What’s the time? 147 yards to the front, playing 155 with the slope. You only wanted to know if there was time for a quick beer afterwards, but come to think of it, those quick yardages are pretty handy!
Having the best golf watch GPS in 2023 comes with a plethora of information and statistics designed to help inform club selection, analyze performance, and even improve physical and mental well-being off the course.
Newcomers to the game can massively benefit from wearing a golf GPS watch, particularly as they are less likely to have an intuition for distances on the course and the most appropriate club to hit. This is why all the main manufacturers release models specifically targeted towards new golfers, at more reasonable price points.
Here are five of the best GPS watches for new golfers.
Canmore TW-410G GPS Golf Watch – $170 / £150 RRP
This watch doesn’t have the color graphics of its more well-known and well-established rivals but is still a strong, easy-to-use GPS golf watch. A very clever shot-measuring feature will give you an accurate readout, and there is also a quick and easy way of being shown distances to sand and water hazards. It will also count your steps and tell you how many calories you have burned. It’s water resistant, and the black-on-white readout means it’s straightforward to view even in bright sunlight.
Bushnell Ion Edge GPS Golf Watch – $150 / £150 RRP
Available in grey or black, the American company are well-known in this marketplace, and the ION Edge is a great choice for those new to the game and does all the basics to a high standard, which is all you really need, especially if you are playing in competitions. It includes a shot-distance calculator, and all your stats and scores can be uploaded to the Bushnell Golf Mobile App for analysis purposes.
Garmin Approach S12 GPS Golf Watch – $160 / £225 RRP
The quality of a Garmin Golf watch at a great price, the Approach S12 is the easy-to-use watch in the Garmin lineup that is practical for beginners. The Approach S12 has a round 1.3″ high-resolution display which is sunlight readable and sports a big number display mode to make reading yardages easy when on the course. The S12 comes with an outstanding 42,000 preloaded golf courses, and not only that, you can wirelessly update the courses you play most often for increased accuracy.
TecTecTec Ult-G GPS Golf Watch – $100 / £100 RRP
For those on a budget, TecTecTecs’ Ult-G is available for less than $100/£100 making it a super affordable option for those who might want to experiment with a GPS for a year first before upgrading to something flashier. Most importantly however, distances to the front, center and back of greens, plus yardages to hazards are easily accessible. Unfortunately, the Ult-G is not a touchscreen watch, but there are just four buttons required to fulfill its potential, and the battery life matches most of its more expensive GPS golf watch competitors.
Shot Scope V3 GPS Golf Watch – $200 / £160 RRP
For those beginners who are data driven, Shot Scope’s V3 with 35,000 courses pre-loaded and showing yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green could be a winner. While the V3 doesn’t offer the graphics of many rivals, it has a very clever system to give you a mountain of data. The makers believe its dual satellite technology reduces the error to just 30cm. The golf watch comes with 16 sensors (that screw into each club), and this enables the watch to automatically detect every shot you hit, providing you with more than 100 statistics.
How to choose a golf GPS watch
If you’re new to golf and have decided a golf GPS watch is the way forward to help you progress in your quest to break 90, here are some of the key things to consider:
Budget – Perhaps obvious, but there is no need to spend over $200/£200 when buying your first GPS watch. The more expensive models provide some ‘nice to know’ features, but ultimately, the most crucial information you need is accurate distance information, and the entry level models in this guide all fulfil that function.
Ease of use – Golf is one of the toughest sports to learn. With so much to think about from technique to course management, to rules, the last thing you want is to complicate matters further by not being able to understand the caddie on your wrist. Go for a model that is easy to read and understand from just a quick glance so you can pick the most appropriate club for the shot without a second thought.
Comfort – If you are not used to wearing one every day, then making sure your watch feels comfortable on your wrist is important. There’s quite a lot going on around your left wrist with gloves and grips, so ideally your watch should be unnoticeable, and certainly not distracting when addressing your ball.