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Critical Golf: Unbiased Golf Equipment Reviews

Golf GPS Device Cost

Golf GPS devices range in cost from $99 to nearly $500, and a number of manufacturers charge additional fees on top of the initial device cost to add courses to the device. There is a smorgasbord of different pricing models, ranging from a one-time membership fee (to download courses or even simply receive updated course maps) to annual fees to a “per course” fee for each golf course added to the device. Our testers looked at both the retail price for the device as well as the total cost of ownership over a three-year period.

Three Year Total Cost of Ownership

To provide a real-world example of the overall costs of owning a golf GPS device, we looked at the total costs over a three-year period.
Our Three-Year Cost of Ownership assumed an average player who:

  • always wants to ensure they have the latest course maps,
  • plays eight different courses in the first year of owning the device,
  • plays four new courses in the second year,
  • plays four more new courses in the third year,
  • plays within two different states, and
  • does not venture outside of the United States to play.

Finally, if the GPS device has different annual membership packages or per course fees, we assume that the three-year cost is based upon either the player selecting the least expensive package in the first year and continuing to renew at that same level, or on bulk year or course purchases if there is a discounted rate.

Table 1. Golf GPS Device Costs of Ownership

Golf GPS Device Retail Cost Year 1 Fees Year 2 Fees Year 3 Fees Three-year Total Cost
of Ownership
Warranty
IZZO Swami 4000 $119.99 $0 $0 $0 $119.99 90 days
ScoreBand Golf $149.95 $0 $0 $0 $149.95 1 year
SkyCaddie AIRE II $129.95 $49.95 $0 $0 $179.90 6 months
Bushnell NEO XS Watch $199.99 $0 $0 $0 $199.99 1 year
Garmin Approach S2 Watch $179.99 $0 $0 $0 $179.99 1 year
SkyCaddie LINX Watch $199.95 $49.95 $0 $0 $249.90 6 months
Garmin Approach G6 $249.99 $0 $0 $0 $249.99 1 year
TomTom Golfer Watch $249.99 $0 $0 $0 $249.99 1 year
Garmin Approach S4 Watch $249.99 $0 $0 $0 $249.99 1 year
Garmin Approach G7 $249.99 $0 $0 $0 $249.99 1 year
SkyCaddie LINX Watch $249.95 $49.95 (est) $0 $0 $299.90 1 year
Callaway GPSync Watch $299.95 $0 $0 $0 $299.95 1 year
Garmin Approach G8 $349.99 $0 $0 $0 $349.99 1 year
GolfBuddy PT4 $399.99 $0 $0 $0 $399.99 90 days
Sonocaddie V500 $399.00 $29.95 $0 $0 $428.95 1 year
SkyCaddie TOUCH $299.95 $49.95 $49.95 $49.95 $449.80 90 days
Bushnell Hybrid Laser GPS $499.99 $0 $0 $0 $499.99 1 year

Readers should verify warranty coverage with the manufacturer or reseller of the product before purchase. Prices subject to change.

SkyCaddie TOUCH. Users select one of four SGX membership plans to access the SkyCaddie course database, which are priced $19.95/year for basic distances (front, center and back of green) for unlimited courses nationwide, $29.95/year for unlimited courses in one state/province (each additional state/province costing $10/year), $49.95/year for unlimited courses in the United States, and $59.95/year for unlimited courses worldwide. Discounts are available for the purchase of 36 month plans.