The Garmin S60 Vs. The Garmin S40 Review

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Have you ever been on a course you’ve never played before and made bad club choices because you weren’t familiar with the lay of the land? It happens a lot which is why you are seeing more and more golf GPS watches on the market and on the links.

Golf watches are getting better and better and quite honestly, it’s hard to keep up. Luckily, golf is our job and we’ve got a couple of golf GPS watches that we want to review and compare.

Today’s watches are both from Garmin and they are both intended for serious golfers looking for an edge on courses they know like the back of their hand, and ones they are playing for the first time.

Modern golf GPS watches are useful off the course as well and today’s two are no exception. Fitness buffs and sportsmen will also find these watches useful when they aren’t playing around. Let’s get started.

The Garmin Approach S40 Features

Garmin s40

Garmin is a familiar name in the golf GPS watch market. They have been producing these products for a long time now so it is no surprise that they represent the pinnacle of GPS technology and functionality. Their flagship watch for some time has been the Approach S40.

The Approach S40 is a touchscreen (1.2” diameter color display) smartwatch that comes loaded with helpful features. It does all the basics like records your swings, keeps score and displays par information. But this is not your starter golf watch.

The S40 also shows you the actual shape of the green of the hole you are on along with your distance to the back, front and middle of it. Using your finger on the touchscreen display, you can even drag and drop the pin to the exact current location on the green.

This watch also looks great. The display is circular so it looks like a traditional watch. But you can download different watch faces to customize it. You can even download widgets so you can stay on top of news, weather sports and more.

The entire watch including the silicone band weighs about 1.5 ounces and it isn’t very bulky so it doesn’t interfere with your swing. You can manually input hazards into any given course profile. It also features a pedometer, activity alerts, calorie monitor and fitness profiles for cycling, swimming and running.

The Garmin Approach S60 Features

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We have tested and reviewed our fair share of Garmin watches but the S60 is something else. It is essentially the pinnacle of Garmin watches and represents their best efforts towards helping golfers improve their game and keeping them fit.

It has all the same golf and fitness features as the S40 but offers even more. Like the S40, the S60 features a full color, 1.2’ touchscreen display. It weighs in at about 1.6 ounces but it feels the same as the S40 which again, is 1.5 ounces.

The differences start with the course maps. The S60 features full color aerial course maps. It shows you hazards, dog legs and traps with clarity on the sun-readable, 240×240 pixel, color display.

The S60 also has something called the touch targeting feature. While previous Approach watches only show you distances to greens, traps and other pre-set targets, the S60 gives you accurate distances to any point on the course map you choose. The S60 also compensates for slope.

The differences continue with more sports apps. The S60 gives you helpful apps for more activities like cross country skiing, snowboarding, paddle boarding and rowing.

Price Point Comparison

The average price difference (depending on the retailer you buy from) between the S40 and the S60 is about $50. The S40 is usually priced at about $250 while the S60 typically costs $300.

Performance Comparison

As far as performance goes, these two watches are pretty much the same. They weigh the same, are about the same size and feel the same on the wrist. We noticed that the S40 has slightly better battery life in GPS mode than the S60 though.

Another difference is that the S60 allows for very easy wristband swapping. The wristband it came with was comfortable but you can switch it out if you don’t like it very easily. You don’t need to break out that tiny screwdriver that you use for your eyeglasses.

Youtube Review

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Approach S40 Pros & Cons


  • Better battery life
  • Detects some of the kinds of shots you take
  • Automatically records distances of certain shots
  • It is made of sturdy materials
  • Looks great on and off the course
  • Drag and drop pin setting


  • Fewer sports profiles
  • No touch targeting
  • Connection with smart phones can be spotty
  • The screen freezes sometimes

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Approach S60 Pros & Cons

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  • More sports apps
  • Includes accurate touch targeting
  • Full aerial view color course maps
  • You can easily switch out the wristband
  • High resolution 240×240 pixel display
  • Tells you distances to hazards and layups


  • Battery doesn’t last as long as the S40
  • More expensive
  • Distances are sometimes inaccurate
  • No heart rate monitor

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Our Recommendation

s60 Approach

The s60 is an Amazing Golf Watch

Although these watches are fairly similar, one definitely stood out to us over the other. In our opinion, the S60 is a superior golf watch. Not just because of the extra golf GPS and fitness features, but because it represents the latest technology in smart and sport watches.

That being said, the odd inaccurate distance were annoying to us but that didn’t happen enough for us to shy away from it. We still find it much more convenient than carrying around a range finder all the time. The watch looks great, we loved wearing it and we loved using the new features that the S40 didn’t come with.

In the end, the S60 is simply the upgraded version of the S60 so why wouldn’t we like it more? The S40 is still a very solid golf watch but if you can spend the extra money, we recommend the S60. It is very useful and would make a great gift for any golfer. Be sure to give it a try the next time you are watch shopping.


The Garmin Approach s60


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