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GolfShot – Do You Love Metrics?

GolfZoom, the iPhone app developer of the GolfShot GPS and performance tracking system, was a client of ours up until a few months ago. Either they outgrew us or we weren’t big enough for them…whatever the reason, they produce a couple of home run products, one of which I still use today.

Bushnell Pro 1600 - $500

You probably already know about laser range-finders and GPS devices that help you identify yardage to the flag from anywhere on the course. Some of these devices can also help you “see” distances to obstacles (bunkers, trees and a host of other challenges, too) without all the guesswork involved for the average golfer. Most of these products will run you from $100 – $500 for a hand held device. These usually do a pretty good job, but by and large that’s all they do. Point, click and see the measurement to the flag. For that cost, you’d expect something far more substantive in terms of features or benefits.

What you may also know is that the iPhone has GPS tracking capabilities. To use the iPhone on the golf course, all you need is a software app that already has course distances plotted for thousands of courses worldwide. You stand at some point along the fairway or the rough and the GPS coordinates can tell you within a meter or so exactly how far your ball is to the flag. Crisp on-screen graphics show you the holes in full-color, and you can see a point on the screen exactly where you are standing. If you look up you can’t see the satellite making this all possible…but, the scary thought is that it knows exactly where YOU are at any point on the globe. Including on the golf course!

What GolfShot has done is incorporate over 33,000 courses in the GPS database, build a graphically appealing software interface, use the intuitive power of the iPhone’s OS and make the app accessible through Apple’s App Store. And, all of that for only $30! But, wait…there’s more.

While GPS distance tracking is all well and good, and distance-to-the-flag-accuracy vitally important, what I’ve really gotten excited about is the built-in shot performance tracking service offered with the application. There’s an embedded metrics capability in the software app that enables you to capture every shot from the first tee to final hole-out on #18. With a simple click on the screen, your captured strokes are sent off to GolfShot, and a moment later you receive an e-mail with a replica of your scorecard…containing hole by hole metrics for Fairways Hit, Greens in Regulation, Average Putts per hole and Putts per GIR, as well as scrambling and sand save percentages. All of these are presented with easy to understand icons representing various categories of interest.

GolfShot scorecard comes to your e-mail inbox with all your game stats

If that wasn’t enough, the company’s ASP will track all of these statistics over time, and enable you to see trends for each category in full color charts and graphs. In the attached image,  you’ll see an example of an e-mail you receive right after you submit your round to GolfShot. If you look closely, you’ll see the statistics for a round of golf at The Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.

This is one of the most powerful tools I’ve ever used because I’m gung-ho on game improvements…incremental positive trends suggest you are doing something right. For me, the improvements are needed in the short game from 100 yards and in. Half your strokes occur in that range, so why people hammer drivers on the driving range all day is a mystery to me. Put the wedge and putter in your hands and practice your drills. Shaving 1-2 shots off your putting, and another 1-2 shots off your chipping, can move your handicap in the right direction with greater speed than trying to get 15 more yards off the tee.

Short game teaching instructors like Stan Utley are worth their weight in gold. A close second, to me at least, is an inexpensive iPhone app called simply GolfShot. Try it…I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.