Garmin Approach S20

Our verdict on this feature-packed GPS Watch from Garmin

garmin approach S20-web
(Image credit: Amazon)
Golf Monthly Verdict

As an entry level product, the S20 offers a surprisingly wide selection of useful features. It takes a while to get used to how to access them, but the reward is an abundance of information on your wrist from a device that looks the part off the course as well as on it.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Slick, modern styling with a slimline design. Clear, readable screen that displays accurate distances quickly. Enough features to satisfy the majority of golfers' needs.

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The buttons are slightly difficult to press one-handed, while the navigation is not very user-friendly and generally involves too many presses.

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Garmin Approach S20 Review - Our verdict on this feature-packed, entry level GPS Watch from Garmin having tested it on the course

Garmin Approach S20 Review

Key technology This entry-level watch displays front, middle and back distances alongside the hole number, par and an outline of the green. Further screens cover hazards, lay-ups and scoring, plus options like ‘Move Flag’ to get a more specific yardages and other activity tracking, such as steps taken.

Will suit Those after a good value watch with multi-sport functionality and more than just the basic front, middle and back golf features.

GM Review The accuracy and simplicity of this device was spot on for basic golf use although other will be keen to delve into the multi-sport side of things.

The styling is modern and versatile for both on and off course wear. It's slim and lightweight, meaning you don't really notice it's on when playing a round.

It took just under a minute to locate the course we were on, which was snappy enough to be ready by the time we got on the first tee, and the distances seemed to stack up with the various yardage posts and fairway plaques we encountered down the opening hole.

Not only that, but they updated quickly - ideal for fast players who just want to glance at the screen quickly before selecting a club.

Sadly, it was much more time consuming when trying to access the various golf-specific features like hazard info, layups and entering a score.

Garmin Approach S20_flag-web

They all required at least one too many clicks and often having to press buttons on either side of the screen and they're often difficult to press one handed. After some trial and error you'll eventually get the hang of it, but it seems to be more complicated than it needs to be.

Which is a shame, because generally it was an enjoyable product to wear and use. The moveable flag pointer is a nice touch for more specific distances than just front, middle and back, as are the smartphone notifications and the fact it provides distances to reach and carry hazards.

It's waterproof too, so having the information is instantly there when playing in bad weather is one less thing to worry about, speeding up play.

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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