If you’re someone who likes to know every single little detail when you’re on the course you’ll probably want to get a premium golf GPS. In this post, I’m going to be reviewing the Garmin Approach S60 golf watch and sharing my honest thoughts after testing it out on the course.
The Garmin Approach S60 has pretty much all the features you’d want out on the course and it’s just as accurate as my laser. It’ll have more golf features than the S20 or X40 from Garmin and has some of the most features out of any golf watch.
What we look at when testing a golf GPS is how comfortable the watch was, how accurate and consistent it was, the price, and also any additional features it came with. The Garmin S60 checked all those boxes. If you’d like to see what our favorite golf GPS is, you can see the best golf GPS here.
Garmin Approach S60 Specs
|Garmin Approach S60|
|Size||46 x 46 x 15 mm|
|Quick Fit Bands||Yes|
|Strap||Silicone Or Leather|
|Screen Size||1.2 inch|
|Battery||10 Hours GPS Mode|
|Water Rating||Water Rating|
|Distance To Front, Middle, Back||Yes|
|Distance To Hazards/Doglegs/Layup||Yes|
|Manual Pin Placement||Yes|
|Club Tracking||Requires CT10|
My First Impressions Of The S60
I’m not the biggest fan of watches but I still decided to try out the S60 so I could share my opinion on whether or not it’s worth picking up. It’s a pretty expensive golf watch but Garmin has always made solid units and it was supposed to have more features than any other watch.
At first glance, I really liked the way the S60 looked, and was definitely nicer than most. The overall construction seemed to be pretty well built and you could clearly see that it was higher quality than something like the Garmin S10.
I also found it to be more comfortable as well and it had the option to interchange the bands, which is pretty cool. You can get different colors and you can pick between the standard strap and a leather option.
Garmin S60 Features Explained
For a number of years, the Garmin S60 was the top of the line golf watch from Garmin. They’ve since released the Garmin S62 but the S60 still remains one of the most advanced golf watches on the market.
The S60 is much more advanced than the Garmin S10/S20 and it has a few additional features compared to the Garmin S40. We’ll be getting into the key differences later on, but for now, let’s jump into the S60 features.
This is a pretty cool device that gives you detailed hole maps and yardage to the green (front, pin, back), hazards, and layup spots on the course. Some watches will only show you the numbers while others will show you the shape of the green. The S60 will actually show you the entire hole and where everything is located.
It comes with over 41,000 courses from around the world and has free lifetime updates as well. Pretty much all of the main courses in my area were on it and the same should be the case for you. Check the Garmin website to be sure.
The main screen is going to tell you the yardage, par, and the distance to the front, middle, and back of the green. Knowing this info will really help you dial in your distance control and help you hit more greens.
Another feature is that you’ll be able to see the distance to doglegs. If you hit the wrong distance into a dogleg, you’ll have a really tough second shot. It’ll also tell you how far you need to shoot to get to the 100 or 150-yard layup mark.
If you’re looking to improve your consistency on the course, one thing you’ll want to know is how far you hit each club. The S60 will tell you how far you’ve hit every shot so you’ll know for sure what’s the right club.
What it’ll also do is automatically track your shots and will send that data to the Garmin app. It’ll then tell you the average distance for each club (Autoshot).
If you’re more of a serious golfer you might want to know stats about your round. The S60 will help you keep track of your strokes, greens in regulation, fairways hit, and where your common misses were. This could help you figure out what part of your game needs the most work.
If this is something that interests you but is a bit too expensive, you could look into something like the Shot Scope V3 or Garmin S42. They don’t have all the same features as the S60, but it’s still really solid.
It’ll show you the shape of the green and you can drag the pin around to get a more precise distance. Some watches will only tell you the distance to the middle of the green, so this was useful. Sadly, my short game still is a struggle.
One of the features the S60 has that the S40 doesn’t is Pinpointer. There are times when you’re shooting blind into the green and you’re kind of guessing where to aim. Pinpointer will tell you where the green is exactly and where the pin is located.
The second feature is Playslike. I’m sure you know that if you’re 150 yards out and are shooting downhill, the shot might play closer to 140 yards. Playslike will actually adjust this for you and give you a distance based on elevation.
