Golf pretty much goes well with most things in life. A few that come to mind: a fine cigar, experiencing the outdoors with your friends, testing out the newest technologies in sporting equipment and wearing ridiculous clothing among your peers. In fact, smartphone apps and golf are quickly becoming another power pairing.
Chances are, if you’re a golfer who owns an iPhone or Android device, you’ve probably looked for apps that will help you enjoy the game more. I know I have, often to the extent of breaking the bank on trying new and innovative ways to track how far my golf ball flies into a ravine or lake.
If you are looking to test out a few golf apps, here are nine of my favorites (in no particular order):
Swing By Swing Golf App (FREE) – One of the best free GPS rangefinders for the iPhone and Android is the Swing By Swing app. With a tagline like “Own Your Game,” this app gives you everything you could hope for in a free download: GPS distances for thousands of courses worldwide, personal golf tips from PGA Teaching Professional Brad Smith (free for 14 days) and so much more. Plus, 25 percent of all proceeds from the additional paid features are immediately donated to charity.
iPING Putting app (FREE) – When it comes to putting, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a company who does it better than PING Golf. Their new iPING app and cradle combo turns your iPhone into a sophisticated putting stroke analyzer right before your eyes. The app works by affixing the cradle to your putter shaft, securing your phone into the cradle, and then hitting a few putts with the iPING app running. Within seconds you receive immediate feedback on your stroke type, impact angle and tempo, among other stats.
USGA Rules of Golf App ($3.99) – I know, I know. An application whose sole purpose is to tell you how many penalty strokes you should take isn’t very exciting. But if you are a golf purist who wants to play the game correctly, or if you just want documented proof that your cheating golf buddies are liars and cowards, this is the app for you.
GolfLogix GPS (FREE) – GolfLogix doesn’t call themselves the No. 1 golf app for nothing. If you’re looking for a high-quality GPS app to help you track yardage during your round, look no further than this one available for free download. With over 4,000 courses available – FOR FREE – you will have a hard time playing a course not included in GolfLogix’s database.
Tiger Woods My Swing App ($4.99) – Wouldn’t it be great to match your horrible golf swing up against the poetry-in-motion swing of the World No. 1? Now you can with the Tiger Woods My Swing app. Upload your video to the app so you can compare your swing side-by-side with Tiger’s. That is, if you can get your friend to stop laughing while recording your swing.
V1 Golf App ($4.99) – Another great swing analyzer app is the V1 Golf app by Interactive Frontiers, Inc. Not only does this app allow you to compare your swing with a PGA Tour pro of your choice, it also features slow-motion replay so you can see exactly where your swing flaws lie. Better yet, your videos are stored in a virtual “locker” for easy retrieval.
Nike Golf 360 App (FREE) – The Nike Golf 360 app was designed to provide golfers with a one-stop-shop for pretty much anything you could need on the course. This app offers 13,000 scorecards from participating courses ready for download, real-time stat tracking for your golf round, the option to send your swing to a Nike PGA teaching professional for tips, and even golf-specific workouts.
GolfShot: Golf GPS for iPhone ($29.99) – If you’re looking for an insanely detailed golf GPS device but not looking to spend hundreds of dollars, your best alternative is the GolfShot GPS for iPhone. In addition to providing yardages to every bunker, hazard and green, GolfShot also features flyovers of every hole on more than 14,000 courses worldwide.
SwingPlane ($3.99) – Like the other swing-comparison apps mentioned above, SwingPlane allows you to record and compare your swing with top touring pros. What I like most about SwingPlane is the ability to draw shapes on your video to monitor swing plane, head position and other key swing positions.
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