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Lower your handicap with these top GPS golf smartwatches

With The Masters at Augusta National completed, it's time to up your game with these golf smartwatches that can improve your game

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The Masters took place at Augusta National last weekend, and with no more lockdown restrictions and the weather improving, there has been no better time to up your golf game. Key to lowering your handicap – as well as the right clubs and technique, of course – is a GPS golf watch. These smartwatches are purpose-built to help you on the golf course, precisely measuring distances and showing detailed maps of every hole and hazard.

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Garmin is a popular manufacturer in this wearable category, with its Approach range containing several golf watches to help improve your game. Bushnell is another company to look out for, while some golf wearables even analyze your swing and distance to the hole. And Samsung has gotten into the space with their Galaxy Watch5 Golf Edition. Lastly, there are applications for loading onto your regular Android Wear or Apple smartwatch and a luxury option from Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer.

Here are some of the top options to consider in 2023:

Garmin Approach S62 – $449.99

Garmin Approach S62The Garmin Approach S62 is a feature-packed golf watchGarmin


A golf watch packed with features, the S62 is the current flagship of the Garmin Approach range. It has a 1.3-inch color display that is bright enough to read in sunlight, is loaded with maps of over 41,000 golf courses, and has a battery life of 20 hours with GPS enabled.

A virtual caddie system factors in wind speed, direction, and position on the hole to help suggest the right club for your next shot. There is also a system for seeing the exact distance to the front, middle, and back of the green and the ability to clearly see the precise shape of the green as you approach. Hazards like sand bunkers and water features are also detailed on every map.

When taking a blind shot from beyond sight of the green, the watch can help show you the direction and distance to the hole. The watch also has an app for keeping score on your round, plus regular smartwatch features like a customizable watch face, contactless payments with Garmin Pay, heart rate monitoring, and interchangeable straps.

Finally, the watch can be paired with Garmin's Approach CT10 device. These coin-sized sensors fit the end of your golf clubs to provide shot analysis after every stroke. A complete set of sensors costs $300; the S62 can be bought with three sensors for $550. (Note: check Garmin's site for updated pricing since they run many sales events for these smart devices. )

Garmin Marq Golfer (2nd Gen) - $2,300

a photo of Garmin MARQ Golfer 2nd gen golf watchGarmin MARQ Golfer (2nd Gen) Modern Tool WatchGarmin

Garmin's latest smart golf watch is their MARQ Golfer (2nd Gen). It's part of the popular upscale Garmin MARQ line of smartwatches. This new smart golf watch is for the golfer looking for a great-looking smartwatch that is more than a smart golf watch and is willing to pay more than the standard price of today's smart golf watch. The MARQ Golfer is a high-end smartwatch for golfers and costs $2,300. It comes with a ceramic bezel's 18 custom etched hole markings, Grade-5 Titanium, and a crystal clear view of the display with a responsive touchscreen. It has a long battery life (16 days) and has all the features of the Garmin Approach S62.

MARQ Golfer has health features that include a Pulse OX sensor, stress tracking, sports apps, real-time stamina, HRV stats, and more. But, the apps set this watch apart from other smart golf watches besides the price. You can wear this smartwatch on and off the golf course, which many smart golf watches are not designed to do. But it will put a dent in your wallet.

Buy on Garmin

Galaxy Watch5 Golf Edition - $360

Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Golf EditionSamsung Galaxy Watch5 Golf EditionSamsung

If you are a Samsung lover or have an Android smartphone and play golf, you have to check out the Galaxy Watch5 Golf edition smartwatch. This is the Galaxy Watch5 smartwatch that comes with all the features of the Galaxy Watch5 plus lifetime membership to the Smart Caddie app - $100 value. It's available in 40- and 44mm case sizes and works on a Bluetooth connection. It also has a two-tone band, an exclusive watch face, and a green home button.

As for features, it comes with advanced sleep coaching and health and wellness monitoring via the Samsung Health app. As for golf features, the Galaxy Watch5 Golf watch will track your shots, score, see the course, and take your game to the next level. But ensure you have a Galaxy smartphone with Android 8.0 or later, 1.5GB RAM, or more. If you don't, this watch will not work with your smartphone. Also, remember that GPS accuracy may be affected by weather, atmosphere, and other obstructions, such as buildings and tall trees, when out on the course.

The MRSP for Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Golf Edition is $359.99 but is currently on sale for only $134.99 on Samsung's site.

