Here’s something we didn’t see coming…an augmented reality golf rangefinder. This app comes from the makers of our top-rated iPhone golf GPS app, Golfshot.
To use Golfscape, a player points the iPhone camera in the direction they want to play, and distances to mapped targets and hazards will be displayed on top of the camera. Think Minority Report…on a golf course.
For players already using Golfshot, Golfscape will automatically pull in Golfshot user information such as player name, handicap and layup distances. Golfscape provides the basics – distances to the front, center and back of the green, to up to 40 mapped targets, and to certain layup points. There is no ability to track your score or statistics, no auto-advance, and you cannot select the hole on which you would like to begin (if you are playing just the back 9, or in a shotgun tournament), but rather must scroll through holes if needed. Golfscape provides an indicator to display the confidence it has in both GPS and compass accuracy. Compass reading is the most challenging dependency Golfscape has on the iPhone – if the reading is off (which it often is), the result is that Golfscape will have target distance indicators pointing to areas a significant distance from the actual target, rendering the view confusing at best.
Unfortunately, we found the app to be riddled with a variety of bugs during test rounds. These included the app spontaneously quitting, freezing our iPhone and requiring us to restart, distances not displayed on screen, no course displayed on the screen at all (but still distances), and distances noted in meters instead of yards. We tested Golfscape (version 1.1, which was an update which we had hoped would fix some of the bugs) on an iPhone 3GS with the latest Apple iPhone OS.
Since the initial version of Golfshot and Golfscape, the company has followed our suggested of embedding Golfscape as a feature within the augmented reality rangefinder is an interesting concept, though we wonder if it can stand alone as an app, or whether it would be better as a feature within the Golfshot app. Users now simply press the Golfscape icon during play to launch an augmented reality view.
We do look forward to continued testing of the app on the course – once the bugs get fixed. Until that time, we can’t yet recommend Golfscape for purchase.
The app was introduced at a ridiculous $19.99, but has since come down to a slightly more reasonable $4.99.