Garmin Approach S62 Review: The Best GPS Watch Gets Better

Posted by on June 10, 2020  /   Posted in golf tips

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In the past year, one of the most frequently asked questions I've received from readers is "when does Garmin release an update for the Approach S60 watch?" Golfers could feel it was at the end of the product cycle and didn't want to make a purchase without seeing what a newer, shinier model would offer. Fortunately, the wait is over. The Garmin Approach S62 GPS watch

is on sale now and I had the opportunity to try it out on the golf course this spring.

The S60 watch maintained its position for years as the best GPS watch on the market. It's hard to imagine what improvements were needed, but Garmin managed to come up with some improvements and new features that haven't been seen before. In this review, I try to solve the problem of choosing between the two watches (the S60 is still on the market

), and whether you need all the bells and whistles.

What has improved

The Garmin S60 didn't have much to complain about – you can read my review here. With detailed maps of each hole, ability to track swing pace, height adjustments for elevation changes, and a host of other features, this was the best golf GPS watch in recent years.

But as technology improves, new releases try to go beyond the originals.

I summarize the main features I noted in the Approach S62:

The resolution is sharper and the screen is even easier to read in direct sunlight (the dial is also 17% larger).
It's much faster – especially when I use the on-screen map to select points on the track. There was a slight delay, but now it is almost instantaneous.
Garmin has improved hazard information. You can quickly walk back and forth through the distances to sand traps and other points of interest on the hole without having to manually select them on the map.
The battery life is much longer; I can play three rounds without charging the watch.

New features in the S62

The Garmin Approach S62

has a few new features that its predecessor did not have. However, I am not completely sold on their utility.

The virtual caddy is perhaps their biggest new addition. After gathering information about your typical distances at each club, it takes into account the wind speed, distance, elevation changes and the layout of the hole to advise you on which club and which target to choose. While I have not been able to use this feature, I have to say that I am & # 39; philosophical & # 39; against making these decisions for you. I am very skeptical that it can make the right choice in any case, but more importantly, I believe those choices should be made by the golfer.

I am not suggesting that the virtual caddy will not be useful to players, but in a perfect world I would like you to go through the Practical Golf archives to learn how to make these decisions without the help of a ( potentially) imperfect technology.

One of my favorite features, swing tempo, is still a great practice tool

The Approach S62 can also be paired with your smartphone to display wind direction and speed. I live in an area where it is quite windy, and it is normal for the wind direction to change several times during a lap. This is also another area where I think a golfer should rely on his senses, not technology. I am not against knowing the prevailing wind conditions of the day, but I would think it wise to make the right decision about what the wind is actually doing right now.

Finally, the Approach S62 comes with built-in shot tracking capability. Garmin has built a nice statistics app and it fits nicely with the watch. You must manually ensure that the club you use with each recording is correct. If you want a more seamless experience then I would recommend adding their CT10 sensors

which I have used and recommend in the past.
An example of tee shot distribution with the Garmin stats app

In general, I am not completely sold to the virtual caddy or wind functions, but I believe that the automatic tracking of shots is the strongest additional feature. I am a big believer in golfers keeping their stats to help them make better decisions on the course. My preference is that you are the one who makes those decisions, not artificial intelligence.

The Approach S62 can also be your smartwatch

Garmin also did much more than golf to build even more value in the S62. The watch pairs with your smartphone to provide various notifications (text messages etc.). But I think the main feature that might seduce some is the new heart rate technology.

The past 18 months I have had an Apple Watch and mainly used it as a fitness tracker (and motivator). The results were quite powerful for me. If you're someone who is or wants to start exercising, I think fitness tracking is a great feature that the Approach S62

could make a permanent fixture on your wrist rather than just a golf accessory. Garmin has a robust app that can track your fitness progress and heart rate.

As an Apple aficionado, I would say that the S62 will not replace my Apple watch because the sync feature is so powerful with the iPhone. But if you don't currently have a smartwatch or are using Android for mobile, then I think there are plenty of new features to make it a great smartwatch.

The Final Verdict

Garmin easily retains the title of the best golf GPS watch with the Approach S62

. But it does create a decision because the Approach S60 is still available for purchase at a lower price. Based on the current market, it seems to be somewhere between a price difference of $ 100 – $ 150.

The new improvements are nice, but compared to its predecessor I wouldn't call them game changers. If you absolutely want a great golf watch, and the price is an important consideration, then it might make sense to go with the Approach S60. However, if the extra smartwatch features are important to you, and you want the benefit of some of the newer improvements, then it might make sense to spend the extra money.

Either way, both are excellent watches. The only other watch I've seen that can be compared at a slightly lower price point is the Voice Caddy G1. In addition, if you want a more basic model, I would recommend going with the Garmin Approach S20

.

Overall, Garmin has done a fantastic job of creating a premium golf GPS watch with a robust set of features.

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