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Garmin Approach® S20

Golf GPS watch — covers over 41,000 courses worldwide (Black)

6 Reviews | 1 question - 3 answers

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Our take on the Garmin Approach® S20

When I step onto the course, windmills, bumpers, and screaming children are usually involved. I'm talking about miniature golf, of course. But if Garmin's Approach S20 golf GPS watch had been available back in the day, I might be a serious golf fanatic right now. The Approach S20 gives you the information you need right on your wrist so you can choose your next shot with confidence. And with over 41,000 preloaded international courses at your disposal, you can take Garmin's expert guidance with you just about anywhere.

Take your handicap down a few notches

When I step onto the course, windmills, bumpers, and screaming children are usually involved. I'm talking about miniature golf, of course. But if Garmin's Approach S20 golf GPS watch had been available back in the day, I might be a serious golf fanatic right now. The Approach S20 gives you the information you need right on your wrist so you can choose your next shot with confidence. And with over 41,000 preloaded international courses at your disposal, you can take Garmin's expert guidance with you just about anywhere.

Garmin Approach S20 golf GPS watch

Keeps up with your active lifestyle

The watch's built-in GPS receiver finds you automatically and stays dialed in to your location. When it's taking forever to get to the 18th hole, you don't want your device to run out of steam before you do. The Approach S20's built-in rechargeable battery offers up to 15 hours of juice in GPS mode, or 8 weeks as a regular watch.

More than just a golf watch

The watch's waterproof construction lets you enjoy it in rough weather. You can even take it for a swim, as it'll handle depths of up to 50 meters. Use it as as a fitness tracker by employing its built-in odometer to help you set everyday activity goals based on your prior movement level. It'll even remind you to get moving if you've been sedentary for too long, 

Works while you sleep

Do you get nervous the night before a big match? The Approach S20's sleep monitor can help you track your total sleep and periods of movement or restless sleep. And its alarm clock will ensure you never miss an early tee time.

Yards, feet, and more

The Approach S20 gives you distances to the front, back, and center of the green, plus distances to doglegs and layups. You can even get a closer look at the green and move the pin to suit your location. One glance at your wrist offers you a wealth of information with clear, easy-to-read numbering.

AutoShot round analyzer

The Approach S20 tracks your shots and records shot locations as you move through the course. It'll accurately determine the distance of each shot so you don't have to guess. Once you've completed your game, you can see your results online using Garmin Connect.  

Garmin Connect

Garmin Connect is where your golf game lives online. Set up a free account and use it to track your stats and get in-depth analysis using the watch's data. You can share your stats and results with other users locally and around the world. Add the Garmin Connect app to your smartphone, and it'll enable automatic course updates for your favorite spots to the Approach S20 when the devices are paired.

Track your stats

Want to analyze your game for future improvement? The Approach S20 lets you track your putts per round, greens and fairways hit, and average distance of your strokes. It also offers digital scorecard options for individual players, including Stroke Play and Stableford. You can save, review, and print scorecards from your computer. 

Garmin Approach S20 GPS golf watch

Smart Notification for smartphone users

If you're worried about missing important texts, calls, alerts, and emails on the course, you can pair the Approach S20 with most recent iPhone® models and select Android™ models through Bluetooth® low energy, then receive notifications directly on the watch's face, so you can safely leave your phone in your bag.

Ready to go without a complicated setup

Garmin's extensive course database comes already loaded on the Approach S20, so you won't need any subscriptions or additional downloads to enjoy it. Simply charge it up, throw on your golf cleats, and you're ready to go. You can obtain new course update downloads directly from Garmin's website.

Compatible with Garmin TruSwing™

The Approach S20 works with Garmin's TruSwing sensor to provide detailed metrics that'll help you make your swing consistent and accurate. You'll get feedback on crucial components of your movements to keep you on target, including 3-D animations when using the Garmin Connect online platform.

Product Highlights:

  • black golf GPS watch
  • USB charging/data cradle included
  • 1.3" monochrome display (128 x 128 pixels)
  • preloaded with over 41,000 courses worldwide
  • allows free course updates from Garmin website
  • waterproof up to 50 meters
  • odometer and fitness/sleep tracker
  • built-in rechargeable battery allows up to 8 weeks of use in watch mode and 15 hours in GPS mode
  • Smart Notification of incoming smartphone texts, calls, emails, and alerts
  • Green View display with manual pin positioning
  • AutoShot round analyzer provides in-depth analysis
  • compatible with Garmin TruSwing sensor
  • digital scorecard with stat tracker
Other Information:

What's in the Box:

  • Golf GPS watch (black)
  • USB charging/data clip and 24" cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Important Safety and Product Information

Garmin Approach® S20 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(6 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research


Overview: The Garmin Approach S20 is a wrist-worn golf GPS unit with over 40,000 pre-loaded worldwide golf courses. It features a slim, fully-hinged design that weighs only 1.5 ounces for a comfortable fit. The Approach S20 uses a high-sensitivity GPS receiver to measure individual shot distances and show the exact yardage to fairways, hazards, and greens. No subscriptions or setup fees are required. Approach S20 is compliant with USGA rules.

