The 5 Best Golf GPS AppsPublished on 06/16/2023 · 6 min readGolf GPS apps can be really useful for tracking and improving your game. There are quite a few options in the app store, but here are our five favorites.
Photo by Jason Blackeye
What if you could improve your golf game without changing your swing? No golf coaches, no golf swings practice, no elbow sweat. Knowledge is power. And in golf, it saves you strokes. Where does this knowledge come from? Let's drop your handicap with a device golfers use for their shots, stats, yardages, and shot tracking; golf GPS apps.
Want to know the yards to the center of the green, wind speed, fairways hit, or elevation? No problem. Are you tired of scorecards, no caddy, and need club recommendations? Well, that's possible, too.
Whether you’re in a stroke or match play, Nassau, or a weekend warrior with a dedicated tee time, there's a GPS app for you. Do you have an Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, or some Android wearable? Then hazards, obstacles, and trees will no longer bother your game.
With all these great modern conveniences, there comes a trade-off, battery life. It’s a well-known term nowadays, and I learned it quickly in my early career. I was playing in a tournament and my premium GPS rangefinder with real-time shot and distance information died on the front nine.
I went into a pseudo-slow-motion panic but sunk the putt to finish the hole. Then I wondered how I was going to make it to the end with no quick numbers. I went old school reading yardages manually on the course. I finished but discovered how much I relied on technology when I played. Lessons learned. Download the data, charge a device, and keep a spare battery handy.
There are a variety of golf GPS apps for every bit of information and skill level. First, determine if you need an IOS (Apple) or Android platform-based app, and then what type of information are you looking for? Then compare prices, accuracy, and what features are important to you.
Let's look at the 5 Best golf apps according to popular categories:
1. Best for Data: Arccos Caddie
If you're looking to improve significantly, whether a beginner or tour player, the Arccos Caddie app is a good option. It works with smart sensors you place at the end of any club grip. Some people find it awkward to play with something in your club, and others may not even notice. The sensor tracks your shots and provides club suggestions as well. After a few rounds, Arccos learns your game and suggests which clubs to use based on the information collected.
The equipment includes smart sensors for every club in your bag, including the putter. You don’t need your phone to download data either. A wearable device for your belt is available for an extra fee. There is a yearly Arccos membership fee (sold separately) to access the data. You’ll have a great resource of information at your demand.
One feature I really like is the Stroked Gained Analytics. It’s wonderful for teachers, students, and players to learn the specific area of their game that needs the most attention and to focus on it.
For example, it can identify putting or chipping, driving, up and down, etc., as your most challenging category and that your numbers are well behind others in your skill level or even tour players. It tells you to work on that area of your game to improve. If you're serious about getting better, then Arccos Caddie is for you.
2. Best Free App: Golfshot
Golfshot is my favorite golf app right now. It looks and aligns with my eye and my game and includes usable features to track every shot if you own an Apple Watch or an Android wearable. It provides yardages for over 45,000 golf courses worldwide at your fingertips. Link your GHIN handicap to post and share your scores via the app.
Say goodbye to marking your strokes with a pencil. Its digital scorecard tracks your regulation score for you. Are your eyes not as good as they used to be? No problem, it'll talk and tell you the information you want. How about some golf instruction when you need a bit of guidance? For an extra fee, you can tap into their entire video library.
Keep up with the golf world via a blog, or look for tee times online. Identify hazards, targets, and other key areas with a 360-degree view of the hole. There's a lot you get for free and it's easy to use. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, this is an app you’ll want to try.
3. Best Free and Premium Versions Available: Hole19
Available on Android and iOS, this free golf app is packed with a lot of features and, for an extra fee, has a premium service as well. A pleasant addition to this app is the live leaderboards where you play against your friends or multiple golfers in a tournament setting.
Keep your scores, track your shots, and club by club distances. Use your Apple or Android watch for entering scores and getting an overview of the holes on the course map.
The premium version includes shot tracking, match play, premium maps, a handicap calculator, and other features to improve your game. Hole19 packs a lot of features into a free app, or go premium.
4. Best for Handicapping: The Grint
What stands out the most about this app is that golfers can track their handicap easily. USGA golf clubs are saved so you can have confirmed handicaps after every round.
Another neat feature, you can take a picture of your scorecard and upload it to the app. Then The Grint takes the information and transfers it for you. How's that for technology?
The Grint offers similar features to other GPS apps, including aerial maps, shot tracking, and over 40,000 mapped courses from around the world. It also offers its own version of strokes gained from the database of their own golfers, which is nice to compare against other amateur players and not just Tour pro averages.
5. Best Accuracy: SwingU Golf App
Available for Apple and Android smartphones and wearables, this app offers many similar features to other apps, but its accuracy is impressive. I have total confidence in the information it provides. SwingU Golf has received high marks from its users and is available in a free and a paid version.
Over 34,000 courses are available in its database, or request to upload one to it. The premium version is only a few dollars a month and offers added benefits such as wind speed, elevation, and shot tracking. SwingU has been in business for over 10 years, making it a solid addition to your golf game.
There are a lot of apps out there, but these five stood out to me. As a golf professional, I believe having an app in your arsenal enhances your game and experience. The additional information will boost confidence going into each shot. Try them to see which one works best for your game or chat with me or one of my fellow Golf Experts here on Curated to see which ones we use! Above all, have fun!