Have a shiny new iPhone? Why not put it to use on the course? If you don’t want to buy a separate device, or wear a golf GPS watch, then your good ol’ iPhone can get the job done. So, what is the best golf GPS app for iPhone / iOS (iPad, etc.)? Here are our top choices.
Best Golf GPS App for iPhone Reviews
Review: The geniuses over at Swing by Swing have made an incredible (and FREE) golf GPS app for your iPhone and iPad. It does everything a great golf GPS should do, such as finding distances to back/front/center of greens, and distances to every obstacle/hazard. The Swing by Swing app also has a HUGE database of golf courses. If by chance you find a course that is not available, you can actually add a course to the database, which is then made available to future golfers that use the app. One of the best things about this app is the scorecard feature. After your round is over, the app will automatically upload your score to the Swing by Swing website, along with pictures you took during the round, and a map that shows the path you took through a course (mine would be all zig-zags). The website will then show you graphs and stats of all the games you have played, so you can (hopefully) track your improvement over time
There is also paid upgrade to “looper” mode ($15 annual fee) which unlocks unlimited access to wind speed, hole elevation, “plays like”, custom club distance tracking, and an extended scorecard (fairways hit, penalties, etc). Overall, Swing by Swing is our favorite golf app, and is simply the best free golf GPS app for iPhone. You should definitely give it a shot!
Official website: http://www.swingbyswing.com/
Review: The Golfshot Golf GPS is a member of the Apple App Store Hall of Fame, and for good reason. It looks absolutely fantastic, is extremely simple to use, and comes preloaded with over 40,000 golf courses worldwide. All you need to do is show up at the golf course, turn the app on, and start your round. You will get accurate distances to greens, bunkers, hazards, as well as yardage to layups at 200, 150, 125, and 100 yards. You can also track the distance of every shot, and assign specific clubs for layup distances. As you approach your ball, the app will tell you which club you should use. Similar to the Swing by Swing app, Golfshot features amazing automatic stat tracking. The stats are incredibly detailed, including fairways hit, fairwasy missed left/right, GIR, scoring averages on par 3’s/4’s/5’s, and much more. Golfshot will automatically put your stats into graphs, so you can track your improvement, and compare to your friends.
The one downside of the Golfshot app is that it will cost you $30. It seems like a lot to pay for an “app”, but when compared to actual golf GPS devices that cost hundreds of dollars, this is actually ridiculously reasonable. It could be the best $30 you ever spend!
Official website: http://golfshot.com/
Review: GolfLogix is another great, and FREE golf GPS app for iPhone / iOS. It comes with over 30,000 available golf courses worldwide, and a general yardage book for each course. The free version also includes professional stat and score tracking (fairways hit, GIR, putts, etc.). Your stats are automatically synced online to the GolfLogix website, so that you can track progress, and compete with other golfers worldwide.
The paid “Champion” uprgrade ($19.99), unlocks the true power of the app. It will let you find distances to front/back/center of the green, distances to hazards, layups, and more. You will also get hole flyovers, custom club distance tracking, and discounts at GolfSmith store. You can see a comparison of all the “Champion” and free features at the GolfLogix website.
The major negative of the GolfLogix app, is that the free version displays advertisements while you play. There are also a lot of useful features that are locked, which forces you to buy the upgrade. The interface is a bit clunkier than the top two apps, which is why we had to give the GolfLogix GPS a slightly lower rating. It is still a great app, and worth a try if you’re not happy with the others.
Official Website: http://www.golflogix.com/
Review: Golf Pad is a lesser known, but extremely well made golf GPS app for iPhone. It comes with over 30,000 courses worldwide, and gives you the ability to map out your own course if it is not already available. The free version comes with many features that are considered “premium” in other apps such as distances to front/middle/back of the green, and advanced scoring (putts, penalties, sand, fairways hit, GIR, etc.). It also has an advanced shot tracker, which lets you record distances of each club you hit. Like the other apps, Golf Pad also lets you save your stats/history so you can track your progress. One of the best parts of the Golf Pad app is that it uses far less battery than some of the other golf GPS apps. The free version does have advertisements on it, so if you want an ad free experience, you will need to upgrade to the Premium version ($14.99).
Besides having no ads, the Premium version includes automatic online backup of stats/history, even more advanced statistis tracking (average scoring on par 3s, par 4s, etc., average distancesfor each club), and scoring for up to 8 players. You will also get data on hole elevations, and automatic layup targets.
Offical website: http://www.golfpadgps.com/
If you have any thoughts on the best golf GPS app for iPhone, let us know in the comments!