Garmin Approach G10 Review

'Garmin Approach G10'

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Our Garmin Approach G10 Review is based upon observing common threads of criticism and praise for specific aspects of its performance.

Garmin Approach G10 User Rating: 4.42 Stars 4.42 out of 5 (97 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.

After considering feedback from dozens of users, we found about 87% of the comments we considered to be relevant were positive. That number would be much higher if we were counting general praise rather than specifically mentioned features.

First, we will list the features and below that you can see a summary of the pros and cons of the Garmin G10.

Garmin Approach G10 Notable Features
  • Displays distances to the front, back and middle of the green, plus the green shape, all on the main screen.
  • Includes distances to hazards and layups.
  • Green View display shows the shape of the green and allows manual pin placements.
  • Digital scorecard lets you easily keep track of your score and stats.
  • Garmin Connect™ allows you to analyze your scores and stats online.
  • Compact, lightweight clip-on device fits anywhere.
  • Crisp, bright 1.3-inch square display.
  • Screen orientation can be adjusted depending on how you will use it.
  • Lithium-ion battery with up to 15 hours in full GPS mode.
  • Odometer to track your steps.
  • Rainproof with IPX7 water rating.
  • Preloaded with more than 40,000 golf courses around the world.
  • Free lifetime course updates.
Garmin Approach G10 Pros and Cons (Most mentioned are listed first.)
  • Accuracy – The accuracy of this unit was by far the most frequently mentioned positive comment. There was one neutral comment, but with GPS, we consider this an outstanding indicator of what you can expect from the most important job of any golf GPS.
  • Size – Most users loved the size of this very small device. There were a few people who thought it would be easier to handle if it were a little bit larger and one user who was concerned that it might be very easy to lose. If you have large hands or if you are prone to losing things, those issues are both reasonable concerns. On the other hand, if you want to clip it on your belt or keep it in your pocket, the size is great. If you are thinking of clipping it to your visor, then we suggest getting a small unit that also has voice, so that you don’t have to take it on and off all the time.
  • Value – A large number of users commented on what a good value the Garmin 10 was. A couple of users mentioned that the price would drop given the competition in this type of unit. We compared the prices to similar models and felt it was right in line.
  • Ease of Use – Many users said the G10 was very easy to use. There were a few that suggested that there was a bit of a learning curve for using some of the advanced features. None of them seemed to think it was a deal-breaker.
  • Auto Course Recognition – Most of the users who mentioned this featured thought it was quick to find golf courses. However, there were also several comments about it being a little slow. We know Garmin has a high-sensitivity receiver, but as with any GPS, the conditions can be a factor. Because of that and the fact that eventually the courses were found, we don’t suggest giving too much weight to that type of complaint.
  • Battery Life – Across the board, users had nothing but wonderful things to say about the battery life.
  • Hazard and Layup Information – Many users loved having distances to the front and back of hazards. Others said they did not use that feature, but what we thought was important was that there were no complaints about missing hazards.
  • Display – Amazingly for a unit this small, there were no complaints about the screen readability or the number size. In fact, several users went out of their way to say that it was very easy to read with “the large numbers”.
  • Shot Measuring – Quite a few users mentioned that they enjoyed this feature and used it frequently. We saw no complaints and make the assumption that this feature must be fairly easy to use based on the comments.
  • Screen Orientation – Several users who wear the G10 on their belts loved that they could change the screen orientation so that it was easy to read without touching.
  • Customer Service – A couple of users had received defective units, but in both cases, Garmin Customer Service took care of the problem quickly.

Overall we think the Garmin Approach G10 is an excellent choice if you are looking for a compact golf GPS. You can clip it on your belt, put it in your pocket, or some users even used velcro to attach it to the outside of their golf bags. Other users even clipped it to their glove! The competition in this size device is fierce, but this one is at the top of our list! However, if you are planning to clip it on your visor or hat, we still recommend using a device with Voice so you don’t have to keep pulling it off of your hat to see it.

