Most golf GPS watches are essentially front/middle/back distance devices that you can wear and the TomTom Golfer 2 is no different.
For some time now that is all they have done, but as wearable tracking technology becomes more mainstream, so GPS watches are starting to evolve and this is where the Golfer 2 has been improved as it can automatically track your shots.
First and foremost the Golfer 2 is a GPS distance device and compared to the previous TomTom Golfer watch, the visual appearance is taller and longer.
It is also fractionally thinner, but looks chunkier as it is the same 11mm deep for a longer part of the body.
The overall length of the unit embedded in the strap is pretty much the same, as is the actual screen display, so this styling is purely cosmetic.
It comes supplied with a specific USB cable that attaches using a clip to the back of the unit on the inside of the strap and recharges quickly within an hour a two.
It says it will last 2 rounds, but I played one round and it was more than half depleted and I know how it felt.
The Golfer 2 menu is controlled by the excellent square pad on the strap below the screen and this is very easy to use, especially if you have big man-sized fingers.
On the previous Golfer watch you just scrolled left from the Time screen to see the battery charge left. However on the Golfer 2 you have to click down on the square mouse pad to the Settings menu and then select About to see the battery charge remaining, which is not very user friendly, even if battery level is shown on the yardage screen when you are playing.
The large numbers on the Time display look funky, but more information like a battery meter could have easily been slotted in.
When you arrive at your golf course, just scroll right from the Time screen and the TomTom Golfer 2 picks up the course you are on within 20 to 30 seconds.
It says there are now 40,000 courses loaded and it found the main 18-hole course here at our Swanston base quickly, but not the lesser known par-3 Templar course which virtually every other GPS does. Therefore if you play at a real hidden gem then check with TomTom site that it is on their list.
Otherwise, the accuracy of yardages seemed pretty good and the display was clear with front, middle and back shown in nice big numbers.
Scrolling between holes was really easy as you just click up or down on the pad, which was handy as the auto-advance seemed to be having an off day.
For each hole there is hazard information available, which uses the same 1980s video game graphics as the previous model.
Last time round I felt it was a reasonable attempt at trying to get an overview of the hole and green hazards on a watch, which is never easy. Therefore to see little improvement in this limited display style for the Golfer 2 version is disappointing.
There is also post round banter information on distance covered, round duration and calories burned if you like that sort of thing, but I don't think it takes into account any chocolate or beer consumed.
The manual scoring function is similar to before, but now you can specify putts as well as strokes. Beware that if you have a par 4 then that is entered as 2 strokes and 2 putts and not 4 strokes and 2 putts, as I found out when I suddenly shot over 100.
The scoring screen still starts from zero rather than the par of each hole which involves more clicking. Having to click right twice from the yardage screen to get there and then twice to the left to get back for every hole loses its appeal quickly, especially if you are trying to enter several hole scores at the same time.
However the scoring function is really where the Golfer 2 has been improved, as if you leave it on your wrist when you play it will automatically track the location and distance of your shots.
It looks for the movement in your swing and will vibrate to tell you it has picked up a swing after you have posed for your follow through. It will only record one swing per location, which is just as well as it would pick up the odd practice swing with a driver.
If it misses a stroke or you want to measure putts, you just cover the screen with the palm of your hand and it will add one to the total, which is one of the best manual stroke recording features I have used.
On the greens it is worth doing this before you putt when you get to your ball to save time. The same approach can be used with half shots before you take the actual swing as the shorter swing is unlikely to be picked up.
If vibrates and records a shot when you did not take one it is easy enough to scroll to the scoring screen and take one off your strokes total.
Once you have finished your round you just sync the Golfer 2 watch with the app on your iOS or Android phone via Bluetooth and you get to see basic stats on driving distance, fairways hit, greens in regulation and putting.
It also gives you a map overview of the course for each hole you have played. Make sure all the GPS data is correct on the course whilst you play, as you can delete rogue shots after the round, but any erroneous GPS points cannot be removed.
I managed to record a swing as my hand went up to get in the double strap of my golf bag as I was putting it on whilst walking off the tee and got a 23 yard drive which I can't now delete. It was really annoying as that underestimated the best tee shot of the day!
So it's not perfect, but as an entry level scoring and mapping service it was one of the easiest to use and the information was displayed quickly and clearly on the app. You have to view the scoring maps within the app as there is no computer alternative, so a bigger phone screen will provide a better experience.
The automatic scoring is probably enough to say that the TomTom Golfer 2 is an improvement on the previous version as otherwise most of the other functions and dimensions are the same.
It looks good, but the taller looking face looks leans more towards GPS looks than the more watch leaning style of the original Golfer model. I tried the black Golfer 2, but it is also available with a grey strap which is probably my preference as it makes the whole thing look a little smaller visually.
The navigation pad is still the best watch navigation tool on the market and using your palm to cover the face to add a stroke is an excellent system. These features combine with the comfortable and easy to adjust strap and make the TomTom Golfer 2 a delight to use and wear.