Technology has completely transformed what a golf watch can do. Take devices with built-in GPS and Bluetooth. Some of these snazzy gadgets can track your activity level — your heart rate, the number of calories burned, etc. — on and off the course. Others record your shot data for post-round review, in case you’re wondering what your Strokes Gained putting numbers look like. And they all offer yardages to the front, back or middle of any green. When it comes to stroke-saving, high-tech wrist wear, the future is now.
BUSHNELL NEO ION
The next-generation Neo iON has a battery that goes three-plus rounds between charges, as well as an integrated pedometer to track your steps on and off the course. The odometer mode records distance, duration and average speed of activity. A redesigned silicone band — in charcoal/orange or black/green (pictured) — provides a street-ready look.
This sleek, lightweight unit features an odometer, shot distance calculator, and the ability to enter your score, number of greens in regulation and number of putts per round. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 12 hours of use in GPS mode at more than 30,000 courses worldwide. Color choices include black/gray and white/green.
GARMIN APPROACH X40
This watch doubles as an activity tracker, recording distance walked, calories burned, and heart rate. The “Green View” function, meanwhile, lets you see where pins are located for more precise yardages. Plus, a tracking component records shots; the data can be sent via Bluetooth to your phone to analyze on Garmin’s Connect app. The watch can also sync to your phone — you’ll receive alerts for incoming texts, e-mails and calls. Available in black/ gray (left), white/ black, frost blue/ midnight blue.
GOLFBUDDY VOICE 2
The water-resistant, second-generation Voice 2 has more battery life (14 hours) than before. Tap the main button to hear the distance to the middle of the green, or hold it down for the yardage to the front and back. The screen displays all three yardages and shows the shape of the green. Clip it to your hat, pocket, belt, or wristband (sold separately, $25). Comes in blue/white or rose/white.
MICROSOFT BAND 2
The updated activity tracker has a durable glass screen that’s more curved for a better fit. Plug in your course to get yardages, while sensors track shots, steps, heart rate and burned calories. TaylorMade’s MyRoundPro provides stats like Strokes Gained, proximity to hole and fairways hit. The new Tournament Mode makes it legal for competitive play (the band records shot data without displaying yardages.) And it connects to your phone so you’ll get notifications for calls, texts and e-mails.
TOMTOM GOLFER 2
Meet the slimmed down successor to the Golfer. It supplies graphics and yardages to greens and hazards and tracks your shots, the distance you’ve traveled and the length of your round. Sync the watch to your smartphone and analyze your play on the company’s MySports app. A rechargeable battery provides up to 11 hours of use in GPS mode. The wristband (gray or black) comes in two sizes.
PRECISION PRO GPS GOLF BAND
When you swing, you’ll barely feel this flexible, one-ounce waterproof silicone band. Features include an odometer, shot-distance calculator and automatic course-recognition and hole-advancement functions. Available in midnight blue or white, you get eight hours of battery life in GPS mode.
Weighing just an ounce, this Bluetooth-enabled device pairs with the TLink app on your smartphone for instant yardages. It’s also a pedometer, tracking steps, calories burned, and distance walked on or off the course. Enter scores, putts, and greens and fairways hit for post-round review. (Stat tracking is $1/round, $5/month, or $30/year.) The TLink comes with a white or black wristband and a belt clip. Red, blue, and pink wristbands are sold separately ($15 apiece or $30 for all three).