Garmin Approach G10 Specifications
Garmin Approach G10
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses Yes
Full Hole Views Yes
Slope / Elevation No
Battery Life up to 15 hrs.
Battery rechargeable Li-ion
Size (Width x Height x Depth) 2 in. x 1.5 in. x .7 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size .9 inches
Resolution high-res
Display Type monochrome
Weight 1 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 -
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User Manual for Garmin Approach G10

Garmin vívoactive Review

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

'Garmin vivoactive'

Garmin vivoactive
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This is our Garmin Vivoactive review. If you are looking for a model that includes heart rate, check out the Vivoactive HR.

Garmin vivoactive User Rating: 4.00 Stars 4.00 out of 5 (1613 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.

The Garmin Vivoactive gets good reviews as a multi-sport watch. However, there is minimal feedback from golfers on this watch. We don’t think it’s the best golf watch out there, but if you want a multi-sport smartwatch that you can use for golf as well running, biking, swimming, and/or walking, this is a really good value.

If you are looking for a golf watch with a nice activity tracker built-in, we suggest the Garmin Approach S20.

For Golfers: You get distance to the front, middle and back of every green, plus distances to layups and doglegs. It also has a shot measuring feature and a stroke-play scorecard for one player.

What you won’t get that can be found on most golf watches are distances to hazards, green shapes, and in many cases manual pin placements. If you’re not looking for a multi-sport watch, we suggest taking a look at our picks for “Best Golf Watch“.

Beyond Golf: The vívoactive is thin and lightweight, with a very readable screen. Apps for golf, running, swimming, biking and walking are built right into the watch. Garmin has been a leader in all of these sports watch markets for years.

The vívoactive has an accelerometer, so it also serves as a fitness tracker to track your steps and daily activity. It will even remind you if you haven’t been moving for awhile.

Like the latest Garmin golf watches, the vívoactive will have access to notifications from your smartphone. And like any good smartwatch, you’ll also be able to customize the look of your watch face!

Garmin also allows third-party developers to create apps for the vívoactive. That means many other apps will be available and already you can find a weather app, stock market app and more. We think it’s possible that a third-party golf app might even be able to make it a better golf watch in the future.

Garmin vivoactive Specifications
Garmin vivoactive
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses N/A
Full Hole Views Yes
Slope / Elevation N/A
Battery Life 10 hrs / 3 wks
Battery rechargeable lithium
Size (Width x Height x Depth) 1.52 in. x 1.72 in. x .32 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size 1.13 x .8
Resolution 205 x 148
Display Type color touchscreen
Weight 1.34 oz.
Rainproof Yes
Touch Screen Yes
Touch Targeting No
Manual Pin Positioning No
Stat Tracker No
Digital Scorecard Yes
Computer Analysis Tools Yes
Ground Verified N/A
Alternate Targets Yes
Green Rotates to your shot angle N/A
USGA Compliant (local rule) Yes
Notes Where to start... Smartwatch, fitness tracker, all sports watch.
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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.

Garmin G8 Video Review

Click here for our written review of the Garmin Approach G8.

Garmin G8 Video Review


Garmin S6 Review

The Garmin Approach S6 has been retired. Check out our current recommendations for today's best golf rangefinders..

'Garmin Approach S6'

Garmin Approach S6
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Just when we thought the Garmin Approach series had reached the peak of potential in a golf GPS watch with the Garmin S4, they introduced one with even more features. In our testing for the Garmin S6 Review, we found some pros and some cons, but we can definitely recommend this golf watch for some golfers. Keep reading to see if it’s for you.

Garmin Approach S6 User Rating: 3.75 Stars 3.75 out of 5 (290 reviews)

Score compiled from multiple sources.

First of all, let’s take a look at the features that set Garmin S6 apart from the Garmin S4:

