Whether you're floundering on the fairways or nailing approach shots with aplomb, small adjustments to your golf game can make all the difference to the scorecard at the end of the day. In a bid to better guide players of all abilities as they navigate the course, Garmin has extended its already considerable range of golfing gadgets to include a new shot-tracking watch, a swing-monitoring sensor and a GPS device small enough to clip discreetly onto your belt.
Garmin has been using its satnav expertise to carve out a foothold in the world of golf for some time. In 2010 it unveiled a pair of touchscreen GPS devices preloaded with more than one thousand course maps to aid golfers in club selection and track their average yardage per shot. The latest addition to its Approach line basically packs this concept into something even more portable.
The Approach G10 is the smallest GPS device for golfers the company has produced. Loaded with more than 40,000 golf courses, users can clip the device onto their belt and track distances to the green, bunkers and water hazards through a 1.3-inch display.
It also measures individual shot distances and works as a digital scorecard, recording stats like fairways hit, greens in regulation and total number of putts per round. It has an IPX-7 water rating and 15 hour battery life.
Meanwhile, the S20 GPS golf watch is designed to work as a regular timepiece, but then kick into handicap-slashing mode when the user steps onto the course. Also loaded with more than 40,000 courses, it will also measure distances to the green and hazards, while also recording the location and distance of every shot played.
Off the course, the watch doubles as an activity tracker and counts the user's steps, calories burned, and sleep, and can also receive notifications from a Bluetooth paired phone. The battery should be good for eights weeks of use in activity mode or 15 hours in GPS mode, and the watch has a 5 ATM water rating.
And for the first time, Garmin has set its sights on improving not just your club selection but also your swing. The TruSwing is a small sensor that weighs 1 oz (28 g), measures 2.4 in (6.1 cm) in length and can be stuck on any golf club just beneath the grip. Here it tracks metrics such as club path, face angle and shaft angle to gain insights into the ball flight, trajectory and distance of shots.
This information is relayed to Garmin's recent Approach golf watches, such as the S20, its other handheld devices, or a smartphone or tablet. On these latter two, through Garmin's Connect app, the swing data is presented as a 3D animation which users can compare and lay over one another to see how their motion is varying from shot-to-shot. Also with an IPX-7 water rating, TruSwing's battery should be good for 12 hours of use.
The S20 watch will become available next month and be priced at US$200. Both the TruSwing sensor and the Approach G10 GPS device will also be available in the first quarter of 2016, and will be priced at $150 and $130 respectively.