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Garmin S60 best overall watch?


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#1 Piersm2

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:31 AM

I am looking at purchasing a golf watch and I think I am leaning towards the S60.  Who out there has one and do you like it?


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#2 Stuart G.

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 05:09 AM

I have one and it's nice but many times I prefer to use my x40.   If I'm an unfamiliar course, the full hole view of the s60 is nice and I do like the tempo measurements when on the range working on the swing, and the larger display (compared to the x40) is nice on my old eyes, however much of the functionality is not something I use.   And the s60 doesn't sit as securely/comfortably on the wrist, it's awkward to use the full hole view to get specific yardages (finger is too big and display too small for any accuracy picking a location), and it's fairly easy for the side buttons on the s60 to get hit accidentally during the swing - more so then it used to with my older s3.  

So it really depends on what you want/need from your gps watch, for many the s20 or even the new x10 might be the 'best'.

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#3 Norboo

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 08:04 AM

I agree with what Stuart G. posted above.  

I have S20 and S60.  I also tested many other watches, but Garmin is my first choice.  S20 is much more comfortable and easier to use.  S60 has nice features but I hardly use many of the features.  To use the map to pin point is nightmare to use.  That said, I had the S60 for about 6 months now and getting used to its bulkiness.  It does have nice customizable features, tons of watch faces and other free apps you can download.  I also like the fact that it has hole layout for new course I play.  I do not use my phone apps any longer and hardly use my range finder.

Over all, I don’t think you can go wrong with either S20 or S60.

Note to Garmin:  PLEASE give us easier access to hazards, bunkers and layups.

Edited by Norboo, 13 April 2018 - 08:05 AM.

Driver: G20 (hard to replace, not from lack of trying)
Mini Driver: Taylormade SLDR 14*
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#4 Piersm2

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 09:24 AM

The thing I liked about the S60 is the fact that it is a round face.  I was thinking about buying an apple watch a few years back, but I like the traditional styling of a round watch vs the square face.  I do like the fact that the S20 is $200 less than the S60.  Has it been tough getting used to how bulky the S60 is?

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#5 Norboo

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 10:24 AM

 Piersm2, on 13 April 2018 - 09:24 AM, said:

The thing I liked about the S60 is the fact that it is a round face.  I was thinking about buying an apple watch a few years back, but I like the traditional styling of a round watch vs the square face.  I do like the fact that the S20 is $200 less than the S60.  Has it been tough getting used to how bulky the S60 is?

When I first bought it, I hated the bulkiness.  So, I started to wear it everyday to get used to it.  After few weeks, It wasn't too bad but when wearing long sleeves in the colder months, it is bothersome.

Driver: G20 (hard to replace, not from lack of trying)
Mini Driver: Taylormade SLDR 14*
Fairway: Ping G400 5 wood 17.5*
Hybrid: Ping G400 22* stock shaft
Irons: OnOff Kuro 2015 Model with Recoil 680 F4
Wedges: Scor 50* and 58* with TT Black Gold
Holy Grail: Honma CB8055 (since 1989)
Ball: TaylorMade TP (2014)
Grip: MCC with 1.5 wraps

Backup:  
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TEE EX9 Tour 17* with Rough Silver 70
TEE XCG7 Beta 5 wood
Ping G400 19* Hybrid
TEE XCG7 Beta 22* Hybrid
OnOff Kuro 2015 irons backup set
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#6 Stuart G.

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:21 AM

 Piersm2, on 13 April 2018 - 09:24 AM, said:

Has it been tough getting used to how bulky the S60 is?

I've never thought of the s60 as being bulky at all.  I was actually surprised to find it had a slightly slimmer profile then my older s3.  

But then my normal, every day watch used to be a Suunto Vector - so it takes a lot before something seems bulky to me.

The main problem I had with it from the standpoint of comfort was that the back and transition to the straps is flat and not contoured like the s3 or x40.  It just doesn't feel like it sits as securely on the wrist as the other two.

