Posts Tagged golf
AroundGolf Has Information on Over 24,000 Golf Courses From Around the World, Includes a Golfer Social Network
Posted by Andrew Stevens on October 29th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
AroundGolf lets all those who enjoy a round of golf to find out information on more than 24,000 golf courses in the world, all presented with pictures and videos. Talk about a great tool to have in preparation for tee time! It’s also used as a golfer’s social network, allowing them to connect with other golfers in the area. It even lets users plan a stay at a nearby hotel or eat out at a restaurant. It certainly sounds interesting, and could be something that helps improve someone’s golf game both on and off the course!
With the Golf season in full swing (yes, I went there), thanks to the recent US Open amongst others, now is the ideal time to check out some great apps to help golfers or just to help them keep up to date with all the news from the professional field. Here’s our favorite four of the bunch.
It might not be an entirely free solution, given some of the best features require a subscription fee, but GolfLogix GPS is certainly comprehensive. It tracks scoring and the handicap of each player, shows personalized lessons after every round, as well as analysis. Offering information for 32,000 golf courses around the world, with the ability to track every shot (for a price), completes the package nicely, ensuring you always knows what’s going on.
Released: 2009-07-30 :: Category: Sports
Offering similar functionality to GolfLogix GPS, myGolfLeaderboard has a trump card up its sleeve: the ability for other golfers to watch the changing leaderboard for the match, all in real time. It’s possible to set things up on the clubhouse TV, with the relevant equipment, proving ideal for amateur competitions via the event creation tool. Plus, it’s entirely free and offers some useful stat tracking tools for 15,000 courses.
Everyday Golf Coach
In need of some advice for improving your swing? Everyday Golf Coach has it covered. The app offers dozens of coaching videos to help keen amateurs improve their game, with advice from how to chip correctly to how to get the ball to curve the way the golfer wants it to. There’s swing analysis too, for those able to get a friend for record their swing. It’s then possible to compare the technique to the varied model library, and figure out where it’s all going wrong. With simple instructions, it could make all the difference to your handicap.
For those more interested in how the professionals are doing, the Golf Channel app should suffice. It offers all the latest articles, blogs and analysis on everything imaginable, making it simple for users to follow their favorite players across all the major tours. Behind the scenes videos and photo galleries further help matters. Oh, and there’s still space for it to offer some great tips for budding enthusiasts, too!
Our own David Rabinowitz checked out Scopely/Rocket Jump’s Mini Golf Matchup a couple of months ago, and thought very highly of it. And why shouldn’t he? It’s a great casual game of virtual mini golf with painless online functionality. We’ve since managed to get in touch with Antony Blackett, the Managing Director of Rocket Jump, who agreed to give us some insight as to how their project became the gleeful game of putt-putt that it is.
148Apps: I imagine it was fairly easy to decide to make a mini golf game since virtually everybody loves mini golf, but were there any unexpected challenges in actually creating Mini Golf MatchUp?
Antony Blackett (AB): Mini Golf did seem like the an obvious choice for an asynchronous multiplayer game. We experimented with a few methods of input and only after much discussion and testing did we eventually land on the sling shot method that’s in the game today. Another big challenge was finding out how to make each shot satisfying even when the player didn’t manage to get the ball in the hole. We wanted to make it feel physical and solid as if it were a little toy inside your phone, and also remain predicable unlike a lot of other physics-based games. Finally, while the idea of making a turn-based mini golf game was intuitive, we quickly discovered that creating a polished multiplayer game is no easy task, especially for a small team.
148Apps: I know touch interfaces, especially in physics-driven games, can be tricky to pull off. Did it give you any trouble? And if so how were you able to get through it?
AB: The hardest part of designing the input system in Mini Golf MatchUp was discovering not only how to communicate things like power and direction to the player, but also figuring out exactly what we did and didn’t need to communicate to the player. Our initial approach was a flick system where the ball would inherit the momentum of your finger along the screen, but we found it was difficult for people to grasp the concept. Scopely ran frequent usability tests on players that had never seen the game before. We recorded them playing and ran over the videos many times to get an idea about what players expected to happen. Watching the video recordings gives you clues to what is really going on as people play the game and we closely analyzed these usability tests with the Scopely team to hone in on how best to improve the game.
Specifically with the flick system, we learned that it was easy for the player to make a mistake, but hard for us to know programmatically whether they had made an error. This meant we couldn’t reliably show them corresponding help tips and teach them effectively. On the other hand, the sling shot mechanic was a lot clearer to players because we included an arrow that indicates direction, and power appears as soon as they touch the screen.
148Apps: Any juicy bits of gameplay, specific holes, or mechanics that never made it into the final build? Any chance they may make an appearance in the future?
AB: We’re currently discussing how we can add even more variety to the gameplay in Mini Golf MatchUp. We have some ideas around more pickups and new power ups to go alongside the mulligan, scoring changes, item collection mechanics and even cooperative gameplay. Potentially, developing new social features like sharing replays of your awesome, unbelievable hole-in-one shots. We might even stumble across completely new ideas along the way that are better. Who knows? It’s an organic process, but ultimately it’s driven by a detailed analysis of how players are interacting with the game.
148Apps: I love the colorful, yet simplistic, visual style. Was that pretty much what you had in mind from the get-go?
