Golf Gear Reviews

Garmin Approach S6 GPS Golf Watch (Color Touchscreen)


Last Updated: Mar 16, 2019 @ 12:42 am

Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.56 inches, 1.6 ounces
Screen Display Size: 1 inch
Display Type: High-Resolution Color Touchscreen
Tournament Legal: Yes. Check local regulations.
Measuring System: Yards/Meters
Measuring Distance: Distance Only
Waterproof: Yes – Submersible to 5ATM
Fees: No annual fees, ever!

Our Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

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Update - 2018.11.20The Approach S6 has been discontinued by Garmin and replaced by the Approach S60 which has just about everything you could ever want in a Golf watch and a Smart watch! Check out our review of the S60 here. If you have your heart set on the Approach S6, you can still get hold of them online, but hurry because once sold out they are done!


Garmin Approach S6 Review

The Garmin Approach S6 GPS Golf Watch is an exciting wearable golf rangefinder that has swing metric features such as SwingTempo, TempoTraining and SwingStrength. PinPointer technology can give you eyes where you can’t use yours and Course View will give you a true display of the green with manual pin placement ability.

Additionally, Stat Tracking, Smartphone Notifications, and Layup Distances are all readily available with the turn of your wrist.

This Garmin Golf Watch is an excellent piece of work that deserves another 500 words to highlight all of its capabilities. However, there’s more Garmin GPS devices that warrant a chance to share the spot light.

The very steep price of around $300 for the Approach S6 hasn’t deterred consumers, which is evident by the many Garmin S6 reviews giving it a very positive rating.


  • Touchscreen
  • Color display
  • Swing Features
  • Smart Notifications
  • No annual fees
  • Hard to read in sunlight


Approach S6 GPS Golf Watch Q&A:

What are all these Swing training features on the watch rangefinder?

SwingTempo, TempoTraining, and SwingStrength are new and nifty features that can help you swing like a pro.

These modes are intended to measure your swing techniques and compare it to the 3:1 ratio of backswings to downswings of tour professionals. They will measure and record the position of your backswing to downswing and how fast or how slow you are.

The SwingStrength mode has you swing until you think you’ve had a decent one worth recording. You’ll then calibrate that swing to set the standard for future swing comparisons.

With this mode, you can calibrate a wood (driver), short iron, and a long iron.


Does the watch have a touch screen?

The Approach S6 does have a touch screen interface that’s very easy and practical to use, even though the actual display is only one inch in diameter.

Although it might seem like a small space to use as a touch device, especially for those with Fat Finger Syndrome (FFS), Garmin’s built-in high-sensitivity receiver is superb and it works perfectly with the Automatic Zoom feature that does all the finger-zooming-in-action for you.

While the watch also has the touch ability, it works in tandem with four buttons on the sides; you can’t utilize the buttons or the touch solely to use the watch.


Since the S6 has a touch screen, why wouldn’t the screen/display be larger?

The screen is one inch in diameter which leaves about 0.8 inches of viewing space. This is quite standard and typical for a GPS watch.

It’s actually more desirable among golf players to have a smaller watch to avoid interference while playing. Plus, you don’t want to be the butt of everyone’s jokes with what would look like a wall clock on your wrist if it were bigger.


What special “touch” features are available on the Approach S6?

This GPS is capable of touch-targeting. You can get instant distances to any target that’s on the display by touching it. This is really helpful for when you want distances to hazards or layups. You can also manually set pins and drag them anywhere on the green to get distances.


How does the Automatic Zoom work?

This is the innovative feature that Garmin did really well in bringing overhead hole views to a wrist-worn device. Instead of pinching and separating to zoom in and out, like you would with other typical touch devices, the S6 will automatically zoom in for you depending on your average driving distance.

When you set the watch up, you’ll input that distance for future zooming. Say, you set it up with a typical driving distance of 300 yards off the tee. The S6 will zoom in 300 yards down the fairway to give you an overhead view of the landing area.

You can also zoom out in Map View and touch any landmark on the hole to view that area.


How can I get the distances to hazards?

To get the distances to different hazards on the course, you need to go into Map View and touch each hazard to get the distance. If you wanted distances to doglegs on the hole, you’ll need to go into Layup View.

You can also create up to five of your own distance landmarks. Stand at the spot you want to mark and save that location. You’ll then categorize that location according to its nature such as a hazard, tree, or layup.

You can then view it in Layup View, save it, and have it available for any future rounds at that course. The only negative about accessing the hazard distances is, you can only access it with the touch navigation while in overhead hole view.

It would be nice if you could get the distances in list form too, like in the Layup View.


Noteworthy Features:

  • Full high-resolution color touchscreen with automatic zoom
  • Smart Notifications allow you to stay connected to your compatible smartphone
  • Bluetooth Connectivity for compatible Apple iPhone
  • Digital scorecard and stat tracking
  • Automatic Zoom, Auto Course Recognition, Auto Hole Advance
  • 38,000 preloaded courses from around the globe
  • Touch-targeting and manual pin placement for instant distances
  • PinPointer technology for compass aid with blind shots
  • SwingStrength, SwingTempo, and TempoTraining
  • Up to 5 user-created and saveable distances per hole
  • Multilingual with 12 available languages
  • 5ATM (54 yards/165 feet) Water-Resistance
  • Shot distance calculator, odometer, pace play timer, and watch mode


Our Verdict on Garmin S6

To ping up the strokes, the Garmin Approach S6 is an awesome watch for the game. It’s so feature-packed that it could possibly be a turn-off if you don’t like fiddle-farting around. However, if you know how to maximize your golf game with every function, you’ll never miss a hole again.

To minimize the fiddle-farting, the Garmin Approach S20 GPS Watch is easier to use. It has the same convenient touchscreen and basic functions as the S6, but it lacks the Swing apps for a much more user-friendly experience.

While Garmin is top-notch in every way, the Bushnell ION2 and Excel watches are worthy comparisons. They eliminate the fiddling around while on the course and keep things on an easy-to-use basis.

But, Garmin is the GPS kahuna when it comes to distances. If you want accuracy in the palm of your hand, Garmin will do it for you!

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