Garmin Approach S12 Review: Ultimate Golf Watch Choice?


Looking for an easy-to-use golf watch that’s packed with features? The Garmin Approach S12 has got your game covered. With 42,000+ preloaded courses worldwide, this GPS golf watch provides essential yardages to the green, hazards, and doglegs, making it an ideal companion for both casual and serious golfers.

Not only does the Garmin golf watch offer useful rangefinder functions, but it also keeps score right from the watch itself. By pairing it with a compatible smartphone, you can upload your scores directly to the Garmin Golf™ app, participating in weekly leaderboards and competing with fellow golfers.

Garmin Approach S12

The stylish design and easy-to-use interface make the best golf GPS watch more appealing. For those seeking to enhance their game tracking, the watch can be paired with optional Approach® CT10 club tracking sensors for more automatic capabilities.

With a battery life of up to 15 hours in GPS mode, the S12 ensures you can play multiple rounds without frequent charging. Plus, the smart features like Greenview, PlaysLike Distances, and AutoCourse updates help you make the most informed decisions on the course.

Bottom Line

If you’re a golfer needing a reliable and feature-rich wearable, the Garmin Approach S12 is a great choice.

From rangefinder capabilities to easy scorekeeping and smart notifications, this GPS golf watch enhances your on-course experience.

Ready to level up your golf game? Head over to Amazon and purchase the Garmin Approach S12 today!

Garmin Approach S12: Easy-to-Use GPS Golf Watch Overview

When you’re looking for a golf GPS watch that combines stylish design and practical features, the Garmin Approach S12 is an excellent choice. Offering performance-enhancing benefits, with over 42,000 preloaded courses worldwide, this rangefinder watch helps improve your game in an easy-to-use package.

The high-resolution sunlight-readable display ensures maximum visibility, even in bright conditions. The battery life is impressive, lasting up to 30 hours in GPS mode to keep up with your longest rounds. The S12 is more than just a rangefinder, as it offers smart features like Greenview and PlaysLike Distances to assist in course navigation.

One standout feature is the ability to keep score directly on the watch and sync with the Garmin Golf app when paired with a compatible smartphone. If you wish to enhance your game tracking further, you can pair the watch with Approach CT10 club tracking sensors (sold separately).

The Garmin Approach S12 is a top contender for the best golf GPS watch on the market. With a sleek design, easy-to-use features, and exceptional functionality, it’s the perfect companion for any golfer seeking an edge on the course.

Related: Garmin Approach S10 Review

High-Resolution Sunlight-Readable Display

One standout feature of the Garmin Approach S12 is its high-resolution sunlight-readable display. This golf GPS watch makes it easy for you to view important information, even in bright sunlight. The 0.9-inch screen with a 175 x 175 resolution ensures you can clearly see preloaded course maps and other essential data while playing golf.

While the Garmin golf watch excels in its readability, the technology used may not appeal to everyone, as the device lacks some additional smart features found in other premium GPS watches. However, this doesn’t take away from the main purpose of the S12 – helping you enhance your golf game with precise Rangefinder and Greenview capabilities.

If you’re looking for a Golf watch with GPS that prioritizes a clear, sunlight-readable display and ease of use over flashy extras, the Garmin Approach S12 is a reliable choice in the world of the best golf GPS watches.

Efficient Battery Life

With a battery life of 15 hours in GPS mode and up to 30 hours in standard watch mode, the Garmin Approach S12 is a reliable companion for your golf games. You’ll be able to track your progress on the course without worrying about a dying battery ruining your game.

This golf watch with GPS is perfect for golfers who value both functionality and time on the green. The water-resistant design, sunlight-viewable screen, and built-in golf GPS features mean that you can focus on your performance without concerns about the watch’s battery giving out midway through your round.

While the Garmin golf watch offers an outstanding battery life, some users may find the lack of smart features, such as smart notifications and Virtual Caddie, limiting compared to other best golf GPS watch options. So if you prioritize simplicity and a long battery life over additional features, the Approach S12 is a fantastic choice for enhancing your golf experience.

Preloaded Courses From Around the World

The Garmin Approach S12 is packed with 42,000+ courses from around the globe, offering you a wide range of options to explore and enjoy your game. With GPS technology, your golf watch provides accurate yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green, along with distances to hazards and doglegs. This makes it an invaluable companion for any golfer looking to improve their game.

In addition to being a great rangefinder, the Approach S12 comes with user-friendly scoring capabilities. You can keep score right on the watch and seamlessly upload to the Garmin Golf app when paired with a compatible smartphone. This way, you can easily participate in weekly leaderboards and compare your performance with other players.

