting, Tee to Green, etc. I am looking forward to those upgrades and the data I keep collecting to allow me to pinpoint weaknesses. Cheers everyone!

      Reply

      bert pit

      4 years ago

      Same here. Good summary.

      It is perhaps good to mention that the earlier problem with the buttons has been resolved. The buttons are now locked, so you cannot accidentally press the buttons during the game.

      Reply

      CPIPES

      4 years ago

      I’d really like to see you guys do a review on best GPS apps for the Apple Watch. The cost of these options above don’t seem to justify themselves when you put them against smartwatches that exceed them in functionality and display specs.

      Reply

      Stevegp

      4 years ago

      Thank you for the review. Since I am in the market for a GPS, I read the review and comments with great interest. I have trouble consistently seeing through a rangefinder because of eyesight issues. I am leaning toward the Sky Caddie SX500, but will continue to follow the thread.

      Reply

      Large chris

      4 years ago

      Agree with some of the other comments – not one of your better reviews unfortunately.
      Although I’ve not recently noticed big differences between the devices mapping on the courses I play, it’s clear that some are being mapped purely from google satellite images and the potential errors could be significant.

      The main part of the review I don’t understand is the features ranking – the G80 with a LAUNCH MONITOR only comes 7th for features and the Shotscope with TRACKING come 12th ? Eh?

      I’m not a particular fan of either of those devices btw as I have issues with both, but to rank them low for features seems very strange.

      Reply

      tscdave

      4 years ago

      I have the Garmin Phantom, and the model before it (the buttons quit working).
      I like it’s compact size and magnet which allows for attaching to the cart easily.
      I supplement this unit with an old laser which I will upgrade when it quits.

      Simple, accurate. Now, my shots……a continual work in progress.!

      Reply

      RSeg

      4 years ago

      On this date and age a GPS is not enough. Any device that is not integrating stats like strokes gained and club tracking should be disqualified automatically.

      To my knowledge the three leading products on the market are Gamrin with the CT10 sensors, Arccos and Shot scope. A comparison between these 3 (and any other I do not know) would be of great.

      Reply

      Hamish Baxter

      4 years ago

      Liked the review. However, I would like to see proper information on water resistance for both GPS watches and Laser Rangefinders. I have destroyed both a Golf Buddy Platinum II GPS device and a Laser rangefinder due to playing in rainy conditions over 4-5 days on holiday and in an extended club competition.

      There is no mention of whether all these devices can save additional positions such as bunkers, trees, water, winter greens, etc. I use an older Garmin Approach S6 (plus an Arccos system with Android phone) and assume that the other newer Garmin devices can do the same. What about the other devices?

      Any reports on after sales service for things like mapping errors, course changes/regrading, etc?

      Reply

      Gerald Lindell

      4 years ago

      You should try the Izzo Swami 5000. Nothing comes close for the price and it agrees exactly with my brother’s Skycaddie.

      Reply

      Bill

      4 years ago

      Ordered a Shot Scope V3 based on numerous reviews, including My Golf Spy.
      I have owned 3 rangefinders and 2 watches. None are perfect and while some insist rangefinders are far more accurate, I have NOT found that to be the case. I prefer watches because they don’t slow down play and they handle blind shots.
      I previously had a Bushnell ION, which was ok, hoping the Sure Scope is as accurate and easy to use. I love the promise of shot tracking and the app.
      Personal use reviews are running 50/50, some love them and some had issues. Will review in full soon.

      Reply

      Austin

      4 years ago

      Is there a good solution that only uses the phone/apple watch and doesn’t require additional hardware?

      Reply

      Ken

      4 years ago

      This is the right question

      Reply

      Snapjack

      4 years ago

      GolfShot, 18Birdies, Hole19, work with both and I’m sure there are plenty of others.. Not positive but I don’t think they requires your phone to work just the watch.

      Reply

      Jim Richter

      3 years ago

      I use Golf Shot. With my App,le watch. Works well

      Reply

      Nick Costanzo

      4 years ago

      As the owner of an S62 I completely agree with this article. I’ve owned multiple versions of various golf GPS devices and the S62 is by far the absolute best. What sets it apart is that the golf courses are built-in to the device. Start the golf app, GPS starts, ass you which course you’re playing, and select a tee… Then your golfing… Don’t need to connect to my phone for anything. Once your done golfing, it goes back to a full featured fitness device with built-in HR monitoring for fitness tracking. And to top it all off, I only charge it once every 10 days…. Try to do that with your apple watch…I don’t need another device that I have to charge every day. It’s definitely worth the $500 MSRP… Only negative is that it does the same thing as the S60, captures your practice swing instead of your actual swing.

      Reply

      Phill S.

      4 years ago

      I would be interested in an updated review of Apple Watch Golf GPS apps. This is especially relevant now to me with the Arccos Link becoming available. I can let the Link record the shots and stats while choosing another app on the watch for distances.

      The other app that intrigues me is GolfLogix. The GolfLogix app offers various hazard and layup distances that the Arccos app is sorely missing. Additionally I am hoping a different GPS app will be a little more frugal on the battery if it is not doing double duty of recording the shots.

