Garmin Approach G30 Review

'Garmin Approach G30'

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Our Garmin Approach G30 Review will be available as soon as we have enough user feedback, but we’re excited about Garmin’s latest entry in the golf GPS market!
It’s been two years since Garmin released a new handheld golf GPS and the Approach G30 looks like it will be a winner. In a nutshell, they’ve taken the wildly popular Garmin Approach G6 and put it into a sleeker, smaller and lighter-weight package. They also added Bluetooth connectivity so that you can connect it to your smartphone to get notifications such as texts and email messages. If you don’t need the notifications, you may want to compare the price with that of G6.

Garmin Approach G30 User Rating: 4.38 Stars 4.38 out of 5 (501 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.
Garmin Approach G30 Notable Features
  • Preloaded with over 40,000 golf courses worldwide.
  • Full hole views.
  • Touch targeting to anywhere on a hole.
  • Green View display shows the shape of the green and allows manual pin placements.
  • Digital scorecard lets you easily keep track of score for up to four people.
  • Stat Tracking – Fairways hit, greens in regulation, putts, and shot distances.
  • Garmin Connect™ allows you to analyze your scores and stats online using Garmin Connect or your phone, table, or computer.
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Crisp, bright 2.3 inch display.
  • In ‘Big Numbers’ mode, displays distances to the front, back and middle of the green in easy to read large numbers.
  • Can be paired with TruSwing™.
  • Lithium-ion battery with up to 15 hours of battery life.
  • Odometer to track your steps.
  • Rainproof with IPX7 water rating.
  • Preloaded with more than 40,000 golf courses around the world.
  • Free lifetime course updates.
Garmin Approach G30 Specifications
Garmin Approach G30
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses Yes
Full Hole Views Yes
Slope / Elevation No
Battery Life up to 15 hrs.
Battery rechargeable Li-ion
Size (Width x Height x Depth) 3 in. x 2.1 in. x .8 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size 2.3
Resolution 200x265
Display Type Transreflec ColorTFT
Weight 2.5 oz.
Rainproof Yes IPX7
Touch Screen Yes
Touch Targeting Yes
Manual Pin Positioning Yes
Stat Tracker Yes
Digital Scorecard Yes
Computer Analysis Tools Yes
Ground Verified N/A
Alternate Targets Yes
Green Rotates to your shot angle Yes
USGA Compliant (local rule) Yes
Notes -
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User Manual for Garmin Approach G30


  1. How does this compare to the Garmin G8???

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi Jay. Here are the main differences between the Garmin Approach G30 and the Approach G8.

      • The G8 is larger and heavier than the G30. Although the G8 is much bigger, the display isn’t that much bigger.
      • The G8 provides “Plays Like” distance that is adjusted for elevation. This is equivalent to having Slope on a laser rangefinder and is a really nice feature, but that feature must be turned off to comply with USGA rules when playing in competition.
      • The G8 allows you to enter the distances that you hit your clubs, so it can suggest what club you should hit on any given shot. If you have trouble remembering how far you hit your clubs, this might be useful, but most players won’t really need this feature. It would also need to be turned off during competition to make the device legal for use.
      • The G8 has “PinPointer” which basically is a screen that has an arrow pointing to the green. This is nice for blind shots and also not legal for use in competition.
      • The G8 has WiFi which makes updating courses far easier to update courses. On the G30, you will have to plug the unit into your computer and go through the Garmin Connect website.

      They are both excellent golf GPS devices. Let personal preferences and budget be your guide and you can’t go wrong!

  2. David Tasker says

    I’m looking for a GPS rangefinder that I am able to add our local course to manually, since it isn’t on any of the lists of pre-loaded courses.
    Can you give me any idea if there are models that can do this?
    I am in Australia and am having trouble finding anyone that can give me a definite answer. If a device is able to do what I require, I assume I will be able to do this down here!

    • Golf Rangefinder Shop says

      Hi David. All of the recent golf GPS devices say if your course isn’t available, you can contact them and they will map it for you. I don’t know if there is a reason your course couldn’t be mapped, but that would certainly be a much easier option than having to map it yourself. However, I do remember that there used to be a few models that had the capability of adding entire golf courses. The two I came up with are the GolfBuddy Pro and the GolfBuddy Tour. Here is what is stated in the user manual (both models share the same manual)…

      “If the course you wish to play on is not listed in our database, then you may survey the course yourself, and use the information right away. This surveyed data may not be used “as is”. The surveyed data must be sent to the GolfBuddy headquarters for refinement. Once refined, the course data will be made available to all GolfBuddy users. When using this feature, you will not be able to see the shape of the green. Only distances to the green and targets are available when using this feature.

      You can survey T-Box : 1 Point, Target :1 Point, Green : 3 Points

      There are detailed instructions in the manual on how to do it. To me, that sounds like you can use your own data, but no one else will be able to until GolfBuddy refines. However, I’m not 100% positive about that, so you may want to contact them before trying to find one. Also, keep in mind that resetting the unit would erase your mapping.

      Here is a new one on eBay. That’s my affiliate link, so if you make a purchase, I’ll get a small commission.

      Good luck and stop back and let us know how it works out!

  3. We have just got one of these and despite following all instructions correctly and searching for troubleshoots, the device simply refuses to sync with the garmin connect app. I can’t find a single troubleshoot for when this happens but the device has been set up correctly. Do you know of one you can point me to?

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