Do Golf Apps Really Keep You Linked to the Game?

Do Golf Apps Really Keep You Linked to the Game?

There are a multitude of golf apps available today for anyone interested in using one to improve their game. A good golf-related app is like a bonus weapon you can use in pursuit of a great score. While using a golf app isn’t necessary to enjoy the sport or even to be successful at it, using one may help with a specific area of your game that has room for improvement.

Today’s golf-related apps cover a wide range of needs including: rules clarification, swing tips, range finding, and club fitting. Name the golf topic you’d like more information about and there’s probably an app for that. For help on and off the course, golf-related apps are an excellent tool for every player from amateur to pro.

With so many golf apps available it can be tricky to determine which ones provide the features you most want and need. Not all apps are created equal, but we’ve sifted through the details and found the five best golf apps on the market. Choose the one that best fits your style and improve your game today.


1. GolfLogix #1 Free Golf GPS App

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While the GolfLogix app is free, there is a premium upgrade available for $19.99. This app is loaded with information about more than 30,000 golf courses around the world and a yardage book for every course. A professional stat and score tracking function comes standard with this product. Your stats, including fairways hit, putts and GIRs, are immediately synced to the GolfLogix website. You can instantly track your progress and even compete with other golfers from around the world.

With the Champion upgrade users will unlock several more app features. You’ll be able to track distances to the front, back and center of the green. You’ll also be able to calculate distances to hazards, hole flyovers and get customized club distance tracking.


2. Swing by Swing Golf GPS & Scorecard App
Here is another free app with an upgrade available for $14.99. This product from Swing by Swing provides all the features you’d expect from a great golf GPS. You’ll be able to find distances to the front, back and center of greens and the distance to each hazard and obstacle. You’ll also have access to a gigantic golf course database. If you happen to find a course that isn’t on the database, you can add it to the list. That course is then available to every future golfer that uses the app.

The scorecard application is one of the best features. When you’ve finished your round your score is automatically uploaded to the Swing by Swing website. Along with your score a map showing your path through the course is uploaded at the same time. You’ll get immediate feedback from the website showing you stats and graphs of all your games. Use this information to chart your game improvement over time.

The upgrade unlocks more features. With it you’ll have unlimited access to custom club distance tracking, hole elevation, wind speed and an extended scorecard.

3. Game Golf by Active Mind Technology, Inc.

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Introducing an app that will help you track your progress, share and compare your scores and improve your overall golf game. The Game Golf app records all your shots as you play. It collects every stat and uses the information to provide a comprehensive summary of your game. You’ll even be given an overview of your strengths and weakness. Use this information to improve your game by focusing on areas of play that need attention.

Part of the fun of playing a great game is sharing it with friends. You can use this app to share your progress on social media. You can even compare your game with that of other players in your handicap bracket.

Not all features are available with the free version of this app and this one does get a little pricey. There are four versions available: the free app, Tags for $99, Classic for $199 and Live for $299. While the Live version’s price may be a bit steep, it is the only app that offers every feature including: hands-free device, real-time syncing, SMART GPS and automatic shot detection.


4. Swingbot: Golf Swing Video Analysis Coach by Databake, LLC

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This app is perfect for those golfers who want to improve their swing with personalized golf instruction. Swingbot is a golf swing analysis app that not only provides tips and feedback, but also focuses on coaching. Simply use the app to upload video of your swing to the Swingbot website. The app provides personalized lessons that will help you master your golf swing. This app can be used on the course or in the office for on the spot instruction. Feedback combines image analysis and commentary from instructors. With Swingbot you can sync and use multiple devices to record and capture your swing from numerous angles. Other features include: personalized right or left handed camera, frame-by-frame analysis with audio and line drawing and video-capture record settings.



5. The Rules of Golf by United States Golf Association

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This free app is for the golfer who likes playing by the rules. You can leave your hard copy of the rulebook at home and stop worrying about how to settle disputes. This handy app lets you search for words and phrases and takes you directly to the information for which you’re looking. If the answer isn’t helpful you have the option of emailing the United States Golf Association (USGA) for more help.

Some of the more common questions answered by this app include: when is a ball considered lost, can you stand out of bounds when making a stroke, and what do you do when a ball lands near a dangerous situation? No question is too silly or obscure for this app to answer.

Old Versus New
The actual game of golf has been around for hundreds of years and has changed very little in that time. Only recently have hundreds of new electronic gadgets come on the market to improve the way the game is played. Using apps may be novel and fun, but does relying on them really make the game any better?

No app is 100% accurate. While many GPS products are close, it’s fair to expect a +1/-1 in even the best systems. Before the advent of the GPS holes were measured horizontally with steel tape or surveying instruments. Today even the USGA states that a GPS is an acceptable means of measurement.

Another common measurement golfers take is the slope rating. It’s easy to take this measurement with an app, but the process wasn’t always such a snap. Before apps a player would first determine the course bogey rating. To get this number you would need to contact a staff member at the course or contact the regional association that gave the on-site rating. Next, players would need to find the USGA course rating. This number is usually found on the scorecard. Then it would be time for some math. The course rating is subtracted from the bogey rating. The difference is then multiplied according to gender. Male golfers would multiply the difference by 5.381, whereas women would multiply by 4.24. Round the answer to the nearest whole number and you’ve calculated the slope rating. Or just press a few buttons on your phone for a quick, accurate answer.

Before apps, if you wanted tips on improving your swing you’d seek the guidance of a professional coach. You would head out to the green together and your instructor would watch you in person to give you the best, most accurate information. Today you can upload a video of your swing and get online assistance, but you may be skeptical of how helpful online advice can be. Can a coach who has never seen you swing in person give you better advice than one standing next to you? Maybe. Although the advice of an online professional may be given via video, it can be just as reliable and helpful as that given by someone in your community.

Enjoy the Game
There is new technology changing the way golf clubs, balls, tees and carts are designed and created. New manufacturing procedures and materials mean golf balls travel faster than they ever have before. The basic tee is now made frictionless and flexible to improve accuracy and distance. Even golf carts are being upgraded. It’s no surprise that apps seem to have taken over the game of golf. Every player can now immediately access stats, maps, graphs and more. While apps have found their place on the green, they haven’t changed the game. Grab your phone or leave it at home. It’s up to you. Either way, golf is still about blue skies, fresh air and the exhilaration of making that perfect shot. There will never be an app to replace that.


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