Why use golf apps? If you really want to improve your game, using an app can really help. Sadly, if you travel and play golf, using only one golf app probably won’t be good enough. I’ve been places where one of the apps couldn’t find the course. I have two apps on my phone. If you always play the same course or a couple of golf courses in the same area, then one app will probably be fine. Try a couple, and see which one seems to be reliable for your area and you like best. Below are the ones I use most. I tried one other, but it didn’t make it past the 3rd hole, as it couldn’t figure out the distance. I don’t remember the name of it.

By using an app, you’ll have consistent distances, and it eliminates guessing. You’ll find that your clubs tend to be more consistent in distance. Of course, that assumes your phone has real GPS receivers and not only A-GPS. If your phone only has A-GPS, you’re better off using the markers on the course.

At the end of this post, I’ll cover what stats you should be tracking to help improve your game.

Golflogix

Golflogix has gotten better and worse. I used it exclusively years ago. Back then the battery lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes. So you better finish by then. But it was still the best app. Then they made a big improvement, and a four hour round only used 20% of my phone’s battery. I even paid the subscription for a couple of years. Then a couple of updates and it crashed often, so I didn’t renew the subscription. A couple of years ago, they became very aggressive and intrusive. Between holes a loud video would start playing, and you couldn’t stop it. Then they really tried to force you to give them money. I still have it on my phone, but I only use it if Swing U can’t find the golf course, which has only happened a couple of times.

Swing U

I’ve been using Swing U for a couple of years now. I’ve used it all over Florida and in a couple of states. I also used it in Vietnam, and worked just fine. Overall it’s a good app. I use it to track my score mostly.

Garmin Golf

The good, the bad and the ugly.

First, I wanted a new watch to track workouts and steps to replace yet another failed Fitbit. I did a little research and found that the Garmin Forerunner 935 did way more than the Fitbit and also had golf GPS distance, right on the watch face. It also cost twice as much as the Fitbit, but after a year and a half, it’s still working fine. You need the Garmin Connect app to use the watch, and download golf courses.

There is also a separate golf app for tracking your score and some basic stats like the number of putts. The Garmin Golf app is ugly, clunky and just plain awful. So I don’t use that app and use Swing U to track stats. But, I do like having the GPS distance on my watch while on the course. I’ve also used this watch playing in other countries. Matter of fact, the caddie was giving me the distance, and I was always short. Turns out she was giving me the distance in meters. Luckily my watch was giving the distance in yards and used it instead of what the caddie was saying. You can also enter your score directly on the watch, but sometimes while on the green, the watch moves on to the next hole. Once that happens, it’s a few steps to get back to enter your score. Besides I track more than just score, so I use Swing U.

Stats You Should Track

You should track three stats on every round. Your score, the number of putts and fairways hit. If you’re still scoring a 100 or more, or have those 8’s and 9’s on every round, you should also track the number of penalties. Tracking penalties require the premium version of Swing U. I used to have 5, or 6 or more penalties per round. Now, I only have maybe 1 or 2, so I don’t track penalties anymore. Most penalties were made with my driver, so I worked on my drive for months.

Then it seemed like I had a lot of 3 putts. So I started tracking the number of putts per hole. The app would provide me stats on average per hole and average per round, and how many total putts for any given round. I noticed that putts per round were 40 or more and my average per hole was well over 2. I worked on putting, to get that number down. 6 or 7 three putts in a round can make a big difference in your score. Now I have 1 or 2.

Just as an FYI, mentally, I started concentrating on making a 1 foot circle for long putts. It made a big difference.

By using an app, you can use it to spot problem areas in your game that you need to work on, and measure improvements.

Recommendations

If you’re going to use one golf app, I would suggest Swing U. The free version allows you to track your score and number of puts on each hole and also your playing partners score if you want. It gives you the distance and also an overview picture of the hole.

The app keeps track of all your rounds of golf. It can show you some averages, such as average score per round, the average score on par 3’s, par 4’s and par 5’s. It will also provide some putting stats also, like putts per hole, putts per GIR. It will also give you an unofficial handicap. Why unofficial? Don’t get me started on the USGA handicapping system.

If you don’t want to track your score or any other stats, then you can’t go wrong with the Garmin watch for distance on the golf course. There is a less expensive Garmin watch that has golf distance, without all the exercise and steps tracking.