Best Golf Apps for Apple Watch in 2021 (GPS & Scorecard)

To shoot lower scores and drop your handicap, golfers need to know how far they are away from their target. In a competing market for GPS watches and rangefinders, golfers with an Apple Watch may not need to purchase an additional golf watch. Several golf apps are available for the Apple Watch that provide GPS, scoring, and many other advanced statistics that expensive golf watches offer.

But are the Apple Watch app options strong enough to compete against the big golf GPS brands? That’s what we’re here to find out. In this article, we’ll review the top golf GPS apps available for the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Golf Apps: Compared

There are dozens of golf GPS apps available for the Apple Watch. Some of them, quite frankly, are not worth your time or money. Others do a tremendous job.

I’ve combed through the available products and narrowed them down to my favorite picks. Each of these Apple Watch GPS apps do a great job — some better than others.

Related: Best Golf Apps for Apple and Android

Let’s start with come conclusions.

  • Best Free Apple Watch GPS Apps: 18Birdies, SwingU, and TheGrint are all great free options. They all offer the two most important features for free: GPS distances and scoring. Try them all for yourself and see which you prefer — after all, they’re free to use.
  • Best Apple Watch App for Keeping Score: This category is tough, as many do a great job of keeping score. I have to give this to 18Birdies. Their free version allows you to keep score with strokes, # of putts, chips, GIRs, fairways hit. If you upgrade to premium, you can get advanced statistics from scoring, including strokes gained analysis.

I put together a chart to easily compare features across the different Apple Watch apps.

Free FeaturesPremium FeaturesPremium Pricing
Hole19GPS* GPS
* Auto-change holes
* Shot Distance Tracking
* Scoring
* Lite: $2.99/mo.
* Pro: $7.49/mo. (1 week trial)
* Pro: $29.99/6 mo. (1 week trial)
* Pro: $49.99/year (2 week trial)
TAG Heuer GolfNone* GPS
* Interactive 2D course maps
* Scoring
* Shot distance tracking
* $39.99/yr, (1 week trial
* $6.99/mo. (3 day trial)
18Birdies* GPS
* Scoring
* Auto-change holes
* Plays-like distances
* Club recommendations
* Shot distance tracking
* Strokes gained analysis
* $99.99/yr, (2 week trial)
* $9.99/mo., (1 week trial)
* $4.99/week
SwingU* GPS
* Scoring
* Auto-change holes
* Plays-like distances
* Shot tracking
* Club recommendations
* “Zoom-in” distances for greens
* Enhanced scoring
* $99.99/yr
* $14.99/mo.
GolfLogixNone* GPS distances
* Scoring
* $49.99/yr. (2-round trial)
* $9.99/mo. (2-round trial)
TheGrint* GPS
* Scoring
* Advanced performance statistics
* Scorecard upload
* $19.99/yr (handicap only)
* $39.99/yr (premium features)
Arccos CaddieNone* GPS
* Plays-like distances
* Club recommendations
* Scoring
$179.99 one-time with $99 annual fee

1. Hole19

hole19 golf watch app

The free version provides GPS distances to the front, center, and back of the green. If you want scoring capabilities and other features, you need to upgrade to at least their Premium Lite version, which is pretty affordable at only $2.99/mo.

The free version does require you to manually change holes. The premium version has an auto-change hole feature.

Free Features:

  • GPS distances to front, center and back of green

Premium Lite Features: ($2.99/mo.)

  • GPS distances to front, center, and back of the green
  • Auto-change hole
  • Shot Distance Tracking: This is done manually. You hit your shot, click to start distance tracking, and then walk to your ball.
  • Watch Scoring (strokes, # of putts, fairways hit)
  • Match Play, Stroke Play, and Stableford

Premium Pro: ($7.49/mo. (1 week trial), $29.99/6 mo. (1 week trial), $49.99/year (2 week trial)

The pro version unlocks several additional features available on the phone app, including:

  • Augmented Reality, Advanced statistics, club recommendations, dedicated customer support, handicap simulator, no ads, premium maps, golf lessons, and more.

Download the Hole19 app here.

