Published on May 22nd, 2016 | by Greg0
Game Golf Live: A Hole New World
The sports world is full of advanced technology- when it’s not lighter, stronger materials in tennis racquets or specially designed swimsuits, it’s sophisticated cars and high-traction shoes. Everything from the courts to the tracks, the timers to the safety gear come under the microscope for improvement. But some of the most important changes are more subtle- they offer to improve your performance with information and data, tracking and helping you to learn. That’s the promise of fitness wearables, and helps explain the rise of connected devices into athletic apparel and accessories.
The Game Golf Live is a perfect example- it won’t directly make you hit further or more accurately. But the feedback it provides will help you do exactly that. They claim that it’s the ‘world’s first automatic, real-time shot tracker for iOS and Android’, and there is a reason why this updated edition won a 2016 Golf Digest Editor’s Choice Award. Boasting a wide range of metrics, from acting as a solid rangefinder to measuring ”Strokes Gained”, accuracy ratings and distance analytics, you can get an advanced and fairly nuanced view of your performance quickly, including aspects like shot dispersion. You’ll need to tag your clubs with included little tabs that help the device see what you’re using, but the setup process isn’t bad, and the app itself is free and easy to use.
The previous version offered some of these same features, but required you to plug it into a device for later downloading after a game. The new edition improves on that, allowing you to connect via Bluetooth so you can view every shot you hit instantly on your smartphone, and pinpoint your personal strengths and weaknesses. You still need to wear a small device on your belt, and trigger it before every shot, which may slow some folks down or feel a little awkward at first. But once you get used to it, it’s natural and easy. For casual plays and for putting, it’s a great addition to your arsenal- but some courses and clubs may frown at device use or slow play. It’s fully USGA and R&A approved for tournament and handicap play though, as long as you don’t use the Live app, so track away!
We liked that you can download course maps before you play (they offer 33,000 courses!), and found most shots to be quite accurately tracked. And we enjoyed the social aspects- the ability to share your stats, as well as to compete against other golfers in challenges. Game Golf Live can help you benchmark your play against folks in your bracket, whether amateur or pro, and it’s even Apple Watch-ready. Originally a successful Indiegogo project, the Game Golf Live won’t immediately make you a better golfer- but it will likely make golf a little more fun, grab the attention of your buddies, and make putting and driving practice more successful. You might need to manually enter a shot from time to time, but the Game Golf Live is a great tool, and is available online and in stores now for around $199.99- a perfect Father’s Day gift.