The Ultimate Garmin Approach S2 Review

Using high-tech devices to improve golf scores is something that we all want to do, isn’t it? The sport is supposed to be a relaxing game. So there’s no reason why I wouldn’t want to make it make myself feel even more comfortable on the golf course. And one such way of doing so is buying a golf GPS watch. So welcome to the Garmin Approach S2 review.

As a novice, I remember how I only wanted to improve my game by lowering the scores. And it was hard to achieve this back then without a device as helpful as a golf GPS watch. But times have changed now, haven’t they?

With the Garmin Approach S2, you can gauge distances. The device comes loaded with as many as 30,000 courses located around the globe. This way you know what you’re up against and can use the right kind of club to deal with every possible challenge.

Sounds like a dream come true to me!

Quick Comparison: Top 4 Best Golf GPS Watches​

Golf GPS Watch



Our Rating

Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch



Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch



Callaway GYPSy Golf GPS Watch



GolfBuddy Voice GPS



* Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on

Factors to take into consideration when buying a golf GPS watch

Buying golf equipment requires you to take into account important parameters. Since these kinds of products are slightly on the expensive side, it’s better to invest in the best.

So let’s discuss the essential features that come in a golf GPS watch.


Size, shape, form, and color may not be as crucial as functionality, but they do matter a lot. We all have personal preferences, don’t we? And we give them a lot of importance. So pick a device that you would carry with pride on the golf course.

Battery Life

The most important factor to take into consideration is battery life. This depends on how long you take to finish a single round of golf. The best golf GPS watch is one that has the ability to last for several rounds.

Data Support

You need to know the number of golf courses that already exist on the device. Also, the chances of downloading new ones are pretty high. So does the golf GPS watch offer this kind of a feature? Some watches charge an extra fee to download additional content while others provide free access.


Every high tech device comes with a set of unique features that adhere to certain needs and requirements. The basic models offer all essential components to get the job done in the most efficient manner.

On the other hand, some devices come with additional features, including customization settings. So depending on what matters to you the most, you can select your pick. (How do golf rangefinders work?)

The Garmin Approach S2 Review

Garmin Approach S2 Review S2 GPS Golf Watch with Worldwide Courses (Black)

In this Garmin Approach S2 review, you will understand how the device helps in making your round of golf easier. A golf GPS watch like this refines your thought process on the golf course. So you end up hitting the most suitable clubs and concentrating on your playing form.

The Garmin Approach S2 comes with a 1-inch LCD screen and a clean, bold interface. These two components make navigating the device more convenient with only four buttons.

And as for weight, the company made the Approach S2 version lighter than its S3 counterpart. This means no additional weight around your wrist to interfere with your swing movement.

The waterproof build of the watch consists of a GPS receiver and stored data of 30,000 golf courses. So spotting the distance from the top, middle, and front of the green is something that you can do once you reach the course. You can even adjust these distances based on your putting territory.

The Approach S2 allows you to measure distances to keep you one step ahead of the game. It prepares you to face challenges by showing you what lies ahead. Apart from this, you can also use digital scorecards to track scores.

And if that wasn’t enough, the unique device also comes with an odometer. Such a feature provides you with useful information like the amount of distance you’ve walked or traveled. It has an 8-hour battery life, which is more than what you need for a single golf round.


  • Setting up and using the Garmin Approach S2 is easy. Once the device is charged and courses pre-loaded, you’re ready to go.
  • The course coverage is excellent, so it doesn’t matter where you’re playing from.
  • Accessing the database on this golf GPS watch is free of cost, unlike other such high-end models.


  • The Garmin Approach S2 lacks an online portal to get hands on additional information.
  • The device doesn’t come with pre-mapped hazards.
  • Adding custom points is also something that you can’t do with this golf GPS watch.

Garmin Approach S2 Review: Features & Benefits


Garmin Approach S2 Review S2 GPS Golf Watch with Worldwide Courses (Black)

Let’s start with the buttons on the device. They are large, hence easy to operate. The band of the watch consists of a high-quality material that works well even when you’re sweaty. And as for the size and weight, they also offer the right kind of comfort. Because nothing should come in between you and your swing, right?


Garmin Approach S2 Review S2 GPS Golf Watch with Worldwide Courses (White)

Every Garmin Approach S2 review discusses the excellent display of the device. It has a 1-inch LCD with a 64×32 px resolution. The clear display is easy and convenient to read even with polarized sunglasses.

The golf GPS watch comes with a backlight that you can turn off and on without any difficulty. This particular component has a time-out function as well.

Now let’s talk about the quality of the screen’s glass covering. Isn’t it always better for the glass to offer scratch resistant properties? That’s what you should expect with the Garmin Approach S2.


The screen of the device displays both time and date in a large font. It offers four operating buttons; Up, Down, OK/Menu, and Power/Backlight. When you press the Menu button, the first option you see is known as “Start Round.” Another press on the same button starts the round.

The GPS feature chooses your golf course automatically depending on your location. All you need to do is wear the watch before powering it up as soon as you reach the course. Once this happens, the Garmin Approach S2 indicates the first green’s yardage. When starting with back nine, you have to navigate through the many holes to reach the 10th one.

As you continue playing the hole, what the Approach S2 does is offers constant updates to provide you with accurate yardage. So you know the distance to the back, front, and center of the green.

