If you’re like a lot of Apple Watch users I’m sure you’ve asked, “What is the best golf app for Apple Watch?”
This is a great question as there have never been more apps and gadgets to help your golf game. While there are tons of great golf apps out there, not all work well with smartwatches.
But things are changing as golf app developers understand that players want shot tracking and golf GPS from their watches. So we checked out the best golf app reviews to find out which one will work best for you and found some great ones.
Best Golf App for Apple Watch
When it comes to creating a game plan for a golf course you have a few options; a rangefinder, GPS handheld device,GPS watch, and/or an app for your phone. A rangefinder is great (check out our list of the best ones here) but they don’t give you much information about the hole other than distance to the flag. Unless you splurge for the Garmin Z82 which is part GPS, part rangefinder.
The second option are GPS handheld devices or watches as they provide a lot more data about each shot. While they are great, sometimes they’re a bit overwhelming for certain types of golfers. However they provide a ton of information about your game and more details about the course too.
The final option of course is an app on your phone – which for more than 50% of the population uses an iPhone. An Apple Watch is also a great way to turn your phone into a powerhouse on the course.
- An Apple Watch is a very popular wearable device that can help you on or off the golf course. While the built-in fitness trackers are great, there are tons of apps to help your game while playing golf.
- Some of the best apps include The Grint, Golfshot, Arccos, SwingU, and more.
- Whether you want to track statistics, learn more about your strokes gained, or keep score, there’s an app that can help.
Keep reading to learn more about these game-changing golf apps to take your game to new heights.
Apple Watch vs. Golf Watch
Before getting into the apps that pair well with Apple Watches, let’s first discuss if you should use it or a GPS golf watch? With so many great golf GPS watches (especially ones like Garmin) you have to choose between an Apple Watch golf app or a watch dedicated solely for golf.
When the Apple Watch was first released it lacked a lot of integrations and a dedicated golf watch was a better choice for most golfers. Luckily a lot of apps have Apple Watch integration now to provide GPS distances, blind shot compass, and some golf apps automatically track your shots too.
If you don’t have an Apple Watch, a golf watch might be the way to go as they’re usually cheaper than Apple Watches. But if you already have an Apple Watch or are planning to get one, you won’t need to buy another one just for golf.
The selection of best golf apps (both paid and free) on an Apple Watch are better than ever so let’s get into the ones we recommend.
Arccos Golf App
When it comes to tracking your statistics and learning more insights about your game, it’s hard to top Arccos Golf.
The Gen3+ Smart Sensors (read our full review about them here) screw into the grips of your clubs to help track shot data during the round. The data is then analyzed inside the app to learn more than ever about your game from tee to green.
Arccos App is available on both Apple and Android devices – including the Apple Watch. It’s also free which makes it one of the best apps available. But there is one major downside – you need to buy the sensors to work with the app.
However, the Arccos App now has specific features to pair with your Apple Watch. As they said on their website, “Now features significant enhancements to the experience for players seeking to record their on-course shot data without carrying their phone in pocket during play.”
Here’s how it works – when you are ready to play, open the app on your watch, select the tees/course, and let the app sync with sensors. This will allow the app to sync with the sensors to know which club is used for every shot. Then, play golf and let the app do the work for you.
Other features of Arccos include:
- Shot detection: This app automatically tracks your shots to analyze your game without your phone.
- A.I. rangefinder yardages: Get the Arccos Caddie number directly to your wrist for a recommended club based on previous shot data.
- Ability to set the pin: You can easily change the pin location and make other edits such as changing a putt to a chip or vice versa.
These sensors and app are a great way to learn more about your game and made for serious golfers. Also, it’s very user-friendly so don’t get intimidated into thinking it might get in the way of playing your best golf. The Arccos caddie app is optimized for Apple Watch 5 and newer.
The Grint App – Easy to Use
The Grint is a great Apple Watch app that is very easy to use and more for casual players. While they do have a free version you need to invest in the paid version to pair with your watch.
If you’re more of a beginner golfer who wants to study your game a bit more without overwhelming strokes gained data, it’s a good choice. Some features include:
- Live leaderboard.
- Track as you play scoring.
- Scorecard picture service.
- Pro stats that are designed for all types of golfers.
- More than 40,000 mapped golf courses around the world.
