Garmin Approach S6 Watch

Garmin Approach S6 Golf Watch


I have reviewed several GPS watches from different companies, this will be my first review of a Garmin product. The watch I am going to review for you is the Approach S6 GPS Watch. Garmin is an industry leader in GPS devices so I was really excited to give the watch a try. Garmin makes products that are engineered on the inside for life on the outside. They do this, so there customers can make the most of the time they spend pursuing their passions.


The Garmin Approach S6 Watch uses First-of-its Kind GPS Technology, the S6 is also Garmin’s Slimmest, Lightest Golf Watch. Featuring swing metrics: SwingTempo, TempoTraining and SwingStrength™

A dedicated CourseView button with Green View for manual pin positioning. PinPointer blind shot assistance lets you know where the pin is, even if you can’t see it.

It has a Touchscreen, with a high-resolution, glove-friendly if you happen to wear the watch on your opposing hand. The watch comes pre-loaded with precise distances for more than 40,000 golf courses around the world; there are no subscriptions or fees required.

The battery life is up to 10 hours in GPS mode; up to 20 weeks in watch mode. The Approach S6 is a slim, lightweight, feature-packed hi-resolution color touchscreen GPS golf watch with first-of-its-kind swing metrics.

Swing Metrics

You can use the S6 to train your swing with swing metrics, featuring SwingTempo and TempoTraining. SwingTempo measures the relationship between upswing and downswing and expresses it as a ratio. In studies of successful golf swings, an ideal ratio of 3:1 has emerged, even with individual variations of speed. TempoTraining uses the 3:1 ratio and gives you audible tones to synchronize your swing mechanics and fine-tune swing tempo. Which makes S6 as valuable on the driving range as it is on the course. I suggest that you use this feature when you are practicing or on the range as it requires more interaction with the watch and to do that during a normal round would be a distraction to other golfers.

Garmin Approach S6 Watch

Full Color Course Maps

The S6 features full-color course views for more than 40,000 golf courses around the world and a dedicated CourseView button to get you to the second shot view quickly. Preview doglegs, traps, water hazards and pin positioning from wherever you are on the course, or clubhouse. This feature works well even with a smallish display. It would come in really handy on a course that you are not familiar with.

Garmin Approach S6 Watch


The PinPointer blind shot assistance feature — previously only available in their top-of-the-line handhelds — gives you a directional arrow to the green. Now you can know where to line up your shot, even if you are in the woods or deep in a trap. So if you happen to go on a deep woods adventure or just lose your way you can quickly find a distance and direction back to the green.

Touch and Move the Pin

The Green View feature shows you the true shape and layout of the green even if you are behind it. Use the color touchscreen to manually drag-and-drop the pin to the day’s location. As you move the pin, your distance-to-the-pin numbers will change respectively. This is especially helpful on par 3’s where you’ll be able to dial in the distance you need to fire away with confidence. If you happen to play a course where they provide you with a pin sheet you can add those positions while you wait in the fairway.

Garmin Approach S6 Watch

Instant, Simple and Precise

The S6 is rugged and water rated to 5 ATM (50 meters), it displays yardages to the front,middle and back of greens on a high-resolution, glove-friendly color touchscreen. And, it lets you manually position pins, get distances to doglegs and layups, customize yardage points (mark traps and hazards) and print digital scorecards for Stroke play and Stableford.

Smartphone Notifications

If you are the golfer that is always checking your phone for messages and notifications you will never miss another text, email or alert just because your smartphone is stored away safely in your bag. The S6 acts as a wireless extension of your Android™ smartphone, iPad® or iPhone® 4s or later, displaying whatever your device does, right on your watch. Now you can read that email or text you’ve been waiting for, via Bluetooth®, even in the middle of the fairway, as long as it doesn’t slow down play!

Longer Life Battery

The S6 features more battery life for longer play or more rounds. Easily get in a weekend of GPS golf with up to 10 hours in full GPS and up to 20 weeks, depending on mode, before the lithium-ion battery needs to be recharged. If you use the Bluetooth feature to keep track of your phone messages this will draw down your battery quicker. I always recharge my watch after every use to to make sure I start the round with a full charge.

