Garmin G30 vs Garmin G10 – Which One Should I Buy?

Garmin G30 6

Garmin makes some of the most popular golf GPS devices – which is no surprise since Garmin is a leading name in GPS devices in general. The problem for some golfers who are looking to buy a Garmin GPS device though is which one, of the many Approach models they make, is the best.

The Approach series is Garmin’s flagship golf GPS family. But many of them are very different in terms of features, size and functionality. If you are in the market for a Garmin golf GPS device but are having trouble deciding which one would be best for you, we want to help.

Today we will be comparing and reviewing two Garmin Approach devices in the Approach G10 and Approach G30. In the end, your personal preferences and needs will be your most decisive guide as to which one is the better buy.

But even your preferences should be supplemented with research and we have done the research and testing for you. We played 3 rounds each with these two models so take a look at what we found.

Key Features of the Garmin Approach G10

Garmin G10

The Garmin Approach G10 is the smallest golf GPS device that Garmin makes. It’s only 2 inches long and 1.5 inches wide so it literally fits in the palm of your hand.

We typically carried it in our pockets as well since it was so small. There is also a clip mounted to the back of the Garmin Approach G10 which allows you to attach it to your belt or hook it onto a golf bag strap.

It actually looks like a large watch face without the strap as it has 4 side mounted buttons (2 on each side) that allow you to toggle through modes, turn the device on and off and navigate backwards through the menus.

The display itself is a 0.9” x 0.9” black and white digital screen on which you can see distances to layups, hole information, club information and even shot stats.

We were really surprised that this tiny device kept track of your iron shots, driver shots, fairway shots and more.

And, as is typical with most Garmin approach devices, the Garmin Approach G10 comes preloaded with 40,000 golf course maps from around the world. All you have to do is turn it to GPS mode and it will automatically detect which course you are on.

There is also a Green View mode which gives you the shape of each green you are trying to get to as well as distances to the middle, front and back of it. You can also manually move the pin to the day’s location.

If you are looking for a golf GPS device that you don’t have to charge after every round, this would be a great choice. We used the Garmin Approach G10 for three full rounds (in GPS mode) on a single charge.


  • Great battery life
  • Very compact
  • Affordable
  • You can easily clip it to a belt or bag
  • Provides vital course information
  • Accurate distances


  • A bit hard to read in the sun
  • Limited hazard distance information
  • Manual pin setting isn’t very convenient
  • Manually inputting club info takes time

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Key Features of the Garmin Approach G30

Garmin G30

As the name implies, the Garmin Approach G30 is a stepped-up, big brother version of the Garmin Approach G10. First off and most noticeably, you get a larger (2.3 inch) color touchscreen display.

One of the coolest things about the G30 is that it features touch targeting. Touch targeting allows the user to touch any point of the course map and see the distance to that point. You also get really cool color layup arcs that show you how far you need to hit the ball on approach shots.

The common features between the Garmin Approach G10 and the G30 include green view, 40,000 preloaded courses, automatic course detection, hole information, distance to hazards, manual pin setting and club information.

But Garmin definitely made improvements with the G30. Firstly, you can set the pin to the correct location via the touchscreen which is a lot easier. You can also pair this device with your phone and it will display push notifications like calendar events, text messages and emails.

There is also a digital scorecard that tracks the swings of up to 4 players. And if you pair the G30 with the TruSwing analyzer you can get swing metric information like swing speed, swing tempo and club path angles.

The Garmin Approach G30 is also a bit large at 3 inches long, 2.1 inches wide and just over half an inch thick.


  • Color display
  • Easy touchscreen pin setting
  • Stores more hazard and trap information
  • Big number display mode
  • Offers swing metrics
  • Phone notifications


  • Not compatible with some phones
  • Battery life is shorter
  • Not as compact
  • More expensive

Garmin G30 7

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Performance Comparison

Garmin G10 4

The Garmin G30 was a bit more intuitive to use with the touchscreen display. The pin setting was easier and it felt more familiar since most devices are touchscreen these days. The G10 was less intuitive with the button operation.

That being said, the G10 was quicker to connect with satellites and we only had to charge it once (USB charging) for 3 full rounds as opposed to twice for the G30. Still, the G30 had a higher resolution display (200 x 265 pixels) and was easier to read in direct sunlight than the G10.

Which One Should you Buy?

Garmin G30 4

Considering the fact that the G30 is typically just $80 more than the G10, we suggest spending the extra money if you have it. The G30 is a more modern and intuitive device overall.

Even though the battery life isn’t as good as the Garmin Approach G10, it has more advanced features that make it a better value overall.

But again, your preferences will be the ultimate decider. If you don’t care about swing metrics and being able to connect your golf GPS device to your phone, you may be better off with the basic, less expensive G10.

But for our money, we think the Garmin Approach G30 offers more for the modern golfer. It’s our pick so be sure to check it out!


The Garmin G30

Garmin G30 7

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