Hilariously, you can even log how many drinks you’ve had during the round – this type of feature would make John Daly proud. The paid app is $39.99/year which is a fraction of the price of other best golf apps on this list.
VPAR App – Best Scoring App
If you need an app to help with live scoring, challenges, stat tracking, and GPS capabilities, VPAR is definitely one of the best golf apps. This app works specifically well in tournaments as you can create a live leaderboard and make a round with multiple groups of players a lot more exciting.
Even if you’re playing golf as a solo player (or not in a tournament) it’s very useful with the front, middle, and back distances to the green. This makes it easier to dial in your approach shot strategy and find the right club for any shot.
Additionally, this app also helps with stat tracking. You can easily enter your fairways hit, greens in regulation, and putts to gain more valuable insight to your game.
The VPAR Premium app also helps with advanced scoring for multi-round events, multi-tee time setup, custom hole configuration, round reports, and more. It’s only 39.99 euro/year or 4.99 euro/month to get started (also available on the Google Play Store).
Golfshot is a very popular app that has a free and paid version. It also works with multiple wearables including Apple Watch, Samsung watches, and Android Wear OS watches.
As they said on their website, “Auto Shot Tracking, real-time distances to the green, hazards and targets on 47,000+ courses and 500,000+ holes worldwide, right from your watch.”
The free version of the app has tons of great features including in-depth statistics, 3D hole and course flyovers, track/record each shot, and more. While the paid version ($59.99/year) allows you to unlock even more features including:
- More in-depth dynamic 3D flyovers.
- Club recommendations based on previous game performance.
- Real time distances to hazards and targets on more than 40,000 golf courses.
- Post your scores to the GHIN handicap system and advanced scoring features of skins, Nassau, and match play games.
The Apple Watch features include distances to front, center, and back of the green (with basic hole information) on more than 47,000 golf courses. It also allows you to score on the watch and keep stats for fairways, GIR, recovery, putting, and club used. You can easily search the course you play often inside the app or on the website to ensure it’ll work at your local club.
While the pro version allows for multiple player scoring (up to 8 on a single watch) and automatic shot tracking for a more seamless experience. This makes it easier to play distraction free, focus on your game, but still learn valuable insights about your game afterward. Plus, it has haptic and audio feedback when enabled to ensure your swing is detected.
Hole 19 Golf GPS and Scorecard App
Another one of the best Apple Watch golf apps is Hole 19. This app is “the most complete mobile app for golfers” with more than 2.8 million users worldwide. It’s available on the App Store and Google Play.
On the Apple Watch golf app it makes it easy to get the essentials on your watch without needing to use your phone. You’ll get hole details (par, distance) and front, middle, and back of green distances.
You can also easily input all of your shots, putts, penalty shots, and more that will sync to your phone. The shot tracking also helps you track individual shots to learn more about your game.
All of these features are part of the free app but the premium version has significantly more features. Some of these include watch scoring, match play, augmented reality, shot by shot tracking, notes, handicap simulator, and more. Plus, you can try out the premium version for a free 7-day trail then opt for a monthly, bi-annual, or yearly plan.
TAG Heuer Golf App
Believe it or not but TAG Heuer – the luxury watch brand – also makes a golf app for Apple watches. This is because they have a very high-end golf watch that looks great on or off the course (but it’s far from cheap).
One of the perks of this app is the 2D & 3D flyovers which make it easy to create a solid tee box strategy. This is a huge advantage if you’re playing a new golf course or one that has a lot of blind tee shots.
The TAG Heuer Golf App also provides club recommendations, shot tracking, and a driving zone feature. It’s like having a caddy on your wrist to help you make better decisions on the golf course.
The premium features also have on-device scoring for up to four people at a time. Even if you’re playing a Stableford tournament (which is very fun but a pain to score) this app makes it easy to keep score.
FAQs About Golf Apps for Apple Watches
Do you have more questions about finding the right golf app for your watch? If so, keep reading through the most frequently asked questions and answers now.
What is the best golf program for Apple Watch?
It depends if you need a golf yardage app, score tracking, and other key features. All the ones above provide tons of information to help your game.
Is Golfshot a free app?
Golfshot is a free app but there is a premium version for a flat fee of $99 per year at the time of this publishing. The Golfshot app continues to rank as one of the best golf apps for Apple Watch thanks to its endless features.
Do golf apps keep score?
