The argument that new technology somehow tarnishes sport as a purely human endeavor has created controversy in swimming circles and the like. We average golfers, on the other hand, need all the help we can get. Garmin's latest effort in getting you to the green takes the touchscreen functionality of its handheld golf GPS units and puts it on your wrist - the S3 touchscreen GPS golf watch.
Designed to be worn as a normal watch, the waterproof S3 is preloaded with 27,000 courses from around the world which can be updated periodically (for free). As well as measuring shot distance and keeping score, the S3's 128 x 128 pixel, monochrome LCD touchscreen shows yardages to the front, back and middle of greens, customizable layup distances to hazards and doglegs, plus green shape and layout. The touchscreen display, which works when you have gloves on, also lets you to manually drag the pin to the location on the day.
The score keeping function covers Stroke or Stableford for an individual player and results can be downloaded to a computer. Garmin says the rechargeable battery is good for eight hours of playing time in GPS mode or up to four weeks as an everyday watch.
The Approach S3 is due out this month for US$350. There's also a cheaper, non-touchscreen alternative (the US$250 S1) for those in North America which comes loaded with more than 18,000 U.S. and Canadian courses.