Garmin Approach S62 review: the best golf watch goes the course

Is the Garmin Approach S62 all it's cracked up to be? The short answer is… Yes!

T3 Platinum Award
Garmin Approach S62
(Image credit: Garmin)
T3 Verdict

Garmin Approach S62 is arguably the best golf watch you can get. It mixes a premium build with strong smartwatch features but most importantly, it will help make you a better golfer

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Excellent golfing features

  • +

    Well made and quite stylish

  • +

    Also a good every-day smartwatch

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    You can get similar golfing functionality cheaper

The Garmin Approach S62 is probably the best golf watch you can get. Hopefully that hasn't spoiled the rest of the review for you but I thought I'd best get it out there straight away.

Having tested out the luxury Garmin MARQ Golfer last year, I did wonder if switching to the Garmin Approach S62 would have an air of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ about it. The S62 is Garmin's number one watch for golf but the MARQ was so much more than just a piece of kit to help me get around the golf course.

I had grown to love that MARQ like it was a close family member and it was a sad day when the courier came to collect and return it to Garmin HQ. Thankfully that courier didn’t arrive empty handed, delivering an Approach S62 to soften the blow. 

While the S62 lacks the wow factor you get with the MARQ, in terms of functionality on the golf course it certainly did not disappoint. In fact – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – a case can be made that it’s even better due to it having a touchscreen. It is also among the best smartwatches you can buy, due to a raft of non-golfing features, but of course, the golfing features are what I'll mainly be ranking this on…

Garmin Approach S62: Features and interface 

Garmin Approach S62

(Image credit: Future)

The S62 is Garmin’s flagship golf watch and represents a fairly significant upgrade on its highly popular predecessor, the S60. It has a larger screen, vastly increased battery life plus a whole host of other cool features that greatly enhance your golfing experience.

The S62 is more than just a golf watch though as it provides all sorts of other health and fitness features too. From a basic step counter to the more advanced heart rate monitor and Pulse Ox which measures blood oxygen saturation levels, the S62 has you covered.

Other useful features include Garmin Pay, Smart Notifications and Sport Tracking which means you can use this for other activities such as running, swimming and cycling. 

Garmin Approach S62: Performance (on the course)

One click of a button will bring up the golf menu and the built in GPS then quickly determines your location and loads up the course details. Garmin products come with over 41,000 courses preloaded so wherever you are playing, it will almost certainly know.

The first decision you need to make is whether or not to keep score. If you choose not to then the watch acts as a GPS and provides yardages. If you do keep score you can either sync with the app on your smartphone during play or wait until afterwards. If you are keeping score but change your mind mid-round you can simply end the round and discard the data, leaving no evidence of your shame. We’ve all been there!

Enabling the shot tracking option allows you to tell the device which club you used for a particular shot. This is a cool feature because it will send this data back to your online Garmin account and after five rounds you will then be able to access Virtual Caddie. More on that shortly.

If shot tracking is not enabled you can just record your score without entering your club selections. We would advise taking advantage of the shot tracking option, however, as it opens up a whole range of new features and detailed analysis which is accessible through your Garmin account.

The way it works is simple. You hit your tee shot and the S62 will ask you which club you used. Make your selection and then walk to your ball to prepare for your next shot. The watch displays how far your shot has travelled and will inform you of the remaining yardage to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as providing detailed information on any hazards that may be lying in wait. 

Upon hitting your next stroke the watch will record the distance of your previous shot. When you’ve finished the hole you enter your score, how many putts you needed, whether you had any penalty strokes and if you hit the fairway or missed left or right. Entering these details couldn’t be simpler. 

Perhaps the biggest advantage with touchscreen is the ability to drag the pointer to any location on the hole display to see the yardage. This is helpful in situations where you’re looking to lay up and need to know which iron to use to leave you with your preferred distance in to the green. This feature is also invaluable when you can’t see the green and may be hitting a blind shot in over trees for example.

When the watch is paired with your smartphone it will take into account wind conditions when suggesting a club. There’s even a ‘Plays Like’ feature which factors in slope and elevation. Impressive, right?

