Remember when the golf course was a place where you didn’t bring your phone? How many years did country clubs try to say that phones were not allowed on the course? Things have changed.
Now the problem is knowing what golf apps are the best out of the thousands out there. In this review we select the best golf apps for your needs as a golf – want to track stats? Need a GPS, or an app you build you practice plan?
Don’t worry we have the best options for you. Here are the best golf apps 2023 has to offer.
- Best Overall On Course Features: GolfLogix
- Best Free Golf GPS: 18 Birdies
- Easiest To Use: Golfshot: Golf GPS + Caddie
- Best Tracking Capabilities: Arccos Caddie
- Best Value Paid App: Golf GPS SwingU
- App Golfers Should Have: USGA Golf Rules App
- Best For Self-Taught Golfers: V1 Golf
- Best For Score Tracking: The Grint
Best Golf Apps 2023
Best On Course Features: GolfLogix Golf GPS + 3D Putts (Free & paid options)
- 95,000 reviews with a 4.7 rating
- Features: golf GPS, stat tracking, scorecard
- Costs: Free Version, Free Trial, and then $9.99 a month or $49.99 a year; you can also purchase a day pass for $4.99
The GolfLogix app is our favorite for on course features. At first, this is a free app with plenty of free features, but for the more advanced features, you will need to pay.
On course features
GolfLogix gives you hole GPS data for over 36,000 courses, scorecards and basic stats collection all for free. You can then upgrade for more advanced features like green maps and hole flyovers (shown below in the middle image).
I like the GolfLogix app best for golfers that are serious about their game and want help playing new golf courses. If you were a player that knew how to read a green book before everything went digital, chances are you will enjoy what this app has to offer.
One thing that helps GolfLogix stand out is its history in the world of golf technology and applications. These guys have been in the business for the past 22 years.
The GolfLogix app offers a fancy GPS with full-color 3D course maps that show contours. There is also precise GPS distance with slope adjustments. When you increase your membership beyond the free version, you will also get the 3D putt line.
The 3D putt line essentially shows you how to putt is a super cool feature, but be aware, the courses this is available for outside the US are limited (sampling a few of our favourites in the UK left us wanting).
I played around with 3D putt line and found it to be accurate, but it’s certainly not a feature that I would like to use during a normal round. Out on the golf course in the afternoon by myself.
Scorecards & stats
The basic scorecards and stats are super quick to fill in, with more advanced options to add driving distance etc. The stats dashboard is nice and clear for high-level metrics (greens hit, average putts etc.), however it does lack more modern data like strokes gained stats.
In addition to the GPS and green reading, expect pro-level stats, scorecards with tracking for four players, discounted tee times, and handicap tracking. Essentially everything you would want a golf app to do, the GolfLogix Golf GPS + 3D putts app can do.
Golf Insider Verdict
If you want data and directions for new and existing golf courses you play check out GolfLogix. For on course data they are in a league of their own. They also offer basic scoring and stats tracking for free.
Best Free Golf GPS: 18 Birdies
- 79,000 ratings with 4.9 stars
- Features: rangefinder, stats, social and watch app
- Cost: free to download, premium upgrade available
The 18 Birdies app is a rangefinder, stats tracker, and watch app. It has impressive ratings, mostly because the free features are really impressive. A free golf GPS app from just a few years ago would be slow to load and give you very limited information.
When you first download the app there is a detailed setup process where they gather information about your game, but this does result in some useful feedback, such as, how many greens, birdies and pars you likely need to shoot your desired score.
On course features
With the 18 Birdies app, you can simply get the yardages you need, quickly figure out how far it is to trees, hazards and the middle of the green and you can track everything about your round.
18 Birdies also has a cool social aspect where it shows you other users that play at your golf club and curates a digital leaderboard for scores around each golf course. We weren’t expecting this, but it is cool!
Scorecards & stats
The scorecard feature is really easy to use and allows you to input basic stats (fairways, greens hit, putts etc.). The result is a simple, but clear dashboard to analyse your scores and stats after you play.
The coach is an A.I. generated coach, so make sure you are doing some double-checking on the solutions that are offered for your game.