The final difference is that you can pick any point on the hole and see the yardage to it (a lot of watches don’t have that option). All you have to do is touch the screen and it’ll tell you the distance. This could be the distance to water, hazards, or whatever else is on the course.
Another cool thing was the SwingTempo feature, which measured the upswing to the downswing tempo. As a general rule, the downswing should be 3x faster than the backswing. With the S60, it’ll tell you this number.
If you’re someone who’s going to use this watch for multiple different sports, it does have some pretty good features. I don’t use them myself but there are some cool options for swimming, running, cycling, and other features such as a heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, and a number of others. Here they are:
- Stopwatch, alarm, timer, and clock.
- Sleep and hydration tracking.
- Calendar and weather.
- Step counter, calories burned, distance.
- Heart rate zone, % heart rate max.
- Ski/snowboard, rowing, workout profiles.
- Cycling speed and distance.
- Swimming distance, lengths, pace, stroke count.
Design & User Experience
With anything new, you’ll have to take a bit of time getting used to it and that was definitely the case with this watch. It’s not so bad if you’re just using the basic features but the S60 has a bunch of functions that take a while to understand how to use.
I found that there were almost too many different features on the watch (which can be a bit confusing) but you can simply ignore most of them if you want and then you won’t have to worry about it.
For the strap, you can pick between leather and silicon and there are a few colors. Unfortunately, they aren’t quick-release straps but it is fairly straightforward to remove and add a different band.
The screen size is 1.2 inches in diameter and the dimensions of the watch are 46 x 46 x 14.5 mm. Not exactly compact but it is quite a bit more comfortable than the much cheaper Garmin S10.
How Did The S60 Perform?
Just like any other touchscreen device (especially small screens) it sometimes opened the wrong thing when I pressed it, but it wasn’t too bad. That’s pretty much the case with most golf watches and GPS units.
The main thing that really matters is that the thing is actually accurate and the battery lasts long enough. If the watch isn’t accurate enough or the battery doesn’t even last a full round, is there really a point in having it?
For accuracy, we looked at how close the GPS yardage was to the actual course markers, and if the distance hit feature was close to being accurate. There’s really no way a GPS is going to be 100% accurate all the time, but on average, the numbers seemed to be within 3-5 yards. These are some of the more accurate numbers I’ve seen on a GPS.
For the battery, Garmin claims that it’ll last up to 10 hours in GPS mode or 10 days in Smartwatch mode. I found that it was closer to 2 full rounds on GPS mode and a little over a week in watch mode. Obviously, this depends on how often you use it and how bright you have the backlight. Still, I’m completely fine with these numbers.
- It was one of the better-looking and more comfortable watches I’ve looked at.
- It gave me all the info you’d want on the course.
- It was just as accurate as my laser rangefinder.
- The price is high (see the Garmin S42 if you want something slightly cheaper).
- It had almost too many features, which can sometimes make it a bit tricky to use.
- I’d like the battery to last a few hours longer.
- Performance Score: 9
- Price Score: 6
- Ease Of Use Score: 9
- My Personal Score: 8.5
Should You Buy The Garmin S60?
I would say that if you’re someone who plans on using it a lot and is willing to pay up for a quality golf watch, the Garmin S60 would be a great option for you. The only reason I don’t have a higher number attached to it is because of the high price tag.
It has pretty much all the features you’d want out on the course and it’s just as accurate as any. Overall, one of the better golf watches currently on the market. If you want to see what our favorites are, you can see the best golf GPS here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does the Garmin Approach S60 compare to the Garmin S6?
A. The S60 allows you to track your activity, track your shots/clubs, and change wristbands.
Q. What is the difference between the Garmin S10 and S60?
A. The S10 will only tell you the distance to hazards and the front, middle, and back of the green.
Q. What is the difference between the Garmin S40 and S60?
A. The S60 includes the Pinpointer, Playslike, and Touch Targeting feature. However, the S40 has quick-release bands.
Q. What is the difference between the Garmin S60 and S62?
A. The only difference is that the S62 has a slightly larger screen with a higher resolution.
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