Garmin Fenix 5 Vs Approach S60

Golf watches have become increasingly popular among golfers of all skill levels, offering a range of features to enhance their game. Two popular options on the market are the Garmin Fenix 5 and the Garmin Approach S60. In this article, we will compare these two golf watches, highlighting their similarities and differences, and helping you make an informed decision about which one suits your needs.

Rangefinder on Discount

Design and Display: The Garmin Fenix 5 and Approach S60 differ in terms of their design and display. The Fenix 5 is primarily marketed as a multisport watch, designed for various outdoor activities, including golf. It features a rugged and durable design, with a round face and a stainless steel bezel. On the other hand, the Approach S60 is specifically tailored for golfers, with a sleeker profile and a larger, color touchscreen display that provides clear and detailed visuals.

Golf Features:

Both the Fenix 5 and Approach S60 offer an array of golf-specific features to enhance your gameplay. These features include:

a. Course Mapping and Distances: Both watches provide preloaded golf course maps, allowing you to view hole layouts, hazards, and distances to the front, middle, and back of the greens. This helps you plan your shots more accurately.

b. Swing Analysis: The Approach S60 goes a step further by offering advanced swing analysis. It can track metrics such as swing tempo, speed, and the angle of approach, providing valuable insights for improving your swing technique.

c. Green View: The Approach S60 offers a Green View feature that displays the shape of the green and allows you to manually move the pin location for more precise yardage readings. This is a helpful feature for approach shots and putting.

Performance Tracking:

Both watches excel at tracking and analyzing your performance on the golf course. They provide comprehensive data on key metrics, including:

a. Shot Tracking: The Fenix 5 and Approach S60 enable you to track your shots automatically. They can detect the club used for each shot and provide statistics on distance, accuracy, and other performance metrics.

b. Scorekeeping: You can easily keep track of your scores on both watches, recording your score for each hole and calculating your overall score in real-time.

c. Stat Tracking: Both watches allow you to track various statistics, such as fairways hit, greens in regulation, and putts per round. This data can be valuable for identifying areas of improvement in your game.

Additional Features:

Aside from golf-specific features, the Fenix 5 and Approach S60 offer a range of additional functionalities:

a. Fenix 5: The Fenix 5 is a multisport watch and offers features tailored to other activities such as running, swimming, and cycling. It includes advanced fitness tracking features, navigation tools, and smart notifications.

b. Approach S60: While primarily focused on golf, the Approach S60 also includes features like activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, and smart notifications. It provides a more comprehensive set of fitness-related features compared to the Fenix 5.

Battery Life and Connectivity:

Battery life and connectivity options are essential considerations when choosing a golf watch:

a. Battery Life: The Fenix 5 offers a longer battery life, with up to two weeks in smartwatch mode and up to 24 hours in GPS mode. The Approach S60 has a shorter battery life, typically lasting up to ten days in smartwatch mode and up to ten hours in GPS mode.

b. Connectivity: Both watches offer GPS connectivity for accurate distance measurements. They can also connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth to receive notifications, updates, and access additional features.

Customization Options:

a. Fenix 5: The Fenix 5 offers a high level of customization, allowing you to choose from a variety of watch faces, widgets, and data fields to personalize your golfing experience. You can also download additional apps and widgets from the Garmin Connect IQ store to expand the watch’s functionality.

b. Approach S60: The Approach S60 provides some customization options, including different watch faces and data fields. However, compared to the Fenix 5, its customization options are relatively limited.

Course Updates and Compatibility:

a. Fenix 5: The Fenix 5 receives regular software updates from Garmin, including updates to golf course maps and new features. It is compatible with a wide range of golf courses worldwide, ensuring that you have access to accurate and up-to-date course information.

b. Approach S60: The Approach S60 also receives course updates, ensuring that you have the latest information on your favorite courses. It is compatible with a large number of golf courses globally, but it’s always a good idea to check for course availability in your region before purchasing.


The price point is an important consideration for many buyers. Generally, the Fenix 5 is priced higher than the Approach S60. The additional cost of the Fenix 5 is due to its multisport capabilities and more rugged design. If you are primarily focused on golf and don’t require the extra features, the Approach S60 may be a more cost-effective option.

User Interface and Ease of Use:

a. Fenix 5: The Fenix 5 utilizes a button-based interface for navigation, which some users may find more intuitive and easier to operate, especially when on the golf course. The buttons allow for quick access to different features without having to navigate through menus on the touchscreen.

b. Approach S60: The Approach S60 features a touchscreen interface, which offers a more modern and smartphone-like user experience. It allows for easy navigation through menus and the ability to interact with the watch by tapping and swiping on the screen. Some users may prefer the touchscreen interface for its simplicity and familiarity.

Durability and Water Resistance:

a. Fenix 5: The Fenix 5 is known for its durability and ruggedness, making it suitable for outdoor activities, including golf. It has a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters, allowing you to wear it while swimming or in rainy conditions without worrying about water damage.

b. Approach S60: While the Approach S60 is not as robust as the Fenix 5, it still offers a durable construction. It has a water resistance rating of up to 50 meters, which is sufficient for protection against sweat and light rain. However, it may not be suitable for swimming or extended water exposure.

Design and Display

CategoryGarmin Fenix 5Garmin Approach S60
Display1.2″ color1.2″ color
Chroma DisplayTouchscreen
Resolution: 240×240 pixelsResolution: 240×240 pixels
Water Resistance10 ATM5 ATM
Battery LifeUp to 2 weeksUp to 10 days
(Smartwatch mode)(Smartwatch mode)
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes

Golf Features

CategoryGarmin Fenix 5Garmin Approach S60
Preloaded Golf CoursesNoYes
Worldwide database
of 40,000 courses
Swing AnalysisNoYes
Swing Tempo
Swing Strength
Swing Speed
Digital scorecard
Scoring options
Golf MetricsYesYes
Shot distance
Yardage to hazards
Green view
Stat tracking


CategoryGarmin Fenix 5Garmin Approach S60
Smart NotificationsYesYes
Calls, messages,
email alerts
Wireless SyncYesYes
Garmin Connect
Mobile app sync
Connect sensors
and accessories
NFC PaymentsNoYes

Fitness Tracking

CategoryGarmin Fenix 5Garmin Approach S60
Heart RateYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Sleep stages
Sleep score
Pulse ox
Calories BurnedYesYes
Active calories
Floors climbed
Intensity minutes
Move IQ

Additional Features

CategoryGarmin Fenix 5Garmin Approach S60
GPS TrackingYesYes


The Garmin Fenix 5 and Approach S60 are two excellent golf watches with a range of features to enhance your golfing experience. The Fenix 5 offers a rugged design and a longer battery life, making it suitable for multisport enthusiasts. The Approach S60, on the other hand, is specifically designed for golfers, providing advanced golf features and a sleeker profile. Consider your preferences, budget, and desired features to choose the watch that best fits your needs on the golf course.

Garmin Fenix 5 Vs Approach S60


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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