Best Garmin Golf Watches 2022

Check out our guide to Garmin's comprehensive range of GPS golf watches

Best Garmin Golf Watches
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Best Garmin Golf Watches

Garmin is a well known brand in the world of technology and over the past few years it has lunged itself into the golf market as well. A brand synonymous with high-quality products, we have tested Garmin products for a while and feel confident to say it makes some of the best golf GPS (opens in new tab) devices on the market, especially when it comes to the best golf GPS watches (opens in new tab) on sale right now. In the video below, we compare three Garmin S models to see what the key differences are!

Thankfully, Garmin has you covered with plenty of different options at a range of price points. Whether you want basic front-middle-back yardages, a bright and easy-to-view display, or an out-and-out fully-fledged smart watch with golf capabilities, there's a Garmin to suit your needs.

Why are they so good? Well, Garmin has found a delicate balance between usability, convenience and also powerful features in all of their watches at the moment. Acknowledging all of this, here we list the best Garmin golf watches on the market right now.

If golf watches aren't for you, then why not take a look at our pieces on the best golf laser rangefinders (opens in new tab), best golf launch monitors (opens in new tab), or the best golf shot tracking apps and devices (opens in new tab) too.

Best Garmin Golf Watches

Garmin approach s42 watch

(Image credit: Golf Monthly )

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 42,000
Battery life: 15 hours
Screen size: 3cm
Weight: 43g
Straps: Three

Reasons to buy

+
Sttylish watch that can be worn on and off the course
+
A host of features like strokes gained stats and fitness tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes a few rounds to get the hang of all its uses

There is so much to like about this watch. First of all, it's a great size and feels very well made from the moment you put it on your wrist. We also really liked the analogue display that makes it suitable for wearing in social settings too.

Moving on to the course and this is where the touchscreen comes into its own. One click of the button on the side sparks the S42 into 'golf mode', from there it's easy to scroll through the host of features. As always, front, middle and back yardages are available but, if you know the pin locations, you can click on the display to move the flag and get an exact yardage.

Other great golf-related features include things like the AutoShot round analyser that tracks and records shot distances, as well as yardages to bunkers, hazards and ideal lay-up zones. It doesn't stop there though because once off the course, golfers who have paired their watch to the Garmin app will be able to look through their strokes gained stats, which will highlight areas of their game that could be improved.

One final thing well worth a mention is the fitness aspect. Included in the S42's repertoire is the ability to show steps taken, distance covered, calories burned and how well you've slept. If you're willing to invest a little bit of time and money, this is a superb product.

garmin approach s12 watch

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 42,000
Battery life: 30 hours
Screen size: 2.3cm
Weight: 34g
Straps: Three

Reasons to buy

+
Very easy to use right from the get-go
+
Big-Numbers mode a great feature

Reasons to avoid

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Not as stylish as the S42

While not as stylish as the more feature-packed S42, the S12 comes in at a slightly lower price point that represents excellent value. With access to more than 40,000 preloaded courses, finding your desired venue is extremely quick and easy.

From there, we found the usability of this watch to be brilliant. Off the tee, it provides loads of information on things like distances to bunkers, water hazards and ideal lay-up yardages, while you can also move the flag around to get a more exact number for your approach shots.

Another performance aspect we really liked was the measure-shot feature that does as you'd expect - it tracks how far you've struck a given shot. It's also really easy to input scores and a few stats at the end of each hole, giving golfers an idea of what they've done well and perhaps not so well after the round.

Finally, Big-Numbers mode, coupled with the sunlight-readable dial, is great for those whose eyesight maybe isn't what it once was. All in all, this is a tremendous yet affordable product from Garmin.

Garmin Approach S62 GPS Watch, golf gps watch, garmin golf watch, hole map on watch, distance measuring deviceEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 41,000
Battery life: 20 hours
Screen size: 3.3cm
Weight: 61g
Straps: Two

Reasons to buy

+
When paired with phone, watch can gauge wind conditions
+
Aesthetics are slick and stylish

Reasons to avoid

-
Hole maps a little basic

The brilliant S62 watch has a slightly bigger face than some other Garmin golf watches and the screen also has more contrast to give a clearer view. Additionally, it comes with a built-in virtual caddie function where it can detect where the wind is coming from, gives information on shots from the past in regards to clubbing and therefore suggests to you the strategy on the course.

