Martin Hopley

The Approach G30 handheld GPS brings the usual Garmin golf maps to a small device that can be easily carried on your person or attached to your golf bag.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

When you first pick it up it feels light, well made and sleek with a lovely rounded back to the device that gives a quality feel.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

The 36mm by 47mm display is surrounded by a rubber bezel to protect the edges in case the device gets dropped.

The Approach G30 has a single power button to turn it on and off and thereafter everything is controlled by a responsive touchscreen.

Touch 'Play' and the G30 finds your location and nearest course in around 20 seconds and if it doesn't there is a good course search facility too.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

The default view is an overview of the hole with red, white and blue lines showing 100, 150 and 200 yards or metres to the green depending on which unit of measurement you select.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

There is a red marker to show where you are and it is possible to touch the screen between that point and the green to work out the distance to a preferred lay-up point and then what you have left to go.

It is not quite as responsive as the other functions and like the rest of the information on the hole view, the smaller screen size makes it difficult to glean any real information without looking closely.

The better option is to touch the number icon in the top right to bring up the front, middle and back yardages in large white numbers, which is much clearer to see.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

You can then touch the green shaped icon in the bottom right to bring up an enlarged view of the green, where you can move the flag around, but like the lay-up function, it is not very smooth to use or see with your finger scrolling over the small screen.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

The graphics are scaled down versions of the ones used on their larger screen devices like the Garmin Approach G8 and whilst the screen has a high resolution they still look a bit basic.

The G30 can also record scores for up to four people including putts and fairway hit or the side they were missed on. This is then summarised at the end of round and can be synchronised to the Garmin Connect app on your phone via Bluetooth.

It also then appears in your Garmin Connect account on their website, which then collates it with any other rounds that you play on the G30 or any other Garmin GPS device.

Garmin are very good at allowing all their devices to talk to each other and you can also pair the Approach G30 with the Garmin TruSwing Swing Sensor so you can display the results on the screen too.

If you allow it to, the G30 will also display notifications from your phone so that you can read messages without having to delve into your bag.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

The Approach G30 charges using the supplied mini USB cable and the connector on the back is protected by a rubber seal.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

It also comes with pretty robust karabiner clip and loop to connect it to the back. This is ideal for attaching the G30 to your bag or belt loop and looks strong enough to do the job.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

Unless you are going to slip it into your pocket, the Approach G30 is best suited to being on your bag. It will be particularly good for those who carry their clubs as it is light enough and the clip is strong enough for it to be attached to the outside of the bag.

Garmin Approach G30 GPS

Overall I like the Approach G30 as it looks good, is well made, has a good touchscreen and the compact size makes it stand our against larger handheld GPS.

However there is just one issue and it is a not inconsiderable one - the price. It's more than twice that of the Garmin Approach G10 which gives you the same yardages in monochrome screen without the touchscreen or the bag clip.

It is also more than most other GPS watches that you could attach to your bag or the Garmin Approach X40 GPS band that does everything the G30 does plus offers fitness tracking and AutoShot recording as well.

Unless you 'must have' the colour touchscreen and notifications, the G30 really needs to be about £80 less than the RRP to be worth considering, so if you can get it for that, then you are on to a good thing.

Golfalot Rating: 4 stars
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Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS Rangefinder

Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS Rangefinder - Product Details

UK LaunchJanuary 2017
UK Launch RRP£269.99
USA LaunchJanuary 2017
GolferMens, Women, Junior
Device TypeGPS Handheld
Shot MeasurementYes
Power OptionsRechargeable
DimensionsWidth: 53mm, Height: 75mm, Depth: 21mm
Screen SizeWidth: 36mm, Height: 47mm
Device Weight70.9 grams
Course Capacity40,000
Manufacturer's WebsiteGarmin Website

User Reviews

June 2017

I am on my second G30, the first unit was freezing up and the touch screen locking up constantly, so Garmin sent me a 2nd unit. Have unit the second unit twice, both times it locked up, wouldn't let me enter scores and wouldn't manually or automatically proceed to the next hole. It's quite obvious that Garmin did little actual field testing with the G30 and are now scrambling to fix the numerous issues. This article is correct that $250.00 for this unit is over the top, at this point, anything over $2.50 would seem a bit high.

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