Best Garmin Golf GPS Watches – Your Complete Garmin GPS Watch Buying Guide

Best Garmin Golf GPS Watches – Your Complete Garmin GPS Watch Buying Guide

Why Should You Use a Golf GPS Watch?

Golfers have been looking to improve their game with the last few decades. We all want lower scores and handicaps, am I right? For years, game improvement technology only came from club equipment. The best new irons, the latest and greatest driving technology and so on. Over the last few years the evolution of GPS devices in my opinion is the single greatest tool modern day golfers can use to improve their golf game. Why so? In order to shoot low scores, you need good course management tee to green. Accurate yardages and hazard information is crucial to lowering your scores.  How many times have you been out on a course that’s badly marked with distance markers, and you are essential guessing the yardage. Your best estimate is 150 yards, when the shot is in fact 140, and you blow your ball over the back of the green. Enter Garmin golf GPS watches.

Garmin is establishing itself as the industry standard in their goal to becoming the best golf GPS watch brand on the market. The Garmin Approach S60 is packed with the latest and greatest golf technology that will have techies watering at the mouth on the tee box. Garmin has undoubtedly upped the golf watch game. Golf GPS watches are not just rangefinders anymore. They’re complete golfing aids that are crucial to improving your game.

How Will A Golf GPS Watch Improve My Game

Lower Scores

We all want to shoot lower scores. If you don’t, then your probably lying. Let’s face it, golf is more fun when we play better. It’s such a thrill making birdies, rather than fishing my Prov1 out of the lake.  A golf GPS watch can help you lower your scores by providing you with accurate yardages and course information. Knowing your yardages is so important, especially if you plan on your lower scores. Rangefinders can save you a couple of shots each round. Taking the guess work out of each shot allowing you to focus on making a solid swing.

Faster Play

We all hate slow golfers. The guy striding out the yardages from the 100 yard sprinkler head. Look and go. That’s all it is with a golf GPS watch. That’s how quick and easy it is to check your yardage. No walking around the fairway trying to find the yardage sprinkler head or the 150 maker in the overgrown bushes.

Data Collection

How far do you hit your 6 iron comfortably? Are you confident your answer is accurate? Do you really know or are you guessing? A rangefinder is not only a yardage tool, it’s a data collecting device. After using a golf rangefinder for a few weeks you will begin to collect your own personal data and know your yardages with all your irons. This data is collected in a number of ways depending on the golf rangefinder device you are using.

For example, most golf GPS watches can be connected to smartphones and computers for post round analysis. You can record and review how far you hit each shot, and the GPS watches can do this automatically. Laser rangefinders won’t record this for you but after a few weeks you will no without thinking what club you need to hit that yardages after using the rangefinder on each shit. Or you can manually take note of each yardage.

Overall Fitness Tracking

Nowadays most golf GPS watches are everyday fitness watches. They count your steps, the number calories burned, and also be used as every day smartwatches, receiving texts, emails and alerts directly to your smartwatch without even looking at your phone.

Which Golf GPS Watch Should I Use?

There’s a number of factors to consider, such as budget, expectations, technology needed. I think budget and expectations are the most important ones. There are plenty of golf GPS watches out there to choose from, and they vary dramatically in price depending on the features they provide. Most golf GPS watches will provide you the key functions with is yardage to the front, middle and back of the green. Most GPS watches should do this pretty well. From here on the, the more features you get the more expensive you get. High end watches tend to be more like full blown smartwatches. For example the Garmin Approach S60 is probably the best Garmin golf GPS watch available. It’s Garmin’s most technology packed golf GPS watch but comes at a heavy cost. But at the other end of the pricing spectrum you have the Garmin Approach S20, a more budget friendly offering from Garmin that focuses on doing the simple things right, which is getting golfers accurate yardages.

The technology in golf GPS watches continues to impress me year after year. The cheapest golf GPS watches will be just under $100 each, and rise up to $600. There are a number of manufacturers out there but Garmin continues to dominate. However, Bushnell is trying to take some market share in the GPS watch market. If you don’t know already, Bushnell currently dominates the laser rangefinder market.  The best golf watch for you depends, totally on you. If you read on, I will help you decide what watch is best for your golfing needs.

 

Best Garmin Golf Watches – Your Complete Buyers Guide

Garmin Approach S60 Golf GPS Watch Review

Garmin is establishing itself as the industry standard in their goal to becoming the best golf GPS watch brand on the market. The Garmin Approach S60 is packed with the latest and greatest golf technology that will have techies watering at the mouth on the tee box. Garmin has undoubtedly upped the golf watch game. Golf GPS watches are not just rangefinders anymore. They’re complete golfing aids that are crucial to improving your game.

