Approach S1- Garmin Golf Watch reviews

Garmin Approach S1 GPS Golf Watch
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • Outstanding

  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 70%
  • Value
    Editor: 100%
  • Durable
    Editor: 90%
  • Looks & Feel
    Editor: 90%

Review Summary:

The Garmin Approach S1 is a basic backbone of necessary features that are expected in a Golf GPS device. It will give you the basic distances and shot tracking at the touch of a button. It is extremely convenient to use, which is the biggest selling point of the Approach S1.

By launching the Approach S1, Garmin is combining its watch that making expertise with GPS technology to produce a device which will make life simpler for Golfers. The Approach S1 is the first of its series which has grown to be a legacy in s. The biggest and the most basic advantage of the S1 is that it brings in convenience to the user and all you have to do is swing your wrist. But it covers only the basic distance functionality (3 views per hole) and not the advanced images and hazard areas.

Garmin Approach S1 GPS Golf Watch



  • Battery life: 3 weeks (watch mode), 8 hours (GPS mode)
  • High-sensitivity GPS receiver
  • Provides precise yardage to the front, back, and middle of the green with one quick glance
  • Calculates precise yardage for shots played from anywhere on the course
  • Free lifetime course updates
  • Rugged waterproof design: slim and lightweight, the S1 is designed to take the rigors of the course
  • Odometer: the S1 odometer tells you how far you traveled on the course or off
  • Designed for use as an every day watch featuring an alarm, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and automatic time zone recognition
  • Conforms to USGA/R&A rules
Garmin Approach S1 GPS Golf Watch



  1. Since it covers only the three basic distances - near, middle, far distances from the player, it is easy to navigate and use. A big thumps up on the ease of use with its sleek design and depress buttons.
  2. Shot distances can be measured easily and you can keep a track
  3. No yearly subscription fee for database access
  4. The course coverage is very accurate
  5. Also contains a built in odometer


  1. It lacks the additional hazard distances and images
  2. It cannot keep track of scores and statistics
  3. The battery life is on the low side when you compare it to the big brothers Garmin Approach S3 and S5 but can easily last up to 8 hours. So if you are playing on your local Golf course do not forget to recharge after a couple of rounds
  4. Many users have complained that the charging clip of the S1 does not properly fit in to the port. So many a times you may think it is charging, only to be disappointed a few hours later. So be careful to check the device when you put it on charge. This is the same case as most other watches in the market currently
  5. It has a auto advance feature which cannot be disabled. So if you want to go back you have to do so manually

Setup and Sync: Since the approach S1 comes with more than 17,000 pre-loaded courses you do not really need to sync it. Just charge it up and you are ready to hit the greens. The WebUpdater is a software which will have to be downloaded to keep track of future updates. The device can be easily connected to the computer where the updated data is downloaded. The process is pretty hassle free and is done within minutes.

Course Coverage: The Approach S1 provides excellent course coverage by using the existing company data. however you are limited to only one particular region (North America or Canada). Course accuracy is on the upside and contains more than 17,000 courses for North America alone as mentioned earlier.

Cost/Value: It was launched with a retail of price of $250 but since the introductions of S2 and S3 the price has been reduced to about $180. And with no annual subscription fee, this is all you will ever have to pay for it. For the ease of use, accurate coverage and sleek design it is definitely worth it, unless you are looking for something more advanced.

In the Box: The approach S1 box contains the following:

– USB charging clip and cable. It does not use the mini USB cable in the old versions and you will have to pick up a Garmin special cable if you have one of those old devices

– Adapter to connect to the power source

– Manual for use. Basic function guide and settings

Garmin Approach S1 GPS Golf Watch


Conclusion: The Garmin Approach S1 is a basic backbone of necessary features that are expected in a Golf GPS watch. It will give you the basic distances and shot tracking at the touch of a button. It is extremely convenient to use, which is the biggest selling point of the Approach S1. But since the launch of the other devices in the approach series the S1 leaves a lot to be desired. So if you are looking to buy a low cost convenient to use GPS device this is probably the best Golf GPS watch when comparing with watches in similar price range. It comes with a good brand name, no yearly fee and accurate features without burning a big hole in your pocket. But if you are looking to buy something really advances and with more features the other watches in this series would be a better option.

  • Updated August 29, 2017

I am Brian Jame, a property dealer. I love playing golf and have over 15 years for this game. As a member of GolfLover and, I am willing to share experiences and tips/tricks to improve your golf game as well as provide golf equipment buying guides and reviews.