Not so long ago you were left wondering exactly how far you were to the flag. Remember that feeling? The ball lying somewhere between the 150- and 200-yard markers, looking uphill to the green, pondering how far the flag is from the front edge. Then making some rough calculations and pulling a club from the bag. Standing over the ball and trying to decide if you should give it a full swing. WHACK!! To your dismay your ball is now sitting 10 yards after the green imbedded in the rough. Fast forward to today, and rest assured there are tools out there to help prevent this from happening. Our best golf watch 2021/2022 rankings can help you find one of them.
Golf is challenging enough when knowing all of the distances and obstacles between your ball and the pin. There is no need to make it even harder by guessing the distances around the course. Advances in GPS technology and the expansion of mobile networks has created huge opportunities in the golf gear market. Manufacturers have tapped into these technologies to create gear and applications to navigate you around the course with precision.
Our best golf watch 2021/2022 rankings takes a look at the best options currently available for you to choose from. Advances in technology and applications have steadily increased the layers of functionality being packed into golf watches. Score tracking, hazard mapping and distances, club recommendations are just some of the added features now available on the market. Leading manufacturers are also integrating golf watches into larger software packages. This helps golfers keep track of historical and performance data for future analysis if desired.
I use my golf watch primarily for score tracking and a quick distance control when also using my range finder. On numerous occasions it has grabbed the incorrect distance from an object in the direction of the pin. With a quick control of the wrist, I was able to catch the error and re-measure the correct distance thus avoiding a careless mistake.
To keep it consistent with our latest articles, we will focus on golf watches having been released in 2021 into 2022. We might be a little more lenient on the release dates since this is our first rankings list for the golf watch market. Come this time next year we plan to shift forward one year into a 2022/2023 ranking list. In that way we are always comparing the latest gear coming to market.
Also, our new approach to limit our category specific rankings to the top 3 is not changing here with golf watches. Similarly, the list is also dynamic. Today’s rankings may look very different to how we end up in a year’s time. Check back from time to time to see if something of interest has come to market in the meantime.
Hopefully our best golf watch 2021/2022 rankings list will help you find a golf watch that keeps you on time for your golf round and in sync with the distances around the course.
Garmin Approach S62
The Garmin Approach S62 is in a class by itself. There is no better pure golf watch on the market today and this is why we gave ourselves a little leeway on pulling it into our 2021/2022 best of listings. In our opinion there is nobody doing it better and there is significant gap between the S62 and the rest.
All of the players in our group who are wearing a dedicated golf watch are wearing it. No exceptions and no discounts. It is worth stating right from the start that this is a premium product and it does come with a premium price tag. If you’re willing to pay for the best then keep on reading.
Make no mistake the S62 is a golf watch at heart but it also has very worthy features and applications that cross over into running, cycling, training and a ton of so-called smart features. We will stay focused on the golf but rest assured this watch will cover your off-season activities and then some.
On the course the GPS mode will give you about 20 hours of charge so there is more than enough time for a full day on the course. Normal use of the watch gives you about 2 weeks of charge so it really does outperform most as far as sustainability and keeping the watch more on your wrist than the charger.
Specific to golf the S62 is packed with the following features:
- PRELOADED WITH 42,000 COURSES WORLDWIDE
- YARDAGE TO F/M/B (DISTANCE TO FRONT, MIDDLE AND BACK OF GREEN)
- YARDAGE TO LAYUPS/DOGLEGS
- MEASURES SHOT DISTANCE – Automatically CALCULATES EXACT YARDAGE FOR SHOTS FROM ANYWHERE ON COURSE)
- DIGITAL SCORECARD
- CUSTOM TARGETS
- STAT TRACKING (STROKES, PUTTS PER ROUND, GREENS AND FAIRWAYS HIT)
- GARMIN AUTOSHOT™
- FULL VECTOR MAP
- AUTO COURSEVIEW UPDATES
- GREEN VIEW WITH MANUAL PIN POSITION
- HAZARDS AND COURSE TARGETS
- PLAYSLIKE DISTANCE
- TOUCH-TARGETING (TOUCH TARGET ON DISPLAY TO SEE THE DISTANCE TO ANY POINT)
- HANDICAP SCORING
- SWING TEMPO
- TEMPO TRAINING
- TRUSWING™ COMPATIBLE
- ROUND TIMER/ODOMETER
- AUTOMATIC CLUB TRACKING COMPATIBLE (REQUIRES ACCESSORY)
- WIND SPEED AND DIRECTION (REQUIRES CONNECTION TO GARMIN GOLF APP)
- VIRTUAL CADDIE
There really is not something that we would add to this watch from a features point of view. And as far as looks and style it outperforms most sport watches as well. There are band options ranging from silicon to titanium so you can dress this watch up and down as you see fit. There is also no tool required for the changing of the bands so you can easily have one for on the course and one for after.
