Garmin is a notable name when it comes to developing products that make use of GPS technology. Already, you may have Garmin devices in your cars, sports, or outdoor gear.
The company has come out with the Garmin Approach S6, which is designed to help you improve your golf game, or just make it easier to keep track of things.
Features of the Garmin Approach S6
What are the features of the Garmin Approach S6 that you should know?
Coming in three colors – light, dark, and orange – the Garmin Approach S6 looks like your regular wristwatch, measuring 25.4 mm. in diameter for the watch face, 45 mm. in both width and length, yet only 14.2 mm thick. It is quite a sizable watch, but smaller than most of its competitors.
It might be noticeable on your wrist, but it only weighs 1.6 ounces. It has a color touchscreen that gives you a resolution of 180 x 180 pixels. The watch is water-resistant for up to 50 meters. You navigate the device using a number of buttons, or by tapping on the touchscreen.
The Garmin Approach S6 gives you full-color maps of at least 40,000 golf courses worldwide. You can make use of the CourseView button to easily access these maps, allowing you to preview water hazards, traps, doglegs, and even the pins, no matter where you are in the course.
The Greenview feature gives you the layout and shape of the green. Meanwhile, the Pinpointer features can help you with blind shots, giving you an easy way to line up your shot even when you do not see the pin.
Furthermore, you can touch and move the pin using the touch screen display, allowing you to get more accurate distances. This means that you would have an easier win on par 3 games where you can easily calculate the distance to the pin.
Of course, the Garmin Approach S6 has a variety of golfing-related features.
The most important are:
- Shot Tracking. The device measures shot distances, and this works even in the background when you go to another screen. The distances will automatically reset when you get to the next hole. You can also change holes manually.
- The device can keep track of your own scores, using the standard stroke play scoring or the Stableford format. You can include handicap scoring automatically, where the Approach S6 would take into consideration your own handicap index and the slope rating of the course, among other factors.
- Monitor your statistics. The Approach S6 can also monitor various statistics, including putts and greens in regulation. More than this, the device will also evaluate your statistics and scores. You would love just how detailed the statistics and information you get from the Garmin Approach S6.
Garmin Connect will also show you the perfect game, based on the best scores you have achieved for each hole and giving you an idea of how your ideal game would have gone.
- Swing metrics. You can improve your golf swing simply by wearing the Garmin Approach S6. It gives you swing metrics such as SwingTempo, which measures both upswing and downswing and then presents it as a ratio. You can adjust your swings to achieve the ideal 3:1 ratio. TempoTraining helps you do this, by issuing audible tones that can help you improve.
Meanwhile, SwingStrength will give you a relative strength of your current swing with a previously set benchmark swing. To use this feature, you will need to calibrate the device by taking swings and specifying which one is a good swing. This good swing will be used to show you how your future swings compared to that good swing.
For instance, Approach S6 will tell you that the swing you just made is 115% stronger than to good swing, or 80% of the good swing.
Just the settings that you prefer
The Garmin Approach S6 allows you to set the preferences for a number of settings, including:
- Turning audible tones on or off.
- The watch face can be set to white on black or black on white. You can also change the color of the accent lines.
- The scoring method used.
- The way handicaps are scored.
- Turning statistics tracking on or off.
- Time and date settings.
- Language used. You can select from a number of languages, including English, Danish, Czech, Finnish, Italian, Dutch, French, Portuguese, German, Norwegian, Swedish, or Spanish.
- The units of measurement used, i.e., yards vs. meters
- Enabling or disabling the automatic screen lock.
Long battery life
The Garmin Approach S6 uses a rechargeable battery that can give you 20 weeks of power. When you turn the GPS mode, you have 10 hours before needing to recharge.
The Garmin Approach S6 has notifications for every e-mail, SMS message, or any other alert you get on your phone. Think of it as another screen for your phone. On top of that, you can use it as a wristwatch as it displays the time and date.
It can also function as an alarm clock and can use your location to set the time as well as automatically adjust to daylight saving time. On top of these functions, the device also uses several sensors such as GPS, compass, gyroscope, and accelerometer.
What you would like about the Garmin Approach S6
The Garmin Approach S6 has more than 40,000 golf courses in its database, and these are available even without a subscription. You would love the overhead hole maps that also include an automatic zoom feature, as well as a variety of views: Pinpointer, Green, Scoring, Layup, Hole, and Map.
You really do not have to do much when you are playing golf with the Approach S6. Arrive at the golf course and the device will instantly know where you are. It will also automatically advance from hole to hole as you play on.
You would love how the Garmin Approach S6 is very light and has a thin profile. You can just wear it and forget about it. The touchscreen is also very bright and you would not have problems seeing the display even under the intense sun.
The ATM 5 water resistance rating is also something you would appreciate if you get caught in a sudden rain while playing. Or if you get caught in a water hazard.
What can be improved
Navigating through the features of the Garmin Approach S6 means that you have to cycle through different menus using four buttons on the side of the watch as well as the touchscreen.
This means that you would need to spend time with it before taking it out to the golf course because it is not that intuitive.
There is no way to track other players’ scores, just your own, and while you can store rounds on the device, you will not be able to see the scorecards or statistics on the device. You would need the Garmin Connect app or go to your computer to visit the Garmin Connect page to see the statistics.
There are times when 10 hours might not be enough. You get 10 hours of operation on a full charge. Imagine if you are playing on a municipal course on a Sunday. That may mean that the battery would have run out before you finish your game.
The Garmin Approach S6 retails at $349.99. It is one of the most expensive GPS-enabled golf watches out there. However, it comes with free course maps, so there is no additional fee or yearly subscription to think about.
Further, it would have been a lot more useful if the Approach S6 could also track your fitness. Imagine if there is some way for it to count the steps you made on the golf course and track how many calories you have burned. You do not have to wear your Fitbit while golfing!
The Garmin Approach S6 is a very capable device that allows you to keep track of different statistics and scores on the golf course. If you are the type of person who loves to practice and play, then you would love the training applications of the Approach S6, helping you improve your swing.
For some, the Approach S6 is a great assistive technology for their golf game, allowing them to see the hole even when it is hidden from view.
Also, the Approach S6 wins with its design. It is very obvious that Garmin spent a lot of time designing the device, and making it more functional. Unlike other golf GPS devices, you can also use the Approach S6 as a smartwatch. You do not only get to use it when you are golfing.
However, some people might be turned off by the hefty price tag. If this is the case, then you might want to consider the TomTom Golfer 2, which retails at around $260 and even doubles as an activity tracker. It provides accurate measurement and other golf-related functionality, but it is not as full-featured as the Garmin Approach S6.
If you think about it, however, the fact that there is no annual subscription fees to pay, the Approach S6 would be a better choice in the long run compared to other GPS golf devices. And compared to the TomTom Golfer 2, the Approach S6 has more features that you would enjoy.