Garmin Approach S12 GPS Golf Watch Review – The Best Deal in Golf?

Golf is one of the most fun and addicting sports out there – but it’s also one of the most expensive. Buying clubs, paying for tee times, hiring a coach, and getting different accessories can add up quickly. 

Luckily, Garmin offers one of the best deals in golf with the Garmin Approach S12 watch. This budget friendly watch can help you strategize every hole and play your best golf ever.

Keep reading to learn more about the Garmin Approach S12 watch features, pros/cons, and answers to your top questions.

garmin-approach-s62-watch-gps-range-finders

$149

Praised for its simplicity and accuracy, offers an excellent entry-level option for golfers. It combines a clear display, essential yardage information, and a lightweight design, making it a top-value pick for those seeking functionality without complexity.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Garmin Approach S12 Golf GPS Watch Review 

Garmin has no shortage of watches – both golf watches and normal smartwatches – in their product lineup. Some are as priced as low as the Garmin S12 (about $149) while others are more than $3,000. 

But despite being a watch that won’t break the bank, it has tons of amazing features to help your golf game. The Garmin S12 replaced the popular Garmin S10 (read our full review here). 

A few highlights of the S12 include:

  • Less than $150. 
  • Scorecard tracking. 
  • Sunlight readable display.
  • More than 30 hours of battery life.
  • 43,000 preloaded golf courses around the world. 
  • Available in three colors; black, granite blue, and white.   

Here’s what makes this one of the best no-brainer deals in golf.

Simple and Easy to Use

After reviewing a lot of golf watches, sometimes less is more. While the $3,000 ones might have a ton of perks for better performance on and off the course, sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. 

The Garmin Approach S12 is simple, easy to use, and is a great watch to help you navigate the golf course like a pro. It pairs with the Garmin app as well, but the watch itself has a ton of features to manage your game more effectively.

The easy-to-read screen provides clear black/white visuals and text that is easy to use even on sunny days.

Plus, with 30 hours of battery life in GPS mode, you can use it for a ton of rounds of golf without having to charge it.  

Go Green 

Golf rangefinders are great, but they only provide one distance – whatever target you choose, which is usually the pin.

However, sometimes it’s a lot more beneficial to also know the distances to the front, middle and back of the green. This is where the Garmin S12 approach comes in handy.

If you watch golf on TV and listen to pros and caddies converse, you’ll always hear them mention the distance to the front or back distance, not just the number to the flag.

By knowing these distances as well, you can pick the right club for your approach shot. This should lead to more greens in regulation and hopefully lower scores.

Course Maps 

Another important aspect of course management is knowing what areas of the golf course to avoid. If you’re playing from hazards or spraying balls out of bounds all day, it makes it nearly impossible to score.

But with more than 43,000 golf courses installed on this watch, the course map can help you easily identify (and avoid) trouble.

This will help you understand how to play new golf courses better on your first time out and successfully navigate any type of hole. 

garmin-approach-s62-watch-gps-range-finders

$149

Praised for its simplicity and accuracy, offers an excellent entry-level option for golfers. It combines a clear display, essential yardage information, and a lightweight design, making it a top-value pick for those seeking functionality without complexity.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Green Contour Data

The watch also comes with green contour data that is provided on the Garmin Golf app (with a paid membership). This will help you better understand the topography of the greens to identify slopes for approaches, pitches, and putts. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t displayed on the watch like some models, as it does not offer a color display with full graphics. 

Optional: Garmin Approach S12 with CT10 Sensors

The watch does have the option to add on the CT10 sensors, which is another great investment in your game. These sensors install into the grips of each of your clubs to learn more about your game. 

As Garmin mentioned on their website, “The more you know, the better you play.” We couldn’t agree more. 

These sensors are easy to install and pair with your watch to track your shots and get performance straight to your wrist. They’ll help you learn more stats using the Garmin Golf App so you can track distances and understand your game to figure out what you need to improve most. 

Plus, with a battery life of four years, they’ll help you better understand your game for years to come. 

Top Questions

Is the Garmin S12 worth it?

Yes, for only $149 this is one of the best deals in golf. 

A golf watch can help you learn more about each hole with extra distance measurements and know where to avoid than a rangefinder. This should make it easier to pick the right targets and choose the right clubs for every shot. 

When did the Garmin S12 come out?

The Garmin S12 Approach watch was released in March 2021.  

Does Garmin S12 have slope? 

The watch itself does not offer slope as a “Playslike Distance” like other Garmin watches (check out our review of the Garmin Approach S62).

However, with an active Garmin Golf membership, you can see this feature on your phone during the round. This makes it easier to understand if a shot is uphill or downhill and how to adjust. 

What can the Garmin Approach S12 do? 

The Garmin Approach S12 golf watch can help you create a better tee box and approach shot strategies for every hole on more than 43,000 courses.

It can also help you avoid trouble and learn more distances to the front, middle, and back of greens. Not to mention keep score and sync with other Garmin accessories. 

Closing Thoughts 

The Garmin Approach S12 is a simple, easy to use watch that can help you prepare for any hole like a pro. It’s one of the best deals in golf, and easy to see why so many golfers have used it since its release in 2021. 

Buy a Garmin Approach S12 today to take your game to new heights. Or, if you want more features to improve your game, check out the Garmin Approach S42

garmin-approach-s62-watch-gps-range-finders

$149

Praised for its simplicity and accuracy, offers an excellent entry-level option for golfers. It combines a clear display, essential yardage information, and a lightweight design, making it a top-value pick for those seeking functionality without complexity.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Golf Bandit
The Golf Bandit

Hi, I'm Jan. I love golf and I have been playing for a while now. I really enjoy trying out new golf clubs and equipment, and like to review them on my blog. I consider myself lucky as I have access to the latest clubs and gadgets, so I can get a feel for how they perform on the golf course. I also like to share my tips and tricks on how to improve your game, so if you're looking for help with that then look no further! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find something useful here.

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