Since 2010 Garmin has been incorporated in Switzerland and the Approach S62’s performance on the golf course will definitely not tarnish the reputation of the Swiss watch industry. If you are looking for the best pure golf watch on the market, this is it.
- Large 1. 3” easy-to-read color touchscreen display (18% larger than Approach S60) with scratch-resistant ceramic bezel and interchangeable QuickFit bands
- Battery life: up to 20 hours in GPS mode, 14 days in smartwatch mode
- Virtual Caddie suggests club based on typical distance the golfer hits that club, factors in wind speed and direction, and indicates where the golfer should aim on the map
- Hazard View allows you to quickly scroll through each hazard on the map
- PlaysLike Distance feature accounts for uphill and downhill shots
- PinPointer feature tells you the direction to the pin when you have a blind shot so you can know where the pin is —even if you can’t see it
Apple Watch Series 7 GPS
I will say it right from the start. I am an apple person. So, it is no surprise that I would have a favorable opinion of their products and that one would find its way into our best of rankings. For others their anti-brand affiliation is cast in stone and this will never be an option. But for those who are a little more open minded, what I would like to emphasize is that, the Apple Watch is a great golf watch.
Yes, it is not a pure golf watch. For many golfers this is a huge plus given it supports a magnitude of other applications making it the most versatile option available on the market. And for golf, there are many applications to choose from that will track your distances and scoring while on the course. Golfshot, The Grint and V1 Game are just some examples of great apps to help you manage your way around the course.
It is worth stating that of course most premium apps come with some nominal yearly costs but for those who are looking to keep a tight control on the budget there are options available. Applications are also available that will turn your Apple watch into a training aid and analyze the path of your swing for example. So as technology and applications continue to push forward the Apple watch gives you the possibility to follow right along with them.
While slightly earlier versions of the watch, for the most part, will handle most applications, I would recommend you do stay current if deciding to make the Apple watch your golf watch. The biggest reason being is that improvements in battery life will keep you on the course for the day without needing to refuel.
We have found that battery life can vary quite a bit. Depending on which application you are running and if you are also using it conjunction with your phone for GPS tracking there can be quite significant differences, so giving precise battery life is tricky. With Golfshot for example I was able to get two rounds in with no issues.
With the Apple watch there are endless models to choose from. Casing materials, straps, sizes, GPS and cellular options are all variables you can select from. So, in the end you not only have versatility with the applications you run but with the cloths you can wear with it.
There was no question or debate amongst our group that the Apple watch offers the most complete watch supporting all of your smart life applications. And the golf applications available are top-notch making it a top-notch golf watch.
- WHY APPLE WATCH SERIES 7 — The most advanced Apple Watch features powerful health innovations like sensors and apps to measure your blood oxygen and take an ECG. The larger, Always-On Retina display makes it easier to use and read. The most durable Apple Watch. Charges faster so you can get going quicker.
- CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY — Send a text, make a call, stream music and podcasts, use Siri, or call for help with Emergency SOS. Cellular lets you do it all without your iPhone nearby. And with Family Setup, kids and parents who don’t own an iPhone can enjoy the fun, safety, and connectivity of Apple Watch.
- EASILY CUSTOMIZABLE — Available in a range of sizes and materials, with dozens of bands to choose from. Change up your look by switching your band or by customizing your watch face in millions of ways.
- INCREDIBLE DURABILITY — Built to be tough. It’s more crack resistant, it’s dust resistant, and it’s swimproof.
- MOST ADVANCED HEALTH FEATURES — Keep an eye on your blood oxygen with a revolutionary sensor and app. Take an ECG anytime. Get irregular heart rhythm notifications. Track your sleep. Use fall detection as a safety feature that can call for help if you need it.
