Garmin Approach® S3

Touchscreen golf GPS watch — covers over 30,000 courses around the world (White)

Item #: 150S3W

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Take your game to the next level

Garmin's Approach S3 golf GPS watch helps bring your game into focus with a high-resolution, glove-friendly touchscreen for accuracy when it counts. With a touch of your finger, you'll be able to see the true shape and layouts of greens and map pin locations with your fingertip, giving you a better picture to help you choose your next shot. Best of all, it comes preloaded with over 30,000 international courses, so you're sure to have coverage nearly anywhere you play.

Reliable performance

Robust built-in GPS technology finds you automatically on the links and keeps you locked in. The bold display is easy to follow and manipulate in just about any golfing weather — even bright sunlight — and the rechargeable battery might even be more reliable than your favorite caddy. You'll get up to 8 hours of solid GPS enhanced power, or 4 weeks in regular watch mode.

One watch, many functions

The Approach S3's waterproof construction lets you enjoy it in rough weather and around pools, lakes, and rivers. You get an odometer to track how far you've walked and a round timer to monitor how long it takes to get through 18 holes. And the alarm clock feature can help ensure you never miss an early tee time.

Be the ball

Garmin Approach S3 Green View

Green View shows you the shape and layout of each green, so you'll know where to aim if you have an obstructed view. You can even touch and drag the pin to the day's location to make things easier on those tough par 3 holes.

Garmin Approach G3 distances

Find distances easily

The Approach S3 gives you distances to the front, back, and center of the green, plus distances to doglegs and layups. You can even add and save customizable yardages for bunkers and hazards from anywhere on the course. One glance at your wrist offers you a wealth of information with clear, easy-to-read numbering.

Use it as a scorecard

The Approach S3 offers digital scorecard options for individual players, including Stroke Play and Stableford. You can save, review, and print scorecards from your computer. Hit a really long one? Use the Measure Shot feature to tell you exactly how far it went.

Ready for prime time

Garmin's extensive course database is preloaded into the Approach S3, so you won't need any subscriptions or additional downloads to enjoy it. Simply charge it up, throw on your flat cap, and you're ready to go. You can obtain new course update downloads directly from Garmin's website.

Product Highlights:

  • white golf GPS watch with touchscreen display
  • USB cable and AC adapter included
  • 1" monochrome (128 x 128 pixel) LCD screen
  • preloaded with over 30,000 courses across the world
  • allows free course updates from Garmin website
  • doubles as a digital scorecard for individual players
  • IPX7 waterproof design (can withstand immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes)
  • built-in rechargeable battery allows up to 4 weeks of use in watch mode and 8 hours in GPS mode
  • 1-13/16"W x 9/16"H, with 10-7/8" strap
  • weight: 2.06 oz. (with battery)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Golf GPS watch (white)
  • AC adapter (DC output: 5V/1A) with USB Type A port
  • Slide-in US power plug
  • Magnetic charging cradle with a 3.5' Power cord (with Type A USB plug)
  • Owner's Manual (English)
  • Owner's Manual (French)
  • Important Safety and Product Information
  • Warning sheet

Product Research

Features

Overview: The Garmin Approach S3 is a wrist-worn golf GPS unit combined with a lightweight sports watch. Its memory is loaded with distance information for more than 29,500 pre-loaded golf courses worldwide. The S3 uses a high-sensitivity GPS receiver to measure individual shot distances and track how far you walk on the course. No subscriptions or setup fees are required. The Approach S3 is compliant with USGA rules.

Display: The Approach S3 has a 1" x 1" monochrome touchscreen LCD with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels. The display's Hole View indicates the number of the hole being played, the distance to the back, center, and front of the green, and the par for the hole. On-screen icons display a low battery warning, GPS use, and alarm active indication. The display color can be changed from black on a white background or white on a black background.

Included Maps: The Approach S3 has CourseView map data loaded in its built-in flash memory. The data contains distance information to the front, back, and center of the greens for more than 29,500 golf courses worldwide. Free map updates are available from the Garmin website, and can be downloaded from your PC to the Approach S3 using the supplied USB/charging cradle. Installed CourseView maps include:

  • CourseView Medium US/Canada 3.40
  • CourseView Medium Europe 3.00
  • CourseView Medium Australia/NZ 2.50

Functionality: The Approach S3 initially takes 30-60 seconds to acquire satellite signals and determine your location. As you play, the unit automatically updates your position, giving you the exact yardage to the front, center, and back of the green. Because pin placement varies, you can touch and drag the pin to the day's location. You can also measure the distance of a particular shot. For Par 4 and 5 holes, you can view a list of layup and dogleg distances. During the round, you can save and label up to five locations, such as water hazards or bunkers, on each hole. Distance units can be set to yards or meters.

Digital Scorecard: During your round, you can enter your score by entering + or - the number of strokes over or under par. Your total score (relative to par) is updated as each hole's score is entered. If necessary, you can select any previously played hole to change the score for that hole. Before you start the round, you can select Stroke Play or Stableford scoring. (Stableford points are awarded as specified by the USGA.) At the end of your round, you can connect the Approach S3 to your computer to view and save your scorecard.

Touchscreen and Button Controls: The S3 lets you maneuver through the menus and settings by touching the screen. Different than most mobile devices, the touchscreen is designed so you can operate it with your fingertip or while wearing gloves. It is optimized to prevent accidental touches while you play, requiring a firm press to select items or change pages. The unit has three buttons on the sides and two touch sensitive icons on the perimeter of the face:

  • Power/Light Button: for turning on the backlight, and for turning the device on or off
  • Measure Button: for measuring the distance of a shot
  • Score Button: to enter your score for the hole
  • Menu Icon: to open the menu for the current screen
  • Return Icon: return to the previous screen

Watch: In addition to its GPS functions, the Approach S3 is a digital watch. By default, the watch time is set automatically when the device acquires satellite signals. You can also set the time manually. The watch also has an alarm, and can display 12-hour or 24-hour time formats.

