Garmin S60 vs S42: Which Is the Ultimate Golf Watch?

Choosing between the Garmin S60 and the S42 is a decision that can impact your golf game significantly. As someone passionate about golf, I’ve taken a deep dive into both of these high-tech wearables to help you make an informed choice. The Garmin S60, known for its sleek design and extensive features, is often touted as the premium option for serious golfers. Meanwhile, the Garmin S42 boasts user-friendly features at a more accessible price point.

When comparing the two models, it’s essential to consider what you value most on the course. The Garmin S60 excels with its advanced swing analysis and detailed full-color course maps which are invaluable for strategizing each shot. On top of that, it offers PlaysLike Distance feature and customizable watch faces making it not just a sports tool but also a fashion statement.

On the other hand, the Garmin S42 shines with its practicality and ease of use. It provides accurate readings needed for improving your game while ensuring that usability isn’t compromised by overly complex functions. With its longer battery life and comfortable fit, this model is perfect for those looking for reliability without excess frills in their golf GPS watch.

Overview of Garmin S60

The Garmin S60 is a premium golf watch that stands out in the market for its sophistication and array of features. It’s built with the avid golfer in mind, offering a high-resolution color touchscreen display that’s easily readable even under bright sunlight. I’ve found this particularly useful during midday games when glare can be a nuisance.

Here are some key aspects of the Garmin S60:

  • Preloaded Courses: Boasting over 40,000 preloaded courses from around the world, you’ll rarely find yourself on a green that isn’t recognized by this watch.
  • Swing Analysis: The device provides detailed swing metrics, which can be critical for improving your game. With features like SwingTempo and TempoTraining, it helps refine your stroke to achieve better consistency.
  • AutoShot Game Tracking: This automatically records shot distances for post-game analysis. Coupled with Garmin Connect, it offers insights into your performance and areas for improvement.

The battery life on the S60 is impressive; you can expect up to 10 hours in golf mode or up to 10 days in watch mode. This longevity means less worrying about charging during extended rounds or trips.

Additionally, smart notifications keep you connected without needing to pull out your smartphone constantly. Emails, texts, alerts – they all sync right to your wrist.

In terms of design and materials used:

  • The bezel is made from sleek ceramic
  • The case material utilizes polymer or titanium depending on the model
  • A variety of interchangeable QuickFit bands allow customization

For golfers looking for both style and substance on their wrist while playing their favorite sport or going about their daily activities, the Garmin S60 has proven itself as an indispensable tool.

Features of Garmin S60

The Garmin Approach S60 is a premium GPS golf watch that has been turning heads in the golf community for its sophisticated features and sleek design. It’s built to enhance your game and style, with a large 1.2-inch sunlight-readable color touchscreen display that makes it easy to read even under the glaring sun.

  • Full-color CourseView maps for more than 41,000 golf courses around the world are available on this beauty, allowing you to see precise yardages to greens, hazards and doglegs.
  • PlaysLike Distance feature adjusts yardages to account for uphill and downhill shots so you can select the best club for each stroke.
  • Touch Targeting lets you touch any point on the map for precise measurement to that spot – including fairway, hazard or green locations.

Beyond aiding with your swing, this watch offers robust activity tracking features:

  • Step counter
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Calories burned
  • Distance traveled

These functions encourage an active lifestyle both on and off the course. Additionally, you’ll find:

  • Smart notifications that allow you to stay connected without pulling out your phone during the game.
  • Automatic uploads to the Garmin Connect app where you can participate in leaderboards and tournaments with friends.

It’s not just about functionality; wearability also plays a huge part in its design. The Approach S60 comes equipped with QuickFit bands which can be easily swapped without tools — switch from silicone sport bands during playtime to classic leather when heading back into business meetings.

Finally, battery life won’t leave you hanging mid-course since it boasts up to 10 hours in golf mode or up to 10 days in watch mode. With these specs wrapped around your wrist, I’ve found myself feeling like I have a personal caddy every step of my game!

Pros and Cons of Garmin S60

When it comes to golf watches, the Garmin S60 presents itself as a premium option with a wealth of features designed for the avid golfer. Here’s what stands out:


  • Full-color CourseView maps are available for more than 41,000 golf courses around the world, which is a huge plus for golfers who love to travel and experience new courses.
  • The high-resolution touchscreen display is easily readable even in bright sunlight, making it convenient during those sunny days on the links.
  • With its sleek design, the S60 can double as an everyday watch without looking out of place or overly sporty.
  • The PlaysLike Distance feature adjusts yardages to account for uphill and downhill shots, giving you an edge when deciding on club selection.
  • It’s not just about golf; the multisport functionality means you can track other activities like running, swimming, and cycling.
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  • The price point is on the higher end compared to other golf GPS devices or watches such as the Garmin S42. This may deter budget-conscious buyers.
  • Battery life can be relatively short when using GPS mode extensively—up to 10 hours—which might not last through multiple rounds or long days on the course without a recharge.
  • There’s a bit of a learning curve due to its advanced features. Some users may find it overwhelming initially.

