Editor’s Note: We have updated the review below to reflect the release of version 3.4 of Golfshot (in Fall 2012), which is iOS 6 ready – we tested it on an iPhone 4S, because sadly, we do not yet have an iPhone 5 (er, yet…).

Golfshot is our favorite golf GPS application for the iPhone, not only providing a tremendous feature set, but also delivering great value, even as one of the most expensive apps on the market (and at a price of $29.99, it’s not really going to break the bank unless your primary source of revenue is the Tooth Fairy).

Golfshot provides both a text list of distances for a number of targets on each hole and overhead satellite images with the ability to zoom and pan on each hole. The design of the scorecards and statistics, along with the ability to view the data on either your mobile device or online on your computer, is simply fantastic. An exceptional range of user settings is the icing on the cake.

We could go on (and if you’ve read some of our reviews, you’re aware that rambling for page upon page is well within our capabilities), but will instead simply state that if you are searching for an iPhone golf GPS application, look no further than Golfshot.

Pros:

SCORE
93
GRADE
A-
Course Availability
100
Starting a Round
96
Ease of Use
93
Course Detail
96
Features
96
Accuracy
92
Cost/Value
94

Cons:

Price: $29.99
Download Golfshot from iTunes


100 / A+

COURSE AVAILABILITY

Critical Golf Test: Golfshot ties for tops in our comparison of course coverage for iPhone applications, coming in at a perfect 100%!

Manufacturer’s Claims: Golfshot claims to have 40,000 courses in its database worldwide, which places it tops among its iPhone application competitors.


96 / A

STARTING A ROUND

The Good: Golfshot starts to load all satellite images when you begin the round, so in most cases there is no delay as you move either between zoom levels within a hole or advance between holes. And unlike some iPhone golf GPS applications, Golfshot allows you to begin play as soon as the first hole images are available, rather than forcing you to wait until all course images are loaded. Even better, if you are playing in a shotgun event, Golfshot will load the hole you advance to first then process the others afterwards – the only application tested that does so.

The Bad: As with any iPhone golf GPS application, it can take up to a few minutes to load the images for even just one hole, depending on wireless coverage, so it’s best to launch Golfshot before heading to the first tee (or better yet, prior to heading to the course).

Details: From the main menu, you have the choice to either Play Golf or, if you haven’t ended the last round, resume a round in progress. When you choose to Play Golf from the main menu, you can view a list of nearby courses (listed by distance from your current location), a list of courses you have played in the past, browse for courses, or search for a course by name. You then simply select the course, select the tees you will play, the starting hole (if other than hole #1), add golfers to your round for scoring, and begin. If you are playing in a new region, don’t forget to turn on syncing for that region to make sure courses are available. If you forget, courses in that region won’t appear in the nearby list nor will you be able to search for them.


93 / A-

EASE OF USE

The Good: Golfshot has the cleanest and most user-friendly interface of all the iPhone golf GPS applications we tested. Two screens provide all of the distance information you need, one through images and one via text (see ‘Course Detail and Mapping’, below). Holes are always shown from the same viewpoint, with a blue dot indicating the player’s position. Easy to access menus and navigate screens.

The Bad: We would prefer if some key target distances were provided within the satellite image, simply to have some context to start the hole. In addition, understanding some of the nuances of the interface requires either playing a number of rounds or reading the manual (the nerve!). These little tricks are fantastic for both conveying a vast amount of information in a nice clean display or allowing quick access, but may not be intuitive to the first time user. Fortunately, users can download and view the user manual from within the application.

Details:


96 / A

COURSE DETAIL AND MAPPING

The Good: The ability to select any point on the course and receive both the distance to the point and the distance from the point to the green. Golfshot also provides a comprehensive listing of hazards/targets on the hole.

The Bad: No ability to add custom points to the list of targets. Distances to pre-mapped targets are not displayed in the satellite view.

Golfshot iPhone Golf GPS Application

Click image for views

Details:

Suggestion Box: It would be useful to have the distances to certain hazards/targets available on the Aerial View, so users could quickly see distances to specific points without having to touch the screen to select them. We also would like an easy way to clear targeted points from the screen (without advancing a hole and then returning, as is currently required).


96 / A

FEATURES

The Good: Golfshot has the strongest set of features and settings available on any iPhone golf GPS application. Moreover, the excellent design makes the features and settings easy to find and easy to use.

The Bad: Auto advance to the next hole would be nice.

Details:

Suggestion Box: After account preferences are changed, Golfshot will give the users the option to “Sync” or “Cancel” to return to the previous screen. When you receive options like this, you can go ahead and hit “Cancel” and your setting will be saved. The “Sync” button will force the app to check for course updates, which is usually not what you want to do during the round – this should be clearer. Also, we would prefer if users were able to go directly to a hole to edit scores or stats if there was an error, instead of having to advance through each hole sequentially.


92 / A-

MAPPING ACCURACY

Mapping Accuracy: Golfshot showed solid mapping accuracy – in our test rounds on a variety of courses, we found the distances displayed by Golfshot to stay within 4 yards of those displayed by marked tee boxes and sprinklerheads.


94 / A

COST/VALUE

Retail Price: At $29.99, Golfshot carries the highest initial price in our comparison test.

Fees for Access to Course Database: There is no cost to access the course database. All courses and updates are included within the cost of the application.

Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership: With only a one-time fee of $29.99, Golfshot is average in our three-year cost comparison across applications.

Value: The Golfshot golf GPS application for the iPhone provides the best value for the money among the applications we tested, offering the best features and functionality at an extremely reasonable price. It’s worth every penny.

Tested: v3.4