The TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition is the most expensive GPS golf watch currently on the market but a lofty price alone does not automatically make it the best. There are other golf watches that will do just as good a job of getting you around the course but this watch isn’t priced the way it is purely based on its performance around the links.
Looks, build quality and brand reputation also come into play. But what you really want to know is whether this watch is any good on the golf course, right? Well the short answer is yes, it’s really good. Probably as good as anything else out there in fact, but it isn't the easiest to use due to the wealth of features available. It's lovely though and it will be the cause of some envious glances in the clubhouse from your fellow golfers.
TAG Heuer have been crafting precision timepieces since 1860 and are in a similar bracket to Rolex or Omega. In other words, the name guarantees quality, style and a high price tag. Luxury watches are timeless (no pun intended) but whereas the likes of Rolex have steadfastly avoided going into the smartwatch market, TAG Heuer have embraced it with the ‘connected’ series of android smartwatches.
While the Connected Golf Edition is certainly one of the best GPS golf watches out there, at a cost of over two thousand pounds it would be remiss of me not to point out that you could pick up a cheaper, equally good golf watch while still having plenty left over for a high end laser range finder such as the Garmin Approach Z82, a set of the best golf waterproofs as well as the best new driver, and still have enough spare change to invest in some golf lessons. Maybe you have all that and just want a fancy watch though?
So what exactly do you get with a two grand golf watch? Let’s take a look.
Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition: Features and interface
This watch is packed with smart features and golf functionality. Whether it's music control, notifications or google pay, all of your smartwatch needs and more are covered. There are separate apps you can add for cycling and running too, which when combined in other various health and wellness functions make this one of the leading smartwatches on the market.
But you want to know what it does on the golf course, right? Well it does a ton of cool stuff, and the new edition (the E4) also extends itself to providing useful information even after you have finished playing. You can now upload all of your shot data to your Tag Heuer golf account where you will have a wealth of analytics at your disposal. Perhaps the coolest part of this is seeing hole maps showing all of your shots.
Keeping score is easy. Tap the screen where it says 'score' and then enter how many shots you took. To toggle between holes you just swipe the screen right or left. The top right button will bring up other options, like 'record shot' or 'leaderboard'. More on those shortly.
All of these features does mean that it can take some time to get fully comfortable with everything and you may need as many as five rounds before you fully 'get it'. When you do, this watch is a whole lot of fun.
Initial set up is easy enough. You download the Google Wear OS App to your smartphone and you will also need the free TAG Heuer Golf app and set up an account. Once you have done this and have entered the bluetooth connect code, you’re good to go and can complete your profile settings which will allow the watch to set daily fitness goals, such as a target for steps and calories burned.
You can also enter club information on the smartphone app, so you would add each club you have in the bag and enter your standard yardage for each club. This is useful when you are out on the course as the watch will not only give you the distances you need to know, it will also recommend the club you need for each shot.
When possible you really should download the course you will be playing prior to arrival as this saves time and makes it much simpler to get started, not to mention helps reduce battery usage.
Some of the options you should know about right out of the gate are cinema mode and do not disturb mode. Cinema mode prevents the backlight coming on when you move your wrist, which is obviously useful in… well, the cinema, obviously. Do not disturb mode is something you’ll probably want enabled on the course to avoid the watch vibrating to inform you of a WhatsApp message or that someone has liked your Instagram post when you’re in the middle of a backswing or trying to make a four footer for par.
Navigation of the various functions is done via touchscreen as well as two buttons and a dial on the side, while low battery mode is something you may want to enable when you’re on the course too if you're playing 36 holes. For 18 holes you will be fine. Again, I'll get to this in a bit.
Additionally you can customise the watch face, display any NFT's you may have (I'm told there are actually people out there who have bought them, although I remain sceptical about that), switch to different straps and download apps for cycling, running, walking and numerous other fitness based activities, but for this review we’ll concentrate on what this watch can do on the golf course.
Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition: Price and availability
This watch currently retails at £2200 in the UK and $2650 in the US. In Australia you're looking at $3,850.
