Golfers usually need all the help they can get; I’ve been playing since the age of eight and still can’t finish a round without self destructing. Knowing how far away you are from your target is of utter importance, and one of the major rolls of professional caddies is to help determine club choice based on the distance from the hole. I’ve always had a problem with this part of the game, I guess not being consistent with my clubs doesn’t help in knowing how far or short I can hit a shot, but even then I still wouldn’t be very good at figuring out distance.
But, if you were such a consistent golfer and knew how much distance you could pull out of your three-wood but couldn’t judge accurately how far away your target was, the Garmin Approach G5, for around $450, maybe exactly what you need.
The Garmin Approach G5 offers up a nice 2.3″ by 4.5″ unit that is about an inch and half deep, a nice size that fits easily in your golf bag but becomes heavy in your pocket the more holes you play. It runs on 2 AA batteries, and if you use NiMH batteries you can expect around 10-15 hours of use. The unit is waterproof for when you eventually chuck it into the nearest pound after striking your ball into that same pond for the fifth time that round.
The Garmin Approach G5 connects to your computer via USB where you can always upload new courses or course updates, the unit already comes preloaded with ten thousand golf courses throughout the United States and Canada, and you don’t have to pay a subscription fee to access them all. I was pretty impressed with the amount of courses loaded on the unit, easily the best preloaded handheld golf assistant on the market today.
The Garmin Approach also has a color touch screen, which is nice because you can just point to the target on the screen and it will calculate how far that point is from your position on the golf course. You can also move the pins on the Garmin Approach to always keep you on target even if the golf course crew changes pin placement on you. You can also preview the course, track your stats, keep a digital scorecard while playing and its USGA compliant. The GPS unit on the Garmin Approach is very efficient and quick; it definitely won’t delay your game play, at least not from the courses I played it on in Michigan.
Outside of the heavy feel of the Garmin Approach and the lack of showing trees and other minor hazards on the screen, the Garmin Approach G5 is a serious contender in handheld golf assistants and is definitely worth a purchase.