6 Best Golf GPS Apps
Getting to choose between the many golf apps out there can be really difficult. This is why we have made a selection of the best and most useful GPS apps to play golf. After your read you will know the offerings for free and the prices of the premium features of the best golf apps. You will also know if the app works with Android (the operating system owned by google) or IOS (the operating system of Apple) or if they run on both of them. Here we have to make an extra explanation because sometimes people get confused. Most of the cellphones in the world are run on Android and the Apple phones on IOS. Now the places where you download the apps are the Google Play Store or the Apple Store that are indifferent to the operating system they run on and both of them can have these stores where you can download different apps.
The amazing GPS technology combined with the maps of the golf courses allows the possibility of knowing where the hazards and dog legs are and the distances to the green from where you are standing. These breakthroughs are helping millions of golfers to make better decisions, especially when playing in golf courses they haven’t played. All of these apps allow you to mark down your scores, and those of whom you are playing with. There are some who offer better stats, images and designs. All of them offer a free version which in some cases are really great and complete but also a premium paid offer. Every one of the apps we will discuss have something that makes them unique and different from the rest. Let’s dig in.
1-Best overall: 18 Birdies
Platform: IOS and Android.
Basic offer: Free. Premium: Usd 10 monthly or Usd 100 for 1 year.
The 18 birdies GPS app was very well received among golfers all around the world since it was founded in 2014. It’s free version has a complete offering of everything you would expect to have in a golf app. It’s offer includes scorekeeping for up to 4 players, digital maps of more than 40000 courses of all around the globe which can be viewed at a respectful image resolution. You can also take tee times directly from the app. Their stattracking feature is one of the best in the market as it is easy to use and allows you to compare the number of putts of every round you played, the yards you have made with your driver and other comparisons which are interesting to view. The functionality and usability of this app is superb and is one of the best there is in this aspect. The speed of the app also makes it interesting compared to others which are annoyingly slow.
Something that makes this app unique are it´s social functions. 18 birdies had seen a niche that hasn’t been explored by others and had created a fully integrated and standalone social network. It is inspired from the newsfeed of Facebook and Twitter and displays content from pro players, celebrities and regular users. What is even more interesting is that it allows to create custom communities which are similar to facebook groups where the members can track in real time the stats of each other while playing a round. They also offer the possibility of doing an integrated tournament organisation, which allows your group to set up and completely customise competitions of 1 to 4 rounds from zero and even choose to make it a best ball competition between your buddies. 18 birdies was probably the first golf app to understand that we are living in the age of social media, and sharing stuff with our beloved ones is part of the daily routine of millions and created a product to satisfy that need. While they had built their brand around it, they had worked hard to make a complete offering and launched their premium service. Some of the features you will find is the digital caddy, that will let you know the distance and club recommendations. You get advanced stats and strokes gained, with more charts and customized filters for those golfers out there who like reviewing their own game and taking conclusions. Another highlight is the tee shot planner which allows you to know which side of the fairway is the safest play, based on stats from players with your same handicap level. Probably the most impressive feature of the app is the artificial intelligent swing analyzer they have. This AI Coach shows which are your strengths and offers personalized drill recommendations on the aspects you have to improve. Then you can take the advice and practice it on the range. The overall experience of this app is amazing and the improvements made on it since it’s launching makes me think 18 birdies will continue surprising us with new stuff every year.
2-Best Design and Usability:Hole 19
Platform: IOS and Android. Club recommendations and Augmented reality features are only available in IOS.
Basic offer: Free- Premium: Usd 8 per month- Usd 30 for 6 months- Usd 50 for 1 year.
While there are other apps that offer GPS for free, the quality of the images on this app are remarkable. When watching the course they don’t have the blurry satellite images others have but they seem like if you were a bird watching the course at a prudence distance and can watch for lagoons, bunkers and doglegs you may not be able to spot at plain sight. Whatsmore if you decide to zoom in, the quality of the images is astonishing. They have over 43.000 courses from all around the globe so you really have bad luck if you can’t find yours. With the free version you can view the back, center and front of the green which is something not allowed in other apps.
Hole 19 stands out from the rest as its design is clean, intuitive and user friendly. It enables you to save all your golf rounds and visualize your shots in a digital scorecard. So say goodbye to the never sharpened and easy to loose pencil. It also allows you to book tee times and search for golf courses. If you are in another country, it is definitely not a good place to search for the best golf courses to play as it had happened to me that the selection of top courses that appear in the app weren’t really the best to play. The app is available for Android and Apple mobile devices, and can be used in smartwatches.
Their premium offer has a free trial and after it they cost Usd 8 for 1 month, Usd 30 for 6 months or Usd 50 for 1 year. Some of the features added in this offering are better maps, shot by shot tracking, and auto change hole. For the Apple system or IOS it also offers augmented reality and club recommendations. If you value the club recommendation and you don’t have an Apple phone or it´s IOS operational system this app may not be for you. The main advantage of this app is that it is really easy and fun to use it.
3-Best For Greens:GolfLogix
Platform: IOS and Android
Basic offer: Free- Premium: Usd 10 per month or Usd 50 for 1 year.
