Garmin Venu GPS Golf Watch: An HONEST Review

If you’re looking for a quality multisport watch that also has golf features, there are a number of different options you can pick from. In this post, I’m going to be reviewing the Garmin Venu from a golfer’s point of view and talking about whether or not it’s worth picking up.

In short, the Venu is a quality watch but it’s not something I’d purchase myself. There really isn’t anything wrong with it but I do prefer the features and price of the Vivoactive 4 more. The Vivo 4 is around $70 cheaper and the battery lasts a little bit longer (in smartwatch mode). That being said, I do prefer the smaller version of the Vivo (the 4S) because it’s a bit more compact than the Venu (the battery isn’t as good though).

All of the golf features are the same between the two watches so that’s why the extra cost wasn’t worth it for me. They both had the same features but the screen resolution was a bit better on the Venu. That could be worth the extra cost for you but both watches are great. You can also see the best golf GPS here.

Our Testing Process: We test products for several weeks or months before writing our reviews so we can help you find the right product. Learn more here.

Garmin Venu First Impressions

My favorite multisport watch in the past was always the Vivoactive 3 and my first thoughts with the Venu were that it looked pretty similar (same with the Vivo 4).

It was fairly compact and the watch itself looked really slick.

The size of the watch is around 43x43mm and the thickness is around 12mm. Similar to the Garmin S42, if you’ve ever tried that.

I’m not the biggest fan of wearing watches so the more compact ones are what I prefer. I do like the smaller Vivo 4 which is around 40mm, which might not seem like a lot, but it’s also lighter and makes a big difference.

The screen resolution is 390×390 pixels which could be important to some but I didn’t really notice a difference between the Venu and the Vivo.

The screen is made from Gorilla Glass (whatever that is) and is supposed to be really durable. It’s not bad but I didn’t find it to be that much more durable compared to the previous Garmin watches.

Garmin Venu Golf Features

You’re obviously reading this because you’re a golfer and are looking for a quality multisports watch. That’s why I’m going to be focusing mostly on the golf features and how it performs on the course. It’s not as advanced as something like the Shot Scope V3, but it’s still quite good.

The watch is going to keep track of your score but there are also other things it can do.

The first thing you’ll have to do is download your courses onto the watch.

It’s a bit of a hassle but the good news is that it’s easy to do and the course will be saved for next time. All you have to do is go to the Garmin Connect app, find your course, and click on download.

Once you’re on the course you’ll be able to see everything that’s going on for each hole.

You’ll be able to see what hole you’re on, the par of that hole, the shape of the green, and how far you are from the front, middle, and back of the green. It’s pretty much exactly the same as any other Garmin watch.

The next thing you’ll be able to see is where the doglegs and layup spots are.

Both of these are super important for when you start getting better at golf. You can also see what hazards are on each hole, where they are in relation to the green, and the distance to the front of it, and how far you need to hit the ball to clear it.

One of the more useful features is the Autoshot function that comes with the watch.

It’s going to tell you how far you hit each shot and then store that info for you to look at after your round. All you have to do is hit your ball, walk up to it, and it’ll tell you how far you hit it. Sometimes it’s good to have, sometimes it’s not.

Garmin Venu Non-Golf Features

Garmin Venu User Interface & Menu Walk-Through

If you’ve had a watch like this from Garmin before, the non-golf features are pretty much the same.

There are a few more features these newer watches have but the majority of it is the same. I don’t use too many of them but there’s really an app or function for everything.

Other than the golf app, the main thing I’d use is navigation GPS.

I spend a lot of time outdoors so being able to see where I’m at, where I’ve already been, and where I’m going is super useful. You can use it when you’re driving, biking, hiking, or whatever else you’re doing.

The second thing I use a lot is the music feature.

With a lot of the other watches on the market, the only thing you could do was control the music on your phone. That’s really not that useful. You can actually play music directly through the watch by connecting to Spotify or Amazon Music.

One thing I think is cool (but don’t really use it) is the workout feature.