- SIMPLY COMPATIBLE — It works seamlessly with your Apple devices and services. Stream music to your AirPods. Unlock your Mac automatically. Find your devices with a tap. Pay and send money with Apple Pay. Apple Watch requires an iPhone 6s or later with the latest iOS version.
GOLFBUDDY aim W11 GPS Golf Watch
During the course of the year our group does get our hands on a lot of gear through various means. Having said, we are still lacking the opportunity or time to try out everything. So earlier this season when one of the golfers in our flight was wearing the GOLFBUDDY’s aim W11 GPS Golf Watch, I instantly took notice.
Even if the majority of time we bounce ideas and opinions internally amongst our group we still enjoy and are open to hearing others experiences. And this was one of those cases. When initially discussing the watches performance he quickly made me aware that he limited the use of the W11 to the golf course. When I asked the reason, he pulled out a Rolex so I decided not to challenge that reasoning 🙂
He also swore by the results and performance of the watch. Then doubling down on seeing no reason in spending more for a watch that spent the majority of time in his golf bag not on his wrist. Again, it seemed like sound reasoning…. If the results and performance lived up to his statement.
He was happy to entertain my performance investigation so for the entire round we walked the course together. In addition to a great day of golf stories we compared his distance measurements using the GOLFBUDDY aim W11 results against my Apple watch and golf application. What I can tell you is the results where consistently comparable. Also, when we pulled out the rangefinder to get precise pin measurements, they confirmed the distance readings from the watches.
While I still favor my apple for the simultaneous integration it has too to my other application, I cannot criticize the performance of the W11. It is a functional sport watch with a 1.3” TFT-LCD color touch screen. It provides distance calculations to the front, center and back of the green, and distances to targets and hazards.
The W11 also automatically recognizes which hole you are playing. It is a great feature that is not available with my current golf application. Where the W11 also seems to have the advantage is its rechargeable lithium-ion battery. I am currently lucky to complete 27 holes with my watch and the W11 was still well over 50% charged at the end of the round. The watch is rated to last up to 13 hours in golf mode.
Other featured of the GOLFBUDDY aim W11 GPS Golf Watch include:
- 1.3” TFT-LCD full-color touch screen display
- Size 46 X 46 X 15.3 mm
- 13-hour battery life in Golf Mode
- IPX7 Waterproof
- Distances to the front/center/ back of the green
- Distances to targets and hazards
- Green Undulation to show the slopes on the greens (Majority of US courses)
- Manual Pin Placement
- Easy-to-use Digital Scorecard
- Automatic course & hole recognition
- Preloaded with 40,000 courses worldwide with free updates
- Compatible with Mac iOS 9.0 / Android 6.0 or higher
If you are looking for a straightforward, easy to use golf watch that works then the GOLFBUDDY aim W11 GPS Golf watch might be the perfect fit for you.
- Golf Buddy 2021 New Golf GPS Watch! New features - Dynamic Shot Distance, more speedy touchscreen, low-light mode and on-screen mode without having to turn your arm on.
- Automatic Zoom-In/Out smart hole View. GPS and GLONASS satellite reception provides one-touch quick start function and accurate distance information. High visibility 1.3" IPS TFT LCD color touch screen Application. Waterproof level IPX7", you can use it without worrying about raining. Ultra-light "1.94oz" that won't get in the way of swing and golf play. Additional 3 colors Straps are provided free of charge.
- Green Undulation displays the slopes of the green through different colors. dark blue being the lowest point and bright red being the highest. The industry-changing addition of Green Undulation makes the Aim W11 the must-have device you need on the course. *Available at select courses.
- The strongest battery capacity of the class equipment "600 mA" can be played continuously with 45 holes on a single charge (up to 10 hours in golf mode, and 1 week in daily life). Provides high differences of information on golf courses (height difference settings can be set on the golf course), not only in U.S. but also for 40,000 golf courses in 170 countries worldwide.
- Pair with an iPhone or smartphone to check and store data on your smartphone. Height difference setting can be set when you arrive to the golf course and the W11 recognizes the golf course. The low light retention mode allows for improved battery retention, and the screen automatically turns on and off.