Garmin GPS Reviews
Approach S60 GPS Watch
-- Chris Wallace, TGW Staff Writer
When Garmin set out to create the Approach S60 golf GPS watch, it had two goals in mind.
First and foremost, company engineers wanted to create a GPS watch that would give golfers all of the information they need to maximize their potential on the course. Second, they wanted to create a device that could be worn with style off the course.
From a functionality standpoint, the S60 offers a 1.2-inch color touchscreen that makes it easy to navigate through all of the device’s features, and sunlight readable displays enable golfers to get the information they want quickly.
In terms of its many features, the Approach S60 comes preloaded with more than 40,000 courses, and free mapping updates are included by syncing the device with the popular Garmin Connect App.
Also included are full color maps of each course, and the S60 delivers quick, accurate yardages to the front, back, and center of each green, as well as distances to hazards, doglegs, or other targets a golfer chooses using the Touch Targeting feature.
Garmin’s PlayLike Distance feature, meanwhile, provides adjusted yardages based on uphill or downhill inclines on any given course, and a Green View mode reveals enhanced, accurate depictions of each putting surface.
The Approach S60 will also keep score during a round, and players can use Garmin Connect to track their stats, including greens in regulation, putts per round, fairways hit, and more.
Additionally, the AutoShot feature allows golfers to archive their rounds and go back later to see the shots they hit in previous rounds.
In addition to easily pairing with Garmin Connect and other Garmin golf-related products, the S60 also pairs via Bluetooth with smartphones, which enables players to get email, text, and call notifications on their device.
It also offers activity tracking and up to 10 hours of battery life in golf mode before needing to be recharged, as well as 10 days of battery life in watch mode.
The S60 will also withstand water pressure up to 50 meters, so it can be used in rainy conditions with no worry.
I recently had the chance to test the Garmin Approach S60 over the course of a few weeks and played several rounds using the watch.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have typically relied solely on rangefinders when I play as opposed to GPS devices. Among the most notable reasons is that I would consider myself to be far less than “tech savvy.”
What impressed me most about the S60, however, was how simple it was to use on the course, and pairing the device with both my phone and the Garmin Connect App was painless. Prior to testing, I anticipated that process being something of a personal struggle, which was not the case at all.
On the course, I was also surprised at how accurate readings were. I also used a high-end rangefinder to compare yardages and time and time again the numbers were spot on or within a yard or two.
The Green View function also proved to be especially helpful in terms of determining where I wanted to hit an approach shot, especially at one course I played using the watch that I hadn’t played before, and going back in the evening and being able to review my round both in terms of the shots I hit and my stats for the day was as enlightening as it was interesting.
I will also add that in the amount of time I had the device I believe I only scratched the surface in terms of its full capability, most notably as it relates to the fitness tracking features that are available.
And finally, I’d be remiss to not discuss the actual watch, given that Garmin put so much effort into the physical design.
I typically don’t wear a watch and have never worn one when I play golf. But the S60 was comfortable and not intrusive at all when hitting full shots, and it’s sleek look drew compliments and inquiries from several of my playing partners.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that a rangefinder is a must for any golfer in terms of being able to navigate a golf course and improve their course management, and the S60 excelled in that regard.
Also, being able to track stats to identify weaknesses and explore archived rounds to see where mistakes were made only adds to the significant value of this watch, as does its ease of use.
In all, there’s little question in mind that the Approach S60 would prove to be a valuable addition for any golfer in terms of helping them enjoy more success on the course
Fenix 5X; A multi-sport GPS watch to meet the needs of any athlete
The Garmin Fenix 5X GPS watch was created for the most discerning athletes in the world.
More specifically, for essentially any activity you would ever take part in, the multi-sport Fenix 5X can help you track your performance, while additionally functioning as a rugged, stylish timepiece that you can wear 24/7.
As it relates to golf, the Fenix 5X functions as an elite GPS golf watch. It features nearly 40,000 preloaded courses, allows you to view a course’s routing before you play, and keeps track of your scores.
Yardages to the front, back, and center of every green are provided for approach shots, as well as detailed views of each green on the course. The 5X also pairs easily with a smartphone and the Garmin Connect App to help golfers maintain and track their stats from all of the rounds they play to help determine strengths and weaknesses.
