Best Golf GPS Apps

Newer golfer here, and I am just getting into using FREE Golf GPS apps. Online, it seems like there are 5-7 that are highly rated. Honestly, I tried using one a couple weeks ago and just forgot to keep track during my round, due to the complexity of the app. I’m looking for the most hands off one possible, but one that also offers relevant data/options and a simple screen to navigate. Here are the three I have on my phone, but haven’t used: The Grint, Golf Pad, and Golf Logix.

What advice or recommendations do you have?

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Not to derail this thread, but I tried apps and ended up hating them because of bad coverage, bad battery life, or just carrying a phone on the course in general. I used an early model skycaddie for a few years and it was fine…but a pain to always be downloading courses if you play different ones.
I got an inexpensive rangefinder 2 years ago and absolutely love it. It is a toc toc toc and was like $125.
So reliable, so easy to use…never changed the battery and ami in about 100 rounds.


Welcome to the game and the forums! For GPS apps, it really all depends on what sort of data you are looking for. As far as simplicity goes, though, I’ve now found myself using the USGA GHIN app more than anything else. Assuming you are in the USA and have an official handicap, the basic functionality of the app is free. It has basic GPS distances and you can record score, GIR, fairways hit, miss direction (short, long, left right), and putts. You can look back on your stats and scores and also post scores directly there in the app.
There are also “premium” functions available for $40 per year that I might try soon for shot tracking and etc.

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18 Birdies is quite good. The intro stuff is free, but still offers course maps, your location, distance to front, middle, back, and shot tracking. It nags frequently about buying a subscription. If you do, there’s ‘caddy assistance’ where it will help you select a club, based on elevation, weather (I think), and how far you’ve been hitting that club in its database. Plus there’s video swing coaching with the subscription.
Lots of data mining, ahem ‘social media gaming’ opportunities in the app too.

Pretty sure Jon’s reviewed it here at some point.

You need a cell/wireless connection to use even the free parts on the course. Or at least that was my experience trying to use it on my wifi-only tablet. Which was annoying.

“Golfpad”, IIRC does work for shottracking without a wireless connection. PITA to juggle though for shot tracking, which was why I was looking forward to 18 Birdies. It was great for distances though—rest of the foursome kept looking to me for yardages all round, especially for “How far is that fairway bunker?”, kind of questions.

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I am brand new to the forum, but have been using Arccos for a few years and it has been great! To be fair it is not a free golf app, but it automatically tracks everything for you and provides some pretty solid strokes gained analysis. Early on I had issues with iPhone battery life, but in 2019 they addressed whatever used to drain the battery. I just check my iPhone between holes to make sure it captured everything, it’s that easy! The only strokes it occasionally misses are extremely short tap in putts.

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I was with Arccos until my subscription ran out. The system is really awesome, but I wasn’t willing to pay 100 EUR a year.

Tried most of the GPS-apps currently available on the Appstore: Golfshot, TAG Heuer, 18birdies, Hole19, SwingU, The Grint, Fore, HelloBirdie, mScorecard, TrackMyGolf, GolfLogix, BirdieApps - probably some other I don’t remember right now.

I liked GolfShot very much, and was subscribed to Pro, until one day it stopped working, and I would never get it back running again. I could start it up on my phone, look at my watch, and all it would show was 999 yards to everything, without any further interaction possible. I would then have to force close the app on my watch every time.

Decided between SwingU and Hole19, and then went with H19 for a year, and so far it has everything that I want/need: Scoring via Apple Watch, auto-change of hole when walking to the next tee, choice of scoring/no scoring/shot-by-shot. GPS distances are mostly in line with what my buddy’s Garmin S60 says.

At the time I subscribed you also got access to some video content on Skillest as a bonus, though I don’t know if they do grant that still. Also their customer service was really nice and quick and helpful when I contacted them.

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i use Golf Pad. The GPS is pretty accurate, Premium for $20 annually gives you all the bells and whistles to track everything. Way easier than keeping notes like I used to with pad and paper.

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I think I’ll try and purchase the V3 Shot Scope, as I tried apps but I don’t want to look at my phone while on the course.


I have the Shot Scope V3 and I love it. Rarely do I need to do any heavy editing after the round. I had an issue at one course where the holes were all mixed up, and I emailed them and it was fixed in 2 days. Great customer service! And the subscription is free. Just have to pay for the device. Jon sometimes has specials for the V3.

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I use the V3, awesome bit of kit, really useful in most situations.

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Have one also and very happy with it! As others have mentioned, I have no interest in spending time fiddling with my phone while on the course - playing golf.

ShotScope is buy it once / no subscription and the V3 has very accurate GPS plus easy to read distances to front & back of hazards along the way … all right on your wrist … very convenient, imho.

…and you’ll get a lot of good putting stats

I plan on buying a V3 watch for next year, but I’m the meantime I was able to find a really simple and practical app to use. Tag Heuer- it tracks your shot with easy, saves your information in a round recap, and allows you to view two different types of maps. It also serves as a caddie with Auto club selection.

First time using yesterday and was INCREDIBLE for a free app. Take time to download and try it. You do not need a watch with it, but it is optional.