Garmin S70 Review

Are you one of those people for whom knowledge is power? Is there no such thing as too much information as far as you are concerned?

Are you one of those people who, when watching professional golf on the television, always thinks, ‘Isn’t golf so much easier when you have a caddy?’

Are you a golfer who just thinks that a bit of a helping hand could take your golf to new levels of quality and just as importantly, enjoyment?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then here at AMERICAN GOLF, we may have THE right product for you – the Garmin Approach S70 - the golf watch to beat all others.

Garmin Approach S70:

The people at Garmin know that you live in a world dominated by information. You don’t need to leave anything to chance anymore. If you need information, the chances are you that you can find it at the touch of a button. Garmin recognises that in golf terms, more information can bring more enjoyment. And who does not want to get more enjoyment and satisfaction out of a round of golf?

Putting all those things together, they have come up with the Garmin Approach S70, their latest golf GPS watch. If this watch had a golf handicap, it would without doubt be scratch as it is that good.

This premium golf watch can be worn anywhere and at any time – at work, at home or out with friends - but it comes into its own on the golf course. This lightweight, stylish design has a ceramic bezel and is available with either a white, black or grey strap.

This golf watch can be paired with either an iPhone or an Android and so you can receive all the notifications that you would do on a smartphone, such as weather updates, emails and sports results. It also tells you who is trying to ring you, although you cannot answer any calls.

This watch will even let you keep abreast of health in your daily life by tracking your heart rate and your stress levels and it has advanced sleep monitoring. Just click the button and you will soon know if things are getting too much and it is time to change your lifestyle!

The only problem with a Garmin Approach S70 is that it has so much information to help you with your golf game, the danger is that you will become more interested in the watch than hitting your shots or talking to your playing partners!

S70 Key Features:

AMOLED display:

The 1.2” (30.5mm) AMOLED touch display is superbright and easy-to-read. The display has a faster response time, an increased refresh rate and reduces power consumption.

Battery life:

The Garmin Approach S70 works for up to 16 days in smart watch mode and it has a capacity to last for 20 hours in GPS mode, so two rounds of 18 holes can easily be played before it needs charging up again.


Garmin have made the Approach S70 available in two different sizes, a 42mm and a 47mm, depending on the size of your wrists. The 42mm is available with a grey and a white strap, costing £599.99. The larger 47mm is only available with a black strap and is priced at £649.99.

Preloaded golf courses:

Do you play lots of different courses? Or love to get in an annual golf trip every year with your friends? If so, don’t forget to take the Garmin Approach S70 with you. It has over 43,000 golf courses preloaded onto it, so there is a very high chance that wherever you play, your watch will be able to help you out and make sure you are the one celebrating at the 19thhole! The GPS satellite will look out exactly where you are and have the course set up for, so you don’t have to go searching too far for the necessary details.

An additional feature also means that you can download updates for the course that you play most often.

Improved Virtual Caddie:

There is nothing like a bit of local knowledge when deciding on your next shot. Without an experienced bagman in your ear, this is where Virtual Caddie comes into its own. All it needs is five rounds of golf to learn how you play golf.

The technology is so good that the Garmin Approach S70 can recommend what club you need by factoring in wind, elevation, the layout of the hole and your swing data. There is also a new shot dispersion chart that means you can factor in what hazards come into play depending on which club you pick.

Enhanced Playslike Distance Feature:

You think you have the right yardage, but you cannot understand how your ball ends up long or (more frequently) short of where you want it to finish. Chances are that you need the Garmin Approach S70 PlaysLike distance feature.

Working out the yardage can be the easy part, but this takes into consideration all the other things we may forget. The ball could be on an uphill or downhill lie, so the technology adjusts from a flat yardage. It factors in air pressure, temperature and humidity – a combination known as air density - because a ball will fly a lot more on a dry, hot day when the air is thin than on a cold and damp day in the middle of winter.

With all that knowledge inside the Garmin Approach S70 processed, only then will the virtual caddie recommend what club you should take.

Green Contour Data:

How many greens are absolutely dead flat? None. There will even be little bumps and humps on your garden at home. That makes reading greens essential if we are going to hole some of those all-important putts.

Green Contour Data gives you the direction and severity of the slopes on whatever green you are playing, so that you can work out your best approach to get close to the flag and then the best chance to hole your putt.

This is available as part of the Garmin Golf membership.

AutoShot Game Tracking:

To be a decent golfer, you should have a rough idea of how far you hit every club in the bag. But the Garmin Approach S70 goes one step further. With AutoShot game tracking, it automatically records your detected shots and measures just far you hit the ball.

All the information is then uploaded onto the Garmin Golf app and can be analysed after your round, so you will have the best understanding you have ever had of what type of golfer you are. The AutoShot round analyser can be paired with optional Garmin Approach CT10 club tracking sensors for more automatic game-tracking capabilities, including detecting putts and chips.


