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Golfshot GPS Review for Iphone 5 and IOS6

I’ve been a religious user of Golfshot GPS for the better part of the last 18 months.  I’ve logged over 50 rounds with it, and it’s become an integral part of my golfing life.

Up until recently I had an HTC Evo smartphone, and I used the Android version of Golfshot.  While I thought it was great in it’s simplicity, there were still things about it that, well, perturbed me.

Like the fact I couldn’t get a full round of 18 in without the battery dying – even when starting with a full charge.  Or the fact that the aerial GPS views took minutes to load, rendering them pretty useless.

And perhaps one of the most frustrating parts was that I knew there was a shiny new 3.0 version for iPhone users that had fixes to many of my complaints.

So you can imagine how excited I was when it finally rolled around to upgrade time and I could purchase my shiny new iPhone 5 with IOS6.

I will be completely honest, one of the biggest reasons for making this purchase was for golf.  Whether to have the latest version of the Golf GPS apps, or to take better photo and video on the course – I was pretty excited for my new toy.

First Impressions of Golfshot GPS on the iPhone 5 and OS6

First off, I should address the issue that I know there’s many people out there who have been having issues getting Golfshot to work with the latest Apple operating system.  I’ll say that I had absolutely no issues installing a new copy of the app, but if you have been, then check out this page for help.

Upon loading it up, I could already tell this was going to be a much faster experience. Golfshot on my old Android (more than phone’s fault than the app) was always a little slow, but on the new iPhone this thing flies.

The interface wasn’t much different than I was used to before, but there were a few handy features that really do make a difference.

Now when you tap the hole # on the GPS screen, instead of immediately launching into shot tracking, you’re given some options:

  • Shot Tracking
  • Notes
  • Score card
  • Photo

Some of these basic options like being able to take notes on holes are VERY welcome additions.  Seems like such a simple thing, but for courses you play on a regular basis this is huge.

The GPS seemed to find my location and distances quite accurately and fairly quickly.  It would usually take 3-5 seconds to full settle in on a distance, which really isn’t too big of a deal.

One of the features I was most excited for was shot tracking. I have a general idea of my club distances, but to be able to see it tracked makes a big difference.  I quickly found, at no fault to the app, that my swings are erratic enough that the shot tracking doesn’t give me a whole lot of useful information unless I have a couple really consistent rounds in a row.

For instance the very first shot I tracked was off the 10th tee at Red Tail in Portland, where I knocked my 3 hybrid 281 yards down the fairway.  Still not sure how I managed that one, but obviously that’s the exception rather than the rule.  It still tells me the average for the club is 241 yards – ha, I wish.

Once again, not the apps fault, and if you’re a better player this can be really handy.

Usability

This is first and foremost why I usually use Golfshot over other GPS apps – it’s the best looking and easiest to use.  If all I want to do is track the basic stats of my round and score, it’s extremely easy to do so.

Golfshot doesn’t get in the way of your golf game, and to enter in all of your info, it doesn’t take any more time than it would to write out the score on a score card.

That’s what I love.

If you’re looking for the most accurate, easiest to use, feature rich golf app, you’re definitely going to want to take a look at this.

Improvements

While Golfshot is a great app in and of itself, I have felt myself feeling slightly disappointed in my first few rounds with it on the iPhone. Why? Because it’s so close to being SO much better.

With the information it has, as well as screen real estate, it could provide a lot more usable information that would really be beneficial to my game.

So what are some examples?

  • Tell me what club I normally use on each hole.  At the end of every hole, I enter in what club I used off the tee.  On the “score” screen that you see after completing every hole it tells me my average fairways hit, GIR, score and putts for the hole in question.  While that’s great, why don’t you tell me which club I used off the tee and perhaps distances for my last three rounds.  If I’m debating between the driver and hybrid that info could be very handy.
  • Where are the notes? Once again there is a ton of screen real estate on the score page.  If I take notes on certain holes it should be easy to access and not buried in menus.  Right now I have to hit menu –> tracking history –> notes.  When it’s that buried it becomes a burdon.  Give me the option to add any notes on holes right to that score page.
  • Achievements.  What’s the longest drive I’ve ever hit on this hole? What about all time?  How far did I drive it last time?  Golfshot has the information to answer these questions, but it doesn’t present it to you.  It’s little things like this that could actually make the game more fun and boost the competition with friends.
Like I’ve said, the app is great and it does a good job of collecting a lot of info in a very non-intrusive way, what I’d love to see in future updates is the ability to at least toggle on and off some of this information on the score page.  This app has the potential to be my book of little secrets for every course I play, but it’s not quite there.

Tracking Stats Online

It was GREAT to see that when I switched from Android to iPhone ALL of my stats stayed in the online system, and I was even able to download it all right to the app.  The last thing you want to see is 50 rounds of data become unusable because of a platform switch.