Preloaded Courses and Free Updates

The S6 is their lightest, thinnest golf watch, but they have preloaded it with more than 40,000 golf courses from around the world — without any extra fees or paid subscriptions requires. In addition, you’ll be able to download free course updates whenever they become available. I suggest loading up the course a couple of minutes before you are ready to tee off to save any possible delay on the first tee.

Garmin Approach S6 Watch

Customize Distances

The S6 gives you distances to the front, back and center of the green, as well as distances to doglegs. It also allows you to input and save customizable yardage points — such as water hazards or bunkers — from anywhere on the course.

Garmin Approach S6 Watch

Keep Handicaps, Scores and Measure Shots

The S6 has handicap scoring options for individual holes, player’s local handicap or index/slope method. Scoring options include Stroke play and Stableford, and you can save, review, share and print scorecards from your computer. Plus, when you hit a big one you can see how far it went with the Measure Shot feature.

Garmin Connect™ Golf

Garmin Connect is the online golf community that lets you play, then share and compare. Download your round and compare it to your last round, track improvements to your handicap for every course you play. Garmin Connect Golf can even assemble your ideal round combining your best score for each hole to get your ideal 18 for that course.

An Everyday Watch With Style

The S6 even tells you the time imagine that. The S6 also features an odometer to see how far you walk. A round timer also is included to keep track of how long it takes you to play 18 holes. With the yardage distances at your ready you find your round times dropping.

Overview of the watch specifications:

  • Lens Material glass
  • Strap material TPU
  • Physical size 45 x 45 x 14.2 mm
  • Weight 1.6 oz (46.6 g)
  • Water rating 5 ATM
  • Battery type rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Touchscreen Display type sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
  • Display size 1.0″ (25.4 mm) diameter
  • Display resolution 180 x 180 pixels Color display
  • Battery life Watch mode: Up to 20 weeks
    GPS mode: Up to 10 hours
  • Memory/history 512 MB
  • Clock Features,Time/date, GPS Time SyncG, Automatic daylight savings Alarm clock, Sensors: GPS, Compass, Gyroscope, Accelerometer
  • Daily Smart Features, Connectivity Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+®, Smart notifications, Smartphone compatibility iPhone®, Android™, Windows®
    Compatible with Garmin Connect™ Mobile, Training, Planning and Analysis Features, Touch and/or button lock

Golfing Features

  • Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green)
  • Yardage to layups/doglegs
  • Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course)
  • Digital scorecard
  • Custom targets
  • Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit and average shot distance)
  • Full vector map
  • Green View with manual pin position
  • Hazards and course targets
  • PinPointer
  • Touch-targeting (touch target on display to see the distance to any point)
  • Handicap scoring
  • SwingTempo
  • Tempo Training
  • TruSwing™ compatible
  • Round timer/odometer
  • Green View


The S6 watch by Garmin is very lightweight and isn’t much larger than most regular sport watches on the market today. The watch is jammed packed with features and options, much more than your standard GPS watch. I suggest learning a little more about each of these features as you use the device on every round of golf. Don’t try to do everything the first time out with it, you will have a hard time keeping up with the pace of play. It does get easier and quicker the more you use that device. The charger and USB cord work great and is very easy to connect to each other. Some other watches I have tried have been a little less simple.


There aren’t many things I can think about that fall short with the S6 watch. The size of the wrist strap is smallish in size in my opinion. I don’t think I have overly large wrist but I was down to the last couple of holes on the strap. I checked with Garmin and it is one size fits most with the strap so make sure you try it on beforehand if you think it would be an issue. The S6 is one of the more expensive GPS watches on the market, but it’s more than just a Front, Middle, Back measuring device. If you are only looking for simple yardages and aren’t going to use all the features it provides you, you might be better off looking for a simpler less expensive model. There was several instances during my round that I found the watch had advanced to the next hole for some reason, it wasn’t a big deal to back it up to the current hole. When you have fairways running side by side this might happen.

I have really enjoyed using the Garmin Approach S6 watch this spring out on the golf course. If you are in the market for a GPS watch this golf season, please take a look at Garmin and all of their different offerings over at their website.

Contributing Writer
Michael Hallee

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