Features to Consider in a Golfing Watch

Brad Carey12 Mar 2022

Let’s face it, we have all been in situations where we do not know what to pick. Situations where two or three options are all very attractive but we do not know what to choose. Well, many people usually find themselves in the same situation when it comes to picking a golf GPS device. If you are in such a situation, worry not for this post has everything you need to make your purchase decision easier. Let’s begin. Below are the main features you will need to consider when buying a golf GPS watch. The features are placed in order of significance with the first one being the most important one.

1. The distance measuring feature

The number one reason why people buy golf watches is essentially to use this feature! There are two key things to think about with regards this feature: accuracy and distance to hazards. Simply buying a golf watch that shows the strategic distances to the green is not enough. You need to confirm the level of accuracy of the device you want to buy to ensure that whatever distances you see and end up using to plan your game are precise. And while most, if not all, golf watches show distances to the back, the center, and the front of the green, only a few show distances to the hazards. Knowing the distances to the hazards is important because it also helps you to plan your game and to get better scores. The best golf watches are very accurate and show distances to at least four hazards per hole. So don’t settle for any less.

2. Shot distance measurement feature

This is the most fun feature on a typical golf watch. A golf watch with the shot measurement feature will measure the distance from where you take your shot to where your ball lands. So if you crush a good one, this feature will help you to know how far your shot traveled and to judge whether it is something that you should brag about when you meet up with your golf buddies at the clubhouse. Knowing your maximum shot distance will also tell you your potential and will kind of set the bar for you. This will inadvertently force you to always aim for a similar drive or a better one in the future. So the shot distance measurement feature is definitely a must-have feature in a golf watch.

3. Scorekeeping feature

This is the feature that will allow you to go green on the green. It will do this for you by eliminating the need to carry around and use a pencil and paper (and save trees in the process). The scorekeeping function literally allows you to keep the score but in a digital format. The hole numbers are usually already saved and as you go about your game you get an opportunity to enter your score. Most of the time you can analyze your scores on the watch itself, while some watches allow you to sync your stats to an app for thorough analysis. Either type of analysis should help you to know your strengths and weaknesses so as to make corrections and do better in future games. For this reason, you should make sure that the golf GPS watch you want to buy has this feature before making your purchase.

4. Screen size

Most people are usually not concerned about the size of the screen of the watches they buy, which is unfortunate considering how important the size of the screen is. The bigger the screen, the bigger the display should be and the easier it should be for you to read the distances being displayed. However, screen size is not the only determinant of readability. Other important screen elements such as resolution and the use or lack of use of color also affect readability. Therefore, you have to look at all these things to make sure that the device you are getting is golf-ready and not distracting or disorienting.

5. Design of the device

This is also a crucial issue that you must take into account to make sure that the watch you are buying enhances rather than interferes with your game. In terms of design, the best watches are obviously those that are aesthetic. Nonetheless, the most important thing about design is the sleekness and weight of the design. The sleeker and lighter the watch is, the less likely it is for it to interfere with your swing. The other thing you’ve got to look at in terms of design is whether or not the screen is touchscreen. Watches with touchscreen displays are usually much easier to operate than those without. In a nutshell, the design is an important feature that will determine how comfortable you will be with the device you buy.

6. Battery life

A golf watch may have all the nice features but without a good battery it is nothing. Remember, golf watches drain batteries like nothing else. This is especially true when they are in the GPS mode. Therefore, knowing how long your battery will last is important if you do not want your watch to die midway through a round. The typical GPS watch provides about 8 or 9 hours of service in the GPS mode. You should use this number as your standard. If you’ve got the time, always look for devices with longer lasting batteries that provide up to 12 hours of service in the GPS mode (there are quite a few). Twelve hours will definitely be enough for at least 2.5 rounds golf.

7. Activity tracking

Nowadays, most consumers are looking for something extra to decide whether to buy product A or its competitor. In the golf watch business, a feature that has sort of become a must-have extra is the activity tracking feature. Golf is as much about staying active and keeping fit as it is about enjoying the game. The premium golf watches now double up as fitness trackers. They can monitor your heart rate, the number of calories you burn, your activity level, how many steps you have taken, and the amount of quality sleep you get. Having these activity tracking features will definitely help you stay active and healthy, so make sure you look out for such features when buying a golf watch.

8. App compatibility

The best golf GPS watches are those that come with fully functional golfing apps that enable post-game analysis. By fully functional we mean apps that can shows stats in a really digestible way. Apps that can compare your current performance with your past performances. Apps that tell you your weak points and what you need to improve. And apps that enable you to see your performance vis-à-vis the performance of other people who have used similar devices on the same course. With this kind of information, most golfers should be able to improve their game, enhance their golfing experience, and become better players. Thus, apps are really important and you should only go for devices that come with a complementary and fully functional app.


Choosing a golf watch can be a dilemma as there are so many good ones out there. However, by evaluating the availability and quality of features and functions such as battery life, screen size, design, distance measurement, scorekeeping, and so on, you should be able to eliminate poor quality devices and remain only with one that is perfect for a great golfing experience.

Brad Carey

Brad Carey

An avid golfer, brad loves a round of 18 on a Sunday. After getting involved in the technical side of golf, he thought he'd share his insights with others.

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