      Reply

      Jon

      4 years ago

      Normally I think your reviews are great. This one, not so. I can’t believe that you’ve rated all but one of the watches as most accurate. That’s impossible. I use a Shotscope 3 and have a Garmin S60. My playing partners have an S62 and a SkyCaddy sx400. We’ve been comparing notes and checking with a Bushnell. All of these devices do not shot identical data – there’s a difference of up to 15 yards between the three.. It would have been great to do a laser check to determine ONE device which is more accurate than the other.

      On the S60, I found it very inaccurate. The Shotscope v3 is better except for the fact that when you stop by your ball, it takes quite a while for the distances to settle down on a figure and so you can often presume the distance is further than it actually is.

      So in my view, these are fine for a rough idea but nothing beats a rangefinder for true accuracy. At least the Shotscope has a great shot tracking system….

      Reply

      Keith

      4 years ago

      100% agree. While the GPS value of lat/long might all be within 1-2 yards of each other, how that get’s mapped to a course distance is very different for each product. I wish the review focused more on course accuracy and how well each company handles requests to fix mapping errors and provide course updates. There are other performance factors that are critical too, like how fast does the device sync with the satellites to give a position? I’ve had some watches in the past that could take as much as 20 minutes when turned on before they would give a location.

      Reply

      Kansas King

      4 years ago

      I agree with your sentiment toward course accuracy. I feel that within a few years, most handheld/watch golf specific gps units will be a thing of the past. It’s just a matter of time till everyone just starts using their iPhone and Android devices/watches for GPS and shot tracking purposes. The value-added feature in the future will be course accuracy. I actually feel course accuracy is pretty close on most apps now as I’m guessing the automation of measuring courses based off satellite mapping has improved. However, my laser is still king most of the time. GPS is great for planning holes and estimating hazard distances.

      I really believe golf-specific gps hardware will not have a huge future in golf outside of some minimal hardware for club data logging if you’re into that. Stuff like the Arccos Caddie Link, Shotscope, and club inserts will probably be the only hardware still getting updated in a few years. The focus needs to be on the software and integration into existing Apple and Android devices.

      scott

      4 years ago

      I question the same thing…and was considering buying the latest apple watch if the app for yardages works well. does anyone use an apple watch with a GPS program and if so how accurate is it?

      Reply

      Geoff

      4 years ago

      I tried a few but found that Arccos on my iPhone was by far the best Golf GPS on the market. And it has the added advantages of easily tracking my performance and recommending club selection for a given shot. It would have been nice to at least have a sidebar comparing that option to standalone devices.

      Reply

      Jay

      4 years ago

      I’m also a big fan of Arccos, because my Apple Watch tracks all of my health activity. It’s not clear from what I’ve read if the Garmin offerings integrate with the Apple Health stuff. I would also be curious to see a head-to-head with Arccos versus the Garmin CT10 system.

      Reply

      TheTinDoor

      4 years ago

      Why would anyone get a GPS-only watch, when you can get one with performance tracking (ShotScope) for much less money?

      Garmin S62 ($500) + their optional performance tags ($300) = $800

      ShotScope = $170 for better-integrated technology.

      Reply

      Kansas King

      4 years ago

      I don’t understand how these watches cost sooooo much. The winner cost more than the current watch from Apple (which is 100x more functional). I know golfers are paying for a specific use but I’m just curious what market these golf companies are chasing. I think this is the first year I haven’t seen many new clubs in random bags at local public courses. I rarely see a new TM Sim or Maverick driver in action. I haven’t seen any new sets of irons outside of the occasional T-series from Titleist. I think it is reflected in the used market going nuts as many people are willing to shell out the money big OEMs are asking. Golf GPS is going the same way with no notable improvements in the products for years. Displays are still low resolution, user interfaces are still rather clunky, and there really aren’t new features. I can get a new iPhone SE off the shelf for the cost of several of the new golf GPS options. The G80 is the only offering with something new by including a launch monitor. However, I’ve used one and it still has a clunky UI. I just don’t get it. I typically just use by Nikon rangefinder but if I want GPS, I just use a free app on my phone that works better than most of these GPS units. I won’t say the apps are more or less accurate but functionally they are easier to use and I’m not carrying another thing to forget in the cart.

      Reply

      Brock

      4 years ago

      There have been a number of improvements in the past years. Coming from someone who has had a number of Garmin watches over the past 5 or 6 years displays have gotten bigger, brighter and higher resolution. Also the tech of shot tracking and app data synch has improved. You don’t get that with a laser nor do those work well on blind shots. Finally, gps apps on phones crush batteries. I couldn’t play more than 18 without needing a recharge.

      Reply

      Barry Schwartz

      3 years ago

      Brock,

      I use the GolfLogix app on my iPhone XR and have found that if I put the phone to sleep after getting the yardage, there are no issues at all with battery life. Of course I usually carry a small charger with me in case the battery gets low, and with more carts having USB plugs in them now, it’s less of an issue.

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