There is also a community of golfers that use the 18 Birdies app, and they will help you with your game if you upload a video. Improving faster is made much easier when you have a tool that tracks everything and makes it all a bit more motivating.
Like all “free” things in life, not all of the 18 Birdies app is free; here are a few things to know about the free and premium features.
Free Features include:
- GPS rangefinder
- Stats and round history
- Side games like skins and points
- Tee times
- Social feed
Premium features (you will get a free trial after downloading)
- Caddy+ for personalized distance recommendations
- Advanced stats
- Shot tracking
- Strokes gained
- Live weather map
- The blind shot compass if you can’t see the flag
Golf Insider Verdict
If you want a free, super quick and clean-feeling GPS app to help you around the golf course. If you want a quick, simple score and stats input system check out 18 Birdies. I’m sure after a few rounds you’ll consider upgrading to check out the paid version too.
Easiest To Use: Golfshot Golf GPS and Caddie
- 35,000 ratings with 4.8 stars
- Features: GPS, shot tracking, and watch app
- Cost: $19.99 a year or $2.99 a month; upgrade to Pro Features for $49.99 per year (Additional training programs available as well)
At times I can still be a bit skeptical about using my phone on the course. As much as I know it can help my golf game, I also want to try and stay focused on what I am doing as I play the golf course. Golfshot is a very clean-looking and easy-to-follow golf app that allows you to get real-time distance to key hazards and targets.
The Golfshot gives you access to 45,000 courses; I have yet to find a course that doesn’t have the Golfshot features available.
Golfshot has paired with Apple Watch so that you can use this app to track your shots when you have the Apple Watch on. In addition, the golf GPS has an entire course flyover if you are a visual player that really wants to see the hole from above.
I find when I work with the Golfshot app, the golf GPS is great, but mostly I just like the way the information is displayed. This is a great option to consider if you are more of a rangefinder person and like a clean and appealing look when you open your phone.
Some features of the Golfshot Golf GPS and Caddie include:
- Track your distances
- Enable Siri for “Distance to the green”
- Statistics and visualization
- Handicap index tracking
- Send tee time invites to friends
When you upgrade to the Golfshot Pro, you can play games like Skins or Naassau, and there is real time distance to all hazards and targets. The Golfshot Pro is also the membership required to incorporate your Golfshot app with your Apple Watch.
The Golfshot app also has one other additional upgrade for the Golfplan, essentially a golf coaching tool. Information here is from Martin Chuck, Sean Foley, and Andrew Rice, you essentially get what areas of your game to focus on, and the plan is personalized.
Golf Insider Verdict
In the Golfshot free version, you will find a few less features than other free app options on the market. However, when you upgrade to the Golfplan, you get some great accuracy, a large selection of golf courses, and valuable features to make golf more fun and more accessible. We like this, even though we can’t call it the best golf app in the game.
Best Tracking Capabilities: Arccos Caddie
- 13,000 ratings at 4.6 stars
- Features: Advanced stats, GPS rangefinder, averages, and advanced caddie features
- Cost: Around $150 a year for an Arccos membership
The Arccos technology is our favorite app for tracking your golf game. You will need to have the Arccos sensors in your clubs to fully benefit from all this app has to offer, but most features are still available via a mobile app or your Apple watch.
Arccos claims that in 2020, they helped players save as much as five strokes on their handicap. If this is true, it’s a lot. I imagine there are some players who learned quite a bit. Do I think it will save everyone 5 shots to use Arccos? No. But it is a useful way to collect data on how you play golf and gain some useful insights.
One of the best features of this golf phone app is that if you don’t want to look at your phone constantly while you are on the golf course, you don’t have to. The golf GPS app, of course, requires you to look and observe the distance, but the entire time you play, Arccos is collecting data that automatically transfers to your smartphone.
If you have a fitness tracker that just picks up on activity as soon as your heart rate goes up, that’s a little like the way the Arccos Caddie will work. As you play, your app will calculate GPS distances, compare with your averages and even give you some club selections if you need help.
Some of the stand-out features include:
- Shot tracking (automatic)
- Distance club averages (smart distance selections and advice)
- AI Powered GPS Rangefinder
- AI Cadie Advice
- Strokes gained information and analytics
We should note that although the shot tracking is pretty automatic, you will need to tweak the data afterwards if you want it to be accurate.