It’ll actually show you animations on the watch for when you’re at the gym. It’ll give you workouts to do and you can track all of your stats. There are a bunch of other features that I don’t use too much, but here they are:

  • Body energy monitoring.
  • Sleep tracking.
  • Blood oxygen tracker.
  • Stress tracking.
  • Hydration tracking.
  • Heart rate monitor.
  • Apps for running, hiking, cycling, climbing, etc.
  • Phone notifications.
  • Garmin Pay.

Garmin Venu Design

Garmin Venu

The design of the Venu is actually something I really like.

I think the watch looks really good and it’s not as big and bulky as some of the other watches on the market. I can’t wear big watches but the Venu was comfortable enough to wear all the time (not quite as good as the Vivo 4S).

It does come in a few different colors but I like the black or grey version.

You can also buy different straps so you can customize it as much as you want. Like I was saying before, the screen could be a bit more scratch-resistant but you can just toss on a screen protector and you’ll be good to go.

Garmin Venu Performance

Garmin Venu

When it comes to performance, I’m going to be talking about how long the battery lasted and how accurate and useful the golf features were. You’re probably here because you’ll be using the watch for mainly golf, so that’s where I’ll be focusing.

Let’s start with the accuracy of the golf GPS.

The golf features are essentially the same across all Garmin watches and so is the accuracy. I wouldn’t say the Venu was as accurate or advanced as the Garmin S60 (golf-specific watch) but it was always within 5 yards of it. That was good enough for me and it should do the job for you.

Now for the battery life.

A lot of smartwatches don’t have the best battery in them and that can be a bit frustrating. The Venu isn’t going to last as long as the Fenix 5 or 6 but it was good enough for me. If you’re using the GPS feature constantly, it should last you around 5-6 hours (good enough for golf). If you’re using it as a normal smartwatch, it should last 5 days.

Garmin Venu Specs

Garmin Venu
Size43 x 43 x 12 mm
MaterialPolymer/Stainless Steel
GlassGorilla Glass
Quick Release BandsYes
Strap MaterialSilicone
Screen Size1.2 inch
Weight46 grams
Battery20 Hours GPS Mode
Water Rating5 ATM
PreloadedNo. Downloadable From Phone
Distance To Front, Middle, BackYes
Distance To Hazards/Doglegs/LayupYes
Shot DistanceYes
Stat TrackingYes
Manual Pin PlacementYes
Club TrackingRequires CT10

What I Like

  • The battery life is pretty decent.
  • The accuracy of the golf GPS is good.
  • The heart rate monitor seems pretty good.
  • There’s a feature for pretty much everything.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The price tag is pretty high.
  • The screen could be a bit more durable.
  • The sleep tracking feature isn’t the best.

The Breakdown

  • Performance: 9
  • Quality: 8
  • Ease Of Use: 8
  • Personal Score: 8

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the case size of the Venu?

A. It’s a 43mm.

Q. Is the Venu waterproof?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. What size wristbands does the Venu come with?

A. It’ll fit wrists between 125-190mm.

Is The Garmin Venu Worth It?

Overall, if you’re someone who likes to golf but you also do other activities where a watch could come in handy, the Garmin Venu could be right for you. It is expensive but it’s fairly compact and the screen resolution is high.

If it was me, I wouldn’t get the Venu.

The differences aren’t worth the extra cost in my opinion and I do like the slightly smaller Vivoactive 4S. The battery life isn’t as good but it’s lighter and thinner. Both are great watches though. If you just want a watch for golf then I’d check out our favorite golf GPS units.

Have you used the Garmin Venu before? In the comments below, let me know what you thought of it.

What To Do Next:

Enter Our Gear Giveaway: Like free golf stuff? A few times per year, we pick a few of our viewers and send them some gifts. Click here to learn more.

Deals & Discounts: We’ve worked with brands to offer discounts to our readers. See our deals and discounts page to see our current promotions.

Write For Us: Calling all hackers, whackers, and golf enthusiasts. Out Of Bounds Golf is looking for writers. If you’d like to get paid to write about golf, click here for more info.


Hey, I'm Jon. I started Out Of Bounds Golf to share my findings after testing golf gear for the past 10+ years. My goal is to make the game a little easier to understand, whether that's with finding the right product or answering common questions. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest.

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments