Garmin S40 vs Garmin S60 vs Golfbuddy WTX Review: 2023 Updated

Being able to see the exact distance to different parts of the course is one of the easiest ways to improve your scores. In this post, I’m going to be comparing the Golfbuddy WTX watch to the Garmin Approach S40 and also the Garmin Approach S60.

After comparing these three watches, our favorites are the S40 and S60 from Garmin. Both of these watches are super high quality and are much better than the WTX. The one you end up picking will depend on the features you need and your budget.

Garmin has been making some of the best GPS units for a while now and the S40 and S60 are two of their top watches. A lot of the features and the way they’re designed are much better than the WTX from Golfbuddy. Continue reading for the full details of each golf watch.


The Golf Buddy WTX


The WTX is a fairly inexpensive golf watch that doesn’t offer the most advanced features but it does have all the basics. It’ll give you the most important distances on the course such as the green and hazards. One thing I really liked about the WTX was that it’s fairly lightweight and compact.

It comes loaded with around 40,000 courses from around the world and will show the distance to hazards and to the front, middle, and back of the green. This is pretty much the case with all golf watches.

It also has some additional features that most “cheaper” watches don’t such as dynamic green view and pin placement. These will give you a better view of the green and will give you specific yardages to the pin. This watch does have a 3-star rating on Amazon and that’s why I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s just not as well built as the Garmin watches.


  • It’s just as accurate as any when it comes to distances.
  • It’s a pretty comfortable watch.
  • It’s a pretty nice looking watch in my opinion (good for wearing off the course).


  • It’s not the easiest watch to read (in sunlight) and use (the icons are quite small).
  • The GPS seemed to glitch quite often and needed to be reset.
  • The battery life wasn’t the best (around 7 hours).

The Garmin Approach S40

Garmin Approach S40 unboxing and first impressions

The S40 is a more expensive and more advanced watch compared to the previous GolfBuddy. The first thing I noticed right away was that the S40 felt a lot more solid than the WTX. Also, the S40 has a number of more advanced features and will do most of what you’d want. Here are all the features of the S40:

ProductGarmin Approach S40
Size43 x 43 x 12 mm
Quick Release BandsYes
Strap MaterialSilicone
Screen Size1.2 inch
Weight43 Grams
Battery Life15 Hours GPS Mode
Water Rating5 ATM
Golf Courses41,000+
Distance To Front, Middle, BackYes
Distance To Hazards/Doglegs/LayupYes
Shot DistanceYes
Stat TrackingYes
Manual Pin PlacementYes
Custom TargetYes
Club TrackingRequires CT10

One of the biggest selling points for me was the long battery life. It’s supposed to last 15 hours on GPS mode but it seemed to be closer to 12 for me (3 full rounds). I’m fine with that because it’s actually quite a bit longer than the other two watches.

It comes loaded with over 41,000 courses from around the world and will show the distance to hazards, doglegs, and ANY point on the green. Pretty much all of the main courses in my area were on the watch and if you want to double-check, you can see the full list on the Garmin website.

One of the better features the S40 has (that the WTX doesn’t) is the app it comes with that’ll keep track of all of your shots and show you where your common misses were (% of fairways missed left vs right). This will give you a birdseye view of your game to let you know what area needs the most work.

The Autoshot feature will automatically record your shot distances and will give you an average distance for each club. Knowing this is key for consistency and this is one of the few ways to really know these numbers.

Manual Pin Placement will let you select any point on the green to see the exact distance. A lot of the time the pin isn’t in the middle of the green and without this feature you won’t get an accurate reading.

Custom Targets is very similar but it’ll let you select any point on the hole and save the distance for future reference. Sometimes you might need the distance to something that isn’t a hazard or layup spot. This is where this feature comes into play.


  • This is one of the better looking and more comfortable watches on the market.
  • The battery will last around 3 full rounds (better than most).
  • It comes with some activity and sleep tracking.


