The Garmin Approach S2 Review: All You Need to Know to Choose Wisely

By | July 26, 2018

Last Updated on

Are you thinking of getting a GPS watch for golfers? The Garmin Approach S2 is worth considering as it can easily improve your game. You only have to select from a list of golf courses near you, choose the one you are in, and the Garmin Approach S2 will be able to locate it, what hole you are in, the par, and your exact location on the course. After that, the Approach S2 will also be able to display the front, middle and back distances, and these can help you figure out which golf club to use for your next shot.

That is just one way the Garmin Approach S2 can help you improve your game. What other features does the Garmin Approach S2 have?

  • Great style. The Approach S2 has a flexible look that allows you to wear it on and off the golf course. If you like an understated style, you can get the black Approach S2. But you can get other colors if you want a flashier look.
  • At least 40,000 golf courses. The Garmin Approach S2 has details to more than 40,000 golf courses already preloaded in to the watch itself. This just keeps on getting better because you get lifetime updates for free. There are four updates available every year.
  • Digital scorecards. You can enter the scores into the Garmin Approach S2, making it very convenient to keep score. You do not have to worry about scorecards, pens, or pencils.
  • Long battery life. The problem with GPS watches is that turning on the GPS would deplete the battery of your watch at a much faster rate. Because you are probably playing the whole day, this is a very important consideration. The good news is that the Garmin Approach S2 is designed to last around 36 holes, or just enough for a long day of golf. If you are out of the golf course, the watch can go for around three weeks before needing to be recharged.

What Is Garmin Approach S2?

The Garmin Approach S20 device is a golf GPS and watch that has a slick design. It is popular due to its lightweight, comfortable, durable, and flexible characteristics, not to mention that we’re talking about a water-resistant gadget.

With the help of Garmin S2, you will be able to measure course distance between golf holes so that you know exactly what club is right for your next move. This sporty golf wearable makes a pretty good first impression but, stick around to find more about the things it has to offer.

Garmin Approach S2’s Features and Functionalities

Technology

The most recent Garmin Approach model is the x40 golf GPS watch. Therefore, I think is it safe to say that the Approach S2 is not truly something you would call “new technology.” Still, it is both a more affordable and smart option to many of the other similar but expensive watches on the market. It is almost impossible not to find the golf course you’re playing on because Garmin S2 covers more than 40,000 locations across the globe.

The device also has a built-in digital scorecard where you can easily enter your golf scores without losing a lot of time doing that. Users can benefit from the gadget’s high-sensitivity GPS receiver that improves tracking under trees.

Battery Life

It has a long battery life (up to 8 whole hours if you use it on the GPS mode or 3 weeks if you use the device on watch mode). Out there, on the golf course, it will last you for about 36 consecutive holes. In other words, Garmin S2 has a battery lifespan that will keep the gadget going an entire day spent on the golf course.

Hazard Yardage

Despite the fact that the Garmin Approach S2 watch doesn’t offer yardage over ponds or in bunkers, it is still a pretty decent product. On the other hand, I must say that, when it comes to the width of the distances it measures, this watch is a tad limited. Overall, the S2 GPS tracker and golf watch remains a good choice which offers tremendous values for its money. Otherwise, if you aren’t afraid to invest and you can afford a more expensive alternative, you should check out the brand’s newer version, the Approach S6.

Coverage

This Garmin golf watch has over 40,000 preloaded courses all over the globe. Moreover, users can update these settings on Garmin Express and create full coverage without paying a dime. However, the golfing industry is growing quite rapidly, and there are plenty of new golf courses that appear each year. This means that the watch’s limited memory allows updates performed on only 2 preloaded maps. Luckily, the regions you choose to include on the device can be changed or replaced later on.

Watch Screen

The device comes with a monochrome LCD screen that measures one inch and has 64×32 pixels. You will receive front-middle-back yardage, a digital scorecard to keep track of your score, and yardage to both the dogleg and the layup position. Moreover, the scorecard will enable you to upload your golf game rounds to your computer later on.

Style

Garmin Approach S2 is a highly versatile GPS gadget that users can wear on the golf course, to work, or any other time, casually. The Garmin S2 black version is neither flashy nor clunky. All in all, it has a nice and decent style that people will easily notice. On the other hand, if you want more flash, you should opt for other colors such as blue or purple.

