Since being released in September 2014, the Apple Watch and its various iterations have significantly disrupted the global golf smartwatch industry. People mainly utilize their Apple Watch to track their steps, heart rate, and sleep quality. At the same time, competitive and amateur golfers have widely used the Apple Watch to track relevant stats, keep scores, and act as virtual caddies.
The best overall golf app for the Apple Watch is known as 18Birdies, with it being the closest option to the more expensive rangefinder and launch monitor devices. This app offers features such as GPS tracking, shot tracking, and personalized coaching.
Other incredible golf apps for the Apple Watch include V1 Game, SwingU, and The Grint, each offering unique and desirable features. Utilizing these apps with a golf watch can provide a convenient and efficient way to keep track of your game and improve your skills on the course.
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Over the last few years, golf apps for the Apple Watch have improved dramatically. Previously golfers were forced to rely on expensive rangefinder devices and launch monitors.
Despite the current best golf apps for the Apple Watch being unable to match specialized golf devices or watches, their constant development has rendered them competitive, as this article will detail.
Traditionally, golfs apps could not directly compete with their more expensive single-purpose technology counterparts, such as rangefinders and launch monitors.
Over the last few years, wearable technology such as the Apple Watch and trackers have developed frighteningly, resulting in modern golf apps continuing to close the gap between the pricier golf-specific single-purpose technologies.
Golf apps for the Apple Watch remain slightly inferior to specialized range finders, launch monitors, or golf watches; however, some offer incredible features, functionality, and practicality to non-competitive players.
Currently, the best golf app for an Apple Watch is 18Birdies, although V1 Game, SwingU, and The Grint are highly competitive.
Each dedicated golf app offers unique and outstanding benefits to amateur players, with some claiming they developed to the extent that they are comparable to dedicated golf watches, monitors, and devices.
While the best golf apps for an Apple Watch still slightly lag behind their dedicated counterparts, they allow players to accurately and conveniently track their stats, keep score, and book tee times.
In addition, having a virtual caddie permanently strapped to your arm during rounds is enormously beneficial to most players.
At the same time, some Apple Watch-compatible golf apps enable players to track their yardage, shot accuracy, and course guides.
Despite the numerous Apple Watch golf app offerings currently available, we have compiled a list of four unbeatable options, which will be explored in thorough detail below.
1. Best Overall: 18Birdies
Surprisingly, 18Birdies does not feature in most of the current Apple Watch golf app reviews despite it being, by quite some distance, the best golf app overall.
The sheer scope and scale of 18Birdies’ feature list are enough to easily render it the best golf app currently available. One of the golf app’s best and most distinguishable features is its doppler weather radar viewer.
The doppler radar view offers enormous assistance around any golf course, with the doppler radar allowing them to obtain an accurate and thorough understanding of the surrounding weather.
The virtual caddie functionality is incredible, consistently and accurately recommending the most optimal club selection for each shot, the distance to the target, and how the weather may impact it.
While 18Birdies is an outstanding golf app in all key metrics, one of its unique functions is the tee shot planner. 18Birdies’ tee shot planner will recommend how and where to hit your golf ball off the tee based on prior players’ shots, current weather, and your average distance off the tee.
Importantly, 18Birdies will ensure you hit the correct shot each time by seamlessly incorporating a blind shot compass, offering significant benefits when faced with challenging blind targets. One of the most desirable features is the ability to instantly access helpful, professional tips.
The professional tips function within the app enables players to gain a more detailed and thorough understanding of how professional players would hit the ball if faced with the same ball position along the course.
It should be noted that while 18Birdies has many desirable, advanced, and unique features, it fulfills the basic requirements as well as any competing Apple Watch golf app. 18Birdies will accurately record your GIRs, FIRs, strokes per round, putts per round, and any associated penalties on a digital scorecard.
18Birdies is an exceptional all-around golf app; however, many would argue that it will offer you the most substantial benefit after you have finished your round for the day. Once you are home or at your course’s clubhouse, you can fire up the golf app before thoroughly analyzing your associated weaknesses or strength for the day.
The built-in, artificially intelligent coach will provide appropriate insight into your game, offering accompanying drills to instantly enhance your swing, putting, and other crucial skills closely associated with golf.
After a thorough testing process, it has become clear that the 18Birdies is the best Apple Watch golf app currently available, with it also one of the cheaper options compared to its main competitors. In addition, 18Birdies is appropriate for amateur and professional golfers due to its wide range of built-in features and incredibly accurate tracking systems.