  • It’s a fairly expensive golf watch.
  • It doesn’t have as many fitness tracking features as others.
  • It doesn’t have the PlaysLikeTouch Targeting, or PinPointer feature.

The Garmin Approach S60

Garmin Approach S60: Basic Functions

The S60 is one of the more advanced golf watches on the market and is also one of the more expensive. It’s definitely one of my favorite watches and it’ll do pretty much everything you’d want on the course (except make the putt for you). It comes with almost the same features as the S40 but there are a few additional functions. Here they are:

ProductGarmin Approach S60
Size46 x 46 x 15 mm
Quick Fit BandsYes
Strap MaterialSilicone Or Leather
Screen Size1.2 inch
Weight52 Grams
Battery Life10 Hours GPS Mode
Water Rating5 ATM
Golf Courses41,000+
Distance To Front, Middle, BackYes
Distance To Hazards/Doglegs/LayupYes
Shot DistanceYes
Stat TrackingYes
Manual Pin PlacementYes
Touch TargetingYes
Club TrackingRequires CT10
Full MapYes

It has pretty much all the same features as the S40. There is one thing the S60 doesn’t have but there are around five extra features which are why the S60 costs more. The extra features might be for you or they might not.

So, what’s the difference between the Garmin S40 and S60?

  1. The S40 has quick release bands.
  2. The S60 comes with more fitness tracking features.
  3. The S60 comes with PlaysLike, Touch Targeting, and Pinpointer.
  4. The S60 comes with the SwingTempo and Tempo Training feature.

The one thing that the S60 doesn’t have (that the S40 does) is the fast release bands. With the S60, you can pick between a silicone and leather band. With the S40, you can switch between the two and you can get a number of colors.

The advantage of the S60 is that it has additional features such as fitness tracking, Plays Like, Touch Targeting, and PinPointer. These are what you pay an additional $130 for.

PlaysLike will take into account elevation and give you adjusted yardage. If you’re 150 yards out but you’re shooting downhill, it might tell you that your shot is 140 yards. This can definitely help you pick the right club.

Touch Targeting will let you select any point on the course and it’ll give you the exact distance. This is probably the main selling point of this watch.

Pinpointer will help you figure out where the green is when you have a blind shot. It’ll help with direction if you’re blocked out by trees or the green is elevated and you can’t see it.

It also comes with SwingTempo and Tempo Training which can be pretty useful for some people. These will basically show you more info about your swing and show you how to improve.


  • It’s extremely useful to be able to see the distance to any point on the course.
  • It has the most golf features out of any watch.
  • It also has some nongolf features for other sports.


  • It’s one of the more expensive golf-specific watches on the market.
  • It doesn’t have quick-release bands (you can still change them though).

What’s The Best Golf Watch?

The best golf watch on the market is the Garmin S40 and Garmin S60. They both have a large selection of courses, are fairly comfortable, and are the most accurate. The watch you decide to go with will depend on what features you want.

We’d highly recommend you have some sort of yardage finder out on the course (watch, handheld, laser). It’s super important that you know the distance to the green and hazards because it’ll really help you with distance control and lowering your scores.

If I was in the market for a new golf watch I’d probably go with the Garmin S40. It doesn’t have every single feature in the world but it does have about 90% of what I’d need and it’s around $130 cheaper.

If you don’t care about having quick release straps and you just want the most golf features, go with the Garmin S60. It’s a bit more expensive but the additional features are really nice to have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does the Garmin S40/S60 monitor heart rate?

A. No, it does not.

Q. Do you need a smartphone to work the GPS?

A. No, they’re a standalone product.

Q. What courses are on the Garmin S40/S60?

A. I’ve used the Garmin watches across North America and Asia and 80% of the courses were on it.

Q. Is The Garmin S40/S60 waterproof?

A. Both watches are rated up to 5 ATMs which means they can be submerged to 50 meters.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

Looking to get some new golf gear? Click here to check out our recommended gear page to see the stuff we’re recommending and the cheapest place to get them.

Last update on 2023-07-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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