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Garmin Approach Z82 Range Finder

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Just saw the announcement on the Z82, and am very impressed with this new model. Was thinking about purchasing the S62 golf watch, but after seeing the information available on the Z82 (and viewing the promotional video on the Garmin website hosted by Rick Shiels), I just might be purchasing this range finder.



Ft. Mitchell, KY

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Looks amazing, just can't justify the price since I already own the Z80. Maybe once the next generation releases haha

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Just when we are semi-content with our wearable GPS watches...this looks like an amazing toy,tool, whatever. I’m guessing like all things Garmin, first firmware will bring a slew of “this thing sucks!” But Garmin always rights the ship and winds up being a solid choice. Z82 is in the cart, now do I have the courage to go back to a rangefinder?!

yup. Hit the buy button. Looks really good.

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Have had the S62 for a bit now but would be very interested in this if I hadn't gotten that. My issue is I wear the S62 as my everyday fitness watch. I was using an Apple Watch for this and a rangefinder. I like what I have done and simplified things. The big thing I do like about the S62 that would be tough with the 82 is the Arcoss style distance tracking. In the S62 thread others have complained about the input after every shot but I do not mind. I love looking back over my shots after a round. Its giving me a very good idea on my averages too even though I have had a gapping session with my pro. Very informative.

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This has always been my experience with every Golf watch from Garmin and I have had them all. First version of their software is shaky, buyers remorse sets in then, a couple of firmware updates later, works fine and we love the product. Garmin seems like Microsoft, they put the software out then patch the heck out of it That said I will update now!

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The update seemed to solve the issue. I fully charged and when messing with the settings it would go down slowly now. Also one thing I’ve noticed in comparison to the Z80 which I owned as well, the Z82 seems to “wake up” much faster than the previous version. That is a welcomed change as that always drove me nuts.

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First round with the Garmin Z82, it’s light and looks sharp! Fits in my pocket fine. I never had any experience with the Z80. I updated to the most current version, 2.40 in Garmin Express. Took about ten minutes to update. Calibration of the internal compass took two minutes. Got to the course (Shingle Creek Golf Club) perfect day 86°, spotty breezes. Fired up the Garmin App on my iPhone, threw it in my bag. Started up the Z82 and it instantly found the course. It took about a minute to find the graphics of the first hole, with my driver distance showing as yellow arc, where I might land. Distance to hazards, wind direction, actual yardage to front , back and middle at the bottom of the screen, plays like distances in the middle of the screen and show uphill/downhill arrow, when I target the flag and get a buzz, It’s quick, accurate with clear optics. Going from hole to hole is seamless and as far as waking up, as soon as the viewfinder hit my sunglasses, it instantly wakes and every piece of information is available. I was impressed based on the negative reviews of the Z80 figured this may lag as well. Nope. It’s pretty fast! 75% charge after a round. All that said, this is my first rangefinder in eight years and have grown very fond of having most of the information available on my wrist (we have the S40,S60 in-house now) so having to lug around and worrying about setting it down and maybe forget it somewhere, not sure I’m a rangefinder guy, I’m not so accurate where a few yards off the flag is big deal. But if you are, this is an incredible piece of kit and just seeing a screen full of all the information you need, hard to go wrong with this one. For me, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ not sure.

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I wish the Z80 had that feature. I lost mine last week ?

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I have played 3 rounds with the Z82, and this is now the perfect rangefinder. Everything I didn’t love about the z80 has been improved. Love the jolt feature, and especially love that the actual distance AND slope is displayed on the same screen as this wasn’t the case before. My biggest frustration with the Z80 was it always took too long to wake up. I had to hit the button as I’m getting out of the cart so it was ready by the time I got to the ball. Now it wakes up immediately. I played 18 this morning on a full charge and it was at 70% when I was done. Having the wind always on the screen is nice as well, as the s62 you had to go into the menu to find it. Highly highly recommend. Picked this is for $480 with a 20% discount through Dicks and couldn’t be happier.

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I was also able to update mine from version 2.00 firmware to 2.40 via Garmin Express without any issue. Also updated the courses. BTW, have you guys noticed a red error message when you press the "Sync" button in Garmin Express? I got the "syncing error" message. It didn't say why. I have no problem connecting and syncing via Bluetooth to both Garmin Golf and Garmin Connect apps on my iPhone.

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I tried the Z80 when it launched but there were too many problems present for me to stick with it. Sadly, it looks like the biggest problem remains. When using the Z80 I routinely found the lasered pin yardages did not correspond in a sensible way with the GPS yardages for the front and back of the green. It very often would give me a pin yardage that was short of the front of the GPS-derived green yardages. That of course made the whole thing useless.

The reason I believe the same problem exists with the Z82 is from one of the few videos out with review content. Search YouTube for "Garmin Approach Z82 Unboxing & Review - HOLY GRAIL OF GOLF RANGEFINDERS". Around the 12:00 mark you will see he lasers the pin and gets a pin yardage a few yards short of the green front. Admittedly that is from a substantial range (~377yds iirc). Nonetheless it does not fill me with confidence.

I would love to hear from some owners if they are experiencing the same thing or if their GPS numbers are accurate.

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