16 Best Golf Apps for Apple Watch and iPhone

15 Best Golf Apps Every Golfer Needs

If you’re an avid golfer, your iPhone,and Apple Watch can be a great boon to your game. In this roundup of iPhone and Apple Watch App reviews, I'll cover the best Apple Watch apps, the best score keeping apps, the best swing tracking apps, the best range finder apps, and the best GPS apps that calculate distances Most of these apps are universal, tailored to both the iPhone and iPad displays. Where noted there is also a version for the Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2, which comes with GPS. This is especially useful in rangefinder apps when you’re on the course. You can just glance at your watch to determine the distance to the green, etc. It's also great to have an Apple Watch golf swing analyzer app.

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Best free golf apps for news

1. PGA Tour Mobile (Free)

The official app of the PGA Tour includes real-time leaderboards, player profiles and video, live player scorecards with shot trails and live stats, and access to live video for every PGA Tour event. The app also includes videos of tournament highlights, round recaps, and player features, as well as the latest PGA news and push notifications.

2. LPGA Now (free)

The official LPGA app gives you live scores, news, photos, videos, and player rankings and statistics, as well as tournament information and course conditions. Information for specific tournaments includes TV times, weather, and course map. You can select your favorite players to follow, including bio and stats.

3. Sports Illustrated Golf+ Digital (Free)

This app offers free articles from Sports Illustrated, with a new edition available every Wednesday morning. Content includes original video essays, columns, commentary, photos, and player interviews. There are also reviews of equipment and products, and instruction videos from top teachers. The app includes information on specific courses and destinations.

Best golf rangefinder apps and best score keeping apps

4. Golf GPS & Scorecard (Free, in-app purchases) (Apple Watch)

This app is a top free GPS rangefinder that works on over 33,000 courses worldwide. You can find the distance to the center of the green and to any obstacles. Satellite photos are available, and you can zoom in and touch anywhere to get distances from you to that point. Also available as part of the app is a digital score card that automatically advances from hole to hole. You can store your rounds for free online, and use the available graphs and stats to track improvement in your game. In-app purchases give you access to real-time wind speed, elevation, and “plays like” distance. Their paid service also lets you track the clubs you use and measure the distance fore each club, as well as get club recommendations during the round. And it lets you play handicap-adjusted games and matches. Apple Watch functionality includes distances, scorekeeping, and tracking shots.

5. Gulf GPS, Scorecard & Rangefinder - Hole 19 (free) (Apple Watch)

With the Hole 19 app, everything is free. It gives you distances on over 38,000 courses. You can track your score and the scores of your partners. Other features include graphing your performance in driving, greens, short game, putting, and overall scoring. Shot tracking lets you see how far you hit your last shot.

6. Golfshot: Golf GPS + Scorecard + Tee Times (Free, in-app purchases) (Apple Watch)

Golfshot Plus ($29.99, in-app purchases) (Apple Watch)

The free version includes distances to the center of the green and a scorecard. You can zoom in on the satellite images to get a detailed view of each course. The app offers statistics such as fairways hit, greens in regulation, and putts per hole. And it includes the latest golf news. The paid version offers interactive, real-time distances to all targets and hazards, as well as real-time GPS distances, scoring, and tracking on your Apple Watch. Other features include 3D flyover previews of each hole and personalized club recommendations based on your statistics. In-app purchases include tips and drills.

7. GolfLogix (Free, in-app purchases) (Apple Watch)

The free features of this app include GPS distances on over 30,000 courses worldwide, a yardage book with color 3D images of the course, and a scorecard for up to four players, as well as stat tracking and handicap. Your stats sync to the GolfLogix website so that you can track your progress. The many other features include an extensive archive of Golf Digest lessons and videos. The Champion upgrade gives you the distances to the front, back, and center of the green, as well as distances to hazards and layups. Plus, it offers video flyovers of every hole and club tracking that shows the location and distance of every club you hit. The Club Distance Grid shows where each of your clubs should land from where you’re standing. Note that the free version displays ads. The app for Apple Watch shows distances and scorecard.