Buy Galaxy Watch5 Golf Edition

Garmin Approach S42 – $250

Garmin Approach S42 golf watchGarmin Approach S42 golf watchGarmin

A more affordable option from Garmin is the Approach S42. This golf watch is a new model, available in three colors, and also contains maps of over 40,000 courses worldwide. It has GPS for precise distance measuring, up to 15 hours of battery life, and a 1.2-inch display designed to cope with bright sunlight.

There's also an app to keep score on your round, detailed green views, and distance measurements to the green's front, middle, and back. Like other models of Approach, the S42 functions as a regular smartwatch, with step and exercise tracking, email and text notifications, and sleep tracking.

Buy on Amazon - $249.99

Garmin Approach S12 – $200

Garmin Approach S12 golf watchGarmin Approach S12 golf watchGarmin

Lastly, from Garmin, we have Approach S12. This watch has the same mapping data as the previous two models, along with precise green mapping, an app for keeping score, and up to 30 hours of battery life – a stat made possible due to the screen being monochrome instead of color.

The Approach S12 also connects to Garmin's club trackers for swing analysis, and there are stats for showing the exact location of hazards like sand bunkers.

Buy on Amazon - $199.99

Bushnell Neo Ion2 – $200

Bushnell Ion2 golf watchBushnell Neo Ion2 golf watchBushnell

Next up at the $250 level is the Bushnell Neo Ion2 GPS watch. This wearable has over 36,000 golf courses stored onboard, with distance stats on the watch itself and more detailed maps on a companion smartphone app for iOS and Android.

The battery life is claimed to last for three rounds of golf, automatically recognizing which course you are at and even when you move onto the next hole. The watch shows the distance to hazards on each hole and features a shot distance calculator to help you pick the right club.

SkyCaddie LX5 – $305

The SkyCaddie LX5 golf smartwatchThe SkyCaddie LX5 golf smartwatchSkyCaddie

The LX5 by SkyCaddie takes a similar form to the Garmin Approach series. This golf watch includes detailed color maps of over 35,000 courses worldwide, a 1.39-inch touchscreen that lets you zoom in for extra detail, and a battery life designed to last for two full rounds of an 18-hole course.

The display lets you pan around and zoom in to see the exact distance to hazards, carries, and layups on every hole, plus detailed, safe zones and hazards on the fairway.

There is also an app for keeping score, step counting, a heart rate tracker, and a range of watch faces to pick from when you aren't on the course.

Buy on Amazon

Golf Buddy Aim Golf GPS Watch – $193

Golf Buddy Aim Golf GPS WatchesGolf Buddy Aim Golf GPS WatchAmazon

Golf Buddy Aim Golf GPS Watch is a premium full-color touchscreen golf watch. It's one of the most affordable golf watches available with a color 1.3-inch touchscreen display and is preloaded with maps of over 40,000 golf courses. Green undulations are also included, helping you make the perfect approach shot. It's one of the easy-to-use golf watches.

Like other golf watches, the Aim Golf includes information on hazards, plus distances to the front, middle, and back of every green and the exact location of the pin. Battery life is lower than others, but 10 hours with GPS enabled should still be plenty for most users.

The watch automatically recognizes which course and hole you are on, and there's a digital scorecard app and step tracking.

Buy on Amazon

Hole 19 – from free

The Hole 19 app is available for iOS, Android, and smartwatchesHole19

Hole 19 is an app for iOS and Android that works on smartphones and regular smartwatches. Like the watches featured above, the app displays the distance between the green and the pin using your phone's GPS signal and has data for more than 43,000 golf courses.

There is also a digital scorecard and a system for sharing your scores with friends who use the app. The basic app is free, while a $7.49 monthly or $49.99 annual subscription unlocks Premium Pro, which uses augmented reality on your phone to provide more detailed information, real-time club recommendation, and higher-quality maps.

Tag Heuer Connected Golf Edition – $1,300

Tag Heuer Connected Golf Edition smartwatchTag Heuer

Finally, a golf watch for those with a much larger budget. The Golf Edition is a special version of the Tag Heuer Connected smartwatch, which runs Google's Android Wear operating system and works with iPhones and Android handsets. As well as being a fully-fledged smartwatch, and one of the most enduring to come from Switzerland, the Tag Heuer features GPS-guided maps of over 40,000 golf courses worldwide, a digital scorecard, and a special box with Tag Heuer-branded golf balls and tees.

Buy on Tag Heuer

Check out The GearBrain, our smart device compatibility find engine, to see the other golf smartwatches and fitness trackers.

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