Garmin Approach S20 vs S40 vs S6 – Which Garmin Watch Is Best?

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Garmin makes some of the more popular GPS units for golf and in this post, I’m going to be comparing the Garmin Approach S20 to the S40 and the S6. I’ll be talking about which one is best for you and also the cheapest place to pick them up.

How does the Garmin S20 compare to the S40 and S6? The Garmin S20 is a great golf watch that offers all the basic features you’d want and is ideal for the new or budget-friendly golfer. The Garmin S40 is more advanced and would be perfect for the golfer who’s going to use it often.

The Garmin S6 is a little bit outdated now and either of the other two would perform better for you. Garmin makes our favorite golf watches because they have the largest selection of courses and are the most accurate. You can also see our favorite golf GPS units here.

Garmin Approach S20 Features

The S20 is one of their entry-level golf watches and it comes with a GPS and some shot tracking info. It’ll pretty much give you 80% of what you’d want on the course and is currently priced at around $150.

The S20 will keep track of all your clubs and store your average distances in the Garmin app it comes with. You’ll be able to see the distance of the hole you’re on and it’ll show you how far you are from the front, middle, and back of the green.

It also will keep track of fairways/greens hit and putts per round. This will give you a good idea about what part of your game needs the most work. I’m sure you’d already know where your weakest part is but it’s always a good reminder to see the data.

It comes loaded with over 41,000 courses from around the world and more are being added as time goes on. Pretty much all of the main courses in my area were on it and that should be the case for you.

Who Is The Garmin Approach S20 For?

Long story short, the Garmin S20 is one of our favorite budget golf watches and I’d highly recommend it to someone who’s just getting started with golf or someone who’s tighter on a budget.

It’s not the most advanced watch out there but it’s one of the more accurate in this price range, it’s quite a bit more comfortable than others, and it’s not going to break the bank.

NOTE. It looks like they’ve focused their efforts on the Garmin S10 watch, so it seems pretty tough to find the S20. The S10 is still a great option and is very similar.

Read review: Garmin Approach S10

Garmin Approach S6 Features

The Garmin S6 is a middle of the range golf watch and is currently priced at around $280. It’s the previous version before the S20 and S40 and seems to be a little bit outdated. It’s still a good golf watch but it might be tough to find for sale

It’s loaded with over 40,000 courses from around like world (like all Garmin watches) and comes with a touchscreen display (which the S20 doesn’t).

It also comes with some pretty cool swing tracking functions which will give you some useful data (SwingStrength, SwingTempo, TempoTraining).

Who Is The Garmin Approach S6 For?

In our opinion, the Garmin S6 probably isn’t worth picking up because it’s a bit of an older model. It’s still a good golf watch but it doesn’t have many benefits over the S20 or S40 (and it’s hard to find).

We really didn’t find it to be much better than the S20 and it’s roughly double the price. The S6 is pretty much the same price as the S40 and it doesn’t have as many features. Doesn’t seem worth it to me.

The S6 watch doesn’t come with the Autoshot feature (which tracks where your shots went) and it doesn’t come with any activity tracking (the S20 and S40 do).

Garmin Approach S40 Features

The Garmin S40 is a newer watch that’s higher quality than the S6 and is currently priced at around $250. It’s very similar to the Garmin S20 but it does come with additional features that the more serious golfer might want.

Just like the S20, it comes loaded with over 41,000 courses from around the world. One of the main differences is that the S40 will tell you the distance to any point on the course. The S20 just gave you a few distances per hole but the S40 will tell you the distance to everything.

It also has a color display (the S20 doesn’t) that’ll show you the shape of the green. This is really useful if you have a blind shot into the green. It also has a really cool app that’ll store a lot of your data such as fairways hit and where you missed.

Who Is The Garmin Approach S40 For?

In our opinion, the Garmin S40 is much better than the S6 and we’d recommend it to anyone who wants a more advanced version of the S20. It’s a little bit more expensive but I found it to be more comfortable and the extra features are really nice to have.

The difference between this and the S20 is the color touchscreen display, the distance to any point on the course, and the bands are more comfortable.

Read review: Garmin Approach S40

Pros Of These Devices

  • Knowing the rough distance to the green and hazards is an easy way to lower scores.
  • Knowing how far you actually hit each club will help you with your distance control.

Cons Of These Devices

  • They aren’t always 100% accurate (but generally within 4-5 yards of the course markers).
  • Wearing a watch while you’re golfing isn’t always the most comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can you play music through the watches?

A. Not these models.

Q. Any annual fees or memberships?

A. Not on these models.

Q. How long does the Garmin battery last?

A. About 3 rounds with the S20 and S40.

Are These Devices Worth It?

Overall, we definitely think a yardage finder like these are worth picking up (watch, handheld, laser). Knowing the precise distance to different parts of the course are super helpful at dialing in your consistency.

I’ve tried a lot of different devices like this and I think Garmin makes the best product. I like the fact that they’re simple to use and don’t glitch as much as some of the others.

If you’re tighter on a budget or don’t golf much we’d recommend the Garmin S20. It’ll give you 80% of what you’d want on the course and is quite accurate for the price. If you can’t find the S20 for sale then you can go with the Garmin S10.

If you want your watch to do a bit more then we’d recommend the Garmin S40. The extra features like exact yardages and the color display are well worth it if it’s something you’ll use often. Plus, it’s really not that much more money.

Jon Webber

Just an average golfer trying to take my game to the next level. Was shooting around 100 not that long ago but have now been in the 80s consistently. Best round to date was 12 over. Best 9 holes were 4 over.

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