How to choose the right golf GPS watch for you
GPS technology has made its way into the world of sports. From heart-rate and blood pressure monitoring for athletes to tracking the ocean floor for deep-seas divers, GPS technology has progressively been integrated into every facet of sports.
This has created an industry that caters specifically to wearable GPS technology. Probably the most prominent example of this is the golf watch reviews that has infiltrated even into the average consumer market.
This is evident with golf. Golf courses are massive and it’s impossible to see the full layout with every dip and passing from a ground view. Traditionally, markers are used on a golf course to help with directing golfers to their targets.
Unfortunately, if the weather is cloudy or if the makers aren’t properly maintained it becomes difficult to make their target. This has prompted the use of GPS rangefinders in order to see the actual distance to a target and the hazards in between.
Usually rangefinders were available in the standard GPS or laser types. However, these devices required separate pouches to be carried in and had to be pulled out and manipulated to get the relevant information.
To up the convenience, golfers started using golf GPS watches that allowed for quick access to information, stat tracking on putts, fairways and greens, and health stats.
The golf GPS watch doesn’t have to be manipulated and it’s able to provide information immediately. Furthermore, most golf GPS watches are able to store about 20 to 30 courses so the hassle of having to download the same course over and over again is eliminated. Plus, unlike the other rangefinders, these watches do not come with any additional subscriptions or fees after the initial one-time purchase.
There are multiple brands in the market that carry golf GPS watches. Some of the better known ones are Garmin, Bushnell or SkyGolf. Each product has a different set of features with a slightly different interface. However, before you rush out to buy a golf GPS watch for yourself, there are a few factors you need to consider.
Higher-end golf GPS watches can go for up to $400. The more basic ones cost about $170. Off the bat, you have to decide which type of watch suits you best. For examples, pro-golfers probably golf every single day for hours on end for practice, so a $400 investment into a golf GPS watch makes sense. However, if you are an amateur golfer who plays about once a week or a couple of times a month, then a $400 investment is undoubtedly unnecessary. So, before you go lusting after the Garmin Approach S5 GPS watch, make sure that it’s a product that you’ll get a ton of use out of.
As mentioned in the earlier paragraphs, most of these watches come equipped with extra features. For example, they have stat tracking, shot tracking and even an odometer. However, if you’re interest lies in a basic golf GPS watch that just provides you with access to the layouts of golf courses then the Golf Buddy WT3 GPS watch will be a good fit for you.
On the other hand, if you have interest in being able to sync your watch to your laptop to evaluate your stats, then perhaps the Garmin Approach S6 is for you. It comes equipped with software compatibility and helps with showing an amateur or even a pro-golfer how to improve their shots at every stage.
With so many devices that are constantly in need of being charged, the last thing one would like to do is to remember to charge yet another product, particularly if it’s supposed to be for a relaxing hobby. Most golf GPS watches can also be used as regular watch and depending on which function you are using, the battery life tends to differ.
For example, for the aforementioned Garmin Approach S6, the battery will last for 10hours in GPS mode but for a year in watch mode. The watch that provides the longest battery life in GPS mode is the Bushnell Neo XS with 12 hours. So depending on the average time you spend on a golf course, pick a watch that suits your time frame.
If you do intend on using the golf GPS watch as a regular watch as well, then perhaps the Bushnell will be the safer option for you.
On a final note, borrowing a friend’s watch for a trial round of golf might help you decide if you are comfortable playing with it. Some golfers have commented on the watch being too heavy on their wrists and affecting their swings, so giving it a test-run will be a good idea.