Best golf wearables: GPS watches and swing analysers
Knock shots off your handicap with these top wearables
April 3, 2015 By James Stables @stablesjames
If you're looking to slash shots off your handicap, investing in a golf GPS watch or a swing analyser could be the answer to your prayers.
Wearables and golfers have long been bedfellows, and for those desperate to shave a few digits off their handicap can really find benefits with technology. Using a GPS watch can help golfers make better decisions, and the price of technology has plummeted in the last year, making the tech affordable for everyone.
What's more, systems like GameGolf and Zepp are helping golfers get more out of their practice time, and both systems promise* to offer unprecedented insights into your game.
We've taken a host of wearables out on the course, and reported back for our 2015 guide to the best golf tech.
*Miracles not guaranteed.
Garmin Approach S6
In a new addition, the S6 will also provide information on your swing, helping you to achieve a more consistent performance, and Garmin Connect, which is one of the best platforms for running stats analysis, now has a Golf version so you can analyse and compare your rounds.
For those who can't stomach spending the equivalent of a top-end driver on a device that tells you how far to hit one, never fear. The Garmin Approach S1 may be six generations behind in terms of features, but it still offers yardage information for just £99.
Unlike the S6 there is no colour display but the 168 x 144 monochrome screen offers course graphics and a green view mode for checking out the position of the flag. It also offers score recording, distance measuring and the calories you've burned during your round.
With a 10 hour battery life, the TomTom Golfer should have enough power for a society day 36 hole competition and if it rains, no worries – the Golfer is 5ATM water resistant.
Essential reading: Check out our full TomTom Golfer review
Zepp Golf Sensor
When paired with a smartphone, the app will even use the built-in accelerometer to track hip movements: a crucial element of a consistent swing and the Achilles heel of many a weekend golfer.
GameGolf comes in two parts, a wearable sensor which mounts on your belt, and a series of sensors that mount onto the top of your club. When you're about to play a shot just touch the club element to the sensor, and play your shot.
The sensors record everything from your shot locations on the course to the quality of each shot, offering you a host of information to review once you finish those post-game beers in the 19th.
Essential reading: Check out our full GameGolf review
Garmin's first smartwatch blends GPS-enabled sports tracking, including a dedicated golf mode, with access to information on 37,000 courses, offering yardage to the pin, lay up distances and the ability to track your score right from the wrist.
What's more, there's smartphone for notifications so you never miss a massage when you're out on the course, as well as general activity monitoring, as well as running, cycling and swimming tracking, it's truly the ultimate watch for the golfer.
While the golf features are no-where near as in-depth as the Approach series of watches, for most golfers, they're more than adequate, and with the host of features, it's truly a top choice.
In depth: Read our Garmin Vivoactive review
The Golf Buddy BB5 doesn't exactly brim with information – unlike the overloaded Garmin Approach S6. Taking the form of a band rather than a traditional watch, the GolfBuddy simply counts your steps while out on the course, and displays distance to the front or back of the green on its LED dot display.
While some golfers may only want the basics, at £199, it's not cheap. It's same price as the Garmin Vivoactive and TomTom Golfer, both of which pack in scores more features in their own way. And those looking to save cash could look to the low-end Garmin Approach S2.
Bushnell NEO XS
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