Garmin Approach G30 Golf GPS Review

The Garmin Approach is one of the sleekest and most versatile handheld GPS there is! It is small enough to easily be slipped into and out of the pocket, and it has a million and one exciting golfing features and functions that both amateur and professional golfers will find useful.

Garmin Approach G30 Golf Handheld GPS Device

As mentioned in the intro, the most distinguishing feature about the Garmin G30 is its sleek, lightweight and compact design. The design makes it pocketable and graspable. When you slip it into your pocket, you will probably forget that it is even there. That is how sleek and lightweight it is. And when you take it out of your pocket, you will find it to be easy to handle.

The fact that it is handheld and has a bigger screen than most GPS watches makes it perfect for those who like playing different courses since it provides them with a flyover view of the holes they want to play for familiarization purposes before they tee off. Familiarizing with a hole you want to play allows you to strategize and to potentially reduce the number of strokes to get to the target flag.

From the flyover view of the hole you are playing, you can use the G30’s Touch Targeting feature to manually place a pin on a point on the course to get a customized distance from your location to the pin. You can use this feature to avoid hazards or tweak your approach play for a better score.

The screen on the Garmin Approach G30 is a 2.3-inch color screen with a relatively high-resolution display. The resolution is bright and clear, and it makes it easy to operate the device and to swiftly get the information you need. It is not extremely different from modern phones in terms of PPI (pixels per inch).

Garmin Approach G30 Golf Handheld GPS More Courses

Despite its small size, the G30 is a very versatile device capable of multiple brilliant functions. Its primary function is obviously to measure distances. Unlike other devices which are slow on the course, the G30 has a high-sensitivity sensor (GPS) that swiftly acquires satellite signals to show distances from where you are on the course to the center of the putting green and to the extremes of it. It also shows distances to hazards and to doglegs.

If you are struggling with the visibility under the midday sun, you can simply activate the G30’s Big Numbers Mode to get the distances in a larger and more readable font.

This device will automatically recognize the course and the hole you are playing. So no need to spend a lot of time on the course to set it.

The Garmin Approach G30 is compatible with the TruSwing analyzer. When you pair the two, you will be able to learn more about your swing and train to become a consistently good hitter of the ball.

Like most other Garmin golf devices, this one too comes with a digital scorecard, which you can use to quickly record your round. It is capable of recording the scores of four different players, so you can also record the scores of your friends if you are playing in a small group.

Garmin Approach G30 Golf Handheld GPS Points

Apart from the scorecard, the G30 is also capable of tracking important stats such as fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts. It can also time your round and measure the distance you have traveled on the course. All these different stats are automatically uploaded to the Garmin App when you sync this device to your phone. You can then use the App (which is free to download) to evaluate your game and see how you are faring and what you can to improve.


  • Sleek, compact, graspable and pocketable design
  • Has a decent 2.3-inch color screen for a great view of the true layout of the hole you are playing
  • Comes with a fast, high-sensitivity GPS sensor for the quick provision of the distances
  • Provides an advanced digital scorecard and a stat-tracking function
  • Provides smart notifications


  • It is too small to easily operate with one hand
  • A bit pricey for its size

Garmin Approach G30 FAQs

How big is the screen?

The G30 has a satisfactory 2.3-inch color screen, which is brilliant for flyover course views.

What preloaded courses come on the Garmin Approach G30?

The G30 has 41,000 multi-country preloaded courses. This is one of the highest numbers of preloaded courses you will find in a golfing GPS device. With this many courses, it means you are unlikely to miss your local course if you are in North America, Europe, or Asia.

Are there any subscription fees?

No subscription fees. Course updates are free for a lifetime.

How accurate is the device?

Very accurate. The device comes with a high-sensitivity sensor that picks up GPS signals fairly fast and it uses its accurate maps to calculate the distances and give you precise distances. In short, it is accurate to the extent that you can confidently rely on the numbers it provides.

How much does it weigh?

The G30 is a very light device. It weighs only 2.5 oz. When you slip it into your pocket, you won’t find it to be obstructive and it definitely won’t interfere with your game.

What is the battery life?

This GPS gadget is powered by an internal rechargeable lithium ion battery. It is a high-capacity battery that can last for up to fifteen hours. This is enough capacity for a full weekend of golf without needing to recharge it.

How long does it take to recharge?

It will take you no more than three hours to fully charge this device.

Is it waterproof?

The device appears to be water resistant. However, the company does not say anything about its water rating so it is better to try and avoid any extended contact between this device and water.

Is it tournament legal?

Yes, it is. There is no USGA or R&A rule that forbids the use of any of its features. However, some tournament organizers do not allow the use of such devices to maintain their tournament traditions. Therefore, you should always consult with the organizers before using this or any other electronic device.

Does the device have a phone app?

Yes, it does. The G30 comes with the Garmin Golf App that allows you to wirelessly update the course library whenever there is an update and to evaluate your scores and stats to plan on how to improve your game.

Key Features

  • Compact design that is easy to carry around
  • 2.3-inch color display
  • High-sensitivity sensor
  • Accurate yardage and shot distance measurement

Our Verdict on the Garmin Approach G30

Garmin Approach G30 Golf Handheld GPS Device

This device is like any other handheld Garmin GPS device. It can essentially do everything that all other Garmin devices can do: it can measure distances accurately, it can show you the layout of the green, it can keep scores, and so on. The only difference between this and the other Garmin devices is the fact that it is sleeker and more compact. So if you have been looking for something that you can easily slip into your pocket and forget about it between shots, get the Garmin Approach G30, it won’t disappoint you.

Brad Carey

Brad Carey

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About GolfGPSChoice

Hey! I’m Brad and as an avid golfer for many years, I know the struggle of choosing golfing gear! GPS devices were no different! That’s why I created GolfGPSChoice. To present you with the options, and help you make the right choice for you.

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