Navigating the Fairways: Finding the Best Golf GPS Devices in 2023

September 22, 2023 • 8:00 am

Golf GPS devices have revolutionized the way golfers approach their game, providing precise yardages and valuable insights to improve performance. In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of golf GPS devices, explore their features, and present the best options for 2023.

best golf GPS devices - 1

Features to Look for in a Golf GPS Device

When it comes to improving your golf game, having the right tools can make all the difference. A golf GPS device is one such tool that can provide you with valuable information and insights during your rounds. Here are some key features to consider when choosing the best golf GPS device for your needs:

Accurate Yardages: The primary function of a golf GPS device is to provide precise yardages to key points on the course, including the front, middle, and back of greens, hazards, and fairway distances.

Course Mapping: Ensure the device has a comprehensive database of golf courses, including regular updates to reflect changes made by course management.

User-Friendly Interface: Easy-to-navigate touchscreen displays or intuitive button layouts make your device more enjoyable to use during a round.

Battery Life: Long-lasting battery performance is crucial to ensure your GPS device lasts throughout your round.

Durability: Golf GPS devices should be built to withstand the elements, so consider models that are water-resistant and rugged.

Benefits of Using a Golf GPS Device

Using a golf GPS device offers several advantages that can improve your game:

Enhanced Course Management: Accurate yardages help you make informed decisions on club selection and navigate hazards with confidence.

Improved Confidence: Knowing precise distances boosts your self-assurance in executing each shot.

Efficiency: Quick access to yardages speeds up play, helping you maintain a steady pace on the course.

Performance Analysis: Many devices offer shot tracking and data collection, enabling you to analyze your game and identify areas for improvement.

Lower Scores: By making more informed decisions, you can significantly improve your scores over time.

Types of Golf GPS Devices

Golf GPS devices come in two primary forms: GPS watches and handheld GPS units.

GPS watches are worn on the wrist and provide golfers with quick access to essential yardage information. They are designed for ease of use and convenience, allowing golfers to glance at their wrist for distances without the need to reach into their pockets or bags.


  • Convenience: Easily accessible on the wrist, offering quick yardage checks.
  • User-Friendly: Simple and intuitive interfaces.
  • Additional Features: Some watches come with shot tracking and scoring capabilities.

  • Limited Screen Size: Smaller screens may affect the visibility of detailed course maps.
  • Battery Life: Generally have shorter battery life compared to handheld GPS units.
  • Less Detailed Mapping: May not provide as detailed course mapping as handheld devices.

Handheld GPS units are portable devices with larger screens, offering more detailed course mapping and comprehensive information. Golfers typically carry these devices in their pockets or attach them to their golf bags.

  • Large Screen: Larger screens provide better visibility of course details and distances.
  • Comprehensive Mapping: Offer extensive course mapping, including hazards and green contours.
  • Versatility: Can be used for various outdoor activities beyond golf.
  • Long Battery Life: Tend to have longer battery life compared to GPS watches.

  • Size: Bulkier and require carrying in a pocket or attaching to a golf bag.
  • Cost: High-end handheld units can be relatively expensive.
  • Learning Curve: May have a steeper learning curve for users unfamiliar with the device’s interface.

Both types of devices play a crucial role in enhancing a golfer’s experience on the course, whether in the form of watches or handheld units, these are valuable tools for golfers seeking to enhance their game. The choice between the two depends on individual preferences, playing style, and the specific features that best suit the golfer’s needs on the course.

