Best Golf GPS Apps For Smartphones – iPhone, Android & Apple Watch

Best Golf GPS Apps For Smartphones – iPhone, Android & Apple Watch

Golf GPS Rangefinder Apps are so beneficial to your golf game. Golf GPS Apps For Smartphones are cheaper alternatives to golf GPS watches and laser rangefinders.

Some of the best golf GPS apps can perform just as well if not better while saving you plenty of cash to spend on clubs, lessons and new courses.

With the massive growth in popularity in smartwatches, most of the golf GPS Apps also have the the added feature of been

Best Golf GPS Apps For Smartphones

best golf gps apps

I think Golf GPS devices are one of the greatest innovations in golf over the past decade, especially for amateur golfers.

Golf GPS watches and laser rangefinders are very expensive, costing up to $500 each for some of the better models. 

However, most of already own a powerful GPS device, our everyday SMARTPHONE.

By downloading one of the best golf GPS apps right to our phone we transform our phones into a powerful golf GPS rangefinder with endless features to help lower your scores.

GolfShot GPS App Review

The GolfShot Plus comes preloaded with over 40,000 courses worldwide. The GolfShot Plus is one of the best golf GPS apps available with key features include hazard yardages, shot tracking and scoring, hole overviews, etc.

When you download the app and launch it on your smartphone. You are prompted to set up an account. Once you set up your account,on the home screen you will see a few options available to you – Play golf, statistics, scorecards and account.

Premium Features

The GolfShot App boasts plenty of premium features that may surprise you. With smartphones becoming so advanced, it’s amazing what the best golf GPS apps for smartphones can do

Plays Like Yardages

Using the ‘Play Golf’ feature activates the GPS on your smartphone. The GPS will determine your location and find the nearest golf courses to you. You can also search courses manually.


When starting your round, you can add up to for golfers and mark their scores for the round. Personally I like the traditional way of doing things but I do use it to track my own scores for post round analysis.

The scorecard is very easy to use. It’s also more advanced than I thought. You can also note fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts taken. Once you are finished your round, the app will email your full round.


The statistic option on the home screen is where you can view the past rounds and do some post round analysis.

The Golfshot App offers some excellent stats and percentages that will really highlight the pros and cons of you game.

You will see GIR, up & down saves and it is presented in nice professional style chart.

Excellent Yardage Info

best golf gps apps

As you are playing each hole, you will be shown yardages to front, middle and back of the green. This is pretty basic information nowadays.

What I love about the GolfPlus GPS app is the additional detailed yardage you receive. The app gives you yardages to bunkers, hazard and also some layup distances.

You can view each hole in both colourful graphics or aerial photos. Personally I prefer the graphics.

Drains Battery

One major drawback using the GolfShot Plus is how much it drains the battery of your phone in GPS mode. When you are using the app on the course it will drain the battery dramatically.

If you have a smartphone that has a poor performing battery, you need to be sure that it’s fully charged before you play your round.

GolfShot Works With Apple Watch

best golf gps apps for apple watch

With the GolfShot App you can also download it for your Apple Watch. This instantly turns your Apple Watch into a golf GPS watch.

You can track all the key features like the yardages to front, middle and back of the green. View hazard info to bunkers and also do a green view to check the pin location of the yardage.

One thing I wish you could do is move the pin around the green. Like you can do on some of the Golf watches like the Garmin S20 & S60.

It’s also not available for Android smartwatches yet.

GolfShot App For Smartphones

best golf gps apps

The GolfShot is one of the best golf GPS Apps for smartphones available to download. It’s an excellent performing golf GPS app that will not disappoint.

It gives you detailed course information, accurate yardages, easy to your score features and excellent post round analysis.

The detailed analytics do not overwhelm you. The app clearly highlights where you need to improve your game.


  • Accurate yardages
  • Easy to use scoring
  • Detailed course overview
  • Excellent yardages to greens, bunkers, hazards and lay up information
  • Preloaded with 40,000 courses
  • Nice analytics graphics
  • Compatible with Apple Watch
  • Available for both Apple & Android


  • Drains the battery dramatically
  • In App Purchases can be costly

Find More Info About GolfShot HERE

Hole 19 Golf GPS App

best golf gps app for apple watch

Hole19 is one of the best golf GPS app’s available on the market for both Apple & Android.

The App is free to download and offers excellent in app features for free, leading to more premium offerings that require in app purchases.

I know what you are thinking, what’s included in the free app compared to the paid app?

As you can see from the image above, the Premium app offers an impressive list of features. It’s up to you how badly you need the premium features.

