Some of the world’s most famous golfers, from Phil Mickelson to President Obama, wear a wristwatch while golfing. But there are plenty who eschew the watch while playing because they don’t like the distraction.
If ever there was a reason to reconsider the watch as a golf accessory it is the new…more accurate than ever…GPS golf watches now available.
One of the new breed is Expresso Satellite Navigation’s WR62 GPS Golf Watch. While the name may be a mouthful, the beauty and ease of the piece are a marvel of simplicity.
This sporty, lightweight wristwatch not only keeps time, but at-a-glance provides the yardage to the center, front and back of every green. The watch comes ready to use right out of the box. Press a button to turn it on and head out to the course. Once there, press the menu button and select “Play Golf.” Quickly a list of local courses appears, most often with the course you are playing at the top of the list. Select your course and the watch does the rest.
The WR62 automatically picks up what hole you are on and displays the yardage to the center of the green in large, bold numbers. In smaller, but very readable type, the hole number and par appear at the top of the screen; the distances to the back and front of the green at the bottom.
That’s all there is to it.
It’s pretty accurate, too. I checked the distances against sprinkler heads, a traditional hand held GPS, and a laser pin seeker. Rarely was there more than a yard or two difference. After a few rounds, you will settle into trusting the yardage.
Along the way, you can choose to measure a shot, get the distance to hazards (the first GPS watch to include that feature), change the hole you are on, or check the time—all with a quick glance.
It doesn’t keep your score, track your bets, or give you a statistical analysis of your game, but it does come loaded with virtually every course in the U.S. and Canada. After several months of use, I only came across one nine-hole course in a remote northwestern corner of Maine that the watch didn’t recognize. There are no membership costs or fees for downloading courses and updating the watch.
The WR62, which typically lasted two full rounds between charges, also has a pedometer for walking and running and a speedometer for biking, as well as a stopwatch and an emergency locater that will display your precise coordinates anywhere in the world. And it’s waterproof.
As sure as the performance the watch’s 62-channel receiver provides, are the admiring comments from fellow golfers. Many were incredulous that such a small timepiece could provide GPS information. Just as many walked away with that look in their eyes that indicated they would be Googling this watch as soon as they got home.