The Garmin S60 boasts an impressive list of features that many will try and replicate. But beware, if you came here expecting the latest and greatest golf watch at a bargain, well, you’re in the wrong place. The S60 wont come cheap, but is it worth it? Read on to find out.

The Garmin S60 provides one of the most detailed yardage info available on a golf GPS watch. It’s high resolutions color display presents the yardage and hazard info clearer than any other watch. You get a sky-view image of the green and it’s exact shape, a really nice touch that can be overlooked on other watches. The Garmin Approach S60 allows you to move the flagstick around the green to get a more accurate pin position, using a clever drag and drop touchscreen technology. I think this is important, especially if you play on some links courses that have very large greens. A lot of courses nowadays provide golfers with pin location maps, so you can move your flagstick around your Garmin S60 to get your accurate yardage.

One of the key areas where Golf GPS watches fail to deliver is providing hazard information easily. With some watches, even the best golf GPS watches, it can take endless button clicks and messing with functions, taking 5 minutes and then pissing off your playing partners. There’s a solution to this, and it’s the Garmin Approach S60. The S60 clearly displays the yardages to hazard info such as bunkers, drains, water hazards. It will also give you layup info for Par 5’s and Dog legs.

The Garmin Approach S60 comes loaded with 40,000 courses from around the world that updates for you for free, so need to worry about course changes or dated information. You will not be charged a subscription fee for updates and new course information like you do for some handheld GPS devices. Once yo arrive at the golf course, the Garmin S60 will pick up your golf course automatically within seconds. A nice improvement is the speed it picks up the golf course. Some GPS watches will be take some time to find the course, not a life time, but when I arrive at the course I want to get on with my golf.

Like mentioned the Garmin Approach S60 is equipped with a really nice 240 x 240 pixels high resolution color display. The watch face is not too large or chunky. The extra pixels add to the clarity making the 30.5mm display more than adequate to clearly display your golf GPS information. Sometimes golf watches can be hard to read in sunlight, but the S60 comes with a sunlight readable face. Personally I hate when there’s a glare on the watch, so this is a nice feature in my opinion.

The S60 Watch is so customizable; It’s probably one of it’s standout features. You can can download different apps, watch face styles and change the watch straps. You can really transform this watch into your own and suit your very own style. I love this, changing the watch faces and bands. You can change up the style of your watch completely peaking your interest in the watch once again and prevent you from getting board of the same style. You can change from a sporty silicon band maybe for golfing or running to a fancy leather strap perfect for business attire.

Another pitfall for golf GPS watches is the poor battery life. On GPS mode, many watches will get through about 1 -2 rounds of golf. The S60 battery probably is not the best out there, but 10 hours on GPS mode about 2.5 rounds of golf. I can live with that, especially if its standard mode last up to 10 days. It’s easy to charge, just like a smartphone.

One of the biggest advantages of a golf GPS watch over a laser rangefinder is the post round analysis capabilities they provide. Garmin have put a lot of effort into their analysis software. The Garmin S60 can be paired with your Garmin TruSwing. The TruSwing uses sensor metrics to see to track your swing tempo, speed, club-path measurements, critical club angles and more. this info can be viewed on your Garmin S60. This info can also be uploaded to the Garmin Connect Smartphone application.

Using Garmin Connect you can simply upload your golf scores for post round analysis. The shot tracker abilities of this watch are truly amazing. It automatically records the location and distance of each detected shot and uploads it to the user’s Garmin Connect account for post-round analysis. It’s swing tracking is very sensitive and precise, knowing what are practice swings and golf shots. This allows you to review your game post golf and analyse your golf and pin point where you need to improve on.

The Garmin Approach S60 is far more than golf a golf GPS watch. It is also a fantastic smartwatch. You can use this daily as a regular smartwatch and pair it with your phone via Bluetooth. You can receive all your calls, texts and emails and even check the weather for golf through your Garmin Approach S60. Hence why it’s one of Garmin’s best golf GPS watches. I

The Garmin S60 is also a fitness tracker. Garmin boasts a large list of features such as Step counter, Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal), calories burned, sleep monitor. It also comes loaded with outdoor activities like running, cycling, rowing, and swimming.

PROS

  • Stylish watch
  • Comfortable
  • Customisable (digital watch faces, mobile apps, quick fit straps, etc)
  • Various features such as AutoShot, Quick Touch Yardages, Swing tempo, and post round analysis of each hole.
  • Excellent standalone smartwatch you can use daily

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • Takes time to learn all the features.

