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Looking for a decent iPhone GPS app


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Most the time I use my laser to get yardages. However, lately I've been playing some new courses that call for a lot of target golf. I'm looking for an iPhone GPS app to supplement my laser to get yardages to layup areas where it's difficult to shoot a laser yardage.

 

I do not care about any other feature. I.e., I don't need to track shots, keep score, record statistics, etc. Accuracy of the yardages is key.

 

It doesn't have to be free but I'd like it to be reasonably priced since I probably would use it only a handful of times per round.

 

Thanks!

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The Grint has failed me a couple times on yardages where it seemed like it was lagging behind for a few seconds. Just enough for me to grab a club thinking I was 175 out when I was actually more like 160. Once or twice I made a bad decision while trusting it before I realized there was a little lag and some inaccuracy. You can't beat the immediate feedback of a range finder, even with a paid app.

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I played The Bull at Pinehurst Farms today (Jack Nicklaus design). 18 Birdies worked like a charm. A guy I was playing with only had a laser and was struggling to get layup yardages. At first I helped him out with my app but about the 9th hole he downloaded 18 Birdies himself and used it for the rest of the round. He was impressed.

 

I can't believe the small amount of battery I used. Used it the entire round and burned up only about 10-15% of my battery power. And I was using the phone for other things as well.

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Going to try 18 Birdies on Android for those interested. I don't have an iPhone, but came in here looking for a free/inexpensive GPS app and thought I'd see if the best iPhone app is also on Android. It looks like 18 Birdies is the winner in here and it is also available for Android.

 

My home course did some course redesign last year for flood mitigation reasons and my old app is mostly useless for the back nine and I've struggled with yardages. I just looked up the course and it looks like they have the update configuration, which is fantastic.

 

I'm using a Google Pixel 3 XL and pending weather, I'll give it a test run tonight.

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> @"Big A HG" said:

> Going to try 18 Birdies on Android for those interested. I don't have an iPhone, but came in here looking for a free/inexpensive GPS app and thought I'd see if the best iPhone app is also on Android. It looks like 18 Birdies is the winner in here and it is also available for Android.

>

> My home course did some course redesign last year for flood mitigation reasons and my old app is mostly useless for the back nine and I've struggled with yardages. I just looked up the course and it looks like they have the update configuration, which is fantastic.

>

> I'm using a Google Pixel 3 XL and pending weather, I'll give it a test run tonight.

 

Cool. Let us know how it goes.

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> @"Big A HG" said:

> Going to try 18 Birdies on Android for those interested. I don't have an iPhone, but came in here looking for a free/inexpensive GPS app and thought I'd see if the best iPhone app is also on Android. It looks like 18 Birdies is the winner in here and it is also available for Android.

>

> My home course did some course redesign last year for flood mitigation reasons and my old app is mostly useless for the back nine and I've struggled with yardages. I just looked up the course and it looks like they have the update configuration, which is fantastic.

>

> I'm using a Google Pixel 3 XL and pending weather, I'll give it a test run tonight.

 

 

The weather subsided, so I was able to get out this evening. Unfortunately, the course was a little wet, so it was walking-only, which meant I only had time for nine.

 

First thoughts: What a fantastic app! I stuck with the free version starting out, but it certainly wasn't short on features. Features weren't something I was looking for really. All I was hoping for was a solid front/middle/back GPS measurement. However, I really liked the goals you can set before starting your round. They were in the back of my mind, especially on approach shots trying to hit my GIR goal. I also was a big fan of the satellite view that allowed me to measure distance on a map to target landing areas. It was easy and intuitive to use. I didn't dive into everything the app had to offer, but enjoyed what it did.

 

GPS Accuracy: The GPS was accurately inaccurate. What I mean by that is, I feel like the entire course map is off by about 7-8 yards. That means that on one hole, it might give you a yardage that's 7-8 yards too far, and the next hole going back in the opposite direction might be 7-8 yards too short. On perpendicular holes, you'd actually be pretty accurate. When factoring in this error, the GPS was very accurate. However, it'd be nice not to have to consider this. I submitted a post-round constructive comment about this, so hopefully they take a look and are able to make an adjustment. There was one wildly inaccurate tee box location, but I was able to adjust the marker on map.