  • Dedicated CourseView button. We love the dedicated GreenView button on the S4 that made it easy to see the green shape and adjust the pin location to get more precise distance. The S6 replaces that button with a CourseView button. The first press of the CourseView button shows a graphic view of your landing area. This is pretty cool and important when you are playing unfamiliar courses. You can manually pinpoint and get distance a target, but remember this is a small screen, so not quite as easy as doing it on a handheld unit. A tap on the top of the screen will take you to the GreenView which shows the shape of the green and surrounding hazards. It also allows for manual pin positioning for getting a more precise distance. Although it is only one extra button press to get to the GreenView, we found it a little annoying on approach shots that the green view didn’t come up immediately.
  • PinPointer blind shot assistance tells you where the pin is, even if you can’t see it. It’s not as good as having your caddie run to the top of the hill to show you the line, but it’s way better than nothing if you can’t see where you need to be aiming. Since this isn’t a feature that you will use often, the trick is remembering how to get to it! (Tap the screen until it shows up.)
  • SwingTempo™ and TempoTraining™. Although some users like this feature, we weren’t sold. We had a five-handicapper with a decent swing test this and the swing tempo didn’t even remotely match with the “average pro” tempo. Do we think our test subject should spend hours on the range trying to create a swing that matches this watch… No! If you happen to be working with an instructor on Tempo, it’s possible that this tool could be useful, but it’s definitely not a feature the would convince us to buy this watch.
  • SwingStrength™. We had high hopes for the SwingStrength aspect of the Garmin S6, but in our testing, we just couldn’t get readings that made sense. To set it up, you choose what type of club you are using… for instance “short iron”. Then you hit a shot and if you think it was a great shot, the watch will use that as the baseline swing. For our tests, we used wedges, hoping to learn how hard to swing for those shots closer to the green that don’t require a full swing. Unfortunately, most of our half swings registered over 100% on the SwingStrength meter even though they clearly weren’t going as far as our baseline shot. As much as we like idea of this feature, we’re hoping Garmin will put some more work into developing this technology.

Like the Garmin S4, the Garmin S6 has a glove-friendly, high-resolution touchscreen. Distance to the front, middle and back of every green, plus par and hole number shows on the main screen. In addition to the doglegs and layups already included with the course maps, you can save custom points for future reference. As with most GPS devices, you can measure your shots.

We think the scorecard and stat-tracking features are super easy to use and it can also utilize handicap information. The Garmin S6 can connect via bluetooth to your iPhone and get notifications but we didn’t always stay connected. It comes preloaded 38,000 international courses and never have any subscriptions or fees.

We like the Garmin Connect website and seeing our rounds and stats broken down in different ways, but we do wish that the site provided a way to edit your round information. If you simply forgot to record the last hole of your last round before uploading, you can’t really do anything except delete the round or your stats will be off.

In conclusion, we don’t think the Garmin Approach S6 is for everyone, but if you have the budget for it and frequently play unfamiliar courses, it’s definitely worth considering. The trade off is whether having the convenience of a watch is worth the sacrifice of the larger screen on a Garmin handheld. We lean toward the convenience of the watch and S6 definitely brings something new to the table with the CourseView screen.

If you don’t play many unfamiliar courses or if the S6 stretches your budget a little too tight, you should take a look at our latest picks for the best golf watches currently on the market to see which one suits your style of play.

What users of the Garmin Approach S6 are saying…

  • Many users liked the special features on this watch… SwingStrength, TempoTraining, PinPointer and fairwary touch targeting.
  • As expected, with all those features, this watch didn’t get the best feedback with regards to ease of use and intuitiveness.
  • Many users struggled with getting enough precision with manual targeting. Using a stylus or golf tee was suggested by several users.
  • Some users complained about battery life. Although it should get two rounds before needing a charge, we recommend charging it every time.
  • A number of users were disappointed in the brightness of the display, but just as many were happy with the high resolution color display.
  • Several users felt the swing metrics were worthless.
  • The sound for TempoTraining isn’t loud enough for some users to hear under normal range conditions.
  • Quite a few users felt that this watch was not worth price.
Garmin Approach S6 Golf Watch Specifications
Garmin Approach S6
Course Download Fees No
Pre-loaded with Courses Yes
Full Hole Views Yes
Slope / Elevation No
Battery Life 10 hrs GPS / 20 wk
Battery rechargeable Li-ion
Size (Width x Height x Depth) 1.8 in. x 1.8 in. x .56 in.
Measure Shot Distance Yes
Screen Size 1"
Resolution 180x180
Display Type hi-res color touch
Weight 1.6 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, providing Pin Pointer, Tempo Training, and Swing Strength are not used
Notes Swing tempo trainer and swing strength measurements. Notifications from iPhone available via bluetooth.
Order Golf Rangefinders from Amazon
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.

