With greater acceptance of mobile phones on course, these are the apps to get the most out of your game
Not only has COVID-19 provided golf with a timely influx of interest, it has accelerated the use of technology allowed to be accessed on the golf course. Whether submitting scores for your club competition or social club, tracking your stats to highlight areas of your game that need improvement, accessing personalised world-class instruction or distance-measuring GPS to take the guesswork out of shot selection, the development of your game now rests in the palm of your hand. Here are some of the best:
Golf Australia Handicap
For: Any Australian golfer, parent, family member or administrator.
Features: Launched in April 2021, the official GA Handicap app is a convenient and easy-to-use handicap-monitoring tool. It has a wide range of features, including tap-of-a-button group and subgroup look-up, notifications, daily handicap calculator, handicap record display and a function that enables users to share scores and handicaps with their friends. It has already been downloaded by more than a quarter of Australia’s handicap golfers.
For: Australian golfers scoring competition or social rounds at a registered golf venue (500-plus clubs
Scoring: Users enter their strokes (gross score) on each hole and MiScore automatically calculates the total score (net score) based on their handicap and course index.
GPS measurements: Golfers can view the distance (in metres/yards) from their current location to the pin (or middle of the green) using an interactive map.
Round timer: Shows players how long they have to complete each hole (in minutes). Golf administrators set a recommended time to complete each hole based on difficulty and historical data.
Digital scorecard: View a digital scorecard with total scores, par values, shots, course index, and putts (if enabled).
Digital score submission: Submit competition scores directly from the MiScore app. Users confirm the scores with their playing partner, sign on-screen and submit digitally for review.
Also: Live competition leaderboards, score history, putt counter and MiStats.
Cost: $16.49 per year, available from the App Store or Google Play.
For: Golfmate is for players of all ages and skill levels, affiliated or not. Golfmate aims to make golf more accessible and inclusive whether you’re a seasoned golfer or don’t know where to begin. It is a multilingual mobile golf application that acts as your personalised game-improvement tool, connecting you to PGA coaches at the touch of a button and helping you transform from hacker to hero.
Features: Players can access professional coaches in their vicinity, find, connect and book lessons with PGA-qualified golf coaches nearby anytime and anywhere and receive tailored lessons and personalised advice (including the ability to send swing videos and access the online lesson functionality). By using Golfmate, professionals can expand their online presence and brand awareness, easily manage lesson bookings, efficiently manage payments and book and manage online lessons for remote students.
Cost: Golfmate Coach is free to download and free to use. You will only pay the rate coaches charge for lessons.
For: All levels of golfers who have struggled to get better with the traditional in-person model. Top 100 player Lucas Herbert uses Skillest to work remotely with his coach Dom Azzopardi and beginners use the app as an entry point to tuition. With Skillest you can improve your game in your own time, from home, in a safe environment and in a more affordable way.
Features: Skillest is an end-to-end solution for online coaching. Students can go through an onboarding process that either allocates the perfect coach for them based on a questionnaire, or if they know who they are looking for they can go straight to their favourite coach’s profile. Students are then given easy tools to subscribe to and send videos for analysis or have a Zoom session with their elite coach.
Cost: Skillest is fundamentally a marketplace so coaches set their own prices. But students can get a one-off swing analysis for as little as $20 or a monthly subscription for unlimited 24-7 swing support for about $200.
For: Golfers playing with golf clubs, social clubs and tournaments utilising Golf Genius software.
Features: Mobile scoring, websites and communications. Utilised by 10,000-plus courses and businesses around the world and scoring 25 million-plus rounds every year, golfers playing a Golf Genius-powered event can easily access scoring via the free Golf Genius app through a code or their e-mail and password. Golf Genius offers two scoring
options, ‘Mobile Scoring’ for fun events like ambroses and corporate events, and ‘Digital Scorecards’ where one player marks another and records their own marker notes before confirming at the end of a round.
For: For Bushnell Golf GPS and rangefinder users. The Bushnell Golf App provides additional product benefits, information and data to further help improve your game, as well as access to easily update your GPS device (for 2021 GPS products
Features: Access to data of more than 38,000 golf courses worldwide, reliable and accurate front, centre and back GPS-provided distances, shot planning with moveable layup points. You can also view animated holes, track and store your rounds and statistics and access wireless course updates for your GPS device.
Cost: Free with the purchase of any Bushnell rangefinder or GPS device.
Tag Heuer Golf
For: Anyone with a Tag Heuer Connected Golf Edition watch or Apple Watch.
Features: With more than 39,000 courses available for download, the Tag Heuer Golf app works seamlessly with the Connected Golf Edition watch to put maps, distances and club selections in easy reach on your wrist. The real-time club recommendation feature is a new update in 2021 and uses impressive distance-measuring data to serve as your own virtual caddie on the course. The app also saves your scores and provides pro-level insights to help improve your game.
For: Golfers seeking a fun and interactive way to practise.
Features: Play the Golf Challenge at a practice facility or on course. The app keeps track of your score and provides access to performance data to help improve your golf. It consists of four golf skill challenges, each challenge using the player’s handicap to set the level of skill required. The app is developed to provide a fun and easy way to measure and improve your performance against other players around the world using global leaderboards and daily competitions.