GolfLogix for the iPhone is the sister application to the dedicated GolfLogix GPS-8 GPS device. The newest version of the GolfLogix iPhone app adds overhead satellite images of each hole; the previous version we reviewed only provided readings to pre-mapped hazard/target points. The player can use the iPhone’s touch screen to determine both the distance to any point on the satellite image and the distance from the selected point to the flagstick.
GolfLogix tops the group in number of statistics that are trackable, and is unmatched in course coverage. The GolfLogix application seemingly has everything a user would need (and more), but the application has a few kinks to be worked out. For example, on most holes, GolfLogix will automatically change from the hazard or hole view to a green-only view at somewhere between 150 to 250 (!) yards from the center of the green, which is far earlier than you will often want. To make matters worse, there is no ability to return to the hazard or full hole views. GolfLogix has an annual subscription fee of $20 that also may lead price-conscious users toward applications that charge one-time only fees, such as Golfshot.
- Best course coverage in our test
- Easy to use interface
- Good statistics tracking, accessible both on the iPhone and online
- Satellite images and ability to determine distance to any point on the hole
- Highest priced iPhone golf GPS app available over three years
- The application auto-advances within the hole much more quickly than desired
- Not intelligent enough to know when not to ask for statistics detail
Price: $19.99 annually
Three-year total cost: $59.97
Price: Download GolfLogix from iTunes
Critical Golf Test: GolfLogix was the first application to achieve a perfect 100% in our course coverage analysis – impressive!! The ability to leverage the course database that they already built for their GPS-8 makes GolfLogix the clear winner over the other nascent iPhone apps.
Manufacturer’s Claims: GolfLogix claims to have over 25,000 courses in its database, which places it tops among its iPhone application competitors.
Starting a Round
The Good: Nice straightforward process, which loads in a jiffy. You will be reminded to reduce screen brightness and turn off auto-brightness each time you start the app, which is a bit of an annoyance. With the addition of satellite images, the user will also be prompted whether they want to download satellite images (which everyone should do). If you leave GolfLogix in the middle of your round and then return, you have the option to continue that round with all of the information saved from when you began – apps and dedicated golf GPS devices that don’t do this should be ashamed!
The Bad: If users select to download satellite images, GolfLogix will not allow users to begin play of the round until images for all 18 holes have been downloaded, which can take some time depending on your connection. Also, GolfLogix sorts courses by towns instead of distance, so the nearest course to you may not always be listed first.
- Allows you to initially select the course either by current location (separated into lists by town) or from an alphabetical list based on region.
- The first time playing you will be asked to join GolfLogix and pay the yearly fee, or continue as a guest for a 24 hour trial period.
Ease of Use
The Good: A polished and intuitive interface allows for easy navigation between hole views, scorecard and statistics during play.
The Bad: GolfLogix takes things too far in its efforts at simplicity. The app switches from hazard view (a list of distances to various hazards and layups) or hole view (full hole satellite images) to green-only view when the user comes anywhere within 150-250 yards of the center of the green, and then DOES NOT allow the user to toggle back to the prior view. Argh! While you may appreciate the simplicity, there more often than not will be situations where you would rather still be in the hazard or hole view – say, if you can’t reach a green from 250 yards out or if you’re off in the woods and need to chip back to the fairway. In the hazard view, GolfLogix stops showing targets/hazards once the user is within 150 yards of the target/hazard. Depending on your abilities (and position on the hole), you may very well be left without critical distance information when you need it.
Updating of distances is on par with other iPhone applications. With any dedicated GPS device or iPhone golf GPS application, users will want to pause up to 8-10 seconds upon reaching their ball to wait for distances to update.
- Buttons. Back and next buttons move the user both between the hazard and green views, hazard and satellite views, and between holes. There is a button to track shot distances, as well as reset or log the distance following the shot. Dedicated buttons that remain available regardless of view allow the user to quickly move between hole views, statistics, setup, app support and information.
- Battery Life. Every iPhone golf GPS application that we tested was a battery hog, but the GolfLogix fares better than most. Check out our intro to iPhone golf GPS applications for tips on how to conserve battery life, or you will be left with a dead battery before you know it (or even finish your round!).
Course Detail and Mapping
The Good: GolfLogix generally maps a solid number of hazards/targets, including key bunkers, water, trees, doglegs, and even 100, 125 and 150 yard layups on most par 4s and 5s. The addition of satellite images along with the ability to determine distances to any point on the hole is a big plus.
The Bad: While the detail included in the hazard view was often exceptional, we were sometimes left wondering why some key targets were omitted, such as the distance to clear bunkers or water hazards (especially when corresponding distances to reach the bunkers or water hazards were shown). And as mentioned before, all the detailed mapping in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t access the views you want, which you often won’t be able to do when tossed into green-only view early during play of the hole. Lastly, we experienced some bugs with the application, such as holes where distances to selected points in satellite view would not be displayed, and other holes where the distances were displayed off the edges of the screen, forcing us to pan left or right to see the actual numbers.
- Views. GolfLogix offers two ways of viewing each hole: either through a hazard/target view or through satellite images. As mentioned previously, from somewhere between 150 and 250 yards from the center of the green, the view will automatically move into green-only view, and you will not be able to return to the hazard or hole view. Users toggle between the two views with a simple push of an on-screen button. One item to note – before you get too excited about the crispness of the satellite images at right, the images we actually experienced during play were nowhere near that clear (ahh, marketing!).
