Maybe I should start a poll instead (if it's not done already) but I've read some of the threads on GPS Watches and to be honest I need convincing that they are actually worth it.
My course, any any course I've ever played on, has markers for 200/150/100 to the front or center etc...anything in between I can make a good guess on the actual distance. For example, using a GPS to tell me its exactly 173yds/mtrs to the flag rather than me guessing/calculating it's somewhere between 170 and 180 and choosing the appropriate club - what's the difference? If it's 170 or 180 or 173, I'm going to use the same club anyway!
I might be old school but am I missing the value of a GPS Watch?
It's a matter of preference I suppose, It just automatically takes the guessing out of it and I can be confident in the number I have in my head
A big advantage it has vs the markers is you will have the distance to the front/middle/back of the green on your watch not just the front/middle depending on the course, its handy if you have a rather big green - depending on the type of watch you have then you could also have yardages off the tee to hazards - see how much to layup and how much to carry
another advantage for me seeing as this happens me more than others is, when I'm on the wrong fairway or just generally off line , you dont have to go calculating how far you are from the marker etc... just right there on your wrist
As chasing birdies said I would use it to measure distance to hazards as well as distance to the green. If there is a stream or bunker it will help me decide what club I need to take it on or if I should play short. It makes no sense to me that you would guess/estimate distances when you can have them given to you. I find it helps with pace of play too if the golfer knows what he/she is doing. I would look at the watch as I approach the all and have the club selected before I have even stopped walking. No need to try to figure out how far off line I am in comparison to the markers.
When you mention value or worth I suppose that is entirely individual. The value to me is confidence that I know my yardages accurately. I bought my GPS 3/4 years ago for €120 and I don't see any signs of it losing battery power or slowing so cost really is negligible
I'd be lost without mine at this stage. Often off line from the tee. Can still be confident in selecting the correct club from the wrong fairway or something similar. Great when visiting courses too. As the lads have said good for picking layup shots ahead of water / bunkers etc. I had a cheap one for years and the strap broke. Went out and bought a new one the following morning (helped I had a voucher for mcguirks with nothing specific in mind).
Each to their own, but I'm the opposite. Knowing middle of green is helpful, but a direct zap of the pin with a laser will give you exact. Course markers are useless to me as I can't trust them or their unit of measure or whether they are front/middle. So I carry both a gps watch (strapped to the trolley) and a laser in the bag. The difference between, say, 109 metres and 113 metres is quite significant and if I'm trying to land a ball over a bunker and get it to stop at the flag -I wouldn't be able to stand over the ball with confidence if I wasn't sure of the distances.
What one did you buy? I am looking at getting one too.
Inside 100ms is where I find it best, you also learn how far you hit each club and definetly find I commit more to a shot if I know the exact distance.
I got the Garmin S42. Very happy with it. 300 Eur. As I had the voucher I didnt shop around. Measures out each shot so handy to figure out how far you hit each club eventually. Works as basic smart watch for day to day watch if thats of interest.
I used one for years then it broke and I found myself guessing even on holes that I’ve played hundreds of times over the years.
On our course the greens on our index 1, 2 and 4 are 40 yards, 46 and 52 yards long so obviously depending on the flag position, weather conditions and whether the course is soft or hard you can imagine the different shots that need to be hit. The watch takes the guess work out of it completely and especially with the indexes of those holes, being comfortable in playing into them can lead to better shots and a 4 pointer for the card if you knock it close and walk off with a three.
If you don’t like the watch you can get a GPS system for your bag for relatively small money. I definitely would recommend getting some form of GPS to help take the guess work away though.
I played narin last year and it wasn't downloaded and I couldn't believe how reliant I had become on it. The markers are fine if you want to know how far you are to the middle of the green and you're on our near the fairway. But...
If you're properly offline they're brilliant. You'd estimate a distance give or take 30 metres without them.
Distance to hazards, doglegs and layups are used regularly too. Knowing how much you need to clear bunkers / water, or how far the back can save you shots.
I think I prefer having a watch to a laser though. I'd rather know how far I am from the middle of the green than the flag.
Well, I think I'm sold!!! All the comments are positive so maybe I'll put a Golf GPS on the Christmas list.
