What’s new? How much does it cost? And how does it perform? Hannah Holden brings you the low down on the new Garmin Approach S70 GPS watch
Is the Garmin Approach S70 the perfect blend of a lifestyle, fitness and golf watch? Hannah Holden got her hands on one to find out…
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Garmin Approach S70 GPS watch review: NCG Summary
If, like me, you want a golf GPS watch that also tracks all your lifestyle, fitness and health data, I think this could be the best product on the market.
This has top-of-class GPS information displayed in a very user-friendly way. The touchscreen display is excellent and means you can get yardages to any part of the golf course.
But this is not just a golf watch. It can track all your workouts, your sleep, and a variety of health data as well as having phone notifications and music controls all on your wrist.
- Heaps Of GPS Data
- Really Easy To Use
- Tracks All Your Fitness And Health Data
- Long Battery Life
Garmin Approach S70
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Garmin Approach S70 GPS watch review: First Impressions
I was super excited to get my hands on this watch as I love the integration of golf-specific GPS data and all the fitness and health data. Previously I was using one watch for my health and fitness data and then putting another on for GPS data when I got out on the golf course, which clearly is far from ideal.
Initially, I couldn’t get over how good the screen quality is. Garmin use an Amoled display which is basically the best quality you can get. It provides perfect viewing even in conditions such as bright sun, where it might normally be hard to see a screen.
This is a really stylish watch which I am very happy wearing both on and off the golf course. The build is super high quality, and it is also very lightweight. This watch comes in three colour options. I have tested it in the white strap option, which I really love. I also like the rose gold trim around the edge of the clock face.
Garmin Golf Watch: On-course testing
This watch has so many features, but for the initial part of this review, I am going to stick to golf features. The Approach S70 is probably one of the easiest golf watches to use and set up. You simply press to top button on the right side of the watch to load the golf mode, a short GPS search happens, and then you can pick your course and what tees you are playing from. An important thing to note is if you want Garmin to save your round, you do need to click the option to keep score. I really like how quick the GPS is to locate each course as it means you can get your round started quickly and easily.
The main golf screen shows an overview map of the hole as well as accurate yardages to the front, middle and back of the green. Swipe down a screen, and you can get ‘playslike distances’ which lets you know how much the slope, wind and weather will affect your yardages. You can’t use these calculations in competition hence why they are on a separate page, but it is a great feature to help you learn how much slope and the elements affect carry distances and is especially helpful in practice rounds or if you often play at the same course so you can learn to adjust your club selection for slopes. You can also put the watch into tournament mode if you don’t want to see plays like measurements.
One of my favourite things about the GPS is the touchscreen display. You can click on any part of the hole and get a distance to that exact location. This is especially helpful on doglegs when you want to know how far to hit your ball to get around the corner or how far you have to the end of the fairway. You can easily zoom in and out to see sections in more or less detail. It is also great that you can highlight hazards and get distances to the front and back so you can work out your safe carry or lay-up distances.
I have always been a laser user, but I have found myself relying on this less and less while using this watch. Sometimes it is actually more helpful to know the distance to the middle of the green than trying to hit into a front pin yardage. It is also really easy to plan how to play the hole when using the course map. You can input your driver distance in the Garmin golf app, and the watch will then show you approximately where your driver would finish. You can see if there are any hazards in this area and quickly see if a driver is the right club to hit.
There is also a really handy shot distance tracker. On the top of the screen, it tells you how far your last shot has travelled, which is helpful for learning your on-course distances. If you have hit your ball offline it is also really handy to figure out where it might be in the pesky rough.
If you choose to purchase a Garmin Golf App membership (£8.99 per month or £89.99 per year), you can also get green contour data with arrows and contour lines showing you where the slopes are on each green. This is obviously extremely useful tech, but it is slightly annoying you have to pay a yearly fee for this. Given how bad my green reading has been recently, it could be the best investment for my game.
The battery life on this watch is unbelievably good. You have the option of having the screen in an ‘always on’ mode or my preferred option of letting the screen sleep when it is not in use. I can use this all day to look at notifications, check my stats, run fitness activities and obviously get my golf yardages, and the battery would easily last for a week.
Compared to other fitness watches I have owned, this is definitely better, and it is miles ahead of most watches that only have the battery life to stay on for 36 holes of play.
I would say the only downside to this watch is it doesn’t offer full shot tracking/ stats collection as part of the main package. You can manually track some stats by inputting how many putts you had and if you took any penalties, but this doesn’t give you a full picture of your round. If you do want to use this watch to track your stats, you can do, but it would require you to purchase the Approach CT10 sensors, which come in at £199.99.
The 19th Hole
Unusually, this is almost the biggest section of the review as I use this watch more off the course than I do on it. One of my favourite features is the morning report which tells you the weather, gives you a sleep score, tells you your HRV and gives you calendar reminders for the day.
The watch tracks a variety of health features 24/7. This allows you to see data on things such as heart rate, stress levels, sleep pattern, body battery (a personal favourite) and HRV.
This watch is just as useful when running or in the gym, as it is on the golf course. It is also waterproof, so can be used when swimming. If you use this with the Garmin Connect app you can use the Garmin Coach training plans. These include over 1600 exercises to help you work out. Some are even golf specific.
I love the step tracker and the fact the watch tells me off if I have sat still for too long. Having so much fitness data on my wrist definitely encourages me to be more active, which can only be a good thing.
Clearly, at around £600 (depending on size), this is a big investment, but I can’t understate how good this watch is. If you are going to make use of all the lifestyle and health features as well as the golf ones, this is definitely worth the money.
Garmin Approach S70 Golf GPS watch review: The Details
RRP: £599.99 (42mm) £649.99 (47mm)
Colours: Black Ceramic Bezel with White Silicone Band, Black Ceramic Bezel with Black Silicone Band and Black Ceramic Bezel with Powder Grey Silicone Band
More Information: Garmin website
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