Since the release of the Garmin S60 in 2017, it had ruled the roost when it came to the ultimate in golf GPS watches; that was until the S62 made its market debut in October of 2020.
The Garmin Approach S62 builds on the success of the S60. Still, it brings more like a bigger screen, heart rate monitor, wind gauge and club recommendations, virtual caddie, better battery life, Garmin contactless play, quick-change bands, and a variety of downloadable watch faces.
We’ll look first at the features that these two leading golf GPS watches share and then take a closer look at the new innovative features that the Garmin Approach S62 brings and how you can utilize them to make your game that much easier and better.
Garmin S60 Vs S62 – Are They Legal For Tournament Play
Suppose you have been following the rule changes implemented by the USGA since 2016. In that case, you will know that any Distance Measuring Devices that only provide yardages on the course are legal for competition.
However, devices that offer slope adjustments such as the ‘Plays Like’ feature on the S60 and S62 would not have been allowed before 2016. With the rule change, the use of these devices PROVIDED the slope feature is either not used or deactivated was allowed.
Before playing any competition, you need to check with the local rules and the clubhouse whether you may or may not use DMD’s during competitions as the USGA rules provide for Local Rules to be enacted regarding the use of DMD’s.
A reminder that if your slope features are not allowed, and you are found to have it active, the penalty is instant disqualification.
Garmin Approach S60 Vs S62 – Common Features
The advent of the S60 elevated the golf GPS watch experience to a new level for all that desired a premium product to give them as many features and functionality as possible. The Garmin S62 has taken that to the next level.
Considered by many both at amateur and professional levels to be the market leader in GPS golf watches, Garmin continues to build on the phenomenal success of their previous models. It takes time to listen to their customers and then deliver those needs.
The Touch Screen
Each has a full-color touch screen with the S60 screen measuring 1,2″ and the newer S62 increasing the screen size by 17% and coming in at 1,3″. Plus, the Garmin Approach S62 now has two on-screen buttons that allow you to scroll and toggle through different screens, green view, on course view and hazards.
Both models allow you to move target points with your finger to specific positions and then receive the yardages to that point, and each will still give you distances to the front, middle, and back of the green, and water, hazards, doglegs, and layups.
Garmin Golf Watch Oldies But Goodies
Some of the features we have come to know and love from Garmin are still present in both: AutoShot tracking, Auto Hole Advance, and the digital scorecard and round stats like fairways and greens, hit, as well as putts per round.
The scorecard feature also provides handicap scoring with both player and course handicap data included and automatically calculated.
Both can be linked with the Garmin CT 10 for more detailed data on striking, and the Auto Shot round analyzer will look at club distances and locations for insight into course strategy for future rounds.
You, of course, get the green view layout, the ‘Plays Like’ feature with slope adjustment, and the PinPoint assistant for blind shots on approach. Both watches will also automatically save distances to targets that may not be found on the golf course map to give more detailed course data on future rounds.
Garmin has more than 41 000 courses preloaded to their devices like the S42, and the S62 has improved on that with 46 000 courses on its database with free course updates and the overhead course, hole, and green views.
For golfers that are going to travel and won’t have to worry about whether their course in an exotic land will be found, the S62 has the most comprehensive list of golf courses of any Garmin watch to date.
For swing assistance, the S60 and Garmin Approach S62 are compatible with the Garmin TruSwing golf sensor, so you can improve your swing tempo and achieve better ball striking using this feature.
As with the S60, the Garmin S62 connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone, so you will receive notifications like messages, emails, and phone calls while you are playing, although your playing partners may not be enamored with such interruptions.
Garmin Approach S60 Vs S62 Fitness Features
The S60 boosted the number of fitness tracking features found on the S40, and the Garmin Approach S62 has improved on that even more. Each has preloaded running profiles for both indoor and outdoor exercise.
Both the Garmin S60 and Approach S62 come extensively loaded with fitness tracking apps, and if you weren’t using this for golf, either would be a mighty fine device to track your fitness and health patterns.
Each has an exhaustive list of common fitness features that include :
- Sleep monitor
- Intensity minutes tracker
- Calories burned
- Daily Step Goals
- Odometer for distance traveled during play
- Apps for swimming
- Apps for indoor and outdoor biking
- Sleep monitor
- Cross Country Skiing
The Approach S62 has added a few more features as many golfers now include weights and other forms of resistance training to gain more power and strength in the golf game. These include apps for cardio, elliptical and treadmill training, strength training, yoga, stair-stepping, indoor rowing, and walking.
Now you have no excuse for extra training and burning off calories, and keeping track of your progress in both your golf and your fitness.