Best Golf GPS Devices

Here are some of the top golf GPS devices that are making waves in 2023:

Garmin Approach S70 Golf Smartwatch

Garmin Approach S70 Golf Smartwatch - Best Golf GPS Device - Golf Ball Monkey

The Garmin Approach S70 Golf Smartwatch is a premium device designed for golf enthusiasts seeking to elevate their game. Its standout feature is the stunning 1.2-inch AMOLED display, which brings to life more than 43,000 full-color CourseView maps, making it a valuable companion on the golf course. The watch combines a lightweight and stylish design with a ceramic bezel, ensuring you look good both on and off the fairways. It’s not just about aesthetics, though; this smartwatch offers impressive functionality for golfers, including enhanced golf course maps for detailed views, a virtual caddie feature for club recommendations, and an accurate PlaysLike Distance feature that accounts for various factors, ensuring more precise distance measurements. Additionally, the watch helps you improve your golf game by providing green contour data, scoring capabilities, and the option to pair with club tracking sensors. Beyond golf, the Approach S70 supports a range of activities like strength training, yoga, and cardio, making it a versatile companion for an active lifestyle.

Battery Life:

The Garmin Approach S70 boasts an impressive battery life. In smartwatch mode, it can last up to 10 days on a single charge, ensuring you have plenty of power for everyday use. When switched to GPS mode, the watch can operate for up to 15 hours, making it ideal for extended rounds of golf without worrying about running out of battery. This robust battery performance ensures that the watch remains reliable throughout your golfing adventures.


Comprehensive Course Information: With over 43,000 course maps available, the Approach S70 provides golfers with extensive course coverage, allowing them to navigate courses with confidence.

Virtual Caddie Feature: The virtual caddie feature takes golf analysis to the next level by offering club recommendations based on shot dispersion data, elevation, and other factors, aiding golfers in making optimal club selections.

PlaysLike Distance: The watch’s PlaysLike Distance feature considers barometric data, wind, elevation changes, and more to provide golfers with more accurate distance measurements, helping them make more informed shots.

Green Contour Data: Preloaded green contour data offers insights into the slope direction and severity of the green, providing valuable information for putting strategies.

Multi-Activity Support: Beyond golf, the Approach S70 supports a range of activities, including strength training, yoga, and cardio, enabling users to maintain an active lifestyle.

Battery Longevity: With up to 10 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and 15 hours in GPS mode, this smartwatch ensures that you won’t run out of power during a round of golf or daily wear.

Heart Rate Monitoring: The watch includes heart rate monitoring and advanced sleep tracking features, which can provide valuable insights for overall health and fitness.

GolfBuddy AIM W12 Golf GPS Watch

GolfBuddy AIM W12 Golf GPS Watch - Best Golf GPS Device - Golf Ball Monkey

The GolfBuddy AIM W12 golf GPS watch is an advanced and feature-rich device designed to enhance a golfer’s experience on the course. One standout feature is the addition of Green Undulation, a valuable tool that displays the gradation of the slope on the green using different colors, providing golfers with a more realistic view of the course. The watch offers Touch IP (Intersection Point) technology, allowing users to select a target point and receive distance measurements both to that point and from it to the green. Additionally, the AIM W12 provides automatic course and hole recognition, making it easy to navigate during your round. With a 1.32″ TFT-LCD color touch screen, it delivers accurate distance measurements to the front, center, and back of the green, as well as to targets and hazards. It also features a digital scorecard, manual pin placement, and an impressive 10-hour battery life in golf mode. This device is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing, with a full-color display that offers clear course information.

Battery Life:

The GolfBuddy AIM W12 golf GPS watch boasts a reliable battery life, lasting up to 10 hours in Golf Mode. This extended battery performance ensures that golfers can rely on the device throughout their rounds without the need for frequent recharging.


Green Undulation: The Green Undulation feature, displaying green slopes in different colors, provides golfers with valuable information for more precise putting strategies, enhancing their ability to read the greens accurately.

Touch IP Technology: Touch IP allows golfers to select a target point and receive distance measurements both to that point and from it to the green. This feature aids in planning and executing shots more effectively.

Automatic Course and Hole Recognition: The AIM W12 streamlines the golfing experience by automatically recognizing the course and hole being played, eliminating manual adjustments and providing accurate yardages.

Full-Color Touch Screen: The watch’s 1.3″ full-color TFT-LCD display offers an easy-to-read interface, displaying slope-adjusted distances, hazard locations, pin placement, and more. The zoom function enhances course visualization.

