Garmin MARQ Golfer review: a luxury watch that's also the best GPS golf watch you can buy

Sure, cheaper golf watches do most of the same things as Garmin MARQ Golfer, but with considerable less élan

Garmin MARQ Golfer review
(Image credit: Garmin)
T3 Verdict

Garmin MARQ Golfer crosses Garmin's Fenix and Approach ranges, then festoons it with titanium and other luxury materials. The result is a feature-packed gentleman's watch that's obviously great for golfers but also has a wealth of additional fitness and smartwatch features

Reasons to buy
  • +

    One of the most luxurious smartwatches ever

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    Everything a golfer needs from a watch

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    A huge range of other features, too

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    Long battery life

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    It doesn't really do much more than far cheaper Garmin watches

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    Screen is more functional than beautiful

Garmin MARQ Golfer – Key Specs

(Image credit: Garmin)

Weight: 88 grams
Battery: Up to 12 days/up to 28 hours with GPS
Charge time: 2 hours
Features: water-resistant to 10ATM, heart-rate monitoring, blood oxygenation monitoring, GPS, maps for 41,000 golf courses worldwide… and a lot more besides

Garmin MARQ Golfer review in a sentence: a highly successful combination of luxury watch, smartwatch and – of course – golfing watch. 

If you thought the excellent Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, or its sun-powered sibling Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar were impressively luxe bits of wearable tech, you ain't seen nothing yet. Garmin MARQ Golfer – part of a range of MARQ watches tailored to various pastimes – has an RRP of £1,700 or $1,850.

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If you’re the type of person who regards spending £1700 on a golf watch as the very definition of “more money than sense” then nothing in this review is going to change your mind. For those who enjoy and can afford the finer things in life, and most particularly, golf, the Garmin MARQ Golfer could be the watch of your dreams.

Garmin MARQ Golfer: price and availability

Garmin MARQ Golfer review

(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin MARQ Golfer is not widely available from retailers but it can be bought direct from Garmin in many countries. There is free shipping, you'll be glad to know, after spending nearly 2 grand on it.

• Buy MARQ Golfer for $1850 from Garmin USA

• Buy MARQ Golfer for £1700 from Garmin UK

Garmin MARQ Golfer review: what's it like to wear

Garmin MARQ Golfer review

(Image credit: Garmin)

Testing this watch was fun and I have to admit that I felt like a million dollars wearing it as I hacked my way around my local course. My game might stink but hey, I’m wearing a £1700 golf watch so I’m still winning at something, right? 

The real beauty of the MARQ Golfer though is that you can wear it off the course too. It’s stylish enough to wear out to dinner, serves all the usual smartwatch needs – ie: notifications – and is practical enough to meet all your health and wellness requirements. 

As far as I can tell, it contains all of the key features found in Garmin's running and fitness watches. There's heart-rate tracking, naturally, and also a blood oxygen sensor, and support for a wealth of advanced fitness metrics.

Whatever fitness activity you’re into the MARQ has your back. Running, cycling, swimming, whatever. It also keeps tabs on your sleeping patterns, stress levels and heart rate and can issue alerts if your ticker or blood oxygen levels are misbehaving.

It’s jam packed with everything you’d expect from a smartwatch and then some, while the five button set up makes it extremely simple to use.

Be warned though, this watch does not like you being idle. Sitting around watching telly on the sofa for any period of time will have it vibrating irritably and ordering you to ‘move!’. I get enough of that from my partner, without being yelled at by a smartwatch too, so that did test my patience a little until I turned that particular function off. Other than that, I have to say I love this watch.

GARMIN MARQ GOLFER REVIEW: golfing FEATURES AND USER INTERFACE

Garmin MARQ Golfer review

(Image credit: Garmin)

You may be surprised to learn that on the golf course the MARQ doesn’t really do anything that Garmin’s other golf watches don’t. Don’t let that put you off though. After all, a Rolex doesn’t really do anything that a Timex can’t, but that doesn’t stop people buying Rolexes. And the MARQ Golfer is a steal compared to the price of a Rolex anyway.

So, what does the MARQ Golfer do on the golf course? I’ll take you through it…

One click of a button will bring up the activities menu from which you will select the Golf option. The watch will then use it’s GPS to determine your location and load up the course details – with over 41,000 preloaded courses Garmin almost certainly has you covered.

When you tee off it will ask what club you used. Make your selection and then walk to your ball. The MARQ will show you how far your shot travelled and you will also be given the yardages to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as detailed analysis of any hazards lying in wait. 