18Birdies offers a free trial period, allowing players to utilize and test the golf app before forking out $9.99 for the worthy premium version.
- The GPS yardage tracker is incredibly accurate and informative, allowing players to obtain a thorough understanding of how well they played, where they can improve, and their shot consistency
- The app accurately recommends appropriate clubs for each hole, which is based on intelligently collected data from their previous rounds, shot distance, and skill level
- The app has a built-in artificially intelligent shot coach, enabling players of all skill levels to improve their game, accuracy, golf IQ, and shot selection
- The app has a conveniently built-in tee shot planner, allowing players to obtain an accurate picture of where they should hit the ball to line up the most optimal approach shot
- The app has a distinct feature known as a blind shot compass, encouraging players to maintain their shot accuracy and targets despite being unable to see the flag
- The app only offers a limited free trial, with the premium subscription costing $4.99 weekly
- The app can be costly to beginner players, especially with the free trial offering incredibly limited functionality
2. Best Free App: SwingU
SwingU is the best golf app for the Apple Watch currently available. For a free app, SwingU is exceptional; however, luxuries associated with paid golf apps are missing.
SwingU has a premium option, although it does not offer as much functionality, technology, practicality, or features as other golf apps mentioned in this article. The distinguishing feature of the SwingU golf app is its completely free offering.
While it is known that SwingU does not offer the same functionality as paid golf apps, it has an incredible feature list for a free app, with the advanced GPS rangefinder and the virtual scorecard standing out.
Importantly, the GPS rangefinder, which comes standard when you download the SwingU golf app, will indicate your yardage out from the green on more than 30.000 golf courses globally. In addition, the GPS rangefinder will allow you to closely track and thoroughly analyze after each round has been completed.
Accurate distance analysis, GIRs, FIRs, and putts per round are featured on SwingU’s gold app, allowing players of all skill levels to understand their performance, including several key aspects that should be improved upon.
We highly recommend downloading and utilizing the SwingU golf app, especially if you are accustomed to golf apps and their distinctive features or are a beginner golfer.
While a paid version will cost users $100 on a yearly subscription, the free SwingU golf app offers the most benefit while demonstrating how advanced golf apps for the Apple Watch have become.
- The app is free to use, with all the critical and desirable features readily available to anyone
- The accurate and distinct GPS rangefinder can function optimally on most courses globally, demonstrating its practicality, usefulness, and wide-ranging functionality
- The app comes standard with efficient yardage, hazards, and distance to green indicators
- The app will automatically and accurately measure the exact distance achieved on each drive, chip, or put despite being free
- The app will automatically track your handicap as it increases or decreases throughout rounds, allowing you to implement slight adjustments while playing
- The app’s paid subscription version does not offer many distinct benefits, resulting in most refusing to upgrade
- The app does not offer the same level of detail, functionality, or practicality compared to competing golf apps
3. Best Features: V1 Game
V1 Game offers the broadest and most appealing list of features out of all the available Apple Watch golf apps.
Over the last few years, the V1 Game golf app has become globally revered for its outstanding and technologically advanced feature offerings. Many argue that the V1 Game golf app comes standard with all the functionality required by golfers of any skill level.
One of the main and distinguishing features of the V1 Game golf app is its unmatched virtual caddie. The virtual caddie operates at a far higher and more detailed level compared to any other Apple Watch golf app currently available.
The V1 Game’s premium digital caddie allows players to obtain an extensively detailed insight into their completed rounds, accurate shot tracking, yardage readings, and crucial post-round statistics.
In addition, the built-in GPS tracker accounts for over 40.000 golf courses globally, the most extensive coverage offered by any modern Apple Watch golf app.
Moreover, the world-class built-in GPS functionality enables golfers to fully account for any upcoming water or other hazards, yardage to the green, suggested landing zones, and tricky bunkers avoid, which will induce immediate benefit on golfers with any playing level.
Importantly, the V1 Game golf app comes standard with advanced rangefinder technology, which has allowed it to close the figurative gap to expensive pieces of single-use golf equipment. The built-in range finder allows players to manually drop a pin on a specific location, with the golf app automatically selecting the most optimal club for the upcoming shot.
The V1 Game golf app is also known for its ability to track individual shots and club selection accurately.
The Apple Watch golf app’s advanced artificial intelligence offers appropriate suggestions and assistance regarding club selection as you progress through the round.
