Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch Review

The Garmin Approach S20 is a modern classic golf watch. It is one of the first golf GPS watches made by the Garmin Limited (a US GPS navigation company). Although it was released in 2016, this rangefinder remains a favorite among many golfers for a couple of reasons.

Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch

The number one reason obviously is the fact that it is a brand-name device. The Garmin Ltd. brand is a GPS products company that is a renowned brand especially in the manufacture of smart fitness gear. For this reason, quite a number of golfers and fitness enthusiasts buy this golf watch just for prestige. However, this is not to mean that the watch is not versatile or functional because it is just that.

It has a unique round analyzer that allows you to automatically record shot distances and to later analyze your shots so as to know how to tweak your game to get better scores. In contrast to other golf watches in the same price range as it, the Garmin Approach S20 records and keeps track of additional stats such as fairway hits and putts per round.

What’s even more important is that before you hit your shot, you can use this watch to see the distance to the front, the center, and the back of the green. You can also use it to view dogleg and layup distances so as to strategize and get a good score out of a tight situation.

Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch Green View

The S20 is compatible with Garmin’s TruSwing golf sensor (sold separately). The use of the sensor allows for the accurate measurement of your golf swing metrics. Most users who have bought the TruSwing have been able to subsequently improve their swings using the metrics.

As mentioned earlier, Garmin is a renowned fitness gear manufacturer. Hence it does not come as a surprise that the S20 doubles up as a fitness tracker. You can use it as a pedometer, to calculate the calories your burn daily, to estimate the distance you cover every day, to remind yourself to stay active, and even to monitor your sleep. Thus, with it, you will not only be probably hitting birdies on the course but also keeping yourself fit without necessarily going to the gym.

In addition to this device’s versatility, most golfers will also love its stylish, lightweight design and comfortable feel.

Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch Smartphone Notifications

Anyone who has used the Garmin Approach S20 will also probably be in full praise of the gadget’s 128 by 128 pixels high-resolution, monochrome, sunlight-readable display.

Its high capacity battery that lasts for extended periods of time before requiring any recharge also deserves much praise.


  • Stylish brand-name golf watch
  • Comes with a high-resolution 128 by 128 pixels sunlight-readable monochrome screen
  • Auto-shot recording to improve your play and get you hitting better shots in no time
  • TruSwing compatible for swing metrics analysis
  • Doubles up as a fitness tracker that measures steps, counts calories burned and monitors sleep
  • Comes with a pretty good app available for both Android and iOS users
  • Very sleek and comfortable but durable wristband
  • Great worldwide coverage with over 40,000 multinational preloaded courses
  • Free to update course maps or to download more
  • Can notify you of calls and other alerts


  • Advanced controls may be too complicated to some
  • A bit expensive (but worth every penny)

Garmin Approach S20 FAQs

How large is the screen?

The screen size on this unit is pretty good at 128 by 128 pixels as it is pretty visible and excellent for quickly reading scores, distances, time, calories burned and so on.

What preloaded courses come on the device?

Over 40,000 global golf course maps are preloaded on the Garmin Approach s20.

Are there any subscription fees?

No subscription fees.

How accurate is the watch?

Like most Garmin gadgets, this device is pretty accurate. It is fitted with a powerful chipset to guarantee the precision and accuracy.

How much does it weigh?

The Garmin Approach weighs 1.6 ounces (45.4 grams).

How long does the battery last?

For a device that is over 2 years old on the market, this golf watch has a pretty powerful battery. The battery is so good that it typically lasts for over four full rounds of golf.

How long does it take to recharge?

The Approach S20 takes between 60 to 120 minutes to recharge, which is more or less the average time most golf GPS watches take to charge.

Is it waterproof?

No, it is not. But it is water resistant (will probably survive a light drizzle). However, you should not submerge it under water as that may almost certainly destroy it.

Is it tournament legal?

Yes, it is. It does not measure elevation or wind speed so it is definitely a legal rangefinder. However, specific tournaments have specific rules about the use of rangefinders so you are better off confirming with the organizers before using it to avoid penalties.

Does the Garmin Approach S20 have a phone app?

Garmin probably has the best complementary phone app on the market. This device is compatible with the App (available on Play Store and App Store). You can use the app to update courses, to analyze your rounds, to analyze your swing, to check your records, and to share your game history (or specific parts of it) with your golf buddies.

Best Features

  • Stylish brand name device
  • Golf rangefinder and fitness tracker
  • Great screen display

Final Word on the S20

Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch

Here is the final word on the Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch.

This is a decent brand name watch that you should definitely buy

If you are looking for a stylish and recognizable golf watch that packs so many features and functions and is sold at a relatively affordable price.

Brad Carey

Brad Carey

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About GolfGPSChoice

Hey! I’m Brad and as an avid golfer for many years, I know the struggle of choosing golfing gear! GPS devices were no different! That’s why I created GolfGPSChoice. To present you with the options, and help you make the right choice for you.

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