Hole 19 Yardage & Hazard Info

best golf gps apps

The Hole 19 Golf GPS claims it has realtime yardages for every course in the world right now.

Hole 19 provides golfers with very accurate yardages to the front, middle and back of the green.

You will also get key hazard info such as water hazards, bunkers, etc. You can view the yardages in a detailed aerial flyover shot.

What I liked was the target tap feature. On the hole overview, you can tap your target, for example a fairway bunker, and you will get the yardage to the bunker from your location.

Scorecard & Statistics

The scorecard feature is easy is to use and allows you to track scores for up to four plays each round. You will can also save and store the stats for each of the players.

One of the standout features of the Hole 19 GPS apps is the statistics that it can track. The App tracks and presents statistics extremely well and will highlight the key areas where you need to improve on.

Club Statistics

What I loved about the Hole 19 app and what makes it one of the best golf gps apps is the club by club stats.

The Club By Club stats will track each club in your bag and calculate the average and max you hit each club. You can use this info to know to be sure of your yardages and allow you to make better club decisions.

Book Tee Times On The App

The Hole 19 app allows you you book your tee times. A nice handy little feature, however this is limited to around 2,500 courses across the USA. So if you live outside of the USA, this feature is useless to you.

A nice feature that you don’t see on many golf gps apps is the personalisation the Hole 19 golf gps offers. You can add your own personal photo, add your handicap. On your profile page you will see the number of rounds played and average round score,

Overall, I think the Hole19 is one of the best golf GPS Apps available. The app is perfect for any golfer who is sceptical about GPS apps. You can download the app absolutely free and try a 30 day premium free trail.  An excellent app that deserves you consideration.

Links To Apple Watch

best golf gps apps for iPhone

The Hole 19 App for Apple Watch is the best performing in my opinion. The App works so well on the Apple watch. It remind me a little of the Garmin S20

You can use the Apple watch for golfing as good as any GPS watch with the Hole 19 App.

The tone and style of the font is really nice in mostly black and white with splashes of color (see above in the pic).

The free version of Hole 19 will work with the Apple watch also, but the ‘Birdie subscription’ is only $2.99 a month which is nothing to be honest.

The Hole 19 App on the Apple watch is accurate with yardages, can easy track scores and stats and displays the info very easily on the Apple Watch.

My only main disappointment with the Hole 19 Apple watch App is the fact you can’t move the pin location around on the Apple watch or get a green view.

It’s possible to get a green view on the GolfShot App but you can’t move the pin around. I also found the centre of the pin to be a little out on the GolfShot and the Hole 19 yardage to the centre to be more accurate.

However, you can still move the pin around on the Hole 19 App on the your iPhone. This allows you to get an accurate yardage to a tight pin. As you move the pin, it will also show you the change in yardage on the Apple Watch.


  • Accurate yardages
  • Detailed course overview
  • Tap target yardages
  • Preloaded with 40,000 courses
  • Nice analytics graphics
  • Compatible with Smart watches
  • Available for both Apple & Android
  • Free to download


  • Premium App requires annual subscription

Find More Info About Hole 19 HERE

Golf Pad Golf GPS For Smartphones

best golf GPS apps for android

The Golf Pad GPS App is one of the best golf gps apps available. The app quickly picks up all major courses on a global scale. Simply download the app, start it up and it quickly finds your course automatically.

Excellent Features

best golf GPS apps for smartwatch

I was genuinely surprised how many features that Golf Pad GPS offers for free.

Most free versions will you offer you the basics being a rangefinder and player scores, but usually ends there. This is not the case with the Golf Pad GPS app.

The free version allows you to track detailed stats such as putts per hole, driving accuracy, GIR and overall distance walked.

You also get lovely hole flyovers that will highlight the course layouts etc. The very first time I used this App was in Alicante Spain golfing and it worked brilliantly. Having the hole flyovers is very important when playing new courses for the first tome.

The Golf Pad GPS does come with some in app adverts but they are minimal and not really in your face. However it can be annoying on the tap target page to get the distances to hazards for lay ups etc.

Golf Pad GPS Free Vs Paid

best golf GPS apps for iphone

So, what’s the difference between the free and premium version? The premium version costs a one off $19.99 fee.

It will remove all in app adverts and back up your rounds automatically for post round analysis.

If ads annoy you then I’d probably upgrade to the premium version. Although the ads are small and not very annoying to me, this could very well change, to be more frequent pop up and banner ads etc.