Once the hole gets completed, the device advances to the next one automatically. So you don’t have to go through the trouble of doing so yourself. And if you’ve skipped any hole, you can quickly adjust the settings manually using the Up/Down buttons.

Garmin Approach S2 – Understanding Hole Information

The kind of accuracy that you achieve with the Garmin Approach S2 is pretty impressive. To test it, as I did, you can stand near the 200, 150, and 100-yard markers. And if each time the watch is within two yards accuracy, then you know it’s doing everything right.

The Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch.


The device comes with an excellent USB connection. This you can use for charging along with saving your golf rounds to the computer. Connecting the thing to your computer is an easy task. All you have to do is transfer a file known as ScorecardViewer.html.

The only drawback here is that this file only opens in Firefox, not Chrome or Safari. And what it displays is your score, par, and hole number.

The Alternatives

The goal of the Garmin Approach S2 review is to provide you with a highly functional golf GPS watch. And presenting this particular device is not my only duty here. It’s important that you know all about the product’s competitors and alternatives too. So if you somehow don’t like certain features or design qualities of the Approach S2, you can always change course.

Here are the three best alternatives to the Garmin Approach S2:

1.Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch

Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch, White/Blue - Garmin Approach S2 Review

The Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch has a square design, unlike Approach S2’s circular structure. Such a shape goes a long way in improving user flexibility and effectiveness. Setting up the watch and using it are tasks that even beginners will be able to comprehend without much difficulty.

The best part about the Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch is its long battery life. It has the ability to last for as long as 24 hours. And the course recognition capacity of the device is equally phenomenal. Identifying the course is something that the watch does quite easily and quickly.

The 3 major differences between Garmin Approach S2 and Bushnell NEO XS:

  • The battery of Garmin Approach S2 works for 8 hours with a single charge. While Bushnell NEO XS offers 24 hours battery life.
  • ​Bushnell NEO XS provides additional hazard information, unlike the Approach S2.
  • The GPS receiver of the Garmin Approach S2 has high sensitivity properties. These deliver more powerful signal strength and better under-tree tracking. Now, this is a benefit that you don’t get with the Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch.

Check out the Bushnell NEO XS Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch 

2.Callaway GYPSy Golf GPS Watch

Callaway GPSy Golf Watch, Black - Garmin Approach S2 Review

The Callaway GYPSy Golf GPS Watch is an ideal choice for golfers who take the game seriously. Getting assistance on doglegs and hazards along with receiving accurate readings are the most important functions of the watch.

Just like the Garmin Approach S2, this device too comes with 30,000 courses from all over the world. The auto golf course recognition is what the product excels at. On top of that, you also get the opportunity to use an odometer and scorekeeper on this thing.

With a 10-hour battery life, the Callaway GYPSy and Garmin Approach S2 are not too far apart. So let’s discuss some noteworthy differences between the two models.

The 3 major differences between Garmin Approach S2 and Callaway GYPSy:

  • The scorekeeper of the Callaway GYPSy tracks putts, GIR, and scores. This is the primary function of the Callaway device. On the other hand, the Garmin Approach S2 calculates accurate shot distances from any spot spanning across the course.
  • ​The Garmin Approach S2 provides precise dogleg and layup distances to add more practicality. While the Callaway GYPSy excels at displaying carry distances behind hazards as well.
  • The Approach S2 is easier to navigate and use than the GYPSy model.

Check out the Callaway GYPSy Golf GPS Watch

3.GolfBuddy Voice GPS

GolfBuddy Voice GPS Rangefinder - Garmin Approach S2 Review

Let me begin by stating that the GolfBuddy Voice GPS is the best affordable golf GPS device on the market. And the product is in no way any less competitive than its more expensive counterparts. The GolfBuddy Voice GPS comes with not 30,000 but 35,000 golf courses.

The device’s unique selling point is the Voice Telling feature. It gives you accurate distances to the back, center, and front of the green. Plus, carrying it around is not a problem either. All you have to do is clip the thing to your shirt, belt, or hat.

The 3 major differences between Garmin Approach S2 and GolfBuddy Voice GPS:

  • The GolfBuddy Voice features a Voice Telling function that speaks in eight different languages. Now, this sounds like a huge advantage that you don’t get with the Approach S2.
  • Measuring exact distances might be a problem for the GolfBuddy Voice GPS on certain courses. On the other hand, the Garmin Approach S2 provides accurate yardages across all golf courses.
  • The most noticeable difference is the shape and form of the two devices. The GolfBuddy Voice GPS requires you to clip it on while the Approach S2 is a watch.

Check out the GolfBuddy Voice GPS


This Garmin Approach S2 review is to highlight the fact that the device is not only stylish but also functional and convenient to use. With a user-friendly interface, the golf GPS watch makes all the necessary information available right there on the wrist.

If you’re anything like me, then you know how important such a practical device is in the game of golf. Unlike other models on the market, the Approach S2 doesn’t come with complicated button sets and exotic features.

In fact, the Garmin Approach S2 review clearly states all the valuable benefits the device offers to suit every golfer’s needs. It’s the smooth operation, solid infrastructure, and accurate mapping that you might appreciate the most. So now you know what to expect from a brand as reliable as Garmin.

Check out the Garmin Approach S2 GPS Golf Watch 





Golfer Hill

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