Garmin S40 Review [Solid Golf Watch]

Garmin has a solid reputation as a high-tech company that produces many of the best laser rangefinders and GPS tracking devices sold on the planet. That same expertise in high tech is coming through in Garmin’s series of GPS golf aiding devices, like the Garmin Approach S40 golf watch. A Garmin Approach S40 review of features shows it works great as an everyday watch that you could wear for almost any occasion. When you hit the links, it transforms into a truly remarkable golf GPS watch.

Great Choice

Garmin Approach S40 Golf Watch

Stylish golf watch with touchscreen showing accurate yardages at over 40,000 courses

In addition to the golf features like Green View, yardages to the front, middle and back of each green.  You can also use the manual pin placement to get distances to specfic green locations

More than 40,000 Detailed Golf Course Maps

For a GPS golf watch to work, it must have highly detailed and accurate maps of your favorite regulation golf courses. The Garmin Approach S40 GPS watch takes care of that with highly detailed maps of more than 40,000 regulation golf course located around the world. A clear touchscreen with excellent contrast and graphics makes it an excellent tool while on the course.

Like other GPS golf devices, you need to turn on the Approach S40 when you arrive at the course. It will take a couple of minutes to sync up with the appropriate satellite, determine your GPS coordinates and load the respective course map.

golf gear like golf watches have all the features for an avid golfer

Once done, the Approach S40 rapidly updates your on-course location, distances to the green and advances to the next hole automatically when you exit the prior hole’s green.


  • Lightweight and downright wearable golf tech.
  • Highly accurate range distancing.
  • Up to 15 hours per charge while in golf mode.
  • Includes Garmin Golf App.
  • Viewable in bright sunlight.


  • No hole flyover views on the watch.
  • Cost might deter some buyers.

While at the tee, the Approach S40 shows the middle distance to the green in large black LCD numbers against a gray background. The front and back distances are shown in smaller numerals, along with the hole number and its par.

Standard time mode on the Garmin Approach S40
Wearing the Garmin S40

Design and Dimensions

A quick review of the design shows the Garmin S40 has a round watch face is 1.7 inches in diameter with a viewing screen that is about 1.3 inches in diameter. A black polymer case with a very clear viewing lens resists water and helps to keep the watch lightweight at 1.5 ounces. A black or grey rubber watchband is comfortable and fits the wrists of most adult golfers.

Comfortable wrist band fits most adult golfers
The comfortable wristband fits most adult golfers

The Approach S40 golf GPS is a great-looking watch that looks and functions like a traditional watch with sweeping hour, minute and second hands on a traditional dial-like setting when not in golf mode.

A single function button on the upper right lets you switch to golf mode. The touchscreen is very easy to use despite its relatively small size. Carrying a touchpad pointer could help with scrolling while on the golf course but is not needed.

Golf mode on the S40 golf watch
There are lots of options in golf mode on the S40 golf watch

While you are on the course, the Approach S40 GPS watch can track how many steps you took, your heart rate and calories burned. It also works great as a workout partner with all the great features of a Smartwatch.

An internal rechargeable lithium battery gives you p to 15 hours of power while in golf mode and 40 hours while in normal watch mode. The 15-hour charge is good for three full rounds of golf.

The battery charges quickly and easily with an included USB cable that lets you use any USB port to ensure the Garmin Approach S40 GPS golf has a sufficient charge for your next round of golf.

Active Green Views

The Garmin Approach S40 review of each green on the course does not leave you wondering about approach angles or pin placement. Instead, the golf watch automatically adjusts the green view to match your angle of approach so that you get the exact layout while looking straight ahead.

additional smartwatch features like today's pin position, green shape and auto shot detection are worth mentioning

That also is that path your ball like will travel to the green.

Manual pin placement lets you correctly place the pin in exactly the right location and give you a better look at how the terrain and shape of the green will affect your approach shot. That will help you to set up the best possible putt and maybe even hole out on the approach.

Detailed Info on Course Hazards

Garmin Approach S40 golf watch review of hazards lets you zoom in and get a closer look at how each hazard is configured. You get distance information to the front and back of each hazard based on your location on the hole.

That saves you the bother of trying to figure out the approach angle in your head and lets you more quickly assess the dangers that lay ahead while you try to make a great approach shot.

You can get distances to sand traps, bunkers, water hazards, layups and ball carry locations. All of that helps you to better determine the best club and swing combination to keep the ball in the safe zones and shoot the lowest possible score on each hole by using good golf strategy.

And if you are curious how this watch compares to other Garmin watches, we cover that in some of our other posts.  Garmin S40 vs S42 is a popular verses article that helps you understand the difference between these two very similar watches

Garmin Golf App Included

One of the great additional features of the Garmin Approach S40 GPS watch is the free Garmin Golf App download that comes with it.

a few features like auto shot tracking and fairways hit make this these golf watches one of the best golf products

The Golf App is the perfect complement to the GPS golf watch by giving you a larger viewing screen and more functions that you load onto your cellphone instead of the S40 golf GPS watch.

Most golfers carry their cellphones with them, anyway, so loading the app onto an iPhone or an Android phone and using it while playing a round of golf should be simple enough to do.

The Garmin Golf App has the same maps of regulation golf courses located around the globe. The larger viewing screen and additional app features give you overhead views, hole flyovers and an electronic caddie and scorecard.

You can use could-based communications to post live score updates during your round and communicate with others on the same golf course or located around the globe.

Green View distances for each hole
Green View distances for each hole

The Golf App also helps to track your average distances with golf clubs and can suggest clubs based on your average distances versus the shot distance you have lined up and awaiting your swing while on the golf course.

When you are at the driving range, the stored performance data can help you to see which clubs and swings need more work.

Garmin S40 Review Of Why I Should Buy a Garmin Approach S40 Golf Watch?

The Garmin Approach S40 watch review shows all of the great features that you get with the GPS golf watch that can help you to lower your score and impress your friends with its cool looks and functions.

The accuracy is great and works to within about a yard or meter or your target. It is light, portable and gives you a world of information on your wrist. The Garmin Approach S40 gives you a golf GPS unit, a Smartwatch and a cool-looking timepiece all in one very cool unit, which greatly adds to its value and usefulness.

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