Introducing the SPY Pinseeker Award – a badge of excellence for the finest products and destinations in golf. Our senior golf writer, John Scott Lewinski, tests out the field in play — and we select only the finest golf products to receive this special stamp of approval.
For our inaugural entry, we’ve selected the Garmin MARQ Golfer Watch , an $1,850 GPS smartwatch armed with an extensive set of golf-centric features.
In this era of smartwatches, the concept of a golf watch is nothing new. There are countless models of wrist-mounted range finders capable of telling time, too. Approaching those functions from the other side, there are ample apps that transform any Android model or Apple Watch into your own personal links assistant.
The real trick is to find a device for your wrist that can do double duty as a tool capable of improving your golf game — while also performing as an attractive, grownup timepiece that stays with you throughout your day. The Garmin MARQ Golfer Watch birdies that hole with an impressive, mature design and a complete suite of high-tech features ready to help a dedicated player genuinely improve his or her round of golf.
The moment you strap the Garmin MARQ Golfer to your wrist, you have immediate access to more than 41,000 preloaded golf courses. That course data passes through the MARQ Golfer’s Virtual Caddie artificial intelligence to suggest club choice, distance judgement and aiming lines.
You have game-tracking data at your command immediately during a round that includes club use tracking, a green reading view, wind speed and direction reports, hazard views for sand and water warnings, and proper “plays like” distance shot to shot. You get all of that with a watch that looks great even when you leave the course and the play functions go dormant.
Garmin MARQ Golfer’s Best Feature: Gorgeous Design
Maybe it’s shallow of us, but the finest element of the Garmin MARQ Golfer is its aesthetics. It simply looks phenomenal on your wrist. You can find similar abilities in many other golf watches, and many of those options will be undeniably less expensive than the MARQ Golfer. Still, I don’t think you’ll find many smartwatches with the same visual sophistication the MARQ series provides. Both the design of the watch and the smart display are truly elite.
It’s a proper watch — refined and well built. The ceramic bezel offers a special 18 custom-etched design to reflect your front and back nine-hole adventures. The green, woven nylon strap looks appropriate on the course while providing a secure and comfortable fit swing to swing. Finally, the display is brilliantly designed to be highly visible outdoors or indoors, under sunshine or in shade. Producing full, brilliant color maps and using eye-friendly fonts, even older players with challenged vision will be able to lock in on the vital shot-to-shot data.
Why the Garmin MARQ Golfer?
The would-be owner of the Garmin MARQ must take his or her golf seriously because it is a significant investment at $1,850. In return for that expenditure, that serious golfer gets all the AI tools he or she would want for that important round. If you’re a weekend hack and slasher, not only is the MARQ Golfer too pricey for you, but you’re less likely to use all of its refined tools.
I’m sure Garmin would still love for the high handicapper to strap one of these watches to their wrist, but this unique golf GPS watch offers genuine performance improvement technology for a player looking to take on a difficult, but beautiful, game with precision. The MARQ Golfer does not disappoint with any of its links-based tools, and those features don’t abandon the golfer when the round is on the line.
Most importantly, this is a watch for adults. Many wrist-mounted golf tools are tacky-looking sports equipment that comes off as soon as the wearer leaves the 18th green. Once you put all of its golf tools to rest for the day, the MARQ Golfer can remain on your wrist as you head to the office or back home. The Garmin MARQ is not only a golf watch you don’t have to remove — it’s a timepiece you’ll want to show off all day long.
For the first inaugural SPY Pinseeker Award, the MARQ Golfer from Garmin was the clear top choice. While $1,850 might seem like a lot to pay for a smartwatch, golfers are accustomed to investing in worthy tools to improve their game. For serious players, this is far and away the best golf watch on the planet, full stop.