There are few things more difficult on a golf course than trying to work out what yardage you have to the flag if you cannot see it. That can be especially difficult if you are playing a course for the first time. The Pinpointer comes in handy because it helps you to line up shots where the flag is not visible as it works like a compass.

Sports Apps:

Think of a modern-day golfer like Rory McIlroy. Rory is not just a golfer, he’s an athlete as all the top pros are these days. That means strength and conditioning work and visits to the gym are an essential part of his schedule.

But how does that help him hit a golf ball? Technically, it doesn’t. But the stronger he is, the further he can hit his drives and the fitter he is, then he is less likely to make mental mistakes in those critical last few holes of a round or a tournament.

That can apply to your golf, too. The Garmin Approach S70 has access to preloaded activity profiles for yoga, pilates, running and strength work, so that you can get fit or remain fit away from the golf course.

Health features:

This golf watch will let you keep abreast of health in your daily life by tracking your heart rate, and your stress levels. There is also advanced sleep monitoring, so you can discover just how well, or how badly, you are sleeping at night. Maybe you are lying awake at night wondering how to improve your golf! Well, the touch of a button will let you know if things are getting too much and it is time to change your lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Garmin S70:

Is the Garmin Approach S70 worth it?

Now let’s be honest here, the Garmin Approach S70 does not come cheap at £649.99 for the 47mm case or £599.99 for the 42mm. Therefore, we have to work on a question of scale. If you are only an occasional golfer, maybe playing four or five times a year, does this kind of investment work for you? Probably not. However, if you are someone who is down at the golf club three or four days a week in the summer and carries on playing through the winter, then that is a different story.

Say if you played three times a week for 50 weeks a year, that is 150 games of golf in a year. That works out at just over £4 per game extra to use this piece of equipment (the 47mm version). And given that it’s like having a caddie on your wrist, you would pay a lot more than £4 per round to have a caddie. Use it for a couple of years and the value per round comes down even further.

Is the Garmin Approach S70 waterproof?

A very important question, given that there is a very strong probability that you will be out on the course in the rain at some point! The makers recognise this and so the Garmin Approach S70 is most certainly waterproof.

It has a rating of 5ATM, allowing it to withstand pressures equivalent of a depth of water up to 50 metres. Given that it can be used for snorkelling or diving into water, it is definitely OK to use on a wet day on the course. So you don’t have to worry that readings would stop working if the screen gets wet.

What’s the difference between the S70 and S62?

The biggest difference between the Garmin Approach S70 and its predecessor the S62 is the AMOLED display. These displays are known for their sharper colours with more vibrant colours standing out against the black background. The graphics on the course maps have also improved on the 1.7” display.

The course maps are now more detailed, too, as they contain trees and penalty areas, so the displays look more like the holes that you are attempting to play.

Is a Garmin Approach S70 better than a Laser Rangefinder?

Technically, the readings on a laser rangefinder are more accurate than those generated by a GPS golf watch. But a rangefinder is not strapped to your wrist for 18 holes and using the Garmin Approach S70 gives you a much quicker reading at the touch of a button than having to take out your rangefinder for the sake of 1 or 2% in terms of accuracy as regards yardages.

Plus, all the added features of a golf watch probably add up to a better overall package than a rangefinder on its own.

Is the Garmin Approach S70 legal in Tournaments?

Yes and no. Golf watches are allowed in most amateur competitions, and so it is permissible to get a yardage for a shot, measure distances and keep score. It can even be shared with playing partners so that they can get yardages for their shots if they require.

However, some of the enhanced features like Pinpointer and Playslike Distance must be turned off and disabled. Things like tracking wind speed, adjustments for uphill or downhill lies, club recommendations for a particular shot or where the flag is on a blind shot cannot be used.

This falls under rule 4.3 of the Rules of Golf, governing the use of rangefinders and other Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs), which were first allowed in 2006 before the rule was amended in 2016 to recognise other features like Pinpointer, so long as they are turned off during competition.

That is because the game’s governing bodies still want golf to be a sport where a player relies on skill and judgement. And with the pressure on and a card and pencil in your hand, there still has to be an element of working things out for yourself!

About the Author

Adam Lanigan - Golf Writer

Adam is a freelance news and sports journalist who has written for the BBC, The Sunday Post, The I, The Times, The Telegraph and more. He has been writing about golf for nearly two decades and has covered 13 Open Championships and two Ryder Cups. Not only does Adam cover golf, but he has played golf for as long as he can remember. He was a member at Northenden Golf Club for around 25 years until his children arrived and his last official handicap was 11, although on any given day his form fluctuates anywhere between eight and 18.