Garmin launches three new golf wearables including a budget clip-on rangefinder

Garmin tees off for 2021
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Garmin has launched a trio of golf wearables, as it refreshes its range for 2021. It’s launched two new Approach golf watches – the Approach S42 and S12 – and a new clip-on rangefinder in the Approach G12.

While these are all brand new products, there’s not a lot of new golf features – and this looks to be more of a hardware update, offering slightly more features at an entry level price, to try and keep golfers out of the clutches of smartwatch brands such as Apple and Wear OS.

Check out our round up of the best golf watches and the best golf apps for Apple Watch.

Approach S42

Garmin launches three new golf wearables including a budget clip-on rangefinder

The Approach S42 is a reworking of the company’s mid-range golf watch, and offers the same set of features as 2020's Approach S40 but with some premium finishes, with rose gold (above), gunmetal and silver.

It offers a 1.2-inch colour display, the same as you’ll find on the company’s existing sports watches.

It comes with the standard 42,000 built in courses, score keeping and green view, and features Autoshot, which logs the position of your shots on the course, and logs them in Garmin Golf app. This means it can build up data about your game such as accuracy, and yardages off the tee. It can also build club average distances automatically, when combined with CT10 club sensors.

The Approach S42 also functions well when you’re away from the course, with fitness tracking, notifications and workout profiles that can use the built-in GPS for running and cycling. That makes it a decent smartwatch alternative, albeit one that’s at its best when you’re out on the course.

It launches for .

Approach S12

Garmin launches three new golf wearables including a budget clip-on rangefinder

The company also debuts the S12, an entry level golf GPS watch it scales back on features, keeping it all about distances to the green, hazards, and has a big numbers mode, which we presume might be aimed at older users, or those that really just need glanceable data.

Golf watches have very much come under threat from smartwatches with apps – many of which are free. At the S12 gives golfers a budget alternative to the rest of the pricey Garmin range and a big reason to buy over a £279.99 Apple Watch SE.

It's not totally bereft of features. You get a shot measuring tool, scoring on the wrist, a more rudimentary green view. It will also pair up with the CT10 to log your shots, and has 30 hours of battery life.

Read our full Approach S12 review.

Approach G12

Garmin launches three new golf wearables including a budget clip-on rangefinder

Finally, the Approach G12 is something new for Garmin – a clip on rangefinder that can be worn on the belt or even clipped to your bag.

If wearing a golf watch isn’t for you, the G12 will still show key yardages at a glance on its 1.3-inch display, and will last 30 hours between charges. It will cost just .

All these three devices are available now.

TAGGED Garmin Golf

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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