When it comes to the arsenal of equipment that’s available to the modern golfer, it wasn’t too surprising to find that there were golf GPS’ on the market, too. Are they any good, however? Will they help the average golfer to become any better? Or, will you just have a new toy that looks a bit flash – while you’re left fishing your ball out of the water? Let’s have a look, shall we?
Garmin Approach G3
With any of these devices, you need to be able to receive a signal on the golf course of your choice. If you can’t then you’re going to be no wiser about where you’ll have to stand, or how far away the hole is from you.
The Garmin Approach G3 comes equipped with detailed maps of all of the golf courses that you’re ever likely to play on in the U.S, or Canada; so you have no worries about going to a new course and having to feel your way around it for the first time.
Not only will you have the course mapped out in front of you on the Garmin Approach G3, you’ll also have the precise distances of hazards, fairways, and greens, from where you’re standing, to the hole. Knowing that sort of information means, of course, that you’re going to be better prepared to make the right club selection.
There’s no need to worry about constantly adjusting the Garmin Approach G3 to make sure that it knows where you are; this little device is going to update itself, and know exactly where the next shot is coming from.
What are the ‘techie’ bits that you should know about the Garmin Approach G3?
It is lightweight, and slips easily into your pocket; or clips nicely to your belt. It has a USB connection. The battery life is a very respectable 15 hours, so you can play several games, or one very long one, before having to recharge. One other big advantage is the fact that it’s waterproof, so it can play in as many different weather conditions as you can.
Are there any negatives with the Garmin Approach G3?
The one area that lets the device down a little is the screen. It is, of course, a small device, so the screen is never going to be very big, which may be a problem for some people. Because it’s a TFT screen, its backlit and it can seem to be a little bit dull for some people.
Overall, though, these are going to be minor things for most people, and the benefits of such a useful addition to the golf game will overshadow the screen issue.
Garmin Approach S1
The Garmin Approach S1 takes a watch-based solution to the problem of knowing how far you are from that ever-elusive hole.
Unlike a number of the other GPS systems that are on sale to help your game, this one doesn’t come with a graphic depiction of the course. What it does do, however, is to give you very clear yardages to the front, the back, and to the middle of the green.
The numbers are big, clear, and leave no room for error when you just have to get the ball in the right spot to win that wager with your teammate.
One of the other great things about the Garmin Approach S1 is the fact that it still works as a watch. That means that you can take it everywhere with you; so you won’t forget it on those impromptu golf matches; plus, you get the chance to make other golfers jealous when you keep looking at your watch, and point out the fabulous benefits that it has on the golf course.
Are there any negatives with the Garmin Approach S1?
There do seem to be some minor issues with the batteries, and you may have to do an occasional up date of the information; but those are minor concerns, and may not be a problem for the majority of people who choose to purchase the Garmin Approach S1.
Garmin Approach G5
The Garmin Approach G5 appears to have upgraded the features that may have let the Garmin Approach G3 down a little.
The display is now a half inch bigger, at 3 inches, and Garmin seem to have addressed the readability problem that some people were having with the G3. The screen resolution has been tweaked up a little too, in the revamp.
The Garmin Approach G5 also benefits from being able to have the maps updated with no annual fee. The new version is equipped with a digital score card for up to four players, so nobody gets to ‘customize’ their scores as you play.
As with the G3, the Garmin Approach G5 has a touch screen to make operating it easier than with many other Golf GPS systems, and it’s waterproof, too.
Are there any negatives with the Garmin Approach G5?
Although the readability is better, there may be some lighting conditions where it’s a little hard to read, but not impossible. You have to remember that you need to touch the ball on the screen to get an accurate reading to the next hole, which only seems logical.
So, which of the three products mentioned above would you take to your next golf game? All three do the job that you need them for, but each have minor things about them that stop them from being perfect; having said that, what is perfect?
Is it to be the Garmin Approach G3, the Garmin Approach S1, or the Garmin Approach G5? I would be happy with any of them, especially if they get me to the hole with anything better than a double-bogey.
Author: matthewmccliffordThis author has published 93 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.