If you’re serious about your golf then you should be serious about your choice of Golf GPS as well. Garmin’s all-new Approach G6 is a stand-alone device that can help you get the most out of your game.
There are more than 27,000 preloaded golf courses aboard the G6 and it offers a lot more than just yardage.
It can also keep track of your score – and the scores of three other players in your group – and also remember the average distance you hit with each of the clubs in your bags.
Approach G6 also makes it easy to remember your stats including putts and greens hit.
The device has a 2.6-inch screen and small enough to fit in your golf bag – it’s 9.3cm long, 5.4cm wide and 1.9cm thick.
It has a responsive touchscreen and two dedicated buttons underneath the display to quickly access the view of the green, shot measurements and your scorecard.
Having so few buttons helped keep operation simple and keeps the interface easy to navigate.
The last thing a golfer wants is to try work out and use a complicated system when they should be directing their concentration on their shots.
The screen has also glove friendly so there’s no need to take off your golf glove to interact with the device.
Garmin’s Approach G6 also comes with a carabiner clip so it’s easy to attach securely to your golf bag and keep it in view and within reach.
The device is also waterproof so it can be by your side no matter the condtions.
Players get a top down view of the hole with the ball position clearly marked. The G6 gives distances to the hole and to other features and hazards on the hole.
The map also comes with lay-up distances with references to 100m, 150m, 200m and, if the hole’s long enough, 250m as well.
When you get close to the hole it’s easy to adjust the pin position to match the real hole simply by dragging the flag to correct position for that day.
When it comes to keeping score, the Approach G6 can accommodate your foursome whether you’re playing stroke, stableford, skins or match play.
It’s also easy to keep your stats up to date – fairways hit, putts per round and greens in regulation. Players can check these stats during their round and, after your round, you can also download them to your computer.
You can also review your round as you go and view how many putts you’ve made, clubs used, fairways hit or missed left or right, distances travelled and even how long you’ve taken to play.
Club selection can make or break your round so knowing exactly how far you hit each of your clubs can mean the difference between a bogey and a birdie.
With the G6 you can update the distances achieved with each club and even re-name each stick if you prefer “The Beast” to driver.
One of the best features of the Approach G6 is the battery which provides up to 15 hours of use on a single charge. That’s a lot of golf.
And with 27,000 golf courses on board, it’s a no brainer you’d pack this in your bag if you’re playing golf on your next holiday.
For our testing we headed to our home course – St Michael’s Golf Course at Little Bay in Sydney’s south-east.
The G6 found St Michael’s in seconds and we were on our way.
Distances were accurate and we liked how we could zoom in on the hole for a closer look at the hazards.
The Approach G6 was like having our very own caddy and having accurate distances really took the guesswork out of our club selection.
APPROACH G6 v FREE SMARTPHONE APP
Now there are a lot of people who would rather download a free Golf GPS app to their smartphone instead of spending $349 for the Garmin Approach G6.
But there are a lot of pros and cons to consider here.
If you’re a serious golfer then it’s a good idea to go for a dedicated golf GPS like the Approach G6.
The main advantages of the device are uncompromised features and superior battery life. The form factor is also a big plus with the G6 able to easily clip to your bag.
With a smartphone app obviously not having to pay for it is a big incentive. But more often than not these free apps are plastered with ads.
And the fact the app is on a smartphone means you are likely to be disturbed with calls, texts and emails when the idea for many players when they play golf to escape the stress of the outside world.
Another app disadvantage is the impact it will have on your smartphone’s battery after a four-hour round.
The Garmin Approach G6 is like the best club in your bag for those who are serious about their golf and looking to shoot a low score.
Designed specifically for use on the golf course it has a sunlight-friendly screen, rugged construction, convenient size, a wide range of useful features and provides a great way to chronicle and analyse your game.
One of the few downsides of the products is the price. At $349 the device is up against smartphone apps which can be downloaded for free.
It would have been nice to see Garmin offer the G6 for under $300.
Golfers always love a product that helps improve their game and the Garmin Approach G6 can do just that.
Garmin Approach G6
Three and half stars (out of five)