Yes, a lot of apps work as a digital scorecard and make it easier than doing it the old-school method. Not to mention you can even see live leaderboards with some apps which is great if you’re playing with a big group of friends. Plus, the apps usually analyze your score and shots to provide more analytics about your game.
Can I use the Apple Watch for golf GPS without a phone?
Most apps do allow you to get essential features even if your phone isn’t on you. As Golf Pad said, “You can use a GPS-equipped Apple Watch (series 2 or later) even when you don’t carry an iPhone in your pocket!
Simply start the round on the iPhone and put it away. You’ll see rangefinder distances and club recommendations right on the watch. You can change holes and track shots and more.”
What is the best free golf app for Apple Watch?
When it comes to a free Apple Watch app it depends on the features you need. But we love the SwingU golf app as well as the free version of Golfshot. Both of these apps make it easy to learn more about the course and even book tee times too.
Can Apple Watch track your golf swing?
Most apps for the Apple Watch are more for GPS rangefinder capabilities, score tracking, and virtual caddie features – not swing analysis. However, a ton of golf apps are better suited to learn about your swing like the V1 golf app.
Is there a golf app that works for Apple Watch?
Yes, there are no shortages of apps that work with the Apple Watch. As golf continues to grow alongside the popularity of Apple Watches developers keep rolling out new products for golfers. Some of our favorite apps include The Grint, Arccos Golf, Golfshot, and more.
How to Pick the Right App
As you can tell there are no shortage of options when it comes to finding the best golf app for Apple Watch. If you aren’t sure which is right for you, here is a good way to compare them.
Depending on what you’re looking for in a golf app you might need more than one if it doesn’t have all the features you’d like. For example, some apps are much better with GPS and have more courses but don’t have as many shot tracking features. While others are great with scoring and creating a live leaderboard, but aren’t great with tracking stats.
Number of Courses
One of the main reasons that people choose to use apps for golf is to act as a GPS and provide detailed hole information. But some apps have a lot more golf courses included than others. In fact, several of the apps mentioned above provide data for more than 40,000 golf courses.
If you’re the type of golfer who loves to travel this gives it a huge edge as you’ll never have to play a course blind.
Data and Battery Usage
Some apps for Apple Watch can use a lot of data and battery usage so make sure to plan accordingly. Luckily a lot of golf carts have USB chargers or you can always buy an extra one to make sure your devices are charged during the round.
Another factor when picking the right app of course is price. A lot of the apps mentioned above are free (or have a free version) but there are some paid apps too.
Some of the paid versions are an annual fee while others are recurring monthly fees. Make sure to double-check the billing before buying as apps can change frequently.
Lastly, don’t forget to think about how different apps can pair with other devices like Arccos Smart Sensors or rangefinder. For example, some rangefinders now come with an app to provide more details such as hole overviews and club recommendation tools. This can turn a stand-alone device into one that is even more beneficial to your game.
Technology has made the game easier and highly recommend using apps, GPS devices, rangefinders, and anything that can help. This game is hard enough as it is so don’t make it harder by ignoring all the great technology we can access.
I’m not a big watch guy (on or off the course) but several of my friends use these Apple Watch golf apps and love them. Some players use the GPS rangefinder capabilities, others like to use them more for stat tracking and game analysis. That’s what great about these golf apps – there is one for anything.
New apps and software have helped me improve my strategy (like Decade Golf), track my statistics better, and understand the course a lot better. A GPS or app on your smartphone can make a big difference in making sure you have the right strategy for every hole.
While there are tons of benefits to wearing a golf watch, they’re not always the most comfortable for some golfers… especially when playing in the heat or rain. But if you’re the type of person who wears a watch off the golf course too, it shouldn’t be a big deal. However, don’t let it hurt your performance or keep you mentally distracted either.
Final Thoughts on Golf Apps for Apple Watch
Technology like the free Apple Watch apps golf and paid apps make the game a lot easier to manage.
In a sport that is wildly difficult, it’s great to have resources like these apps to strategize the course and learn more about your game. The PGA Tour gets access to unbelievable data using ShotLink which helps them identify weaknesses and improve them in the off season.
Luckily, you don’t have to become a professional golfer to reap a lot of these rewards too. The apps above can not only act like a caddy on the course but also analyze your game. Then between rounds or in the off season you can use the data to identify and improve the weaker parts of your game.
This should help you take the “guessing’ out of practice and instead hit the range or short game area with purpose.