To sum up these points:

Aspect Detail
Course Maps Over 41,000 worldwide
Display High-res touchscreen visible in sunlight
Design Sleek; doubles as everyday watch
Play Feature PlaysLike Distance for accurate yardages
Multisport Tracks various activities beyond golf
Price Higher end
Battery Life Up to 10 hours in GPS mode
User-friendliness Advanced features may require time to master

Bear in mind that while some aspects like battery life might seem like drawbacks, they’re often trade-offs for having such powerful capabilities packed into your wristwatch. And though it’s pricier than its siblings like the S42, many would argue that you get what you pay for with this top-tier piece of technology.

Overview of Garmin S42

The Garmin Approach S42 is a stylish golf watch designed to blend in seamlessly with your everyday wear while providing key golfing features on the course. It boasts a high-resolution color touchscreen that’s readable even under bright sunlight, ensuring you can see your stats clearly when you need them most. The convenience doesn’t stop there; it comes preloaded with more than 41,000 golf courses worldwide, which means you’re likely covered no matter where your love for the game takes you.

When it comes to improving your game, the S42 is like having a caddie on your wrist. It provides precise distances to the front, middle, and back of the green as well as hazards and doglegs. This level of detail helps you make informed decisions about club selection and shot direction.

  • AutoShot round analyzer tracks shots along the fairway and records shot distances for post-round analysis.
  • Green View feature allows manual pin positioning; quickly reference distances to the front, middle, and back of the green.
  • Built-in activity tracking keeps tabs on steps taken throughout the day.

Battery life also sets this device apart—up to 15 hours in GPS mode means you can get through multiple rounds on a single charge. Moreover, when using it as just a smartwatch, it lasts up to 10 days before needing a recharge. You’ll have plenty of time out on the links before worrying about power.

Lastly, its connectivity options enhance its appeal beyond just golfing functions. With Bluetooth technology, receive smart notifications directly on your watch so that texts or alerts won’t be missed while you’re perfecting your swing. The Approach S42 isn’t just limited to golf—it’s an extension of your smartphone that stays with you from office hours well into leisure time at the clubhouse or range.

Feature Description
Display Color touchscreen readable in sunlight
Preloaded Courses Over 41,000 worldwide
Battery Life Up to 15 hours in GPS mode; up to 10 days in smartwatch mode
Connectivity Bluetooth allows for smart notifications

With these capabilities built into one sleek package, I find that the Garmin Approach S42 strikes an excellent balance between functionality and fashion—making sure golfers look good while playing their best game yet!

Features of Garmin S42

The Garmin Approach S42 is a stylish golf watch that combines everyday wearability with an array of features designed to enhance your game on the course. It’s not just about functionality; this device also flaunts a sophisticated design. The color touchscreen display is readable in sunlight, ensuring you can glance at important information without any hassle, whether you’re teeing off or checking the time.

  • High-resolution, 1.2-inch color touchscreen display
  • Sunlight-readable for easy viewing during play

One of its standout features is the AutoShot round analyzer, which automatically tracks shots along the fairway and measures distances for post-round analysis on Garmin Connect. You’ll get insights into your game like never before with detailed stats that help refine your strategy and improve over time.

  • Automatic shot tracking with AutoShot round analyzer
  • Post-round analysis available through Garmin Connect

Battery life won’t be a concern as you navigate from hole to hole—the Approach S42 boasts up to 15 hours in GPS mode, so it’ll last through multiple rounds if needed. When you’re not on the greens, expect up to 10 days of battery life in smartwatch mode.

  • Up to 15 hours of battery life in GPS mode
  • Up to 10 days in smartwatch mode

Beyond its golf-specific offerings, this watch doesn’t skimp on general smart features either. You’ll enjoy receiving notifications for incoming calls, texts, emails and other alerts right on your wrist when paired with a compatible smartphone.

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Paired seamlessly with the Garmin Golf app, it provides access to more than 42,000 CourseView maps worldwide alongside updates and hole details that can give you an edge before even stepping onto the course.

