The days of stuffing paper scorecards in your rear pocket may be over. Game Golf equips your golf clubs with GPS technology to track every shot you hit during a round without your having to input data. After the round, you upload the information to your computer, and it automatically transfers the distance of every shot taken, how many fairways you hit, how many greens in regulation you managed, total putts and strokes taken on each hole. Sounds easy, right? It actually is.
Seting up the clubs took me about eight minutes. I simply inserted small red tabs on the butt ends—each tag designating a particular club from driver to putter. Then I launched the software on a computer, creating a list of what’s in my bag and customizing specialty clubs. (Part of set up is charging the battery on the GPS unit, and you’ll want to keep it fully charged.) I attached the small GPS device to my belt, and thereafter, every time I tapped a club end to it before a shot, it would record the next shot I took, using the GPS to figure distance to the next shot.
That’s the easy part. The hard part is remembering to tap your club to the GPS device before every shot. When you do remember, the unit buzzes and a green light flashes. You have 60 seconds to take your swing. Even if you forget to tap, you can edit your round after you upload it and add shots—it was pretty easy for me to input a correction when I noticed I had one 431-yard drive. (I’d clearly forgotten to tap between shots.)
Even with technological hiccups in my first round, I’m likely to keep using Game Golf. Why? I easily reviewed the round—an 84 with an average drive of 231 yards and 39 percent greens hit in regulation and an average of 1.9 putts per green—with nothing more than a tap. I have tried recording such detailed information on a paper scorecard before, but I usually didn’t stick with it to the end of the round—especially bad rounds. With Game Golf, recording stats is effortless and out of sight, out of mind—until you get home, when it’s usually a read-’em- and-weep situation. But at least you have the accurate info to cry over.
Game Golf ($249) is pushing its communal aspect: you and your golfing friends, even in other parts of the country, can review each other’s rounds, instead of just bragging about them over the phone, or at the bar. The company also signed the touring pros Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk and Lee Westwood, so you can compare their rounds to yours, which, of course, is another reason to weep.