Garmin Approach S40 vs S60 – comparison of these 2 popular golf watches

garmin approach s40 vs s60 golf watch

When it comes to Garmin golf, rangefinders and launch monitors are all the rage, but Garmin watches targeted at golf are also truly innovative and useful based on user preferences. Both the Garmin Approach S40 and the Approach S60 are two standout models in the Garmin watches inventory, but of the two, which is the best golf watch?

The Garmin Approach S60 is the model you should consider the most, and this is solely based on the availability of more advanced features and fitness tracking features when compared to the Garmin S40.

Garmin Approach S40 vs S60

  • 1.2" .2" sunlight readable colour touchscreen
  • Preloaded with 41,000 courses worldwide
  • Lightweight GPS golf watch
  • Garmin AutoShot
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  • 1.2" .2" sunlight readable colour touchscreen
  • Preloaded with 41,000 courses worldwide
  • Show precise yardages to greens, hazards and doglegs
  • Enhanced AutoShot game tracking
View On Amazon →

In this comprehensive comparison guide, we will take a closer look at the features that both of these watches have in common. We will also look at the differences between them and break these down into a range of categories. Finally, we will give our recommendation on which golf watch would work best for you.

Read on to find out more.

garmin approach s40 gps golf watch

At a Glance: Garmin Approach S40

The Approach S40 golf GPS watch with color touchscreen looks great on your wrist and on the course. But apart from a great aesthetic, all the features of this watch are superb and shows distances to the front, middle and back of the green, hazards and automatically records detected shot distances. It also lets you manually adjust to today’s pin position for accurate approach shots.

For even more precise automatic game tracking, you can pair the Garmin S40 with optional Approach CT10 club tracking sensors. You can also use this golf watch with the Garmin Golf app for live scoring, automatic scorecard uploads and the ability to review all your stats in real time on your compatible smartphone during play and after your round.

Even when you’re not playing golf, this watch is a stylish, lightweight performer. Its 1.2-inch color touchscreen display with attractive metal bezel is as comfortable out on the town as it is on the course.

And when a subtle change of style is desired, it features quick release bands for an easy wardrobe change.

Simply put, the Garmin S40 is an entire watch with golf GPS mode that fits perfectly on the golf course or in the gym, since additional health tracking features allow you to record your fitness activities as well.

garmin approach s60 gps golf watch

At a Glance: Garmin Approach S60

With the Garmin Approach S60, you can look good on and off the course. This watch gives you the critical information you need for your golfing round with all the details displayed on a large, 1.2-inch sunlight readable color touchscreen – allowing you to master your game without worrying about low visibility standards.

And with convenient Quick Fit bands, you can change your style to match your activity, so that you’re always in fashion.

With up to 10 hours of battery life while golfing — or up to 10 days in watch mode — your Approach S60 is sure to keep up with you.

In fact, you can use this Garmin watch for more than just golfing with preloaded activity profiles for running, cycling, swimming and more, you can enjoy all the perks of the Garmin S60 model.

And with activity-tracking features, including the move bar, vibration alerts, calories and steps, the Approach S60 will help you stay fit, day in and day out.

You can sync the Approach S60 to your compatible smartphone to get smart notifications for incoming calls, texts, emails and other alerts. You can also connect in more ways too, including the Garmin Golf app, which allows you to compete on leaderboards on any one of Garmin’s 40,000 courses with friends.

If you want to personalize your golf watch, you can download custom watch faces, apps and widgets from the Connect IQ store, and even customize your watch face with any photo from your mobile device with the Face It app.

What is the difference between S40 and S60 golf GPS watches?

These are two of the top golf specific watches found in the Garmin Approach line for golf products.

Each watch is professionally presented and is ready to use straight out of the box. To make the comparison a bit easier, let’s take a look at each of the features that are shared across both models.

  • Color Touch Screens. Both come with 1.2-inch 240 v 240px color touch screens that you can interact with as you play your round.
  • Autoshot. Both have autoshot which tracks every shot that you take and is compatible with TruSwing and CT10 sensors.
  • Courses. Both watches come with 41,000 pre-loaded courses worldwide which automatically loads on arrival.
  • Digital Scorecard. An option to keep score automatically will present itself before you start your game.
  • Connectivity. Both watches connect to your smartphone through Bluetooth and vibrating notifications through the Garmin golf app.
  • Manual Pin positioning. The pin location selection allows you to change the pin position and it also gives various layup options.
  • Fitness Features. Both are fitness watches and cover other sports like running, swimming, and cycling.

In terms of differences, you will notice that the S60 has more tweaks and features when compared to the older model of the S40.

Only the S60 has shot compass which always shows the direction of the green. Additionally, the S60 has touch distances to any position on the golf course, which gives you complete control. The S60 also has more advanced features such as swing tempo, which gives better information on swings in addition to information on other sports as well.

The S60 also has slope compensation with the playslike distance feature.

In terms of the S40, this watch is essentially a stripped down version of what you will find with the S60. It is cheaper, has a longer battery life, and also happens to be the more stylish of the two watches. Since battery life is important, this can actually be a make or break decision for some potential buyers based on its longevity while you are on the course.