  • Smart notifications for calls, texts, emails when paired with a smartphone
  • Access to over 42,000 CourseView maps worldwide via the Garmin Golf app

Lastly but importantly for those who like personalization options or have specific aesthetic preferences: interchangeable Quick Release bands make it easy to switch up your style without tools.

  • Interchangeable Quick Release bands for easy style changes

Pros and Cons of Garmin S42

When it comes to the Garmin S42, users will find that this sleek golf watch is much more than a fashion statement on the course. Its touchscreen display is sunlight-readable, ensuring that glares won’t hinder your ability to view the screen during a sunny day out on the links. The color display not only adds a touch of style but also makes navigating through menus and features quite intuitive.

  • Pros:
    • Sunlight-readable color touchscreen display
    • Preloaded with over 42,000 golf courses worldwide
    • Provides yardages to greens, hazards, and doglegs
    • Smart notifications for incoming calls, texts, and alerts
    • Up to 15 hours of battery life in GPS mode

Golfers appreciate that the device comes preloaded with over 42,000 golf courses around the globe which is an impressive feature for those who love traveling and playing new courses. You’ll get precise yardages to greens, hazards, and doglegs right on your wrist. This can be particularly helpful when you’re strategizing your next shot or learning a new course.

The smart notification system is another advantage; it allows you to stay connected without having to pull out your phone mid-game. You won’t miss important calls or texts as they’ll be discretely displayed on your watch. And with up to 15 hours of battery life in GPS mode—enough for several rounds—you don’t have to worry about running out of juice before you finish the back nine.

  • Cons:
    • No onboard music storage capability
    • Limited fitness tracking compared to other models
    • Some users report inaccuracies in distance measurements

However, not everything about the Garmin S42 shines like a well-polished driver. For starters there’s no onboard music storage so if you enjoy listening to tunes while playing you’ll need another device. Fitness enthusiasts might find its activity-tracking features a bit lacking especially when compared against watches specifically designed for multisport athletes.

Another point worth mentioning relates to accuracy concerns; although rare some users have reported discrepancies in distance measurements which could impact game strategy decisions during play. It’s something potential buyers should keep in mind particularly those who rely heavily on precision data from their devices.

Altogether while the Garmin S42 may not offer every bell and whistle available its strengths make it a worthy contender for any golfer looking at tech-assisted improvement on their game.

Comparison between Garmin S60 and S42

When it comes to comparing the Garmin S60 with the S42, golf enthusiasts may notice several key differences. The Garmin Approach S60 boasts a larger 1.2-inch sunlight-readable color touchscreen display, which is a significant upgrade over the smaller screen on the Approach S42. This makes it easier for golfers to read their stats on bright days.

  • Display:
    • Garmin S60: 1.2-inch diameter
    • Garmin S42: 1.2-inch diameter

The feature set also differs notably between these two models. The Approach S60 is designed for the serious golfer who’s looking for more in-depth analysis of their game with features such as PlaysLike Distance, Touch Targeting, and full-color course maps for over 41,000 courses worldwide.

  • Key Features:
    • PlaysLike Distance (S60 Exclusive)
    • Touch Targeting (S60 Exclusive)
    • Full-color Course Maps (Both models)

Battery life is another aspect where these devices diverge. With up to 10 hours in GPS mode on the Approach S60 compared to up to 15 hours in GPS mode on the Approach S42, users have more time on the links before needing a recharge with the latter model.

  • Battery Life (GPS Mode):
    • Garmin S60: Up to 10 hours
    • Garmin S42: Up to 15 hours

Design-wise, both offer stylish looks but they cater to different tastes and preferences. The premium ceramic bezel of the Approach S60 gives it an edge in durability and elegance over its counterpart which sports a more traditional look.

Lastly when considering price points there’s a noticeable difference; typically you’ll find that investing in an Approach s60 will hit your wallet harder than opting for an s42 due largely to those additional features geared towards advanced players.

  • Price Point Consideration:
    • Higher investment for advanced features with Garmin s60
    • More budget-friendly option with strong essentials in Garmin s42

Whether you’re new to golf or refining your professional skills both watches offer unique benefits tailored towards varying skill levels and personal needs within this beloved sport.

Key Differences between Garmin S60 and S42

When comparing the Garmin Approach S60 with the Approach S42, it’s crucial to note that they cater to different user needs within the golf GPS watch market. The S60 is known for its premium features and advanced golfing capabilities, while the S42 offers a balanced mix of functionality and affordability.