Garmin Approach S60 Golf GPS Watch – Final Verdict

If you are serious about golf , you need this watch. The S60 is the best golf GPS watch currently available on the market. It will not disappoint. Buy this golf watch.  Garmin continues to surprise me by the features the provide. The S60 is not just one of the best golf GPS watches, it’s one of the best fitness watches available. When you consider the price of fitness watches these days being priced at well over $500, the S60 is a bargain. The improvements it can make to your golf game and lifestyle make this a solid investment. No other watch on the market can compete with the S60’s technology and performance.

 

Garmin Approach S6 Golf GPS Watch Review

Garmin’s Approach S6 golf GPS watch is one of Garmin’s newest golf GPS watches. The S6 still falls into the high end price bracket. It succeeds the Garmin S5 and like a sister model to the outstanding Garmin S60. If you want a high performance golf GPS watch but don’t intend in breaking the bank for a S60, this might be the watch for you. I mentioned a bit about Garmin already and how I think they are starting to dominate the Golf GPS watch market, however Bushnell’s new Excel watch is doing it’s best to replicate Garmin’s style, performance and of course popularity.

The Garmin S6 provides yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green with 180 x 180 pixels high resolution color touchscreen. Similar to the S60, except the S60 has a 240 x 240 pixel screen. GPS watches can lack the precise yardages that laser rangefinders can provide. If yo are playing into a large green and the pin is at the back right, having the distance to the center doesn’t give you exact yardages and a little guessing comes into to play. Garmin has fixed this problem with the drag and drop pin mode. The S6 allows you to zoom in on the pin with Green View. simply  tap the flag using the color touchscreen then drag and drop the flag to the position it is on the green.  to zoom in on the green.

The hazard and lay up feature on the S6 is pretty much identical to the S60. The S6 clearly displays the yardages to hazard info such as bunkers, drains, water hazards. It will also give you layup info for Par 5’s and Dog legs. You are playing well down the last few holes and you want to leave a nice short pitch shot into the Par 5 17th to set up a nice birdie chance. However there’s a large lake in front of the green. But how far is it to the lake? You don’t want to hit a nice 6 iron and end up too long in the water and essentially ruin the round. Have a quick look at your Garmin S6 and you can see its 190 yards to the water, a cool 7 iron will lay you up nicely for your third shot.

S6 features full-color course views for more than 40,000 courses from around the world. The Garmin Approach S6 gives you a CourseView. This will help you avoid hazards in tricky landing areas, allowing you to pick the ideal location where you hope to play your next shot from. With the S6 you can preview doglegs, bunkers and water hazards from wherever you are on the course.

The Garmin S6 can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth and act as a smartwatch. The Garmin S6 lets you receive emails, texts and alerts directly to the S6. You can read full texts and emails on your Garmin watch without looking at your phone.

The battery life is average on the Garmin S6. It’s not very surprising considering the technology it packs into one watch. On GPS mode (or golfing mode), it last 10 hours, well according to Garmin’s website. What is impressive though is it’s battery outside of GPS mode. Garmin claim it lasts up to 12 weeks in ‘watch mode’. However I’m buying this for Golf, not for fashion, so GPS mode is more important to me personally. The average battery life is a sacrifice I’m willing to take for the high resolution color screen.

SwingTempo and SwingStrength are new features on the S6 that help you lower your scores. While practicing you can collect data for swing timings and swing strength. SwingTempo is designed to get your timing in the golf swing correct. The timing ratio is between the back swing and downswing, and is crucial for a consistent and solid back swing. If you struggle your rhythm this can really change your game. The SwingStrength feature is used to match your swings against your standard full swing. Are you swinging too hard or soft. The SwingStrength feature can help you.

The Garmin S6 allows you to do handicap scoring options for individual holes in both Stroke play and Stableford. You record your round and fill out your card after if you need to. it’s easily done using the S6. it will automatically move from hole to hole for you. each hole is set at the Par score and simply increase or decrease (hopefully haha) the score sing the +/- on the touch screen. You can save, review, share and print scorecards from your computer or laptop. The Garmin Approach S6 can also measure shot distances, using the Measure Shot feature. S6 also allows you to track your stats such as fairways hit, GIR, putts per round. These stats are vital as you can easily spot a trend in your game where you compare these stats across a number of rounds.

The Garmin S6 is not as customizable as the Approach S60. You cannot change the straps, however it has a mutual style that can fit with any activity be it fitness or business. It’s swings more in the athletic style but an athletic looking watch that has an almost futuristic feel to it. It’s light weight (1.6oz) and can be worn casually or with a business suit (depending on the color).  Although it does have a sportier feel to it, I don’t mind strolling into the office with this watch on my wrist (though it will definitely attract some attention).

