GPS Gadgets Storming 2013 Golf World

Picture the scene … you’ve hit a belter down the 18th. Split the fairway perfectly with your driver. Ball is perched on a lush tuft. Sun threatening to make an appearance too. Everything is going in your favour. This is going to be one hell of a round. Feeling a tad smug you walk up to the ball. It hasn’t quite reached the 150-posts. You squint into the distance towards the green. Pin is tucked away back right. Or so it seems. There’s a cold northeasterly blowing. Green looks ridiculously far away. Maybe it’s an optical illusion.

Hayley Barlow, Jeremy Thompson & Jimmy Tarbuck

You pace it out to the 150-yard marker. Reach for your trusty 6-iron. Doubts creep in. Have I done my sums right? Maybe someone’s moved the 150 posts. 162-yards according to my calculations. That can’t be right. There’s not a hope in hell I’m reaching the green with this club. Hands begin to tremble. For the love of God, can somebody please just tell me how far it is to the pin please?

The answer is yes and it comes in the form of GPS and range-finder gizmos taking the golfing world by storm. For the past three months I’ve been road-testing these game-changing gadgets courtesy of our friends at Garmin and Nikon. It’s official, guesswork is a thing of the past and I tremble no more. Here’s the lowdown:


Garmin Approach S3

  • Touchscreen GPS golf watch
  • Preloaded with over 27,000 worldwide courses
  • Yardage to the front, middle and back of the green
  • Yardage to lay up and dog leg landing areas
  • Move the pin for increased accuracy

VERDICT: Suitable for the casual golfer. Super simple to use and features a high-resolution, glove-friendly touchscreen display. Just like checking the time really. Downside: Battery drains too quickly.

Price: From £199.00
4 out of 5

Garmin Approach G6

  • Preloaded with over 27,000 worldwide courses
  • Unlimited targets with Touch-Targeting
  • Multiple scoring options including Stableford, skins and match play
  • Lay up arcs for a quick yardage reference
  • Enhanced stat tracking with fairways hit, GIR and putts per round

VERDICT: It is said to be one of the most popular GPS units on the market. Compact size with a stylish finish and long battery life.  Downside: Too expensive, fiddly and I really wouldn’t bother.

Price: From £299.00

Nikon London 2012 Olympic Games Laser 1000AS Rangefinder 

Nikon London 2012 Olympic Games Laser 1000AS Rangefinder

  • High performance laser golf range finder
  • Measures distances up to 1,000 yards exactly to your target
  • Calculates distance a shot is playing by factoring in the slope angle
  • Adjusts brightness of the display depending on the surroundings

VERDICT: The Rolls Royce of rangefinders for serious golfers looking for the most accurate distances. You’ll never leave home without it. Downside: Requires a steady hand after a night on the lash.

Price: From £350.00

5 out of 5
So there you have it … whether GPS devices and rangefinders are good for the game of golf is up for debate. Whether they’re good for my game of golf is a resounding YES.

8 Comments on “GPS Gadgets Storming 2013 Golf World

  1. Biggest problem I find with my GPS is that it does not always know what hole I am on. If the next tee is close to the green I have just played, it gets confused.

  2. Yep, I have a Nikon, the 550AS model. Even a mid handicapper benefits from one of these. Shocked you can’t find one- they are on Amazon. I just might let you borrow mine sometime at our favourite golf hill.

  3. Hi,
    That is incredible, well thought out for those that designed the technology, seems there is a gadget for just about anything today. 🙂

    • Thanks Mags, it’s amazing how the game has progressed over the years. If only they could invent a gadget to teach us how to hit the damn ball!!

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