Various images of the Garmin G30 Golf GPS

Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS Review

To play your best on the course, you need to know the course. With the Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS handheld, you can ensure each shot counts. Looking for the best golf GPS from Garmin Golf, you can’t go far wrong with this compact handheld.

Welcome. My name is Ian Allen and as part of my quest to help find the Best Golf GPS device to buy, today I’m performing a product review of the Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS by Garmin Golf.

So let’s dive in!

As I have written in the past when reviewing the Garmin Approach S60, S20 and the Approach X40, I don’t really like wearing golf GPS watches. I find them a little cumbersome and the displays a tad too small. So I was excited to have a go with the Garmin G30.

The Garmin Approach G30 is a sleek and well made handheld golf GPS device. With a simple power button nestled within the rubber bezel, the case presents an uncluttered look. This gives the G30 a lovely rounded back design and a superb quality feel about it. Something which we are used to with modern smartphones and tablets. 

Weighing in at just over 70 grams, the G30 doesn’t feel heavy.  And with various accessories available, you can carry it on your belt or within your pocket. You can even clip this little beauty to your bag or trolley.

The Garmin Approach G30 boasts a 2.3 inch, colour touchscreen display. If you are used to a watch, then you will find this a huge step up. With a 200 x 265 pixel resolution, the display shows colour hole mapping and even has a ‘Big Number Mode’. Helpful for those of use who find our eyesight failing somewhat. 

What Features Does the Garmin Approach G30 Have?

Despite being just 53mm wide and 75mm long, the Garmin G30 packs quite a punch. Compared to the previous models Garmin Golf has put out, it really does prove that great things can come in small packages.

As with many of the other devices from Garmin Golf, the G30 comes preloaded with more than 40,000 international golf courses. And with its ultra sensitive GPS receiver, it will display distances to greens and hazards with clarity and ease.

How does the Garmin G30 read distances and yardages?

With the Garmin Approach G30, standing on the Tee Box with the latest Ping G400 Driver, won’t have you guessing about your next drive.

The display will show you a map of the hole ahead, complete with hazards and layup distances. Giving you the confidence to let loose, safe in the knowledge that your new Titleist Pro V1, will be found on the short stuff. Plus you can touch anywhere on the screen to get an accurate distance from that particular spot. Handy if you are not near any of the displayed hazards.

Of all the available display choices available, the one that you will undoubtedly use the most, will be the large format distance display. Particularly as you approach the greens.

In this mode, no matter where you are on the course, you’ll get a simple screen with clear distances to the front, middle and back of the greens. And with the aid of a handy ‘pointer’, you can manually set the pin position to get accurate, laser rangefinder distances. Making sure that you are more informed than your playing partners.

In addition to distance information, the Garmin has another great function. At anytime you can save a location of interest. For instance a reminder to play towards a certain portion of the green, or a particular side of the fairway perhaps. And these are always displayed within the course hole view for future reference.

Will the Garmin Approach G30 Track My Golf Shots?

Yes it does, plus it will track the score of your playing partners too!

Nowadays every golfer wants to understand his or her playing statistics, and I’m not different. Especially as I am working hard to achieve a single figure handicap this year. So to understand how I performed, whilst still being able to enjoy the round, is crucial to me.

Questions such as, How many Fariways did I hit? How many ‘Greens In Regulation’ did I achieve? What were my Putts Per Round and Putts Per GIR? All these can be answered with the G30 and Garmin Connect Software. 

Once the round is over, the device will summarise all your statistics. Then it can be automatically synced to Garmin Connect, and all of your stats can be viewed at your leisure. Including views of how you played each hole. 

Plus, with the Digital Scorecard function, the G30 can keep track of up to 4 players. The digital scorecard facility also gives you optional adjustable handicaps and scoring options including Stroke Play, Stableford, Skins and Match Play. So there is no arguing about who gets the honour at the next tee.

To add another level of competition. The Garmin Connect software lets you compete with other players around the globe. You can run weekly leaderboards on all international courses and you can even compete among friends and playing partners alike. You can even set up your own tournament at your home course.

Keep an Eye on Your Swing with Garmin TruSwing and the Garmin Approach G30

Garmins’ TruSwing provides detailed metrics to help improve your swing consistency.​ There are a few companies out their doing something similar, such as SkyPro Swing Analysis, Zepp Golf 2 and Blast Golf.

