Garmin vs SkyCaddie – Which GPS golf watch is best?


garmin vs skycaddie gps golf watches

A golf GPS device comes in many different forms to fit the needs of a wide variety of golfers. Although devices can vary greatly, the biggest deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a device is the proven track record of the brand. Thankfully, both Garmin and SkyCaddie are two brands that consistently deliver when it comes to innovation and essential features like HD graphics. With this in mind, which of these two brands stands out the most for golfers?

If you’re looking for a consistent level of innovation and convenience with GPS golf products, Garmin is a wise brand to choose. However, SkyCaddie also popular in both of these essential qualities. Garmin wins high marks for its superior battery life, but SkyCaddie has a better digital scorecard.

Are you currently trying to decide which of these two brands offer the best features according to your golfing dynamics? If so, this article is for you.

In this guide, we will take a broad look at both Garmin and SkyCaddie in general, as well as a detailed comparison between two of each brand’s most popular models. By thoroughly comparing the various features of each brand, this can help you to make an informed purchasing decision.

Which is best – SkyCaddie LX5 or Garmin Approach S60?

Both brands are incredible in the field of Golf GPS, therefore, the best way to find which one is better for you is by exploring the key features and the pros and cons of two popular models within each brand.

At a Glance: Garmin Approach S62

First Impressions

The Garmin Approach S62 is great for everyday wear. This watch comes preloaded with more than 41,000 full-color course view maps of golf courses from around the world. 

You can download updates for the course you play most often and the watch even displays wind speed and direction. This watch has a large color screen and is not as bulky as its previous model the S60. The Garmin Approach S62 is packed with many cool features like Garmin Pay, gorilla glass, and a handy heart monitor if you wish to monitor your fitness.

Let’s take a further look at this model.  

Garmin S62 Key Features

As mentioned, the Approach S62 is loaded with 41,000 courses that load automatically when you arrive. These features are crystal clear thanks to loading on the gorilla glass screen.

This model has a supplemental battery that provides for 3 full rounds with exact yardages on a single charge. The design features easily interchangeable bands and a downloadable watch face to give you a different look and feel anytime you want.

A virtual caddie feature gives insight on what clubs to play and how to play each shot distance on a golf course. The playslike feature gives a slope adjusted distance to the flag and it now takes wind into consideration.

The Autoshot feature tracks each shot while the Swing Tempo feature offers feedback on your overall swing. A handy compass feature always shows the direction and distances to the pin when you use manual pin selection for distances.

There are various layup options that allow you to target any area on the golf course, and get the distance to plan your strategy.

Pros:

  • Extended battery life to three rounds
  • Heart rate monitor and gorilla glass now included
  • A watch to use all the time, not just for golf
  • 17% larger color touchscreen with tons of feedback

Cons:

  • Not a good price at $500
  • Can be difficult for less tech savvy and senior players
  • Watch is a little more bulky than the S60
  • Autoshot can miss some shots

To find out more about the Garmin Approach S62, as well as a range of other Garmin golf products considered to be the best of the brand, check out our comprehensive round-up review of the best golf GPS devices of 2021 here.

At a Glance: SkyCaddie LX5

First Impressions

With the SkyCaddie LX5, the first thing that jumps out about this model are the incredible graphics and attention to detail. This watch has the highest resolution of any golf watch on the market today.

Let’s take a further look at this model.

LX5 Key Features:

The SkyCaddie LX5 comes with 35,000 courses that load automatically upon arrival with practice modes. The design features a 1.39-inch full HD color touchscreen, and is one of the biggest and nicest looking displays on the market.

There are easy-to-navigate display screens that allow you to zoom in or out to any point on the course with the cursor. The Intelligreen feature gives a bird’s eye view of the green and even shows undulations in the green.

You can move the pin position manually and get preset distances to the front middle, and back of the green. The Arc display gives three distances from where you are aiming, so you can see where you will land no matter which direction it goes.

This device has plenty of extra details like a digital scorecard, heart rate monitor, and a step counter. The battery has at least one round to adequately hold all of this.

Pros:

  • Clearest graphics of any watch on the market
  • Comes with a heart rate monitor, scorecard, and a step counter
  • Intelligreen shows distance to any spot and even undulations
  • Easy-to-navigate color touchscreen

Cons:

  • The battery only has enough juice for one round per course
  • The screen goes completely dark after 30 seconds
  • Not as fast and accurate to load a golf course as some Garmin GPS models
  • Not as accurate overall as the S62

Which Model Should I Buy Between Garmin vs. SkyCaddie?

Disregarding any advertising data that typically comes with other sites related to tech, let’s take a deeper look at the comparisons of each of these brands to find out which is best.

The LX5 is the first attempt at a watch from SkyCaddie and they need to make a few improvements to compete outright with Garmin.

This watch takes a long while to sync up with the course. The unit has a tendency to go completely dark by the time you reach the next hole, and the battery needs to be improved since center distances become difficult to gauge based on darkness and battery fluctuations.

The LX5 has more available perks than the S62, but between these two devices, the S62 comes out on top.

Perhaps most importantly is the fact that the S62 has a three round battery life, quicker adjustment straps, and downloadable interfaces for a different look and feel every time.

The LX5 costs significantly less, but is on par with earlier Garmin S60 model price wise.

Therefore, if you have the budget, and want the best watch possible between the brands, go with the Approach S62.

Which Garmin golf GPS is best?

The best overall Garmin GPS is a toss-up between the Garmin G80 or the Garmin Approach R10. Both of these models are launch monitors, features such as ball speed measurements, smash factor, fairways hit, and much more.

One of the really useful features of the Garmin Approach R10 is that all of your session data is saved in the Garmin Golf App. In fact, every single shot that you take is visualized out on the driving range, as well as allowing you to bounce in and look at the data for any specific shot that you take.

Many of the features are carried over from the Garmin G80, but Approach R10’s simulation details are truly revolutionary for golfers, thanks in part to the unbelievably low price of the simulator when compared to industry competitors.

With that said, both of these models are superb, and either the Garmin G80 or the Approach R10 is a great investment. It may come down to which of the two designs you like better.

Which SkyCaddie is best for battery life and launch monitor data?

The best SkyCaddie launch monitor to consider would be the SkyCaddie SkyTrak. The first personal launch monitor of its kind, this model is a realistic and real-time golf practice and play system. This launch monitor features a compact, portable unit that wirelessly connects to your compatible device and provides immediate shot launch data and ball flight visual feedback as soon as you hit the ball.

The SkyTrak accurately measures ball speed, launch angle, back spin, club speed, side spin and side angle and displays carry distance, offline and total distance to simulate practice and play as if you were on the course or practice tee.

Summary Garmin vs Skycaddie

Whilst Garmin is an established name when it comes to Golf GPS, SkyCaddie are a strong competitor in this field and have a number of on wrist and handheld devices to help you improve your accuracy. But although SkyCaddie have impressive features and graphics, if you are looking for a GPS system that can go the distance, then Garmin with its outstanding battery life is a reliable course companion.

Richard Harding

I am a retired English teacher from New Jersey now living the high life in the South of Spain. When I am not cooking up a storm in my outdoor kitchen you will find me teeing off on the golf course.

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