Garmin Approach S12 Watch Review

Garmin Approach S12 Watch Review

By Paul Liberatore



Time to read 3 min

When it comes to playing your best golf, any of the game’s top players or instructors will tell you it’s all about controlling your distance. Slightly offline is usually alright, but dialing in the correct yardage really is the key to scoring well.

Fortunately, golfers don’t have to worry about dialing in the right distance any more thanks to GPS watches.

One of the best GPS watches to hit the market in quite some time is the Garmin Approach S12.

Let’s have a closer look at all this watch’s cool features.

Key Features

Watch comes with more than 42,000 preloaded courses.

Garmin Golf app allows to track your score and important stats right on your watch.

Battery life of up to 30 hours means you can play all day.

Design and Technology

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the design and technology packed into the Garmin Approach S12.

To start, it comes with more than 42,000 courses that are already preloaded. No having to worry about downloading a new track every time you go play.

Its screen is also sunlight readable. No matter how bright or dark the lighting conditions, you’ll never have any trouble reading the screen on the Approach S12. 

You won’t ever have to worry about this watch running out of juice either. Its battery lasts up to 30 hours.

And you’ll always have ready access to the most important yardages out on the course. They include front, middle, and back yardages on every green, and numbers to important points like bunkers, doglegs, and hazards.

As an improved feature, green contour data lets you see every precise slope on the greens as you play. No more having to guess which way putts break.

If you really want to take things to another level, you can pair the Approach S12 with the Approach CT10 club tracking sensors to dial in your yardages.


  • More than 42,000 preloaded courses eliminate the hassle of downloading new ones.
  • Watch has more smart capabilities than other watches.
  • Battery life of up to 30 hours means you don’t have to charge the watch after every round.


  • Price point is higher than other GSP watches on the market.
  • Setup can be tricky for golfers that aren’t technologically inclined.
  • Shipping times might vary depending on inventory levels.

Our Experience

I can tell you I’ve tried my share of golf GPS watches over the years, and some are definitely better than others. The Garmin Approach S12 is one of the more technologically advanced, reliable ones I’ve tried.

I’m really impressed with its battery life, vibrant display, and quantity of functions that are all easy to use.

And while a lot of GPSs aren’t nearly as accurate as they claim to be, I’ve found the Approach S12 to be accurate within a single yard. It’s hard to get much more precise than that.

Overall, I have nothing but high praise for the Garmin Approach S12 GPS Watch. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Garmin Approach S12 Watch

The Garmin Approach S12 Watch includes detailed maps of over 42,000 golf courses worldwide, GPS tracking to provide accurate distances, and a sunlight-readable display. It also has a long battery life of several weeks in watch mode.

How accurate is the GPS on the Garmin Approach S12 Watch?

The GPS on the Garmin Approach S12 Watch proved to be very accurate in testing, providing precise distances to the green and other course features.

Does the Garmin Approach S12 Watch have automatic shot tracking?

No, the Garmin Approach S12 Watch requires manual shot tracking, which some more advanced players may find tedious compared to higher-end models with automatic shot tracking.

Can the Garmin Approach S12 Watch be used for everyday fitness tracking?

How long does the battery last on the Garmin Approach S12 Watch?

How long does the battery last on the Garmin Approach S12 Watch?

The Garmin Approach S12 Watch has outstanding battery life, with users easily getting several weeks of use between charges when in watch mode.


There’s no questioning that Garmin is an industry leader when it comes to GPS watches. For years they’ve set the bar high for what golfers can expect in their golf GPSs.

The Approach S12 is no exception. It’s technological capabilities, ease of use, and accuracy are as good as it gets.

If you’re sick of guessing at yardages, give the Garmin Approach S12 GPS a try. You won’t be disappointed. 

Paul Liberatore

Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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