The Fenix 5X also features Garmin’s popular AutoShot technology, which allows players to go back and look at the shots they previously hit during any given round. It will also provide layup yardages, as well as yardages to doglegs, hazards, or other course targets.
And like the majority of Garmin’s products, players can receive alerts for emails, texts, calendar notifications, weather updates, and calls on their device, as well as pair with other Garmin golf-related products.
Equally impressive is that the rechargeable battery will last for up to 20 hours in GPS mode, meaning golfers can expect to play 4-5 rounds without having to recharge the 5X. Also, having been water rated to 100 meters, playing golf in the rain is no issue whatsoever.
While the list of what the Fenix 5X has to offer golfers is certainly comprehensive, it’s also just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
As an activity tracker, the 5X offers a step counter, as well as readings for calories burned, floors climbed, and distance traveled in any given day. It also has sleep-monitoring capability and will track your sleep by periods of movement versus restful sleep.
Additionally, the Fenix 5X will track heart rate levels throughout the day, both in terms of periods of activity and resting rates.
From an athletic standpoint, running, cycling, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and rowing are among the activities that the Fenix 5x can be used for to track performance and establish and complete training schedules.
The Fenix 5X also offers full color outdoor navigation maps to provide its users with routes for activities such as running or cycling, and data overlays of the mapping provided enable users to stay on the activity screen that they’re utilizing.
The maps provided by the Fenix 5X also provide “Around Me” displays to help users better navigate areas that they might be unfamiliar with.
In terms of battery life, in smartwatch mode, users can expect to go up to 12 days without having to recharge their 5X device, and they can also count on their watch to serve as an alarm clock, timer, and stopwatch when needed.
Also of note, there are never any fees for updates from Garmin that users want to download to their device.
The Fenix 5X multi-sport GPS watch is offered in a Slate Gray Sapphire color pattern and comes with a black band.
Approach G30: Diminutive in size but a giant in terms of functionality
-- Bobby Young, Garmin Regional Sales Manager
-- Bobby Young, Garmin Regional Sales Manager
While Garmin has only been in the golf business for roughly seven years now, its products, both handheld GPS devices and golf watches, have been a huge hit with golfers of all ability levels.
One of Garmin’s most popular products to date has been the Approach G8, a highly functional handheld Golf GPS device.
Given the popularity of the G8, Garmin decided to release a complementary product in the form of the Approach G30, a device that’s small in stature but huge in terms of capability.
“This product is the little brother to the G8,” said Bobby Young, Garmin Regional Sales Manager. “It comes preloaded with 40,000 worldwide courses. It’s a 2.3 inch screen and very inconspicuous when you’re playing golf. It has the layout of the courses and the ability to see the full course before you play.”
While Young touched on some of the features of the G30, a complete list of what this device is capable of would be significantly longer.
“A couple of things I like about this unit are that you can keep up to four scores,” added Young when asked about the G30’s functionality. “Secondly, it has a Big Number mode, so if you have someone who can’t see the numbers really well you can put it in Big Number mode and the numbers get a little bit bigger to the front, center, and back. And third, it has smart notifications. It’s like a smartphone; you actually get email, text, and (calls) on your unit when you pair with Garmin Connect.”
Another impressive feature of the G30 is the options players have when they use Garmin’s innovative AutoShot technology.
What specifically will AutoShot do for golfers?
“It will actually show you the course that you play and the shots that you hit,” Young said. “All of this information is (archived) on Garmin Connect with no fee to the customer. And you will also have stat-tracking capability.”
The G30 pairs easily with a smartphone and all of the stats that are tracked using the Garmin Connect App, including greens in regulation, fairways hit, and total putts, are archived and can be shared with friends.
Also of note, all of the G30’s touchscreen displays offer vivid color, and Touch Targeting allows players to touch any spot on the map of a given hole and get a precise yardage to that spot.
Additionally, the device will provide yardages to the front, center, and back of each green, as well as distances to hazards and doglegs. Players can also tap the flag icon on their device at any time to see an accurate depiction of the green.
The smaller size of the G30 and its lightweight design (2.5 ounces) make it easy to keep in a pocket or wear on a belt, and a belt clip is included with purchase.
The G30 also features a waterproof screen, so the device can be used in the rain, and the 15 hours of battery life it features means players can expect to play three rounds with the G30 before it needs to be charged.