Garmin Approach S60: Golf GPS Watch review

Garmin have launched the new Approach S60 golf GPS watch into Australia and after testing it out over the last few weeks we can confirm it’s a beauty.

Garmin Approach S60

We were pretty excited to get our hands on the new Garmin Approach S60 golf GPS watch and were weren’t disappointed.

The Garmin Approach S60 is an updated version of the Approach S6 which came out a few years ago now. Resembling the multi-sport Garmin Fenix GPS watch, the Approach S60 is geared towards golfers with a circular colour-screen face that looks as stylish as any golf watch we’ve seen. Where as recent offerings from both Garmin and other golf watch brands have tended to lean towards a more sporty design, Garmin have gone the other way with the Approach S60 and offered up a watch that looks good on the tee, in the office or at the bar.

In our opinion, the Garmin Approach S60 could be considered the best golf GPS watch on the market. Here is why.

First impressions
Our first thoughts were the ones we spoke about in the Garmin Approach S60 unboxing video a few weeks ago. This is a slick-looking watch. Probably the most stylish golf GPS watch we have reviewed. The first thing we noticed is just how solid the Approach S60 feels. This is a Garmin watch after all – they don’t do things by halves but it was noticeable that this was a not just a watch to be worn on the golf course.

The leather band is comfortable, looks good and can be easily interchanged without the need for any tools. The default/time view can be changed in the settings to a number of different options and it was clear that the inside circular section, featuring 18 numbers was going to be a useful on the golf course.

On the golf course
The Garmin Approach S60 does a great job of giving you all the basic distances you need; front, back and centre of the green. But it’s the extra stuff that the Approach S60 can do on the golf course that distinguishes itself above its competitors.

Pre-loaded with 40,000 golf courses, the Approach S60 is a breeze to get running on the golf course.

Tapping the golf application will see the S60 begin searching for golf courses near your location. Select the golf course you’re playing will reveal a number of options including whether you would like to keep score before showing a map of the first hole and distances to the front, back and middle of the green.

By tapping the colour map of the hole you can zoom and measure the distance to say, a bunker or water hazard by simply positioning the marker anywhere you like. By tapping on the green, the pin position can also be moved and saved for that particular round.

We particularly liked the option to switch easily to any hole on the course by dragging your finger around the outside of the watch face and selecting the hole of interest. The digital, colour watch face is incredibly responsive. Once we knew all the options, there was no time wasted in getting a few quick measurements in between shots.

A bunch of other great features can be enabled to track more information during your round including the option to set your average driver distance that is mapped automatically on to the map of each hole to give you a quick way to see if your booming drive will reach that hazard or not.

The Garmin Autoshot feature is again implemented in the Approach S60 as well as the SwingTempo and Swing Training features. By connecting to the Garmin Golf app, AutoShot is a great automatic way of tracking your every shot on the golf course. It’s easy to enter club information and see your round shot-by-shot.

Off the golf course
It would be remiss of us to just add a little more on how much we enjoyed wearing the Approach S60 off the golf course.

Like a lot of the Garmin range, we added the running app to our favourites and with a click of the top-right button we could easily select it to track our run on the odd day we were feeling like doing some exercise. It kept us moving by tracking the number of steps we took each day, received call and message notifications from our smartphone, and we lost track of the number of compliments and enquiries we received about the Approach S60.

Drawbacks
The Garmin Approach S60 comes with its own unique USB charging cable. And while the battery life was fantastic (we estimate you could easily get through a full day of golf (perhaps two full days) without needed a recharge) we did find ourselves out of battery and had left the cable in the office one weekend and couldn’t charge it up without that particular cable.

The GPS lost track of which hole we were playing during one testing but it was very easy to get to the correct hole by sliding our finger around to the correct hole located around the perimeter of the watch face.

While we loved the large, solid feel of the Approach 60, we could see that its size may annoy a few golfers aren’t used to wearing a watch while playing a round of golf. After preferring to use a rangefinder of the past year or so, it did take us a while to get used to wearing it on the golf course. By the end of the round we loved how simple it was to use and wouldn’t hesitate to wear it during a round again.

It’s possibly pulled us back in the camp of GPS watch wearers over the rangefinder, simply because it’s faster to use while giving us the accuracy we need.

The price of the Approach S60 might put a few golfers off too. It’s certainly towards the top end of the market. But if you’re looking for a slick new watch, AND something to wear on the golf course this is a ripper that will keep you happy for many years.

The Garmin Approach S60 is priced at $570 and now available in Australia.
The Garmin Approach S60 was provided for review purposes only. We voluntarily reviewed this product in accordance with Aussie Golfer’s review policies.

One thought on “Garmin Approach S60: Golf GPS Watch review

  • August 18, 2017 at 11:58
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    hi Guys, good review – although may I confirm that’s its bulky size is extremely annoying – it feels like a ‘transformer’ on your wrist – which may – at any moment morph into a golf trolley. When will a company make a wrist gps that is slim and sleek looking- rather than the current batch of transformers? How you could use the phrase : “This slick looking watch” totally baffles me as it stands 12 mm high off your wrist.

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