Odometer: The Approach S3 has a built-in odometer to measure your total time and walking distance as you play the round. The odometer automatically starts and stops when you start or end a round. It can also be started or stopped manually, as well. You can turn the odometer off if you desire.

Power Requirements: The Approach S3 operates on a rechargeable Lithium-ion, coin cell battery. In the GPS mode, a fully charged battery should give you up to 8 hours of continuous use while playing golf. The Power Save mode turns off the GPS receiver after a period of inactivity, and displays only the time and date. If you are using the unit in the Power Save mode continuously, a fully charged battery should provide up to 4 weeks of battery life.

Battery Charging: The unit comes with a magnetic charging cradle/USB cable, and an AC adapter with a USB port. You can charge the battery using ordinary household current, or while the unit is plugged into your computer's USB port.

Waterproof: The Approach S3 is waterproof to IED Standard 60529 IPX7, which means that it can withstand immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

Optional Carrying Case: To protect your Approach S3 when not in use, Garmin offers an accessory carrying case. The zippered case can hold the watch, AC adapter, and charging cradle.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Garmin Approach® S3 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

9 reviews
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Garmin S3

Written By RK, Palm Beach on Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hate this product. Love the watch, the charging clip is terrible. Does not easily seat in the clip, and sometimes it moves enough that you think it is charged and it is not. Would be much better with a micro USB connection that would allow charging anywhere. the clip is clunky and expensive to replace. Lots of these refurbished because they do not last.

Pros: accuracy, unit convenience

Cons: charging system is junk

Garmin Approach S3

Written By Becky, Idabel, OK on Saturday, July 20, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have only used this product on one course thus far, but it is great. No problems. Instructions are very clear and Approach S3 is very easy to use. Very convenient to just wear in on my wrist and not have to retrieve it from cart or bag to check distances. I am loving it!

Pros: Easy to use. Convenience.

Great product

Written By Ron, Greensboro, GA on Saturday, June 01, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've owned (and liked) several Sky Caddies but the Approach S3 is the best golf course distance manager for me. Don't have to worry about losing it. It's very accurate and useful. Especially like ability to mark various points on the course. Great product.

Pros: Accurate, multi-functional and no annual fees.

Cons: None yet.

Accurate with some area's for improvement

Written By R J K, Combined Locks, Wi. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have played 6 rounds with the S3 and found it quite accurate at distances, but...the battery life leaves something to be desired... I will not risk trying to get two rounds out of one charge if you are taking advantage of all the features of the S3 during a round....also during round to view display you need to slide the unlock screen and at times it is a bit to sensitive...all in all it works for my purpose and all the guys in 4-some are asking yardage from me as it is very easy to read at all times. Charging connector is a weak point as it is difficult to attach to pins on back of S3...not a good design.

Pros: Easy to read and quite accurate, lite on wrist.

Cons: Battery life not as good as hoped , touch screen is a bit to sensitive at times. Charging connector can be a problem.

happy husband

Written By MichelleN, Glenolden, PA on Monday, January 14, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought as a gift for my husband, he just had the opportunity to use it and he was very pleased. After using other products, he was happy with the speed and accuracy of the Garmin Approach S3.

Garmin Approach® S3

Written By Sandy G, Middletown NJ on Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have only used the Approach S3 twice but it has performed perfectly each time. The display is very easy to read in bright sunlight and the unit is right on with distances.

Pros: Accurate, easy to read, acquires quickly, is comfortable to wear

Cons: None so far

Great GPS

Written By Famups, Albuquerque, NM on Monday, June 25, 2012

This is a really, really nice Golf GPS. Seemed rather large at first but didn't even notice after started playing round. Great for home course after you set up yardages too hazards. Very happy with purchase.

Pros: So much more convenient than belt clip models. No membership fees. Easy to read in sunlight. Liked the idea of setting up my own waypoints and very easy to do.

Cons: No overview of entire hole and no yardage to hazards. This hurts when playing course for the first time. Would be nice if able to mark trees, hazards, water as left or right when you set up S3.

Excelente gps, funciona bien en Puerto Rico

Written By Nayda, San Juan Puerto Rico on Sunday, June 24, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Fue mi regalo del dia de Padres, bajaba los campos rapido pero la bateria no duraba lo que dice,pero duro todo un juego. Estoy bien contento y molesto a mis amigos burlandome de lo grande que son los otros gps. Lo recomiendo.

Excellent gps, works well in Puerto Rico

This was my Father's Day gift, it downloaded the courses quickly but the battery didn't last as long as it says, but it did last through an entire game. I am quite content and I annoy my friends by making fun of how big other gps's are. I recommend it.

Crutchfield response on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 Translation provided by Crutchfield's Spanish Sales & Support team. Visit our new Spanish-language site at www.crutchfieldenespanol.com:

Garmin Approach® S3

Written By Randy, New Bern, NC on Friday, June 22, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Fast in acquiring satellites. Convenient. Accurate. Only use my handheld for hazard distances. Features easy to use. Glad I purchased it.

Pros: No loading courses, no annual fees. Fast satellite acquisition. Easy to switch to different features.

Cons: None really. Hazard distances would be nice.

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