Garmin Z82 Vs Garmin Z80 – Which Device Should I Buy?

Garmin have always been innovators when it comes to golf GPS devices. Their watches and handheld devices are among the most sought after gadgets on the links. And this year, they continue their groundbreaking ways by improving upon technology that most people have moved on from.

Who would have thought 2 or 3 years ago that we would be talking about rangefinders again in 2020? But that is exactly where we find ourselves today. With the Approach Z series, Garmin has breathed new life into the golf rangefinder market.

We wanted to see what the fuss was all about – if this new line of rangefinders lives up to the hype that surrounds it. And if they do, which would be the better device for you? So we got our hands on these rangefinders and tested them each on two full rounds of golf. Here is what we found.

The Garmin Approach Z80

Now the Garmin Approach Z80 isn’t anything new. It came out in 2018 and has been a favorite among casual players, handicappers and amateurs alike. And there is good reason for that. Garmin was the first company to combine laser rangefinder technology with GPS functionality.

The Z80 represents a breakthrough in golf devices. With the Z80, you can see a 2-D overlay of the course and hole you are playing when you look through the rangefinder eyepiece. It is preloaded with maps for 41,000 golf courses from around the world so you aren’t likely to find yourself on a course without a map.

The Z80 is also crazy accurate. It locks onto the pin and gives you the distance to within 10 inches. You can use it to lock onto targets that are as much as 350 yards away. And Garmin even found a way to incorporate their beloved Green View technology into a golf rangefinder.

The Garmin Approach Z80 will display the distance to the middle, back and front of the green when you look through the eyepiece. The maps and greenview displays show up on the left side of the spyglass when you look through it which makes it easy to also see the target you are aiming for.

You even get advanced features like “plays like” distances that take into account uphill and downhill shots and a laser arc overlay that lets you see all the obstacles in your way.

The Garmin Approach Z80 Pros & Cons


  • Lightweight (only weighs about a pound)
  • The eyepiece is adjustable so you can see images clearly no matter what your vision is like
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Combines the essential golf GPS features into a rangefinder device
  • You can turn off the “plays like” distance feature to make it legal for tournaments
  • 6X magnification lens


  • 6X magnification lens
  • Sometimes locks onto the wrong target
  • It would be nice if you could attach a lanyard to it
  • The “Up” button is a little hard to press

Check Out More Reviews Here:


The Garmin Approach Z82

Now this is the device that has the golf world buzzing about rangefinders in 2020. The Garmin Approach Z82 was released in the first quarter of 2020 and at first glance, it looks and feels a lot like the Approach Z80.

In fact when we received ours and went through the list of features, we were a bit worried that this new model was just a money-grab by Garmin trying to capitalize on the old success of the Z80 without really making any new innovations.

But our worries were quickly allayed on our first round with the Garmin Approach Z82. Right away, we could tell that it was more accurate than its predecessor. The Garmin Approach Z82 can lock onto targets that are 450 yards away with the same accuracy of the Z80.

The images in the viewfinder show up crisper too thanks to a sharper high definition OLED display. They made locking onto the pin faster with the Garmin Approach Z82 too. The Garmin Approach Z82 will give off a little vibration when it locks onto the pin.

You get all the same features from the Z80 model with the Garmin Approach Z82 but with the added bonus of more detail. For example the Garmin Approach Z82 will tell you the wind speed and direction right on the overlay display.

You also get advanced golf features like a digital scorecard, shot distance measurements, hazard view and compatibility with the Garmin Golf app.

The Garmin Approach Z82 Pros & Cons


  • Seamlessly blends GPS and rangefinder data
  • Enhanced accuracy
  • Gets satellite information quickly
  • External tournament mode indicator light
  • Improved battery life
  • Sharper imaging


  • Still no lanyard attachment
  • You need to pan over to the flag to lock onto it
  • It’s a bit heavier than the Z80
  • A little pricey

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Performance Comparison

So which device will perform better for you? Well if you like accuracy then the Garmin Approach Z82 would be a better fit. We were able to lock onto targets that were farther away with the Garmin Approach Z82.

On the course, the Z80 feels a bit wieldier. It is a bit lighter but we have to dock its performance because of its battery life. The Z80 died on the last hole of the second round we played with it while the Garmin Approach Z82 not only lasted the full 2 rounds on a single charge; but still had 38% battery life left.

Price Comparison

The Garmin Approach Z80 will run you about $450 while the Garmin Approach Z82 is currently retailing for about $600.

Which Device Should you Buy

After 2 full rounds with each of these devices, we fell in love with the Garmin Approach Z82. While it is a bit pricier and heavier in the hand, it just has too many advanced GPS features to turn down. It is the model example for how golf rangefinder and GPS technology should be combined.

But if you prefer a device that isn’t so complicated, the Z80 may be more your speed. It is still a great device without all the bells and whistles that some golfers may find cumbersome. But if you value accuracy and information that can help your game, check out the Garmin Approach Z82.


 The Garmin Approach Z82

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