As you'd expect, for the money, there are plenty of distances at your disposal. We found it really easy to access all the information available, such as elevation changes and yardages to hazards. You can also move the pin position for more accurate numbers if you need to go on the attack. It's no wonder that the S62 made it into our Editor's Choice awards (opens in new tab) for 2022.

In terms of styling, it's very versatile and can be easily worn off the course too, while there is plenty of fitness information that can be garnered for those who take an all-round approach to their golf. Want to play better golf? The S62 can help you.

Garmin Marq golfer GPS watch on wrist

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 41,000
Battery life: 28 hours
Screen size: 3.4cm
Weight: 88g
Straps: 12 (price varies)

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning looks and feel
+
Packed with useful features on and off the course

Reasons to avoid

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Weighty versus the competition

The MARQ Golfer GPS watch from Garmin is built with premium materials that includes a 46-millimetre titanium case and ceramic bezel with custom etched 1-18 golf hole markings. Like many modern golf GPS watches, its uses are not limited to the course. Far from it, in fact.

As well as the ability to account for elevation changes and provide insight on wind conditions and club selection, you can set this watch up to play music, make contactless payments, monitor your heart rate and track your daily activity, among other things.

Unsurprisingly then, we really enjoyed testing this high-quality product that has a premium feel as soon as you strap it to your wrist. One obvious drawback is the price as all this doesn't come cheap. But for those fortunate enough to be able to afford this model, you will not be disappointed.

- Read our full Garmin MARQ Golfer GPS watch review

Garmin Fenix 6 GPS Watch

Garmin Fenix 6 GPS Watch

Specifications

Courses preloaded: N/A
Battery life: With GPS function up to 36 hours
Screen size: 3.3cm
Weight: 85g
Straps: 28+ straps and color configurations

Reasons to buy

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More compact than the Fenix 5
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Ideal for those who play multiple sports

Reasons to avoid

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Some features will be lost on those focused only on golf

The premium Fenix 6 multi-sport watch does a lot more than just help you on the golf course, as it is a fully-fledged smart watch with numerous useful features. One of the big things we noticed straight away was the sleeker shape - it's definitely not as bulky as the previous generation.

If you're the type who likes to split your time between golf and a number of other activities, the Fenix 6 will be a great option as it comes with the ability to track your heart rate and helps you acclimatise to different altitudes. It also provides insight into your energy levels and has really good battery life.

There are a host of other features we enjoyed when on the course, like the automatic shot tracker, as well as yardages to greens, bunkers and hazards, among other things. On the whole, we really enjoyed using it but, for those just looking for something golf-specific, some of the features might be lost on you.

Garmin Approach S40 Golf GPS

Garmin Approach S40 Golf GPS

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 42,000
Battery life: GPS mode up to 15 hours
Screen size: 3cm
Weight: 43g
Straps: Three

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable to wear
+
Really accurate

Reasons to avoid

-
More bulky than others

Another in the versatile camp, Garmin's Approach S40 also offers great value for money. The 1.2-inch colour touchscreen is really clear and we enjoyed being able to switch straps. On the course, we found the accuracy of yardages to be really good when measured against one of the best golf laser rangefinders on the market.

In addition, it also felt really comfortable, which is something many might overlook. For those new to the GPS watch game, having something on your wrist while playing golf can take some getting used to, however, that becomes easier with the S40.

Shot tracking is made easy, while the basic functions are easy to use and deliver the obvious and well-known benefits. It also tracks everyday activities and gives you smart notifications when paired with your phone. We found it to be a little bulkier than some others, but not to the point that it should be anyone off investing in what is a great product.

garmin approach S20-web

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 42,000
Battery life: 15 hours
Screen size: 2.3cm
Weight: 42g
Straps: Four

Reasons to buy

+
Well made and comfortable
+
Charges quickly

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as easy to navigate through the features as others

Although an entry-level model, the sleek S20 still performs admirably across the board. First and foremost, it feels well made and we found it to sit comfortably on our wrist during testing. It's not a touchscreen watch but features a high-resolution display and covers over 40,000 courses.

