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REVIEW: Garmin Approach S1 (long) - Page 2

post #19 of 65

I had a GolfLogix for a couple of years, but I found that I wanted more information that I got with that. I ended up having to use both it and a laser to get the data I need when i play.  When I was shopping for a new GPS this spring, I looked at the S1, but it was too basic.  I need to know distances to hazards, bunkers, trees, etc., often for either tee shots or for layup shots.  I ended up  with the Approach G5 and I couldn't be happier.  I don't see having it as a separate unit as being a hassle.  With the carabiner clip it just hangs on my bag, pops off and on with a quick release, and gives me tons more information than the S1. 

 

I also don't like having to recharge my GPS.  A rechargeable is either plugged in at home when I get to the course, or it's in my bag with a dead battery.  I carry spare AA Lithium batteries in my bag and I'm always good to go.  I get about 6-8 rounds on a pair.

 

Different strokes I guess.  a2_wink.gif

post #20 of 65

This a basically to tell you that if you have any problems (even the one I had below), Garmin Customer Support is really good.

 

Just joined the forum today and I've enjoyed reading what you've all written so far on the S1.  A friend of mine got one and I said, wow this is really cool.  So,I got one of these things the other day, went out to the course. and something very strange happened.  I took it to the course right out of the box.  Read how to work it (didn't take long) and went to the first tee.  All's well, and I worked fine for nine hole until it ran out of battery.  No big deal, I kinda figured that might happen not knowing how charged it was.  So, anyway, I get home, register it and run the update app from the garmin website. 

 

A few days later, I head out again to the same course, and I'm all ready to show this thing off to my friends.  I get to the first tee, turn the thing on, it finds satellites, and then proceeds to tell me there ar no courses near.   WHAAAAATTTTT????  I heard about it the whole rest of the day!  LOL  Tried a hard restart a few times and still nothing. 

 

OK, time to get over to customer support.  They got back to me very quickly and gave me step by step instructions on what to do.  They are really good.  (I'm not a plant for Garmin, seriously) Hopefully it will work. 

 

Doesn't sound like anyone else has had this problem, and I hope I didn't put the whammy on any of you!  Will let you know what happens after tomorrow's round.

post #21 of 65

This is one reason why Garmin is the world leader in consumer GPS.  It would take some convincing to talk me into any other brand.  I've used them for car, golf, and hiking, and all of them have done exactly what they are supposed to do.  People I know who have had minor problems have always been well taken care of by Garmin's customer support.  You won't hear the same good stories from Magellan owners (last I heard, SkyCaddie was mounted on Magellan hardware).  Magellan customer service is notorious for its lack of service.

post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

This is one reason why Garmin is the world leader in consumer GPS.  It would take some convincing to talk me into any other brand.  I've used them for car, golf, and hiking, and all of them have done exactly what they are supposed to do.  People I know who have had minor problems have always been well taken care of by Garmin's customer support.  You won't hear the same good stories from Magellan owners (last I heard, SkyCaddie was mounted on Magellan hardware).  Magellan customer service is notorious for its lack of service.


I've never had any problems with my Magellan GPS in my car. Then again, I've never had to contact their customer service either. Not trying to convince you of anything, but maybe you've just heard about a few isolated incidents.
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post



I've never had any problems with my Magellan GPS in my car. Then again, I've never had to contact their customer service either. Not trying to convince you of anything, but maybe you've just heard about a few isolated incidents.

 

Look up GPS forums on Google and read some of the Magellan horror stories.  They aren't isolated.  Not saying that Magellan is terrible hardware, but just don't expect much from their customer service.  Here is just one report I found by doing a Google search: Garmin/Magellan/TomTom support comparison
 

 

post #24 of 65

I've now used th S1 on a few three different courses, 2 of which I'd never played and found it very useful especially within say 150 yards, ie, where I'd like get on the green from.  But one thing I've notice is that  if you're on the tee and there is a dogleg in either direction, I think it gives you distances "as the crow flies" and not by the actual tee->fairway->green length of the hole.  So, for example, a 450 yard dogleg right might come off as a 375 yard hole.  Anyone else see this to be the case?  Do you consider this just to be a glitch or limitation of the device?  Personally, I don't have a problem with it as I'm not about to hit the green on a par 4 or 5 tee shot.

 

Thanks.

post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by toothaik View Post

I've now used th S1 on a few three different courses, 2 of which I'd never played and found it very useful especially within say 150 yards, ie, where I'd like get on the green from.  But one thing I've notice is that  if you're on the tee and there is a dogleg in either direction, I think it gives you distances "as the crow flies" and not by the actual tee->fairway->green length of the hole.  So, for example, a 450 yard dogleg right might come off as a 375 yard hole.  Anyone else see this to be the case?  Do you consider this just to be a glitch or limitation of the device?  Personally, I don't have a problem with it as I'm not about to hit the green on a par 4 or 5 tee shot.

 

Thanks.


