Garmin Approach S40 Golf Watch

Silver Garmin Approach S40 best golf watch

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Garmin Approach S40 Golf GPS Watch Review

Garmin has finally come out with a new golf watch with the Garmin Approach S40 and it does not disappoint. Just like the Garmin Approach S60, this golf watch has a ton of technology packed into it. With the Garmin Approach S40, it appears that Garmin made a more affordable version of the Approach S60, which undoubtedly is still the king of the best golf gps watches. The Garmin Approach S40 boasts some amazing features and is no doubt one of the best golf watches on the market.

The Garmin Approach S40 provides yardage to all of the traditional positions on the green (front, middle, back) in addition to any obstacle/hazard on the golf course.  Just like the S60, this golf watch features drag and drop technology that gives you the exact yardage and the exact shape of every green.  It also boasts a color touch screen and high resolution making it extremely user friendly. If you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line golf watch but want to save a little money, this is one of the best golf watches for you. With that said, let’s get into the details:

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Hazard Yardage –

The Garmin S40 will provide you with the front, middle, and back of the green in addition to the yardage to all layup positions, hazards, and doglegs on the golf course. However, unlike the Garmin Approach S60, you cannot use the color touch screen to get yardages to multiple spots on a hazard. For example, if you wanted to know how far it is to a bunker and how far it is to clear it, you can do this on the Garmin Approach S60 but not the S40. The same goes for attempting to find a yardage to a point in the fairway (for a layup position for example). If you really like having every little detail, you should check out the Garmin S60.

Three Garmin S40 golf gps watches.

PinPlacement Technology –

Much like the Garmin Approach S60, the Garmin Approach S40 golf watch’s touch screen allows you to move the flagstick to any location on the green. This gives you exact yardages to any ridge or shelf on any portion of any green. This really comes in handy on those tricky pitch shots from yardages you’re not used to.

Golf Course Coverage –

This golf watch (like all of the best golf watches) comes pre-loaded with over 40,000 different golf courses across the globe. The Garmin Approach S40 automatically recognizes golf courses as soon as you enter golf gps mode.

Watch Face 

The Garmin Approach S40 features a color sunlight-readable 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter display size with 240 x 240 pixels.  This golf watch is lightweight at only 1.5 oz and has a slimmer profile than comparable golf watches. It includes 64MB of memory.

Garmin Approach S40 pin placement technology

Battery Life

The Garmin Approach S40 will last for up to 15 hours in GPS mode and up to 10 days in smart mode before needing a recharge.  This new and improved Garmin golf watch boasts 5 more hours of battery life in gps mode than the more expensive Garmin Approach S60. This means that you can play two full rounds with this golf watch before recharging.  The battery on this golf watch is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that plugs right into your computer or any usb charging unit.

Changeable Watch Bands

Garmin markets the Approach S40 has a versatile watch that you can wear in a number of different social settings. Accordingly, you can easily change the watch bands of this golf watch to dress it up or dress it down.

Garmin Approach S40 side profile

Become a Better Golfer

This golf watch is compatible with several devices that can help you improve your game. If you’re looking to track swing speeds, swing plane, shot distance, etc. this golf watch will be a great addition to your game. The Approach S40 and accompanying devices are perfect for the range. You can dial in your swing without looking like you’re doing a Roy McAvoy impersonation. Something we all want to avoid.

True Swing

Because the Garmin Approach S40 is also compatible with TruSwing technology, it also features swing speed and club path analysis.  This will allow you to figure out your swing speeds with various clubs without the need to go to a trainer or to a golf store where they’ll guilt you into buying something.  The club path feature is also fantastic for analyzing your swing plane.  It will tell you if you’re coming in too steep (causing a slice or pull) or to flat (hook and/or skull).  TruSwing also offers a ton of other analysis of your golf swing.  Buying this watch without TruSwing is still a great deal, but you can’t fully take advantage of the benefits without it.

Approach CT10

The Garmin CT10 is another great game analysis tool developed by Garmin that is compatible with the Garmin Approach S40. The Garmin CT10 tracks the distance that you hit all of your clubs. The device attaches to the handle of your golf club and tracks every swing you take with that club. This is a great tool for understanding your distances and really dialing in proper club selection. One of the great benefits of this CT10 device is that its battery life can last up to 4 years.

Garmin Approach S40 golf watch score function.

Scorecard and Stats Feature

This Garmin Approach S40 allows you to keep your score on the watch, which can be uploaded to a computer for analysis.  This feature really gives you an accurate picture of your golf game and handicap.  This golf watch offers you real score tracking that you can compare with your buddies through the Garmin Connect phone app.

Bluetooth and Connect IQ

The Garmin Approach S40 is fully bluetooth compatible and can pair with any bluetooth capable device.  It will display your text messages, phone calls, ESPN alerts, emails, song selections, and anything else you can connect to via bluetooth.  This golf watch will even give you the weather and will countdown how much time you have before it rains.

Front of Garmin Approach S40 golf watch scorecard feature.

Multi-Activity Tracker

The Garmin Approach S40 is also packed with great multisport activity tracking technology.  Not only will this golf watch accurately track your heart rate (with the purchase of an accessory), but it will also track activities other than golf.  This golf watch comes preloaded with technology that can accurately track you while swimming, running, cycling, as well as other activities.


  • More affordable than the Garmin Approach S60
  • Superior battery life in GPS mode
  • No membership or subscription requirement.
  • 40,000+ pre-loaded courses
  • Accurate from anywhere on the course
  • Crystal clear screen
  • Super high-resolution color touch screen
  • Customizable watch bands
  • Set the bluetooth and other features to fit your preferences
  • Precise pin locations for accurate yardage
  • Digital Scorecard
  • Garmin Connect Technology
  • Activity tracking for multiple sports


  • Need a heart rate monitor to pair with the device
  • No swing tempo training like the Garmin Approach S60
  • Cannot get yardage to any point on the course like the Garmin Approach S60
  • Less storage than the Garmin Approach S60
  • Fewer multisport functions than the Garmin Approach S60

Is this the best golf watch for you?

This is easily one of the best golf watches on the market.  If you’re looking for an alternative to the more expensive Garmin Approach S60, this is the perfect option. It has all of the features that you need in a great golf watch and won’t hold you back. Without a doubt, it’ll be a great addition to your game.

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Video:  Feel free to check out the Garmin S40s Golf Watch video below for more information. As a warning, it’s not like traditional Garmin videos. It features some weird music and seems more like a fashion video than a helpful explanatory golf technology video.

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