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Image of four colors of the Garmin Approach S20 golf watch. Blue, Black, Grey, and white.

Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch

Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch Review

The Garmin Approach S20 golf watch was released before the Garmin x40, but is still considered to be one of the newer golf watches on the market.  The S20 is not as slim or sleek as the x40, but has a larger watch face and comes with many of the same features.  With this golf watch, Garmin is attempting to appeal to consumers who are interested in an Apple watch. The design of this watch seems to mimic the Apple watch while providing some of the familiar features that Garmin provides in other golf watches. We rate the Garmin Approach S20 as the best golf watch of 2017 for golfers prioritizing battery life and cool practice range features.

The Garmin Approach S20 provides the yardage to all portions of the green like other new-age golf watches.  Although the S20 doesn’t come with the heart-rate monitoring software of the X40, it still has all of the other cool features. What makes the S20 stand out from other golf watches is its super long battery life.  If you’re in the market for a golf GPS watch with great technology that boasts a great battery life, this is the golf watch for you.

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Hazard Yardage – 

The Garmin Approach S20 golf watch gives you the yardage to all layup positions on the course, including the bunkers, doglegs, lakes, and other hazards.  The watch face on this golf watch is larger than the X40’s and measures the distance to any portion of any hazard on a golf course.  With the larger watch face, it’s a little easier to navigate the screen on this golf watch. It is also easier to see the data on the screen of this golf watch.

 Golf Course Coverage – 

Just like other Garmin golf watches, the S20 golf watch comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 different golf courses. This golf watch does not require any subscriptions or monthly fees. After purchasing this golf watch, you simply need to charge it and turn it on.   Like all Garmin golf watch products, the S20 features free course updates.

Image of a white Garmin Approach S20 golf watch on a man's left arm.

Watch Face – 

The Garmin Approach S20 features a 0.9” x 0.9” (23 x 23 mm) display screen that is 168 x 68 pixels.  This is a much larger screen than x40 golf watch and mirrors the look and feel of an apple watch. The screen is sunlight readable making it easy to see the golf watch during the round. Although this golf watch does not have a touch screen, its simple design gives it an extended battery life and is large enough to display everything you need to better manage your golf round.

The Garmin Approach S20 golf watch features a breathable and lightweight watchband that is very lightweight for its size at 1.5 0z. The golf watch is also waterproof (as opposed to water resistant) to 50 meters.

Green View Display – 

The S20 golf GPS watch also features the green view display feature. This feature provides the shape and contours of the green on every golf hole. You can also move the pin around to place the pin in different areas of the green giving you near-perfect yardage to the target.  This is a great feature of the golf watch and pushes it into the “high-end” category.

Activity Tracking –

The S20 is jam packed with cool activity tracking technology. This S20 golf watch does not come with a heart rate monitor like the X40, but is still great for tracking daily step counts and running. The golf watch can also be set to remind you to move around after being stagnate for a period of time. If you sit at a desk for a living, this is a great feature to get you on your feet at regular intervals.

Battery Life –

The battery life on the Garmin Approach S20 golf watch is its stand out feature. According to Garmin’s website, the Garmin Approach S20 features a lithium-ion battery that will last for 15 hours on full GPS mode before the golf watch needs to be recharged. This is 10 hours longer than the Garmin X40 and much longer than the Garmin S6.  Put simply, this is the best golf watch battery in the Garmin line of golf watches.

Other Features:

Image of the Garmin Approach S20 golf watch with four different screen displays. Shot distance, Pin placement, bluetooth, and GarminConnect.

AutoShot Round Analyzer –

The Garmin Approach S20 golf watch comes with the AutoShot Round Analyzer just like other new products in the Garmin line.  This feature automatically detects shots during the round and gives you data on all of your strokes.   This is a great feature of this golf watch and is a big reason why Garmin leads the field in golf watch technology.

Garmin Connect Golf Community –

The Garmin Approach S20 golf watch Garmin Connect feature tracks golf rounds and allows you to upload data to the internet. After doing so, you can compare your golf watch data with the Garmin community to see how you stack up.   This feels sort of like a video game feature allowing you to see how you compare to other golfers.

Scorecard and Stats Feature – 

This Garmin Approach S20 golf watch allows you to keep the score on the golf watch. This feature saves you time and frustration that comes with recording the score on a scorecard and keeping track of it after your round. All Garmin golf watches come with this feature. It’s a great option for detail oriented post-round analysis.

TruSwing Technology –

The Garmin Approach S20 golf watch also has an optional feature called TruSwing.  TrueSwing is a great practice feature that attaches to your golf club. TrueSwing gives you real-time 3-dimensional animations of your golf swing and other metrics that are great for figuring out how to optimize your game.  This feature is great for the golf range and provides helpful stats that shave strokes off of your game.

Image of the Garmin Connect technology of the Garmin Approach S20 golf watch.

Bluetooth Feature –

This golf watch is equipped with a Bluetooth feature (much like the X40 and S6). This familiar feature allows you to pair it with your cell phone and other Bluetooth capable devices. This allows the user to receive emails, texts, alerts and more right on your watch.

Style –

The Garmin Approach S20 golf watch has a fairly sleek and stylish look and feel. Garmin has a habit of mimicking the style of popular watch technology and this golf watch is no different. The S20 golf watch is Garmin’s version of the Apple watch. As such, it’s a pretty stylish watch that can be worn to the office and in casual settings. Although the golf watchband is athletic looking, it has a high end feel that will do well in most settings.


  • Great battery life
  • 40,000+ of pre-loaded courses
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • Precise pin locations
  • Activity Tracking technology
  • Heart rate monitor
  • TruSwing Technology
  • Accurate
  • Digital scorecard feature
  • Exact yardage to different hazards
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Waterproof
  • Garmin Connect Technology


  • A little expensive
  • Does not include a touch screen
  • Must purchase other Garmin products to take advantage of TrueSwing and other features

 Is this the best golf watch for you? 

  • This golf watch is the best option for a golfer looking for a product that can last multiple rounds.  The Garmin Approach S20 is accurate, has reliable features, and is compatible with Garmin’s best golf watch technology.  To get the full benefit of this great golf golf gps watch, we recommend purchasing the Garmin TruSwing.

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For more information, feel free to check out Garmin’s Promotional video below:

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


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