 PROS

  • Extremely accurate with drag & drop pin mode
  • Excellent hazard & layup information
  • Preloaded courses
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • High resolution Color display
  • SwingMetrics Technology
  • Connect to smartphone to receive texts, emails and alerts
  • Scorecard uploads, shot counting and post round analysis software
  • Garmin Connect Technology

CONS

  • Less technology than the Garmin Approach S60
  • Small touch screen
  • Poor battery

 Garmin Approach S6 Golf GPS Watch – Final Verdict 

This one is a great option if you don’t watch to spend the money on a Garmin Approach S60.  The Garmin S6 still packs a serious punch and offers you everything you need in a golf gps watch.  If you’re in the market for a high end golf watch and love fancy features and customization, this is a great option.  It’s far cheaper than the Garmin Approach S60 and will still blow all of your golf buddies minds.  From the golf range to the golf course, the Garmin S6 is solid and it offers almost every feature that you could want in a golf GPS watch.

Garmin Approach X40 GPS Golf Watch Review 

The Garmin Approach X40 is originally a fitness tracker Fitbit style watch that has golf GPS capabilities. The Garmin X40 golf GPS watch is probably the best GPS watch available for both golf and other physical activities. It’s the perfect day to day fitness tracker.

The X40 is a little but thicker than a Fitbit. However, that’s fine as this watch packs a lot of technology into such a small watch.

The Golf GPS works quiet well for yardages. It also allows you to keep score for post golf analysis.  You can view on the Garmin Connect App that we have discussed already in this article.

The battery life is quiet good and capable of 2- 3 rounds of golf on a single charge. This is great. Many other golf GPS watches drain the battery on GPS mode. On normal mode (day to day non golfing GPS mode), the battery will last around 5 days.

The screen is narrow and long but displays the info you need quiet well. It’s easy to use and doesn’t over complicate things.

 Garmin golf watchesThe Garmin Approach can pair with your smartphone for calls and texts. Not much use to you while golfing but remember this can is also a day to day fitness tracking watch.

The auto shot detection works well for me although sometimes the X40 picks up practice swings. This maybe from hitting the ground on a certain practice swings. The Connect app syncs smoothly with the X40 and has lots of data view options.

I do recommend that you spend some quality time with the online manual. So you will get the full potential out of the software and analysis. Your golf round data will sync via Bluetooth to the smartphone app where you can do your analysis later on the computer, tablet or smartphone. It shows you some insightful information such as greens in regulation, putts per hole etc.

What I love about the Garmin Connect is you can click on specific holes that went well and relive how you did it. For example, how far you hit your drive and where you hit to the 2nd shot pitching wedge you hit to a couple of feet.

best Garmin golf watchesThe Garmin Approach X40 is perfect for anyone who is looking for a solid golf GPS watch with other fitness tracking capabilities outside of golf. The Garmin Approach X40 is a perfect for on and off the golf course. It’s nice Fitbit style is a direct competitor with FitBit and will appeal to a lot of users.

Finally, I highly recommend the Garmin Approach X40 watch, it’s definitely one of the best golf garmin watches available. Hence why it made my list.

PROS

  • Great battery life
  • Nice compact design, very similar to a FitBit
  • Auto shot detection
  • Garmin Connect Analysis
  • The Garmin Approach X40 is a day to day fitness tracker

CONS

  • Distances to hazards can look confusing
  • The Garmin Approach X40 watch will sometimes pick up practice swings as shots. Hopefully Garmin will update this issue.
  • No Color Screen

Garmin Approach X40 Golf GPS Watch – Final Verdict

This golf GPS watch is the best option for a golfer with an active lifestyle.  It gives accurate yardage, has a great battery, and provides distances to the hazards.  But what makes this GPS watch one of the best golf GPS watches of 2017 is the additional technology that is somehow jam packed into this small device.  Not only does it measure your heart rate and offer activity tracking like a Fitbit, but it also provides the Garmin connect technology allowing you to connect with the golf community around you.  If you’re in the market for a high end golf GPS watch, but love the technology of a FitBit, this is the golf GPS watch for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garmin Approach S20 GPS Golf Watch Review

I was most impressed with this watch on the course, and  it’s one of the reasons why the Garmin Approach S20 is one of the best Garmin golf watches. The yardages were accurate. Within a yard of the course markers at all times.

This watch can be worn as an every day fitness watch. It will count your steps around the course and calories burnt, which is nice and makes you feel better after the round.

