11 Best Golf Apps We Tested For Your Phone and Watch
If you golf frequently and aren’t using any apps, you’re missing out.
Golf apps have expanded and improved dramatically in the last few years, introducing new ways to improve your skills and enjoy the game.
From simple scoring to advanced video recording for swing analysis, so much is available at your fingertips.
Best Golf Apps In 2022
This list contains our favorite golf apps we’ve tested, along with their best features.
- Amazing GPS distances
- Track shot distance and direction
- Keep track of score (Even various formats like Stableford)
If you’re serious about your game and only want to use one golf app, you can’t go wrong with Golfshot.
Tracking your shots via GPS with Golfshot is as easy as can be.
You can use the app on your phone or simply touch an Apple Watch to record each shot on more than 45,000 courses.
You aren’t simply keeping score, you are recording data that will be instructive as you continue to work on your game.
You can access data on your typical 7-iron distance or how you’ve historically played Hole No. 9 at a local course.
Features for Golfshot+ include their bread and butter – GPS distances, shot tracking and statistic keeping – along with an augmented reality view of each hole, handicap indexing, and a voice assistant that tells you distances while your phone is still in your pocket.
There’s a reason Golfshot has tens of thousands of 5-star reviews in the Apple store. Check it out!
- Stats and round history
- Side games
- Tee times (Book your round)
A competitor to Golfshot, 18Birdies has some of the same features while throwing in some unique characteristics.
If you’re like me, you’ve gone golfing with multiple foursomes before and wondered how the other groups and their players are playing. I ask for their scores as we cross paths on the tees, but I never know how my score and group compare until the end.
18 Birdies has resolved this, as their Live Scoring feature allows us all to see each other’s scores as we go.
With this live scoring feature, I can also golf at the same time as my brother, who is on the other side of the country, and we can battle it out on our own local courses.
Social golfing is a specialty of 18Birdies. The app has scoring for up to 10 different golf games and tracks bets you make with your buddies.
No more losing track of the score or digging through the bag for an unbroken pencil.
In addition to its social features, 18Birdies does GPS shot tracking, swing analysis, drill recommendations and so much more.
It has up-to-date course reviews and allows you to book tee times through the app. It’s one of the most popular apps for golf and has as many features as any on the market.
- Find and book rounds of golf
- Save money on rounds
- Read course reviews
Another app that makes booking rounds easy is GolfNow, created by NBC Golf. With a huge conglomerate backing it, this app is constantly updating and expanding, adding new courses and features all the time.
More than 3 million golfers have downloaded the app to make setting up and paying for rounds easy.
Friends can use it to split payments, so they can leave the wallet in the car and not worry about settling debts before or after the round.
A standout feature of GolfNow is the course search tool, which allows you to search for all available tee times within a specified radius.
I brought my clubs to a golf course in Arizona when I was asked on short-notice to attend a work conference. Without prior planning, I was able to search for a tee time near my hotel and found one for an hour later on a course 25 minutes away.
Golfing is expensive, but GolfNow helps alleviate the pain in a couple of ways. It updates with hot golf deals on both equipment and tee times.
Additionally, dollars spent using the app go towards rewards for golf discounts.
In addition to what’s already been highlighted, GolfNow does GPS tracking and scoring.
- Analyze and store swing videos
- Compare your swing to professional golfers
- Get swing tips from top instructors
Many try, but of apps for golf that try to replace an in-person coach, V1 Golf might be the best. The app helps you record, store, and watch videos of your own swing.
It measures angles and highlights things about your swing you may have never noticed before. Many reviewers have commented that the app helped them realize that what they thought they were doing with the club in their hands wasn’t even close to reality.
It helps you to see how your swing improves over time, creating a satisfying archive of before and after videos.
The app shows the swings of golf pros and easily allows you to compare your movements with those of the sport’s top athletes.
It recommends drills that will help you make adjustments so that your stroke is tour-ready.
A human coach is probably the right first step to improve your game, but once you learn the foundation, V1 is great for maintaining and improving upon what you’ve learned.
- Helps you work on your golf mindset
- New 3-minute audio lesson daily
- Tips from pro golfers
There are a lot of golf apps that focus on the nuts and bolts of the physical part of golf, but Imagine Golf is all about what goes on in a golfer’s head.
It goes without saying that golf can be a frustrating mental battle, especially when you are trying to improve your performance.
Endorsed by distinguished pro Gary Player and other golf greats, this app helps you with mental hurdles that have kept you from doing things that you are physically capable of doing.
Each day, Imagine Golf has a new short audio lesson (usually around 3 minutes long) about the mental part of the game.
These lessons help you to shift your perspective and build your confidence for the next time you lace up your golf shoes.
Along with these daily affirmations, the premium part of the app includes master classes from golf pros broken up into daily, digestible recordings.
Search for past audio uploads as well to catch up when you join. We’ve focused a lot on our swings, but we’re excited to see how Imagine Golf can help us take it to the next level.
USGA Rules of Golf
- Golf news and photos
- Purchase tickets for Golf Tournaments
- Live scoring for major events
Have you ever wondered about a ruling while on the course, or gotten in an argument with a friend about how to score that last fiasco of a hole?
