Garmin Approach G30 Vs Garmin Approach G8 Comparison And Review 2021

For anyone not interested in a golf watch but wants a stepped up version of a handheld golf GPS device, the Approach G30 and G8 may be a great middle-ground for you.

Sometimes you just want a more modern-feeling golf GPS device and the Garmin Approach G30 and the Garmin Approach G8 golf GPS devices certainly fit that bill.

Small, sleek, compact but brimming with modern features, these devices will help you perform your best on the course. Let’s take a look at the important details you should know about both of these golf GPS devices.

Garmin Approach G30 Overview

The Garmin Approach G30 is a color display, handheld golf GPS device with all the features you’ve come to expect from Garmin.

It may sound shallow but one of the best things this device has going for it is it’s brand. Garmin is the first name in GPS and their golf GPS devices are highly sought-after – for good reason too.

The Garmin Approach G30 is a touchscreen GPS device with a 2.3” display. It’s 3 inches tall, 2.1 inches wide and less than an inch thick so it’s smaller than your smartphone. It provides you with vital course information so you will know exactly what to expect on each hole.

At 2.5 ounces, the Garmin Approach G30 is anything but cumbersome and you can easily keep it in your bag or your pocket.

Garmin Approach G8 Overview

The Approach G8 has some more in-depth features than the Garmin Approach G30 and is also a bit larger.

The Approach G8 has a 3” color touchscreen display and interestingly enough, it’s 4.4 inches tall and even slimmer than the Garmin Approach G30. So while the screen and display are bigger, the profile is actually slimmer.

The G8 would be a good call for anyone looking for slightly more in-depth course and conditions data. The G8 is also slightly heavier than the G30; but the difference is almost negligible.

After testing the G8 and the G30 side-by-side, it became apparent that the G8 was the slightly more advanced GPS device.

Garmin Approach G30 In 20 Words or Less

In 20 Words Or Less

A great mid price-range golf GPS device that provides all the vital course information you need.

Garmin Approach G8 In 20 Words or Less

In 20 Words Or Less

The Approach G8 gives golfers of all skill-levels a high degree of versatility in terms of convenience and performance.

Garmin Approach G30 First Impressions

The touchscreen of the Garmin Approach G30 was surprisingly smooth and easy to navigate.

We hate when touchscreen GPS devices are hard to use but we were pleasantly surprised with the simple, smooth and intuitive interface of the Garmin Approach G30.

Key Features

The Garmin Approach G30 comes preloaded with 42,000+ golf courses from around the world.

The G30 has all the standard features you would expect like green view, distances to layups and hazards, stat tracking, digital score card and shot distance calculator.

However, it also has more advanced features like custom target distancing that allows you to see your distance from pretty much any point on the course map. You can also set the pin to the day’s position for any hole.

The G30 has a brilliant display and a single, simple power button.

Garmin Approach G8 First Impressions

At first we were a bit leery about a touchscreen golf GPS device that still had 2 operation buttons at the bottom.

The buttons however do actually make it a bit easier to use the G8. They were also a great alternative for the testers in our party who don’t particularly like navigating via touchscreen.

Key Features

The G8 has all the same features as the G30 with a few add-ons.

The coolest thing about the G8 was the “Plays Like” feature that will give you augmented distances based on inclines or declines on the course.

The G8 can also be connected to your smartphone and it displays push notifications from your phone right on the screen.

The G8 also has a tournament legal setting for those concerned about being able to use it in competitive play.

Garmin Approach G30 Selling Points

  • IPX7 water rating
  • USB chargeable
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • 15-hour battery life
  • Tournament legal
  • Compatible with Truswing

Garmin Approach G8 Selling Points

  • Large display
  • Slim profile
  • Custom targets
  • USB chargeable
  • 15-hour battery life
  • Handicap scoring

Who is the Garmin Approach G30 for?

The Approach G30 would be a good choice for anyone on a bit of a budget.

The G30 is almost $100 cheaper than the G8 and it has almost all the same features so even if you are on a budget, you won’t be missing out on much with this golf GPS device.


  • More affordable than the G8
  • Full color course maps
  • Loads course information quickly
  • Accurate shot distances


  • It has a smaller display than the G8
  • It feels a bit bulkier than the Approach G8

Overall Score: 94/100

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Who is the Garmin Approach G8 for?

The Garmin Approach G8 would be a great choice for low handicappers who want to be able to attack each hoel with the most complete information and performance data.

Overall, we really liked the Plays Like distancing feature of the G8. It actually helped some of us shave a stroke off of a few holes which may be worth the extra $100 in and of itself.


  • It has a larger display screen than the Garmin Approach G30
  • At has more in-depth shot and distancing metrics than the Garmin Approach G30
  • The display resolution is actually sharper than the G30
  • Better for players who really want to lower their handicap


  • The two control buttons make it look a bit archaic
  • The battery life seems to be less than a full 15 hours
  • It is more expensive when it really only has a handful of extra features compared to the Garmin Approach G30
  • The Wi-Fi connectivity is usually pretty spotty

Overall Score: 95/100

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