  • Display:
    The Approach S60 boasts a larger 1.2-inch sunlight-readable color touchscreen display with higher resolution (240 x 240 pixels), compared to the 1.2-inch screen on the S42 but with lower resolution (218 x 218 pixels). This difference may not seem significant, but it can affect how easily you read data on bright days out on the course.
  • Customization:
    With more watch faces, widgets, and apps available through Garmin’s Connect IQ store, I’ve found that personalizing my experience is simpler with the S60. It allows for greater creativity in tailoring my device to fit my style both on and off the course.
  • Golf Features:
    Both watches offer key golfing features like preloaded courses, distances to hazards, and greens; however, I’ve noticed that only the Approach S60 includes PlaysLike Distance which adjusts yardages to account for uphill or downhill shots—a boon for serious golfers looking to fine-tune their game.
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Here’s a quick comparison of some core specs:

Feature Garmin Approach S60 Garmin Approach S42
Display Size 1.2″ diameter 1.2″ diameter
Display Resolution 240 x 240 pixels 218 x 218 pixels
Weight 52 g 43 g
Battery Life (GPS mode) Up to 10 hours Up to 15 hours
PlaysLike Distance Yes No
  • Battery Life:
    While you might expect a more feature-rich device like the Approach S60 would have longer battery life, it’s actually rated up to ten hours in GPS mode—five hours less than what you get from an approach s42. For those long weekend rounds or practice sessions where every bit of battery counts this could be decisive.

These differences underscore why choosing between these two models isn’t just about budget—it’s also about what specific features will truly enhance your game. Whether it’s prioritizing display quality customization options or extended battery life each golfer’s preference will steer them toward either the sophisticated Approach s60 or practical approach s42.

Which One to Choose: Garmin S60 or S42?

Deciding between the Garmin S60 and the S42 can be a challenging task, as both offer compelling features for golf enthusiasts. The choice ultimately boils down to what you’re looking for in a golf watch. If you prioritize a more sophisticated design with premium materials, the Garmin Approach S60 might be your best bet. It boasts a larger, 1.2-inch color touchscreen display which is easier to read under bright sunlight.

The feature set is another point of differentiation:

  • The S60 offers advanced swing metrics and PlaysLike Distance which adjusts yardages to account for uphill and downhill shots.
  • You’ll also find QuickFit bands on the S60 that allow for easy style changes without tools.

On the other hand, if budget-friendliness ranks high on your list, then the Approach S42 could be more appealing:

  • It has a slightly smaller screen but retains many of the core functions such as AutoShot round analyzer and smart notifications.
  • Battery life on the S42 is quite robust – up to 15 hours in GPS mode compared to 10 hours with the S60.

There’s also user experience to consider. Some users may prefer the sleekness and additional functionality of higher-end models like the S60 while others prioritize simplicity and ease of use which leans in favor of models like the S42.

Lastly, it’s important not just to look at features but how you will use them:

  • If your game often involves playing courses with significant elevation changes, those advanced metrics from an Approach S60 can really make a difference.
  • For golfers who play mostly flat courses or are newish to using tech aids during their rounds, saving some money with an Approach S42 might make more sense financially while still providing ample support on course.

Here’s a quick comparison table highlighting key differences:

Feature Garmin Approach s60 Garmin Approach s42
Display Size 1.2 inches 1.2 inches
Touchscreen Yes Yes
Swing Metrics Advanced Basic
PlaysLike Distance Yes No
QuickFit Bands Yes No
Battery Life (GPS) Up to 10 hours Up to 15 hours

Your decision should align with what will enhance your game experience most effectively while considering how much you’re willing to invest in technology assistance on course. Whether it’s cutting-edge tech or cost-effective reliability that tops your priority list can steer you toward either model confidently!


Deciding between the Garmin S60 and the S42 is a matter of preference and specific needs. I’ve taken an in-depth look at both models to help you discern which golf watch would best suit your lifestyle on and off the course.

  • The Garmin S60 is the premium choice for those who demand top-of-the-line features:
  • The Garmin S42, on the other hand, provides essential functions at a more accessible price point:

Here’s a quick comparison table:

Feature Garmin S60 Garmin S42
Swing Metrics Advanced Basic
Course Maps Full-color, Detailed Color, Less detailed
Design Premium Sporty
Price Higher More Affordable
Battery Life Up to 10 days Up to 15 days

When making your decision, weigh what matters most for your game. If budget isn’t a concern and you’re looking for that extra edge with comprehensive features, the S60 might be worth the investment. However, if you’re focused on getting reliable performance without all the bells and whistles, then the S42 could be perfect for you.

Remember that technology evolves quickly but choose wisely as either of these watches can be a valuable companion on your journey to lowering your handicap. I’m confident this analysis will assist in guiding you towards an informed purchase that enhances your love for golf while respecting your budgetary constraints.

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