However, it is important to note that the Approach S12 doesn’t come with the Approach CT10 club tracking sensors. These are sold separately, but investing in them can be extremely beneficial in automatically tracking your game and providing insightful data on how far you hit with each club. Overall, the Garmin Approach S12 is worth considering, offering both essential golf features and exceptional course accessibility.

Approach CT10 Club Tracking Sensors

Enhance your golf game with the Garmin Approach S12 by pairing it with the optional Approach CT10 club tracking sensors. These sensors, sold separately, elevate your experience by automatically tracking your shots, providing invaluable insights about your performance. With CT10 sensors, you’ll have accurate data on how far you hit with each club at your fingertips.

However, it’s worth noting that these sensors add an additional cost to your setup, as they are not included with the golf watch. If you’re on a budget, consider whether the added functionality of automatic game tracking is essential for you or if the basic features of the S12 itself satisfy your needs.

To sum up, Approach CT10 sensors offer a more comprehensive tracking experience for golfers looking to up their game, but they come at an additional cost. Ultimately, the decision to invest in these sensors depends on your priorities and budget.

Pros and Cons


The Garmin Approach S12 golf watch makes your game easier with its high-resolution, sunlight-readable display. Its battery life of up to 30 hours in GPS mode ensures you’ll never be left in the dark during a round. With over 42,000 preloaded courses from around the world, you can trust this watch to provide accurate yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green, as well as hazards and doglegs.

One of the best features of this golf GPS watch is its compatibility with the Garmin Golf app, which allows you to keep score directly on the watch and upload it to participate in weekly leaderboards. For a more comprehensive experience, pair the watch with Approach CT10 club tracking sensors (sold separately) to track your score and club distance automatically.


While the Garmin Approach S12 offers many advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider. The battery life, although extensive, may not last as long as some users would prefer between uses. Additionally, some users have reported difficulties pairing their watch with Android phones due to server errors.

It’s also worth noting that this watch predominantly focuses on the basic functionality of providing yardages and scorekeeping. If you’re seeking a rangefinder watch with more advanced features, such as Greenview, PlaysLike Distances, smart notifications, or a Virtual Caddie, you may find the Approach S12 lacking.

In summary, the Garmin Approach S12 is a solid choice for a golf watch with GPS, offering reliable course information and scorekeeping in a stylish design. It’s easy to use, and its battery life is impressive. However, if you’re looking for more advanced features, you may want to explore other options in the Garmin golf watch lineup.

Customer Reviews

Golf enthusiasts appreciate the Garmin Approach S12 for its easy-to-use features and preloaded courses. Many users reveal that the watch has excellent outdoor visibility, even for those who are farsighted. Customers also enjoy the watch’s compact size and long battery life.

One golfer shared that the S12 delivers simplicity, reliability, and accuracy with large, easy-to-read numbers on a sunny day. Another upgraded from a handheld rangefinder and has enjoyed the convenience of the S12.

Several reviewers mentioned its functional upgrades from the older Garmin S3 model, while others were delighted with the long-lasting battery life (lasting several 4-hour rounds on the course). A handful of golfers experienced issues pairing the watch with their Android phones but still enjoyed the other features of the S12.

Overall, the Garmin Approach S12 is regarded as an excellent golf GPS watch that offers valuable course information and accurate measurements to improve your game.


In summary, the Garmin Approach S12 is a solid choice for golfers seeking a reliable and easy-to-use GPS golf watch. It stands out with its impressive database of 42k+ preloaded courses, providing essential yardage information for hazards, doglegs, and Greenview. The long battery life of up to 15 hours in GPS mode ensures you can play multiple rounds without constantly recharging.

Though it may lack some advanced smart features and Virtual Caddie found in pricier models, the Approach S12’s dependable performance, stylish design, and straight-forward functionality cater well to those who desire a no-nonsense rangefinder watch. Additionally, the ample positive feedback from users reinforces its reputation as one of the best golf GPS watches on the market.

However, before making a decision, ensure you carefully evaluate your needs as a golfer and whether this model aligns with those requirements. Overall, the Garmin Approach S12 is a worthy consideration for enhancing your game on the course.


About Author

You're looking for some help when it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game. Chris Howard has been in the golf industry since 1995, and knows just what you need to take your game to the next level. Growing up on a golf course, Chris has always had a love and passion for the sport. He desires to provide others with a better golfing experience - from helping them choose the right golf gear, to finding the perfect set up for their individual game.

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