Build

The Garmin Approach S2 weighs only 52 grams. In other words, this model is fairly light compared to the following version (Approach S3) which weighs 59 grams. So, the S2 isn’t a bulky device, and it won’t disturb your golf swing.

The watch’s waterproof characteristic gives a great advantage. This particular feature will allow users to go on the golf course even on a rainy day or retriever the ball from a pond.

Garmin Approach S2 Review – Pros and Cons

Advantages

  • Garmin S2 is easy to use and set up. All you have to do in the beginning is making sure the device is completely charged. Considering that all golf courses are already uploaded, you will be able to start using the gadget right away
  • No matter where you will play from, you will find that specific golf course on this watch due to Garmin’s excellent coverage
  • It has a modern design that feels comfortable on your wrist
  • Due to its fabric, this watch is lightweight yet sturdy
  • It helps you get better at golf, and it provides accurate information.

Disadvantages

  • This Garmin watch costs more than many other similar products, but it also offers great value
  • There’s no online portal where users can find additional information or guidelines regarding this device, other than the brand’s website, where there are a few essential details
  • Once in a while, users must adjust this device manually if they want it to show the correct hole in a proper manner
  • Doesn’t provide yardages to lakes and bunkers

How Much Does This Gadget Cost?

You can buy the Garmin Approach S2 watch on either Amazon or the company’s official website.

On Amazon

Depending on the colors, design, and seller, the price of this device ranges between $279.99 and $337.69. You can also opt for a used one that is fairly less expensive, costing $195.97.

On Garmin’s Official Website

The Approach S2 watch is more affordable if you purchase it from the company’s website. One piece costs $179.99 (Check out the latest rates here!), and the shipping is free all over the United States.

Is Garmin Approach S2 the Best Choice for You?

While it’s true that this gadget is a bit on the pricey side, it also provides plenty of useful and hands-on functionalities. Having a good and accurate GPS that can also transform your golf game into a more predictable activity is far more important than other aspects such as state-of-the-art touch screens or fancy layouts. If you have already tried other similar products, but you weren’t satisfied or if you’re new at golfing, this watch is definitely a good choice for you.

Garmin Approach S2 Review – Main Benefits of Using This Golf Watch

  • This Garmin gadget will support your game, and it will  improve your overall performance because it will enable you to analyze and measure your golf scores in a much more accurate manner in order to figure out the aspects you need to work on
  • This device can be used anytime and anywhere you are, on all golf courses, all around the world. So, either you’re playing on the neighborhood golf course or at a luxury holiday resort, Garmin Approach S2 will come in handy
  • The Garmin S2 watch helps golfers track their progress in a more effective and time-saving way.

What’s in the Box?

For the black/red, blue/black, white/gray, and purple/white versions, the package comes with the following items:

  • The S2 watch
  • A user’s manual
  • One data clip that works for charging

If you purchase the black and green option, you will receive the following things:

  • The Approach S2 watch
  • Data/charging clip
  • A user’s manual
  • An additional watch wristband (comes in green)
  • Tools and pins

Garmin Approach S2’s Accessories

Apps – there’s the Garmin Golf™ free app that’s available for download on both Google Play and Apple App Store;
Bands – an additional watch band is sold for $19.99, and you can choose from 4 available colors: white, black, blue, and orange;
Adapters – the USB vehicle charging adapter costs $28;
Cables and chargers – an additional data/charging clip can be bought for the price of $19.99;
Cases and covers – a black carrying case has a price of $19.99;
Cycling accessories – the bicycle mount kit is $14.99.

Alternatives to the Garmin Approach S2

It has been two years since Garmin came out with the Approach S2 and there are now several other GPS golf smartwatches in the market that do things better or that have a more modern look.

Hole 19 mobile app

First of all, there is an Android Wear and Apple Watch app that you can download that will convert your current smartwatch into a golf watch. The Hole 19 is free to download and use, and it helps you leave your other golf GPS devices at home.

