Saturday, February 2, 2013

Golf Technology: Best Golf Apps For Your Smartphone

There is absolutely no escaping it – technology is becoming more and more prevalent in your everyday life. And although I prefer that my golfing partner leave that new, fancy-dancy smartphone in his bag, I certainly understand that sometimes it is absolutely necessary for him to have it. Golf apps for iPhone, iPad and Android are becoming abundant and more and more convenient as well. There are golf apps for everything: GPS, swing analysis to compare your swing to a pro’s swing, golf games, golf magazines, club fitting, rules and etiquette, and the list goes on and on. So how do you choose which ones you get and which ones are best for you? Although it comes down to personal preference, I am going to take the next couple of blog posts and give you some of my favorite golf apps that I recently downloaded on my new iPhone 5!

1. iPing Putting App (FREE): The iPING app analyzes and displays your consistency onscreen using three criteria: stroke type (determined by how much the putter face rotates during the forward stroke); impact angle (the putter’s face angle at impact, relative to address); and tempo (a measure of the duration of the backswing relative to the forward swing). The app works by computing consistency over a series of five putts where your stroke type, impact angle and tempo are measured, displayed and stored for every putt in that session. Your consistency scores are averaged over time to build a Putting Handicap (PHcp). As you improve your consistency, you’ll see your PHcp come down. And one more really cool feature to the app is that you can compare your stats to those of PING staffers on the PGA Tour!

Note: This app requires the use of a physical device (the exclusive PING cradle) to attach your iPhone 4, 4S, 5, or iPod touch (4th Gen) to your putter shaft. Cradles are sized for each device.

2. V1 Golf ($4.99): Just like the other apps that focus on swing analysis, the golfer will take video footage of their swing, then use the app to analyze. This app allows slow-motion play back for the best look! The uniqueness of this app is the ability to compare your swing to over fifty swings from professionals in the PGA, LPGA and the Champions Tour. See who your swing resembles! Again, your videos are saved in your "locker" for later viewing. The app is available for Android, iPhone, and iPad. A very cool app that is sure to help you understand your swing a little bit better!

3. USGA Rules of Golf ($3.99): If you play a lot of golf, and carry an iPhone, this app is an absolute must have! Ditch the old fashioned hardcopy of the rules and download the very same rules (plus a lot more), courtesy of the USGA. This app features the official 2012 Rules of Golf, Decisions on the Rules of Golf, and Rules of Amateur Status. It gives you quick and easy access to all of the official rules and decisions, making it the ideal reference guide when you run into trouble or disputes while playing the course. There is a great new word and phrase search built in to help you find the answer to rules question fast. And if for some reason you can’t find the answer to a question that you’re looking for, you can email the USGA directly for expert advice!

4. Titleist (FREE): This is your one-stop app for everything Titleist. From the Titleist social stream and Interactive Golf Ball Selection Experience to the My Game Stat Tracking Tools, Swing Comparison and a Golf Shop Locator, it’s got you covered. The latest release is loaded with features and exclusive content to help you explore the world of Titleist.

- Interactive Golf Ball Selection: Take this first step in finding the best Titleist golf ball for your game. Use the on-course evaluation scorecard to guide you through the fitting process.
- Swing Comparison: Record your swing and compare it to a Titleist Brand Ambassador's or create a library of your own swings to view side-by-side. Features include full-speed or slow-motion playback, swing-sync and echo-motion effects.
- My Game: Post scores, track stats and take your game to the next level.
- Titleist Social Stream: Stay connected with all Titleist social channels to get the latest news and updates. Customize your social stream and select the feeds you want to follow.
- Golf Shop and Fitter Locator: Find an authorized Titleist golf shop or certified fitter in your area. All MCG courses are authorized Titleist golf shops!
- And much, much more! It’s free to download so I recommend checking it out today!

5. Nike Golf 360 (FREE):The fact that Nike Golf 360 is free is not the best part of this new app, but that surely enhances it appeal. Beyond that is its utility for improving your golf game by focusing on your game itself, your swing and your body. Scorecards for more than 13,000 courses can be downloaded for the purposes of keeping score and recording statistics. The stats can be kept and tracked over several rounds to help gauge progress (or regress) or simply to show the areas of one’s game that needs work. In addition, it enables the user to upload videos of his or her swing that can be analyzed by what Nike calls its Swoosh Staff of PGA of America professionals, movement professionals and clubfitters. And, finally, it comes with golf specific workout videos and training tips!

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