Rangefinders are super accurate. But if you don’t want to have to invest in, keep up with, and carry around a rangefinder, then a golf GPS app is a great substitute. Plus, they all come with lots of extra features to make your life easier.
No one likes long introductions for a simple article. Here are the 3 best golf GPS apps for your iPhone or Android phone. We’ll start with premium (paid) versions and then talk about the best free versions as well.
Some other, similar articles that you may like:
- the best golf gadgets on the market
- the 5 must-have golf related apps for iPhone/Android (not just GPS… just overall great golf apps)
The Best Paid/Premium Golf GPS Apps
If you want all of the premium features, then you’ll have to pay up. Sure, free apps can do a decent bit. But you’ll deal with annoying ads and won’t be able to do all of the cool things that the premium versions allow. If golf is a big part of your life, then just bite the bullet and pay up. They are typically the price of a single round per year, if not less.
Best Paid Golf GPS App for iPhone: TheGrint
Truthfully, TheGrint is the best golf app of all time in my opinion. If they had a better Android app, then there wouldn’t be a need to break this up into iPhone/Android categories. TheGrint would win hands down. Unfortunately, their Android app has lots of bad reviews due to lagging & randomly closing out.
TheGrint is simply an all around great app. They have practically every course on GPS that you can think of, and can add any courses quickly if needed. It’s a very easy to use interface, and can pair perfectly with your watch if you’d like.
Their free version is incredible, but the Pro is even better. With the Handicap membership ($20/year), you get a World Golf Handicap Index (includes a GHIN and is part of the USGA database) that you can submit scored directly into through the app. No need to use any clunky website or service to enter your scores and keep up with your handicap!
- You can use their GPS on 38,000+ courses. If the course isn’t included, you can just reach out to them and they’ll add in within 2 business days. Typically off by no more than 2-3 yards.
- Incredible customer service. They respond to all emails and all reviews. You can tell they genuinely want to make the best golf GPS app out there, even for their free customers.
- Super easy scoring features for groups. The scorekeeper can add other golfers to the round, keep their score, and it is automatically uploaded to their profile. You can use it for tournaments, betting with your friends, or leagues.
- All the stats you need: Scoring, Putting, GIR%, FIR%, Iron Accuracy, Scrambling, and more
- USGA Handicaps: they provide USGA handicaps and allow you to upload scores directly to your handicap index to keep an accurate handicap
Best Paid Golf GPS App for Android: GolfShot
If you have an Android device, I’d recommend the GolfShot App. The app is far higher quality than TheGrint’s Android app, and the yardages are slightly more accurate. Most users experience distances being within 1-2 yards of a rangefinder. It comes with almost every feature of TheGrint, except for group scoring features, and includes some extra ones like video help (extra money), a virtual reality feature, voice assistant, and tee time booking. So, if you want the group scoring feature, then I’d just get TheGrint and deal with the small annoying app closures that you might (or might not) experience.
By the way, the free version of GolfShot is pretty sweet if you just want the distance to the center of the green. Let’s be real, here. Do you really need the distance to the flag? As if the 175 shot is drastically going to change your result compared to a 171 yard shot. Most golfers SHOULD be aiming to the center of the green anyway. That maximizes (in all 4 directions) your margin of error of keeping the ball on the green.
Overall, GolfShot has a much better user interface (UI) and more accurate yardages than 18Birdies, Hole 19, & TheGrint,
- GPS Distances: Get real-time distances to the green, hazards and targets on over 40,000 courses worldwide, the most on-course data ever provided.
- Scoring & Statistics: Put away the pencil with digital scorecards and statistics that go where you go for easier scoring and game tracking.
- Golfscape AR: Award-winning augmented reality feature that lets you view hole distances in a completely unique way.
- Handicap Index: Purchase or link your GHIN Number and post scores to your Handicap Index right from Golfshot.
- Voice Assistant: Leave your phone in your pocket and listen to real-time distances to the green.
- Tee Time Booking & Savings through GolfNow Benefits: Can book tee times (up to 80% off) directly through the app through GolfNow. $20 off a HotDeal on GolfNow pays for half the price of the first year.
Price: $40/year. Price will never increase if you remain a Pro member. So even if they raise prices to $50/year, you’ll continue to pay $40 forever. For an extra $20/year, you’ll get access to a video library with PGA teaching pros to help your game. Truthfully, everything you’ll ever want is on Youtube for free. Just my opinion.
TheGrint vs GolfShot Golf App Comparison
GolfShot’s GPS is a little better in terms of ease-of-use. It also seemed to be “off” by a couple of yards less than TheGrint on average.
The Grint though has a much more intuitive handicap features that GolfShot lacked. If you play tournaments, then I definitely see the benefit of TheGrint over GolfShot. If you don’t care about your handicap, then I’d recommend GolfShot overall as it’s more precise and has more features.
If you like playing with friends (and tracking everyone’s score), then TheGrint wins hands down. For example, during a round with my buddies, only one person in my round has to keep score. That person can add the rest of the group as a participant, which allows you to still view the scorecard from your phone as it updates. After the round the score is automatically added to each golfer’s app. In GolfShot, if only 1 person keeps score, it will email you the score but it won’t actually add it as a round in anyone else’s app. You would have to manually add it in later.
What’s also kind of nice about TheGrint is if you and all your friends use Grint, you get notified when they are playing and you can track their round live, which is kinda fun. I get texts from my friends if I’m having a particularly good round or if I’m stinking it up. Finally the picture scorecard of TheGrint upload is really fast and really easy.
Oh, and the price of TheGrint is half the price of GolfShot.