Garmin introduces new Approach G7 and G8 GPS Golf Handhelds (Video)

Garmin has just announced the latest additions to its line of GPS handhelds for golfers by unveiling the all new Approach G7 and G8; both of which offer a full color touchscreen, 15 hours worth of battery life per charge and more than 30,000 preloaded international golf courses.

The Garmin Approach G7 and G8 includes the all new PlaysLike Distance feature which promises to help you take your best swing by showing an adjusted range for both uphill and downhill shots. Also new is a feature Garmin is calling “Club Advice” which keeps track of how far users hit with each of their clubs and will recommend the appropriate club for each shot based on distance.

Both devices are also capable of doubling as digital scorecards, will displaying notifications for emails, texts and more, from a paired smartphone (iPhone 4S and higher only), and are IPX7 water-resistant.

So you may be wondering “how do the Garmin Approach G7 and G8 differ besides looks?” – Well for starters, the Garmin Approach G8 features a 3″ TFT display with a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels, and comes with WiFi connectivity for updating course information. The Garmin Approach G7 differs slightly in that it uses a 2.6″ TFT display with a resolution of only 160 x 240 pixels and doesn’t feature WiFi connectivity. So updating information on the Approach G7 will require a PC and USB cable.

For those reasons, the Approach G7 will retail for $299.99 while the Approach G8 will retail for $399.99. Both devices are expected to be available online and from golf specialty shops around April. You can learn more about the Garmin Approach G7 and G8 from Garmin’s full press release, which follows below.

OLATHE, Kan./ January 21, 2014/Business Wire—Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced the Approach G7 and G8 golf handhelds. These sleek, color touchscreen handhelds boast 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 receive emails, texts, and call alerts right on the device. These devices are also compatible with the new Garmin Connect, so users can upload their scores and track their progress over time. The Approach G7 and G8 add to the already popular Garmin family of golf devices in time for the PGA Show in Orlando, Fla. (Jan. 22-24, 2014).

“The new features of both the Approach G7 and G8 make them must-have tools for the avid golfer,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “The adjusted shot measurements in the PlaysLike Distance feature will give golfers a leg up on their game, no matter what course they are playing on.”

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. Additionally, both devices 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. This allows for easy viewing, so users can easily see the vital information they need without squinting or reading glasses. The Approach G7 and G8 also have the new Smart Notification functionality, so users can pair a compatible iPhone 4S or later and receive emails, texts and call alerts right on the device. Android compatibility expected Q2 2014.

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.

Like other Garmin golf products, 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. This 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 boasts a brilliant, easy-to-read 3-inch multi-touch display and a sleek form factor. The G8 provides blind shot assistance with the new PinPointer feature. This unique feature shows the user exactly where the center of the green is, even if it’s not visible, and points them in the right direction for more accurate blind shots. Additionally, it adds WiFi, so the G8 will automatically update courses when connected to WiFi at no additional cost. This makes it easier than ever for users to update their devices. With these groundbreaking features, along with the slim design and vibrant screen, 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 now 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 even 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 IPX71, 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.

The Approach G7 and G8 are the latest additions from Garmin’s outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users’ outdoor experiences. Whether it’s golfing, hiking, hunting or geocaching, Garmin outdoor devices are becoming essential tools for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. For more information about Garmin’s other outdoor products and services, go to garmin.com/sports and facebook.com/garmin.

1 IPX7 Water Rating: withstands incidental exposure to water of 1 meter up to 30 minutes.

Source: Garmin