You can get the older model (E3) a little cheaper but just be aware that there is a significant difference in performance, specifically in the battery life which is much better in the E4 edition.
It is expensive because it’s a TAG Heuer. They don’t make watches for people on a budget because that isn’t their target market. They produce high end, luxury watches for people who like and can afford the finer things. The Connected Golf Edition is marginally more costly than an entry level TAG Heuer watch and it is considerably cheaper than most other TAG Heuer watches.
It is widely available and you’ll see this product marketed quite heavily. European Ryder Cup player Tommy Fleetwood is a brand ambassador for Tag-Heuer and you’ll usually find one of these watches on his wrist. Sky Sports Golf presenter Nick Dougherty is another Tag Heuer brand ambassador.
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Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition: Build quality and design
As you’d expect from a TAG Heuer offering this watch is made from high quality materials and positively reeks of luxury. The case is an ultra-lightweight titanium with matte finish, with a ceramic bezel featuring an exclusive Golf Edition crown. The hosel is decorated with markings showing each hole and a cool feature is that after you enter your score on each hole you’ll have a different colour for birdie, par, bogey etc
The watch comes with two straps, the first in black rubber, the second in white golf-pattern with green stitching. A set of three balls (Titleist ProV1), one extra ball marker, the charging dock with its USB-C cable, the main socket, the Golf Ball Markers are all included in the exclusive set of this Connected Golf Edition watch. It doesn’t justify the price, but nevertheless you can’t help but feel that you’re getting something really cool when you open up the box.
It is a luxury watch so you will not be surprised that it is very comfortable to wear and sits nicely on the wrist during golf shots. It may look somewhat chunky but it certainly doesn’t feel in any way restrictive despite its size. The clasp fastener is more adjustable than a traditional design with a pin and holes, providing you with a perfect fit and in the latest E4 version of the watch there is a magnetic ball marker that sits on the clasp.
While some may prefer the black strap, personally I feel that the white strap with green trim really looks the part and overall this is a fantastic looking watch.
The beauty of the two strap option is you can wear the white strap on the course and then replace it with the black one and go out for dinner afterwards.
Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition: Performance on the course
I tested the previous edition (E3) of this watch last year and it had some flaws. Overall I liked it a lot but I did have some connection issues and the battery life was a big problem as I couldn't get through 18 holes without it dying on me. Tag Heuer have worked hard to solve that issue though and the battery life in the E4 edition has increased significantly.
Just as importantly, the boffins at Tag Heuer HQ also found a way to reduce the amount of power needed by the golf app. That's what they told me anyway, but I needed to see for myself out on the course. Sure enough, the difference was massive. I finished 18 holes and still had 47% battery remaining. Other golf watches have better battery life but that's more than enough to meet most requirements. It charges very quickly too.
Improved battery life aside, in terms of how the new and improved edition of the watch performed on the course compared to last year's offering, it was similar. There are some new features that have been added but it's not massively different. When everything works smoothly the watch is great, but connecting can be a bit of a faff even when you know what you're doing.
Last year I had some issues getting set up with the golf app when I got on the course. Having downloaded the necessary apps and connected the watch to my phone, I arrived at the first tee and tried to load up the course on the watch, only to repeatedly get a connection error message.
I restarted both devices, logged out of everything and then back in again, but still no luck. I knew it was something I was doing wrong but the golf course is not the time to be figuring these things out, especially when you have an impatient twoball playing behind you.
Fortunately the TAG Heuer smartphone app actually works just fine without the watch so I used that to get me around, vowing to figure out the connection problem when I got home afterwards. Lo and behold, it was indeed my fault.
Turns out, I didn't have both the Google Wear OS and the Tag Heuer Connected golf app running, which rendered the watch useless on the course. Ok, so that's my bad.
Perhaps I should have done my homework prior to arriving at the course but I prefer to figure things out on my own as - whatever the equipment, be it a Shot Scope laser range finder or a Rapsodo mobile launch monitor - I find that I get a better feel for how things work when I learn on the fly rather than from reading instruction manuals.