Display: The Approach S20 has a 0.9" x 0.9" high-resolution monochrome display with a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels. The high-contrast selectable (positive or negative) display is easily readable in bright sunlight.

Course Data: The Approach S20 has data for over 40,000 select golf courses worldwide. New golf courses, and updates to existing courses are available through a free download of the Approach CourseView database on the Garmin Express website. CourseView is compatible with Windows (Vista SP2 and newer) and Mac OS X 10.8 and newer). The currently installed software includes:

  • CourseView Medium SE Americas: 4.90
  • CourseView Medium SE Europe, Middle East & Africa: 4.50
  • CourseView Medium SE Pacific: 4.0

Water Resistance: The S20 has a 5 ATM rating, which means that the case can withstand accidental immersion in 50 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.

Play Mode: As you play, the Approach S20's Hole View automatically updates your position, giving you the exact yardage to the front, center, and back of the green. The Green View shows the shape of the green, and allows you to set a more accurate pin position by manually moving the flag to its location.

Hazards, Layups, and Doglegs: The S20 lets you view hole characteristics that affect shot selection along the fairways on Par 4 and Par 5 holes. Hazards are identified at the top of the screen (bunker, water, etc.), and the distances to the front and back of the hazard are given. You can view a list of layup and dogleg distances for Par 4 and 5 holes, and the distance to reach each layup.

Measuring a Shot: The Approach S20 can measure the distance of a particular shot. After hitting the shot, you can select "Measure Shot" in the menu and walk to your ball to calculate the distance.

Smartphone Compatible: The Garmin Approach S20 can be paired to your smartphone (via Bluetooth) through the Garmin Connect mobile app. Once your phone is paired, you can receive notifications of phone calls and text messages during your round.

TruSwing: The optional Garmin TruSwing golf swing sensor mounts to your club, and pairs to the S20 via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). TruSwing provides swing metrics to see how your mechanics affect ball flight and shot results. It measures your swing tempo and speed, face to target, dynamic loft, shaft angle, club path and coordinates, and shaft lean. After your shot, the swing measurements are displayed on the S20 so you can instantly analyze the shot.

AutoShot Round Analyzer: The AutoShot round analyzer tracks your shots, measures distance, and records shot locations throughout the round. Once you have uploaded your round to your Garmin Connect account, you can review your round, shot-by-shot, on your computer.

Digital Scorecard: The Approach S20 doubles as a digital scorecard, helping you keep your score and other statistics. When scoring is enabled, you will be prompted to enter your score when your are on the green. If you also enable statistics tracking, you will be prompted to enter other stats such as number of putts, and fairways hit (or whether you missed left or right). When your round is completed, you can upload your scorecard to Garmin Connect using the Garmin Express application.

Garmin Connect: You can keep track of your golf game using Garmin Connect, an online community created for users of Garmin sports devices. You can upload all of the stats from the Approach S20 and analyze them over time. You can share your scorecards with friends, and compare your rounds to other people you've played against. You can also view your longest shots, average score, average putts, average score by par, and overall fairways hit.

Other Functions: When you're not on the links, you can use the Approach S20 as a watch, alarm clock, and activity tracker. The activity tracking feature records your daily step count, step goal, distance traveled, and calories burned for each recorded day. It also has a Move Alert feature that reminds you to get up and move about after one hour of inactivity. The S20 can also monitor your sleep, with measurements of total sleep, periods of movement, and restful sleep.

Power Requirements: The Approach S20 operates on a built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery. A fully charged battery lasts for up 15 hours (in GPS mode), and up to 8 weeks in activity mode. The unit has four small metal contacts on the back of the device for connecting the supplied clip-on charger/data cable. The cable can be used to connect to your computer for downloading course and firmware updates, uploading scorecards, and charging the battery.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

My buddy has one and he loves it, and every time we play golf I look to him for the yardage to the green, So now every time we play I tell him I'm gonna get me one of those watches so the next time we play I will have one. Plus I love the fact you can input your score and receive messages from your phone on it. [ BRYAN A  Aug 21, 2016 ]
I liked all the features. big display,easy to read and undrestand. the website was great also. [ George  Jun 20, 2016 ]
Great experience with Garmin products (vehicle GPS & boat GPS). User friendly, durable and very reliable products! [ John  May 12, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

I don't have any indication that the watch is charging. So far, it works every time I use it since I charge it every time after I use it. Good question! [ Donna  Mar 28, 2017 ]
You will see the battery indicator on the display charging. It will show the percentage charged. [ Chandra  Mar 27, 2017 ]
A symbol shows up on the battery indicator. Annoy remember if it looks like a plug or a lightening bolt but you get a symbol. [ Raj  Mar 27, 2017 ]

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