Garmin Approach G12 Review

'Garmin Approach G12'

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Check out our Garmin Approach G12 Review.

Garmin Approach G12 User Rating: 4.48 Stars 4.48 out of 5 (95 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.

There are two features of the Garmin Approach G12 that set it apart from other handheld and clip-on golf GPS devices.

The most impressive feature is the battery life – up to 30 hours! That is double the life of Garmin Approach G10 and most other golf GPS products. It means you can go on a golf getaway and not even need to worry about taking the charger. If you’ve ever had your GPS run out of juice midway through a round or forgotten to take your charging cable on your weekend golf trip, the G12 is the golf GPS for you!

The second feature that makes the Garmin G12 different is that it is compatible with Garmin’s CT10 Club Tracking Sensors. Up to now, only Garmin golf watches were compatible with the sensors. Tracking the distance of every club in your bag may only be for the golf geeks among us, but there’s no doubt the information gained can help you improve your game. Golf watches are not for everyone, so we’re happy to see Garmin add this functionality to the G12.

If you can trust yourself to remember to charge your golf GPS after you play and you’re not interested in the CT10 golf club tracking, you can probably get a unit with similar functionality for less money. Check out our current list of the top budget golf GPS models.

Garmin Approach G12 Noteworthy Features
  • Battery Life – up to 30 hours on a single charge
  • Club Tracking – paired with Approach® CT10 club trackers, you’ll be amazed at how accurately this thing tracks your shots.
  • Accuracy – distances to the front, back, and middle of the green, plus hazards and doglegs
  • Green View – gives you each green’s true shape from wherever you are on the course. It allows you to drag-and-drop the pin for greater accuracy
  • 42,000+ courses worldwide
  • Clip and lanyard loop included
  • Waterproof – IPX7 water-rated so you can play in the pouring rain!
  • Big Numbers Mode – this probably isn’t the unit for you if you struggle to see text on small screens. Check out our recommendations for Easy-to-Read Golf GPS Models./li>
  • Wireless Updates – when paired with the Garmin Golf app, wirelessly download updates for the courses you play most often
  • Garmin Golf™ App – pair with the Garmin Golf app on your compatible smartphone for strokes gained analysis, to participate in leaderboards and tournaments, and to gain more data about your game
Garmin Approch G12 Specifications
Garmin Approach G12
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses Yes
Full Hole Views Yes
Slope / Elevation N/A
Battery Life 30 hrs
Battery Rechargeable Lithium Ion
Size (Width x Height x Depth) 2.0 in. x 1.8 in. x .5 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size .9 x .9
Resolution 176 x 176
Display Type high-res monochrome
Weight .9 oz.
Rainproof Yes, IPX7
Touch Screen No
Touch Targeting No
Manual Pin Positioning Yes
Stat Tracker Yes
Digital Scorecard Yes
Computer Analysis Tools Yes
Ground Verified N/A
Alternate Targets Yes
Green Rotates to your shot angle Yes
USGA Compliant (local rule) Yes
Notes Pairs with the Garmin Approach CT10 Golf Club Trackers to provide automatic shot distance tracking for each club.
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User Manual for Garmin Approach G12

Garmin Approach S10 Review

'Garmin Approach S10'

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Our full Garmin Approach S10 Review will be available soon, but for now, check it out!

We are thrilled that Garmin finally has a new basic golf watch. We think this will be the best-selling golf watch on the market for awhile to come.

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Why? Because it does everything most golfers want in a golf watch and it’s lightweight and compact. On the main screen, you will see distances to the front, middle, and back of the green, plus the hole number and par. The shape of the green is also right there on the same screen. If you need hazard information, it’s one screen away. Many golfers won’t ever touch the watch after starting a round. A simple glance will tell them what they need to know. [Read more…]

Best Garmin Golf Watch

One of the most commonly asked questions we hear is “What is the Best Garmin Golf Watch?” To some extent, that depends on who will be using it. Some Garmin golf watches are pretty basic, some have lots of details, and some are multi-sport fitness watches. No matter your needs or budget, you should be able to find a Garmin golf watch that you’ll love!

We’ve summarized the most important features for each one below and listed the highest rated watches first.


