How accurate is a golf GPS?

Rob McNicholas

14 November 2022

Part of being a golfer is answering questions from your playing partners. But this one (the one in the title above)… well, this one is actually really interesting. The answer is pretty bleeding amazing, too!

The answer is, in short, that golf GPS devices in this day & age are very accurate. They’re obviously more accurate than they were when they were new on the block, and of course some are more accurate than others, but what’s the most accurate and how does it help?

Bushnell Phantom 2 handheld GPS

Bushnell is an industry leader when it comes to accurate yardages. That’s why nearly every caddie on Tour uses them to map-out the courses before tournaments. From there, we can split Bushnell devices into a couple of categories.

Handhelds & watches

Bushnell offers both handheld devices (Phantom 2) and watches (iON EdgeiON Elite) for getting your on-course yardages. The Phantom 2 is never more than a couple of yards from the posted on-course yardages. However, you can take this one step further with the Phantom 2 Slope edition and the iON Elite watch; both offering yardages that take into account how the slope effects the distance.

Bushnell ION Elite GPS watch

So, if you're faced with a shot that's considerably uphill, these devices can work out how much longer the shot is actually playing. Pretty clever! Plus, all of the devices even map-out the shape of the green so you know when you’re safer going long, short, left or right.


This is where things get serious. We’re talking about being on the money with your yardages. According to Golf Monthly, the Bushnell V5 Shift rangefinder was ‘exactly right’ when tested from 50m and 100m away. Usually, the steadiness of a player’s hand is the only issue with accuracy with premium rangefinders, but Bushnell even counteracts this with its Visual JOLT technology locking onto the flag with ease and accuracy from 400+ yards.

Bushnell Tour V5 Rangefinders

So, there we have it! Bushnell’s reputation precedes it for good reason. If you’re an ultra-precise, dialled-in golfer then a rangefinder is probably your best option. However, the handheld devices and watches both stand up to the test very well too.

Feel free to stop by the pro shop this week and see them in-person.

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