Garmin Approach review

It may not be hard to play golf, but it certainly takes time to perfect, and playing the perfect game could end up becoming a lifelong pursuit.

That’s why Garmin created the Approach S62, a GPS golf watch. According to Garmin, this device comes preloaded with over 41,000 golf courses. It has a built-in Virtual Caddie feature that suggests which club to use based on your typical swing. The PlaysLike distance feature converts uphill and downhill shots into flat yardage, so you get the most accurate information possible. Plus, you don’t have to worry about running out of power because the battery lasts up to 20 hours, even in GPS mode.

This sounded like an excellent way to potentially step up our golf game, so we tested the Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch and here’s what we found.

Testing the Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch 

Our tester plays golf over 50 times each year, but they have never owned a golf watch. They use a rangefinder for every game and apps for additional information, especially when playing a new course. Our tester used the Garmin Approach S62 for several rounds of golf to get a thorough understanding of how it works in a real-world setting. During those games, they took extensive notes regarding battery life, display readability, Virtual Caddie performance, comfort and more.

What is the Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch?

The Approach S62 looks like a regular, casual watch you could wear every day. With just a few clicks, however, you start to uncover this device’s power. We were shocked to find out how much information the Garmin Golf Watch could provide. The Approach S62 can keep track of your score and distances. It can also help you avoid hazards, determine the safest path on the fairway, see what blind shots look like and more.

Garmin Approach S62 Golf GPS Watch price and where to buy

The Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch is currently available for $449.99 at Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods (regularly $499.99).

How to use the Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch

Setup

This device is very easy to set up. The first thing you need to do is charge it. If the battery is completely depleted, it will take about four hours to charge. This charge will last you a few days. Then, download and register the app on your phone and connect to the device. While the operation is intuitive, we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the Garmin for about 30 minutes before taking it out for a round. 

Overview

This watch is a great asset to have on the course. When you press different spots on the course map, it tells you the yardage to that spot. We found the distance to be extremely accurate, and the watch compensates for slope differences. It also alerts you to wind speed. The PinPointer feature comes in handy as it shows you the direction of the pin, even if you’re in a blind spot. After you complete a hole, the Garmin reminds you to enter your score.

Virtual Caddie

The Virtual Caddie feature is amazing. The Approach S62 takes into account all the possible factors of each shot and provides you with information that helps you make the best decision. Since the watch needs to learn how you play, it took us about five rounds before it became really effective. Once it learns your game, however, it can take you to the next level.

Screen

The screen on the Garmin GPS Golf Watch is large, colorful and easy to read at a glance. We used it in the bright sun of California and Arizona and had no problem viewing the display. As a comparison, it was much easier to see than the in-cart monitor, so we were very happy with its performance.

Independence

It was really important for us to have a device that functioned without needing to have a smartphone nearby. We found the watch could perform all its functions, with the exception of displaying wind readings, without the phone being in close proximity. This gives the Garmin Golf Watch a major advantage over Apple Watch golf tracking.

Battery life

Another feature that sets this watch above its competitors is the battery life. We wore this watch continuously for several days on a single charge. However, we did charge it before a round to make sure it didn’t die in the middle of a game. Considering its size, features and the amount of data exchanged during a round, we expected this watch to have poor battery life, but we were pleasantly surprised. 

Comfort

This watch wears like a typical watch; the weight and size are not really noticeable in everyday scenarios. The band is sweatproof and comfortable. The only minor downside is you can accidentally bump the “End Round” button since the watch face is a bit large.

Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch benefits

The Garmin Golf Watch offers the kind of performance and detail you can’t get with other smartwatches. It’s comfortable, versatile, easy to see and has an extensive database of courses. The Virtual Caddie and PlaysLike features can elevate your game, while the impressive battery life ensures you’ll have power throughout the entire day.  

Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch drawbacks

The Approach S62 is a premium golf watch, so it carries a steep price. However, it’s well worth the investment if you’re a serious golf player. Also, it might take a few rounds before you get the most out of this watch, but that’s only because it has so much to offer. The only issue we had was occasionally bumping the “End Round” button during the follow-through of our swing, which may be a non-issue for others. Besides that, there are no significant drawbacks.

Should you get the Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch?

Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch

We love the Garmin Approach S62 GPS Golf Watch and would highly recommend it to any golfer, whether they just enjoy it as a hobby or they’re serious about playing a more consistent game. The bottom line is this is a great product that fulfills all the manufacturer’s promises.

Consider other products

Garmin Approach S40 GPS Golf Smartwatch

Garmin Approach S40 GPS Golf Smartwatch

If you like Garmin products but want something in a lower price range, this model may fit your needs. It provides the essentials and is a solid value, but it doesn’t have the advanced functionality that the S62 has, such as the Virtual Caddie and PlaysLike features. 

Sold by Amazon

Shot Scope V3 GPS & Performance Golf Watch

Shot Scope V3 GPS & Performance Golf Watch

If budget is a primary concern and you don’t care about bells and whistles like graphics, this is a good golf watch for you. It measures distance down to the yard and tracks your shots. It’s simple to use, and the battery lasts for up to two rounds of play. 

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Bushnell Golf Tour V5 Patriot Pack

Bushnell Golf Tour V5 Patriot Pack

If you prefer using a rangefinder, this impressive model from Bushnell Golf offers a good balance between price and features. The unit vibrates when you’ve locked onto the pin so you’re certain of its accuracy. If you use the app, you can unlock vital information such as hole layouts, 3D flyovers and more. 

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods 

 

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.