IPX7 Waterproof Rating: The watch’s IPX7 waterproof rating ensures its durability in various weather conditions, making it suitable for use even in heavy rain.

Digital Scorecard: The digital scorecard feature allows golfers to easily keep track of their scores throughout the round, streamlining the scorekeeping process.

Course Updates via Bluetooth: The AIM W12 offers automatic course updates via Bluetooth with the GOLFBUDDY Smart App, ensuring that golfers always have access to the latest course information.

Pre-Loaded Courses: With 40,000 courses pre-loaded worldwide and free updates, golfers can confidently use the device on a wide range of courses.

Voice Caddie T9 Hybrid Golf GPS Watch

Voice Caddie T9 Hybrid Golf GPS Watch - Best Golf GPS Device - Golf Ball Monkey

The Voice Caddie T9 Hybrid Golf GPS Watch is a cutting-edge addition to the Voice Caddie T-series lineup, designed to elevate the golfing experience. This feature-rich smartwatch offers a wide range of functions, making it a valuable companion on the golf course. Notable features include shot and putt tracking, a full-color touchscreen display, and the capability to provide precise yardages to the front, center, and back of the green. The watch also boasts advanced features such as Active Green™ for improved accuracy, V-Algorithm 3.0™ for slope calculations, green undulation data displayed with a heat map, and putt view for understanding elevation and distance to the pin. Smart green technology allows for convenient pin placement, and golfers can access course views with yardages to hazards and bunkers. Additionally, the watch offers a practice tempo mode to help golfers perfect their swings anytime, anywhere.

Battery Life:

The Voice Caddie T9 Hybrid Golf GPS Watch is equipped with a reliable battery that ensures extended usability:

Watch Mode: Offers an impressive battery life of up to 10 days, allowing users to wear it as an everyday watch.

Golf Mode: Provides sufficient power for up to 27 holes of golf, ensuring that the watch can accompany golfers through extended rounds without running out of battery.


Shot and Putt Tracking: The watch automatically tracks and records shots and putts during a round, providing golfers with real-field scores and valuable information for performance analysis.

Advanced Features: The T9 offers a range of advanced features, including Active Green™ for improved accuracy, slope calculations with V-Algorithm 3.0™, green undulation data with heat maps, and putt view for enhanced putting insights.

Customization: Golfers can customize pin placements for a personalized experience on the course.

Tournament Mode: The watch features a tournament mode that disables slope and GPS, ensuring compliance with tournament regulations.

Practice Tempo Mode: This mode allows golfers to work on their swing tempo and consistency, with visual indicators to match the desired tempo.

Voice Caddie App: The MyVoiceCaddie App provides golfers with essential round statistics, scorecards, and tracking features, enhancing their ability to analyze and improve their game.

Reflective LCD: Equipped with a reflective LCD optimized for outdoor use in strong sunlight, ensuring clear and bright screen visibility.

Bushnell Golf Phantom 2 GPS

Bushnell Golf Phantom 2 GPS - Best Golf GPS Device - Golf Ball Monkey

The Bushnell Golf Phantom 2 GPS is a feature-packed golf GPS device designed to provide golfers with precise distances and essential course information. With a focus on ease of use and functionality, this device offers a range of benefits to enhance the golfing experience. It features a larger and easy-to-read display, displaying front, center, and back distances clearly. The Phantom 2 also offers GreenView with movable pin placement, allowing golfers to cycle through different pin locations for the most precise GPS distance to the flag. Additionally, it provides up to 6 hazard/layup distances per hole, enhancing course management. The device comes equipped with an integrated BITE magnetic mount for easy attachment to golf carts or other surfaces. Users can also leverage the Bushnell Golf App to unlock useful yardage information, track and store rounds and statistics, and receive wireless course updates.

Battery Life:

Offers up to 18 hours of battery life, providing golfers with sufficient power to last through multiple rounds without the need for frequent recharging.


Hazard and Layup Indicators: The Phantom 2 tracks up to 6 hazard and layup distances per hole, allowing golfers to make informed decisions about club selection and course strategy.