So lesson learned. That didn't mean it was plain sailing though. I encountered a similar problem a year later with the E4 edition on the second round I played with it. The first time everything ran smoothly, but when I arrived on the tee for my second round it just would not connect to the golf app. I had both apps running so it should have worked, as it had the previous round, but that golf app just would not connect.
I had to restore the watch to factory settings, go through the initial set up again and then reconnect to my phone. Thankfully that did the trick but it isn't an ideal way to start your round. I still don't know what the problem was but it may have been just bad luck and that I was in a dead spot for GPS and wifi.
That was the only issue I have had this time and otherwise my experience of the watch has been nothing but positive. It does everything you could wish for in a golf watch and the graphics are stunning. I love the hole maps and how you can scroll up and down with the dial to see the yardage from different spots on the fairway.
One of the main differences between this watch and other golf watches I’ve used is that it does not by default provide you with the standard ‘front, middle and back’ yardages. It gives you a number to the middle and then you need to use the touchscreen or the dial to move the flagstick around to where you think it is located based on what you can see. Some view that as a negative but I would disagree.
It might be a bit of a pain for golfers who don’t need an exact figure and are happy to just glance at the three stock yardage figures they are used to, but personally I thought it was a nice feature and it was something I enjoyed using as having to look more closely at the flag position made me think about my upcoming shot a little more.
It isn’t ideal when you can’t see the flag location clearly but that’s a problem irrespective of which GPS device you are using. You do have the number to the middle of the green so in those rare situations you should just go with that.
You can access the front and back numbers via the touchscreen if you want, but it's easier to use the dial to move back and forth.
On a couple of holes some of the maps didn’t quite match what I was looking at. Specifically it would be showing bunkers that weren’t there, or I could see a bunker on the fairway that wasn’t showing on the watch, causing me to double check to make sure it was showing the correct hole. The smartphone map was the same, so this is almost certainly due to course changes that haven’t been updated by the TAG Heuer golf app, as that was something I noticed again when my playing another of my local courses.
Renovations are taking place on the first hole and as a result of that, the second is actually the first now (and has been for about four years). The watch and phone app were both showing the old course format, however, which wouldn’t have been ideal if I’d wanted to keep score because the par 5 18th hole has been split into two to ensure there are still 18 holes. The Tag-Heuer app doesn’t have that information and was still showing the 18th as a par 5.
Other than not being completely updated on all course changes, the smartphone app is seriously impressive and a ton of fun to use. I can’t stress that enough; the app is great and the 3D flyovers of the holes are outstanding. You can use the watch to get yardage info and you can scroll through hazard distances, lay up spots and everything you’d expect from a high end GPS watch, but you might actually prefer to do it on your smartphone due to the larger screen and ease of use. Maybe that defeats the purpose of the watch though?
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Entering your score is a simple process and on the phone app you will also be able to keep track of fairways and greens hit, as well as if you were in a bunker or if you had any penalties etc, as well as how many putts you had. The watch, however, only records putts and score. On some golf watches you also have the option of entering fairways hit and penalties, so it was a little surprising not to have that feature but it isn't something I really pay much attention to anyway.
The on screen maps on the watch are extremely detailed (it was already fantastic but there has been an improvement in the graphics in the E4 edition) and being able to scroll to different points on the fairway using the dial is really cool.
So for example if you are hesitant about using driver on a tight dogleg, you might want to lay up with a hybrid. If you know how far you generally hit that hybrid you can scroll back down the hole map to see your landing area and that will show you exactly where you need to aim.
You can also do this using the touchscreen but I found that on a cold wet day, being able to use the dial was much more user friendly. In fact, that might be the feature I enjoyed most.
The watch usually updated automatically after each hole but on the odd occasion it didn’t it was easy enough to manually move onto the next one by swiping right. It’s also straightforward enough to go back (swipe left) and fix any incorrect score you may have entered. That isn’t always the case on all golf watches as sometimes it can be tricky. You can score in strokeplay or stableford too, which is another nice little extra.
Record shot is a nifty feature, providing you remember to activate it. The idea is that you select the ‘record shot’ by pressing the top right button, enter the club you are using, take your shot and then when you reach your ball you press the button again and it will save that shot to your Tag Heuer golf account when you sync your watch and smartphone after your round.
