18Birdies Golf App Review

50 Words or Less

18Birdies stands out from other golf apps by combining a great GPS with amazing tournament organization features.  Social network allows you to connect with other golfers.

Introduction

The number of apps that come up in the App Store when you search “golf” is huge and constantly growing.  There are apps for booking tee times, GPS apps, score trackers, and many more, and few are worth your time.  18Birdies, however, makes itself worth a download because it combines a well-executed GPS system with the best, easiest tournament-scoring I’ve ever seen.

GPS & Scoring

It wasn’t that long ago that simply having a device that could display your location via satellite was impressive.  Now we’re much more jaded – we demand ease of use, quality graphics, and speed.  18Birdies excels across the board as a GPS.  The satellite images are crisp and detailed, the yardages are accurate, and everything works quickly.

Scoring on 18Birdies is easy.  From the GPS screen, you can post your score in three taps.  18Birdies also gives you the ability to track your stats: fairways hit, greens in reg, putts, chips, bunker shots, and penalties.  You can also add notes to each hole.

On the basics alone, 18Birdies is one of the best golf apps that I’ve used.

Social Network

One of the added benefits of the 18Birdies is the layered social network.  The app opens to your “Feed” just like Twitter or Facebook – a timeline of posts from 18Birdies users.

In addition to this global timeline, you can create your own community.  Add your friends, and you can keep tabs on where they’re playing and how they’re doing.  You can also creates groups.

The latest update adds another social element: Live Rounds.  This allows you to share your round in real time, or watch other golfers’ rounds in real time.  18Birdies has made this feature even more interesting by bringing Willy Wilcox, Harold Varner III, and Paige Spiranac onto their staff to share rounds live.

Tournaments, Gambling, & Dream Games

18Birdies is great at GPS and scoring, and the social networking adds an element of fun, but where 18Birdies blows away the competition is with handling tournaments and gambling.  With just a few taps, you can set up a tournament that lasts anywhere from 1-4 rounds, can include multiple courses, offers different scoring formats, handles handicaps, and even has skins.  Now every player on the course has access to up-to-the-second scoring on their phone.  Additionally, it eliminates the need for tournament organizers to furiously add scorecards at the end of the day.

If you have smaller ambitions, like handling your group’s Nassau game, 18Birdies can do that too.  As you can see in the screenshot above, 18Birdies is set up for Nassau, Dots, Skin, Rolling Strokes, Vegas, and Match Play with more games to come.

Another new addition is Dream Games.  This is essentially a reward for using 18Birdies.  As you play rounds, connect with friends, and rate courses, you accumulate Golf Bucks.  You trade in Golf Bucks for “Scratch Off” tickets that allow you to win prizes like Srixon golf balls or a golf trip to Puerto Rico.

Conclusion

18Birdies bills itself as “the most complete golf app,” and it’s hard to argue with that.  If you want the basics – GPS and scoring – 18Birdies does a great job.  If you want to socialize, it does that, too.  And if you like to gamble or organize tournaments, 18Birdies is an absolute must-have.

Download 18Birdies HERE

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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8 Comments

  1. My main concern is privacy. There is a disclaimer on the App Store page stating that it “may” use your location even if not open. I find that concerning. If I’m not on a course, it shouldn’t need my location.Thoughts?

    • Matt Saternus

      Greg,

      That’s a reasonable concern and something every user needs to think about for themselves. Most apps have options where you can turn off location services when the app isn’t open, but I can’t say that I’ve explored that with 18Birdies.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Hi Greg- great to call this out.

      Here at 18Birdies we take your privacy very seriously. Our app uses your location only when the app is open, to provide real-time distances to the pin when in GPS+. We don’t know your location when the app isn’t open and in use.

      if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at john 18birdies com. Cheers!

      -John Heywood, Director of Product @ 18birdies

  2. I downloaded the “free” app. What I got was a 2 week trial period. I then downloaded the update and the trial version was extended 1 month. Nowhere do I find what the cost of the app is, and how to get the full version.

  3. Dick Buxton

    My club has five tees and three combos. Yet this app lists only the two longest tees and no combos. I didn’t see where I could add tees to make it useful for me. Great features, but incomplete for me. Can’t get excited about it.

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