Golflogix is a GPS app that stands above the rest in the features it offers for the game in the green. The putt break software this app owns is like nothing out there in the market and can really help you lower your shots in the green. It offers in-depth maps, which include the topography and slopes in great quality images. The impressive review of the direction and contours of the greens have been made using laser scanners technology. This highlights allows you to set the location of your ball and the hole on the interactive map of the green; Then you will receive custom insight on how best to place your putt. Remember that the app only helps you read the green, to complete the job in 1 shot is literally in your hands. The app has over 14000 courses precisely mapped with centimeter accuracy on the greens and 3D yardage book fairway images. On the fairways the app provides a hot zone map of where you should aim to be in a better position and which is the best place to enter the green and leave you an easier shot for afterwards.
The upgrading option called GolfLogix Plus membership costs Usd 10 per month or Usd 50 for 1 year. It offers more stuff like which club you should use, the exact distance to every hazard and the possibility of tracking the distance and location of every shot made. There are several aspects where they are behind their rivals, but if you want to improve your game at the green, GolfLogix is definitely the best in the matter.
It is available in Google and Apple stores.
4-Best Quality Images: Fun Golf GPS or Tag Heuer Golf App
Basic offer: Free. Premium: the upgrade € 21 for 1 year. The most complete offering costs € 42 per year.
The Fun Golf GPS app, was recently bought by the brand known for its watches, Tag Heuer. The first thing we have to say about this app is that it is only available for IOS this means it only works with Apple phones or stuff with this system. What makes this app different from the rest is the great quality of their maps. The detailed rendering in 3D and a crystal clear view of the course makes Tag Heuer Golf, best known as Fun Golf GPS, the one with the best quality of images among all apps. It has over 39000 courses available worldwide and has most of the features you need. The GPS allows to track your position on a course, show the distances to hazards and greens, keeps track of the scores, computes statistics and recommends which club to use. It also allows you to enter the score for up to 4 players per round and the game rules supported are stroke and match play. The scoring systems are Gross, to Par and Stableford. Whatsmore your handicap strokes are automatically computed from your index. Some of the information you can enter on the scorecard are the penalties, fairway and bunker hits, the number of putts and of course your total scores. Stats like the short game accuracy, average and distance of holed putts are also available. Then you will be able to watch the stats while you are at the office eager to go out and play again. Other highlights are the possibility of downloading the maps of the course before going to play, so you will be able to use them even if you don’t have internet on the course. Another possibility the app offers is to use it in low battery mode. This is something that you always have to take into account with whatever app you decide to choose. Remember to always have it charged as much as possible. As you may imagine the app is compatible to use it with smartwatches of Tag Heuer and also Apple. To end this review we must say it is a complete app, which has valued features that you would expect to find, but lacks some that are available in others. We must say Tag Heuer golf is the expert in quality images.
5-Best Handicapping System: The Grint
Platform: IOS and Android
Basic offer: Free. Premium offers: Handicapping system only- Usd 2 per month or Usd 20 for 1 year. The most complete version: Usd 4 per month or Usd 40 for 1 year.
The Grint was launched back in 2012 and is a simple and easy to use GPS app. It allows you to mark and record your scorecard and even share it with your friends. This app is best known for being a free Golf Handicap Tracker that provides you with valid handicaps for the United States Golf Association registered golf clubs. The stats available in the free version are really good and in the premium version it is impressive the complexity of the stats you can get. Some of them are the average GIR percentage or the iron accuracy just to set some examples. This GPS app allows a birds eye view of the course but the satellite images they have are of low quality compared with other apps. As many of the others we have talked before it allows you to measure distances to hazards and from the back, center and front of the green. Another interesting feature is the live leaderboard, that allows you to know how others are doing and plan your game strategy accordingly. If you are far behind you may want to start to play in a riskier way. The app also allows to organize tournaments and events in the free version. We must also say that the Grint has fallen far behind their competitors in some aspects and don´t have even in the paid version lots of the features that other apps have. We can name the caddy assistance of which club you should use or the low quality of the images. In our opinion the app strengths are not enough to make it worthy of downloading it as there are others that offer way more than they do and of a greater quality. The Grint was one of the first golf apps on the market, and one of the best at that time. Right now they are way behind their competitors and look like an old app.
Platform: IOS and Android
Basic offer: Free- Premium: Usd 40 for 1 year.
Golfshot is one of the most popular free golf apps out there. It can be downloaded on IOS from Apple or Android. If you own a smartwatch this app offers the possibility to download it in your watch which has a friendly interface. The free version uses GPS technology and what makes it great is that it is an ally you can use to improve your overall game. With your input it tracks each shot you make on the course and which club you used. The free version also lets you save the scores of up to four players and you can compare instantly how you and your buddies are doing that day. In this way you avoid the maths and who pays for the beers after the round. You can also save your games and watch how your scores go up or down each weekend. It also allows to measure the distance to the center of the green, check stats, and the possibility of viewing the latest golf news. You can also watch holes in 3D and a flyover preview. It is possible to search and book tee times directly from the app. On the other hand there are some features other apps offer for free that are not available such as the distances to the front and back of the greens.
The upgraded GolfShot PRO has a price of Usd 40 per year and gives access to really interesting features. You can have real time distances to hazards, the back edge and front of the green on over more than 40.000 golf courses around the world. The dynamic 3D flyover previews integrated with artificial intelligence based on your game performance gives you on the spot recommendations on the club best suited for your shot. It’s like having a personal caddy on your phone. The app gives the possibility of zooming in to watch each spot of the course with an amazing detail. Whatsmore it links your own GHIN Number and posts scores right to your Handicap Index.
Their third offering is called GolfPlan and costs Usd 60 per year. It has everything included in GolfShot Pro plus.