I got a new Garmin watch earlier this year for running and to tell the time :) so maybe one of the clip on jobs would be a starting point. Anybody got thoughts on the Garmin Approach G12?
Another very handy watch feature is the measure shot one. I knew my distances fairly well already - I had estimated quite accurately from using the fairway markers. But when you're looking for a ball it's brilliant, because you can check your distance and realise I can't be this far or this short.
If you like the garmin one's already have a look at the vivoactive range. Does running, swimming, cycling but also golf. Pretty basic for golf maybe but does front/middle/back and layup distances but not too often will it have hazards programmed into it. Worth considering
^ Yes, I do that all the time. When you walk your line and combine that with good data on how far you expect you hit the ball you narrow your search area. 'X' marks the spot. Rince and repeat because every time you do this you get to know your distances better and reduce the search area meaning the knowledge gained from looking for your ball on a wayward bad round where you may not be too bothered will actually help you on a different good round where you 'really need to find that one' that got loose.
G12 should do the job alright. I use the older model G10. I never wear a watch (much to my wife's disappointment. She bought me one for our wedding 11 years ago and it is still in the box) so just have the GPS in my pocket.
It's a little amusing from time to time as well when you help someone look for their drive so check the distance. I'll ask them how far they hit the ball and will start from about 50 yards back from that distance. Usually people are 20 metres short or so. A slice in particular can do that. But it does happen quite a bit that I find it 50 metres short of their distance. Sometimes I'll say something, sometimes I won't.
Sell the running watch and ask Santy for either a Forerunner 945 or a Fenix 6. I'm sure Santy will appreciate the money you get for the running watch as well to help with costs.
Both have all the running/cycling/swimming/golfing data you'll ever need. And they tell the time!
The Vivoactive mentioned in an other post will have basic metrics if you are happy with that but it's a touchscreen which is nonsense as a running/golf watch as rain drops will activate the touchscreen!!
Vivoactive garmins definitely the way to if you also like swimming, running cycling etc. Stores all your golf data also so handy to look back on the app.
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Got a second hand 920 (i think ) XT which is and older version of their allround triathlon watches , got it on eBay for 180
prob missing features v dedicated golf watch but can’t think of anything else I need, distance to front middle back of green and hazards does the trick
battery life seriously impressive especially compared to Apple Watch
What way does the Vivoactive work for golf?
Are the courses downloaded from an app on your phone? And what all information does it give you being a watch that isn't specific to golf?
Yeah you download the course through the app which syncs to the watch.
Usual info like distance to front, middle & back, Bunkers, hazards etc.
It measures every shot and works as a scorecard. Tracks your stats like GIR, FIR, putts, direction off the tee. App is good and maps your way around the course, handy to have a look at after your round, gives historical shots also so you can see your usual landing zones.
Which garmin running watch do you have? Plenty of them are capable of having the golf widget downloaded onto them.
Yep, Garmin list the watches that are compatible with the Garmin Golf App. I think these are the running watches in that list.
A definite yes from me on a GPS watch for golf.
Could I happily play without it ? Absolutely, but at club golfer level, knowing front, middle & back yardages is a big help. TBH I find that the real benefit of them is, over the course of a period of time, you start to learn how far you hit it, or don't hit it, to be more precise ! For a relatively small investment in golf terms you'll get years out of it.
Can't go wrong with Garmin, I had a Garmin S3 for many years, but last year I got the Shot Scope V3 with the tags. Its a brilliant piece of kit and being able to see, and edit if necessary, your round afterwards on a map and get all your stats (if you're that way inclined) is very interesting. There's a whole dashboard with stuff like strokes gained, your club yardages, left/right misses, putts etc etc.
I've no connection at all with Shot Scope but I did notice on social media yesterday that they have a €50 discount at the moment, reducing it from €269 to €219.
I have the Forerunner 45...don't think that has any of the golf capabilities though - pity!
Yeah, not on the list that Garmin say can have the app installed.
I have shotscope v3 and garmin vivoactive 4s.
As an oncourse experience the garmin is far better than the shotscope. The SS is bulky, cheap build. It has a decent but not amazing aftercourse experience. It gives good data on how far you hit your clubs etc and some things around my tendencies.
Garmin v is great on the course, light, much nicer but still basic UX. The post round experience is worse than SS and Game Golf. Doesn't give you the same post round insight as shotscope