The good news is that the Hole 19 offers much of the features and functionalities that you want in a GPS golf watch and dedicated golf trackers. The interface is understandably smaller, but it is as easy to use as dedicated trackers. The app uses the GPS found on your current smartwatch to measure distances. Hole 19 has a digital scorecard and a flyover view of the holes, and it also allows you to book a course for your next golf game.

The only problem is that you would need to have a smartwatch with GPS to download and use Hole 19, and then have your smartphone handy for the hole maps. It also does not have automatic shot tracking.

In this instance, you might still want to buy the Garmin Approach S2 for the pre-loaded maps and the convenience of being able to leave your smartphone at home.

Other golf GPS smartwatches

If you are really looking into buying a GPS golf watch, you can choose the Garmin Approach S2, or any one of these great alternatives.

1. Callaway GPSy Sports Watch

Callaway is a known designer and manufacturer of sporting goods, including golf accessories and equipment. Is it any wonder that they threw their hats into the GPS golf wearable space?

Callaway GPSy Sports watch sells for around $140 on Amazon and this watch has a good battery that can last up to 12 hours with the GPS turned on. Check the latest price here!

Available in black or white, the Callaway GPSy Sports Watch tracks your movement as you play. It has pre-loaded maps for 30,000 courses. You have green lay-up and carry distances information, as well as information on dog-legs and hazards. This GPS watch will also score your games automatically and even track the number of steps you make.

2. Bushnell Excel GPS

If you are looking for a GPS golf watch that you would want to wear even after the tee time, then you should get the Bushnell Excel GPS. The stylish design on this watch is sure to turn heads. But that is not its only draw: the GPS is really accurate!

It helps you with shot measurements and distances, and informs you about the different hazards that you will see when you play.

The user interface on this smartwatch has received mixed reactions. There are people who love the buttons that allow you to control your smartwatch, giving you a throwback feeling. Meanwhile, others would have preferred a touch display.

The good news is that you can play three rounds of golf before you would need to charge the watch. The bad news is that some of the features that it offers, such as the Swing Pro, may disappoint you as they need to be improved.

3. TomTom Golfer 2

The TomTom Golfer 2 comes in two colors: black and light gray. It costs around $160 on Amazon. Check the latest price here!

The TomTom Golfer 2 has automatic shot detection that allows you to score your games without having to use a pen or pencil. But what should make you take notice of the TomTom Golfer 2 is the Mysports app, which analyzes your golf game and gives you insights that you could use to improve your game. The app can help you review shot patterns, along with comparing a hole with other holes in other courses. The TomTom Golfer 2, in short, makes it easier for you to track your game both on and out of the course.

4. GolfBuddy BB5

Another great-looking GPS golf watch that you can buy is the GolfBuddy BB5. This sleek-looking watch would be a welcome addition to your wrist. Unlike most of the watches we have recommended so far, you have more color choices with the GolfBuddy BB5: black, teal, white, lime, pink, navy, and orange.

The GolfBuddy BB5, however, has a basic screen. But it has all the features you would like. It can automatically advance from one hole to another and automatically show you the distances you need to know.

There are more than 37,000 courses that are already pre-loaded into the GolfBuddy BB5. Aside from the GPS, it also has an accelerometer to measure the shots that you take. It can also do double duty as an activity tracker.

5. Garmin Approach X40

Of course, Garmin also has the Approach X40, which also does double duty as an activity tracker with a heart rate sensor. It comes in a variety of colors, including limelight, white, black, and frost blue. With 10 hours of battery life with the GPS turned on, this is a very accurate device that boasts more than 40,000 golf courses already pre-loaded.

The Garmin Approach X40 will also track your iron shots and drives automatically, so that you could see how you performed over time.

Remember, on top of keeping track of your golf game, the Garmin Approach X40 can also keep track of the number of steps you have made, the distance you have moved, and the number of calories you have burned.

Final say

The Garmin Approach S2 might not give you every detail of a golf course where you are playing in, but it is a very affordable GPS golf watch that is just perfect for practicing golfers. You can buy it for $199.99 new on Amazon. Check out the latest price here!

There are some alternatives that you can choose from, but Garmin Approach S2 remains to be a budget-friendly GPS golf watch that can help you improve your game. If this is your first time to buy a golf smartwatch, then you cannot go wrong with the Approach S2.

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