- Hazard/target view – When in hazard/target view, the distance to the center of the green is displayed at the top (but not the distances to the front or back of the green), followed by a listing of distances to selected hazards and targets with accompanying generic clip art pictures of the hazards/targets. When the user gets within some (seemingly arbitrary, as mentioned) distance of the green, the view switches to provide distances to the front, center and back of the green. This green view contains only a generic picture of a green (which bears no relation to the actual shape of the green or its surroundings), with no ability to place a flagstick to receive a more specific distance estimate. Front and back points are fixed and do not move in relation to the player. Once in this view, the user can’t return to the hazard/target view.
- Satellite view – An overhead satellite image of the hole, with the ability to zoom in and out at the touch of a button along with the ability the “pinch” to zoom and the also the ability to pan. The satellite view shows the position of the player with a red cross, and also allows the player to touch any desired target point on the image to obtain the distance both to that point and from the selected point to the center of the green. As with the hazard/target view, the user will get unceremoniously kicked into a green-only view all too early in the hole. When in satellite view, the green will be a satellite image of the hole if available, which can range from somewhat clear to beyond blurry. If an image is not available GolfLogix will instead show a graphic image of the green, which is reasonably accurate (though we found holes with missing bunkers or multiple bunkers combined to create one large bunker). A very small amount of area surrounding the green is shown in these green-only views.
- Hole Information. The hole number and par are available on all screen views. Hole handicap is also provided.
- Custom Mapping. Like all other iPhone golf GPS applications, GolfLogix does not allow users to add custom hazards or targets to the course map.
The Good: GolfLogix has a solid feature set that holds up well against the competition. If there is something you want to track, GolfLogix more than likely offers it.
The Bad: A few minor software glitches.
- Shot Tracking. GolfLogix has the ability to track shot distances, and when the user reaches their ball they have the ability to save the distance along with the club used (which the user selects from a customizable “bag”). A nice feature of the GolfLogix is that it provides the player with the longest distance for each club along with average distances.
- Score and Statistics. The GolfLogix application allows the user to select from a number of different statistics to track. This includes scoring (score and putts) along with drive details (fairway hit, or miss left/right), the number of chip/sand shots, penalty strokes, and even details on each putt (distance of putt and if missed, even how far and in which direction missed!). This is reaching the maximum of what most players will ever want to track, and GolfLogix is wise to allow players to select which of the statistics they want to track, and turn off the rest.
- A minor quibble is that GolfLogix doesn’t have the intelligence of some of its competitors, such as Golfshot, when it comes to asking for input on statistics. If a player records a 3 on a par 3 with 2 putts, GolfLogix will still ask how many sand shots, chips, and penalty strokes they took for the hole. Other applications save you a bit of data entry by skipping the questions if they aren’t relevant.
- GolfLogix provides a scoring summary, which will show an image of the player’s scorecard (along with indicators for bogeys, birdies, etc.), total score (but not score relative to par, unfortunately) and current stats on fairways hit, greens in regulation, putts chips/sands and penalties. There is no corresponding hole handicap information shown on scorecards. At any time users can always look at their stats for a prior round (but not the current one) or cumulative stats from previous rounds. This includes full scorecards, scores on par 3s, 4s and 5s, statistics for fairways hit and those missed left or right, GIR, sand shots and chips, number of putts (1, 2 or 3+) and average, scrambling percentages, and detailed putting information.
- While we do appreciate the breadth of statistics tracked and summarized, we do think the folks at GolfLogix need to either give Edward Tufte or Stephen Few a call, or at the least take some pointers from the competition at Golfshot and create charts that are a bit more polished.
- GolfLogix makes your scoring and statistics data available online, which is a nice way to review information following the round or share with others.
- Auto-Advance. The application does not have the ability to automatically advance to the next hole – the user must always manually elect to move to the next hole.
- Preferences. As noted below, users can also edit the par on a hole, though it was a bit buggy during our use. Users can also select whether to be prompted to enter score and statistics information at the end of each hole.
We generally had a good experience with the mapping accuracy of GolfLogix, with readings that were consistently within a standard 4 yard range versus marked sprinkler heads and tee boxes. Though pre-mapped green distances to the front, center and back are no longer shown once you are within 30 yards of the center of the green, you can still get green distances under 30 yards when in satellite view. Hazards and targets drop off once the user is within 150 yards of the hazard, or when GolfLogix has decided you only need green information, whichever comes first.
We noted a couple of errors for holes with incorrect par values: one on a par 4 that was changed to a par 3 several years ago, and another hole marked as a par 4 even though it has always been a par 3. Fortunately, GolfLogix allows the user to fix these incorrect pars during the round and send the corrected information to GolfLogix. Unfortunately it took us several attempts to modify these pars before the corrections were saved to the application.
As with all apps or dedicated devices that include satellite images from a 3rd party (we are talking about you, Google), some hole images may be out of date. And if you play enough courses, you will eventually find ones that are.
Retail Price: A one-year subscription for GolfLogix is $19.99, making the cost for one year about average application in our cost comparison test.
Fees for Access to Course Database: GolfLogix charges a yearly (!) subscription fee of $19.99 to access an unlimited number of courses from the course database.
Three-Year Total Cost of Ownership: With a three year total cost of $59.97, the GolfLogix application for the iPhone is the most expensive in our cost comparison (this is even down from an initial $119.85 price tag over three years!).
Value: From a value standpoint, the great course coverage and user interface can’t offset the relatively high (for an iPhone application) cost over three years.