Remember when a cell phone was just a cell phone? The idea that a mobile phone could aid your golf game was unthinkable not so long ago.
Today there are hundreds of golf-specific applications (“apps”) available for smartphones. These apps run the gamut from simple reference guides, like the Rules of Golf, to complex programs used to record and analyze your swing.
Many apps are free while some cost only a few dollars; even the more expensive downloads are a lot cheaper than similar products sold as stand-alone devices (like hand-held GPS units).
Whether you carry an iPhone, Blackberry or other smartphone, you can find an app to meet some golf-related need. Here’s a small handful of examples:
- GPS: A highly popular category, these apps boast similar features to GPS-only devices: precise measurements to hazards and greens, high-definition hole graphics, scorekeeping functions and more.
- Swing recording/analysis: Your phone’s built-in camera can be used to record your swing from any angle you choose. Some apps allow you to draw lines marking key setup and swing positions, view your swing in slow motion or frame by frame, even compare yourself side by side with professional golfers. You can also submit swing video to teaching pros for their feedback.
- Scorekeeping, handicap and statistic tracking: Input your scores and stats (fairways hit, number of putts etc.) or update your handicap for safe keeping, right in your phone.
- Course databases: On the road and looking for a place to play? Several apps offer names, directions and key details about thousands of golf courses, worldwide.
- Golf bets: If you like to engage in a little friendly on-course wagering -- with a Nassau, skins game or side bets like “greenies” -- there are apps to simplify staying on top of it all. These apps can save time and quickly settle any post-round disputes.
That’s just a small sampling – search online for golf apps for your smartphone and you’ll be amazed by what these gadgets can do.