Golf: a game of frustration. One minute you hit an amazing shot that fires down the heart of the fairway; the next you shank it into a farmer’s field. Golfers, of any handicap, are always after ways in which to improve their game.
And boy, is there a load of tech to help you do just that. From gadgets that analyse your swing – down to the finest detail – or wearables that show you exactly how far away from the green (and even what club to use), there’s a clubhouse full of cool tech that can help you finally spend less time in the sand than the Team GB volleyball team. Here are our favourites...
The virtual caddies
Golf watches and rangefinders can be invaluable fairway companions. These ones are top of our leaderboard...
1) Best budget golf watch: SkyCaddie SW2 (£130)
It might be an entry-level golf watch, but the SkyCaddie SW2 has enough features to help you chip away at your handicap and save time on the course.
There’s the usual GPS tracking, which means you can measure not only the distance from tee-to-green, but also how far you’ve bombed your drive. And it also pairs with the SkyCaddie mobile app (iOS and Android) to give you expanded views of the course on your smartphone’s screen.
Of course, the main benefit of a watch is that you don't have to faff around with your smartphone, so its automatic detection of courses, holes and pin distances is particularly handy. It'll even act as a basic fitness tracker too, counting your distance, speed and calories burned to help you justify that trip to the 19th hole.
2) Best GPS golf band: Garmin Approach X40 (£200)
If you like the sound of a golf-themed fitness tracker, the X40 could be for you.
It offers the features of a top-notch golf GPS watch, with 40,000 courses are pre-loaded and an ace auto-shot tracking feature. And it also acts as a fine cake-justification tool, collecting daily readings of your calories burned and even your heartrate, in case you want to see how nervous you were on that all-important matchplay putt.
With ten hours of battery life, it'll easily last two rounds on a single charge too. Well, unless you end up in that lake again.
4) Best laser rangefinder: Bushnell Pro X2 rangefinder (£439)
Lasers aren't quite as widespread as sci-fi promised, but we can at least use them on golf courses to find exact yardages to the pin. Okay, it's a small consolation prize, but we'll take it.
Handheld laser rangefinders tend to be much more accurate than their GPS equivalents, and give you the added accuracy of being able to hone in on an exact pin location, which the Pro X2 confirms with a little vibration.
This rugged Bushnell is accurate to half a yard, which means you have no real excuse for missing the green. There’s also some cool slope-reading tech, so you can get added accuracy on uphill and downhill shots. It's probably overkill for the crazy golf course, mind.