Garmin Approach S12 Golf Watch Series Review


garmin approach s12 golf watch review

The Garmin Approach series consistently represents superior golfing performance feedback in the convenience of a wristwatch. The Approach line is always evolving to add new features that make golfing both innovative and convenient based on the inconveniences that can come when being outdoors.

The Approach S12 is the newest model in the Approach line that delivers convenient new features and a stellar upgrade to the popular Approach S10 model.

Garmin Approach S12 Golf Watch review

The Garmin Approach S12 (see on Amazon) provides an upgrade to the Approach S10 by making the large display screen and high resolution of that model more resistant to the glare of sunlight on the green through an improved 1.3-inch sunlight-readable high-resolution display. The Approach S12 is also packed with performance features and 30-hour battery life.

The Garmin Approach Series strives to make golfing easier and more convenient for golfers who want precise details of all the aspects of their gameplay. After recent testing of the Approach S12, all the details and key features of this new model are reviewed for your convenience. This article will analyze what’s new and let your know what has been improved based on the Approach S10.

Garmin Approach S12 Pros

  • Round watch design with a high-resolution sunlight-readable high-resolution display
  • More than 42,000 courses preloaded from around the world
  • Provides yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green, as well as to hazards and doglegs
  • Keep score right on the watch and upload directly to the Garmin Golf app to participate in weekly leaderboards
  • Automatically keep track of your score and how far you hit
  • Battery life lasts up to 30 hours in GPS mode

Garmin Approach S12 Cons

  • Light on performance tracking features when compared to high-end models in the Garmin Approach series
  • No ability to read messages
review of the garmin approach s12 gps golf watch series

Garmin Approach S12 Key Features

The Garmin Approach S12 is similar to other golf watches in the Garmin Approach line, but the ease of readable scores is enhanced thanks to a much larger 1.3-inch sunlight-readable display. Apart from this enhanced display screen, this watch does a great job at keeping score that allows you to easily see your results and performance even in blinding sunlight. Like other models, you can upload directly to the Garmin Golf app on your compatible smartphone to engage in leaderboards, which comes in handy when comparing your performance to other top competitors.

42,000 Worldwide Golf Course Maps

This watch comes preloaded with more than 42,000 CourseView maps of golf courses around the world. When paired with the Garmin Golf app, you can wirelessly download updates for the course you play most often. This allows you to quickly reference the front, middle, and back of the green so you have all the data you need for the perfect shot. These features are also available in the Garmin Approach S42 and the Garmin Enduro, therefore, the biggest selling point of the Approach S12 is the large screen display and sunlight visibility.

30 Hours Battery Life

An internal, rechargeable battery provides up to 30 hours in GPS mode. The overall stats are improved upon as well, especially when used in the big numbers display mode. The Approach S12, when paired with your smartphone and using the Garmin Golf app, can show insights into strokes gained analysis, participation in previously mentioned leaderboards and tournaments, and more overall insight and data about your game.

Autoshot Round Analyzer

Furthermore, the autoshot round analyzer can automatically detect short distances, which is further enhanced when viewed against the green view feature. Additionally, with the enhanced activity-tracking features, including the move bar and vibration alerts, the Approach S12 GPS golf watch encourages you to stay fit by tracking a wide array of fitness features during your time on the course. All your stats are collected for you to view and analyze through Garmin Connect.

Everything on this watch is easy to read, and the watch’s ability to provide perfect screen resolution even in the most power of ultraviolet rays is a major draw if you use your watch during your game.

Why You Should Buy the Garmin Approach S12?

Truthfully, there aren’t many differences between the Garmin Approach S12 and the Garmin Approach S10. Therefore, it all comes down to the 1.3-inch high resolution and how much you value a watch that can maintain the perfect display in sunlight.

Stopping to find ways to shade your watch from the sun so you can read your scores and record shot distances is a hassle for any golfer. The new big numbers display makes reading your round analysis easier than ever, and this new display is one of the easiest to use of all GPS golf watches and makes for a lightweight accessory when maneuvering around the golf course.

The design pattern of the Approach S12 is lightweight and clear, with easy-to-read data. The data resolution displays numbers in large, translucent white coloring, which complements the easy interface controls of the watch.

There is nothing worse than being unable to read data while on a bright golf course, and the large font of the data without interference from the sun is one of the most popular features of the S12.

If this feature is not important or the convenience is not enough to encourage you to opt for an upgrade, the Garmin Approach S10 is a perfect alternative.

Other GPS Golf Watches You May Be Interested In:

If you are looking for a less expensive alternative, then the Garmin Approach S10 is worth a look . The immediate standout feature of the S10 model is the inclusion of the Autoshot round analyzer. This round analyzer will measure and record every distance you achieve with stat tracking that can be viewed in the Garmin Connect App.

Additionally, the S10 offers activity tracking features that measure calories burned, heart rate monitor statistics, distances covered, and overall fitness tracking. Although there is no convenient unreadable display with the S10, the font display is still large and is shaped rectangularly instead of round.

Fitness tracking is a great way to measure just how much exercise you are getting with a golf game, which can be hard to monitor without a display that keeps track of how hard you are working your body. Additionally, the auto shot round analyzer is perfect to use as a digital scorecard for measuring putts per round and other important dynamics of your golf game.

But apart from these differences, the main difference is the smaller price tag of the S10 when compared to the newer S12.

Final Thoughts

The Garmin Approach S12 is a sunlight-readable and innovative GPS golf watch. The advanced technology and enhanced image display via touchscreen and ease of reading in sunlight make for great capabilities for both user convenience on the course as well as useful performance tracking capabilities to refer to via the app.

It’s certainly a device worth considering based on the new feature set alone. The battery is long-lasting, and all of the smart notifications of previous models are still intact. If you are looking for a golf GPS watch that won’t strain your eyes and I packed with useful performance and fitness tracking features, this model is worth your consideration.

Richard Harding

I am a retired English teacher from New Jersey now living the high life in the South of Spain. When I am not cooking up a storm in my outdoor kitchen you will find me teeing off on the golf course.

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