Hands on: TomTom Golfer 2

Wear TomTom's Golfer 2 watch on the course, improve your game using its data after

The Golfer 2’s a comfortable golf watch you won’t be embarrassed to wear, and its post-game data may make you a better player

All too often, wearables don’t actually give us much advice, whether it’s how to get more sleep, run longer and faster, or just improve at a given sport. TomTom’s new Golfer 2 smartwatch wants to be different, and has added both automatic shot detection and a post-game analysis system to see where we went wrong, which shots could do with the most practice, and what our result could be like if we put together the perfect 18 holes.

TomTom has made an effort with the design and the comfort for the Golfer 2. The GPS module has been placed inside the navigational joypad, ensuring that the profile is slimmer and the watch more comfortable to wear. It has worked. The Golfer 2 easily slipped underneath the cuff of my shirt, which may sound like something basic, but custom sports watches are often oversized and too annoying to do this. Here, despite the curved plastic shell dictating the shape, there are no issues.

It’s also very light, and the aluminum screen surround looks great. The clasp is a bit of a pain though. The rubber strap needs to be fed through the metal and frequently slipped out of position when we took the watch off, requiring adjustment when we wanted to put it back on. The watch didn’t slip about on the wrist though, although it’d require extended testing to know if the strap loosens over time. The body is water resistant and can be used in the rain.

Related: See the latest in golfing GPS wearables

A square d-pad lets you navigate the watch, which vibrates with each press, confirming the action. It also vibrates to tell you it has recognized a shot. It was easy to use with the thumb or a finger when the watch was on our wrist, and the proprietary operating system was smooth and fast. The display is monochrome, but clearly legible, although we didn’t test it out in the sunlight.

The Golfer 2 connects with TomTom’s MySports app, which is where the new features are found. The GPS function knows the course you’re on, or will find the closest one to you if you don’t know the area, and it knows distances, approaches, and hazards automatically — helping players decide strategy. It automatically logs scores too, and presents all the details after the game. Here’s where it’s possible to analyze performance on a shot-by-shot basis to see which aren’t working, and even get an ultimate performance prediction. That way, you’ve got something to work towards, and actual post-game evidence of your failures and successes.

Out on the course, with GPS active, the Golfer 2’s battery is expected to last about 11 hours. Turn off the GPS and the watch will last for several weeks before needing a recharge, but you’ll lose some functionality as well. TomTom says it has designed the Golfer 2 for people to wear on and off the course. TomTom will sell it globally and it’ll be out in May. In the U.S., it’ll cost $250 and in the U.K., £200.

Highs:

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Pleasing design
  • Actionable data from the app

Lows:

  • Battery life’s short with GPS
  • Strap may need attention
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