There are some companies like Cobra and Ping that allow you to fit the Arccos sensors in their golf clubs for you.
Golf Insider Verdict
The detailed information you can get about your game can be hard to find without this high level of technology. Overall I like the Arccos brand; they make high-quality products, and the premium stat tracking function is incredibly easy to use.
Best value paid app: Golf GPS SwingU
- 96,000 ratings at 4.7 stars
- Features: Scorecard, GPS rangefinder, stats, and coaching
- Costs: Free Version, Plus: $39.99 a year, Premium: $79.99 a year
The Golf GPS SwingU is our favorite golf app for players looking for a really good free app, with a great value paid option. Most golf GPS apps will give you yardage to the center of the green, but the Golf GPS SwingU has information, stats, and details to help you with everything from your scoring to your golf swing.
The free version features GPS, a digital scorecard, free handicap posting, tracking your shots, and daily golf instruction tips from top golfers. The Golf GPS SwingU is known for being very reliable and continually improving with new technology.
If you upgrade to the Plus version of Golf GPS SwingU, the features include the following:
- Plays like yardages
- Club recommendations
- Scorecard and stats
- On course games like Stableford and Match Play
When you upgrade to the Premium for Elite Golfer Performance, this includes:
- Strokes gained platform
- Green Maps for more than 13,000 courses
- Lessons and drills from top teachers
- Post-round recap and priorities to work on
What we like about the way that the Golf GPS SwingU manages its information compared to other golf apps is that it makes it simple to analyze and improve on all areas of your game. Whether you are looking for better stat tracking, more accurate yardages to the center of the green, or an overall plan to improve your golf game, the SwingU Golf GPS app could be a great option for you to consider.
Golf Insider Verdict
I think the ability to track your handicap is a major benefit. See if those swing changes you are working on will actually help you improve or if they are going to take you in the wrong direction. In addition to being one of the best golf GPS app options on the market, the Golf GPS SwingU can really change how you view your game.
App Golfers Should Have: USGA Official Rules of Golf
- 171 Ratings at 3.7 Stars
- Features: Rules of golf and clarifications
- Cost: Free
The USGA Rules of golf app is certainly not the most fun golf GPS app or stat tracking device in the game. However, it’s a really helpful tool to have on your phone. Most players don’t understand that the golf rules are there to help you.
Whenever you encounter a situation on a golf course where it feels like you may not be playing from a fair situation, chances are there is a ruling that will help make things more clear for you.
I have read through the rule book many times in my life, but the rules don’t always stick with you. When you can have this information at your fingertips while you play, it’s a great feature.
Golf Insider Verdict
The USGA official rules of golf app are one that all golfers should have on their phone. Certainly, it’s not as feature-rich as other apps, but it has some great information that could end up saving you a few penalty strokes the next time one of your golf balls ends up in a bad position.
Best For Self-Taught Golfer: V1 Golf Swing Analysis and Coaching
- 1200 Ratings with 4.1 stars
- Features: Golf swing analysis and comparison, Capture video
- Cost: $59.99 per year
Years ago, when I first started teaching golf, I paid for the V1 golf coaching software to help my students. I had a video camera and more cables than you could imagine, but the idea was to get some golf swings on video and help people improve.
It worked quite well; V1 has been around for many years since, and they are good at what they do.
In the beginning, V1 was more about professionals and how they could use technology to help students. Over time things have changed, and now the V1 technology is available for anyone who needs it.
With V1, you can record everything from your full swing to the short game to your putting stroke. Then you can compare your swing vs. some of the best golf swings in the game to see what you are looking at and whether or not your golf game compares.
In addition, there is an option to connect with instruction for some more personalized instruction and information.
What I like about the V1 golf app is the library of tips and drills. Having access to these drills and tips will make sure you never get bored when you are out on the course working on your game. In addition, there is a lot of golf content on the internet, but not all of it is helpful and great; the V1 videos are really high quality.
