Garmin Approach R10 is a golf launch monitor. Use it in conjunction with Garmin’s golf apps and you have a sort of Zwift for club swingers. Because as long as you've got the space to swing a club, you can use it to play on 42,000 courses worldwide, with the Approach R10 tracking and logging your every shot as you make your virtual way through a round of golf. Yes, they used to say that golf was a 'good walk spoiled'… but now you don't even need to walk to get a round in.
Lightweight, portable and affordable – at least by the standards of golf launch monitors to date – the R10 will also help you improve your game by analysing your swing with an unforgiving eye. Our resident golf expert Dave Usher can't wait to try it.
"The Garmin Approach R10 looks like a golf nerd’s dream," Dave says. "You can go to the range or even use a net at home if you have one, hit a load of shots with different clubs and they will all be recorded by this device, meaning you can analyse everything, and I mean everything, afterwards.
"Not only is this going to give you specific yardages for each club in the bag, it’s also going to show you things like club head speed, ball spin, shot dispersion, launch angle and various other invaluable stats to show your strengths and weaknesses. There’s even a video option so you can analyse each swing you made.
"For the more casual golfer there are fun games to play and the ability to experience virtually any golf course in the world, er, virtually. This reminds me of the time when I came 600th at the US Open (virtually) at a Toptracer event – the R10 is a scaled down version of that tech, which you can take just about anywhere.
"Usually you would pay through the nose for a device with all of these features, but the Approach R10 is a real game changer because it comes in at only slightly more than the cost of a decent new driver."
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The approach R10 shows more than a dozen key metrics shown in real time, including club head speed, ball speed, swing tempo, ball spin and launch angle. The magic really starts when you pair it with the Garmin Golf app for Android or iOS, however. Now, you can access Training Mode to pull your swing apart and – hopefully – improve it.
While the basics are free, needless to say if you want the full benefit of the Garmin Approach R10, it will soon be time to 'Go Premium'. For a monthly subscription you get full access to the Home Tee Hero golf simulator. This lets you blast your way around no fewer than 42,000 golf courses worldwide. Here’s the official pricing and features, hand pasted from a Garmin email by my own fair hand.
Upload scorecards from a compatible device
Review shot history from a compatible device
Review performance stats
Participate in weekly leaderboards
Save driving range sessions from a compatible device
30-day Garmin Golf membership trial3
All included features
Home Tee Hero virtual rounds on 42,000+ courses
Store video clips of your shots in the cloud
Subscription is only available for Approach R10 customers
Garmin suggests this could be as a test run before visiting the real-world versions of the courses available. More excitingly, Premium members also gain access to weekly tournaments, with a new course to blast and hack your way around chosen every week.
Garmin also says the Approach R10 'provides direct compatibility with the E6 CONNECT library of content with photorealistic courses that can be played at any time to enhance the overall golfing experience,' whatever that may mean.
Last but not least, Garmin has thrown in, at no additional cost, a 'versatile phone mount'. You attach this to your golf bag or place it on the ground, so the R10 can get a better view of your swing.
Garmin Approach R10: battery life, price and availability
Here are the key stats, then: the R10 will go for up to 10 hours per charge.
Garmin Approach R10 costs £529.99, $599.99 or AU$870. It's theoretically available now, although Garmin's website currently states there is an 8-week wait for delivery.