Garmin have been one of the leading brands in golf GPS devices over the past few years and the Garmin Approach S10 represents one of their entry level GPS golf watches.
Retailing at just over £100, the Approach S10 is designed to compete in the lower end of the market compared to some of their more flagship models such as the Approach S62.
It’s also a golf watch from conception and not a smart watch with golfing features. In that sense it’s designed for use on the golf course only and doesn’t offer smart notifications or other tracking activity that come with some of Garmins other models such as the Vivoactive 3.
- Sleek, lightweight and comfortable GPS watch
- High-resolution, sunlight-readable display
- Yardages to the front, middle and back of the green
- Yardages to hazards and doglegs
- 41,000 preloaded courses worldwide
- Score tracking
- Battery lasts up to 12 hours in GPS golf mode
Garmin Approach S10 Design and Features
The first thing you notice about the Approach S10 is the contemporary slim and sleek design. The watch is definitely one of the better looking golf watches, particularly in the lower end of the market.
It comes with a 23mm x 23mm face which houses a pixel resolution of 128×128. On “smarter” watches this may appear a little pixelated, but for the use of the features on the Approach S10 it’s perfectly fine.
The screen also has white text on a black background which makes the yardages and other information really easy to read. It also looks pretty cool! And thanks to the sunlight visible screen, I’ve had no issues with the watch even in some of the most glorious UK weather.
Unfortunately however, it’s not a touchscreen display. Navigation through the features is done by the four different buttons on the side of the watch which can be a little bit of guesswork at first, but easy enough one you understand how it works.
Finally, the watch is finished off with a silicone strap. I chose the granite blue option, but there are three colour options in total including full black and a grey version. All three look great but I went for the blue for something a little different.
In terms of features, the Garmin Approach S10 keeps things simple. It comes with Garmins standard 41,000 worldwide courses preloaded. This means unlike some of Garmins smart watches with golfing features, there’s no need to download course data before heading to the golf course.
The data also delivers more than other watches in this price bracket. With distances to hazards, bunkers, dog-legs, lay up yardages and other course targets, you should have no issue navigating around a golf course you’ve never played before with the S10.
You can also track your scores with the shot tracking feature but unfortunately these won’t sync up automatically with the Garmin App. You have to connect the watch manually to your PC with the cable to see your post round data. This seems a little out of date, but won’t be something all golfers will use.
Another cool feature that is included on the watch is shot distance measuring. Given this is after all an entry level watch, the feature on the S10 isn’t as intuitive and automatic as some of Garmins other golf watches, but it’s easy enough to use as and when required via. one of the buttons on the side of the face.
For the average golfer the features will be more than enough for general day to day use. With up to 12 hours battery life with GPS enabled (14 days without) it’ll also mean most golfers can get away with only charging the watch every 2-3 rounds.
For a full comparison of features see the table below.
|Features||Garmin Approach S10||Garmin Approach S40||Garmin Approach S62|
|Preloaded with 41k Courses||✅||✅||✅|
|Yardages to F/M/B||✅||✅||✅|
|Yardage to Layups/Doglegs||✅||✅||✅|
|Measures Shot Distance||Manual||Auto||Auto|
|Full Vector Maps||✅|
|Auto Courseview Updates||✅||✅|
|Green View with Manual Pin Position||✅||✅|
|Hazards & Course Targets||✅||✅||✅|
|Auto Club Tracking (requires accessory)||✅||✅|
|Wind speed and direction||✅|
Garmin Approach S10 Performance
The first thing I noticed about the watch is how light it was! I generally can’t play golf with a watch and usually prefer a golf rangefinder vs a golf GPS for this reason, but the S10 was barely noticeable when playing.
The silicone strap holds the watch securely on your wrist too so there was no movement or re-adjustments required. If I’m being really picky, it was a little fiddly to get on my wrist. The silicone is designed not to slip which also means its hard to feed the strap through the buckle.
However once you’ve battled through that, I also found the distances from the S10 to be very accurate. Garmin have done a good job in mapping the courses and you get the same distances from the S10 as you would from any of their more premium watches.
I found the yardages to be very accurate to the front, middle and back of the green. I was using a Bushnell rangefinder alongside the watch and the distances were always within a yard or two of each other.
The previews of the green were also on point with accurate representations of the shape of the greens. The dot at the front and the back to show where the distances measure to was really nice addition too – particularly on dog legs or when you hit it as wild as I do off the tee!
I did, however, spot that Garmin seemed to think there was a fairway bunker on one of the holes that didn’t have one. Other than that though, the information was generally up to date and accurate. Even on one of the holes where the green had been moved and revamped a couple of years ago.
I also found hazard data and layup yardages very useful and something that got me thinking to ditch my rangefinder for the GPS.
Again if I was being picky, the only thing I would complain about is the time it took to find the satellites. I’ve used the watch in some pretty heavy rain and it takes a minute or two for the GPS to locate, but you shouldn’t let that put you off.
Garmin Approach S10 Conclusion
Overall the watch does an excellent job at what it was designed to do. There are enough features on the S10 to cover the requirements for the majority of golfers.
The battery life will last a couple of rounds at (least) so you won’t be caught short on the course. At this price point, if you’re in the market for something simple that will give you the yardages you want, then this is 100% the watch to buy!
However, if you’re after something with additional features, check out some of the options below.
Premium golf watch for serious golfers who want more access to more features and data.
Entry level golf GPS watch from Garmin with 41,000+ pre loaded courses