Best Garmin Golf Watch
Garmin Approach S10 - Read Full Review

The Garmin Approach S10 is the one we've been waiting for! It's small, lightweight, and simple to use. It doesn't try to be a multi-sport watch or a smartwatch. It puts the focus squarely on golf. On the main screen, you will see distances to the front, middle, and back of the green, plus the hole number and par. The shape of the green is also right there on the same screen. Many golfers will never even need to touch the watch after starting a round. If you need hazard information, it's one screen away. You can also keep score on this watch and upload your scores to Garmin Express so your playing history is always available. Although this golf watch has all the features most golfers want, for those looking for stats or hole views, Garmin has other golf watches you will want to check out.

Rating: 99.00  
Weight: 1.2 oz.   Legal: Yes
Garmin Approach S10
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Garmin Approach S60 - Read Full Review

Garmin's newest golf watch looks to be a sophisticated golf watch, fitness watch, and smartwatch. It will be released in the summer of 2017 and we look forward to exploring all the features here very soon!

Rating: 3.86  
Weight: 1.8* oz.   Legal: Yes
Garmin Approach S60
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Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Read Full Review

The Garmin Vivoactive 3 just doesn't get the feedback we are looking for in a golf watch. Take a look at our favorite golf watches.

Rating: 3.10
Weight: 1.5 oz.   Legal: Yes
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Garmin Approach X40 Golf/Fitness Band Review

The Garmin Approach X40 has been retired. Check out our current recommendations for today's best golf rangefinders..

'Garmin Approach X40'

Garmin Approach X40
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Our Garmin Approach X40 Golf/Fitness Band Review will be coming soon, but here are our initial thoughts.

We love Garmin golf watches and we love Garmin fitness bands, so we find the Garmin X40 band very exciting.

Garmin Approach X40 User Rating: 4.22 Stars 4.22 out of 5 (249 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.

Golf features include distance to the front, middle, and back of every green, plus hazard distances. You can see the shape of the green and manually adjust the pin position. AutoShot tracking measures and records your shot distances automatically. It has a scorecard and stat-tracking. Combining these features with Garmin Connect make post-game analysis really interesting.

Activity tracking shows steps, distance, calories burned, heart rate and activity intensity. If that’s not enough, you can get notifications from your smartphone.

Garmin Approach X40 Features:
  • Distances to the front, middle, and back of the green
  • Green shape from your point of view
  • Manual pin positioning
  • Distances to hazards
  • AutoShot round analyzer measures and auto-records shot distances
  • Pairs with Garmin Connect for interesting post-game analysis
  • Pairs with Garmin TruSwing™ sensor for metrics to improve your swing consistency
  • High-resolution display easily readable in bright sunlight
  • Activity tracking – steps, heartrate, and sleep
  • Receive smart notifications for incoming calls, texts and other alerts
  • Garmin Approach X40 Golf Watch Specifications
    Garmin Approach X40
    Course Download Fees No
    Pre-loaded with Courses 40,000+
    Full Hole Views Yes
    Slope / Elevation No
    Battery Life 10hrs GPS / 5 days
    Battery rechargeable Li-ion
    Size (Width x Height x Depth) N/A in. x .83 in. x N/A in.
    Measure Shot Distance Yes
    Screen Size 1 x .42
    Resolution 160x68 px
    Display Type hi-res touchscreen
    Weight 1.1 oz.
    Rainproof Yes (50 meters)
    Touch Screen Yes
    Touch Targeting N/A
    Manual Pin Positioning Yes
    Stat Tracker Yes
    Digital Scorecard Yes
    Computer Analysis Tools Yes
    Ground Verified N/A
    Alternate Targets Yes
    Green Rotates to your shot angle Yes
    USGA Compliant (local rule) Yes
    Notes ElevateTM wrist heart rate technology and activity tracking
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    User Manual for Garmin Approach X40

Garmin Approach S20 Review

The Garmin Approach S20 has been retired. Check out our current recommendations for today's best golf rangefinders..

'Garmin Approach S20'

Garmin Approach S20
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Our Garmin Approach S20 Review is based upon feedback from over 100 users. Overall the ratings are reasonably high for a golf watch with this many features, but there are a few things that were clearly outstanding on this watch. Although the number of positive comments far outweighed the negative, there are still a few issues on both sides that are worth discussing.

Garmin Approach S20 User Rating: 4.31 Stars 4.31 out of 5 (326 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.

When the Garmin S20 first came out, we weren’t sure it was for everyone. However, the price is low enough now and the performance/features may be the best we’ve ever seen in a golf watch, so we’ve changed our tune.

