Garmin Approach S20 GPS Golf Watch Review
The Garmin Approach S20 is a sleek and lightweight Garmin Golf GPS Watch that also doubles as an activity tracker that provides smart notifications to keep up with your active lifestyle. And with the TruSwing facility it can also help you to improve your swing. Now that’s worth having!
Welcome. My name is Ian Allen and as part of my quest to find the best golf GPS watches, in this article, I’m covering the smart looking Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch. So lets ‘Tee Off’.
So why buy a Golf GPS Watch?
That’s a great question.
Have you ever found yourself on the Tee and wondering how far that hazard is? Or you’re standing on the fairway and can’t quite get comfortable guessing the carry distance. Yep, that was me too.
When playing a new course, I would always grab a course guide. You know the ones, the nicely bound little booklets with the different yardages to hazards and greens, as well as the ‘Pro Tips’ on how best to play the hole.
But, I don’t play golf like a professional. My tee shots are not always arrow straight and my approaches not always the right distance. So whilst I used to enjoy carrying the golf course guides around, more often than not, I would generally find myself playing my shot from where there was no distance indicated.
But all that is behind me with the invention of the Golf GPS Watch by Garmin Golf.
My Review of the Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch
The Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch is a feature-packed entry level GPS watch from arguably, the best Golf GPS watch manufacturers. You can check teh latest prices for it on Amazon by clicking ‘here’.
With its sleek and modern styling, the Garmin S20 is an elegant piece of equipment that will grace the wearers wrist both on and off the course. It can be worn as an everyday watch and if you’re into your fitness, the Garmin S20 will deliver you your daily step count and your distance walked upon its clear display. A feature that Garmin Golf has added to the majority of its range of GPS watches.
Garmin Approach S20 Features
Weighing in at just a little more than your golf ball, at 42 grams, the Garmin S20 is by no means a large watch. Measuring just 37.4mm x 47.6mm and only 11.3mm thick, the S20 manages to present to its wearer a clear display of 128 x 128 pixels.
This sunlight-readable, high resolution monochrome display is 23mm x 23mm and covered by chemically strengthened glass.
Able to be charged via a USB cable (included), the onboard battery delivers power for up to a massive 8 weeks in activity mode, and enough energy for upto 4 rounds of 18 holes at your local course. And to help you record all your data during those rounds, the Garmin S20 comes with 64MB of internal memory.
This small yet powerful watch is encased in a metal body with a silicone strap. This ensures it is comfortable and safe upon your wrist at all times and perfectly capable of withstanding everyday use and abuse.
As with the other devices within the range of Garmin Golf GPS devices, the Approach S20 comes with 40,000 preloaded courses worldwide. In addition to this, within the purchase price all course updates and additions are free using Garmin Express. That’s right, no setup charges, fees or subscriptions needed. Your Garmin Approach S20 is ready to go straight out of the box.
What other Clock Features does the Garmin S20 have?
In standard activity mode, the Garmin Approach S20 informs you of Date and Time, along with an alarm feature. It is automatically kept accurate with GPS time sync capabilities and will automatically adjust for daylight savings time. In addition to this, it will also tell you Sunrise and Sunset times.
What is it like for Activity Tracking?
Well it’s pretty good actually. Those of us who like to keep track of our health as well as our strokes (no pun intended) will be well looked after.
The Garmin S20 comes with Step Counter and a Move Bar which is activated after a period of inactivity. These facilities are automatically ‘learnt’ by the Garmin S20 so it can set your daily step goal without any interaction from you. Scary but true.
The S20 will also monitor your distance travelled, calories burned and keep an eye on your sleep patterns. This function will inform you of your total sleep time as well as periods of movement or restful sleep throughout the night.
What’s the it like on the golf course?
Using it’s high-sensitivity GPS receiver, the Approach S20 gives you the distance data you need to fire away your shots with real confidence. And as it connects with Android or iPhone via bluetooth, you can also let it keep you up to date with emails and messages via your smartphone.
Yet it’s the golfing oriented features that we really like.
As with all the Garmin Golf range and Best GPS Golf Watches, the Approach S20 will deliver you a clear distance to front, middle and back of the greens. Along with Green View and manual pin placement technology you can be sure to be ahead of your playing partners when you walk off the green towards the next Tee.
The Garmin S20 will also give you precise distances to layups and doglegs, as well as distances to hazards and course targets. All this information is kept accurate with Auto CourseView updates.
Does the Garmin Approach S20 Track Your Statistics?
