Review: Garmin Approach G3

By Mike Wheeler

Garmin has a reputation for solid, reliable gear because it’s never shy of spending a few bucks on R&D, which has both its up and downs– the up side being, you get a great product, the down, it comes at a price.

However, the company has never apologised for going after the top end of the market, and one of its latest gadgets seems to back up this philosophy . Golf is a great past time if you can afford it, and with that in mind the US-based company has brought out a product specifically designed for those who tread the fairways – the Garmin Approach G3

Out of the box the Approach is a small device and will fit nicely inside a jacket or trouser pocket. Garmin has a supplied a cover and clip, which means you can also attach it to your trousers or golf bag. It takes two double AA batteries, which add to the weight of the unit. It is certainly a robust piece of kit having accidentally dropped it on the ground a couple of times while playing with it.

It is an easy product to use – it’s just a case of bringing up one of the 600 Australian courses loaded into the device, hit start, and away you go. Using the satellite technology, it tells you how far you are from the hole before you play each stroke. At its most basic it is an electronic caddy in that it supplies the information, and you then select the relevant club to play the next shot. We found it pretty accurate to within a couple of feet of where we were standing after pacing it out, and its touchscreen technology means it’s easy to navigate.

This device is for your serious golfer, who has a decent handicap. If you’re a bit of a slogger like me this kind of accuracy is not that important. But I do know friends and family who would like to hold onto their single-digit handicap and the Approach G3 would come into its own by giving them a more informed choice of how far they are from the hole and what club to use – this is especially true if you are playing a course for the first time.

Other features include the ability to keep scores of up to four people, a preview of the selected course, a daylight-readable screen, and touch targeting whereby you can touch any part of the screen and it will show you the distance you need to travel.

Overall the Garmin Approach 3 will provide a subtle advantage and find a nice little niche for golfers who take what can be a very frustrating pastime a little bit more seriously than most.

Pros: Rugged, accurate, easy-to-use, good information
Cons: Pricey

3.9 out of 5 Shacks