2. TAG Heuer Golf

tag heuer golf app

What I like about TAG Heuer is that the app is straightforward to use on your watch. They also offer a hole preview directly on the watch. The downside is that there is no free version of TAG Heuer. However, the paid version is one of the cheaper options at only $39.99/yr.

Free Features:

  • None

Premium Features: ($39.99/yr, 1 week trial OR $6.99/mo., 3 day trial)

  • GPS distances to greens and hazards
  • Interactive 2D course maps: Scroll with watch digital crown to get an overview of the hole and see distances to green and hazards
  • Scoring for up to 4 players (strokes and # of putts)
  • Shot distance tracking

Download the TAG Heuer Golf app here.

3. 18Birdies

18birdies apple watch app

18Birdies is jam-packed with features. They have the best free version, offering GPS, scoring, and automatic switching holes. The scoring and strokes gained analysis are second to none.

Free Features:

  • GPS distances
  • Scoring (penalty shots, fairways hit, GIR, # of putts, chips and sand shots)
  • Auto-switching holes

Premium Features: ($99.99/yr, 2 week trial OR $9.99/mo., 1 week trial OR $4.99/week)

  • Personalized plays like distances and club recommendations based on elevation, temperature and humitity
  • Shot distance tracking
  • Strokes gained analysis

Download the 18Birdies app here.

4. SwingU

swingu apple watch app

Free Features:

  • GPS distances
  • Scoring (strokes, putts, penalties, fairways, GIR, bunkers)
  • Automatically advances to next hole

Premium Features: ($99.99/yr OR $14.99/mo.)

  • Plays like yardages
  • Shot tracking & “smart” club recommendations using live wind speed & elevation
  • “Zoom-in” distances for greens
  • Enhanced scorecards & stats with score, putts, driver accuracy, bunker play, and penalty tracking

Download the SwingU app here.

5. GolfLogix

golflogix apple watch app

GolfLogix does not have any free watch features. However, their premium watch features are pretty good. Their main premium features are really in the full Phone app, including an amazing 3D course & green layouts, and Putt Line feature, which shows you a read of your putt on the app — that’s pretty cool.

Free Features:

  • None (but, full premium access for 2 round trial)

Premium Features: ($49.99/yr., 2-round trial OR $9.99/mo., 2 -round trial)

  • GPS distances to greens, hazards and layup points)
  • Scoring up to 4 players (strokes, putts, penalties, fairways, GIR, bunkers)

Download the GolfLogix app here.

6. TheGrint

thegrint apple watch app

TheGrint is mostly known for its great social platform and affordable access to a USGA-approved handicap index. They also have free GPS and scoring features with an Apple Watch app.

Free Features:

  • GPS Distances
  • Scoring (strokes, putts, penalties, fairways, GIR, bunkers)

Premium Features:

  • Handicap Membership ($19.99/yr): Get a legit handicap index from the USGA
  • Pro Membership ($39.99/yr): Advanced performance statistics & scorecard upload service, which lets you take a photo of your scorecard and the system transcribes your score hole by hole

Download TheGrint app here.

7. Arccos Caddie

arccos caddie apple watch app

The Arccos Caddie system is a bit out of class when comparing against the rest of the Apple Watch apps since this is part of a larger shot tracking system. The full Arccos Caddie system provides shot tracking, GPS, and really in-depth AI-driven data insights with strokes gained statistics. I really like the system because, unlike their main competitor, Shot Scope, Arccos has a really great Apple Watch app.

I wrote an entire review on the Arccos Caddie system, which I encourage you to check out.

Free Features:

  • None (you need to pay for the full system)

Premium Features: ($179.99 for Caddie Smart Sensors & $99 annual)

  • GPS distances
  • Smart distance recommendations using live wind speed & elevation
  • Personalized club recommendations based on past performance
  • Scoring (strokes, # of putts, penalties)

Download the Arccos Caddie app here.


Related: Best Golf Apps for Apple and Android

Joe Morelli

Joe's been playing golf for 25 years, starting as a junior golfer in his early teens. He loves getting out on the links with his dad and friends -- whether an early weekend foursome or his weekday, afternoon league.

Recent Posts