Garmin Approach S42 vs S62 GPS Watch: Read Our Head-To-Head Verdict

How do two of the best Garmin watches on the market compare? Here, we find out

Garmin Approach S42 vs S62 GPS Watch
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Garmin Approach S42 vs S62 GPS Watch: Read Our Head-To-Head Verdict

It's no secret that Garmin are known for producing some of the best golf watches on the market, with the brand not only focusing on us golfers, but also those who work in health and fitness.

The models that we are focusing on though, in this piece, are the Garmin Approach S42 and S62, devices that rank as some of the best Garmin golf watches money can buy and models that will certainly improve your golf game when out the course.

Like some of the best lasers and best golf GPS, a watch is designed to aid your performance by providing you with yardages to hazards and the green. They can also be used for off course activities like checking emails, tracking fitness and searching the web.

However, which of these two recognized models is best for your game? Which one will give you the best performance at a more affordable price? Well, after extensive testing, we give our verdict here.


Since it is going to be on your wrist for the majority of the day, it's important that the watch looks good. Thankfully, with these models, they tick the correct boxes as both provide sleek aesthetics that won't look out of place on and off the course.

Beginning with the cheaper Approach S42, which we thought, away from the course, provided a stylish look that can easily be worn in social settings. What's more, we barely noticed that we had it on for our round. 

People can often be reluctant to try a GPS watch because they think it'll interfere with their swing but this is absolutely not the case. Other than checking yardages, it's like it isn't even there.

The S62 is also the same when it comes to slick and stylish looks, with the colour touchscreen display just 0.1 inches larger than the S42. This means that both can be navigated through easily without being too bulky. 

The aesthetics for both are on point and wouldn't look out of place off the course plus, there are an array of different color bands available, meaning there is plenty of options to personalize your look.

Ease of use

Both offer sleek style and, in the ease-of-use department, both certainly excel once again. We begin with the S62 this time, which we found easy and intuitive to set up and navigate.

It works via a touch screen and side buttons, which means you can scroll through the various options. As mentioned earlier, the color touchscreen is slightly larger than the S42 and 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. 

It's a somewhat similar story for the S42 which, thanks to a 1.2-inch color screen, is extremely clear and easy of use. The only slight negative would be that it takes maybe five or so rounds to really get to grips with all the features and get the most out of what’s on offer, but you could say that about most distance measuring devices.


Both can't really be separated when it comes to looks or ease of use, but it's the features where you will see a noticeable difference, as the more expensive S62 is jam-packed with technology that will aid your game.

Although illegal for competition play, there is the option to enable elevation changes, as well as the function to manually move the pin position for more accurate distances, something many of the best golf watches offer. One aspect that is legal though is the Pin Pointer feature, whereby an arrow will point to the direction of the centre of the green. This is useful on blind shots and efforts from the trees when the green isn't visible.

The hole maps are perhaps a little basic and dimmer than we'd have hoped, but we were still able to see clearly what lay ahead and move the pointer to areas of interest. If you enable shot tracking, you can tell the watch what club you hit after each shot and, after five rounds of doing this, the Virtual Caddie feature becomes available, suggesting clubs to hit for upcoming shots. Once again it is not permitted in tournament play, but it is a useful feature to have for social games.

We see the usual features in the S42, such as yardages to the front, middle and back of each green, with the numbers provided incredibly accurate when we compared them with one of the best golf rangefinders.

Another interesting and useful feature is that it actually shows you the true shape of every green, rather than just the generic circle and it also comes with more than 42,000 preloaded courses worldwide. Add in the fact that there is also the option to pair with the Approach CT10 club sensors for automatic club tracking, and it offers very good value for money. 


So, what about versatility? Well, both have been designed with off course activities in mind and definitely won't look out of place when it comes to social situations.

As mentioned, the S42 is sleek and stylish, but it also comes packed with fitness and wellness benefits. For example, it can be used to track steps, sleep and calories. It also doesn't get in the way when you're playing a round of golf, or even going for a run, as you barely notice it on your wrist.

Once again, it's a similar story with the S62, which also offers lots of fitness tracking options should you want to use it more as a sports watch rather than just a golf GPS. There is also the ability to receive email and text notifications, a handy feature if you are not able to access a laptop or computer.


All in all, both are superb, premium performers that are certainly a worthy life investment. However, when it comes to price, the S42 is considerably cheaper than the S62 by around $100 - $200.

It comes down to what you want from the watch. If you want a bit more technology, e.g. within your golf game and outside of it, then the S62 will be the chosen model, but if you are content with an item that still provides a lot of information for a cheaper price, then you will likely favor the S42.

Which one should you choose

Choose the Garmin Approach S42 if…
- You are looking for a more affordable watch that can be used on and off the course
- You want a modern, streamlined design
- You want a watch which will track your golf club distances

Choose the Garmin Approach S62 if...
- You are after a watch that will be a long-time investment
- You are looking for a watch that will provide ample information on and off the golf course
- You want a watch that provides more in-depth technology

Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x

With contributions from