Hole 19 Distance App
Description & Review
There are no free lunches, right, but does the Hole 19 ranging app offer a useful amount of functionality in it’s free incarnation?
- Design 80% 80%
- Technology 80% 80%
- Performance 80% 80%
- Ease Of Use 85% 85%
Will The Hole 19 Distance App Score A Birdie?
The market is now full of smartphone and wearable technology for golfers that have made the game more interactive and analytical. An interesting addition to the tech arsenal comes in the form of the free Hole 19 Golf App. The reason this app interests me is its ease of use and accurate. In addition, this basic but very helpful functionality all this comes at no cost in the free addition. Its high number of stored, available golf courses (more than 43000) also means I can use the app on about 98% of the world’s courses. Including the ones in the most remote of regions. You have all you need to search for a golf course using your location.
Although a premium (paid) version is available, it’s best to first test the free offering to see if it alone meets your needs or whets your appetite for more and enhanced features. Lets’ check it out.
- It’s lightweight and easy to transport.
- It offers a superb range of up to 540 yards.
- It’s affordable in comparison to other models.
- It’s incredibly accurate.
- It can struggle to focus well in foggy conditions.
- It lacks a good lock-on feature for the pin.
- It’s not the most durable option as your mobile phone is not ruggedized for on-course use.
The App Overview
Hole19 is a mobile app that is available in both Android and IOS versions. The app works as a GPS and score tracker, plus you can also save some stats information from your previous rounds.
Users must, however, sign up by creating an account if they want their data to remain available after they swap phones or check their stats using different devices.
Lets’ review this free app’s main features;
Players can also add their number of putts after finishing the hole for stats and analysis. Other data for analysis includes the duration of the round, the total number of putts, your total covered distance and many more. This ability to collect all a players stats in one app can be beneficial for beginners as you can easily identify what areas of your game you need to work on.
Ease Of Use
The high number of available courses all over the world that are pre-loaded on the app makes it easy to search for virtually any golf course in the world. In addition, you can also check the course’s ratings by other Hole19 users. This means you can look for the best golf course in a particular area when on vacation. This feature alone is very useful. You can also share your scores with friends or other members of your club through the ‘Community’ tab in the app.
I must admit that I was a little sceptical about the GPS accuracy of this free app but I was surprised by how well it performed. I tried the app’s accuracy using the distance from a 150-yard marker to the holes and the distances for most of the holes were pretty accurate compared to the club’s measurements. For the few holes where the measures were off, they were generally out by less than 4 yards.
This type of accuracy can help you play better and make a more informed shot. The Hole 19 app will also have the information available to you to support club choice. This additional accurate information can help you improve your scores by a worthwhile level if you fine-tune how you make use of it. Also helpful is the app’s magnification that will help determine how close an object will appear when compared to the naked eye.
You can choose from Simple, Advanced and No Scoring modes before you begin to play.
These modes will have varying user experiences to match your current situation as well as your preferences.
This mode has a battery usage of 15% to 25%. This allows automatic GPS updates as you go about your activities but you will be asked for additional information such as your tee shot direction, the number of strokes, the number putts, penalties and sand shots. All this information is necessary for updating the stats section. Information updates may be challenging in the first few days as it was in my case before I got used to using the app. This is not too bad as you will be doing it during your walk to the next tee. Having the phone in the pocket may not be comfortable as you have to remove it regularly so it is better to have it in your trolley’s cradle. Saving your rounds increases the reliability of your stats during an actual game and when using the app to track your progress.
This feature has all the functionality of simple mode but you have to have the premium subscription to view your stats. This mode has a battery usage of 30% to 40%. The club yardage information section requires you to add some basic information such as your types of clubs (for example). The yardages are preloaded but they change after a few rounds as the app acquires new information, or you can change them if you have the info figures.
The yardage information in advanced mode will be the basis of all the recommendations you get until you have your own data. The challenge in adding this data is that you have to tell the app whenever you are on the tee as well as the club you are using. You also have to tell the app when you walk to where your shot landed. The process should continue to the last shot you must correct the app if the automatic data given is incorrect.
No Scoring Mode
This mode will most likely impress you if you are not interested in the stats as it only works with the GPS function of the app. I mostly use this mode whenever I only need the distances information without statistic distractions.
Free vs Paid Versions
Based on my experience, the free version has all you need to improve your skills. The premium version (subscription) allows access to advanced stats based on your expected results versus the rounds that you have been submitting when playing.
The ability to track your yardage information can also help you reduce handicaps and make your rounds more enjoyable. A premium subscription may improve your playing confidence as you have a combination of both GPS and substantial yardage data. Premium is there for hard-core players or stats lovers but the free version will more than help on the course.
Golf is not a simple game in depth but new technologies such as the use of apps help newbies to improve their skills and master different courses. There is a lot that you can improve in your game using Hole19 because it provides both the in-play help and statistics for review after the round.
Starters can begin with the free version for a short time (you will receive many messages about upgrading to the Pro version). Alternatively, make use of the premium version free trials to see how it can benefit you or, if it does, sufficiently to subscribe.
Product and technical images/video with permission of Hole 19
Mark Stevens, RTD Golfer and Tech Specialist
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