We now feel ready to recommend it for any golfer. You can use it for just the basics, or dig into some of the advanced features. If you happen to be a little bit of a golf geek or a fitness enthusiast, you’re going to love the features of this watch! The S20 combines smartwatch features of phone notifications, activity tracking, and sleep tracking with a golf watch loaded with features.

Let’s start with the Garmin Approach S20 noteworthy features:
  • Distances to the front, middle, and back of the green.
  • Green shape from your point of view.
  • Manual pin positioning.
  • Distances to the front and back of hazards and doglegs.
  • AutoShot round analyzer measures and auto-records shot distances.
  • Pairs with Garmin Connect for interesting post-game analysis.
  • Pairs with Garmin TruSwing™ sensor for metrics to improve your swing consistency. (TruSwing™ available for purchase separately on Amazon.)
  • CourseView feature automatically updates frequently played courses for free.
  • High-resolution display easily readable in bright sunlight.
  • Activity tracking – steps and sleep.
  • Receive smart notifications for incoming calls, texts and other alerts².
  • Attractive watchband design.

Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons mentioned the most in the user feedback that we reviewed.

Garmin Approach S20 Review – Most Mentioned Pros
  • Accuracy – Overwhelmingly, the most frequent positive comment was about the accuracy of the S20. We didn’t find any complaints on this point.
  • Ease of Use – Many users commmented on the ease of use, however a few users had difficulty learning how to use the features.
  • Battery Life – There were plenty of rave reviews about the battery life of the Garmin S20. The only complaint we saw was from a user who was using it as an everyday watch.
  • Screen Readability – The comments about the clarity and readability of the screen were more enthusiastic than we generally see and there were zero complaints.
  • Responsiveness – Compliments about the responsiveness of any golf GPS is fairly unusual, but it must be good on the S20, because it was mentioned frequently.
  • Hazards – Many users commented on the accuracy of the hazard information.
  • Features – Quite a few users commented on the extensive features available on the watch.
  • Value – There were a number of comments about the Garmin Approach S20 being a good value.
  • Attractiveness – Several users mentioned the attractiveness of the watch.
  • Size and Weight – The size and weight was mentioned as a positive in quite a few comments.
Garmin Approach S20 Review – Most Mentioned Cons
  • Software Problems – A number of users experienced problems with the watch working correctly. In most cases, a software update corrected the problem, but some users had to return the watch. Garmin had a glitch with an update last year that has since been corrected.
  • User Manual – There were complaints about the lack of clarity in the user manual. That no doubt led to some other complaints.
  • Ease of Use – Some users had trouble learning how to navigate the S20. As mentioned on the previous point, a better user manual might have helped with this.
  • Autoshot – Although there were a few users that loved this feature, there were several complaints that it didn’t track a fair number of shots and there was no way to manually input a shot when the watch didn’t pick it up.
  • Garmin Connect – Several users felt that the inability to make corrections within Garmin Connect made the scoring and stats worthless. Others felt it provided interesting and helpful information.
  • Difficult to fasten – Only a couple of users complained that it was difficult to put the Garmin S20 on their wrist.

We believe the Garmin Approach S20 is an excellent golf watch for anyone and for golf geeks like us, it’s amazing! If you are concerned about having too many advanced features, there are a few other great choices on our “Best Budget-Friendly Golf Watch” list.

Garmin Approach S20
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses Yes
Full Hole Views Yes
Slope / Elevation N/A
Battery Life 15 hrs GPS / 8 wks
Battery rechargeable Li-ion
Size (Width x Height x Depth) 1.9 in. x 1.5 in. x .4 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size .9 square
Resolution 128x128
Display Type hi-res monochrome
Weight 1.5 oz.
Rainproof Yes (50 meters)
Touch Screen No
Touch Targeting No
Manual Pin Positioning Yes
Stat Tracker Yes
Digital Scorecard Yes
Computer Analysis Tools Yes
Ground Verified N/A
Alternate Targets Yes
Green Rotates to your shot angle Yes
USGA Compliant (local rule) Yes
Notes In addition to all the golf features, it has an activity tracker, a sleep tracker, and move notification after periods of inactivity.
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GolfRangefinderShop.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you buy anything after clicking through, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps us keep the site up and running, so thank you! 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.

User Manual for Garmin Approach S20