On top of that however, after I updated I noticed I was getting even more data in my online stat room.

Along with a new club averages chart, I was also getting a distance recorded chart as well that showed any recorded swing distances for the round.  This is great because while the older Android app could tell me any distances I tracked – it didn’t save it anywhere.

One other nice improvement to the online interface was the inclusion of any round photos.  If I take a picture of a few holes I’ll be able to go back and retrieve those along with all of the other information from that particular round.  It’s touches like this that are getting Golfshot one step closer to being the perfect golf companion.

Battery Life

My biggest concern, and probably one of yours too, is how much battery life is this thing going to eat up? As I mentioned with my Android it would be a 50/50 shot as to whether or not I’d be able to finish my round.  I eventually turned off all the GPS features altogether and just used it for score and stats.

However the battery life using Golfshot GPS on my iPhone 5 has been unbelievable.  I started a round last week with a full charge and at the end of the round with intermittent email checking and phone calls I was still at 68%.  Thats pretty incredible for 4 hours of hard core use.

This alone made it worth the investment since I no longer had to worry about immediately plugging in my phone in my car after every round.

A Little Confusion

There is one thing that has been a little confusing about the app however.  There’s a feature called “swing recording” that you’ll notice in the “tracking history” menu as well as online.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to actually record a swing.  Until I saw online that it looks like this is enabled through a sister app sponsored by Tiger Woods.

I have no problem with this, as Golfshot is already WELL worth the $29.99, but it would be helpful if it was a little bit more clear as to how to enable this feature.  I’ll update once I pick up the app and give it a shot.

Bottom Line?

Golfshot GPS for iPhone is my favorite app I’ve used so far.  I have the most experience with it, and while I’ll be reviewing more of them soon, so far in my mind this is the one to beat.

If they can address some of the above issues that I mentioned in later versions of 3.x.x or 4, this will hands down be the best way to track statistics and get yardages on the market.

Grab Golfshot GPS from the App Store Now!

8.3

Good Things

  • Extremely easy to use on course
  • Not sexy, but functional
  • Great long term stat tracking

Bad Things

  • Could easily add more features
  • GPS can sometimes be slow
  • No frequent updates

The Breakdown


Ease of Use
10
Features
7
Design
8




There are 6 comments

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  1. Eric

    * Tell me what club I normally use on each hole.

    YES!

    I think they have corrected some of these issues in their “TourCaddie” app that charges an annual fee of $30 for the Pro features instead of the one time $30 for GolfShot. I know app development isn’t cheap so I do understand the cost in order to get continued feature enhancements – unfortunately, I already purchased GolfshotGPS so I’ll be getting at least 2 years out of it before I even consider TourCaddie. The good thing is, we can try TourCaddie for 30 days and import all of our GolfShot GPS data. I’ll still use Golfshot for the next two seasons or I’d be throwing $30 in the can.

    Their website FAQs for GolfShot still say that it is an “Introductory” price and that they are working on new features that will be an added cost but that the app itself will always be subscription free. It sounds like they realized this wasn’t sustainable and focused development on TourCaddie.

    I could be completely wrong and may have to eat my words if they fix some of the bugs I’ve reported and continue to release new versions with added features sets. I wouldn’t mind paying to ‘unlock’ a feature like club recommendations / previously used clubs and previous notes, but I’m not ditching my $30 one time app for a $30/yr app for it.

    I do find myself pausing the round to hit the ‘stats’ page so I can get avg club distance a lot.

    — new to the game, trying to keep it consistently under 100.

  2. Eric

    You already know this, but I found the “club averages” button instead of pausing my round to go to Stats – very helpful. One thing I don’t understand, shouldn’t tracking history pull up previous tracked swings, previous pictures, and previous notes for that specific hole?

    I don’t care so much about the tracked swings although it would help me remember what club I used on the tee in times past, but having running notes history for that course & hole would be amazingly helpful. Maybe it does and I just haven’t put any notes down before – what have you found?

    The alternative would be to go to the web app, print off my previous rounds and carry paper with me for my hole notes but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having an app?

  3. Milan Blazek

    Hello Sean,
    as you said, great review. I have been using Golfshot now for years. However the latest version is not as good as the old one. Lucky I saved the old version, so Im not updating anymore. I would update only if they add side beting features or etc.

    have a nice day and good game

    Milan aka Czexican

  4. Bob

    I purchased Golfshot years ago. As of last year, I no longer have the GPS view. In this view, you can move a cursor around a pic of the hole on your screen. It is excellent for estimating a distance for a layup. I don’t know why this was dropped. I purchased this app specifically for this feature. Make sure the app you buy has this GPS feature. I have emailed them this year and last, but they have not responded to me. Make sure the app you buy has customer support.


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