The Garmin Approach line has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to creating innovative and convenient golf accessories. But with the arrival of the new Garmin Approach R10 portable launch monitor and simulator, the company has finally and truly outdid itself. This golf launch monitor allows you to step up your swing consistency by tracking more than a dozen golf metrics in addition to all the best features of the Approach line. Is this golf launch monitor worth it?
The Garmin Approach R10 portable launch monitor is a portable device that allows you to record performance metrics through data that relays angle of attack, club head speed, launch angle, launch direction, carry distance, club path, swing tempo, smash factor, and side spin either indoors or on one of over 42,000 programmed golf courses around the world.
Are you interested in purchasing the Garmin Approach R10 golf launch monitor? If so, this review will do a deep dive into the model to tell you everything you need to know. The Garmin Approach R10 launch monitor has many new features in addition to the new portable layout to be aware of. We will discuss how this small and easy-to-use device is quite possibly the best model in the Garmin Approach line. Read on to find out all you need to know in this Garmin Approach R10 review.
What is the Garmin Approach R10?
In this Garmin Approach R10 review, we will describe a basic overview of what the Approach R10 is, as well as review the basic features of the model. This premium GPS golf portable launch monitor expands upon many of the features found in the Garmin Approach G80 handheld.
The Approach R10 is a portable golf simulator apart from a more traditional handheld device. This device represents Garmin’s entry into the golf simulator field. The device is mounted on a small, included tripod and is designed to be placed behind you to record and save every aspect of your swing and distance.
Garmin radar technology makes it easy to track club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo, and estimated distance.
A convenient warmup mode provides simple feedback such as ball speed, clubhead speed, tempo, smash factor, and estimated distance. Tempo training helps you evaluate which backswing and downswing timings are best for you, and it provides instant feedback.
Additionally, a handy virtual round allows you to compete and play in a tournament and target practice allows you to work on different parts of your game for short and long drives.
On the course, the launch monitor measures shot distance, and for easy access during play, simply press the quick access radar button to open the launch monitor functionality.
This launch monitor works completely through the Garmin App, and it shows the precise distance to that spot for fairway, hazard, landing area, or the front, middle, and back of the green. It also doubles as a digital scorecard with scoring options for stroke play, Stableford, skins, and match play with adjustable handicaps.
Periodic course map updates are automatically sent to your device that comes with 42,000 preloaded worldwide courses. The battery life runs for up to 10 hours, which is much longer and more sustained than many previous models in the Garmin Approach line such as the similar Garmin Approach G80 model.
One of the really useful features of the Garmin Approach R10 is that all of your session data is saved. In fact, every single shot that you take is visualized out on the range, as well as allowing you to bounce in and look at the data for any specific shot that you take.
How to Set Up the Garmin Approach R10
Setting up the Garmin Approach R10 is simple and quick.
All you need to do is press the power button on the back of the device to ensure the front green light indicator shows the device is powered on.
Then, you can attach the device to the small tripod stand that holds the device in place with a magnet.
You will want to make sure that the Approach R10 is placed at least six feet directly behind you when you prepare to swing. This distance is so the device can accurately record all of the data with your swing and to ensure you do not hit the device with the club.
How to Use the Garmin Approach R10
Using the R10 requires downloading the Garmin Golf App to a separate device. Once you have downloaded the Garmin Golf App and accurately synced the R10 to the Garmin Golf App, you can immediately begin assessing the Driving Range feature which includes all of the metrics you can expect from practically any golf launch monitor.
The Driving Range feature includes comprehensive and accurate metrics for the following:
- Club Head Speed
- Launch Direction
- Club Face Angle
- Club Path Angle
- Angle of Attack
- Ball Speed
- Launch Angle
- Spin Axis
- Spin rate
- Apex Height
- Smash Factor
- Carry Distance
- Total Distance
- Deviation Distance
Club head speed, ball speed, angle of attack, and carry distance metrics are unique to the R10 model and can immediately be assessed upon the configuration of your device with the Garmin Golf App.
Basically, once you turn on and set up the device, all of your preferences can be set in the Garmin Golf App. The portable golf launch monitor will use its device protocols to only record what you wish to see.
Features of the Garmin Approach R10
Virtual Golf simulator – Driving Range, Home Tee Hero & E6 Connect
We have talked about the Driving Range feature, so let’s take an in-depth look at two of the R10’s most talked-about new features, Home Tee Hero and E6 Connect.
Home Tee Hero
The Home Tee Hero feature of the R10 is one of the best overall features that come from the simulator capabilities of the device.
With Home Tee Hero, you can play a virtual round of golf at one of the world’s greatest golf courses or, you can choose to set the app for a nearby golf course. Once launched and a course is selected, you can choose to invite other players to play along with you or just set the game for yourself where you can select men’s or women’s tees or, whatever each specific course has for its tee layout options.
