After Garmin Approach S4, Garmin jumped straight to Approach S6 watch. This added a huge bunch of features, truly making S6 the epitome of efficiency. Built like a normal sports watch, it has changes on the surface as well as skin deep. The hazard distances finally make an entry here. There’s plenty to be excited about, from overhead maps to Swing Strength, Swing Tempo and Tempo training features. Not only is all the Garmin artillery of 38,000 courses included, updates are free. We are still trying to wraps our heads around how a tiny watch can pack all these features with so much elegance and ease of use. Garmin Approach S6 is for the tech-savvy people who like tons of performance-related information.
- Swing Tempo training
- Swing strength indicator
- Automatically zoomed overhead map per hole
- Pinpointer for direction during blind shots
- Distance to any point
- Scorecard and tracking
- Smart notifications
- Can save custom points on course maps
- Shot distance tracking
- Only 8 hours battery life in GPS mode
- Hard to pin-point location to which distance is required
- Hazard distances in text form are not available clearly per hole
Design and Features
The Garmin Approach S6 golf GPS watch succeeded S4, a touchscreen watch with middle-of-the-road features. But S6 hits the roof in terms of functionality. The skipped S5 model was released after the S6 with a moderated feature-set and lower price. The screen of the S6 is 1-inch, high-resolution, color touchscreen display. The dial has buttons on four sides. The combination of buttons and touchscreen makes the use much more effective.
At 45g, the S6 is pretty lightweight. The build is mostly rubber and plastic. The round dial is durably built. The straps of the watch are perforated for ventilation of your wrists. A wall charger is not provided with the GPS watch, so you can connect it to your laptop for juice or use your own wall charger. At the current price, it is serious bang for the buck. The highlight features of this watch are:
- Swing Tempo:
The tempo of your swing has a huge role in its success, especially when you shoot those long, straight drives. The Swing Tempo function of S6 calculates the ratio between backswing and downswing and tells you how you are doing against the standard pro swing tempo of 3:1. This measures between the beginning and end of the backswing and downswing which are marked by beeps. It helps you achieve this winning ratio more often so that your shots are consistent.
- Swing strength:
Are you trying to increase the power and drive of your golf swing. Apart from learning the right swing to drive straight, you can use the Garmin S6 to monitor your swing strength. You can set the threshold as one of your good swings. The Swing Strength feature will give your future swings’ ratings relative to this good swing.
- Map View:
Map view gives you an overhead view of the target area you are likely to reach from there based on your drive distance. You can input this distance based on your average driving distance. When you are at the teebox, S6 performs the zoom of possible target area automatically. This is a highly intuitive way of integrating overhead maps into a touchscreen.
The Pinpointer feature of Garmin Approach S6 GPS watch helps you take a blind approach shot properly. It gives you the approximate direction of the pin if you have an obstructed view. Do note that this only an aiding feature. The direction is not exact, it’s only a rough approximation.
- Target distance:
Want the distance to any point on the course map? Well, you have it with Garmin S6. When you touch a point on the course, an arc will be drawn through it. Your distance from the arc is immediately shown. So if you want to find hazard distances, you can point at the hazard and you will get your distance from it. However, it can be tricky to touch a specific point on the small screen.
- Scorecard and tracking:
A button on the side of the Garmin Approach S6 is devoted to scoring function. You can enter your score, number of putts and fairway hit indicator. Since all this information is too extensive to be viewed on the GPS watch itself, you have to connect it to the PC or smartphone and view it through Garmin Connect app. S6 also tracks your Greens In Regulations, fairway hits etc. You can view a slew of information per hole on the Garmin app.
The distances to the center, front and back of the greens are accurately given on the screen of Garmin S6. If you change the position of the flag, the distances to this new flag position will be displayed. Layup and dogleg distances are also pulled up in the corresponding view. The distances are usually accurate within 2-3 yards.
- Smart notifications:
If the Garmin S6 is paired to your phone via Bluetooth, you will receive the text and email notifications from your phone. Other alerts from the phone are also relayed. We rarely use this feature because we play golf to get away from work and other conundrums of life.
- Custom points:
You can map custom points of interest on the course map with S6 and save them for future reference. Since the layup distances are otherwise given in text form, you can use this feature to mark the layup or dogleg points.
- Shot distance:
Garmin Approach S6 allows shot measurement. You can start the shot measurement and navigate to other screen. The measuring process will continue irrespective of that.
The Garmin Approach S6 is water-resistance up to 50m. So it can cope with some drizzling without any damage.
The S6 is equipped with an odometer which will count the steps you walked on the course. This also helps you stay fit if walking is your most frequent physical activity.
Garmin Approach S6 GPS watch is as sophisticated as the Garmin S2 is simple. Apart from touchscreen, Garmin has paid attention to probable user behavior in automating the processes of S6. The Map View is a perfect example of this. Swing Tempo and Strength features will only be useful to the tech-savvy golfers who find conviction in more data. But the Tempo training could really help when used regularly for practice. S6 walks the right balance to be a highly evolved watch without inhibiting user-friendliness.
You might also like:
• Swing Tempo training
• Swing strength indicator
• Automatically zoomed overhead map per hole
• Pinpointer for direction during blind shots
• Distance to any point
• Scorecard and tracking
• Smart notifications
• Can save custom points on course maps
• Shot distance tracking
• Only 8 hours battery life in GPS mode
• Hard to pin-point location to which distance is required
• Hazard distances in text form are not available clearly per hole