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#7 Norboo

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 06:45 AM

After 6 months of normal use, battery doesn't hold it's charge as well.  I fully charged night before playing, after 18 holes, I had 36% left.
Driver: G20 (hard to replace, not from lack of trying)
Mini Driver: Taylormade SLDR 14*
Fairway: Ping G400 5 wood 17.5*
Hybrid: Ping G400 22* stock shaft
Irons: OnOff Kuro 2015 Model with Recoil 680 F4
Wedges: Scor 50* and 58* with TT Black Gold
Holy Grail: Honma CB8055 (since 1989)
Ball: TaylorMade TP (2014)
Grip: MCC with 1.5 wraps

Backup:  
Ping Rapture V2 4 wood
TEE EX9 Tour 17* with Rough Silver 70
TEE XCG7 Beta 5 wood
Ping G400 19* Hybrid
TEE XCG7 Beta 22* Hybrid
OnOff Kuro 2015 irons backup set
Ping G20 driver backup driver

Club builder/fitter hobbyists since 1997
Club HO since 1989

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#8 Ty_Webb

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 06:51 AM

I looked into the S60 and wound up going with the Forerunner 935. It was a little more money, but it does a whole lot more stuff that I wanted. All the added features on the S60 that the Forerunner 935 doesn't have are either too fiddly or against the rules anyway (like the where's the hole thing - sounds useful, but you can't use it while playing to the rules). They're both about the same size and I have had no issue playing while wearing it. The S60 doesn't have a heart rate monitor, which I wanted and I've also been trying to work on my fitness and the Forerunner does so much more there too.
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#9 Piersm2

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 10:34 AM

What I do like about the S60 is the ability to track shots, swing path, distances, etc, as well as the common smart watch features.  Am I able to get this with the 935 or even other models?

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#10 Gman27

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 09:30 PM

I have an S4 that the screen died on me recently.  I'm thinking of the S60 but am wondering if current s60 owners have issues with the side buttons being accidentally pressed during your swing?  I found this to be my biggest beef with my S4 and wondering if the S60 has similar issues.

Edited by Gman27, 02 July 2018 - 09:31 PM.


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#11 Stuart G.

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 04:07 AM

 Gman27, on 02 July 2018 - 09:30 PM, said:

I have an S4 that the screen died on me recently.  I'm thinking of the S60 but am wondering if current s60 owners have issues with the side buttons being accidentally pressed during your swing?  I found this to be my biggest beef with my S4 and wondering if the S60 has similar issues.

All the time.  You can set the watch to lock the buttons and screen automatically during an activity (while playing).  It does a decent job of avoiding the accidental button press issues BUT then it also makes it a bit of a plain when you really do need to press a button or use the touch screen (such as for entering scores, etc) since you have to manually unlock the unit before you can use it.

They really need to add some button guards to the casing.

The x40 doesn't have that issue (no side buttons), but of course it's a lot more limited in what it can do compared to the s60.

Edited by Stuart G., 03 July 2018 - 04:08 AM.


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#12 vietnameeh

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 05:47 PM

I love my s60 that I just started using....I really enjoy the auto shot tracker

but I am a little concerned with the battery, it says it should last 10 hours in golf mode...

I just played a round by myself in 3 hours and the battery was already at 50% (after a full charge). This is literally only my 4 or 5th time using since I got it in June.

has anyone tried reaching out to garmin about this type of issue, just curious
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#13 longshotrisk

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 06:00 PM

 Gman27, on 02 July 2018 - 09:30 PM, said:

I have an S4 that the screen died on me recently.  I'm thinking of the S60 but am wondering if current s60 owners have issues with the side buttons being accidentally pressed during your swing?  I found this to be my biggest beef with my S4 and wondering if the S60 has similar issues.

I haven't had it happen on mine. Its a really nice watch and the larger size (than the X40) is really nice for me.

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#14 Stuart G.

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 04:45 AM

 vietnameeh, on 03 July 2018 - 05:47 PM, said:

I love my s60 that I just started using....I really enjoy the auto shot tracker

but I am a little concerned with the battery, it says it should last 10 hours in golf mode...

I just played a round by myself in 3 hours and the battery was already at 50% (after a full charge). This is literally only my 4 or 5th time using since I got it in June.

has anyone tried reaching out to garmin about this type of issue, just curious

Garmin support is usually very good.   10 hours may be an optimistic but I usually have ~55% left after a 4 hour round.  Also there are several settings that can effect battery usage.  e.g. Bluetooth connections, back light settings (how bright and what activates the back light).

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#15 BlackDiamondPar5

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 04:52 AM

 Stuart G., on 04 July 2018 - 04:45 AM, said:

 vietnameeh, on 03 July 2018 - 05:47 PM, said:

I love my s60 that I just started using....I really enjoy the auto shot tracker

but I am a little concerned with the battery, it says it should last 10 hours in golf mode...

I just played a round by myself in 3 hours and the battery was already at 50% (after a full charge). This is literally only my 4 or 5th time using since I got it in June.

has anyone tried reaching out to garmin about this type of issue, just curious

Garmin support is usually very good.   10 hours may be an optimistic but I usually have ~55% left after a 4 hour round.  Also there are several settings that can effect battery usage.  e.g. Bluetooth connections, back light settings (how bright and what activates the back light).
Good call on backlighting. If the s60 screen is anything like my Vivoactive 3, it's not needed in daylight and it performs no function in daylight other than wasting battery.