The Garmin Approach S20 has all the features you’d imagine would be included in a golf GPS watch. You can analyse your round after each game knowing how far you hit each shot, this is done through Garmin Connect smartphone app.

Garmin Golf watches A nice feature with this watch is that it really can be used on and off the golf course. By syncing it with your smartphone to receive calls, texts and emails; you have an everyday smartwatch.

Using the Garmin Connect smartphone app, the Garmin Approach S20 updates all courses automatically.

This really is a gorgeous looking watch that allows you to change your watch bands.

The battery life is also impressive with up to 8 weeks in standard mode and 8 hours in the GPS mode (Golfing mode). If you tend to play in the rain, it’s important to note the Garmin Approach S20 is waterproof.

The yardages to front, middle and back along with the hole number and the par are displayed clearly on the screen together with an outline of the green shape. To scroll between the holes is very easy using the Up and Down buttons on the left side of the S20.

garmin watchesThere is also more information available on each hole for hazards, lay up distances. This sounds great however, it takes far too long to get this info and your playing partners will not be too happy waiting 5 minutes for you to find out this info and then take your shot. I do like the option to move the flag pin on the green to allow you to get the exact yardage.

PROS

  • Accurate yardage info
  • Can be used as an everyday fitness watch
  • Garmin Connect analysis
  • Waterproof
  • Good battery
  • Changeable bands

CONS:

  • Complicated to use at times
  • Better Garmin watches available
  • Hazard and layup info takes too long long to get

Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch – Final verdict

The Garmin Approach S20 is one of the best Garmin golf watches. It ticks plenty boxes. It provides accurate yardages, general fitness tracking, can be used as everyday watch and looks amazing. The customizable options available allow you to really transform the S2 into your own. With an impressive battery to go with it, you wont be disappointed with the Garmin Approach S2.

 

Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch Review

best Garmin golf GPS watchesThe Approach S2 is one of the best golf GPS watches available. Even though it has been out for quiet sometime, it continues to remain popular with golfers. Why so? well for one it performs very well, and second, it does the simple things extremely well. A on the market year after year.  Lets’s face it, most golfers want a Golf GPS watch to get yardages to the target, that it. They don’t want the latest and greatest technology packed into a $600 watch. many golfers want a reasonably priced GPS watch that provides the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green.

The Garmin S2 is one of the best Garmin golf watches for a reason. It does the simple thing so well. The S2 gives you yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green. The Garmin S2 also provides yardages for two layup areas on a given hole.  This Garmin Golf GPS watch is a cheap golf GPS watch. Cheap is the wrong word to use here. It’s one best performing and affordable golf GPS devices on the market.  If you are on a tighter budget or looking for an entry level golf GPS watch, the Garmin Approach S2 might be the golf GPS watch for you.

best Garmin golf watchesThe Garmin S2 does not give you the detailed course overview that a S6 or S60 might do. If you want a full detailed of each hole, hazards etc, this watch is not for you. But if you want the basic front, middle, back of the green yardages, then look no further than the Garmin Approach S2. However, it does have some nice features that do come in handy. You get layup positions for Par 5’s and doglegs. A digital scorecard for keeping your scores, that you can upload onto your computer.

The Garmin S2’s battery life is better than the high end Garmin watches. With the S2 you get a 26 hole GPS mode battery. This can cover your 2 days of weekend golf if it’s full charged. On normal mode the S2 will last for over 21 days.

best Garmin golf watchesThe style of the Garmin S2 is a bit of a chameleon watch. The sleek black style can suit sport, casual or formal style. It’s not too chunky or bold. it’s cool black finish will get your all the right kinds of attention. The S2 is a brilliant golf watch and of gamin’s best golf watches, in fact it’s one of the bets golf GPS watches, period.  A cost friendly GPS watch that wont disappoint.

  PROS

  • Affordable
  • Tons of pre-loaded courses
  • Accurate (even from the rough or out of bounds areas)
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to wear
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Scorecard function
  • Yardage to the dogleg and layup locations

 CONS

  • Does not offer yardages to bunkers or lakes
  • At times you’ll have to manually adjust it to reflect the correct hole

 Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch Final Verdict 

The Approach S2 is one of the best Garmin golf watches available for some time now. It does the simple things extremely well.  A on the market year after year.  It doesn’t have the latest and greatest tech, but it doesn’t need that to be one of the best golf GPS watches. The best golf GPS watches give golfers the info they need to lower their scores, and that is accurate yardages.  The S2 is a cheap golf GPS watch. But, it far from cheap when it comes to quality and performance. think of it more as a bargain watch. The perfect entry level Golf GPS watch.

 

 

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You can find my review of the ‘Best Golf GPS Watches’ here.

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