Sleek and stylish, the Garmin Approach S60 is an invaluable aid for avid golfers, as well as a superb smartwatch for fitness fanatics.
It’s built for the green but comes with the multi-sports profiles you’d expect from a performing fitness tracker.
Designed with tech-focused golfers in mind, it impresses with accurate course maps, long battery life, and a backlit touch display that’s visible in direct sunlight.
Wondering if this is the right device for you? Read on to find it out.
Approach S60 is Garmin’s last generation wearable golf GPS, a hybrid between a smartwatch and clip-on GPS.
In true Garmin style, fashion blends with functionality; indeed, the S60 is a fully customisable timepiece designed to match with your fashion sense and activity.
This cool device is made to help you master your game wherever you’re playing. It comes with over 41,000 preloaded courses from around the world and shows you detailed hole maps, yardage to the green, layup sports, and hazards on the course.
The interface and functionality are based on Garmin’s range of clip-on GPS golf devices, but also integrates the fitness functionalities present on most Garmin smartwatches, including the Fenix, Vivoactive, and Forerunner.
Approach S60 is undeniably all about golf, and all its main features revolve around this sport.
This golf watch is designed to deliver all critical information you might need during a tournament, from hole maps to hazards on the course and more.
The coolest feature is undoubtedly the AutoShot game tracking that automatically detects and records distances for post-game analysis on Garmin Connect.
This function is not new to the S60, as the earlier versions of Approach golf watch also have it, but the new one has more sensors which improve detection accuracy.
Improved GPS functions deliver precise distances to each location on the course and make quick adjustments of yardages to account for uphill and downhill shots.
If this wasn’t enough, it also delivers precise measurement to the exact spot by simply touching any point on the map; all you need to upscale your game and improve performance.
A variety of preloaded golf courses and lifetime automatic updates enhance this device’s value. Furthermore, the brand also offers automatic update downloads for your preferred golf courses, so you’ll never miss a hole.
One thing missing from a golfer’s point of view is a range finder capable of providing actual elevation measurements, but this flaw is easily counterbalanced by all the other features and functionalities.
You can expect accurate maps that respect each green’s true shape from wherever you are on the course, and the device also tells you the direction to the pin, even when you have a blind shot.
Apart from these essential features, it also incorporates a golf swing analyser for the starters and delivers smart notifications and alerts.
The Approach S60 isn’t particularly flashy, but it has a clean, classic design that pairs beautifully with golf attire.
Easily customisable, it allows you to add personal touches either by changing the band or by personalising the watch face with any photo from your mobile device.
Like most Garmin smartwatches, it comes in standard and premium version; the former is slightly lighter due to the polymer bezel and silicone strap.
The latter has a more fashionable ceramic bezel and leather strap, a wiser choice for a sleeker everyday look.
Regardless of the version you like, the watch is lightweight and comfortable to wear all day long. Its matt black finish looks great on the green, at the gym, or during everyday activities.
The round touch screen is big enough to view and interact with the widgets even when wearing a golf glove, and it’s also super-easy to navigate through the menu.
It might not have the bells and whistles other Garmin watches have in terms of design, but it’s definitely a stylish timepiece to have on your wrist.
Although not built for fitness, the Approach S60 comes with all features you’d expect from a fitness tracker.
The watch incorporates preloaded profiles for a variety of indoor and outdoor sports including rowing, skiing, snowboarding, paddle boarding, indoor and outdoor biking, swimming, and more.
Athletes can monitor performance through customisable data pages, get custom alerts, and access activity history directly from their wrists.
Like every respectable fitness tracker, the smartwatch also has a step counter, keeps track of the travelled distance and burnt calories, monitors your sleep and heart rate.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Accurate distances to any course location, including hazards
- Up to 10 days of battery life in smartwatch mode
- Access to over 41,000 golf courses and free lifetime updates
- Ability to disable smart notifications for uninterrupted play
- It misses a range finder for actual elevation measurements
- One of the most expensive golf watches
|Garmin Approach S60||Garmin Fenix 5X||Garmin Vivoactive 3||Garmin Forerunner 945|
|Display size||46 x 46 x 14.5 mm||51 x 51 x 17.5 mm||43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7 mm||47 x 47 x 13.7 mm|
|Display type||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Domed sapphire crystal||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Corning Gorilla Glass DX|
|Resolution||240 x 240 pixels||240 x 240 pixels||240 x 240 pixels||240 x 240 pixels|
|Weight||52 g||98 g||43 g||50 g|
|Band material||Silicone or leather||Silicone or steel||Silicone||Silicone|
|Water resistance||5 ATM||10 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+||Bluetooth Smart, ANT+, Wi-Fi|
|Preloaded golf courses||Yes; 41,000||Yes; 41,000||No||Yes; 41,000|
|Shot distance measurement||Yes; automatic||Yes; automatic||Yes; automatic||Yes; automatic|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life (smartwatch mode)||Up to 10 days||Up to 12 days||Up to 7 days||Up to 14 days|
How We Tested
For accurate comparison between the Approach S60 and its main competitors, we tested the smartwatch both on a golf course and while performing other activities.
Its main strength is the accuracy of the GPS that allows to enhance your game and boost performance on the green.
Golf capabilities apart, it’s also a capable fitness tracker. An intuitive interface delivers great user experience, and we love that it’s customisable.
The Garmin Approach S60 is an excellent choice if you need a capable golf GPS watch. In true Garmin spirit, it works wonderfully as a fitness tracker and everyday smartwatch too.
However, for a slightly higher premium, the Fenix 5X could be a better choice if you can settle for an average GPS accuracy but want a smartwatch to use on all your onshore and underwater adventures, golf included.