Garmin G6 vs SkyCaddie

Here, we will breakdown the differences of the Garmin G6 vs Skycaddie SGX and SGXw, but we can tell you up front, that we think there is a very clear winner.

Garmin G6 vs SkyCaddieSince we feel so strongly about this, we don’t want to waste your time by making you read through to the end, before giving my bottom line, so let’s start there!

The SkyCaddie SGX and SGXw have terrible user reviews and they make all those unhappy buyers pay annual fees. On the other hand, the Garmin gets excellent user reviews and doesn’t charge any fees ever. On that note, the winner is…. the Garmin G6. Yes, it may cost a little more on the front end, but you are likely to have less headaches and spend a lot less over the lifetime of the device.

Other than price and user ratings, there are a few differences between the Garmin G6 and the two Skycaddie SGX models.

  • The screen size on the G6 is 2.6″ and it’s 3″ on the SkyCaddie. Although only a little larger in screen size, the SkyCaddies are otherwise quite a bit larger than the Garmin.
  • The G6 has a nice touchscreen, while the SkyCaddie SGX has a little joystick and the SGXw has an optical trackpad.
  • All three units have bright color displays and allow you to get distance to any point.
  • SkyCaddie has Intelligreen and Intelligreen Pro technology. It’s not available on every course, but it’s nice technology when it is available. Intelligreen gives you a close-up view of the green shape and hazards from the angle you are approaching. On the Garmin, you get the close-up view of the green shape, but as far as we know, it doesn’t change with your angle. The Intelligreen Pro feature shows contours on the the greens, which is cool, but in all honesty, most golfers don’t have the time or ability to take advantage of this information.
  • The SkyCaddies have the ability to switch to a list view of hazards and targets, but switching screens, no matter how easy, isn’t preferable to having what you need on the main screen. The Garmin G6 shows a hole layout that includes those distances right on it, plus you can just touch the screen to the point where you want to layup and get the distance to that point and from that point to the hole. On the SkyCaddies, you have to get on the HoleVue™ screen and use the joystick or trackpad.
  • The SkyCaddie models also have the QuickVue™ and RangeVue™ screens that give you options for how you want to view your information… but seriously SkyCaddie, less is more! Sure this might be great for a geek who has six hours for every round, but for most of us, it’s just too much.
  • The Garmin G6 has a scorecard for up to four players and the SkyCaddies have a scorecard for one player. We figure most people will use a traditional scorecard when they are scoring for the group, so not really an issue. All three units allow you to track your stats.
  • All three units allow you to measure your shots and tag the club you used, so they can store the average distance you hit each club. All of these units also allow uploading the scoring and stats to your computer for analysis.
  • In summary, SkyCaddie just tries to do too much, making it expensive and potentially confusing for the players who use them. Garmin just makes it a little easier and without the burden of annual fees.

    Model SkyCaddie SGXSkyCaddie SGXwGarmin Approach G6
    Read Full Review Read Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full Review
    Price Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
    GRS Score 3.60
    (367 Ratings)
    3.65
    (46 Ratings)
    4.20
    (648 Ratings)
    Height 4.8+ in.4.8+ in.3.7 in.
    Width 2.48 in.2.48 in.2.1 in.
    Depth .75 in..75 in..8 in.
    Weight 5.6 oz.5.6 oz.3.37 oz.
    Battery Li-polyLithium-ion PolymerRechargeable Li-Poly
    Battery Life 14 hrs maxN/Aup to 15 hrs.
    Rainproof water resistantwater resistantIPX7
    Pre-loaded with Courses Yes*Yes*27,000
    Instant Course Recognition YesYesYes
    Auto Hole Advance YesYesYes
    Course Capacity 50 Full50 FullUnlimited
    Touch Screen NoNoYes
    Stat Tracker YesYesYes
    Digital Scorecard YesYesYes
    Computer Analysis Tools YesYesYes
    USGA Compliant (local rule) YesYesYes, if Club Averages feature is not used.
    Alternate Targets YesYesYes
    Ability to Add Targets N/AN/AYes
    Measure Shot Distance YesYesYes
    # of Available Courses 30,000+30,000+29,500+
    Course Download Fees YesYesNo