Initially I didn't like using 'record shot' as it I found there was just a bit too much going on and I was having to scroll between different menus which was quite distracting. The more familiar I became with the watch the easier that got and the less intrusive it felt, but it does take time to become comfortable with it.
The feature is great for analysing your game afterwards and if you can get into the habit of selecting the record shot option before each tee shot it can be very handy, particularly when it comes to finding a ball that has missed the fairway. If you know how far you normally carry the ball off the tee and you have the record shot feature activated, that narrows your search area down significantly and saves a lot of time looking for lost balls.
Something I really liked was that if you play the same course regularly you can see your shot history on each particular hole and come up with a plan to score better. For instance, if you keep hitting that same fairway bunker with driver you might want to lay up next time. Being able to look at your shot history on any particular hole is interesting, especially as the app will colour code your shots depending on what your score was.
Overall I found the Tag Heuer Connected Golf Edition performed really well when I'd had enough time to fully get used to how it works and what it is capable of. It does take a while to get familiar with it and in those early rounds you might see it as a distraction from your game. The juice is definitely worth the squeeze though.
Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition: Battery life
If you have the E4 edition then battery life is not an issue, but for older versions of the watch it certainly is.
On older versions the only chance you have of getting through 18 holes is to switch off unnecessary background apps and ensure GPS is running off your smartphone and not the watch. With the E4 edition this is not necessary. As mentioned above, Tag Heuer have solved the issue and there is ample battery to get you through even a long round.
There are things you can do to extend the battery life further, if you needed to play 36 holes for example.
The main thing is, as stated already, to ensure that you have your smartphone selected for the GPS. If the watch is handling the GPS that causes a significant battery drain. Be aware though, if your phone is measuring the distances to the flag and relaying it via the watch, you may want to ensure your phone is near you at all times because if it's in your golf bag on the fairway while you are in the trees 30 yards away, you won't have an accurate number.
Disabling the 'always on display' option is always worth doing too. This just means that the screen will come on when you tilt your wrist to look at it, and it will switch off when you aren't viewing it. That's just sensible, you don't need the full colour screen displaying when you aren't looking at it.
You can change the amount of time the screen stays active. The default is 5 seconds but that wasn't enough for me and I switched to 10 seconds as that gave me ample time to analyse all the information I needed before deciding on my shot. If the screen goes off before you've finished taking in all of the information, just tilt your wrist down and then back up and you'll have another 10 seconds.
Disabling any apps you don't need will also extend battery life, but as I said, unless you are playing 36 holes you won't need to worry about preserving battery life as you'll have more than enough.
Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Golf Edition: Verdict
Is it worth it? It depends if you are buying the watch as a luxury item or purely as a golf GPS accessory. If it’s the latter then no, it isn’t worth it. There are golf specific watches out there which are just as good (arguably better, but that's subjective) at a vastly lower price.
The key thing to remember is that you aren’t paying over two grand for what this watch does on the golf course. You’re paying for the TAG Heuer name, the build quality and just the general message it sends out. If you value those things then you'll love this watch and you will not be disappointed in its performance.
It looks great, it’s beautifully made and it’s hard wearing and durable. It’s packed with apps and if you’re someone who appreciates fine watches and who plays golf, then this is a must have, especially as neither Rolex nor Omega offer smart watches. TAG Heuer and Garmin have identified that gap in the market and it will be interesting to see if others follow in future.
A word of warning though, an expensive smartwatch is unlikely to hold its value in the same way a mechanical watch would, so that’s certainly something to keep in mind. Usually a TAG Heuer is an investment, but with a smartwatch that isn’t going to be the case. You aren’t going to pass a smartwatch down through generations of your family like you would with a luxury mechanical timepiece.
If I was in the financial position where I wouldn't flinch at spending this kind of money on a golf accessory (a not so subtle message to my paymasters at T3!), then I would buy it in a heartbeat because it is a beautiful looking watch, it's a great golf course companion and, well, it’s a TAG Heuer.