When you hit your second shot the watch will record the distance of your tee shot and then once again ask you to enter the club you used.

It will do this with every shot until you reach the green, at which point it will wait until you’ve finished the hole and ask you to enter your score, how many putts you needed, whether you had any penalty strokes and if you hit the fairway or missed left or right.

All of this data is recorded and after syncing with your smartphone it will be sent to your Gamin Connect account so you can keep track of how your game is progressing and where you can improve. Everything is there in great detail, scorecards, distances with each club, even cool little graphics showing your longest drive.

Garmin MARQ Golfer review

(Image credit: Garmin)

After you have worn the watch for five rounds the Virtual Caddy then kicks in, and this is where the fun really starts. The Virtual Caddy will make recommendations on club selection based on the data it has collected on your game while also analysing factors like wind speed. This is an invaluable tool for those tricky moments when you’re between clubs and uncertainty can creep in.

Hazard View allows golfers to quickly scroll through each hazard on the upcoming shot with critical distance information.

Another golf specific feature is the PlaysLike Distance. This takes into account changes in elevation. You won’t often need that but when you do it’s extremely useful. 

Pro Tip 1: Ensure notifications are switched off while on the course, otherwise you run the risk of it vibrating at the most inopportune of times, such as at the top of your backswing – yes, I learned that the hard way.

As already stated, the software used by the MARQ is the same as that you will find in other, cheaper Garmin watches, such as the Approach S62 for example. You probably wouldn’t wear the S62 off the course though – well, I certainly wouldn't – and therein lies the main difference. 

Overall, the MARQ is extremely easy to use, especially after you’ve played a round or two with it and it becomes second nature.

Pro Tip 2: Included in the box are three Approach CT10 club tracking sensors for advanced tracking capabilities, including locations, distances and club type. If you want CT10 trackers on every club then they must be purchased separately, and they will set you back around £69 per pack of three.

Garmin MARQ Golfer: smartwatch features

Garmin MARQ Golfer review

(Image credit: Garmin)

What else does Garmin MARQ Golfer do other than help you on the golf course? A better question might be; what doesn’t it do?

As with the rest of the MARQ range – Athlete, Adventurer, Captain, Aviator, Driver and Commander – the Golfer is packed with premium smartwatch functionality, including built-in music storage, Garmin Pay for contactless payments, smart notifications, daily activity tracking, as well as wrist-based heart rate and a wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor. 

The length of this review barely gives me scope to scratch the surface of the Garmin MARQ Golfer's features list. It's not just longer than your arm; it's longer than Mr Tickle's arms.

The MARQ is a watch you can wear all the time whatever the occasion because it’s stylish as hell. When you take into account all the other stuff it does then you have no need to ever take it off, other than to charge it of course. 

On that note, the battery life is impressive. You’ll get 12 days out of it in smartwatch mode or 28 hours in GPS mode and an added bonus is that it takes next to no time to fully charge.

GARMIN MARQ GOLFER REVIEW: BUILD QUALITY AND ERGONOMICS

The MARQ is built with premium materials, a 46-millimeter titanium case and ceramic bezel with custom etched 1-18 golf hole markings. A domed sapphire lens and an always-on, sunlight-readable display also mark this out as a high quality piece of tech. It's not as attractive as an OLED screen, but it's more practical and allows for much longer battery life

It comes with a choice of a tritone green jacquard-weave nylon strap or a green silicone alternative. Because the MARQ is compatible with Garmin’s QuickFit watch band solution, changing between different straps is quick and easy and you can transform the look of the watch simply by fitting a different colour strap. Perhaps even to match whatever outfit you’re sporting on the course that day. 

After all, if you’re paying £1700 for a watch then what’s another few hundred for different coloured fashion accessory straps? For most people though the green will do just fine.

GARMIN MARQ GOLFER REVIEW: VERDICT

This is comfortably the best golf watch currently on the market, although at this price, it really ought to be. The MARQ’s main competition comes from the similarly priced Tag Heuer Connected Golf Edition. I haven’t tested that but purely in terms of how they look, the MARQ has a definite edge.

If you’re just looking for something to help you around the golf course then some of the cheaper alternatives would make far more sense for you. The Garmin Approach range of watches will do everything you need at a much more affordable price.

However, while I wouldn't buy one myself, I would call the Garmin MARQ Golfer expensive rather than overpriced. If you have the cash, then go for the MARQ as you’ll struggle to find anything better.