GreenView with Movable Pin Placement: Golfers can cycle through various pin locations to obtain the most precise distance to the flag, enhancing their approach shots and putting accuracy.

Auto Play Course Recognition: The device automatically recognizes the course being played, streamlining the setup process for golfers.

Auto Hole Advance: As golfers progress through the course, the Phantom 2 seamlessly advances to the next hole, eliminating manual adjustments and interruptions during play.

Bushnell Golf App: Users can leverage the Bushnell Golf App to access useful yardage information, track and store round data and statistics, and receive wireless course updates for an up-to-date golfing experience.

Stronger BITE: The Phantom 2 features enhanced BITE technology with improved texturing and surface area, ensuring a secure and stable attachment to various surfaces.

Larger Screen: The device offers a larger and transflective display, making it easy to read in bright sunlight for high visibility on the course.

Track More Hazards: Golfers can access up to 6 hazard and layup distances per hole, helping them navigate the course with confidence.

SkyCaddie SX400 Handheld Golf GPS

SkyCaddie SX400 Handheld Golf GPS - Best Golf GPS Device - Golf Ball Monkey

The SkyCaddie SX400 Handheld Golf GPS is a high-performance golfing companion designed to provide golfers with exceptional accuracy and course management tools. This device features a 4-inch LCD touchscreen display with HD course graphics, offering golfers a stunning visual experience on the course. With over 35,000 preloaded golf courses that are ground verified for unmatched accuracy, the SX400 ensures golfers have access to comprehensive course information. Notable features include HoleVue HD course graphics with integrated targets, dynamic HoleVue that rotates the fairway, IntelliGreen Pro technology for precise green shape and distance information, and shot tracking capabilities. The device comes with a 1-year Double Eagle Plus 2 membership plan.

Battery Life:

Offers an impressive battery life of 12-14 hours, allowing golfers to enjoy multiple rounds of golf on a single charge.


HoleVue Image: Golfers can view the entire hole from their perspective, making it easier to make strategic decisions about club selection and shot placement.

IntelliPath Technology: IntelliPath enhances the Dynamic HoleVue by providing distances to various attributes on the course, including intervening hazards, fairways, and more, streamlining decision-making.

Shot Tracking: The SX400 tracks shots, club used, location, and distance of every shot, allowing golfers to review their round and understand their club distances better.

IntelliGreen Pro: This technology offers the exact shape of the green and its surroundings, displaying major contours, tiers, and false fronts on select courses for more precise approach shots.

Big Number Mode: Large numbers provide accurate front, center, and back distances, ensuring easy readability even without glasses.

Scoring and Stats: Golfers can keep track of their scores, putts, and fairways hit for every round, with the device providing convenient prompts for score input.

HoleVue with Integrated Targets: The device offers a zoom feature that reveals ground-mapped targets, including hazards, carries, water, end of fairway, and layups, allowing golfers to select the best club for each shot.

Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Device

To maximize the benefits of your golf GPS device and leverage the advancements in technology:

  • Practice with It: Familiarize yourself with the device’s features and use it during practice rounds to build confidence.

  • Update Regularly: Ensure your device has the latest course maps and software updates to stay accurate.

  • Analyze Your Stats: If your device tracks your shots and performance, use the data to identify areas for improvement in your game.

  • Use It for Course Strategy: Take advantage of the device’s course mapping capabilities to plan your shots and select clubs wisely.


In the world of golf, precision and performance are paramount, and golf GPS devices have become essential tools for players of all skill levels. Whether you opt for a golf GPS watch or a handheld device, choosing the right one can significantly improve your game. Consider your preferences, budget, and the features that matter most to you, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a more informed and enjoyable golfing experience.

At Golf Ball Monkey, we understand the importance of precision in golf. Just as a golf GPS device helps you make accurate shots, our premium used golf balls provide quality performance at a fraction of the cost. Explore our selection of premium used golf balls to elevate your game without breaking the bank.