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Garmin Approach G8 Golf GPS Review

The sleek Garmin Approach G8 golf gps loves being on the golf course almost as much as you do. And with its smooth modern design you can be sure it won’t look out of place hanging of your trolley or golf bag.

With new features like PlaysLike Distance that adjusts for uphill and downhill shots, PinPointer for blind shot assistance and Club Advice, the Garmin G8 is their most feature-packed handheld golf GPS device to date.


My name is Ian Allen and as part of my quest to find the best golf GPS devices, today I will be reviewing the smart looking Garmin Approach G8. So let’s get cracking.

So why buy a Golf GPS device?

That’s a great question. Have you ever found yourself on the Tee and wondering how far that hazard is? Or you’re standing on the fairway and can’t quite get comfortable guessing the carry distance. Yep, that was me too.

When playing a new course, I would always grab a course guide. You know the ones, the nicely bound little booklets with the different yardages to hazards and greens, as well as the ‘Pro Tips’ on how best to play the hole.

But, I don’t play golf like a professional. My tee shots are not always arrow straight and my approaches not always the right distance. So whilst I used to enjoy carrying the golf course guides around, more often than not, I would generally find myself playing my shot from where there was no distance indicated.

But all that is behind me with the invention of the Golf GPS by Garmin Golf.

My Review of the Garmin Approach G8 Golf GPS

Despite its slim profile, the Approach G8 debuts a substantial range of features to help you take on any course. The Approach G8 is just 2.1″ x 4.4″ x 0.6″, and at under 4 ounces is one of the lightest handheld golf GPS devices. 

Like many golf gps devices on the market now. The Garmin G8 has subtle lines and smooth curves. It fits neatly into your hand and instantly feels comfortable and familiar to the touch. In a contrasting colour scheme of white and black, the G8 is as contemporary as you want from a modern golf gps device.

Despite being compact, the size and weight shouldn’t put you off. In fact it should draw you in, as the Garmin G8 is packed full of features and getting to them is made very easy.

Garmin Approach G8 Features

garmin approach G8 golf GPS handheld device

Weighing in at just 112 grams, the G8 feels light in your hands. With an onboard lithium ion battery, it is good for around 15 hours of play, so you won’t need to charge it up after every round.

The 3″ and 240 x 400 pixel transflective color TFT touchscreen gives you a clear display and is excellent, even in the brightest sunlight. And the big number display setting, meant that my eyes didn’t have to strain too much to see the information.

As with other Garmin Golf GPS devices, the Approach G8 comes with 38,000 preloaded courses worldwide. In addition to this, within the purchase price all course updates and additions are free using Garmin Express. That’s right, no setup charges, fees or subscriptions needed. Your Garmin Approach G8 is ready to go straight out of the box.

Speaking of the box. When you receive the G8, in addition to the usual set up manual and safety information which we blokes never read. You also get a belt clip, AC adapter and USB cable. The later is what you use to update your device, as well as download your history after each round.

What’s the Approach G8 Golf GPS like on the Course?

Garmin G8 Simple Screen

Golf is mostly a mental game and if you have complete confidence in the club you’re holding, you are already most of way towards a great shot. Using it’s high-sensitivity GPS receiver, the Garmin G8 gives you the distance data you need, that gives you the confidence to commit to all your shots.

In addition to the distances, the Garmin G8 has the ‘PlaysLike’ feature. As the name suggests, the G8 will present any uphill or downhill distances in the format of what they play like. It’s similar to the ‘Slope’ setting on the Bushnell Tour V4 Laser Rangefinder. This will help you club correctly for the tricky uphill approach to the green.

Another great feature that the G8 has, is club suggestion. Based on your data of previous rounds, the Garmin G8 will suggest which club you should use for a given distance. WHilst the G8 won’t know your carry distance, this feature will stop you from making mistakes by letting your Ego do the caddieing. 

Once at the green, the G8’s clear touchscreen display will accurately show distances to front, middle and back of the greens. Plus in ‘Big Number Mode’ you get no other distractions. Just easy to read data that helps you make quick choices no matter how pressured the match.

As with other Garmin devices such as the Garmin Approach X10, S20, and X40. The Approach G8 has the Green View feature. Once in this mode the Garmin G8 will show you the true shape of the green, even if you’re behind it. Also with manual pin placement technology, and the touchscreen, you can manually set the pins to today’s locations to be even more up to date than your playing partners.

In addition to the green distances, the Garmin G8 will also provide you yardages to layups and doglegs. Plus it will also give you your shot distances from anywhere on the golf course.

The New PinPointer Feature

Garmin G8 pinpointer feature

Where the Garmin approach G8 really sets itself apart, is with the new PinPointer feature. 

Whenever you find yourself deep within the trees or short sighted from the green, this feature is specifically designed for you. 

With a press of one of the physical buttons below the screen, a compass is displayed showing the direction of the center of the green. Well, at least that’s the intention and I found it to provide a reasonable direction.

Does the Approach G8 Track Your Playing Statistics?

Yes it does.

In addition to the yardages and distances described above, the Garmin G8 Golf GPS will also track your shots. This includes strokes, putts per round, fairways in regulation and greens in regulation. So you can see if your new Callaway rogue Driver, or Scotty Cameron Putter are really improving your game. 

All of your golf statistics can be accessed and viewed with Garmin’s online software

What are the Garmin G8 Key Features?

Compact and elegant design
High-resolution easy to read transflective TFT touchscreen display
Precise distances to front, back and middle of the green. Including hazards, layups and doglegs.
Green view displays the green layout from the angle of approach with manual pin placements for exact distances to the flagstick

Plays Like feature giving you club suggestions based upon your past statistics

Pin Pointer showing you were the pin is when deep in the rough
Stat tracking measures shot distances and number of fairway/greenshots or putts
Upload and share stats online with Garmin Connect
Over 38,000 preloaded courses worldwide with free lifetime updates
15 hours of battery life in GPS mode

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