Which? tries out Garmin golf GPS watchOur first look at Garmin Approach S20 golf watch

10 September 2016


Could a golf GPS watch be the key to slashing shots off your scorecard? The Garmin Approach S20 promises to give you all the information you need about the green, as well as automatically track your every putt for post-game analysis on the Garmin Connect app.

But the Garmin Approach S20 is not just designed to wear when playing golf. This sleek single-sport watch also provides activity tracking, sleep monitoring and message notifications from your smartphone.

It sounds promising, so we popped one on the wrist of a PGA professional to find out how helpful it really is in improving your golf game and monitoring your general day-to-day health.

Read our full Garmin Approach S20 first look review to find out if it’s worth investing in this specialist golf watch.

The Garmin Approach S20

Golf watches act like a digital caddie when you're out on the course. They use GPS and satellite technology to give you accurate fairway information, as well as the yardage to bunkers and water hazards. The automatic scorer system and digital scorecards keep a record of putts per round, the greens and fairways hit, as well as your average shot distance, so you can easily track your stats over time.

Find out more in our guide to buying the best golf watch.

At £179.99, the Garmin Approach S20 is not nearly the most expensive golf watch available, but it’s not the cheapest either. It's incredibly slim for a fitness watch and it’s designed to fit snugly on your wrist so it doesn’t move about when you take a swing.

With more than 40,000 preloaded course maps from around the world, the Garmin Approach S20 also automatically provides free daily course updates. This means that you can be sure you always have the most up-to-date information about the fairway and any lurking hazards before you choose a club and take your next shot.

Our golf expert reported that the accuracy was good to the front, middle and back of the green, and he liked the watch’s AutoShot feature – the digital scorecard that records the location and distance of each shot you take by detecting your wrist movement. It was also one of the most comfortable golf watches he’s worn on the green.

Should you buy a golf watch?

Whether you’re a keen golfer or just starting to get into the sport, a specialist golf GPS watch will undoubtedly boost your golf game. One of the big draws of wearing a golf watch is the amount of information it gives you on the green while playing, as well as the quantity of data it collects about your personal game for analysis after you’ve finished. By reviewing each round hole by hole, you can better understand the areas of your game and techniques you can improve upon.

But if golf is just one of the many sports that you play, it may be worth investing in a multisport watch instead. The Garmin Vivoactive HR watch tracks running, cycling, swimming, rowing, and golfing, plus winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

We also had our golf expert try out the TomTom Golfer 2 GPS watch so that he could compare the two. He found that the functionality and accuracy of both watches was pretty similar, but the Garmin Approach S20 watch had a slightly longer battery life. However both would still last the duration of a full day spent playing golf.

To find out more about fitness watches, head to our fitness watch reviews.

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