AB: Corie Geerders is an amazing artist and he’s never shy of using color. Just look at the other titles he’s worked on that exemplify this vibrancy: GripShift, Shatter, Major Mayhem. At Rocket Jump, we find that nailing down a visual style very early in a project helps to unify all the decisions we make in the future. It’s much easier to see if a game mechanic, feature or sound effect doesn’t match the visual style of the game thereafter. One of the best parts about working with Scopely was that they supported our artistic vision, and they gave us the freedom to explore various approaches so that we could find the most exciting and engaging style for the game.
148Apps: Assuming you’re able to talk about it, what’s the plan for Rocket Jump’s next big project?
AB: We have a few ideas in the back of our minds about what we want to do next. One of the things we’d like to do most, and what our fans would love to see, is a sequel to Major Mayhem. We don’t have anything planned out in terms of storyline, gameplay features, or dates, but we have a ton of ideas! We definitely want to push the limits of what mobile games can be like Major Mayhem, Rail Shooters, and Mini Golf MatchUp.
We’d like to thank Antony for taking the time to fill us in on the ins and outs of Mini Golf Matchup. If you’re interested in checking this cartoony game of golf out you can do so right now by grabbing the universal version off the App Store for free.
There’s one disadvantage to real golf as compared to video game golf, besides the latter being a thousand times easier. Virtual golf makes it easy to know how far a shot went. Why, if we wanted to do that in real life, we’d all have to carry around pocket-sized screens with chips that could tell us our current location by connecting to satellites. Then, the device would have to be programmed with an application that could determine the distance between where the shot was taken from and where it landed. As far as I know, no such technology and no such application exist. Such a shame.
Wait a second. What about these new-fangled iPhones people have? Surely they could be capable of something like this. But what about the application? Well, there’s now an application called Caddy Track Pro that allows users to tap when they take a shot, and tap when they reach its landing point to determine how far it went. It can track data for a golfer’s individual club, track stats for average distance and longest drives, and send a spreadsheet of that data via email. This app is apparently available on the App Store right now!
What a world!
Golf is one of those wonderfully frustrating sports that can take you from glee to tears – or elation to frustration – in a matter of a single stroke. Though I am a crummy golfer at best, I have seen many a man become victim to the course and eventually their own psyche. That is the beauty of the sport; many would say it is just as much mental as it is physical, because it is based on perfecting a set of motions and duplicating them consistently, time after time. This is why I am such a mediocre golfer, my complete and total lack of consistency and a level of focus that rivals a chipmunk.
So what can you do to improve bad form or lack of training? While some would sink immense amounts of time and absurd volumes of money on lessons with a golf pro, I don’t make enough money for that to seem even remotely feasible. Fortunately, the new app iSlice will help you perfect your form either on and off the links, no down payment required. The software is so effective that it has even landed a pseudo-celebrity endorsement!
“Duncan is one of the best young coaches in Australia, he has had great success teaching golfers of all abilities and now brings this expertise to the iPhone to help fix your slice. The most critical component for teaching success is for the student to be able to feel the correct moves, by practicing with your iPhone you will finally know what the Pros feel like” — Neil Simpson, Head Professional and Coach to US PGA Tour Player Nick O’Hern
Combining both the instructional videos included with the app and the tools that the software provides, you will be making a dramatic step towards improving your game exponentially. I must say that a product like this might make me consider going out for a few rounds in the spring, well as long as I can practice with iSlice until then. Unfortunately there isn’t an automatic mulligan app, because it would take something ridiculously expensive to undo the massive amount of suck that my game possess.
I’ll leave you with a sample of one of the video tutorials. Do you think something like this could work for you?
With Tiger Woods fresh off his 7 over par, first round performance at the J.P. McManus Invitational Pro-Am in Ireland, it’s about time to start thinking about The Open Championship. St. Andrews, the Home of Golf and Cobra Mobile are releasing today the first golf game on the iPhone based on the famed St. Andrews golf course, where you can go out and relentlessly beat Tiger Woods score… over and over again.
The Old Course is complete with a “unique top down touch-and-swipe controls, beautiful graphics and addictive game-play” as well as a bluetooth multiplayer system for you to take on your friends. As you’ll see from the screenshots, it’s not exactly on the same “you are the player” level as Tiger Woods for the iPhone, but with some standout gameplay, it could be an entertaining experience.
The game went live today for 99 cents. Check out some more screenshots after the break.
Released: 2010-07-06 :: Category: Games
Continue reading The Old Course – Just In Time For The Open Championship »
Both incredibly challenging and incredibly inventive, Invisible Links is a fun spin on a maze game that challenges you to make your way through invisible "golf courses" sketched out on crumpled sheets of notebook paper. It's a little confusing at first, but you'll soon be smiling as you progress from course to course.
Read The Full Review »
ProCreative Golf 09 is a beautiful app with an interface that's just as great. But with the high price of $14.99 and the lack of a course editor, it might be better to check out some of the other golf apps.
Read The Full Review »
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR is an excellent golf sim that would be amazing if not for a few flaws. The gameplay is quite fun and the sound is great, but the lack of WiFi multiplayer kills me in the deepest way possible. "No Tim, I don't want to play hot-seat multiplayer with you, your hands smell like cheese... I want to play on my own phone."
Read The Full Review »