October 25th, 2012 by Tyler Pringle
These days, there’s an app for just about everything, so if you happen to be a golfer who’s also an iPhone user, then you're in luck.
There are tons of great apps available for your trusty handheld device that will help you on the golf course in more ways than you can count. Whether you need swing tips and analysis, tournament updates or assistance with yardages, there’s an app for that. But with so many choices, how can you know what apps are right for you? There may not be an app to aid you in your decision, but hopefully this list will help. Here is our list of the top iPhone golf apps.
GPS and Scoring
This app earned the distinction of being named the #1 iPhone app for Father’s Day this year by CNN and Time Magazine. The new version boosts a boatload of features, including many of the standards like a range finder, scorecard, valuable scoring stats, and the USGA Handicap Index; but it also provides side games and a Club Bag feature that allows you to keep track of average club distances. User reviews on iTunes are giving GolfCard Classic good scores overall, with an average of 3.5 stars. This app is very personalized, not to mention helpful in an assortment of ways to just about any user; and at $30, it’s a pretty good buy. Golf is certainly a lot easier with so much data and information at your fingertips.
Golfshot: Golf GPS
Golfshot is a favorite for GPS, but this is an app that truly does it all. Scoring, automatic stats, a GPS aerial view and list view all come standard with the new version of Golfshot. And chances are, wherever you play golf, Golfshot will have you covered, as it has more than 40,000 professionally-mapped courses in its database. Golfshot has been getting rave reviews for a long time, and its current version has an average 5-star score on iTunes from other users. If you are an avid golfer, there’s no way you can go without an app this handy, and at just $20 Golfshot: GPS is certainly a golfer’s best friend.
Price-Free! Champion Edition-$19.99
This app has a lot to offer and, best of all, it’s free! The new version includes plenty of courses, stats and Golf Digest Live, which provides top-notch instruction and tips for just about any situation out on the course. The “On the Range” feature gives you personalized lessons from some of the greatest players of all-time, including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and world-renowned instructor Hank Haney. After your round, be sure to check out your scores and get analysis from your instant, personalized magazine, My Golf Digest, which is based on your own stats. Of course, you can get even more exclusive features with the Champion Edition, which includes features like flyover animation, landing zone display and personalized club information for a fee of $19.99. And if you do upgrade to become a Champion, you’ll also get your content advertisement-free while you are on the course. Not a bad deal indeed.
Newest Version: 2.4
GOLFZING is an innovative app and membership site that allows its users and members to book discount tee times at golf courses located all across the country. You can book tee times on Facebook or straight from the app on your phone. It’s extremely easy to use and will save you time and phone calls. The app currently includes courses in 10 states, but will add many more in the near future. Not only does GOLFZING give you access to some of the nation’s premier courses and country clubs, but it also has a fantasy golf feature that allows you to play with other GOLFZING members for free. You simply pick who you think will win the next PGA event, and then track the results right from your phone. The best part is that you can win free tee times at any course featured on GOLFZING, and there’s no question: free is always the best price.
Most golfers use apps for distances, GPS, and for booking tee times, but there are also apps like V1 Golf, to help you work on your game. This app gives you access to video of more than 50 PGA champions and current tour players’ swings, including Lee Westwood, Fred Couples, Nick Price and Rory McIlroy. The app enables you to watch their swings in slow-motion or frame-by-frame to intensely breakdown and analyze how the best in the world do what they do. V1 also allows you to record your own swing and create side-by-side screenshots to compare your technique to that of the pros. For further instruction, you can access the “Improve” feature and view swing videos with expert analysis from V1 instructors. You really get a lot of bang for your buck here. Can you put a price on an improved golf swing anyway?
If you are going to get a golf app and you don’t want to spend any cash, your best bet may be the iPing app. Shave strokes off your game by improving your putting stroke with this app that uses motion sensing technology to track and analyze your impact angle and tempo. The app then uses this information to calculate your putting handicap, which you can compare with friends and even tour pros. After using the app for even a short time, you’re bound to improve your consistency on the greens, and before you know it, you’ll be draining more birdies and pars, instead of settling for bogeys…and worse. You should note that the app does require an external device called the Ping Cradle that attaches to the putter shaft. Ping Cradles are available at most major online golf retailers and also at any authorized Ping retailer.