 

Going forward: This was only a test on nine holes, so I definitely want to get out and use it more. At my home course, the back nine is where most of the renovation work took place during the last couple of seasons, so I'm eager to see how it works on the backside. I'll keep playing with some features and hopefully try it out on some other courses here soon as well.

 

All-in-all, I'd highly suggest the app, even if you are a rangefinder user.

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> @"Big A HG" said:

 

> GPS Accuracy: The GPS was accurately inaccurate. What I mean by that is, I feel like the entire course map is off by about 7-8 yards. That means that on one hole, it might give you a yardage that's 7-8 yards too far, and the next hole going back in the opposite direction might be 7-8 yards too short. On perpendicular holes, you'd actually be pretty accurate. When factoring in this error, the GPS was very accurate. However, it'd be nice not to have to consider this. I submitted a post-round constructive comment about this, so hopefully they take a look and are able to make an adjustment. There was one wildly inaccurate tee box location, but I was able to adjust the marker on map.

 

 

Out of curiosity, does anyone know if this is common for GPS apps?

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> @Im_A_Savage said:

> > @"Big A HG" said:

>

> > GPS Accuracy: The GPS was accurately inaccurate. What I mean by that is, I feel like the entire course map is off by about 7-8 yards. That means that on one hole, it might give you a yardage that's 7-8 yards too far, and the next hole going back in the opposite direction might be 7-8 yards too short. On perpendicular holes, you'd actually be pretty accurate. When factoring in this error, the GPS was very accurate. However, it'd be nice not to have to consider this. I submitted a post-round constructive comment about this, so hopefully they take a look and are able to make an adjustment. There was one wildly inaccurate tee box location, but I was able to adjust the marker on map.

>

>

> Out of curiosity, does anyone know if this is common for GPS apps?

 

In my experiences over the years with other apps, it really seems to come down to the course. I've played plenty where having a GPS was almost as good as a rangefinder. Others, you may as well save the battery and leave your phone put away and hope the sprinkler heads (if marked) and other markers are somewhat accurate.

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> @"Big A HG" said:

> > @"Big A HG" said:

> > Going to try 18 Birdies on Android for those interested. I don't have an iPhone, but came in here looking for a free/inexpensive GPS app and thought I'd see if the best iPhone app is also on Android. It looks like 18 Birdies is the winner in here and it is also available for Android.

> >

> > My home course did some course redesign last year for flood mitigation reasons and my old app is mostly useless for the back nine and I've struggled with yardages. I just looked up the course and it looks like they have the update configuration, which is fantastic.

> >

> > I'm using a Google Pixel 3 XL and pending weather, I'll give it a test run tonight.

>

>

> The weather subsided, so I was able to get out this evening. Unfortunately, the course was a little wet, so it was walking-only, which meant I only had time for nine.

>

> First thoughts: What a fantastic app! I stuck with the free version starting out, but it certainly wasn't short on features. Features weren't something I was looking for really. All I was hoping for was a solid front/middle/back GPS measurement. However, I really liked the goals you can set before starting your round. They were in the back of my mind, especially on approach shots trying to hit my GIR goal. I also was a big fan of the satellite view that allowed me to measure distance on a map to target landing areas. It was easy and intuitive to use. I didn't dive into everything the app had to offer, but enjoyed what it did.

>

> GPS Accuracy: The GPS was accurately inaccurate. What I mean by that is, I feel like the entire course map is off by about 7-8 yards. That means that on one hole, it might give you a yardage that's 7-8 yards too far, and the next hole going back in the opposite direction might be 7-8 yards too short. On perpendicular holes, you'd actually be pretty accurate. When factoring in this error, the GPS was very accurate. However, it'd be nice not to have to consider this. I submitted a post-round constructive comment about this, so hopefully they take a look and are able to make an adjustment. There was one wildly inaccurate tee box location, but I was able to adjust the marker on map.