Works With Apple & Android Watches

The GolfPad GPS App works very well with all major smartwatch brands. You can get your yardages, tracks shots and scores and even get the elevation right there on your wrist.

The GolfPad GPS really does turn your smartwatch into one of the best golf GPS watches you can buy that will rival the top models.


  • Excellent features for free when rival apps will charge a premium. For example round statistics.
  • Detailed statistics for 9 & 18 hole rounds
  • Tap target distances using the aerial satellite view
  • Easily upload your rounds for friends to see (the good ones at least!!)
  • Supports meters and yards
  • One off premium fee (no subscription)
  • No sign up required


  • Ads on free version will annoy some people
  • Tap target function can be awkward to use at times
  • Drains the battery far more than other golf GPS apps

Find Out More About GolfPad GPS HERE

18 Birdies Golf GPS App

There’s endless apps starting to hit the app stores over the past number of years. 18Birdies is one of the standout apps that deservers your consideration.

Both their free and premium features make it one of the best golf gps apps currently available. Personally I love the layout of the app. The app design is simple, clean and looks amazing.

18 Birdies Golf GPS App Features

The Free version of the 18Birdies golf gps app include GPS rangefinder, scorecard keeping, round stats and history, goal setting, leaderboards, handicap tracking and game bets. Similarly to the Golf Pad GPS App, I was surprised at the amount of features the 18Birdies App offers for free.

18 Birdies Golf Premium

How much is the premium version? The premium 18Birdies GPS app requires a subscription of $45 a year or $4.99 a month. This is one of the more expensive of the apps I’ve listed but it’s worth it. The 18Birdies premium app is one of the best golf GPS apps available.

Accurate Yardges

best golf GPS apps

The app’s GPS rangefinder is extremely accurate. One of the most accurate ones available powered by Google maps. On the premium version you will get additional data points, slope/elevation, humidity and wind speeds. But please note you will need to turn off these features during tournament play.

Shot Tracking & Statistics

best golf GPS apps for android

The shot tracking and statistics presents the data in beautiful easy to follow graphs that highlight the key areas where you perform well and need to improve on, You can track fairways hit, GIR, putts and all the info is displayed using simple but detailed graphs.

18 Birdies Golf Social Network

One of the standout features of the 18Birdies app is it’s unique social network. Within the social network you can create your own golf community and add all you golf buddies to same group so you can keep track of each others scores.

See how good or bad they are playing. I love a bit of competition and it really ups my game. I found on even the bad rounds I really pushed myself to finish out the round well so I wouldn’t be the one who came in last.

You can track your friends rounds live in real time. This will allow you to check who’s winning on the 10th and help you to play a little safer or more aggressive.

The social network incorporated in the 18Birdies App is where the app really stands out from any other golf gps app on the market.

The social aspect has been done before on other apps but never this well. I love the social feed. It’s fun, entertaining and also adds that bit of healthy competition to the game.

You can also create side games within the app within your network. Using the app you can place bets with your buddies during the rounds. For example setting a wager for a skins game with your golf buddies.

18 Birdies Golf Works With Apple Watch

Using the 18 Birdies Golf App for the Apple Watch works really well. You can access all the key info you need. Get accurate yardages, track scores, clubs used and more.

One cool feature is tracking the distances of putts made. However, logging all this info can be a little annoying and might slow down your game and distract you. I like to track the amount of putts I take or in particular 1 putts/3 putts. But if you do struggle with putting, maybe it’s worth doing.

Again with the 18Birdies App like most of the other golf GPS apps for smartwatches, you are unable to zoom in on the green and move around the pin like you can on a lot of the Garmin golf watches.

However, you can do this quickly via the app of course. I just wish this was a feature that was available for smartwatch. If it was the case, I think it would put smartwatches vs golf watches neck and neck.

Not having this feature is why the Garmin Approach S60 is still the golf GPS watch to beat.


  • Excellent free version
  • Offers brilliant shot tracking and statistics
  • Really nice and clean user interface
  • Excellent social network to record live scores and see how your friends are doing
  • In App rewards program to win prizes such as golf trips, clubs and accessories


  • Slightly more expensive subscription compared to other golf gps apps.
  • Not compatible with Smart watches (time of this post)

Find out More About 18 Birdies HERE

Best Golf GPS Apps For Smartphones

I have limited my recommendations to 4 to keep things simple. I think GolfShot and Hole19 are the best golf GPS apps for Apple watch.

If I had to pick one app I would pick the Hole 19 golf GPS App, it’s my favourite just ahead of GolfShot. Hole 19 has a really nice layout, accurate yardages and is really easy to track scores and stats.

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