Garmin Approach S4 Reviews Golf GPS Watch

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Garmin Approach S4 has been in the golf GPS watch market for a while now. At a point in time, it was the most evolved golf watch in the market.

Garmin Approach S4 Reviews: Design & Features

Garmin Approach S4 GPS watch is a very sporty watch with a clear interface. At the debut, it was the state-of-the-art wearable for golf.

The watch weighs only 58.4g and it seems imperceptible on your wrist. The strap is perforated all through the length which brings relief to your wrist on the hot and humid days.

We loved the high contrast touchscreen dial of the watch. Its display is 1-inch in diameter. This screen entertains both negative and positive polarity. This is a high-resolution display (128 x 128) which can be easily read in the sunlight. It keeps the operation quite easy even with the gloves on.

The round dial of Garmin S4 has four buttons on the diagonal points of a cross on its face. Out of these, one is dedicated to the Green View functionality, which is a highly relevant feature.

Garmin Approach S4 GPS Golf Watch - Black

The highlights of its functionality include:

Green View:

The Garmin Approach S4 gives you instant access to the Green View via a button on the side. This view gives you the correct layout and contours of the green. So you will know where to aim no matter where you are standing relative to the course, even if you are standing behind it.

Course yardages:

The distances to the front, middle, and back of the greens are given. Distances to doglegs are also available. The distance to the center is displayed in the middle of the screen. The front and back distances lodge at the top or bottom of the center distance.


Whatever golfers’ opinion about the S4 is, they all concur on the fact that this perhaps is one of the most accurate GPS watches in the market. And it tells the right distances consistently. Varied discrepancies in distances are more annoying than a consistent error which can be offset. Fortunately, with S4, you don’t have to worry about either issue.

Pin positioning

Pin positioning:

The major advantage of Green View and the reason why it was brought to the forefront in the Garmin S4 GPS watch is the pin positioning functionality.

You can manually position the pin on the greens by dragging it on the touchscreen with your finger. You will immediately get your distance. This helps you strategize better.

Hazard mapping:

Although the Garmin Approach S4 does not give you hazard distances automatically, it allows you to save custom points. So you can input and save the hazards yourself.

But since Garmin Approach s20 now provides pre-mapped hazards, why would you want to go into the trouble?

Smart Notifications:

The S4 can connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth and relay notifications received on the phone. This includes email and text notifications. You can even read the texts on your watch face.

Tap the face to zoom in and scroll down to read the whole text.

Preloaded courses and updates:

Garmin has perhaps the most expansive library of golf course maps because of their wonderful legacy in golf GPS devices. The S4 boasts of 30,000 courses preloaded. The updates are free for your lifetime, so new courses and changes in existing courses will be reflected in the device.

Garmin Approach S4 Golf GPS Watch Trouble Shooting

The Bluetooth connectivity problem

The reason Garmin Approach S4 GPS watch is still flying off the shelves is its usability. Usually packing touchscreen on a 1” diameter compromises the ease of use.

But Garmin has kept the interface smart and intuitive by collaborating with the buttons and the screen. The Bluetooth connectivity is quite smooth unless you move out of the Bluetooth range.

In that case, the connection drops. You have to reconnect manually once you are back in the range. This can be annoying if you tend to leave your phone in the golf cart.

Garmin Connect

Like most Garmin devices, Garmin Connect enriches the user experience of S4 as well. It allows you to log your scores and progress over time. Many metrics give you progressive trends like average putts, average score by par, total fairways hit percentage, etc.

You can check your stats and also download and print them to flaunt them around.

Battery Life

The battery life of the Garmin S4 is 10 hours on GPS mode. It lasts through 6 weeks on watch mode. This was a huge achievement over the existing battery lives at the time of S4’s debut. The Garmin S20 can go up to 15 hours on one charge.

Our Verdict

While the S2 is a simple gadget, the S4 upgraded itself in terms of usability, rather than golf information. Golfers who like to get only limited distance information but enjoy the touchscreen features will like our Garmin Approach S4 reviews.

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Dominic J. Leon
Dominic J. Leon. I am a golfer with a deep passion for golf right from my childhood. I have added unbiased product reviews for all the latest golf equipment from the market leaders. Follow me on: Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Tumblr.
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