Garmin Approach G30 Review [Accurate Handheld GPS]

Garmin is a well-known maker of high-tech GPS trackers, the laser rangefinder and other cool tech gadgets. The following Garmin Approach G30 Review will help you to better understand why the Garmin Approach line has established itself as a leading tool for professional golfers and enthusiastic amateurs. 

The Garmin Approach line of GPS golfing unit is a great example of how Garmin uses advanced tech like GPS tracking and applies it to an everyday pursuit like golf. 

Garmin Approach G30 Review

The Garmin Approach G30 golf GPS device locates the golf course and the hole that you are playing. The initial view gives you arc ranges distances at 100, 150, 200, and 250 yards so that you can see the relative distances to the hazards, fairway and other course objects between the tee and the green. It also tells you the middle, front and back distances to the green,

After you tee off, the Approach G30 updates your position using the GPS tracking and adjusts the distance information to the green. When you complete one hole and exit the green, the Garmin Approach G30 automatically will load the next hole before you arrive at the tee.


  • Color maps and overhead views of 40,000+ golf courses.
  • Detailed green views and shot tracking.
  • Includes digital scorecard for up to four players.
  • Legal for R&A and USGA tournament.
  • Can accept emails and text messages while playing.


  • No automatic scoring.
  • Can accept emails and text messages while playing.

The basic design and construction is very sturdy, simple and intuitive to use. A durable polymer case with a rubber liner protecting the outer edge against bumps, jolts and drops is resists water while showing the middle, front and back distances to the green.

garmin connect app gives you shot tracking for the entire course in full colour hole mapping

The Garmin Approach G30 compact handheld golf GPS has a single power button on the left side and a USB cable port on the back. The back is designed to enable a lanyard and carabiner connection for easier carrying. It also comes with a removable clip that lets you carry the unit on a belt, your golf bag or other preferred location.

Includes Color Maps of More than 40,000 Golf Courses

The Garmin Approach G30 handheld device comes with detailed golf course maps for more than 40,000 regulation golf courses. The accuracy is good to within about a yard of your target, and you can choose meters instead of yards for the unit of measurement.

An included touch targeting feature on the responsive touchscreen lets you select your target on the hole and zoom in for more information, including the shot distance to the target and any nearby hazards.

stat tracking and excellent battery life on such a small screen although a bigger screen size that gps watches

You also get a better idea of how the fairway is laid out with four range arcs telling you the relevant ranges from 100 yards through 250 yards in 50-yard increments.

Hazards and Layups

The GPS unit lets you get detailed information on the potential hazards between you and your target while on the golf course. The Garmin Approach G30 golf GPS review of hazards and layups show you the relative distances to each and their configuration.

An overhead view shows the location and shape of water hazards, bunkers, sand traps and the tree line. That can help you to better choose the right club and nail a great approach shot or set up a great approach shot and maybe even cup out without needing to putt.

the small screen gives you the current location, smart notifications, manual pin placement and precise yardage for stroke play and match play

You can use the GPS device LCD touch screen to toggle through the hazards screen and get the distances to the sand traps, bunkers, water hazards and tree line. The Garmin G30 also shows the layups that could cause your golf shot to fall far short of your preferred target.

Info on ball carry likewise can help you to avoid flying a hole and putting your shot in a water hazard or bunker and add more stroke to your score.

Highly Useful Green View

When you are teeing off on a par 3 or setting up an approach shot on longer holes, the Garmin G30 provides a green view that shows the green’s configuration and the middle, front and back distances. You can see which hazards are protecting the green and might cause problems for your approach shot.

The Garmin G30 GPS device also lets you place the exact location of the pin on the green. The Approach G30 will adjust the distance information based on your chosen cup location on a particular hole. The green view can zoom in on the green so that you can study it more closely and choose the best spot to place the ball for an easy putt.

An included USB cable lets you upload your round summaries online by using the respective port on the Garmin Approach G30. The same online connection lets you download updates of golf course maps so that you can be sure you have the latest info on any golf course you are about to play.

approach g30 gps has full color maps in a compact size for accurate yardage making your round a bit easier

While the Approach G30 does a lot, an included free app enables you to do even more you’re your cellphone. The free Garmin Golf App lets you share live scoring updates with others on the same golf course and online. You can post your scores and look over the golfing data that details how well you played.

The USGA and R&A golfing tournament sanctioning bodies approve of GPS devices for tournament play. That makes the Garmin Approach G30 fully legal for bigger golfing tournaments that you might plan on playing throughout the season.

Some local tournaments might have more restrictive policies so that more casual golfing fans also could participate. But a simple inquiry prior to teeing off should affirm your full compliance with local tournament rules versus those fully sanctions by the R&A or the USGA.

Why Should I Buy a Garmin Approach G30?

The Approach G30 review does a great job of detailing all the fantastic tools that it provides to help you shoot a better score. You get the needed range information for each hole you play and enjoy the benefits of the auto advance GPS tracking that always shows your exact location on the golf course.

When you want to learn more about hazards or the green, you can switch to the respective program feature and get highly detailed views and information that will help you to pick the best club and swing combination.

The ability to see the shapes of the green, hazards and fairway all make it a lot easier to avoid trouble spots and shoot a more consistently good round of golf.

You also could buy an optional TruSwing golf club analyzer that attaches to a club and analyzes your swing. You can learn where you need to make improvements on how you handle each club and lower your average score and handicap.

The Garmin Approach G30 might not turn you into a scratch golfer, but it will help you to shoot a better round on an included golf course.

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