Garmin Approach X40 Golf GPS Watch Review

Garmin Approach X40 GPS Golf Band

I was intrigued when golf watches first came out because score keeping was one of the first basic features. Now we have a wave of next generation golf watches. The Garmin Approach X40 is a simple, effective, accurate and cost effective solution from a well respected brand. The Garmin Approach X40 doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles so if you are into that kind of thing, check out the s20, s40 or s60. The X40 does what it says on the tin and it represents a good value effective watch.

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Keeping Things Simple

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First of all the Garmin Approach X40 is ready to go right out of the package. It charges pretty quickly and uses a USB connection so you can charge it on pretty much any device from the past decade.

When you get to the course all you have to do is hit the device button and tap one icon (the one where the little man is swinging a club) and it pulls up golf courses in your area. Then you just choose the one you are at.

This watch will be great for golfers who want to modernize and ditch the pencil and scorecard because it has a score tracking feature where it displays the par for each hole. It adds a couple of putts to each par but it is easy to manually adjust the score with the touchscreen.

Getting on the Green

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Course locating and scorekeeping are not the only features of the Garmin Approach X40 watch that come in handy. The watch maps each green and displays its size and shape right on the screen. You can also adjust the pin position in this feature depending on the position of the day.

I really like the distance monitor too especially on opening drives. You can measure how far you hit your ball and before you even take a swing you can see the exact distance you are from the back, middle and front of the green which comes in handy when you aren’t quite sure how hard of a swing you should take.

Sleek Design

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Others may not appreciate it but I really like the scant approach Garmin took in designing this watch. It is very light on the wrist and has a very slim profile. It weighs only 1.6 ounces and is pretty much the size of a FitBit.

I went with the black and grey model but it comes in 3 other colors and there are extra-large models for those with larger wrists. What I like most about the design though is that it does not get in the way of my shot. It isn’t bulky, it doesn’t clip my pants when I take a swing and it is not heavy.

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  • Eliminates the need to carry scorecards and pencils
  • Is more affordable than some other golf watches
  • If you use Garmin Connect you can actually see where you rank on the leaderboards of courses
  • It comes preloaded with lots of course maps and data
  • You can connect the Garmin Approach X40 with your TruSwing sensor to see your swing information right on the watch
  • The battery lasts for 10 hours when it is in GPS mode


  • The touch screen is a bit sensitive
  • The screen scratches easily and feels a bit delicate
  • Unless you are a pro you will probably have no use for the pin positioning feature
  • The time it takes to pull up courses near you is a bit long

Summing it All Up

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When compared to the higher Approach models the Garmin Approach X40 is a stripped down, sleek and has all the features that are necessary on the golf course. I personally really like it despite the fact that there are one or two features that I don’t use very often.

I would give the design a solid B as it is lightweight, slim and doesn’t affect my swing in any way. It would garner an A+ if the screen weren’t so finicky.

Still I am really happy with this watch because it gets down to the bare bones of what a golfer really needs on the course. I would definitely suggest giving Garmin Approach X40 some serious thought if you are in the market for a GPS enabled golf watch and you don’t like a lot of technical and physical clutter.

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