Garmin Approach S1 GPS Golf Watch

The Garmin Approach S1 was the GPS golf watch that changed everything in golf GPS rangefinders. It became so popular and was rated so highly, that Garmin and all the other manufacturers jumped on the golf watch bandwagon. There are now more choices of golf watches than any other category of golf rangefinder.

Garmin Approach S1 Watch User Rating:
4.48 Stars 4.48 out of 5 (1285 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources including Amazon, GolfSmith and TGW.

There have been many innovations since the Garmin Approach S1 was released, but still there has never been a watch that has stood the test of time like this one. If you’re looking for a great value in a basic golf watch, the S1 is still a strong contender. There are no fancy hole layout views, no distances to hazards and there is no color on the screen… but it delivers 99% of what you would ever want to know in a super easy and convenient package.

You can’t go wrong with the Garmin S1, but if you haven’t made up your mind yet, you may want to take a look at our current list of Best Golf Watches.

Below you will find a summary of the hundreds of user comments we read in preparation for our review. The pros clearly far outweighed the cons!

Most Mentioned Pros (in order of mentions high to low):
  • Convenience
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate
  • Preloaded with over 14,000 golf courses
  • Comfortable
  • lightweight
  • No fees
  • Ability to measure your shot distance easily
  • Can be used as regular watch
  • auto course recognition
  • GPS odometer tells you how far you’ve walked
  • Easy to read
  • Good battery life
  • Lots of courses
  • Attractive looks
  • Automatically forwards to the next hole
  • Adjustable band
  • Speeds up play
  • Nice size
Most Mentioned Cons (in order of mentions high to low):
  • Takes some care to hook up to charger
  • No digital scorecard
Garmin Approach S1 Features and Specifications
Model Garmin Approach S1 Watch
Type GPS
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses Yes
Available Courses 14,000+
Battery Life 3 wks / 8 hrs GPS
Battery Li-ion
Height 2.7 in.
Width 1.8 in.
Depth .6 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size 1×1
Resolution 64×32 px
Display Type monochrome LCD
Weight 1.8 oz.
Rainproof Yes IPX7
Touch Screen No
Touch Targeting No
Manual Pin Positioning No
Stat Tracker No
Digital Scorecard No
Computer Analysis Tools No
Ground Verified No
Alternate Targets No
Aerial Hole View No
Green Rotates to your shot angle N/A
Add Courses Manually No
Compatibility N/A
USGA Compliant (local rule) Yes
Notes Available in Black & White, Time, Date, Waterproof IPX7 (30 min. immersed at a depth of 1 meter)

Garmin Approach S1 Watch


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We work very hard to obtain the correct information about product features, but cannot make any guarantees about the accuracy. Please double check with the merchant or manufacturer before making a purchase.

See our Comparison of Golf GPS Watches.