Garmin Approach golf watch users just got a great free upgrade

You can now see more than you ever could before about that innocent-looking green up ahead

Garmin Green Contour data
(Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Approach golf products include smartwatches, launch monitors, handheld GPS devices and laser range finders. Now, a cool software upgrade makes some of the best Garmin Approach products – and the Garmin Golf app, if you're a signed-up member – even more essential. Prepare yourself for Green Contour data.

Green Contour data is compatible with the Garmin Approach S62 and Approach S60 watches, plus the Approach G80 handheld, Approach Z82 laser range finder and Approach R10 launch monitor – this Includes the Home Tee Hero golf simulator with Garmin Golf membership.

So, what is Green Contour data? As the name suggests, it means you now see not just the green but its slope direction – or directions, in many cases. This allows golfers, 'to setup the ultimate approach shot to sink their putt,' Garmin says. The data presented on-screen can be configured to show the high and low sections of the green or slope percentages and directional arrows.

As you can see, the 'heat map' approach that Garmin has taken to presenting this data makes the average green look both easier to read, and yet really rather terrifying. Although the watches are probably the most popular Garmin Approach golf products, it looks very much like the Approach G80 might be the hero product for Green Contour, thanks to its much bigger screen. Or you could, of course, just use your phone, which probably has an even better screen.

Garmin Green Contour data

(Image credit: Garmin)

Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales, explains all: “Golfers no longer have to second guess their approach shots thanks to Green Contour data. Whether it’s a complicated uphill shot or a course with fall-offs in the green, you can now use your Garmin Approach or the Garmin Golf app to analyse Green Contour data and put yourself in the best position to overcome challenging courses.” 

Our resident golf expert Dave Usher is excited about this update: "I use both the Garmin Approach S62 watch and the Z82 range finder and between them they do almost everything a caddie does except read greens and carry the bag. Now you're telling me they can read greens too. Maybe Garmin's next update will see their devices turn into a trolley! Seriously though, this should help a great deal on approach shots and chipping. I'm not expecting it to work miracles on shorter putts as it's impossible to identify every little break and borrow, but Green Contour Data is a welcome addition to what is already a fantastic range of products."

You will have to be a subscriber or member to gain access to this holy grail of golfing data. You can sign up via the Garmin Golf app, and see the curves of the green on your phone, in-app, or on the devices we listed up top. Membership costs £8.99/$9.99/AU$14.49 per month or £89.99/$99.99/AU$149.99 per year and you can have a free trial for 30 days to test the waters.

Currently, over 17,000 courses worldwide offer Green Contour data – over 1,400 in the UK alone. Garmin assures us that more courses will be added in the near future. You can check which courses are supported already by using Garmin’s online golf course locator

Garmin Golf members with an Approach R10 also gain access to the 'entertaining' Home Tee Hero golf simulator as a bonus.   

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."

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