Our guide to Garmin's comprehensive range of GPS golf watches
Best Garmin Golf Watches
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.
Best Garmin Golf Watches
Garmin Approach S42
+ Stylish watch that can be worn on and off the course
+ A host of features like strokes gained stats and fitness tracking
– 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 onto 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’ and 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. But it doesn’t stop there. 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 you 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 GPS Golf Watch
+ Very easy to use right from the get-go
+ Big-Numbers mode a great feature
– 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 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.
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 Golf Watch
+ When paired with phone, watch can gauge wind conditions
+ Aesthetics are slick and stylish
– 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.
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
+ Stunning looks and feel
+ Packed with useful features on and off the course
– Very expensive
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.
Garmin Approach S60 GPS Watch
+ Good value for money
+ Comes with most of the same features as most up-to-date products
– Not as stylish as newer models
This feature-packed S60 GPS watch is a few years old now but still offers plenty in the way of performance. Although the course maps are a little basic, the large sunlight-readable colour touchscreen is nice and clear, making it easy to check yardages to the green and a variety of hazards. It can also be used to monitor runs, swims and bike rides for great additional value.
One thing we noticed during testing was that the battery life wasn’t as long as claimed but it’s by no means poor and will do you the best part of 36 holes.
Garmin Fenix 6 GPS Watch
+ More compact than the Fenix 5
+ Ideal for those who play multiple sports
– 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. And 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
+ Comfortable to wear
+ Really accurate
– 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. But especially for those new to the GPS watch game, having something on your wrist while playing golf can take some getting used to. 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 GPS Watch
+ Well made and comfortable
+ Charges quickly
– 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
+ Great value for money
+ Battery life is great
– 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.
It’s one of the older models so can be yours for quite a bit cheaper now, meaning it offers tremendous value for money. You wouldn’t really wear it away from the course, but we expect that will be a minor drawback for most.
Garmin Approach X40 GPS Wrist Band
+ Very compact model
+ Gives plenty of useful yardages
– Not a colour screen and display is quite basic
Not a typical watch but a wrist band, the Garmin Approach X40 is the smallest device on our list. But this might be a benefit for some who don’t like the feel of anything too bulky while they’re swinging. And don’t be fooled by the basic-looking display.
Yes, it might not be as fancy or stylish as the colour screen offerings, but it still packs a punch. We found it easy to get our yardages to the green as standard as well as to thinks like bunkers, water hazards and lay-up spots on doglegs. In addition, it also shows steps taken, calories burned and monitors your heart rate.
The AutoShot game-tracking feature works well to plot your way round the course for detailed post-round analysis when paired with your phone. Being a slightly older model, the price point means the X40 represents great value for money if you’re willing to sacrifice a little in looks.