>

> Going forward: This was only a test on nine holes, so I definitely want to get out and use it more. At my home course, the back nine is where most of the renovation work took place during the last couple of seasons, so I'm eager to see how it works on the backside. I'll keep playing with some features and hopefully try it out on some other courses here soon as well.

>

> All-in-all, I'd highly suggest the app, even if you are a rangefinder user.

 

They probably used an image that was innacurate to map the course. So let's say the image is shifted 8 yards east, holes heading east will be 8 yards longer, conversely holes heading the opposite direction (west) will be 8 yards shorter. Holes perpendicular are splitting the difference and will be more accurate. Obviously courses are not built with holes going nose to tail in the same direction, but if they were in this case, you would see the same yardage error either all short or all wrong.

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> @SnowPlow said:

> They probably used an image that was innacurate to map the course. So let's say the image is shifted 8 yards east, holes heading east will be 8 yards longer, > conversely holes heading the opposite direction (west) will be 8 yards shorter. Holes perpendicular are splitting the difference and will be more accurate.

> Obviously courses are not built with holes going nose to tail in the same direction, but if they were in this case, you would see the same yardage error either > all short or all wrong.

 

This is exactly what I was thinking. The map just needed adjusting. How they can test or correct that, though, I'm not sure. The data/gps points and map they use are likely going to them with this error built-in. I didn't get a chance to hit the back nine last night, so it remains to be seen whether the back nine is accurate or not. They have the correct map loaded, but with the tee box location error I had on the 9th hole during my front-nine trek, I'm not entirely confident that the course routing matches the imagery yet. Maybe tonight I'll get a chance to go out, but a sick wife and kid may ball and chain me for another night.

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I was able to hit the back nine up tonight. I'm not sure if 18 Birdies adjusted the map since two days ago (I'd be surprised if they could do that, much less do it that quickly), but I had some tighter tolerances than on Monday. The best news for me is, the back nine was accurate to the most recent course updates. For the parts that were a little off, I was able to tweak my yardages right in app.

 

While playing with 18 Birdies, I was also trying out The Grint for the first time, I somewhat similar app. The yardages I was receiving seemed to be identical to both apps, which I'm guessing means they are getting their data from the same source (Google). That was until The Grint went haywire on the GPS map side of things, so I stuck with 18 Birdies the rest of the way. I do like The Grint for tracking my scoring a bit more than 18 Birdies, and I can do that bit on my computer, which I will continue to utilize.

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I was using Hole 19 because it was free and paired with my Apple Watch. The yardages were hit and miss and sometimes the app wouldn't load. I just tried Golfshot and will stick with this forever. It's $30 a year, but the app is amazing. Full images of the course, each hole, interactive with real time distances to bunkers, etc. You can also just try it month to month for $7. The price is steep for an app, but when you consider what you get out of it, it's nothing over the course of the season compared to what we all pay for other crap already.

DR: Mavrik SZ - Tour AD XC 7S
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Irons (4-P): Mizuno MP-20 MMC - KBS $ X
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Ball: 2021 Pro V1

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I use FunGolf GPS and I use it with my Apple watch. I love it, and I have tried several others including The Grint, Hole 19, Golfshot, and a couple I can’t remember.

 

What I like about Fun Golf (now Tag Hauer) is that you get a plan view of each hole on the watch, showing all significant features. You use the crown of the watch to dial the line cursor to any feature of the hole - incredibly versatile, you get the distance to anything you want. Also, the gps is instant and stable. I ran into problems with lag and instability on all of the apps I tried. In fairness to the other apps, I was using them with the watch, and they are probably just fine with the iphone.

 

I have never tried Fungolf on my iphone. If it works like it does on the watch, I would highly recommend it. I use it like you want to use it - I use my laser to shoot pins and various other features that are amenable to the laser.

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