We all have different priorities when it comes to smartphones; with some people it’s emailing, with some it’s games, and with others it’s apps. Somewhat depressingly, outside of core features, the most important thing a phone can offer me is golfing apps, and I’ve been trying out some of the best apps that Windows Phone has to offer.
When I first started using golfing apps on smartphones, it really was just a case of being lazy, having something to note down the scores and add them up for me at the end. Things have come on in leaps and bounds since then though, and apps now do everything from telling you exactly where you are on a hole, and how far you have left to go, to keeping track of your averages and statistics.
Here are some of my must-have golfing choices for Windows Phone.
Connected Golf – Free
Connected Golf is the app I’ve been using for the past few months. It’s particularly easy to use, it looks great, and it also combines everything you need in a golfing application. As with Windows Phone itself, all the buttons are large and finger-friendly, and it’s intuitive to use.
When you’re out on the course the GPS proves accurate within a couple of metres, and you can simply tap the screen to see how far away any point on the course is. When you get to the green, it’s also easy to keep track of all the scores, averages, distances hit and more.
If there’s a downside, it’s the fact that a lot of UK courses don’t have their details on there. You can still see the course, score and measure distances, but you’ll have to enter all the stats if you want to do things properly. A good choice then, but there are more complete apps out there.
Mobitee GPS Golf– £16.99
Mobitee GPS Golf may be one of the more expensive apps on the Windows Phone Store, but what does it have to offer? It looks good, for a start, with big and easy to use onscreen buttons. This is increasingly important on devices like the Nokia Lumia 920, where you’ll be able to use the app without removing your golf glove.
There’s a good range of courses on offer, with an update after you’ve downloaded the app to search for more. All of my local courses are present and correct, and contact details are also included. Tapping a point on the fairway not only tells you how far away it is, but what club you need to use, and you can obviously edit the distances you’re capable of hitting the ball.
It’s the ease of use I really liked for Mobitee though – a lot of the time I’ll be rushing to get out of the way of people behind, and it’s here the clear menus really come into their own.
Rules of Golf – Free
There are loads of apps that make it easy to find out where you are on a course, or what score you got on the last hole, but as soon as the winter comes along and things get difficult, golfing etiquette often flies out of the window.
Rules of Golf is a great little app to have on your Lumia, making it perfectly clear what happens in any given situation, and helping to avoid any arguments out on the course. Ball buries itself in a hole when it lands? Now you don’t need to make up the rules as you go along. Obviously, this may not help your game…
Golf GPS – £3.99
If a range-finder is more your thing, Golf GPS is a viable alternative to dedicated GPS hardware. It’s capable of highlighting exactly where you are, along with 100, 150 and 200-yard marks, so you’ll always know just how far away you are from the pin and what club you should be using.
With aerial maps of each hole, fairway and green, it’s an easy to use app and looks great. The publishers also point out: “You will NEVER need to map a course.”
SHOTLY Golf – Free
SHOTLY is a compelling app, offering all the features I love about Connected Golf, and adding more choice when it comes to locating golf courses nearby in the UK. Again it’s an easy app to navigate, even if you haven’t used it before, and within seconds you’ll be flicking between scorecard and checking out distances from the tee to fairway.
Naturally you can enter the score for each hole, but if you have time (I don’t usually, I’m too busy dodging balls from impatient people behind me) you can also enter stats such as the amount of shots to the fairway and green, number of puts, chip shots and more. Enter these details regularly, and it’s a fantastic way to keep track of your progress, or indeed lack of. Overall, this is by far my favourite app on Windows Phone!
Golf Scorecard – £1.49
With an abundance of apps that do absolutely everything, sometimes it can be a refreshing change to see an app that’s simple and single-minded in its approach. Golf Scorecard is such an app, doing exactly what it says on the tin.
There’s no range-finder, no GPS tracking and no complicated features to get the hang of. It’s just a scoring app, pure and simple. And if you want an easy app to keep track of your rounds, it could be right up your street.
FreeCaddie Golf GPS – Free
Not everybody wants a rangefinder and scorecard app in one, which is where FreeCaddie Golf GPS comes in. The app literally acts as a rangefinder, letting you access pre-mapped courses, or map your own if it’s not already on the list.
It’s a useful app if you play at a nicer course where people actually care about having scores written down on scorecards. On other occasions though, I ended up reverting back to Connected Golf or SHOTLY, as I’m a bit too lazy to keep counting up my scores!
image credit: kevin dooley