Now that we have looked at the common features of the S60 and Approach S62 let’s move to the distinguishing features of the Garmin S62 to see what Garmin has added and improved on their flagship golf watch.
GPS Golf Watch Features
As with previous models, the Garmin S60 and Garmin S62 have the full range of standard watch features, such as time, date, alarm, calendar, stopwatch, countdown timer, sunrise, and sunset.
Both watches are rated waterproof to a depth of 165ft or 5 Atmospheres, so there is no risk of damage should you get caught in the rain or end up in a water hazard for some unfathomable reason!
The Garmin S62- Heart Rate Monitor
As the desire for more performance data increases, Garmin has added a wrist-based heart monitor on the S62. While the Garmin S40 or S10 and Garmin S60 had admirable features, neither offered this function, and for a premium-priced GPS watch, the Garmin S62 has this included.
Tracking your cardiac activity during your play has several benefits, especially if you have had cardiac surgery or recovered from a heart attack or similar cardiac event, and can provide valuable feedback in terms of exertion during play – though you may find that heart rate increases over those damn 3ft birdie putts!
The Garmin S62 Golfing Features Virtual Caddie
The Virtual Caddie is exactly what it suggests, and that is having your caddie in your pocket. This feature will give you club suggestions for approach shots and what club to play in your current lie, plus where to aim and land layup shots for maximum shot benefit.
The Virtual Caddie uses slope and elevation and wind readings and data from previous rounds to offer suggestions as to which club and type of shot you should play from your position on the hole.
Virtual Caddie Feature Legal?
Here is the catch, though. Under rules 14-3 of golf, the use of DMD’s is limited to yardage data only, and any other information provided in real-time like wind and slope would be an infringement of this rule and would therefore not be permitted in play.
Where the local rules are enacted to allow the use of DMD’s in competition, the responsibility is on you to establish whether the features on Virtual Caddie would be permitted under the rules, as the USGA empowered local committees to determine whether DMD’s can be used as well as what features can be used.
We know that elevation or slope readings are not permitted, but you would need to check whether wind reading features such as strength and direction and club suggestions are allowed.
The Garmin S60 Has Better Battery Life
One of the few complaints that many golfers had about the Garmin Approach S60 was that the battery life was poor for a premium-priced watch, as they often only lasted two rounds (if that) on a single charge.
The S62 comes with a lithium-polymer external battery designed to last around 20 hours or three rounds of golf and will pretty much run forever in normal watch mode.
This improvement in battery performance is yet another way Garmin is proactive in fixing and improving features that their customers find below par for their investment.
Quick Change Bands
Some of Garmin’s competitors have used this feature to their advantage, and while the Garmin Approach S60 was loaded with features that gave it market leader status, it didn’t have the quick-change bands which the S62 now has.
From just $10 and available in a wide variety of colors, the quick-change bands on the Garmin S62 add the extra bit of value and round off this product, and cement it as the market leader in GPS watches.
Download Custom Watch Faces
Another feature missing from the Garmin Approach S60 was the option to change the watch face interface so you could have a stylish, elegant watch face when going out socially while using the golf watch face when on the course.
For some reason, this feature was available in the S40 but was left off the S60 and now returns with the Garmin S62. While this feature has no bearing on the golf watch’s primary functions, it adds that element of style and class to match the occasion.
Scratch Proof Glass
Very few things in in golfing life can be as frustrating as scratching your expensive golf watch screen and having to live with that every time you play. The S62 has addressed this by making the screen from Gorilla Glass and providing it as standard.
You could get this on the S60, but you’d have to have opted for the premium model to get the Gorilla glass, but this is now included on the S62.
Garmin S60 Vs Garmin S62 – Contactless Pay
As the world starts to recover from Covid, some of the contactless innovations that emerged from the pandemic have found their way to the Garmin Approach S62, and Garmin’s Contactless Pay is one of those.
Now, you don’t even need your bank card or have to carry cash, as you can tap your S62 on the card reader, whether in the clubhouse or pro shop, to make purchases. By connecting your bank card (and ensuring there are funds available), you can now enjoy ‘tap-to-pay’ convenience on your Approach S62.
Not having to carry a wallet or try and remember where you have left your bank card when arriving at the course or after the round is now no longer frustrating. As this technology gathers more popularity, expect more manufacturers to follow this trend.
The Garmin S62 has taken over as the new Sheriff of Golf Watch GPS Town and is now considered as the act to beat when it comes to the ultimate in hand-worn golf GPS devices.
Investing in the Approach S62 is well worth the money as the features are hard to top. It is made for every golfer from high handicappers to scratch players who will all extract the maximum benefit from having this GPS powerhouse on their wrist.