Watch our video and read our Garmin Approach S60 GPS watch review to see what we liked and disliked about one of the most feature-laden models available
The Garmin Approach S60 GPS watch features a sunlight-readable touchscreen that integrates detailed hole maps and yardages in full colour. You get quick and precise distances to greens, hazards and doglegs on more than 40,000 preloaded courses (with free lifetime updates).
The Approach S60 is packed with useful golf features like AutoShot, which automatically records the location and distance of each detected shot so you can log your score as you play and analyse your statistics after your round. Touch targeting also lets you select any point on the hole map and get a distance, while the GreenView feature outlines the shape of the green and lets you manually position the pin to that day’s location to get more precise measurements.
As you can see above, it also receives notifications for calls, texts, emails and more, while when paired with the Garmin app it can provide weather forecast data. It also boasts SwingTempo that measures the relationship between your upswing and downswing. You can then use its vibration-based TempoTraining to fine-tune your rhythm in practice. Finally its running, swimming an cycling functions alongside its very stylish look mean it can be used away from the golf course for other sports and for general wear.
Let us start this review by talking about the styling on offer. As you can see for yourself below, The Garmin Approach S60 can be easily transformed into a watch that doesn’t look out of place away from the golf course, a fact many of its competitors can’t boast. It’s also proved extremely comfortable to wear, owed in part due to how light it is on your wrist. We tested a black silicone watchband, but they are easily interchangeable and there is an assortment available, including leather and stainless steel styles.
The three main screens we flicked between during our months of testing cover everything you need to know while you play. The first has the key numbers to the front, middle and back of the green alongside the hole map, its par and number. In our opinion, many golfers could happily play a round without ever leaving this screen, which was easy to read even in bright sunshine.
The second useful screen has a a close-up view of the green so you can see its shape. This screen also has a flag on it and it allows you to manually move the pin position to wherever it has been cut that day for very precise yardages that rivalled the laser rangefinder we had with us.
The third helpful screen is then the touch targeting display, which allows you to manually move a crosshair to get distances from your to a point such as a bunker or dogleg, and then from that point to the green.
Outside of these key screens there are many, many other options, some of which are more useful than others. You can keep score, track statistics and measure your tempo, while the Garmin Golf app lets users compete in weekly leaderboards and against friends, plus view other players’ rank, score, handicap and more.
We think that there are arguably too many features on this watch for the average golfer to use during a round, but the beauty of the design is that it is easy to ignore the ones you’re not fussed about.
On the whole the menus are intuitive and the functionality was good, though the screen did occasionally need a second press to activate your selection, a common issue with any touchscreen technology.
The AutoShot detection proved surprisingly accurate and helped us to keep score, something that we liked a lot. The ability to monitor other sports activities means it also offers a bit more than most golf watches, which you’d expect for something that costs close to £400.
Garmin says that Approach S60 should give you up to 10 hours of battery life in golf mode and up to 10 days in watch mode, but we found it tended to last around 30 holes, or 7 hours, when playing back-to-back rounds, which was frustrating on the days we wanted to squeeze 36 holes in.
Overall this has to be considered one of the best GPS watches on the market and if you can afford the investment we're confident you will be very happy with your purchase.