Garmin Approach S3 Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch Review

Well here it is. My review of the Garmin Approach S3 Golf GPS Watch as promised.

I have been toying with the idea of getting a golf GPS for a while now. The other 3 all have the Garmin Approach S1 and have raved about how good it is and how much it has helped them improve their game, as they now know exact distances to the front, middle and back of the green.

So I started to have a look on the internet at the various options. I decided I wanted a watch, so I didn’t have to keep going in my pocket to get a GPS device out and checking the distances. I ended up looking at the Garmin Approach S1 and Garmin Approach S3. The S1 is online at most retailers at the moment for around £149 and the S3 is around £249-£279.

I was very close to getting the S1 when I found Golf Xpress who were selling the S3 for £199. I thought it was worth the extra £50 for the extra features the S3 comes with, so I ordered one. It arrived on Tuesday, so I had nearly the whole week to wait before I could test it out on the course. I couldn’t wait!

The weekend finally arrived and I strapped on my new S3 and headed for Littlehampton Golf Club. At the course, I selected Start Round and had to wait approximately 60 seconds for it to find a satellite and the course I was on. As soon as it found the course, it knew which hole I was on and I instantly knew how far I had to go.

One of the great new features on the S3 is the Green View option. When selected, this brings up an outline of the green for the hole you are playing and allows you to move the flag to the desired position. This then updates your distances for even more accuracy, so you can make sure you pick exactly the right club and don’t come up short.

Another great new feature on the S3 is the ability to be able to save up to 3 extra locations per hole. This come in especially useful at our course as on a few holes, there is a rife that winds it way through them, so knowing the distances needed to clear them is very helpful. This information will remain on the watch until you remove it. So, if like us, you play the same course on a regular basis, you will find this feature a great benefit to map out water hazards or tricky bunkers. You can also view layup distances on a hole too. So on those long par 5′s, if you don’t think you can reach the green in 2, you know how far you need to hit it to end up with a nice easy pitch on to the green (and hopefully make a birdie).

I normally try not to wear any watches or jewellery when playing golf, but the Garmin Approach S3 is so light, that after a few holes it just felt normal and as if I had been wearing one for ages.

I opted for the white/red S3, and it is very stylish and doesn’t look out of place worn off the golf course. Another feature I find useful on and off the course is the Odometer. I am actually surprised how far I walk on a daily basis, and this can be translated back to how many calories you are burning.

With over 27,000 course already built in to the S3, and FREE lifelong updates, this watch is a MUST BUY for all keen golfers. Now I have one, I’m not sure how I coped before. I am hoping that this will help me shave another few shots off my game and help me get towards my target for 2013 of dropping my handicap by 2-3 shots.

All of us at 3 Men in a Bunker can’t rate these watches highly enough, but if you do have any questions, then send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be more than happy to answer them for you.

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