Edited by BlackDiamondPar5, 04 July 2018 - 04:52 AM.


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#16 Reckie

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 12:57 PM

Im sure it's a great watch when it comes to hardware and functions but what about Garmin's way of measuring the courses?

I had a S60 on order but after giving my fathers new G30 a try I decided to cancel it.
I really loved the hardware of the G30, the screen is great and as other mentioned about the S60 you don't need backlight during daylight.

I found Garmins way of measuring courses using imagery (satellite photo?) is to much of an error source.
Think of it, on a satellite photo you can easily determine the outer edges of a bunker or a water hazard so these distances are usually accurate, but what about the greens?
Do you think they can easily determine the difference between green and foregreen?

On my home course several green measures where way off and it was apparent they had mapped outer edges of the foregreen instead of the green.
Not a big deal you might say but several measure where 10-15 yards off, on a few holes even more.

Now, Garmin got a function that allow you to point out where on the green the flag is located, to give you a better precision.
On greens that are mapped incorrectly this will still give a false distance reading since the proportions of the greens differ from real life.

It's a pity the mapping ain't better than this because I love their hardware. Maybe they could offer some sort of premium subscription service like Skycaddie to get access to validated measures.

Please note that most of the holes on my course had decent measures, some where spot on and others just a few yards off, something I can live with. However, on 4 holes the green measure was more than a club off. I remember when Garmin first launched their watches and golfing buddies got strange measures, it's been many years since then so I somehow thought the errors on my home course had been reported and fixed, no they are apparently still there. Hence I decided to cancel my order, if mapping error still exists after a long time (decade?) how can I trust the measure it gives me on the other 39.999 courses?

I haven't even tried Skycaddie but used to do my own manual mapping on an old iGolf Neo and it was often accurate even compared to laser. It beats me why people don't react more about this, maybe they are clueless and the people who actually care about exact distances use a laser rangefinder instead?

Feel free to test how accurate your own device is.
Move up the 100yds/meter marker, make a note of the distances to the front and back of the green (or just take a photo with your phone).
Select the shot measuring function of your watch or hand held device.
Reset this distance and start walking towards the front of the green.
At the front of the green make a note of the distance or take another photo and then move up to the back of the green (without resetting the shot distance) and make a note of that distance as well.
Compare the distances from the shot function with the initial values from the 100yds/meter marker.

Repeat for the next hole.

If your home course is like mine with quite long fore/back green areas there is a risk that some mapping errors have been done, resulting in unusable green distance values on a few holes (hopefully just a few).

Sorry for eventual and probable grammatic errors, English is not my first language.

Edited by Reckie, 07 July 2018 - 12:59 PM.


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#17 BlackDiamondPar5

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 02:09 PM

 Reckie, on 07 July 2018 - 12:57 PM, said:

Im sure it's a great watch when it comes to hardware and functions but what about Garmin's way of measuring the courses?

I had a S60 on order but after giving my fathers new G30 a try I decided to cancel it.
I really loved the hardware of the G30, the screen is great and as other mentioned about the S60 you don't need backlight during daylight.

I found Garmins way of measuring courses using imagery (satellite photo?) is to much of an error source.
Think of it, on a satellite photo you can easily determine the outer edges of a bunker or a water hazard so these distances are usually accurate, but what about the greens?
Do you think they can easily determine the difference between green and foregreen?

On my home course several green measures where way off and it was apparent they had mapped outer edges of the foregreen instead of the green.
Not a big deal you might say but several measure where 10-15 yards off, on a few holes even more.

Now, Garmin got a function that allow you to point out where on the green the flag is located, to give you a better precision.
On greens that are mapped incorrectly this will still give a false distance reading since the proportions of the greens differ from real life.

It's a pity the mapping ain't better than this because I love their hardware. Maybe they could offer some sort of premium subscription service like Skycaddie to get access to validated measures.

Please note that most of the holes on my course had decent measures, some where spot on and others just a few yards off, something I can live with. However, on 4 holes the green measure was more than a club off. I remember when Garmin first launched their watches and golfing buddies got strange measures, it's been many years since then so I somehow thought the errors on my home course had been reported and fixed, no they are apparently still there. Hence I decided to cancel my order, if mapping error still exists after a long time (decade?) how can I trust the measure it gives me on the other 39.999 courses?

I haven't even tried Skycaddie but used to do my own manual mapping on an old iGolf Neo and it was often accurate even compared to laser. It beats me why people don't react more about this, maybe they are clueless and the people who actually care about exact distances use a laser rangefinder instead?

