Garmin, the granddaddy of GPS technology, introduced their Approach S62 GPS watch at this year’s PGA Show.
Founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min H. Kao as ProNav, they introduced their first GPS device at the low, low price of $2,500! Soon, they rebranded to the portmanteau honoring the founders (Gary, Min) and their first customer was the U.S. Army. They’ve been a dominant player in the GPS space ever since, having found new directions to explore once smartphones took over the bulk of the highway navigation market. Golf has been one of the beneficiaries of that shift.
Their sports watch space serves much more than golf, with entries aimed at runners, various water activities, skiing, as well as cycling. They collect numerous metabolic and movement functions. The Approach S62 is the latest sports watch, specifically geared towards golf. It comes in black or white and is feature-packed for both on and off the course use. Water rated to 5 atmospheres and good-to-go for up to 14 days in smartwatch mode and 20 hours in GPS mode, you’ll have no fears of finishing 18 before running out of juice (no matter how slow play is).
With too many great functions to cover here, you should go to their site to get the full run-down. You definitely will want to wear this watch 24/7 to utilize all it has to offer, including pairing to your iOS or Android phone for still-in-your-pocket call management, Garmin Pay and — really cool — Find My Watch and Find My Phone functions.
On the course, the S62 does everything you’d want from a GPS smartwatch. The features go on forever:
- Color touch screen with clear daylight visibility
- Large 1.3” screen (260 x 260 pixel resolution) gives room to see and touch control functions easily
- Preloaded with over 41,000 courses worldwide
- Yardage to F—M—B of green
- Yardage to layups and doglegs
- Automatically measures shot distances anywhere on the course
- Digital scorecard
- Custom targets
- Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit)
- Garmin AutoShot™
- Full vector map
- Auto CourseView updates
- Green View with manual pin position
- Hazards and course targets
- PlaysLike distance (slope adjustment)
- Touch-targeting (touch target on display to see the distance to any point)
- Handicap scoring
- Tempo Training
- TruSwing™ compatible
- Round timer/odometer
- Wind speed and direction (requires a connection to the golf app)
- Virtual caddie
- Compatible with Garmin’s Approach® CT10 automatic club tracking system
This latest offering from Garmin seems promising as an advanced tool to take your course management to the next level. I haven’t worn a watch for about three decades, but after seeing all the Approach S62 does, that might change.
The S62 does so much; it, unfortunately, is too powerful to use in USGA sanctioned events without risk of penalty or DQ. Short of that, it seems like an invaluable asset for your game. Its price is right in the neighborhood of full-featured golf watches and seems to meet or beat the competition in functionality.
Launch: January 21, 2020
To find out more about Garmin’s Approach S62 and their full line of golf equipment, visit garmin.com.
I’m a retired Boomer and lifetime golfer. I never got particularly good but have always loved the game. I’ll be an occasional contributor of mostly ‘adjacent’ content. I make observations about life from the perspective of the rear-view mirror. A voice of experience more than of expertise. Decidedly the junior staff. More color commentary than product expert. I’m amazed how far the game has come while still being essentially unchanged in a hundred years: a vehicle for challenging yourself to excel, improve and practice honorable behavior. In other words, build character. Brian’s dad — Donald Burt.