Garmin announces Approach S40 golf GPS smartwatch: AutoShot integration helps you excel on the course

There are a number of devices available to help you improve your golf game and as we start the golf season in northern states Garmin revealed its newest wearable focuse on golf. We'll be hitting the links with the Garmin S40 GPS next week so stay tuned for a review in the near future.


Image: Garmin

Garmin is known for GPS products across a number of sectors, including marine, automotive, aviation, athletics, and more. One of its sports and fitness markets is golf and in that area Garmin has smartwatches, laser range finders, handheld golf computers, a swing analyzer, and even golf club trackers to provide you with all of the data and analysis you need to improve your golf game.

Last week Garmin announced the new Garmin Approach S40 and we have one in hand. We'll be testing it out next weekend at a local course and comparing it to the golf experience with the Fenix 5 Plus I bought last year. The Approach S40 is more focused on golf than the other Garmin products that have golf support as an additional element so it will be interesting to see how much more optimal the experience is on a dedicated GPS golf device.

Also: Garmin Fenix 5X Plus review: Champion multi-sport GPS watch with music, Garmin Pay, and advanced sleep tracking

The Approach S40 is available now with a suggested retail price of $299.99, and the Approach S40 Bundle is $369.99. The bundle includes the Approach CT10 automatic club tracking system, starter pack with three sensors. I've been considering the CT10 system in combination with my current Fenix 5 Plus GPS watch, but the update that supports the CT10 system has not yet been released for this high end GPS watch.

Specifications of the Garmin Approach S40 include:

  • Display: 1.2 inch color touchscreen display, 240x240 pixels, made of chemically strengthened glass
  • Materials: Metal bezel, plastic casing, and silicone quick-release watch band
  • Wireless: Bluetooth and GPS
  • Water resistance: 5 ATM water and dust resistant rating
  • Battery life: Up to 10 days in smartwatch mode and up to 15 hours in GPS mode
  • Dimensions: 43.4 x 43.4 x 11.7mm and 43 grams

The one technology that is found on Garmin's other GPS watches, but not the Approach S40, is an integrated heart rate monitor. This isn't a vital function for golf, but it also means there are some limits on data captured during sleep, running, and other sports activities. The Approach S40 does have support for smartphone notifications, daily activity tracking, and sleep tracking.

When it comes to golf functionality, the Approach S40 includes the Green View feature, Stableford digital scorecards, AutoShot detection to measure and record detected shot distances, and more. The Approach S40 is preloaded with 41,000 courses worldwide.