Before smartwatches were hot, Garmin, more commonly associated with GPS devices than golf, has been making timepieces with a bit of brain in them. Of course, they’re only useful if you play golf. The Approach S6, however, incorporates just enough features and smartphone integration that would might as well think that it is indeed a smartwatch, just that it comes with golf trainer inside.
Since this isn’t your run of the mill watch or smartwatch, we won’t flood you with specs. Instead, we will talk to you about golfing features, because the primary goal of the Approach S6 is not to tell time or to show you your email, but to train you to be the best golf player. And for that, it has a wide array of weapons, sensors, and apps that will help you reach that goal. SwingTempo, for example, expresses the ratio of your backswing and your downswing, to check if you meet that ideal 3:1 figure. TempoTraining, on the other hand, gives you an audible cue to let you meet that 3:1 magic number. SwingStrength gives the user on-the-spot feedback so that he or she knows just how hard that last swing was.
Of course, this is a Garmin device so you should expect some amount of GPS functionality involved. True enough, the Approach S6 does feature CourseView, giving users full-color hole-by-hole maps of around 30,000 international golf courses. GreenView is its cousin, showing the exact layout of greens, bunkers, and waters. PinPointer and Touch Targeting will give players the advantage of knowing where pins and holes are, no matter where they themselves are.
And, of course, this is also something of a smartwatch. It connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone in order to relay notifications like messages, emails, and alerts. For now, only iPads and iPhones, 4s and later, are supported but Android compatibility is expected some time in summer this year. In addition to those features, the watch is also durable and water resistant up to 50 meters. The battery is advertised to last you 14 weeks when in simple watch mode, but only 10 hours when GPS is used continually.
The Garmin Approach S6 will be available in the third quarter of this year. Only two color, or rather shade, options of Dark and Light are available and one of these things will cost you $399.99.