Some of the best features of the V1 Golf Swing analysis and coaching app include the following:
- Overlay two videos to compare
- Import current videos you have of your swing
- Drawing tools and the ability to flip for right hand or left hand
- New videos are continually being added
- Connect with certified coaches
Golf Insider Verdict
If you are serious about making changes to your game, this V1 app costs about the same amount as one lesson would cost, and the features will keep you busy for months to come. Make sure before you invest that you are a golfer that can stay dedicated enough to work on your game in this way.
Best For Score Tracking: TheGrint
- 14,000 ratings at 4.8 stars
- Features: Golf Score Tracker, GPS, and Game Tracking
- Cost: Free Option, Pro Membership $39.99 per year
If you are looking to track your handicap and scoring, TheGrint is one of the top choices in the game. This app comes with a GPS rangefinder and other tools, but the scoring is really the thing that sets TheGrint apart.
Another reason we like TheGrint is the community that it has developed. If you want to connect with the other golfers in your foursome, you can do so easily. In addition, you can upload pictures from a day on the course and even comment on their game and scoring.
Sometimes we forget, with all of this technology, that golf is a very social game.
To have fun with golf, you will have to be able to communicate and get along with your friends as well. TheGrint makes that easy. In addition, the app just takes
Another great thing here is that TheGrint does connect to the USGA servers. So you won’t have one handicap as part of your app and another with the USGA. This is all going to be covered through the one app, and it does make things more organized.
Finally, Ryder Cup Format competitions are really enjoyable with TheGrint. These are the kinds of things that can get overwhelming if you have a group of players looking to compete. With TheGrint, all they will need is the app.
Features Included for Free:
- Games and point calculation
- Organize tee times with your foursomes
- Push notification of what your friends are doing on the course
- Upload and share pictures with friends
Features Included with the Pro Membership:
- Scorecard picture saving and transcribing
- Advanced stats and performance
- Shot-by-shot tracking
- Advanced golf GPS features
The Pro membership is one of the more affordable golf app memberships among all of the options we looked at. You will have to be looking to improve your golf game to benefit from the Pro Membership; most of the features here revolve around game improvement.
Golf Insider Verdict
TheGrint makes golf scoring more fun and really almost makes it a community event. Managing your handicap does take a bit of time and understanding, but with TheGrint, it is all done for you and tied into the larger USGA system. For those that like to play in tournaments and events, TheGrint is a great resource for all of your scoring-related needs.
Choosing The Best Golf App: A Few Tips To Consider
Hundreds of golf apps are available to choose from, and they all claim to offer different features and benefits. I can tell you right off the bat that most of these have the same features. In fact, even some apps that were not known for GPS technology have recently added the GPS. Essentially, there is very little difference between some of the top tools, but here are a few things to keep in mind.
Take a long hard look at the pricing of the golf apps. If you don’t plan to use the app consistently, the free features will be more than enough for your golf game. Unless you are on a real mission to improve your scoring, the free apps may be the way to go.
If your phone is getting older, chances are battery life is starting to get a little tricky. If the battery life on your phone is starting to dwindle, the golf GPS apps can really make it worse. Look for a push cart or golf cart with a USB to plug in your phone. In addition, you may want to consider lighter apps with fewer features if you need to conserve battery.
Ratings/Time In Industry
There are some good new apps out there, but they all have some quirks that need to be worked out. If you can put up with that, invest in something new. If you are on the fence about spending money to have to manage the app and its abilities, then you may want to look for something that has been around for a while. The V1 app has been in place for 12 years. GolfLogix has 22 years of industry experience.
Functionality and Ease of Use
After experimenting with some golf apps, there are certain features of the app that seem unnecessary or take too much time to use. On the golf course, I do like to keep things a little more simple, and you may want to consider that when shopping. Take a look at the way the app functions, what it looks like, and how you have to use it to see if you will want to keep it around. The great news is that all good golf apps have a free trial to let you see if it’s a good fit for your game.
I was reluctant to invest in a golf app when I first started looking at them. Now that I have been around a while, I have found that some really good options are worth the money. One thing I enjoy the most is not having a golf bag full of scorecards; all my rounds in one place with scores tracked for me is a tremendous benefit. Think about the features that matter the most to you, and choose a golf GPS app that will stand out from others on the market.
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