The USGA Rules of Golf app is a great reference to have on the links. Its layout and ability to search the rules make it easy to use. It has diagrams and links that give you more content than you would get out of a physical rulebook.
Additionally, it updates with new rules and definitions, meaning that you will never have an outdated rule book. If you’re serious about playing and scoring the game the right way, the USGA Rule of Golf app is a must have.
- Easy tournament setup
- Beautiful design
- Displays a live scoreboard
VPAR is a great golf app for tournament organizers and individual golfers alike. It allows a user to set up tournaments, manage registration and tee times, input and track scores, and display a live scoreboard to follow along with.
The system has handy integrations with TV monitors and social media to inform audiences and create hype both on the course and around the world.
A variety of tournament types and scoring formats are available, allowing for experimentation and fresh experiences.
From an individual golfer’s standpoint, VPAR works with you to set goals and work toward them.
It tracks your round and gives you a detailed report at the end so that you know what you did well and what you need to work on.
Another exciting feature is the challenge mode, which allows you to create and participate in challenges with your friends.
You don’t need to be playing the same day, or even on the same course, to take part in a friendly competition. That means you can golf solo, but still compete.
- Easily read the green
- Putt straight everytime
- Amazing Apple Watch App
When your virtual golfer stands over a putt in a golf video game, you can see arrows and contours that help you easily read the green. If only it could be that easy in real life. With the GolfLogix app, it is.
The GolfLogix app tracks your shots and helps you keep score, but it places special emphasis on what can be the most frustrating part of golf – putting.
You can see heat maps and slopes as you approach a green, informing you where to put your approach shot to avoid impossible putting situations.
This is especially great when you’re on a course you’ve never played before, as you can’t take a stroll to the green and back in preparation for your first couple of shots.
When you get to the green, the app interface is something straight out of PGA Tour 2K23, with even more detail.
During my test of this golf app, I loved seeing exactly how to line up my putt and how hard to hit it. You can approach putts with confidence, leading to more long makes.
Tour Tempo Total Game
- Uses sound to improve swing
- Video explainations
The Tour Tempo Total Game app uses science to help golfers create the perfect timing for their swing.
Based on studies from Yale University, it plays musical notes to alert the golfer when it’s time to start the backswing, transition into the down swing, and make an impact with the ball.
This is one of those apps that makes you realize that you could unknowingly be doing something totally wrong with your swing.
When we tried it, we made big changes to our tempo within minutes and learned new muscle memory.
The app is so easy to use. It comes with video explanations of how to hit the notes with each part of the swing.
Additionally, it has relaxation songs with beats that match a perfect swing tempo. Of any app you could use to improve your golf game, Tour Tempo may give you the quickest result.
- Manage your official handicap
- GPS distances
- Shot tracking
TheGrint is another golf app that does GPS distances, shot tracking, scoring, and handicapping. Handicapping is the focus of TheGrint, and it makes coming up with your handicap as an amateur golfer so easy.
You simply track your score throughout the round, and at the end, TheGrint calculates and makes adjustments to your handicap in a way that is tour compliant.
One game-changing feature of TheGrint is the ability to simply take a photo of your scorecard and have it transcribed by the app.
This comes in handy if you want to keep your phone in your bag or car during your round. Also, let’s say you’ve played a ton of rounds this year and kept score by hand before you downloaded TheGrint.
You can efficiently snap some photos and get everything logged in just a few minutes.
While many golf apps do most of what TheGrint does, there’s something very simple about this app, and the physical score card transcription may make you give it the nod over other apps.
- Add a tracer to your golf shot
- See flight path of the ball
- Putt vision lets you trace putts
Do you want to see a tracer of your golf ball’s flight path the way you do on a PGA Tour broadcast? The Shot Tracer app does just that.
It’s an incredible golf app that sets up a recording of your swing from behind, and traces the flight of the ball from impact to landing.
It shows you the action of the ball in the air, measures things such as carry and apex of your shots, and allows you to work on different kinds of shots, such as draws, fades, and stingers.
Four-time golf Major champion Rory McIlroy shows how shot tracing can take optimize your game.
While Shot Tracer is perfectly beneficial for the individual golfer who wants to improve, it is optimally used by golf content creators, who want to edit together a video of their round for YouTube or other platforms.
The Shot Tracer app is one that was jaw-dropping the first time we used it. We can’t believe how easy it is to use technology that seems like its too advanced for an amateur golfer.
Another feature called Putt Vision allows you to set up for putts and record what you are trying to do, and add an overlay of what actually happened.
Did you read the putt correctly? Did you hit it where you were trying to? Putt Tracer shows all this, and allows you to become more precise to save strokes.
How do I get golf apps?
One of the best ways to see if an app is available for you is to Google its name. This will likely lead you to an app web page that will indicate which platforms the app is compatible with.
Are golf apps free?
Some are. Most have both a free version and a premium version with added features.
Are golf apps convenient to use while out on the course?
It depends on the app and what kind of wife/cell coverage you have. One great thing is that many apps are now compatible with smart watches, which allow you to track shots and score your rounds hands free.