The TomTom Golfer GPS watch isn’t new to the market for 2016, however the premium edition offers some exciting new elements to an already well thought out design. Golfers can take advantage of the high end GPS functionality in style with leather strap upgrades, and benefit from the convenience of function and fashion utilizing the cart mount. For those who can tolerate the idea of a watch on their wrist during a round of golf, TomTom may offer the perfect solution in a rather subtle package.
THP had the opportunity to review the TomTom Golfer GPS watch in early 2015, and came away quite impressed. There are a variety of features unique to this particular watch, and while this review will touch base on quite a few of them, you may want to take a look at the original review here (http://www.thehackersparadise.com/tomtom-gps-watch-review/).
The most obvious premium element to the model provided for review is the genuine leather strap. The soft leather design rests well on the arm and accommodates wrist curves without feeling uncomfortable. In total, there are twelve holes on the strap, making sure that sizing will not be an issue for a very wide variety of wrist shapes and sizes. It will require personal taste to determine preference of the leather strap over the rubber strap on the original TomTom Golfer GPS, however both have their merits. The leather certainly looks better from a casual standpoint, opening the door to make the watch an ‘all day’ wearer, whereas the rubber strap suggests a very athletic element to the watch in total. It also makes it much easier to maintain and wipe clean of sweat.
Included in the premium edition is the cart/bag mount, which allows golfers to remove the face and trackpad unit from the strap, in order to have a GPS that can be mounted easily to the handle of a cart, or hang from the side of a bag. During testing, this feature was enjoyed quite a bit, as it takes away the necessity of a wrist hindrance while keeping the information easily accessible. Transitioning between the strap and the mount was extremely easy. With that said, the unit stayed in place very well once securely fastened.
A final touch to the premium edition is the TomTom ball marker and strap mount. Despite the value in having a ball marker at the ready at all times, testing suggested a lack of confidence in having a ball marker attached to one of the highly active portions of the body for an entire round. Regardless, no issues arose during testing with the marker fastened to the strap.
Golfers who opt to use the TomTom Golfer GPS are welcome to utilize over 40,000 courses worldwide, and course information can be found at www.iGolf.com. Once near a course, the unit is easily able to locate said course by simply hitting the right hand side of the pad. From there, golfers have the ability to see front/middle/back distances, hazard distances, layup distances, and the shape of the green with hazards defined around it.
During testing, efforts were made to compare the “Greenview” element with real world satellite images of the course, and results were very promising. Only some very marginal elements changed during the course of 18 holes, with a majority of the greens being spot on. This included both the shape of the green, and the hazards that surrounded it.
The Hazard screen is an exceptionally useful tool when determining the length required to hit to a hazard, and then beyond it as well. For golfers who enjoy the course management aspect, the TomTom Golfer Premium Edition GPS watch can really make a difference between knowing a hidden bunker in the fairway, and hitting a wedge out of it.
While the front/middle/back location information can be very useful, the TomTom Golfer GPS watch seems to bring every number possible to the forefront of the round, offering distances the number of yards it would require to leave 100, 150, and 200 yards to the green.
And naturally, for the golfer who must know everything about their round, the TomTom Golfer GPS watch provides the number of calories burned, clock time, duration, distance traveled, and even a scorecard to track the round. Despite all this, the unit lacks a distance measuring tool, which seems very surprising for a GPS unit. This feature is not necessary for successfully navigating a golf course, however it is sometimes enjoyable to better understand distances, or get that ‘GPS number’ on the drive that looked to go more than 300 yards.
The accuracy of the TomTom Golfer Premium Edition watch was challenged on numerous occasions against a laser rangefinder that was capable of shooting the general central green vicinity as well as various elements surrounding the front and back of the greens. For 98% of the experiences with the TomTom GPS watch, the numbers seemed to be deadly accurate, with only a few strange occurrences of numbers notably different (15-20 yards) than what they should be. Of the few scenarios where inaccurate numbers were achieved, the day was quite overcast which could cause some GPS mishaps.
One additional and intriguing element to the validity of the data revolved around limited information holes. Of the reviewers’ home course, both holes one and seven were provided only distances to the center of the green, with no information to hazards, and rather stock locking green references when scrolling over to that screen. This leads to the idea that this unit is only as good as the database allows, and there should be a premium placed on accurate course reporting in total.
The ease of having only one button to control the entire unit may be one of the best features of the TomTom Golfer Premium Edition GPS, although a close second would be the design that takes some of the GPS bulk away from the face, and providing a slightly shallower overall face look for golfers. While many of the GPS watches on the market are painfully bulky in the face, the TomTom Golfer GPS is actually quite thin, presenting a sleek look that makes sense both on and off the golf course.
As experienced originally, the battery life of the TomTom Golfer GPS watch exceeds one round easily, with a realistic assumption of up to 10 hours of active GPS usage. This leaves golfers charging the unit less, despite the easy to use docking station that hooks into any USB device.
Overall, the TomTom Golfer Premium Edition GPS Watch offers numerous valuable upgrades to the already functional and sleek watch we have come to know. Golfers can find comfort on and off the course with the new genuine leather strap, and have the flexibility of utilizing the device on their wrist or secured to a cart or golf bag with the cart/bag mount. With a selection of courses surpassing 40,000 (and clearly rising based on last year’s total), there should be a great deal of confidence in getting accurate and fast course measurements no matter where one plays. For more information on the TomTom Golfer Premium Edition GPS watch, visit www.TomTom.com.