Feel free to test how accurate your own device is.
Move up the 100yds/meter marker, make a note of the distances to the front and back of the green (or just take a photo with your phone).
Select the shot measuring function of your watch or hand held device.
Reset this distance and start walking towards the front of the green.
At the front of the green make a note of the distance or take another photo and then move up to the back of the green (without resetting the shot distance) and make a note of that distance as well.
Compare the distances from the shot function with the initial values from the 100yds/meter marker.

Repeat for the next hole.

If your home course is like mine with quite long fore/back green areas there is a risk that some mapping errors have been done, resulting in unusable green distance values on a few holes (hopefully just a few).

Sorry for eventual and probable grammatic errors, English is not my first language.
It's generally aerial imagery not satellite that's used. It's quite proven that it is very accurate. Perhaps some regions of the world the mapping isn't so great because of limited aerial imagery but in the US the images are routinely better than a foot accuracy. The US courses I've played with Garmin are commonly 0-3 yards from markers and maybe 10% of the time 5 yards.

PS, your writing in English is very good. :)

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#18 Reckie

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 03:06 PM

 BlackDiamondPar5, on 07 July 2018 - 02:09 PM, said:

 Reckie, on 07 July 2018 - 12:57 PM, said:

Im sure it's a great watch when it comes to hardware and functions but what about Garmin's way of measuring the courses?

I had a S60 on order but after giving my fathers new G30 a try I decided to cancel it.
I really loved the hardware of the G30, the screen is great and as other mentioned about the S60 you don't need backlight during daylight.

I found Garmins way of measuring courses using imagery (satellite photo?) is to much of an error source.
Think of it, on a satellite photo you can easily determine the outer edges of a bunker or a water hazard so these distances are usually accurate, but what about the greens?
Do you think they can easily determine the difference between green and foregreen?

On my home course several green measures where way off and it was apparent they had mapped outer edges of the foregreen instead of the green.
Not a big deal you might say but several measure where 10-15 yards off, on a few holes even more.

Now, Garmin got a function that allow you to point out where on the green the flag is located, to give you a better precision.
On greens that are mapped incorrectly this will still give a false distance reading since the proportions of the greens differ from real life.

It's a pity the mapping ain't better than this because I love their hardware. Maybe they could offer some sort of premium subscription service like Skycaddie to get access to validated measures.

Please note that most of the holes on my course had decent measures, some where spot on and others just a few yards off, something I can live with. However, on 4 holes the green measure was more than a club off. I remember when Garmin first launched their watches and golfing buddies got strange measures, it's been many years since then so I somehow thought the errors on my home course had been reported and fixed, no they are apparently still there. Hence I decided to cancel my order, if mapping error still exists after a long time (decade?) how can I trust the measure it gives me on the other 39.999 courses?

I haven't even tried Skycaddie but used to do my own manual mapping on an old iGolf Neo and it was often accurate even compared to laser. It beats me why people don't react more about this, maybe they are clueless and the people who actually care about exact distances use a laser rangefinder instead?

Feel free to test how accurate your own device is.
Move up the 100yds/meter marker, make a note of the distances to the front and back of the green (or just take a photo with your phone).
Select the shot measuring function of your watch or hand held device.
Reset this distance and start walking towards the front of the green.
At the front of the green make a note of the distance or take another photo and then move up to the back of the green (without resetting the shot distance) and make a note of that distance as well.
Compare the distances from the shot function with the initial values from the 100yds/meter marker.

Repeat for the next hole.

If your home course is like mine with quite long fore/back green areas there is a risk that some mapping errors have been done, resulting in unusable green distance values on a few holes (hopefully just a few).

Sorry for eventual and probable grammatic errors, English is not my first language.
It's generally aerial imagery not satellite that's used. It's quite proven that it is very accurate. Perhaps some regions of the world the mapping isn't so great because of limited aerial imagery but in the US the images are routinely better than a foot accuracy. The US courses I've played with Garmin are commonly 0-3 yards from markers and maybe 10% of the time 5 yards.

PS, your writing in English is very good. :)

Thanks for your reply, image quality is a very good point as that could make it hard to differentiate green/foregreen.

An easy give away to if the distance to green is correct or not on devices with a course image (the G-series and I guess also the S60) is too look at the distance arcs on the device and compare that to the markers on course. If you stand at a marker and the arc is not crossing that marker or atleast very close by its either the marker or device that is incorrect. (Usually device since marker should be laser measured). You could then use the shot measure function from the marker to front/back of green to check what is failing.

