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Image of three Garmin Approach S2 golf gps watches in different colors. Black/Green, white, and all black.

The Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch

Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch Review

The Approach S2 is one of the best golf GPS watches on the market year after year.  This is why (not so) surprisingly, it is still one of the best golf GPS watches of 2016.  It has staying power – plain and simple.  The Garmin Approach S2 golf GPS watch provides the yardage to the front, middle, and back of the green and gives you yardage to two layup areas on a given hole.  This golf GPS watch is also one of the most affordable golf GPS devices on the market.  If you are on a budget, have a simple game and value consistency, this is the watch for you.

Check the Price on Amazon


Hazard Yardage –

This watch does not offer yardage to bunkers or over ponds  and similar hazards and it does not give you the width of the fairway.  In that regard, the watch is limited in its capability.  If you’re a golfer that is hungry for every detail of the course, you may consider purchasing the Garmin Approach S6.  However, for the budget-conscious weekend golfer, this watch has tremendous value.

Technology –

Garmin Approach is currently selling the Garmin Approach x40 golf GPS watch so the S2 is not exactly “new” technology.  However, it is a smart and affordable alternative to some of the more expensive watches.  With 38,000 different golf courses across the globe loaded into the watch, you’ll be hard pressed to find a course that isn’t covered.  The Garmin Approach S2 also features a built-in digital scorecard, which allows you to enter your scores directly into your watch with ease.  No more logging scores in scorecards with pencils and pens, only to lose the scorecard and the valuable round data.

Watch Face –

The Approach S2 has a one-inch monochrome LCD with 64 x 32 pixels.  The watch offers front-middle-back yardage, yardage to the layup position and the dogleg, and a scorecard for digitally keeping your score in real time (and uploading your rounds to the computer later on).

Four different watch faces of the Garmin Approach S2 golf gps watch.

Battery Life

The Garmin Approach S2 boasts a battery life of about 36 holes of golf while you’re actively using the golf GPS function.  This is enough for a long day on the golf course with your friends.  But remember, it must be fully charged for you to get this much golf out of it.  If you’re not using the GPS function, the watch will stay powered for about three weeks without needing a charge.

Style –

This is a versatile watch that can be worn casually or to work.  The black model is not clunky or flashy, but is nice enough to get noticed by anyone paying attention.  If you’re into a bit more flash, the Garmin Approach S2 golf GPS watch comes in a variety of colors.


Blue Garmin Approach S2 golf gps watch on a man's wrist


  • Affordable
  • Tons of pre-loaded courses
  • Accurate (even from the rough or out of bounds areas)
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to wear
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Scorecard function
  • Yardage to the dogleg and layup locations


  • Does not offer yardages to bunkers or lakes
  • At times you’ll have to manually adjust it to reflect the correct hole

 Is this the best golf watch for you? 

  • The functionality of a GPS watch is more important than a fancy layout or a touch screen and this watch makes your game more predictable for the right price.   This watch has been sold (new) on amazon for as low as $99.  Buy this watch if this is your first time purchasing a GPS watch or if you’re frustrated with another model.  Because this watch is predictable and offers great features, it is still one of the best golf GPS watches of 2016. If you’re interested in checking the current price on, check out the link below.

Check the Price on Amazon

For more of our golf watch reviews please check out our best golf watch page.

10 thoughts on “The Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch”

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  3. Craig Pichinino

    I have had my S2 for3 to 4 years and is great. Recently it has only stay charged about 4 hours on the course after a night of recharging. What can be the problem and the fix?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Craig – I’m not sure anything can be done to increase the battery life. The S2 usually allows you to squeeze in 36 holes while in GPS mode from my experience testing it – as long as you’re not playing 5-6 hour rounds. 4 hours seems like there may be an issue with the battery. You might want to contact Garmin if the warranty on the watch is still valid.

  4. I have had the s2 for over a year now and have been very happy with the performance , but recently I was supprized to fond that it did not agree with another gags watch a friend was wearing . Could it be that my older version may need re calibrating ?

    1. Hi Steve – I wouldn’t immediately assume that the Garmin is the GPS device that is malfunctioning. Although there is no way for me to tell whether your watch is accurately reporting yardages this long after its initial release, I have no reason to believe that it would be faulty. All watches/gps devices also have a +/- 3 yard MOE

  5. My Garmin S2 was not holding a charge for 18 holes. A friend suggested cleaning the contacts on the GPS and the charging cable. That worked great.

  6. When I leave my Garmin S2 off the charger for a long time it takes days to chafe back up. Do I need new battery ?
    Ron Baugh

    1. Hi Ronald,

      The S2 is a sturdy golf watch, but it certainly is a bit old. If you’re experiencing issues with the battery charging and/or how long the battery holds a charge, you may consider upgrading to a newer model or swapping the battery if you can get your hands on a replacement.

      Play well!

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