Best Golf GPS Apps
Technology is such a huge part of golf these days and your smartphone has the ability to download a whole range of top golf apps to help you play better golf and just make the game a little easier whether that’s on the course, or when practicing.
The best golf GPS (opens in new tab) technology combines with your smartphone to give you a clearer picture of the golf hole ahead. This is achieved by showing a map or birds-eye view to show you where the hole goes, where the hazards are, and give you distances to features like the front, middle and back of the green. Additionally many apps help you understand your game a little better and can give you tips on which club to hit on a particular shot. Many apps have scorekeeping and statistical measures as well.
All of this is designed to make your life easier and so you are better informed on what is ahead of you. That way you can focus on the important stuff, like specific swing thoughts and the shot you want to play.
From standard GPS yardages to detailed hole maps and cutting-edge shot tracking data, there is an app for you. Here, we take a look at the best golf GPS apps available to download to help you find the right one for your golf game. And while you’re here, why not check out our guides on the best golf shot tracking apps and devices, or the best golf GPS watches as well.
Best Golf GPS Apps
The Arccos Caddie works with Arccos’ Smart Sensors and offers up an incredible amount of data to help you play your best golf. It automatically tracks your shots and gives advice like a real caddie on what club or strategy to use on holes. It also gives full GPS distances that take into account wind speed, direction and elevation. Once you’ve logged upwards of five rounds, allowing for Arccos to get truly familiar with your game, we found the information given to be very accurate and would definitely recommend.
Another huge benefit of the Arccos app is that once your round is over, an in-depth insight into performance through the strokes-gained algorithm is available. For those looking to improve, this is invaluable and has allowed us to practise more efficiently in the areas where we actually lose shots.
One of the most popular golf GPS apps out there right now, Hole 19 is completely free and offers a staggering amount of features. It’s accurate GPS tracking has over 42,000 courses mapped and provides precise GPS distances to the green, hazards while also giving you a complete overview of the hole from a birds-eye map. You don’t need internet connection either and it is surprisingly frugal when it comes to battery use on your smartphone.
For those with an Apple Watch, Hole 19 also works for free on your wearable device and broadcasts distances as well as allowing you to keep track of your scoring from your watch. If you want to have an even more immersive experience with the Hole 19 app, a premium membership options is available. The premium membership comes with an initial 14-day free trial and then costs $7.99 a month from there – or you can save money by buying a yearly membership for $49.99.
The GPS app from Motocaddy is completely free to use and will offer up key distances including front, middle and back yardages, hazard information and hole data like flyovers for more than 40,000 courses around the world. We like the redesign it has been given since its initial launch, as well as the incredible lifesaving AED and CPR features (opens in new tab) for golfers in the UK and Ireland. The biggest plus point, for us anyway, is its ability to track stats, which helps golfers learn more about their games.
We found the yardages given to be mostly accurate, although there was the odd exception. On the whole though, this a solid and user-friendly golf GPS app that doesn’t cost a penny and, although Motocaddy maybe famous for producing some of the best electric golf trolleys (opens in new tab) on the market it certainly knows a thing or two about creating a superb GPS app.
Bushnell is a huge player in the rangefinder market and its app is free to download for Apple and Android phone users. It allows you to use your smartphone for GPS distances on more than 38,000 courses worldwide and also shows 3D graphic layouts of each hole – a really handy tool when playing a new course.
For those that like to enter their scores as they play, this is really easily done and, over time, can help the user track trends in their game. Analysing swing speed is also possible while there are some nice fitness perks. For example, daily steps can be monitored as can average speed, pace and distance for people who enjoy running and/or cycling. While you’re here, why not check out our guide on the best Bushnell golf rangefinders (opens in new tab), too.
VPAR is much more than just a GPS app, although it will give you accurate distances on more than 30,000 courses around the world. Its real standout feature, aside from the GPS aspect, is the ability to play tournaments and set up matches with friends or in larger society groups. It shows live leaderboards and genuinely adds something to a tournament round. As well as strokeplay, it also supports matchplay and stableford formats.
And for those who want to get serious about their golf, a host of performance stats can be analysed to inform your practise and make tangible improvements in the areas where it’s most needed.
Golfshot has over four million members and provides accurate and real-time distances to greens, hazards and other targets on more than 45,000 courses around the world. It also comes with the ability to input your score on each hole for those who prefer that to getting the scorecard out.
Detailed statistics are also at your fingertips, meaning golfers will be able to learn more about their game than ever before. The best feature, however, comes in the form of Golfshot’s AR (Augmented Reality). This turns your phone camera into a detailed 360-degree course map, enabling users to identify targets and hazards and plot their way round the course like never before.
More than five million people put their trust in the SwingU Golf GPS to give them accurate yardages as well as a place to enter scores. This already shows it is one of the best golf GPS apps out there but there are far more benefits to enjoy. On the course, the app measures wind speed and elevation so users can make the most informed club decision possible, while the shot tracking feature also provides recommendations based on your tendencies.
Unlike other apps which only provide basic statistics, once you’ve completed a round with the SwingU GPS, a detailed strokes-gained analysis is available to show you areas of potential improvement. It will also give you a [non-official] handicap after three rounds and it is said to work on every course in the world.
The SkyCaddie Mobile golf GPS app is powered by the same TrueGround Course Maps that make SkyCaddie also one of the best rangefinders on the market. As well as featuring extremely precise course maps, tapping on the interactive hole view will give you accurate information required to inform your next shot.
Like most, it also comes with the ability to log scores and track stats, although this app doesn’t deal in strokes-gained analysis. What this app has in its favour is that it won’t drain your phone battery like some others on the market, meaning there isn’t any risk it won’t make it through 18 holes.
This app is extremely easy to use and gives really accurate yardages when compared with the best laser rangefinders (opens in new tab) on the market – most either matched up exactly or were only a few yards out. Being able to set the flag position on greens came in handy too, as did the app’s ability to spot distances to hazards or ideal lay-up spots.
In addition, the calorie counter and personalised analysis of on-course performance are great for post-round inspection. With over 35,000 courses and counting, this is one of the best and most versatile golf apps available today.
How to choose the right golf GPS app for you
What are some of the factors you need to consider when picking a golf GPS app…
Features – It is important for you to know what you want to use the app for. There are many apps that give information in terms of yardages and hazards but what degree of detail do you want from the app? Some keep things very simple whether that be easy to ready numbers on 2D displays, whereas others go into minute detail on what the hole looks like and give a more 3D picture of what the hole looks like.
Ease of use – Apps have to be easy to use and we would recommend using some of the ones we picked above so you can decide which one you liked to use the most, and which one you found the easiest to navigate.
What is the best golf GPS app?
There are lots of high-quality golf apps on the market right now so the best would come down what a particular person is after. For shot-tracking and data analysis, the Arccos Caddie app is hard to beat, whereas if you want an app with a whole range of features the Motocaddy GPS App is an excellent choice. We have included some more of our favorites in our handy guide.
How do I download a golf GPS app?
Many of the golf apps we have included here will be available through your smartphone on an app store, such as Apple Store, Samsung Galaxy Store, or Google. To download you would simply click on the download icon and use your login information that you first used to set up the phone.
How accurate are golf GPS apps?
We have found GPS apps to be very accurate because of the investment in GPS technology of late, Brands like Motocaddy, Bushnell and SkyCaddie all make excellent lasers and GPS tech that has now been implemented into apps.
Do I need Wifi to use an app?
When downloading an app, or the golf course you are going to play, you will need to have Wifi. Once these things are downloaded though, you won’t need Wifi to use the app whilst playing out on the golf course.