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If you’re looking for a quality golf watch then these are some of the higher-end choices you can pick from. In this post, I’m going to be comparing the Garmin Fenix 6 to the Garmin Approach S60 as well as the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and talking about which is going to be the best watch for you.
All three of these are quality devices and they’re all made for different people. They all offer the essential golf features you’d be looking for but each of them is slightly different. The Garmin S60 is the best watch for golf features but the Vivoactive 4 or Fenix 6 are great options if you do other activities.
The one you decide to go with will all depend on what you’ll be using it for. We’ll be getting into the full details of each watch and which one you might want to consider buying. If you want to know what our favorite units are, you can see the best golf GPS here.
Garmin Fenix 6
Garmin Fenix 6 is the most expensive watch on this list and that’s one of the major reasons why I wouldn’t get it myself. There are a number of reasons the cost is higher and it might be worth it for you, but that’ll all depend on what you’ll use it for.
This watch is designed for you if you spend a lot of time in the outdoors. It has a bunch of other apps for things like hiking, swimming, and a number of fitness tracking features.
It’s big and rugged and quite heavy-duty and is built that way to be super durable. Some of the other watches won’t last as long if you’re rough on them. That’s where the Fenix 6 comes into play.
I will admit though that I like the Fenix 6 a lot more than the previous Fenix 5. It’s not quite as big, it has a few more advanced features, and the battery is better.
The two biggest selling points to the Fenix 6 would be durability and battery life. It’s going to last a lot longer than any other watch between charges.
Read review: Garmin Fenix 6
- You can track so many different things on it (golf, sleep, fitness, etc).
- It has all the essential golf features.
- It’s the most rugged and heavy-duty golf watch.
- The battery is way better than most of its competitors.
- The price point is getting really high.
- I find it a bit too big and bulky (some people won’t mind).
- The sleep tracking feature isn’t the best (same for all Garmin watches).
Garmin Approach S60
Garmin S60 is one of the higher-end golf watches from Garmin. It’s designed specifically for golfers so it’s not going to have as many features as the Vivo or Fenix.
The main selling point of the S60 is that it does offer more golf-specific features compared to the other two watches. The other two watches will do about 80% of what you’d want but the S60 will do a few more.
This watch is also going to be the most accurate when it comes to golf.
The Fenix and Vivo were quite accurate and they were always within 5 yards of the course markers but the S60 is even better. It does have basic fitness tracking features as well but that’s pretty much it.
There are a few features this watch has that the others don’t.
The first is that it’ll show you detailed maps of the hole and where everything is. It’s a lot more detailed than the other two watches and will give you a better visual.
The second thing is that it comes with over 42,000 courses programmed in (you have to download them on the other two).
You can also select any point on the hole and get the exact distance to it. It could be any point on the green, fairway, or rough, which can be super useful.
It also comes with something called SwingTempo. It’ll measure your backswing and downswing to calculate your tempo. Fixing this could have a big impact on your game.
Read review: Garmin S60
- I found it to be super comfortable (can get different straps for it).
- It’ll give you the most information on the course.
- It was pretty much as accurate as my laser rangefinder.
- It’s cheaper than the other two watches.
- It doesn’t have as many features as the other two.
- The battery isn’t as good as the other two.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
My favorite multisport watch was always the Vivoactive 3 (still an awesome value) but Garmin has made some improvements with their newer Vivoactive 4.
It is more money but everything about it is slightly better. There are more features, it comes in different sizes, and the battery life is better.
I’ll start off by saying, I do like this watch more than the Fenix 6.
The main reason is that it’s quite a bit cheaper (over $200 less). The second reason is that the features are pretty much the same. The third is that the Vivo is lighter and more compact.
That being said, you might want something more heavy-duty if you’re climbing mountains or something.
The golf features aren’t going to be as good as the S60 but it has all of the essentials.
It’ll tell you how far you hit each shot, will record all that info, and will tell you the distance to the front, middle, and back of the green. You’ll also be able to see where the hazards and layup spots are and how far they are from you.
Read review: Garmin Vivoactive 4
- The price point is fairly reasonable.
- There are a lot more features compared to the S60.
- The battery life is awesome when used as a normal watch.
- It’s more comfortable than a lot of other watches.
- It’s not as rugged as the Fenix.
- The golf features aren’t as advanced as the S60.
- The battery could be a bit better when in GPS mode.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can you play music through these watches?
A. You can play music on the Fenix and Vivo using Spotify or Amazon Music. You can’t with the S60.
Q. How big are the watches?
A. The Fenix case is 47mm and 15mm thick. The Vivoactive case is either 40 or 45mm and 13mm thick. The S60 case is 46mm and 14.5mm thick.
Q. How long will the battery last in each?
A. The Fenix will last well over a day in GPS mode. The Vivo will last around 16-18 hours in GPS mode. The S60 will last 8-10 hours in GPS mode. All of them will last over a week in smartwatch mode.
Which Watch Is Right For You?
Overall, all three of these watches are solid devices and I don’t think you can go wrong with either of them. All of them provide the essential features you’d want on the course and are more accurate than some of the other golf watches on the market.
It’s all going to depend on what you’ll use it for. I’d only suggest the Garmin Fenix 6 if you’re someone who spends a lot of time rock climbing or mountain biking where you need something strong and durable.
If you’re someone who wants a quality multisport watch that’s comfortable and will give you most of the golf features you’d want, go with the Garmin Vivoactive 4.
If you just want a golf watch and don’t care about tracking your sleep and other numbers, or you won’t be using it for any other sport, go with the Garmin Approach S60.
If you want to pick one of them up for the best price then click the link above. Those are the full reviews and I’ll do my best to keep those updated. You can also see our favorite golf GPS here.
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