4.50 out of 5
(2 customer reviews)

The Garmin Approach S42 is a GPS-enabled watch that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand. Geared towards golf enthusiasts, this smart device takes the game to a whole new level. From providing accurate data on over 42,000 courses worldwide to tracking and recording each swing, the Approach S42 has proven to be a game-changer in my golfing journey.

Specific Features:

  • The colors include:
    • Silver Ceramic Bezel and White Silicone Band
    • Gunmetal Ceramic Bezel and Black Silicone Band
    • Rose Gold Ceramic Bezel and Tan Silicone Band
  • The screen size is 1.2 inches
  • Preload Course has 42,000+
  • The Battery Life is 15 hours in GPS mode, 10 days in Smartwatch Mode
  • Garmin S42 offers Quick Release Bands, Green View, Color Touchscreen, Keep Track and Keep Score, Autoshot and Smart Notifications
  • Connect to Bluetooth
  • Map Type in North America
  • Garmin S42 includes Steps Tracking, Sleep and Built-in Sport Profiles



The Garmin Approach S42 is an incredible blend of style and functionality that caters to the needs of modern golfers. I have experimented with several other watches and devices that ultimately offered little value or were simply too cumbersome and intrusive to use while playing.

However, the S42’s design allows for easy usage without being obtrusive or bulky.

Compared to its siblings, the Garmin Approach S60 and S62, the S42 holds its own, albeit with fewer advanced features. While the S60 and S62 offer slope-adjusted distances, a Pulse Ox sensor, and a bigger display, the S42 stands out with its sleek design, simplicity, and affordability. Despite the difference in feature sets, all three devices deliver reliable golfing aids, making them worthy contenders for our top golf GPS watch for women.

Transflective Screen

One of the standout features of the Garmin Approach S42 is its transflective screen. Unlike other devices that use OLED/AMOLED screens, Garmin has opted for a transflective screen that offers better visibility in direct sunlight. This was a game-changer for me as I often struggled to read my previous watch’s screen in bright outdoor conditions.

The transflective screen also does not require a backlight, making it more energy-efficient. This means that the battery life is significantly longer compared to devices with OLED/AMOLED screens. Plus, let’s be real, we’re using this watch for golfing, not watching 4k movies. The simple color touchscreen is more than enough to display the necessary information.

The Backlight Feature

Also worth noting is that when you interact with the device, the backlight comes on briefly to help with visibility. The backlight then turns off quickly in the factory setting, but you can change this duration in the settings so that the backlight stays on longer. This is a useful feature for night owls or those who prefer to golf in the evening.

Customizable Bands

Another plus point for the Garmin Approach S42 is its customizable bands. The quick-release bands make it easy to switch between colors and styles, allowing you to match your watch with your outfit or mood. It also makes it easier to clean after a long day on the course.

Course Coverage and Accuracy

The Garmin Approach S42 is preloaded with data for over 42,000 courses worldwide. This provides golfers like myself with accurate information on distances to the front, middle, and back of the green, hazards, and more. In my experience, the accuracy has been spot-on, giving me confidence in my club selection.

Smart Features

Aside from its golf-specific features, the Garmin Approach S42 also offers smart notifications, steps and sleep tracking, and built-in sports profiles. This makes it a versatile device that can be used not just on the course but in everyday life as well.
Plus, connecting to Bluetooth allows you to receive notifications and control music playback without having to take out your phone.

Acquiring satellites

An impressive feature I appreciated about the Garmin Approach S42 is its swift satellite acquisition. Taking only around 2-3 minutes when exposed to the open sky, the watch rapidly locates satellites to provide precise GPS data. This is a feature you’ll want to utilize outdoors for best results. Moreover, on its second use, the watch took even less time to connect to satellites, demonstrating its consistent and reliable GPS capabilities.

A valuable tip for potential Garmin Approach S42 users is to set up your watch at home and familiarize yourself with the functions before you hit the golf course. The manual is very straightforward, and there are several informative videos available online that guide you through the various watch functions. Allow the watch to locate satellites in your area before your game. I recommend not to wait until the last 10 minutes before your tee time at the course to start fiddling with the settings. Get acquainted with the device at home, and you’ll have a smooth, hassle-free experience on the course.

Easy to use/ Easy to understand

The Garmin Approach S42 is impressively user-friendly. Its simplicity is one of its greatest features. Really, it is very straightforward to operate – astonishingly so! The included manual is simple and easy to comprehend, as is the device itself. As suggested earlier, spending just a few minutes exploring its functions before you head out to the golf course can make a world of difference. Even without referring to the manual, the interface is intuitive enough for users to figure things out on their own.
However, to truly grasp the breadth and depth of all the features this GPS watch has to offer, it’s worth your time to watch some online tutorials and read the manual. These resources will provide you with detailed insights and helpful tips that could elevate your golfing experience to new heights. Trust me, spending a few extra minutes getting to know your Approach S42 will pay dividends on the golf course.

Club Shot Tracking

The Garmin Approach S42 excels in its club shot tracking capabilities. Much to my delight, the feature worked exceptionally well, even without the CT10 sensors. All it requires is a quick setup in the app beforehand, where you list all the clubs in your bag. The watch managed to pick up my shots accurately, with the understandable exception of putts and light chips. Following your game, you have the option to review your shot history on a course map within the app, providing you with a comprehensive overview of your performance. It even permits adjustments post-play, further enhancing its utility and ensuring accurate tracking and scoring for future games. This feature undoubtedly adds a level of precision and personalization to the golfing experience that every player can appreciate.

The scorekeeping feature of the Garmin Approach S42 is truly commendable. It’s fast, easy, and even allows you to track various stats including the number of putts, penalties, and more. The device also stands out with its club/shot tracking functionality. I’ve experimented with a multitude of devices for scorekeeping – from phone apps to watches – but this one undeniably ranks among the fastest and easiest, especially when tracking stats. The convenience of being able to play an entire round without the need to pull out your phone cannot be overstated. This feature adds to the overall seamless golfing experience offered by the Approach S42, enabling you to focus on your game without unnecessary distractions.


  1. Avatar for Dominic J. Leon
    4 out of 5

    Dominic J. Leon

    The Garmin Approach S42 has proven itself as a reliable golf companion. It’s easy to use with an intuitive interface, and the preloaded data for golf courses is incredibly accurate. I especially appreciate the club shot tracking – it’s helped me understand my game better. The only drawback? The battery life could be a bit better, but it’s a minor gripe. Yet, considering its price, the Approach S42 offers great value for money and is a fantastic tool for any golfer, beginner or pro. Worth considering!

  2. Avatar for Dominic J. Leon
    5 out of 5

    Kenneth Goh

    I’m absolutely thrilled with the Garmin Approach S42. As an avid golfer, it has brought great convenience to my game, providing accurate, on-the-spot data of over 42,000 golf courses worldwide. The club shot tracking feature has been a game changer, helping me analyze and improve my shots. I highly recommend setting up the GPS watch at home first – it made a huge difference once I was on the course. Plus, it’s more than just a golf watch with its smart features like sleep tracking and sports profiles. Five stars for this one – it’s a worthy investment for any serious golfer.

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