Yes it does.
In addition to the yardages and distances described above, the Garmin S20 Golf GPS will track your shots. This includes strokes, putts per round, fairways in regulation and greens in regulation. So you can see if your new Callaway rogue Driver, or Scotty Cameron Putter are really improving your game. All of your golf statistics can be accessed and viewed with Garmin’s online software.
To add another level of fun and competition, the Approach S20 is one of the many Garmin golf watches compatible with the new Garmin Golf app that lets users compete in weekly leaderboards on any golf course. This free app allows users to compete against friends and fellow golfers on the same course, plus view another player’s rank, score, handicap and more.
Players can use this app to set up their own tournament event and invite multiple friends to compete. Users can input their score manually in the app, or upload their scorecard from the Approach S20 using Garmin Express and view it in the Garmin Golf app.
What are the Garmin Approach S20 Key Features?
Stylish comfort; fully-hinged watchband design with high-resolution display
Distance to hazards such as bunkers and water hazards plus front, middle and back of the green, layups and doglegs
Green View feature displays the shape of the green with manual pin placements
AutoShot automatically measures every shot distance for post-round analysis on your Garmin Connect account
TruSwing: When paired, the TruSwing golf swing sensor provides metrics to improve your swing consistency
CourseView auto updater lets you easily download updates of the courses you play most frequently
Receive smart notifications for incoming calls, texts, emails and other alerts
Activity tracking reminds you to stay active with move bar and alerts. Displays steps, calories burned, distance and time of day, plus it monitors hours of sleep
Wireless connectivity to upload and share scorecards with Garmin Connect Golf
Preloaded courses to access more than 40,000 courses from around the world
Digital scorecard lets you easily keep track of your score throughout your round
Battery life: up to 8 weeks in activity tracking mode; 15 hours in GPS mode
Water rating: 5 ATM (50 meters)
Keep an Eye on Your Swing with Garmin TruSwing and the Garmin Approach S20
Garmins’ TruSwing is an easy-to-use sensor that attaches to your club and provides detailed metrics to help improve your swing consistency.
Through Garmin Connect you can also monitor your swing data or review your swing with comprehensive 3D animation or overlay one swing with another for detailed analysis.
TruSwing also allows you to monitor data such as swing tempo, speed, club-path measurements and critical club angles.
This will help you help you to improve your swing consistency and form, both on the course and at the range.
Garmin Connect Golf Tracking Application
Runners and cyclists will already be used to the Garmin Connect fitness app. This app acts as a companion for a whole host of Garmin devices. Yet now it’s available for golf GPS watches and handhelds too.
The Garmin Connect App offers features to keep track of your play such as fairways hit, greens in regulation, shot distance and number of putts. All useful stuff if you are looking for areas in your game to improve.
You can track your improvement over time by viewing stats such as longest shots, average score and putts. Garmin Connect Golf is available as a free mobile app or on your desktop computer.
So What Did I Think of the Garmin Approach S20?
As I have stated before in the Garmin Approach X10 and the Garmin Approach G10 reviews, I don’t really like wearing a watch. I usually find them bulky and uncomfortable, yet I would happily make an exception for the Garmin Approach S20.
Plus, as I have mentioned in articles previously, as it’s a watch you can simply slip it around the handle of your trolley. This is both convenient and off my wrist which is a win win for me.
Like all Garmin Golf GPS devices, the S20 is well made, yet I did find that to access the more detailed info on the course, such as layups and hazards etc, was a little fiddly. They all seemed to require at least one click too many for my liking. And often saw me having to press buttons on either side of the screen which are often difficult to do one handed.
I’m positive that 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
However when you get into those menus and info screens, the GPS sensitivity is very good. It found my course before I even reached the first Tee. Plus all the way through the 18 holes, the yardages it presented me with seemed to be much more accurate than my iron shots and drives.
Overall the Garmin Approach S20 is clearly aimed at being a mid-level golf GPS watch and fulfills that role admirably. It is almost as feature packed as the more expensive Garmin Approach S5 yet doesn’t come close to the Garmin Approach S60.
The only thing extra I would have liked to see is watch face customisation via the Connect IQ platform which is added to their other, high end watches. But for the price point it is a great Golf GPS watch that will keep you informed and entertained whilst on the fairways.
To get yours, simple click on the links below or visit your local golf store.
Thank you for reading this review of the Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS. I hope it has answered some if not all of your questions, but please do feel free to leave a comment below if you would like to know more about it….