Where To Golf -A Golfist Review

The video is a demo of the capabilities of Where To Golf. I will give it a spin and give my two cents. It is currently on sale for a special rate of 0.99 USD. I once thought, well, for free or just under a buck, what’s not to lose by loading the program and trying it out?

For the most part -free stuff is hit or miss. Both categories -cheap and free, do annoy me when they take up valuable space, not do what they are intended efficiently, and worst of all -crash the iPhone which for me is “mission critical.” Being on AT&T in Des Moines is dodgy enough. Having to reboot the phone is really bad -something that I associate with Windows Mobile phones.

The worst free app -the NY Times App -I really hate it. Every few months, I reload the dang thing on my iPhone and try to love it but become stupefied by its slowness and tendency to freeze up the phone.

Because I am willing to go long crazy distances for good golfing experiences, having quick access to a formatted database such as this is potentially useful. So here are a list of my expectations based on my personal needs before I even try the app:

  1. good user reviews of courses -no one line flames and h8trs
  2. ability to upload reviews from non-app sources not typed on iPhone of which the entry method lends itself to one liners
  3. ability to easily request courses
  4. broad database of at least the major public and accessible private courses in every burg and county -Doral is a no brainer, but knowing that a small farm community has a nice 9 or 18 hole track is useful information in planning your life around golf
  5. speed and efficiency
  6. stability
  7. beauty
  8. course layout/scorecards
  9. course slope, handicap, and USGA number for posting of handicaps
  10. posting of handicaps -please someone make this a smooth process when playing away from your home course

So there you go. It’s suppose to rain today, but barring a tornado, I’m playing. I have great Nike rain gear that lets you get hosed down and still stay warm and dry.

Addendum 4/17/2009

Launching the application gives you four methods of searching the database:  course name, city, zip code, and GPS location. Choosing location, img_0001I get the search list to the right. It has most of the public courses around here, and also includes Ponderosa which no longer exists having been turned into a modern village/pedestrian community of condos, shops, and community meeting places. It was actually the first course I played in Iowa in 2004, but hasn’t been around since 2005. This screenshot was from earlier in the day, and listed courses within about a half hour driving distance but was missing The Legacy which was where I played today. Now, it shows up -I’ve also just started getting followed by WhereToGolf on Twitter. It’s a strange coincidence. My wife tells me my favorite song goes, “Me, me, me, me.” But this is evidence that when it comes to golf, strange things do occur.

Choosing The Legacy, options to call the course, find the course on Google Maps App, and review. You can write your own review which I will do. Launching Google Maps quits you out of Where to Golf, but that is a feature of the iPhone OS.

It is a nice database client -I wish electronic medical records could be as straightforward with their user interface.

It competes with View Ti’s course finder feature, but at least as a start here in Iowa, Where To Golf is more comprehensive, and seems to update before my very eyes.

Given its 0.99 cent price, you can’t beat it because the cheapest flavor of View Ti goes for around ten bucks (the View Ti crew change the price frequently, and have about five to seven different versions -they must be getting their clues from the Windows Vista marketing people).

The call function is a killer function! You figure out what courses are nearby and then call them for tee times -can’t get much better.

As with View Ti -I will keep addending as I come up with thoughts but at least on the first day of use, it does have a reasonable database of local courses (but not all -will check later today and see what else new comes up).

I suppose the next thing to add that no one else has is a way to search for practice facilities, golf shops, and teaching pros/schools.

Addendum 4/22/2009

Got that powerful golfing jones and I booked out of work to get in 9 holes as it hit 78 degrees today in Des Moines. As I was tooling down the expressway, I couldn’t remember the exit. My car’s GPS only has eateries. I open up Where to Golf, press “location” and find Waveland -my destination. I choose map and voila -came up on Google Maps app -it took one more button click to get a route and the exit. Amazing!

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