What to Look for in a Portable Golf GPS

A great GPS device can improve your green game. Here’s how to find the right one.

Golf is a game of spatial relations; you have to understand the terrain, the course, and your ability to whack a ball across it at a reasonably straight trajectory. A golf GPS helps you figure out precisely where you are and how far away the hole is, without having to try and zoom in on an app. Here’s what to look for in one.

Pocket-sized

GolfBuddy Voice 2
GolfBuddy Voice 2 Golf GPS/Rangefinder.Amazon

A good golf GPS should be small enough to fit anywhere. After all, you have to carry it, your clubs, and everything else around a course, and you probably don't want a second weight in your pockets, unless you want to balance out your smartphone. Look for a device that can easily fit in with your gear bag, whether you're going on a golf vacation or just hitting the local greens.

Light and Lasting

Bushnell Phantom
Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS.Amazon

Battery life will make the difference between a useful tool and something weighing down your golf bag. With the average round of golf running you about four hours, your device will need to stay on the entire time, pinging satellites to provide you accurate readings. Check the mAh (milliamp hours) of the battery; the more, the better.

Wearable or Handheld

G10
Garmin Approach G10.Amazon

Options for attaching your golf GPS device to various places on your bag and person will also be useful. Depending on your personal style, you may want it on your wrist, on your belt, attached to your cart, hanging off your bag, or in your pocket. It's also important as wearable tech proliferates; nobody wants to be the guy with a watch on each wrist. Look over the unit for wrist strap connections, clips, and magnets, which will make bringing it with you easy, without cramping your swing or your style.