As far as design is concerned, the S60 is slightly larger and heavier, but both watches fit comfortably on the wrist. The S60 also has downloadable watch faces to change the look and feel of the display of the watch – effortlessly taking you from day to night.

Which Should I Buy?

This decision is truly hard to reconcile since both golf watches present superior technology with not many noticeable differences between the two. In summary, the Garmin Approach S60 is the model you should consider the most, and this is solely based on the availability of more advanced features and fitness tracking features when compared to the Garmin S40.

As it stands now, the Garmin Approach S60 is the quintessential Garmin golf GPS watch because its capabilities and performance accuracy statistics are so well-balanced and presented.

But since both watches are quite similar, let’s take a wider look at the pros and cons of both watches to better inform your decision.


  • Both watches have changeable straps
  • Both watches have autoshot and scorecards, which are great and popular features
  • Both are fast and accurate thanks to the superior GPS technology
  • Both watches are built to last
  • Both watches are waterproof up to 50 meters


  • Neither watch features a heart rate monitor amongst its fitness features
  • The autoshot feature can miss some shots and is not always 100%
  • The touchscreen is not the most intuitive and easy to use for senior players
  • In terms of the S60, the battery life doesn’t always last two full rounds
  • Both watches are more expensive than entry level watches

So with a pro and con comparison between both watches, you can now see which of the two is better for your game. If neither of these watches seem appealing to you, you may want to consider other models.

Take a look at our guide: Garmin Approach S10 vs Approach S20 comparison.

Is Garmin S60 golf GPS watch worth the money?

As mentioned above, the Approach S60 is the better watch to consider. For an extra $50 when compared to the S40, you get a ton of extra features like swing tempo, green compass, and touch targeting.

The S40 is still a great watch and although it is cheaper, has a better design, and is better in terms of battery, the S60 has more features that will appeal to those who prioritize quantity and quality over simplicity.

What’s the difference between the Garmin S40 and S42 golf watches?

The Garmin Approach S42 golf watch is the next generation watch succeeding the S40. The S42 differs slightly from the S40 in the following ways:

  • Color Touchscreen
  • Quick Release Bands
  • 42,000+ Preloaded Courses
  • Green View
  • Smart Notifications
  • GPS
  • Yardage to Layups/Doglegs
  • Digital Scorecard

All the features of the S42 are superb and shows distances to the front, middle and back of the green, hazards and automatically records detected shot distances. It also lets you manually adjust to the most current and accurate pin position for accurate approach shots. Additionally, the S42 comes preloaded with 42,000 courses from around the world, compared to the 41,000 found with the S40.

The two most noticeable differences with the S42 are the quick release bands, which make adjusting the watch easier, and the measurement of doglegs that is a bit more accurate compared to S40.


Does the Garmin Approach S40 have a heart rate monitor?

Unfortunately, the Garmin Approach S40 does not feature a heart rate monitor. With this said, this model does have support for standard fitness tracking as well as sleep tracking.

Does the Approach S40 golf watch measure swing speed?

The Approach S40 is compatible with TruSwing technology, which means you can adequately measure the distance of your swings and you club path analysis as well. With this technology, you can measure the swing of each club you have without having to ask around for overinflated measurements.

Does the Garmin S40 use slope?

The Approach S40 does use slope, and best of all, it has the accurate slope preloaded and recorded inside of the 41,000 courses that are offered through the watch. You will have to make sure to enter the correct tee information to ensure you get the accurate and corresponding slope measurement.

Can you swim in a Garmin S60?

Yes, you can swim in the Garmin S60 thanks to the GPS technology that allows all the basics of the watch to become advanced and accurate in a variety of different environments. Since the watch is also waterproof, you can swim in depths up to 50 meters without worrying about the watch malfunctioning.

Does Garmin S60 track sleep?

Yes, the Approach S60 does have sleep tracking technology. While you are sleeping, the watch will detect your sleep patterns and monitor your movements. All of the readings will then be available for you to access on the Garmin Connect app.

How do I unlock my Garmin S60?

To unlock your S60, you just hold the button down on the phone until the padlock opens. Your watch will automatically lock after 10 seconds of inactivity, so you will need to press down until the padlock icon unlocks to get back into your phone.


So there you have it, a complete comparison between the Garmin Approach S40 and the Approach S60. Both golf GPS watches are highly accurate, and both have roughly the same features with the S60 being a slightly upgraded version of the S40.

In terms of which model is best for you, you will find that the S60 does have more fitness features, in addition to more access to sports apps, but the extra money spent for the S60 is really just an aesthetic upgrade over the flagship watch, which is the S40.

When comparing the Garmin S40 vs the Garmin S60, I would say buy the S60, since it is the latest model in the series. That said, the S40 works just as well in terms of registering accurate distances between the two watches.

Check out the best Garmin Approach GPS range here.

Best GPS Tech

At Best GPS Tech we found it frustrating that there were limited websites available, willing to provide an honest opinion on the latest GPS technology to aid our interests. We enjoy creating content around GPS products from the industry leaders such as Garmin, FitBit and more. We hope you find the site informative in helping you make the right buying decisions.

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