If you’re looking to improve your golf game but don’t have enough spare cash to burn on a personal instructor, perhaps Garmin’s new Approach S6 Golf Watch might be worth considering. The wearable offers a number of features but its key attraction will no doubt be the instant analysis it gives after each swing.
The device, which blends smartwatch functionality with a number of sensors and GPS data, features a full-color touchscreen display that can show you a map of which course you’re on (pulled from a database of more than 30,000 international courses). It’ll even tell you the best method to use to get out of a sand trap or a wooded area or which way to swing should you somehow lose your sense of direction.
Swing statistics come in the form of three metrics: SwingTempo, TempoTraining and SwingStrength.
SwingTempo measures the relationship between a golfer’s backswing and downswing, showing it as a 3:1 ratio. TempoTrainer, meanwhile, uses the 3:1 ratio and gives golfers audible tones to synchronize their swing mechanics and fine-tune their tempo. Last but not least is SwingStrength which provides wearers with immediate feedback on their power percentage to help calculate and remember how hard they hit each club.
The Approach S6 also has a Handicap Scoring feature used to provide handicap scoring options for individual holes, golfer’s local handicap or index/slope methods.
The golfing gadget also doubles as a traditional smartwatch. When paired with an iPhone 4S or later (Android compatibility is expected later this summer), users can receive text, e-mail and call alerts right on the watch. It’s good for up to 10 hours of battery life in full GPS mode or 20 weeks in watch mode, Garmin claims.
For golfers – and really, the smartwatch industry as a whole, this looks to be one of the few wrist-worn wearables that actually serve a true purpose.
The Garmin Approach S6 Golf Watch will be available during the third quarter for $399.99.