It's no more or less accurate with its yardages than the other GPS watches on this list and can also produce a host of stats like fairways hit, greens hit, and track how far you hit each club on average. Additionally, we enjoyed being able to see how many steps we'd taken and calories we'd burned.

It's not as stylish as some and takes a while to get the hang of navigating through everything, but once you've mastered that, this Garmin Approach S20 represents superb value for money.

Garmin Approach S10 GPS Watch Review

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications

Courses preloaded: 41,000
Battery life: 12 hours
Screen size: 2.3cm
Weight: 35g
Straps: Three

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money
+
Battery life is great

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks very basic

The S10 offers up front, back and middle yardages, allows you to enter your score, tracks your round time and steps and has a rechargeable battery that works up to 12 hours in GPS golf mode. It's also available in a few different colours.

We really liked how compact and lightweight it was, while it came with most of the same golf-related features as the others in this guide. It has to be navigated through using the buttons on the side, but we found that to be straightforward enough, while the battery life is excellent.

Despite being an older model, it still offers tremendous value for money. However, you wouldn't really wear it away from the course, but we expect that will be a minor drawback for most.

How we test golf watches

At Golf Monthly we have a comprehensive testing procedure around golf watches. This involves using different models out on the course, over a number of rounds and importantly in different conditions too because this gives us an idea on how particular models deal with sunlight, rain and wind. 

As the entire team are regular golfers, watches usually get a thorough testing and often get compared to one another side by side to test for things like accuracy, waterproofing, durability and other features. That way we can give honest and insightful feedback to you, the reader. We also look to try out watches off the golf course too if they have been designed as such, because this gives us an idea on versatility. 

The final thing we wanted to mention in this section is no manufacturer can buy a good review. Our testing team reviews golf equipment and makes its own opinion on how good or bad the product is. 

How to choose the right GPS watch

Features

If you have decided you want a GPS watch you need to think about what features are important to you. If you’re looking for your standard front, middle and back GPS yardages, then a budget watch will do the trick. However, there are some incredible watches out there that offer much more.

Alternatively, there are watches which can go into much greater detail when providing yardages, course detail, hazard information and so on. Obviously there are models with larger screens too which can be a particularly useful feature. Some also can help you record your score, track your shots, and many also have fitness features for off the golf course as well.

Versatility 

Speaking of off the golf course, many brands make models that can be used on and off the golf course because of the range of features and overall styling. If that is important to you, then several models will cater to this need.

Your routine 

When looking at buying a golf watch it is important to think about what you do during your routine on the golf course. Are you a fast player who just needs a quick glance at numbers on a screen, or are you more of a deliberate player that wants as much detail as possible before committing to a shot? There are models that fit into different routines and styles so be aware of how you play the game. Ultimately, a glance at a watch is much quicker than taking a device out of its case or dragging pointers on the screen, so weigh up if extra detail or less disruption is most important to you.

Golf course 

Next it is worth considering what type of golf course you play on regularly. We have found that courses with lots of doglegs and blind tee shots require the in-depth GPS information of a watch, whereas courses that are more out in front of you are perhaps more suited to the simplicity of a laser. Additionally if you play at other clubs in matches or socially, then you may want the extra information a GPS offers over a laser. Additionally be aware of how many golf courses are preloaded onto different watches as well. 

FAQs

Is it worth getting a golf watch?

Yes, we think certainly think that golf watches are worth it. Firstly, they save a lot of time, last a long time, are convenient and simple to use, offer in-depth detail of the shot you face, and can sit easily on your golf bag or wrist. With a golf watch you no longer have to find a sprinkler, or guess yardages because you can simply look at the screen to help you plot your way around the course. 

Can I use golf watches for non-golf activities?

You certainly can as most double up as not just a watch for golf, but for fitness and work as well. Along with on course activities, golf watches can be used to check email and make calls, as well as track steps and your heartrate during a workout.