Edited by Reckie, 07 July 2018 - 03:11 PM.


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#19 Stuart G.

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 04:49 AM

 Reckie, on 07 July 2018 - 03:06 PM, said:

An easy give away to if the distance to green is correct or not on devices with a course image (the G-series and I guess also the S60) is too look at the distance arcs on the device and compare that to the markers on course.

I disagree.   I've been on plenty of courses where the distance marks are horrible.    A much better way is a laser.  Take a reading on the gps unit from a tree or something that can be easily targeted with a laser from the green (front, back or middle), when looking back.

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#20 BlackDiamondPar5

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:42 AM

 Reckie, on 07 July 2018 - 03:06 PM, said:

 BlackDiamondPar5, on 07 July 2018 - 02:09 PM, said:

 Reckie, on 07 July 2018 - 12:57 PM, said:

Im sure it's a great watch when it comes to hardware and functions but what about Garmin's way of measuring the courses?

I had a S60 on order but after giving my fathers new G30 a try I decided to cancel it.
I really loved the hardware of the G30, the screen is great and as other mentioned about the S60 you don't need backlight during daylight.

I found Garmins way of measuring courses using imagery (satellite photo?) is to much of an error source.
Think of it, on a satellite photo you can easily determine the outer edges of a bunker or a water hazard so these distances are usually accurate, but what about the greens?
Do you think they can easily determine the difference between green and foregreen?

On my home course several green measures where way off and it was apparent they had mapped outer edges of the foregreen instead of the green.
Not a big deal you might say but several measure where 10-15 yards off, on a few holes even more.

Now, Garmin got a function that allow you to point out where on the green the flag is located, to give you a better precision.
On greens that are mapped incorrectly this will still give a false distance reading since the proportions of the greens differ from real life.

It's a pity the mapping ain't better than this because I love their hardware. Maybe they could offer some sort of premium subscription service like Skycaddie to get access to validated measures.

Please note that most of the holes on my course had decent measures, some where spot on and others just a few yards off, something I can live with. However, on 4 holes the green measure was more than a club off. I remember when Garmin first launched their watches and golfing buddies got strange measures, it's been many years since then so I somehow thought the errors on my home course had been reported and fixed, no they are apparently still there. Hence I decided to cancel my order, if mapping error still exists after a long time (decade?) how can I trust the measure it gives me on the other 39.999 courses?

I haven't even tried Skycaddie but used to do my own manual mapping on an old iGolf Neo and it was often accurate even compared to laser. It beats me why people don't react more about this, maybe they are clueless and the people who actually care about exact distances use a laser rangefinder instead?

Feel free to test how accurate your own device is.
Move up the 100yds/meter marker, make a note of the distances to the front and back of the green (or just take a photo with your phone).
Select the shot measuring function of your watch or hand held device.
Reset this distance and start walking towards the front of the green.
At the front of the green make a note of the distance or take another photo and then move up to the back of the green (without resetting the shot distance) and make a note of that distance as well.
Compare the distances from the shot function with the initial values from the 100yds/meter marker.

Repeat for the next hole.

If your home course is like mine with quite long fore/back green areas there is a risk that some mapping errors have been done, resulting in unusable green distance values on a few holes (hopefully just a few).

Sorry for eventual and probable grammatic errors, English is not my first language.
It's generally aerial imagery not satellite that's used. It's quite proven that it is very accurate. Perhaps some regions of the world the mapping isn't so great because of limited aerial imagery but in the US the images are routinely better than a foot accuracy. The US courses I've played with Garmin are commonly 0-3 yards from markers and maybe 10% of the time 5 yards.

PS, your writing in English is very good. :)

Thanks for your reply, image quality is a very good point as that could make it hard to differentiate green/foregreen.

An easy give away to if the distance to green is correct or not on devices with a course image (the G-series and I guess also the S60) is too look at the distance arcs on the device and compare that to the markers on course. If you stand at a marker and the arc is not crossing that marker or atleast very close by its either the marker or device that is incorrect. (Usually device since marker should be laser measured). You could then use the shot measure function from the marker to front/back of green to check what is failing.
Reckie, I've owned 4 different golf GPS devices since about 2009. A Golf Guru (excellent product though unfortunately no longer in business), Bushnell Neo-X watch, Garmin approach x40 and now a Garmin Vivoactive 3.   I tested all these products extensively on US and some Canadian courses. When I'm near an embedded yardage marker I always compare the GPS reading, and I will tell you that it's unusual to find more than a 5 yard deviation and typically is 3 yards or less from the marker and GPS reading. I don't see aerial mapping as inferior to walking a golf course to map it.


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