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Best Apple Watch Golf Apps and GPS for 2021

August 2021

Golfers need to know how far they are from their objective in order to shoot lower scores and drop their handicaps. The market is red hot for GPS watches and rangefinders, but if you already have an Apple Watch you may not need to purchase an additional golf watch or rangefinder. There are several golf apps for the Apple Watch that include GPS, scoring, and many more advanced statistics that are accessible on more expensive golf watches.

Apple Watch Golf Apps: Comparison

Do you plan to purchase an Apple Watch or already own one of these smart devices and play golf?

If the answer is yes and you haven’t yet used your Apple Watch on a golf course, you are seriously missing out.

Here are some conclusions.

  • Best Free Apple Watch GPS Apps: 18Birdies, Swing by Swing Golf, and Golfshot are all great free options. The two most crucial features, GPS distances and scoring, are available for free on all of them. Try them all out and see which one you like most – after all, they’re all free to use.
  • Best App for Keeping Score on an Apple Watch: This is a difficult category to judge because many people excel at keeping score. This is something I need to give to 18Birdies. You can keep score with strokes, number of putts, chips, GIRs, and fairways hit in their free edition. You can access advanced information from scoring, including strokes gained analysis, if you upgrade to premium.

Here are seven of the best golf apps to use on your Apple Watch.

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


Free Features

Premium Features

Premium Pricing




 * Auto-change holes

 * Shot Distance Tracking

 * Scoring

* Lite: $2.99/mo.

* Pro: $7.49/mo. (1 week     trial)

* Pro: $49.99/year (2 week   trial)

Swing by Swing Golf



*HealthKit features 

*Shot Distance Tracking

 *Club recommendations

 *”zoom-in” distances

*Premium: $14.99/ mo

* Premium: $99.99/ yr




*Auto Shot Tracking

*Golfscape AR

*Pro Features: $8.99/ mo   or $49.99 /yr

Golfplan: $2.99 /mo or   $19.99/ yr

Tag Heuer Golf



* Interactive 2D course maps

* Scoring + distance tracking

* $39.99/yr, (1 week trial

* $6.99/mo. (3 day trial)



 * Scoring

 * Auto-change   hole

* 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

Zepp Golf

*Swing Analyzer


*Smart Coach 



Golf Swing Analyser

*Auto track


*Auto hole switching

*Features are free on iphone but not   on apple watch

*Monthly subscription for   $4.99/ mo

*Yearly subscription for   $18.99/ yr

Best Golf Apps for the Apple Watch

1. Hole19 Golf GPS and Scoring app


Yet another golf GPS and scoring system that can be used on both your Smartphone and smartwatch. It should by now be apparent that most golf apps for smart devices are built for GPS and scoring.

Hole19 is a free app that includes: GPS tracking, digital scorecard, golf statistics tracking, and the ability to plan and book rounds on the app, as well as being able to share your round and statistics with other friends using the Hole19 golf app.

A premium version is available that includes additional features such as distance tracking and measuring that then recommends what club to use per distance. It also includes enhanced statistics recording and improved visuals of each hole along with auto-updating as you move to the next hole.

This app is known to be one of the best when it comes to minimize battery usage on both iPhone and Apple Watch.

2. Swing by Swing Golf GPS


This free golf GPS system was initially built for use on a smartphone but has been further developed to offer smartwatch features. Using Google Maps as a basis the app gives you accurate distances for almost every known golf course in the world with additional features such as a scorecard recorder, round stats, and distance tracking for each iron.

There is a premium version that can be purchased on a month-to-month or annual basis that provides even more features, however, the free version is sufficient enough for any avid golfer.

The Apple Watch version offers hole-by-hole distance to greens using GPS, hole-by-hole scoring, stat tracking, and club tracking to offer advice on what club to hit for the current distance to the green.

For a free app, this is certainly one to try and with over four million users worldwide it shows just how popular this system is.

3. Golfshot: Golf GPS and scorecard


Golfshot is another GPS app that offers distance tracking and scoring abilities on your smartphone and smartwatch, with a host of other features. Again this app is built to operate fully on a smartphone, however, the smartwatch features are some of the most impressive of all the golf apps.

