Garmin G10The Garmin G10 is a small and lightweight GPS device that does everything a golfer needs at a low price. While not as robust as some more expensive units, the G10 still performs admirably. View Latest Deal
Over the long history of golf, courses have developed ways to help golfers determine the length of the shots they face.
This information is crucial, or course, in determining what club you are going to select.
Near the tee box and on the scorecard is listed the total distance of the hole from each tee box. At some courses, tee boxes might be quite long, rendering that yardage to a mere estimation. It’s close, but hardly precise.
Another aid is a yard marker in the fairway, typically at 100, 150, 200, and sometimes 250 yards from the center of the green. This can take the form of a marker embedded in the ground or a short pole. This, too, is not precise and sometimes wildly off base.
Yet another way of helping the player is a color-coded system for the flag on the green. Although the exact colors may vary, a red flag indicates the pin at the front of the green, a white flag for a middle pin position, and a blue or yellow flag for the pin at the back of the green.
Some courses even give out precise measurements of that day’s pin position, such as “20 feet from the left edge and 15 feet from the front edge” of the green.
Today more than ever, golfers can get a measurement that is more reliable than ever. Among those ways is a GPS device, which uses satellites in orbit around earth to triangulate your position on the course. With the course information downloaded into the device, you now get a good picture of what you are facing.
These GPS devices can be somewhat expensive, especially for the ones with the most bells and whistles. But the Garmin G10 is one that gets the job done adequately and does it at an affordable price.
Let’s look a little deeper into the Garmin G10.
GPS devices come in two forms: watches or handheld. Handheld devices like the G10 often have more functionality and an easier to read display. One problem with handheld GPS units is that they are easily dropped, left behind in golf carts, or otherwise misplaced.
The G10 combats that with a clip-on feature that lets you attach the device to your bag, your cart, or even your clothing. That is seemingly a minor detail that actually has some importance, the level of which you understand the first time you lose a GPS device.
While the G10 is not a rangefinder, meaning you can point a laser at a target and get a distance, it does have more than 41,000 courses pre-loaded at this writing. There is an excellent chance the course you play is one of them. Users get free updates when new courses are added, with no cost or need for a subscription or membership.
The information you receive from the G10 is fairly basic: number of the hole, par for that hole, green shape, in addition to the distance to the front, center, and back of the green.
You also get distance to certain landmarks, such as the best spot to lay up, sand bunkers, water hazards, and the like.
At the end of your round, assuming you have manually entered your scores, the G10 gives you a summary of your round. You can then hook up the device to your computer via USB to upload results to Garmin Connect, the company’s online community.
The display is 1.3 inches and has a nice contrast to it, making it easy to read on even the sunniest days.
The lithium-ion battery is said to last up to 15 hours in GPS mode. That may be slightly optimistic, but you definitely get enough juice to last more than two rounds. It is highly unlikely anyone will play long enough to drain the battery before getting to a place to recharge.
The G10 is rated for IPX7 water resistance. If you don’t know what that means, you are not alone. Just understand that it is made to withstand submersion for up to 30 minutes at 1 meter depth. Again, unlikely you will ever face conditions that would approach that during the course of a round.
How to Use the G10
Turn the G10 on by hitting the up arrow button at top left of the device. Select “Start Round” and choose your course.
Press the “OK” button on top right to get to a menu giving you a chance to move the flag on the green. If you want to measure the distance of your last shot, select “Measure Shot” and then walk to your ball. Of course, you could subtract the total distance to the hole from the distance remaining to get that distance.
The “Select Hazards” option will show you trouble spots on the hole, including bunkers or water hazards. You can also choose “Layups” to get the proper distance to a good layup spot.
The “OK” button will also get you to the scorecard, where you can manually enter your score on a hole.
As far as accuracy, the G10 appears to do a good job. While certainly not as accurate as a rangefinder or even higher-end models, it is likely within five yards and perhaps better than that.
You can’t view the entire hole, so knowing where the best layup spots are can be a bit problematic. That is a small minus in an otherwise fine device.
The compact design is especially nice compared with the clip-on feature.
Another potential negative is the lack of a touchscreen. While many people these days have become accustomed to a touchscreen, the push buttons work perfectly well and have an almost immediate response time.
While Garmin makes GPS devices that are more powerful (and more expensive), the G10 holds up well against similar devices. Quite a few are less capable, not surprising since Garmin is an industry leader.