Garmin International has introduced two new handhelds geared for the golf aficionado, including a new top-of-the-line model, the Approach G8.
The Approach G7 and G8 golf handhelds have color touchscreens, more than 30,000 preloaded international courses, a rechargeable battery capable of multiple rounds, and new measurement features such as PlaysLike Distance, which shows adjusted range for uphill and downhill shots.
For golfers who prefer to leave their smartphones in their bags, the new Approach handhelds offer Smart Notification technology, which lets the user pair a compatible iPhone 4S or later to receive emails, texts, and call alerts on the device (Android compatibility is expected in the second quarter of this year). The devices are also compatible with Garmin Connect, so users can upload their scores and track their progress over time.
Both the Approach G7 and G8 incorporate the new measurement feature PlaysLike Distance, which adjusts distances for uphill and downhill shots, so players get the most accurate yardage measurements. Both devices also offer Club Advice, which remembers how far users hit each club and makes recommendations based on shot distances.
Another new feature in the G7 and G8 golf handhelds is the Big Numbers mode, so users can easily see the vital information they need without squinting or reading glasses.
The Approach G7 and G8 handhelds come preloaded with more than 30,000 international courses, with no extra subscriptions or fees. Both devices give precise distance to the front, back and center of the green, as well as layup and dogleg distances. Both devices have a rechargeable battery that plays an entire weekend of golf (15 hours) on a single charge.
The Approach G7 and G8 double as digital scorecards with scoring options for Stroke Play, Stableford, Skins and Match Play with adjustable handicaps. Users can save, review, share and print scores for up to four players. With the vibrant screen, the G7 and G8 offer colorful layup arcs at 100, 150, 200 and even 250 yards, so users know exactly how far to hit when laying up.
The Touch Targeting feature lets users touch any point on the display, and will give the precise distance to that exact spot, no matter if it is on the fairway, a hazard, a landing area, or even the front, middle or back of the green.
Like other Approach devices, the G7 and G8 have Green View, which allows users to zero in on a map of the green and manually position the pin in order to get the most accurate yardages. There is also an advanced Stat Tracking feature in the G7 and G8, which keeps track of fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts per round. These stats can be viewed during the round, or can be downloaded afterwards.
The premium Approach G8 also provides blind shot assistance with the new PinPointer feature, which shows the user the exact center of the green even if it’s not visible, and points them in the right direction for more accurate blind shots. Additionally, it adds Wi-Fi, so the G8 will automatically update courses when connected to Wi-Fi at no additional cost. The G8 rounds out the Approach family as the top-of-the-line golf handheld from Garmin.
New to the Garmin golf lineup, the Approach G7 and G8 will now be compatible with Garmin Connect. With the recent revamp of the online community, owners with Approach G7 and G8 will be able to upload, analyze and share their scorecards, as well as other data like fairways hit, greens in regulation, shot distance and number of putts. Users can keep track of whom they’ve played against, and who won each round. They can analyze course data, and see hole-by-hole details to understand their own trends and tendencies to improve their game. This is great to track users’ progress and improvements over time for every course they play.
Rugged, and with a water rating of IPX7, the Approach G7 and G8 are durable enough to withstand a rainstorm, or users’ golf bags without fear of damage. The Approach G7 and G8 will be available in Q1 2014. The Approach G7 will retail for $299.99 and the Approach G8 will retail for $399.99, and will be available at specialty golf retailers, golf course pro-shops and on garmin.com.