On the Apple Watch app you get the normal distance to the green, but this app even features overhead views of the hole and green with distances to front, middle and back of the putting surface. Other features include a score recorder per hole, as well as distances to other hazards on each hole and suggestions on what club to use based on previous shots with each club.

Upgrading to the premium version of Golfshot carries a cost, but includes the ability to book rounds on certain courses using ApplePay and other additional features that make this premium payment worth every cent.

4. Tag Heuer Golf

The 5 Best Apple Watch Golf Apps of 2021

What I enjoy about TAG Heuer is how easy it is to utilize the software on your watch. They also provide a hole preview on the watch itself. The disadvantage is that TAG Heuer does not offer a free version. The premium version, however, is one of the more affordable solutions, costing only $39.99 per year.

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.

5. 18birdies

Golf GPS App, Scorecard, Shot Tracking & More | 18Birdies

18Birdies is a game with a lot of features. They provide the most comprehensive free version, which includes GPS, scoring, and automatic hole swapping. The strokes gained analysis and grading 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.

6. Zepp Golf


This innovative app works in conjunction with or without a Zepp Sensor which is attached to the back of your glove and measures your golf swing in 3D. The information provided includes your swing path, swing plane, tempo and a whole other host of game enhancing stats to help you improve your swing.

Without the sensor and using just the free Zepp app you get a host of features that include: Score capture and GPS tracking on your smartphone, video and image capture, Smart coaching with certain top tour professionals and golf coaches, professional swing library and access to the Zepp social community system.

The Apple Watch features include basic real-time swing metrics, the ability to track your swing and tempo on the range or golf course and synchronisation of your rounds and practice sessions with the Apple Health App.

The Zepp Sensor and App is a great package to own for golf fanatics wanting to improve their game and works seamlessly with your smart devices to enhance your enjoyment of golf.

7. Golf Swing Analyser by TrackMyGolf


This nifty app uses your Apple Watch to track your golf swing and provide information that will help you improve your game and make your swing more consistent.

The app on your Apple Watch records your swing and provides information such as: golf swing power and tempo, a 3D visual of your swing path and plane, the ability to rotate the view so you can see your swing from a variety of angles, data recording in the cloud and a host of other features.

It is a free app, but also has in-app purchases to further enhance your golfing experience. The best part is you do not need to buy any additional hardware to operate the app. You just need a smartphone and smart watch.

About the author 

Jason Mylroie

Been hooked on golf since I was 12 and lived on a golf estate while at school. Began to work in Golf Industry during university and spent a year on the Sunshine Tour as a media operator. Subsequently became deputy editor of Compleat Golfer in South Africa for 5 years, specializing in equipment and travel reviews. After that I became a consultant to a major golf chain, testing and reviewing all equipment. Also a Callaway custom fitter and play off a 2 handicap when actually getting the chance to play!

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  1. Jason,

    I’m looking for a golf ap that I can use on my iPhone 4 that does not require I carry my phone. I usually leave my phone in the cart and walk to the hole. And of course, I want it to be free! Is there one out there that fits my requests?

    Thank you

  2. Why do these apps have to be so complicated ? I’m willing to pay for a Apple Watch gps app that just shows the distance to the center of the green. That’s it, I don’t need to keep score, or book my next tee time. I’m willing to have my iPhone nearby, but when the app is running I want to raise my wrist and see the distance to the center of the green. That’s it.
    In answer to the above question your phone has the gps not your watch so the phone has to be close by.

    1. I agree with Tim- I don’t want all the distractions just the distances to the hole and strategic layup distances- has anyone tried 18 birdies?

      1. Give golf gps++ a try. There are multiple modes, all of them free, it can go as deep as swing analysis, or as simple as just gps

    2. Look into getting a garmin they have multiple styles from the Approach g64 to the approach g20 you can use the g10 like my step dad which can clip on to your cart visor but if you want an actual gps the 60 is on sale right now just bought it for myself and testing it Saturday

  3. Looked at all of the apps. Non of the apps offer my home course of Trilogy Golf Club at Ocala Preserve, Ocala Florida. Disappointed that I can’t find my home course. Both Players and Skills course. Trilogy is a hybrid course.

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