GolfLink’s 2018 Gift Guide: Best Golf Tech

By Ryan Watson

The holidays are right around the corner and now is the time to shop for all the “good” golfers in your life, no matter their handicap, or to start stocking up for the new year. This year, Golflink is putting out multiple lists of great products to get anyone ready for their best year of golf. This list examines the best golf gifts that combine technology to give a competitive edge on the course.

Bushnell Pro X2 Rangefinder

Rangefinders have been around for years and continue to improve upon a simple concept: provide golfers with accurate distances between themselves and the hole. A good rangefinder will change the way you play and is a great tool for serious golfers. The Bushnell Pro X2 is one of the best on the market. It has a range of up to 450 yards and, helpfully vibrates when it hits the flag to let you know that you’ve got the exact distance. It can also be used for distances to various hazards as well and help with elevation changes. A cheaper and more low tech option is the Bushnell Phantom Golf GPS, a magnetic rangefinder that gives you a close approximation of the distance between the unit and the pin.

Garmin Approach S60 GPS Watch

Many golfers don’t want to deal with a bulky rangefinder when they can instead use a watch and get much of the same information. And out of the available GPS watches, the Garmin Approach S60 provides a great combination of useful features and a user friendly interface. This waterproof watch features a touch screen and provides valuable information on over 40,000 courses, providing users with accurate distances to nearly anywhere on the course, including hazards. The GPS readings are extremely accurate, and the color display of each course provides valuable help. This is the perfect gift for someone who loves gadgets, and its intuitive user interface means even more technologically challenged golfers should be able to figure out this wonderful smartwatch.

Swing Caddie 2 Launch Monitor

The Swing Caddie 2 is designed as an affordable launch monitor that provides golfers with excellent feedback about their swing at the range. It is a small smartphone sized device, making it easy to store in your golf bag, and uses doppler radar to calculate carry distance, swing speed, ball speed and “smash factor”. Simply tell the Swing Caddie what club you’re using and it will accurately relay the swing information back to you. There are also 2 built-in games that test accuracy by giving varying distances and challenging the golfer to come within 5 yards of that distance. All in all, the Swing Caddie 2 provides a fun tech gadget that is affordable.

Optishot 2 Golf Simulator

Another great piece of golf tech is the Optishot 2 golf simulator. While most golf simulators cost in the thousands of dollars, the Optishot 2 is currently going for $300 on Amazon. It provides the best way to have fun with a quick round on one of the many world famous courses loaded into the simulator with options to purchase others. It is especially great for golfers looking to get through the cold winter months without letting their skills get rusty. It works by using infrared sensors that connect directly to your computer and measures the club speed, face angle, path and distance of each shot. It can be played with real balls (though no net is included) or with the included foam balls. This is a wonderful product for fun, practice and especially for a night in with friends.

Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors

One of the most innovative and frankly just plain cool products on the market, the Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors provides instant feedback and expert help to the golfer on every swing. It does this through sensors and a smartphone app that tracks every shot. The sensors install easily on the end of club grips without any special tools or damage to the clubs. The sensors work automatically through motion sensors and by registering each shot and can accurately calculate exact distances for every club you use. The app gives an accurate statistical analysis of your entire game, including average distances and even where you tend to lose the most strokes, as well as providing distances to the hole. Those features alone make in a quality product, but what really sets Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors apart is the built in AI that acts as your personal caddie. The app will take into account your abilities, the exact shot you’re taking and the weather conditions automatically and then give club recommendations for each shot. It breaks down the likely scores based on your position and the stats for your individual clubs, allowing you to choose the statistically best option for each shot. It is truly an amazing product. If you’re unsure if it’s worth the price, Arccos does offer a much cheaper system that will only track your drives.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.