Of course it does.  How else could you expect it to work?  Any GPS is only capable of giving the straight line distance from one point to another.  The more versatile ones will give you the option of more points of reference, but the distance to each point is still a straight line.  When  unit is only able to give distance to the green, then it is just straight from where you are to that point.   That is why I prefer one with more flexibility like the Approach G5.  I can drag the target circle to the middle of the dogleg and it will give the distance from me to the target, as well as the distance from the target to the center of the green.  Much more useful for the way I prefer to plan a hole.

 

post #26 of 65

I received an S1 for Father's day and I must say I am tickled with it.  I know a laser is more accurate and versatile but to simply look at your watch and have a pretty accurate distance quickly is a wonderful thing.  I walk frequently and this makes my rounds that much more easy and fun.  Not to mention being able to measure your distance walked is a cool function as well.  You can even measure a shot.  I often wear it when I am riding in the cart (we have gps in home course carts).  It's just more convenient...especially on the "cart path only" holes.  I highly recommend this "gadget".    

post #27 of 65

How about the battery? Can you go to a watch store and replace the lithium battery?

 

I'd be very unhappy if you spend $200 on a watch and one day it just dies...

post #28 of 65
Thread Starter 

I have had mine since March and used it at least once a week every week for 18 holes... sometimes 36.  The battery life is still very good.  I have no issues playing 36, but it will need a recharge that evening.  If you were going to have a marathon day and play all day, a car charger might be in order for you.  

 

Disclaimer:  I only use mine for the yardage, so using it for shot measuring and such would use more battery.  

post #29 of 65

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Bogey View Post

Disclaimer:  I only use mine for the yardage, so using it for shot measuring and such would use more battery.  


I don't think it'd make much difference---the device is tracking constantly. The power to run the UI is negligible---tracking a shot just means storing the original position and comparing, there's no extra heavy lifting involved.

post #30 of 65

No I mean , those rechargable batteries will eventually go bad in a number of years.

post #31 of 65

Rechargeables have gotten a lot better in the last few years. My 7 year old cell phone is still running strong on its original battery. I wouldn't worry about it much,

post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post

 

I don't think it'd make much difference---the device is tracking constantly. The power to run the UI is negligible---tracking a shot just means storing the original position and comparing, there's no extra heavy lifting involved.


I would have thought the display was the real power consumer. In fact, on my uPro there are different settings for battery life, and all they do is reduce/increase the amount of time the screen is visible before it sleeps, or reduce/increase the screen brightness.

 

post #33 of 65

You may be right, I'm not certain. But I guess I wouldn't think you use the screen a whole lot more since you're probably going to be checking shot distance and then getting your next yardage, so you're only adding a few extra seconds of backlight to the drain.

 

I had a quick look to see if I could figure out what the power costs are these days and I'd guess it's ~1W, used intermittently, for the display and ~30 mW, used continuously, for the GPS. Adjusting for the intermittency, the display probably is the dominant power draw by a small factor.

post #34 of 65

Morning, After reading the thoughts on this post I decided to pull the trigger and order one, got it for $199 which I consider a fair price at this point. Researched the listing of courses and it includes the ones I play in my area including a couple of executive courses that have no yardage markers other than at tee boxes so I figured it would help me settle into the game when the spring comes back, knowing is always better than guessing when you want to get as close as possible. Being new to golf I did not want one with more info than I could make use of at this point so in that point I agree with several other posters, also ease of use was my other thought particularly when it was cart path only for most the year and I had the use of a cart gps unit that kept on rebooting for almost the entire round.

 

Happy Holidays

post #35 of 65

Received the S1 for a heavy hint surprise gift. a1_smile.gif...Can see that I will love using it when the weather breaks and I can get to the course. Everything seems to work very well, finding courses near home etc. The one thing that seems to lack usability, and it is not really important, is the alarm which is available on the watch menu. I have tried it and it goes off at the exact instant it is set for, however,,,it is bearly audible. Has anyone tried this feature, and do you find the same results? Anyway, I am very happy with the item and am ready to get it into use. Thanks for any response.

post #36 of 65

I went to Myrtle for Christmas and bought a S1 from Martin's for $199. Charged it up and off to Prestwick. I had pretty much similar experience. Stood on a marker or sprinkler and the yardages were pretty much dead on. The yardage was slightly off on Hole #3 but the rest were pretty accurate. 

 

I normally wear a watch to golf anyways. My current daily beater (an automatic TAG) is a little temperamental and speeds up a tiny bit after golf. I love the TAG but I rather not wear it to the course if there is something else I can wear instead. The Garmin S1 fits the bill perfectly and it is much more comfy than the hefty automatic. The only complaint would be the need of a button push to get back to TIME mode if I need to know the time while on ROUND. 

 

The S1 is also cool to use as it never requires you to set the time/date. It picks up satellite signal for setting the time as well as nearby courses even indoors. The display is simple and highly readable. My shades happen to be polarized lens and even with them, the readability is excellent under the brightest glare.

 

I find the charger can be slightly tricky to use. When it is lined up properly, the watch shuts off with the battery icon displays. At least I know when I am doing it right. The watch can actually be turned off if needed. I gotta agree a car charging clip would be handy for emergency top up en route to the course.

 

Just love it !

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