Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Golf Watch: An HONEST Review

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In this post, I’m going to be reviewing the Garmin Vivoactive 3 golf watch and I’ll share my honest thoughts after testing it out on the course against other models. I’ll also show you the cheapest place to pick it up. That being said, here’s my review of the Garmin Vivoactive 3.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is probably the best multisport watch in its price range and that’s why I’d give it a thumbs up. It’s not perfect and it’s not the best golf watch but if you plan on using it for different sports, it could be a great option for you.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 (on Amazon) is priced really well and that’s another reason I like it so much. If you’re just looking for a golf watch, you can see our list of favorites here.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 First Impressions

Vivoactive 3

This is a multi-sport watch from Garmin that would be a great option for people who do a lot of outdoor activities.

It has pretty much the same golf features as the Garmin Fenix 5 but it’s quite a bit less expensive.

It’s also lighter than the Fenix which I was a big fan of.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Golf Features

The most important thing is the distance to the front, center, and back of the green as well as the distance to hazards and doglegs.

Garmin normally offers the most courses and you can download over 40,000 courses on the Vivoactive.

One of the best features was that it’ll tell you how far you hit each shot (to really dial in your distance).

It also comes with a digital scorecard, green view, and also PinPointer View.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Non-Golf Features

The good news with this watch is that it comes with a lot more features than your normal golf watch.

The first is Garmin Pay which allows you to save your card on your phone to pay for whatever.

It also comes with 15 different sports apps (running, gym, swimming) which is cool if you’ll use them.

One of the main reasons someone would get a watch like this is because it has more fitness tracking features than your normal golf watch.

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 Design

Vivoactive 3

It seems like a pretty well-built watch and is around 1.75 inches in diameter (not as bulky as some).

Since it’s not as bulky, it makes it a much better option if you plan on wearing it out.

It comes with an interchangeable band which I really liked and the watch itself seemed to be fairly durable.

It has a touchscreen display with 1 button, and in my opinion, it wasn’t the easiest watch to learn all the features (lots of features so it’ll take a while.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Performance

In terms of accuracy and battery life, the Vivoactive was pretty impressive in how it performed for us.

It wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t quite as good as the Garmin Approach S60 watch, but it was close and good enough for us (always within about 4-5 yards).

The battery life wasn’t as good as some but it lasted 2 full rounds for us which is all you can really ask for (most golf watches are in that range).

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Specs

Garmin Vivoactive 3
Size43 x 43 x 12 mm
MaterialPolymer/Stainless Steel
GlassGorilla Glass 3
Quick Release BandsYes
Strap MaterialSilicone
Screen Size1.2 inch
Weight43 grams
Battery13 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 TrackingNo

What I Like

  • It’s a great watch if you do multiple different sports.
  • It has most of the golf features you’d be looking for.
  • It’s not as big and bulky as some of the others.
  • It’s reasonably priced.

What I Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t have as many golf features as some of the golf-specific watches (like the Garmin S40).
  • Some of the apps were a little glitchy (probably will be fixed in the next software update).
  • The heart rate monitor isn’t always accurate.

The Breakdown

  • Performance Score: 9
  • Price Score: 9
  • Ease Of Use Score: 7
  • My Personal Score: 8.5

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can the watch store music?

A. No, but it can control the music on your phone.

Q. Are there more accurate watches out there?

A. The Garmin S60 is probably the best but it’s only a few yards on average better.

Q. Is it too big for a woman?

A. It’s not super bulky so it’ll fit men and women.

Is The Vivoactive 3 Worth It?

Overall, the Vivoactive 3 (on Amazon) is not perfect and it’s not the best golf watch on the market but if you plan on using it for multiple different sports, it could be a great option.

It’s probably the best multi-sport watch in its price range and that’s why I’d give it a thumbs up. If you’re just going to be using it for golf and want the most features possible, check out our favorite golf GPS units here.

Garmin Vivoactive 3






Ease Of Use



  • Good for multiple sports
  • Most golf features you'd want
  • Not too bulky
  • Price is reasonable


  • It doesn't have as many golf features as the S60
  • Some of the apps can be glitchy
  • The heart rate monitor isn't always accurate

Jon Webber

Just an average golfer trying to take my game to the next level. Was shooting around 100 not that long ago but have now been in the 80s consistently. Best round to date was 12 over. Best 9 holes were 4 over.

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