Is the Garmin Approach S20 any good? We find out here.

garmin approach s20 golf gps watch review

Garmin Approach S20 Review - The Garmin Approach S20 is an entry-level golf GPS watch. It’s for the golfer who wants to get away from a handheld device, or for those on a budget. This sleek and lightweight watch has basic functions that you can access through button menus, rather than a touchscreen. This may be based purely on personal preference, but if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford the top-of-the-line Garmin Golf Watch, you can still purchase the S20 and love it.

garmin approach s20 gps watch

So is the Garmin Approach S20 what you need?

Garmin Approach S20

garmin approach s20 review
garmin approach s20

Our Rating

[usr 4.8]

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  • Watch provides excellent accuracy.
  • Full hinged watch strap that is comfortable to wear like a real watch.
  • Good watch for the beginner who wants a combo watch/fitness tracker/golf GPS in one.
  • Very similar to the Garmin Approach G10 handheld device, but in a watch.
  • Option of connecting it to the TruSwing device.
  • Auto updates and has over 40,000 golf courses to ensure you are working with the latest mapping information.
  • Essential yardages function.
  • Waterproof 


  • No full colour screen.
  • No touchscreen: Too much back and forth between all 4 buttons.

Features of the Garmin Approach S20 Review

  • Hazards & Layups Functions: The Garmin Approach S20 will also display hazards for each hole so you can more accurately calculate your layups. This watch displays hazards in basic lines, circles, and dots that look much like when you’re driving up to a roundabout. The hazard will be displayed as a letter within a circle, and will show you where it is in relation to the green, which is a larger circle.

    Beside this hazard diagram will be a distance to the hazard, and then another for over it. Many other pricier golf watches don’t even have this feature.
  • Scoring Information: The watch will record your scores so you can refer to it at any time. To enter a score, you’ll need to do at least 3 clicks before you are able to enter a number. There is no option to enter your partner’s scores, only your own. You have the option of stroke play or stableford for a single player.
  • Great Functionality: If you have other golfing devices, such as the Garmin TruSwing Sensor, you can connect it to your Approach S20 and see how your swings are doing.

    The watch also works as a regular watch, and as an activity tracker so you can measure your steps. You can also have auto goals. The tracker will learn your activity level, and then assign a daily step goal for you. If you’ve been inactive for a certain length of time you’ll see an alert on your watch. There is also a sleep monitoring function that records your normal sleep and movement.

    This watch can also be synced through Bluetooth to the free Garmin Connect App, and works on both iOS and Android devices. It will do automatic updates so you are always working with the latest GPS information.
  • Basic Yardage Measurements: This golf watch will display the yardages to the front, middle, and back of the course, along with the hole number and par. You’ll also see a basic drawing of the green. You can see yardage to layups and doglegs.

    There is also a Move Flag option on the watch. This allows you to move the flag around 9 or more pre-defined points to get a specific yardage measurement. This function may be a bit too difficult for the beginner, as you will need to know which sector your flag is in first.

    The yardages also automatically adjust if you move around a bit. There is also the option for manual pin positioning. You can simply tap and drag your pin from one position to the other. You can also measure your shot distance, and it will calculate the exact yardage for your shots from anywhere on the course.
  • Simple Button Function: This watch does not have a touch screen, and the display is in grey and white. There are two buttons to the left of the square watch face, and two buttons to the right. Up and Down are on the left, with OK and Back on the right. To move between the holes you click on the UP or Down buttons.

    To navigate to the different options on the watch you start by clicking the OK button on the top right. You must then click on the Up or Down buttons to scroll through the menu to get to where you want. From here you click OK or go Back.

    When you arrive at the golf course you can immediately press the top right OK button which will automatically find the course you are on. The watch has been preloaded with over 40,000 golf courses from around the world.
  • Watch Stats: The Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch will last for fifteen hours in GPS mode, and eight weeks in regular watch or activity mode. The screen displays at a resolution of 128 by 128 pixels. Besides the odometer, clock, and alarm functions, you can also receive emails, text messages, and other alerts to the watch.

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Our Final Thoughts:

The Garmin Approach S20 Golf GPS Watch is perfect for people who want a device to assist them in a good game of golf, and a fitness tracker, but don’t want to carry around a lot of different devices. The watch is compact, lightweight, and attractive.

While this is a basic golf watch, it’s good for a beginner or expert golfer who wants GPS assistance in their game, all for an affordable price. The watch has an easy-to-read screen, and more functions then you’d expect in a watch at this price point. It’s also extremely accurate, and will assist you in the accuracy of your game.

If you think you’d prefer this watch over one of the more expensive Garmin GPS watches, go ahead and buy it now!