The Garmin Approach S62 GPS Watch is undoubtedly one for the gadget lover who wants the very latest features and the ability to track shots all in one place and use it off the course too. It’s expensive, but is unquestionably one of the most comprehensive, cutting-edge GPS watches around.
- Lots of unique and useful functionality
- Ability to track shots
- Versatile styling
- Off-course features broadens the appeal
- The hole map graphics look somewhat dated
- Differences in the app and watch
The LX5 may not track your shots but could save you a few, giving accurate distances you can rely on and crystal clear hole maps that enable you to see what lies ahead in great detail. It's a little bulky, but is light and comfortable to wear without impeding the swing.
- Crystal clear color hole maps
- Abundance of information to assist with strategy
- Ability to score and measure shots
- A little chunky on your wrist
- Navigating the hole maps can be a touch fiddly
When looking at your golf setup, there are a number of ways of improving your game without even swinging a golf club. One of the ways to lose shots out on the course is by treating yourself to a GPS watch, an item that will provide you with yardages and confidence for when you're looking to hit a shot.
However, there are even problems here as there is such an array of technology-based items available on the market. Do you go for one of the best golf watches that money can buy? Or perhaps you fancy a handheld device like one of the best golf rangefinders...
There really is so much on offer and that's why we, at Golf Monthly, have looked at two of the best GPS watches on the market in the Garmin Approach S62 and SkyCaddie LX5, models that provide a premium performance that will give you confidence over the 18 holes.
Having tested both models, which one is best for your game and which one will suit you more? Here, we take a look and compare the two.
Garmin Approach S62 vs SkyCaddie LX5 GPS Watch: Read Our Head-To-Head Verdict
As you are likely wearing the watch all day, it is important that it looks good and feels comfortable to wear. No-one wants it to become a hassle and, thankfully, with these models that isn't the case, as both perform admirably in the design department.
We begin with the Approach S62, which ranks as one of the best Garmin golf watches on the market. Thanks to slick and stylish aesthetics, the watch wouldn't look out of place off the course and, what's more, it is 4g lighter than the SkyCaddie, as well as being slightly smaller.
Although the SkyCaddie is marginally heavier at 65g, which is nothing really, it is very comfortable to wear, with the styling, along with fitness features, encouraging you to wear it away from the course. As mentioned, it is slightly more awkward to wear than the Garmin, as the SkyCaddie is a tad chunkier.
Although the Garmin takes the edge in the design, we give the display portion to the SkyCaddie. The LX5 is essentially a shrunken down version of the impressive handheld SX400 and SX550, models that feature in our best golf GPS guide.
Such is the bright and crystal clear display on the SkyCaddie, it is arguably the stand-out feature. Firstly, it is easy to read in different conditions and without having to hold it close to your face. The definition on the hole graphics is also truly stunning, allowing you to see every detail of what lies ahead, while we also liked how the LX5 recommended the optimum driving position based on feedback from the SkyCaddie mappers who have walked the holes.
There's no denying that the Garmin Approach S62 is sleek, stylish and easy to navigate. However, the hole maps are more basic and aren’t as large or bright as the LX5. As such, they aren’t as easy to interpret quickly and take longer to load when scrolling.
It is worth noting though that the colour touchscreen display is 17 per cent larger than on the previous Approach S60 and that we were still able to see clearly what lay ahead and move the pointer to areas of interest. Overall though, it's the SkyCaddie that holds the cards in this department.
Ease of use
Ease of use is arguably the most important factor when it comes to a GPS watch and, in this category, it's difficult to split the two, with both matching each other when it comes to usability.
To begin with, the S62 is easy to set up and the touch screen works well alongside two of the side buttons to navigate through the options. You can even swipe around the edge of the screen to change holes quickly if you need to and access distances to hazards as well as the crucial front, middle and back yardages.
As mentioned, the LX5 has that same level of usability as well. From the main Big Numbers screen, which also displays front, middle and back yardages, you can swipe in four directions to access features like the hole map, hazard list or scorecard and then swipe back to return. It soon becomes second nature.
One slight negative is that moving the crosshair is a little fiddly, and your finger always seems to be slightly in the way, but the generous screen size helps to negate this. It really comes into its own in situations where laser rangefinders fall down, like on blind shots and when hazards aren’t visible, and will be very useful on new courses.
Personally, we think the Garmin Approach S62 edges it in the features department. Not only does it have a Pin Pointer for blind shots, but also a Virtual Caddie that, after five rounds of logging shots, will start suggesting clubs and the ability to factor in wind when connected with the Garmin app.
It is also pre-loaded with 41,000 golf courses, which is 6,000 more than the SkyCaddie, as well as its battery life being 20 hours compared to the LX5's two rounds. Lastly, there are lots of fitness tracking options on the Garmin, should you want to use it more as a sports watch rather than just a golf GPS. There's also a feature to receive email and text notifications.
Whilst the LX5 offers everything most golfers need, it doesn't have the variety of the Garmin or the off-course features. The battery life does comfortably last two rounds though and there is also a three-year Worldwide Membership plan included which adds value and longevity to the investment.
You can also add performance stats, like putts taken and fairways hit, which can then be synced to the SkyGolf360 app for easier analysis. The SkyCaddie is also pre-loaded with 35,000 courses which is still an awful lot!
One of the last sections which is possibly the most necessary is the accuracy of the two GPS watches. In testing, we found that the S62 often matched up with the LX5, but some shots were more than a few yards out.
What's more, the maps on the Garmin app also hadn’t incorporated course changes from a few years ago, whereas the LX5 seemed to compare against our laser slightly more favourably, with the distances displayed being closer to what we were expecting. They also updated quickly as we walked.
Overall the Garmin Approach S62 is a watch for the gadget lover who wants the very latest features, the ability to track shots and to use it off the course as well. It’s expensive, but it’s one of the very best watches around.
The LX5 on the other hand is for the golfer who seeks simplicity. It is ideal for golfers who want a wearable watch but with the detail of a handheld GPS. The three-year SkyGolf360 Pro membership is a great touch and adds even more value to what is a fine performer.
Which one should you choose?
Choose the Garmin Approach S62 if…
- You are looking for a watch that can be used on and off the golf course
- You want a watch that will last over time and is simple to use
- You require a watch that is not distracting to wear on your wrist
Choose the SkyCaddie LX5 if...
- You are after a watch that will give you accurate yardages
- You are looking for a watch that is a smaller GPS golf device with a stunning display
- You have slightly larger wrists and want something a tad bulkier
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A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly.
Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes.
He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.
Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel.
He also oversees all Tour player content as well so if you need to know what clubs Tiger or Rory has in play, Sam is the person to ask.
Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.
Sam's What's In The Bag:
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees)
Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5
Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond
- Matt CradockStaff Writer
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