8. Golf Pad: Free golf GPS Rangefinder and Scorecard (Free, in-app purchases) (Apple Watch)

This golf GPS app offers a lot of attractive free features including free scorecards and rangefinder, shot tracker, and more. Apple Watch support is available in the premium version only.

Best golf swing tracking apps

The iPhone and iPad are well suited to recording and analyzing your swing, especially if you have a device that’s capable of recording at a high enough frame rate for slow motion.

9. V1 Golf ($4.99, in-app purchases)

You can not only record and analyze your swing using V1 Golf, but also compare it with over 50 swings from PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour Players, including Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Lorena Ochoa, Karrie Webb, Freddy Couples, Vijay Singh, and more. You can trim, mark up, and edit video of your swing and play it back in slow motion and frame-by-frame. A split-screen feature lets you compare your swing with professionals. You can also submit a video of your swing to have it analyzed. In-app purchases include specific drills.

10. Everyday Golf Coach (iPhone, $5.99), Everyday Golf Coach HD (iPad, $6.99)

If you want a systematic program for improving your game, Everyday Golf Coach offers a set of 38 coaching videos from Dr. Noel Rousseau, a PGA professional who’s an expert on how one learns complex movements. The lessons offer all the major swing and short game principles. In addition, the app lets you compare your swing with that of a model. You can use the overlay tools and variable-speed playback feature to analyze your swing.

11. Golf Channel Academy (Free, in-app purchases)

Claiming to be the most complete golf instruction app, Golf Channel Academy offers a comprehensive library of over 2,000 videos from top instructors such as Michael Breed, Marin Hall, and Dana Rader. The app also includes swing capture and analysis features. Plus, you can use the app to find a Golf Channel Academy coach or location near you. While the app includes in-app purchases, all the videos I tried were free. 

12. Hudl Technique Golf: Slow Motion Swing Analysis (Free, in-app purchases)

Hudl Technique Golf focuses on evaluating and improving your swing by allowing you to record it in slow motion with swing plane drawings and then analyze it frame by frame. You can also compare your swing to that of the pros. Other features include drills from coaches and getting feedback on your swing from the Hudl Technique community. The app lets you annotate and record voice-overs on videos of your swings, as well as do side-by-side comparisons. You can share videos with others, as well as import video.

13. Coach’s Eye – Instant Video Analysis Replay ($4.99, in-app purchases) (Apple Watch)

Coach’s Eye claims to be the world’s leading video platform for reviewing athlete technique. Features include slow motion, zoom, importing video, comparing videos side-by-side, drawing on videos, adding audio commentary and annotations, and sharing videos. 

14. Zepp Golf Swing Analyzer (Free, in-app purchases, $149.99 sensor) (Apple Watch)

The Zepp app offers the personalized Smart Coach training system with training plans from PGA Tour Pro Keegan Bradley and LPGA Pro Michelle Wie. The free portion of the app includes the training system, a swing library, and video swing capture. In addition, you can attach the $150 Zepp sensor to your golf glove to measure important aspects of your game such as club speed, club plane, tempo, backswing length, and more. You can also combine the sensor’s measurements with the Smart Coach training system, such that the Zepp app evaluates areas where you can improve and offers training programs tailored to your swing. 

Best golf handicap apps

15. USGA Rules (Free, in-app purchase)

This app is the USGA’s official app for the Rules of Golf. It includes the rules for the edition effective January 1, 2016. An in-app purchase gives you access to the 2016-17 edition. It includes every rule, definition, and decision, and has a convenient search function.

16. Golf Handicap Tracker & Calculator (Free, in-app purchase)

You can use this app to find out your handicap (though it doesn’t provide an official USGA handicap index for tournaments). You can calculate your handicap based on US, Canada, and Australian rules. 

Top Image Credit: EpicStockMedia / Shutterstock.com

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.