Garmin Approach G8 Review

garmin approach g8

Whether you’re a professional golfer or an amateur, it’s always of great help to have a golfing GPS at hand. These nifty devices provide accurate information about the course, but also keep track of your score, and can even suggest which kind of club should you use in a particular situation.

Today, we’re presenting one of the best such devices on the market. We’re talking about one of the best Garmin products, the Approach G8. This splendid handheld GPS might not be as small as some watch GPSs, but its bigger screen makes it more readable and easier to use, with a more intuitive touchscreen interface that you’re sure to love.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some features of the Garmin Approach G8 golfing GPS.


  • 30.000 courses uploaded, and you can download more.
  • Offers you both Hole and Green view. Puts layup marks in Hole view at 100, 150, 200 and 250 yards.
  • Touchscreen interface, supported by three quick access physical buttons.
  • Automatically starts at hole no. 1 and advances automatically.
  • Measures and keeps tracks of your shots and suggests clubs for subsequent shots.
  • Shows you where the hole is in case you’re lost or need to make a blind shot.


  • The touchscreen can be a little too sensitive.
  • The scoreboard is not very accessible.

An Overview of the Features On The Garmin Approach G8

One of the defining features of Garmin Approach G8 is that it’s quite slim and small. When picking up a GPS device, you will probably expect a monster, as compared to a GPS watch, but that’s not the case at all. The G8 can easily fit inside your hand, and, because it isn’t thick at all, will slip comfortably into your pocket. Its dimensions are 2.1x4.4x0.6 inches, while the weight is just about 4 ounces. However, the device has a 3-inch screen, providing enough space for info to appear on it without it being crammed or small so you can’t read it. Again, this device has been made as easy to use, and as easy to read as possible.

To facilitate this readability, G8 also allows you to change the font and use large numbers, which is very useful if you have trouble seeing. You can also be sure that the screen performs very well in bright sunlight, and the numbers and words are still very visible even at high noon.

Like we said, G8’s has a touchscreen interface, but it also has three physical buttons as well. On the side of the device, you can find the power menu button, while on the front are the Pin Point/Green and Score/Measure buttons, right below the screen.

So, what can the G8 do for you? Well, for starters, let’s just say that this device has about 30.000 courses in its database. The GPS can be constantly updated, so you can be sure you won’t walk onto a course the device doesn’t recognize. From the moment you step onto the course, the GPS will start you at hole 1, and, as you proceed to other holes, it will auto advance to the next one. You can also do this manually, which is a preferred method for some people, as they report the device got lost.

Another excellent feature of the G8 is that it can pinpoint your location using the aforementioned Pin Pointer. This feature is greatly useful if you get lost in the woods and can’t see the hole, of if you have to take a blind shot. The compass will not only show the direction to the hole, but distance as well.

garmin approach g8 review

Speaking of distance, the GPS can also mark your layups. On the screen, you can either opt to see the green or the hole. If you’re looking at the hole, the device will set markers at 100, 150, 200 and 250 yards. Not only that, but you can press the screen, and the GPS will automatically calculate the distance from your position to where you pointed. G8 also automatically adjusts for inclines and declines to bring you accurate data and shot distances. G8 also tracks your shots and measures their distance so it can suggest you a club for your next shot. This feature may not be legal in tournaments, but, during practice, it becomes an almost invaluable tool.

Naturally, you will want to keep track of your game score. That is why Approach G8 has a stats board that keeps tracks of your putts, fairways and the general score. The device can also do this for three more players. However, the score board doesn’t keep track of penalty strokes nor sand saves.

Lastly, it should be noted Garmin Approach G8 can also connect you to the iPhone. The device connects via an app, and, through this app, you can upload, share and compare your scores and stats. Not only that, but the G8 can become your own small personal assistant out there on the course, and can receive notifications, texts, emails and alert you of incoming calls.

A Few Things We Did Not Like On The G8

G8 is overall a great little device, but it isn’t completely without problems. Garmin tries to make their products fault-proof as possible, but, realistically, that’s impossible.

One of the first remarks we have to make is that the screen is sometimes too sensitive. Since you will keep your G8 in your pocket, you will sometimes find yourself on a different menu than the one you were on when you put it away. The other alternative is to keep the device on your belt or bag using a mount, but the mount will cost you a few pounds extra (about £20 extra), which is a slightly underhanded move from Garmin.

Another problem is that the device gets lost. We already mentioned this when we talked about auto advance. G8 usually performs well, but, on occasion, it can become disoriented and either forget to advance, or, sometimes even, think that you’ve finished your round.

Lastly, the score board is not as accessible as it should be. To get to the scoreboard you need to go through seven menus and tap the screen seven times. This, we feel, contradicts the whole accessibility thing, and we feel this should be rectified.


So, to wrap up this Garmin Approach G8 golfing GPS review, we’ll say that this is a neat little device that will make your game experience much more enjoyable, but you need to be aware of a few problems that come with it. Lastly, we’ll leave you with a little list of pros and cons, as a way to give you a short version of the review above.

  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 5 stars
  • 100%

  • Garmin Approach G8
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: July 24, 2017
  • Ease Of Use
    Editor: 100%
  • Value
    Editor: 95%
  • Features
    Editor: 95%
  • Build Quality
    Editor: 100%
  • Battery Life
    Editor: 90%