Review: Garmin S60 GPS watch
Our Garmin S60 review took place on the course at Hillsborough Golf Club in Sheffield.
The GPS giants have invested heavily in golf over recent years with a number of innovative products which include lifestyle and fitness features.
The S60 is their flagship golf GPS watch for 2017 and can by synced with the Garmin Connect mobile app which allows golfers to share their scores and compete with other users.
Garmin S60 review – First impressions
I first saw this watch on the wrist of a fellow journalist and immediately commented on how smart it looked.
It’s definitely the sort of watch you’d happily wear to keep time when not on the golf course.
It looks premium and wouldn’t cause people to ask why you were wearing a golf watch when down the pub.
There is a bit of bulk to this watch but it’s surprising how light it is once you have it on your wrist. You’ll barely feel it after a while.
Garmin S60 review – Getting started
A very simple, no nonsense charging lead comes in the small box. It doesn’t come with a plug but surely everyone has a plug for their smartphone charger which can be used?
Or you can just plug it into the USB socket of your computer or laptop.
My sample had 50 percent charge already so I only needed to plug it in for 30 minutes or so before going out to play.
Once arriving at the course it only took a couple of minutes for the satellite to pick up where I was. Select the course and you’re away.
I had already connected my S60 to the Garmin Connect app before heading to the course.
Garmin S60 review – The results
The general display is very easy to read and it’s nice to have a colour overview map of the hole you are playing.
This is great for a course you’ve never played before as it will show up if there’s a hidden ditch in front of the green and let you know if a blind shot doglegs to the left or right.
On a course you are very familiar with, maybe it would be better if there was a simpler display that just had the front, middle back numbers to just view at a glance?
There’s also a clever feature on here called the ‘plays like distance’ which will let you know if it is playing longer or shorter than than displayed yardage due to elevation changes.
But it doesn’t tell you how much by. It just gives you an arrow up for longer or down for shorter.
This is a touch-screen watch – something that doesn’t always work so well – but with Garmin’s expertise in this area the S60 (and the recently tested G30) work like a treat.
So with a press of the screen you can zoom in a little bit closer and get yardages to bunkers, other hazards or particular points on the fairway.
You can also move the pin to it’s actual location but I’m not sure this is worth it as it involves a bit of guess work. And who is that accurate?
Front, middle, back numbers are ample for the club golfer – particularly if there is a colour-coded flag system in place.
There’s a range of other features like automatic shot detection but these aren’t always picked up and it doesn’t detect putts.
The scorecard is well-worth using as it will then save your round details to the app.
One slight issue I had with the watch being connected to my phone was that it vibrates to let you know you have a WhatsApp message, or Twitter notification, or email etc..
I had to go into the settings and turn all these notifications off as I couldn’t find a way of having the notifications come up without the watch vibrating.
You’re constantly looking at the watch so will see if a notification pops up – you really don’t want it to be vibrating on your back swing.
Garmin S60 review – NCG verdict
I’d say this watch is about as advanced as it gets in terms of the features. It can be used for monitoring your general fitness and lifestyle habits so is offering a bit more than other golf watches.
And it all comes in a really stylish package.
The digital clockface looks brilliant making the S60 a really attractive proposition for people who actually like wearing a watch all of the time.
There are a range of displays to choose from each showing different information like the temperature or how many steps you have walked that day so far.
It is very easy to use, I like the displays and the information on offer is very accurate.
I’m a huge fan of a device that can sync with your phone to keep you connected with the world away from the golf course.
I’d rather be kept informed of missed calls and text messages rather than having to get my phone out of my bag to check.
The S60 allows you to keep the phone out of view but if you receive an important call or message you can wait for a convent time to take your phone out and make a call.
I have no time for courses which put blanket bans on mobile phones.
However, seeing as I couldn’t find a way to turn off the vibration for alerts, I had to turn them all off completely which was a shame.
It wouldn’t deter me from using what is a fantastic product but when paying the best part of £400, I’d not be keen on making compromises.
Colours available: Black or white
Battery life: 10 days in watch mode, 10 hours in GPS mode
More information can be found on the Garmin website.