Golf Rangefinder Watch Reviews

Convenient and swanky, you simply strap on one of these devices on your wrist and you are game ready. Although lacking advanced features that are common with laser golf rangefinders, golf watches are popular due to their portability and versatility. Some even compare these to an “experienced caddie” and for good measure too—for they will warn you about hazards around, give you yardages to different positions on the green, and will even help you with club selection.

Since golf watches are so popular, it can be a little overwhelming to choose from the wide variety of market selections available. This narrowed list below will help you shortlist and make a final purchase decision wisely.

A long battery life: A completely non-negotiable denominator, the golf watch you choose has to have a long battery life. You do not want to be struggling with a device that goes bloop after just a round of play. Also, most golf watches come with a normal watch mode feature, that utilizes the battery differently than being used as a golf GPS. Keep this difference in mind.

Preloaded course: Most GPS watches come with preloaded golf courses for ease of use. You must check if your preferred course are available within the device. Watches come preloaded usually with 30,000 to 40,000 global courses. Look for that will also enable updating, and one that will enable to download more courses with time.

Accuracy: With advanced satellite navigation technology under your umbrella—since golf watches are mostly GPS based—a golf watch needs to pack in the most accurate distance data possible.

Course updates: You also need to be able to update course data regularly. And a free service without subscription and download fees should be your go-to choice.

Green distances: A basic golf watch should be able to measure distances to greens from center, front, and back. Extra options should include measuring these distances from your own angle of approach.

Graphics: Only the high-end golf watches provide colour screens and touch displays. If it is a black and white display watch, make sure it is glare free, and the fonts and numbers can be comfortably read by you. The high-end models also usually have a glove-friendly screen which is a great feature to own.

Hazard detection: Choose a watch that will help you avoid hazards on course, or at least tentatively point to where the hazard is at. Some watches will also measure the hazard distances.

Obtrusiveness: Remember, you will be wearing a golf watch. You will need to get used to it, without it proving to be a hindrance to anything. Whether while taking a shot, or while general movement around the golf course, a golf watch needs to be as unobtrusive as possible. Look for something lightweight and slim, with soft rubberised straps that will ensure wearing comfort.

Water resistance: Since it is a wearable, and enthusiastic golfers will battle the most horrendous of weather conditions for a thrilling game. Case in point, your golf watch needs to be waterproof or at least water resistant. This will not just ensure durability but make sure that there are no mid-game frustrations.

Style: This is one category that comes in many colors and designs, unlike the bulkier handheld GPS and laser rangefinders. Choose a design that works best for you.

Maximum standalone attributes: Besides the regular fare of features such as measuring distances to greens and hole automation, you might want to choose a model that provides something extra. Fitness tracker? Check. Club recommendation? Check. Scorer systems? Check.

Phone syncing: A lot of golf GPSs provide an option to sync with your smartphone, alongside a Bluetooth feature. It would be nice to be able to sync with your own phone and cash in on data and apps both. Some watches will also have a smart notification capacity through which you can read your texts or mails on the watch itself.

Operating system: Most golf watches work well with iOS and Android, but very few work with Windows. Get one that is compatible with your smartphone.

Counterfeit items: Just like the other rangefinders we spoke of above, it is important to not give into buying devices from unknown, or counterfeit brands. These will usually come at very attractive prices too. Please do not give in.

Top 5 Golf Rangefinder Watches for 2018

#1 - Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch Review

Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch

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This sport Bushnell number comes preloaded with 35,000+ golf courses in 30 countries worldwide. The Neo Ion Golf GPS watch’s standout feature is its battery life—you can play 3 full rounds before you need to plug it in for the next charge. Like the other models on our list, this also doesn’t require a membership or subscription fee either.

Bushnell Neo Ion Golf GPS Watch Features

  • Simple design with comfortable sports silicon straps.
  • Comes preloaded with 35,000+ worldwide golf courses.
  • A long battery life—play 3 full rounds at a go.
  • Auto course recognition and auto hole advance features.
  • Easy to read, front, center, and back distances to greens.
  • Displays hazard distances and layups up to 4 per hole.
  • Has a shot distance calculator.
  • Includes an odometer.
  • Includes standard watch function.
  • USB charging and cable syncing.

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#2 - GolfBuddy WTX Smart Golf GPS Watch Review

GolfBuddy WTX Golf Watch

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Slinky and fashionable, the GolfBuddy WTX brings together the features of both a smartwatch and golf watch. A touch-screen enabled dial has color display, whereas it is preloaded with 38,000+ golf courses worldwide for your pleasure. The watch is free to use and there won’t ever be a fee requirement for updates.

GolfBuddy WTX Smart Golf GPS Watch Features

  • Smartphone notifications support for both Apple and Android phones.
  • Vibrant color display that is easy to see in hardy weather conditions.
  • A fast and easy, touch user interface for convenience during play.
  • A total of 38,000+ preloaded courses, with free update through the GolfBuddy smartphone app.
  • Automatic course and hole recognition features.
  • The watch measures distances to front, back, and center of greens and to hazards.
  • Allows dynamic green views from user’s position and distance reading.
  • Allows manual pin placement.
  • Displays a hole layout view with current position of a player.
  • The watch also provides a shot distance measurement.
  • Interchangeable outer screen that also displays a standard analog clock for regular use.
  • Activity tracking included with pedometer and sedentary timer.