All of the data recorded during the round will be sent to your Garmin account whenever you sync the watch with your smartphone. This is great for keeping tabs on how your game is progressing and discovering which areas you need to improve. The best part is that this is all free.

Enabling the shot tracking option allows you to tell the device which club you used for a particular shot. This is a cool feature because it will send this data back to your online Garmin account and after five rounds you will then be able to access Virtual Caddie. More on that shortly

If shot tracking is not enabled you can just record your score without entering your club selections. We would advise taking advantage of the shot tracking option, however, as it opens up a whole range of new features and detailed analysis which is accessible through your Garmin account.

The way it works is simple. You hit your tee shot and the S62 will ask you which club you used. Make your selection and then walk to your ball to prepare for your next shot. The watch displays how far your shot has travelled and will inform you of the remaining yardage to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as providing detailed information on any hazards that may be lying in wait. 

Upon hitting your next stroke the watch will record the distance of your previous shot. When you’ve finished the hole you enter your score, how many putts you needed, whether you had any penalty strokes and if you hit the fairway or missed left or right. Entering these details couldn’t be simpler. 

Perhaps the biggest advantage with touchscreen is the ability to drag the pointer to any location on the hole display to see the yardage. This is helpful in situations where you’re looking to lay up and need to know which iron to use to leave you with your preferred distance in to the green. This feature is also invaluable when you can’t see the green and may be hitting a blind shot in over trees for example.

When the watch is paired with your smartphone it will take into account wind conditions when suggesting a club. There’s even a ‘Plays Like’ feature which factors in slope and elevation. Impressive, right?

All of the data recorded during the round will be sent to your Garmin account whenever you sync the watch with your smartphone. This is great for keeping tabs on how your game is progressing and discovering which areas you need to improve. The best part is that this is all free.

Everything is there in great detail. Saved scorecards, your average distances with each club, even cool little graphics showing your longest drive. You don’t even need the watch to benefit from the Garmin golf account as you can record your scores on your phone as you play via the free Garmin golf app. Combining it with the watch, however, makes it much more effective and fun.

Pro Tip 1: For more accurate yardages you can use the touchscreen to drag the flag around the green to better reflect the pin position.

Pro Tip 2: Virtual Caddie will recommend which club to use based on the data recorded over previous rounds. To ensure maximum accuracy avoid entering your club selection after poor strikes, chip outs from trees or shots played with a strong head or tail wind, as these will skew the overall averages.

Garmin S62: Build quality and design

Garmin Approach S62

(Image credit: Garmin)

The S62 is a definite upgrade on previous Garmin golf watches, with a premium build featuring a ceramic bezel, increased screen size and higher resolution. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens is scratch-proof and the watch is water resistant up to 5 ATM.

The quick release strap makes it easy to remove and change the strap for various other coloured designs which are available to buy separately from Garmin. The S62 also has customisable watch faces that can be downloaded from the Garmin Connect IQ store.

The battery life is impressive and you can get 20 hours playing time per full charge, and a whopping 14 days if the GPS is not switched on.

Garmin S62 Review: Verdict

As far as golf watches go, the Garmin Approach S62 is certainly at the more expensive end of the market. You can get a cheaper watch that will get you around the course just fine and do most of the things you need it to do, but the S62 goes that extra mile and does things you didn’t realise you needed until it showed you.  

You also have the extensive smartwatch functions which are a cool extra that many golf watches do not provide. Even if you're not that into the health and fitness aspects of it some of the basic features like the step counter and pulse monitor are certainly useful, as are the notifications and Garmin Pay.

The Approach S60 (the predecessor to the S62) is an excellent cheaper alternative and offers many (but not all) of the on course functions you get with the S62. If the S62 is a little out of your budget then the S60 is a fine option in its own right and if you already have the S60 then you probably won't need to upgrade. 

For anyone in the market for a new golf watch though I would recommend paying the extra and going with the S62 if your budget allows it. The Virtual Caddie feature alone is worth the extra cost. 

The Garmin Approach S62 is as good as any golf watch out there and although it is not cheap, based on my experience of testing it I'd say it is worth every penny. If you invest in one you will not be disappointed.