The technologically developed golf app and its appropriate suggestions allow players to enhance their distance control, ensuring the ball lands close to the hole during vital approach shots.
As with most of the best golf apps, the V1 Game digitally tracks the number of strokes taken per round, any penalties, FIRs, GIRs, putts per hole, and putts per round.
One of the golf app’s main distinguishing features is the ability to automatically upload all the data from your round to Apple’s cloud. It enables players to gain a unique, detailed, and thorough insight into their completed round.
Accessing incredibly detailed data will offer immediate benefits to most golfer’s games as they can improve upon various lagging aspects of their game.
While we highly recommend the V1 Game to players of all skill levels, the advanced virtual caddie and thorough accompanying insight render it best for players with medium or high handicaps as it will offer an accurate roadmap of their associated weaknesses and strengths.
The V1 Game golf app offers three distinct pricing options:
- The par package will cost $20 yearly, although it has significantly limited access to the premium features.
- The birdie package costs $60.00 yearly
- The eagle package will require players to fork out $120.00 monthly.
Despite the high membership costs, the V1 Game golf app and its incredible list of features render it worthwhile…
- The app contains accurate, informative, and appropriate data on more than 40.000 courses globally
- The app has an incredible built-in GPS rangefinder, providing critical indications of hazards, yardage, the green’s location, and various landing zones
- The app allows players of all skill levels to obtain detailed, thorough, and important insights into their game while suggesting appropriate areas for improvement
- The app enables users to utilize it as a digital or virtual scorecard, increasing accuracy, consistency, and enjoyment levels during rounds
- The app can effortlessly and accurately track the exact distance of each individual shot, allowing them to perform a detailed analysis once the round is complete
- The app consists of three different levels of subscription, opening its functionality to people no matter their current financial restrictions
- The free version and free trial are sufficient for amateur players, allowing them to track their shots and distances through the outstandingly accurate built-in GPS
- The app’s first subscription tier is not worth the additional money, as the accompanying features are limited
- The app’s top-tier subscription level will cost users $120 yearly, making it a costly investment for non-professional players
4. Best For Scoring: The Grint
Since its introduction, many golfers would agree that the golf app has digitally revolutionized the way scoring is recorded and analyzed.
Traditionally, there was no secure way of knowing where you were ranked while playing in various non-professional golf tournaments. Players only knew where they were placed once everyone had completed their rounds.
After an extensive testing process, it is clear that The Grint is the best scoring-based golf app currently available for the Apple Watch. In addition, The Grint allows users to accurately track their general shot accuracy while playing.
Interestingly, the golf app includes a unique feature that tracks any notable shanks players may have incurred that day.
Importantly, The Grint has become known for its remarkable accuracy when tracing the distance of each putt, including how many putts were required for each hole.
The specific putter utilized for each shot is included in post-match analytics, enabling players to understand how close they placed to various hazards along the course.
While The Grint is mainly known for its advanced and unique scoring tracker, it can perform as a golf GPS, providing accurate shot distances off drives, chip shots, and putts.
The Grint’s distinguishing feature is the ease of access it provides players of any skill level to access and update their ranking within the world handicap system.
We highly recommend The Grint golf app for players of any skill level, especially non-professional players.
While there are certain features you can get without a membership, obtaining the most use out of the golf app will only cost $40 yearly. It should be noted that players can only utilize the entire range of The Grint’s features on their Apple Watch if they pay the yearly subscription fee.
- The app allows players to accurately record the number of putts taken each round, distinguishing itself from most competing golf apps
- The app enables users to precisely track the number of strokes taken and stroke distance per hole
- The app provides accurate and informative data such as upcoming hazards, distance to their fairway, distance to the green, and general yardage
- The app is incredibly budget-friendly, with its annual subscription initially implemented to decrease the usual barrier to entry into professional golf ranks
- The app has a feature that allows users to track the club they utilized for an individual shot during complete rounds
- The app offers a relatively cheap subscription model; however, there is no free trial or free-to-use version, making it challenging for amateur players to thoroughly test
- The app does not provide users with the distance to the pin, with it being limited to the yardage of the green
Recap: Best Apple Watch Golf Apps
Golf apps for the Apple Watch have developed significantly over the last few years, with many claiming they have become direct competitors to the more expensive rangefinders and motion detectors
Currently, the best overall golf app for the Apple Watch is 18Birdies, although V1 Game, SwingU, and The Grint are incredibly close competitors.