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# 3 - Garmin Approach S6Review

Garmin Approach S6 Golf Watch

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Although a bit pricey, the latest Garmin Approach—the S6—is loaded with top-end features that will put a new swing to your game. The color display is high resolution and touch-screen enabled, while the battery of the watch lasts up to 10 hours on GPS mode. The screen is also golf glove-friendly, and uber receptive for even the most stubbiest of fingers.

Garmin Approach S6 Features

  • A high-resolution color, and touch display that works with golf gloved fingers.
  • Loaded with Swing Metrics features, that includes SwingTempo, TempoTraining, and SwingStrength. These measure the relationship between upswings and downswings, and expresse it as a ratio. Most golfers would agree that an ideal ratio is 3:1. The watch give you audible tones while using TempoTraining, to synchronize your swing mechanics and fine-tune swing tempo—helping you achieve that 3:1.
  • Loaded with full-color 38,000 international courses, with no user or subscription fees.
  • A special CourseView button will get you to your second shot view quickly, while in general, doglegs, traps, and water hazards are all displayed.
  • You can manually place pins, and PinPointer blind shot assistance tells you where the pin is—instead of you manually scrolling up and down to find it. This also displays a directional arrow to the green, even if you are in the middle of deep trap.
  • Displays yardages to the front, back and middle of greens, updating distances as you move around the golf course.
  • Let’s you customize yardage points (mark traps and hazards) and print digital scorecards for Stroke play and Stableford. Also comes with handicap scoring options for individual holes, player’s local handicap, or through index/slope method.
  • Sync with iPads, and iPhones 4s or later versions for smart notifications through Bluetooth.
  • Support through the Garmin Connect golfing community.
  • An odometer records footsteps.
  • A timer records the time taken to play 18 holes.
  • Water resistance up to 50 meters.

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#4 - SkyGolf SW2 GPS Watch Review

SkyGolf SW2 GPS Watch

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Preloaded with 35,000 worldwide course maps, the SkyGolf SW2 GPS watch has a new slim design, alongside extended battery life for long play hours. The Bluetooth ready device syncs scores to SkyGolf 360 clouds and smartphones, also enabling you to receive notifications of calls, texts, and emails. Like the GolfBuddy WTX, this watch is free to use as well and requires no annual subscriptions.

SkyGolf SW2 GPS Watch Features

  • Ready-to-play gadget with no requirement of annual fees or subscriptions.
  • Slimmer than its predecessor, with a new extended battery life.
  • Easy to read display with large numbers and fonts.
  • Auto-course recognition and auto-hole advance.
  • Bluetooth enabled for easy smartphone syncing.
  • Measures distances to the front, center, and back of each green quickly.
  • Gives you yardages to the green, even if it’s not in your line of sight.
  • The watch comes with a digital scorecard to save up to 20 scores, and syncs these scores to SkyGolf 360.
  • The watch tracks location, distance, time, laps, speed, pace, and calories burned during walks, runs, or bike rides.
  • Water resistance up to 30 meters.

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Honorary Mention: Apple Watch

apple watch golf

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Simply, rig your Apple watch, together with your iPhone to function as a golf device through top applications found on the iOS store. A dandy option to own, beginners will especially like to try golf range finding through this before making an investment decision. The following features and add-ons does provide an edge to an Apple watch

Apple Watch Features

  • The Apple Watch comes preloaded with a GPS sensor. So you don’t need to sync it with the GPS on your iPhone. This will provide more accurate information when it comes to facets such as distances to greens. You can easily get course maps as well.
  • The watch is truly waterproof up to 50 meters. Bad rains? Game on.
  • A newer, brighter display means the watch is readable even under the most harshest of suns.
  • Fashionable golfers would love the extras one can purchase to match their Apple watches.
  • Apple Watch’s standard features that are useful for everything from driving to health stats.

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And not just the watch, your whole genre of Apple devices including your iPhone and iPad have many app options to purchase that enhance your golfing pursuits to fine levels. From apps that analyze swings and compare it to pros of the world, to score storing and recording, you will not be limited by any means when it comes to your game.

Here are 2 apps to try now with your Apple devices for golf:

Golfshot: Golf GPS + Scorecard + Handicaps: With over 40,000 global golf courses included, this app gives you accurate GPS yardages to targets and hazards, rich scoring and shot tracking, detailed statistics, and course flyover previews. It also makes club recommendations.

Golf GPS by GolfLogix Scorecard + Rangefinder: This app gives GPS distances on 30,000+ courses worldwide, a yardage book with color 3D images of the course, and a scorecard for up to four players. It also provides stat tracking and handicap. Upgrades provide distances to the front, back, and center of greens, distances to hazards and layups, video flyovers of every hole, club tracking, and stat syncing to the GolfLogix website.