Garmins’ TruSwing simply attaches below the grip of your golf club allowing you to stay fully focused during your training with no distractions. Through Garmin Connect you can also monitor your swing data or review your swing with comprehensive 3D animation or overlay one swing with another for detailed analysis. 

TruSwing and the Garmin G30 together, allows you to monitor data such as swing tempo, speed, club-path measurements and critical club angles. Helping you to improve your swing consistency and form, both on the course and at the range.

What are the Garmin Approach G30’s Key Features?

Stylish & Sleek Design; Lightweight yet durable case with protective rubber bezel. High-resolution transflective colour TFT touchscreen display.
Distance to hazards such as bunkers and water hazards plus front, middle and back of the green, layups and doglegs
Green View feature displays the shape of the green with manual pin placements providing laser rangefinder type distances to the pin.
AutoShot automatically measures every shot distance for post-round analysis on your Garmin Connect account

Digital scorecard lets you easily keep track of your score throughout your round. Plus score up to four players with optional adjustable handicaps; scoring options include Stroke Play, Stableford, Skins and Match Play
TruSwing: When paired, the TruSwing golf swing sensor provides metrics to improve your swing consistency, including; Swing Tempo, Swing Speed, Face to Target, Dynamic Loft, Shaft Angle, Club Path, Club Path Coordinates and Shaft Lean Angle.
Receive smart notifications for incoming calls, texts, emails and other alerts
Wireless connectivity to upload and share scorecards with Garmin Connect Golf
Preloaded courses to access more than 40,000 courses from around the world
Autosync feature automatically transfers your data to a compatible smartphone
Battery life: up to 15 hours in GPS mode which is more that the smaller Garmin Golf GPS Watches and GPS Bands.
Round Timer & Odometer

Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS

So what did I think of the Garmin Approach G30?

In an effort to put together a ‘Best Golf GPS’ article, it seems that recently all I have been doing is reviewing GPS watches. 

So after spending hours with watches such as the Garmin Approach S60, S20, X10, X40 or indeed the smaller Garmin Approach G10. I can imagine the excitement a player will get when moving to the Garmin G30.

Whilst it is lightweight, that lightness doesn’t come at the expense of build quality. It feels smooth and sleek in the palm of your hand, and the round edges have a familiar feel. Something which is rooted from years with the iPods, smartphones and tablets.

With a few accessories you can wear the G30 on your belt, or clip it to your bag or trolley. This made it very convenient around the course, and not obtrusive, such as a bulky watch might be. Many of you will know that I don’t like wearing watches. In fact the last one I owned was a TomTom Golf. Not something that I would recommend, especially when Garmin Golf are putting out so many variations that start at half the price of a TomTom.

Anyway, back to the Garmin G30.

Whilst on the course, the display gave all the information we needed to take a confident shot. And as golf is all about confidence, this would only serve to aid every player. 

Of all the screens, the one I used the most was the simple distance screen. With large numbers displaying the yardages to the front, middle and back of the green, it was easy to decide on club selection. And when things needed to be more accurate, by clicking on the icon in the bottom right corner, I could bring up the Green View. 

From here I could manually set the pin position to get an accurate distance, just like a Laser Rangefinder. Although to be honest, I would prefer the Bushnell Tour V4 if I had a choice. However, I did find that this proved a little tricky as it is such a small screen. Or was it because I have fat fingers? Not sure on that one.

One of the best features on the Garmin Approach G30, is the Digital Scorecard. Not only keeping track of my round when I played solo. But I used this during a social 4 Ball. I play in a few social roll ups at my local club, so it was great to be able to use the Garmin to track everyone’s score in my group.

It gave me both the score for the hole and the running total of the round. Then a total once we had finished. It can also be set for either Stroke Play, Stableford, Skins and Match Play. Plus I could adjust each player for their proper handicap. So working shots out during the round was a thing of the past.

Overall I really liked the Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS Handheld. It was sleek, well made and packed full of features that I could use on and off the course. For the price you can get cheaper watches, but then that is what you get, a watch. The G30 presents a digital map of the course, plus tracks scores. Two things it does better than any watch I have tested to date.

If you are really looking for a golf GPS device that presents a colour map of your course. Then the Garmin Approach G30 is for you. And take it from me, you won’t be disappointed in your purchase..

To get yours, simple click on the links below to search for the latest prices.

Thank you for reading this review of the Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS Handheld. I hope it has answered some if not all of your questions, but please do feel free to leave a comment below if you would like to know more about it….

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