One of the keys to golf improvement is learning to manage your game and course knowledge is where that begins.
While handheld golf GPS devices have been around for quite some time, GPS watches are a relatively new concept (and one that is being embraced by golfers at a breathtaking pace).
Easy to use, lightweight, and stylish, this new category of golf technology allows you to carry in-depth knowledge of 30,000+ worldwide courses on your wrist along with a bevy of cool features that continue to evolve.
The best golf GPS watches offer ease of use, long battery life, sun friendly displays, and a comfortable fit that doesn't interfere with the golf swing.
Garmin's award winning line offers those benefits and much more. What's the difference between the various Garmin Approach models? Should you allocate a large chunk of your golf gear budget on the feature packed Garmin Approach S6, or is the simpler and more affordable S2 watch a better choice for you?
Below, we break down the specific features of each Garmin watch to help you make the best decision for you or the golfer in your life.
As always, we invite you to contact us for any additional information that could help your purchasing decision. Our experts are always happy to talk you through various features and brands in order to make sure you are 100% confident in your decision. We should also mention that any purchase made from PlayBetter.com is eligible for our 60-day Buy and Try return policy - so you will never get stuck with a product that's not right for you.
Ok, let's take a look at three game changing devices from Garmin.
The most basic of the models, the S2 is also the most inexpensive option. For golfers just beginning or starting to use a GPS unit, we suggest this model. It doesn’t have a touch screen, but it’s easy to use with four buttons on the side of the device controlling the unit.
The watch lasts eight hours in GPS mode and three weeks in watch mode before it needs to recharge. Like all Garmin models, it comes with 38,000+ preloaded courses and has free lifetime course updates. The S2 offers all the crucial features of a GPS, with the user-friendly nature that comes with any Garmin.
Measures Shot Distance: All of the Approach models calculate the exact yardage for your shot no matter where you are on the course.
Yardage to Front/Back/Center of Green: See the distance to the front, back and center of the green, which will help you line up a more accurate shot, on all models.
Digital Scorecard: Keep track of your round while on the course and see your day immediately on your watch. You can also upload your scores to a computer to track your progress, available on the S2, S4 and S6.
More Details: Garmin S2
Like the S6, the S4 has many built-in features that will take your game to the next level, and its price point is $100 less. It also has a touchscreen, but it is black-and-white. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of an S6, it still has a few features, which the S2 doesn’t offer, that make it a great option for both new and experienced golfers.
The S4 also has a strong battery life: 10 hours in GPS mode and six weeks in watch mode.
Manual Pin Positioning: Both the S4 and S6 show you the shape and layout of the green and then allow you to drag the pin to the location of the day.
Smartphone Notifications: This is a big one. When you’re on the course, you don’t want to be fooling around in your bag, searching for your iPhone when you get a phone call or email. The S4 and S6 watches fully integrate with your iOS device and have notifications pop up on your watch.
More details: Garmin S4
The newest watch has one obvious feature that makes it stand out from its predecessors: a color touchscreen. We tested the watch under harsh light, and the color still looks extremely vibrant and readable.
Course maps get a whole new dimension in color and show you a more in-depth look at the hole you’re playing.
In addition, the most frustrating thing about GPS watches of the past has to be poor battery life. When you’re golfing, the last thing you need is a GPS that dies on you in the middle of your game. While all of Garmin’s models have more than enough charge to last you a full day of golf, the S6 goes one step further.
Not only does the watch last 10 hours in GPS mode, the stylish watch also transitions to everyday wear. The S6 can go 20 weeks in watch mode before needing a recharge!
If you or a golfer you know are serious about taking your game to the next level, the S6 is the watch for you. The new features and the slim body are a game-changer on the course.
SwingTempo and TempoTraining: Using audible tones, the S6 will show you and help you develop the perfect 3:1 backswing to downswing ratio. This feature is only available on the S6, and it will help you work toward the ideal tempo every time you take a swing.
SwingStrength: Another feature only available on the Garmin S6 is the SwingStrength feature, which measures the speed and strength of your swing and then gives you immediate feedback on your power percentage. The S6 will help you develop a stronger swing, as it offers instant feedback.
PinPointer: The last major feature of the S6 will help you manage your blind shots. Even if you can’t see the pin or direction to the green, the PinPointer will show you the way to the green even if there is a hill, trees or another obstacle hindering your view.
Like former models, the S6 also offers a digital scorecard, smart notifications to your iOS device, 38,000+ preloaded courses, manual pin positioning and more, which you can read more about below!
While the other two models by comparison are also slim and light, the S6 is the lightest and thinnest of the bunch, sitting snugly against your wrist and not interfering with your game.
More details: Garmin S6