Additionally, you can select the conditions you wish to play within, such as windy, breezy, or even strong wind currents if you are feeling adventurous. Home Tee Hero allows up to 4 players to compete with one another.
This feature will require either a monthly subscription for $9.99 or an annual option for $99.99.
Is Home Tee Hero worth it? This is certainly one of the most enjoyable new features with the R10. Although the graphics are a bit too animated at times, the ability to recreate swings and yard distances either on the range or indoors is thoroughly enjoyable.
Another great simulation feature with the R10 is E6 Connect compatibility.
As mentioned above, the graphics with Home Tee Hero may not be for everybody, which is where E6 Connect really shines above Home Tee Hero thanks to crystal clear and realistic graphics that mimic the natural environment of a course.
E6 Connect is only compatible with either a PC or an iOS device, but a great new feature with the R10 is the inclusion of up to 5 courses within the E6 Connect software without the cost of a separate subscription.
If you do decide to subscribe to E6 Connect fully, all of the tournament features, minigames, multiplayer capabilities, and training exercises can also sync to your R10.
On the course, the launch monitor measures shot distance as well as recording capabilities to measure swing capture. For easy access during play, simply press the quick access radar button to open launch monitor functionality.
Touch any point on the sunlight-readable display, and it shows the precise distance to that spot including fairway, hazard, landing area, or the front, middle, and back of the green.
The R10 also doubles as a digital scorecard with scoring options for stroke play, Stableford, skins, and match play with adjustable handicaps.
Periodic course map updates are automatically sent to your device as well to suggest swing capture metrics across applicable courses.
Within the Driving Range feature of the R10 is another exciting new feature that allows you to assess club performance during a session.
With this feature, you can analyze your overall shot count to determine the total amount of shots hit with each club.
Additionally, your launch angle and launch direction can also be assessed based on the performance of each club that you use during a session. This feature also analyzes carry distance for each club you use.
Tournaments & Sharing
In addition to the tournament features within Home Tee Hero and E6 Connect, the Garmin Golf app through the R10 allows you to post scorecards on leaderboards to judge your overall review statistics.
The leaderboards data is also featured for each of the 42,000 + courses that are available and unique to the R10 model. Through Home Tee Hero, you can view updates and performance metric data as these events occur across any of the numerous golf courses.
Like the Approach G80, you can also create tournaments and invite other players to join you for competitions.
Auto Shot Recording Feature
Yet another amazing new feature of the Approach R10 is that you can record your swings with the shot data overlaid.
This is not a brand new feature with golf devices, but I must say, Garmin has done a really good job with the recording capabilities of this device.
Rather you wish to hold the device to record or you choose to set record your swings when the device is mounted on the tripod stand, all you have to do is turn on the recording feature and the device can automatically tell when you take a shot.
Another great selling point of the Approach R10 is the nearly 10 hours of overall battery life that comes from one full charge.
Which, I have to tell you, is a welcome addition since so many different portable launch monitors for golfing may advertise one thing, but come to find out, the reality is more like an hour or two less of battery life than that.
Rather you take the device outside for multiple sessions, play indoors for hours on end, turn the device on and off continuously, you can get a full day of golfing and then some out of one full charge on the Garmin Approach R10.
You do not have to worry about battery performance as you work to improve your game.
Is the Garmin Approach R10 Portable?
The Garmin Approach R10 is completely portable and works best when it is mounted on the included tripod with at least six feet of distance behind you.
You can take the R10 anywhere you decide to play. It doesn’t matter where the outdoor location is, rather you choose an included golf course in the directory or not.
Additionally, you can also use the R10 100% indoors if you prefer.
Downsides With the Approach R10
There is no such thing as a perfect device, and the Approach R10 is nearly perfect, but there are a few things to be aware of.
- No Battery Indicator. Although you can expect 10 hours of performance, the R10 device has no physical component, such as a flashing light, to alert you that the battery needs to be charged. You have to go into the app to find the current battery performance. A little inconvenient.
- Club performance. The club performance features are great, but there is a problem with club waggling when the device is recording. The slightest irregular movement of the club before the swing will result in a failed club performance stat.
Where to Buy the Garmin Approach R10
You can currently buy the Garmin Approach R10 through Amazon. If you are wanting to do a lot of indoor golf metric analysis, you may also want to go ahead and purchase a net and a hitting mat to ensure you have the perfect overall setup for indoor golfing.
The Garmin Approach R10 is a new and feature-packed golf simulator/launch monitor from a company that keeps pushing the envelope with smart technology for golfing.
I highly recommended this model based on both the included features of Home Tee Hero and E6 Connect, in addition to the convenience of the device as a fully portable and affordable simulator when compared to popular competitors in this field.
This model is on track to becoming the best value golf launch monitor on the market.
Check out the Garmin Approach R10 vs G80 here.
See the Garmin Approach R10 press release here for more information.