Here, Jordan Fuller explains how he uses the Hole19 app in his role as a golf coach...
In my opinion, one of the biggest (and greatest) changes in modern golf is how we have utilized wearables and smartphone technology to make the game more interactive, data-driven, and analytical. Now, virtually every golfer can benefit from having a golf GPS app on their phone, with some of them being totally FREE.
Of all the free smartphone golf apps I’ve tried over the years, the Hole19 app is a relatively new addition to the market and yet it has impressed me in so many ways when compared to other apps and handheld golf devices available.
The Key Features
A main feature of the Hole19 app is the fly-over view: you get an aerial view of the nearest hole, and the total distance to the pin is clearly displayed in the top right. The interface is very, very simple. If you want to measure the distance to a bunker or hazard, for example, you simply need to tap at that said hazard and drag it to any point on the hole.
From this screen, you can access a pull-down menu for more details about the hole, namely distance details to the front, back, and center of the greens, par, and the hole number. To start a shot distance tracking, simply tap on this screen. After you’ve finished your shot and walk over to the ball, tap again to measure the distance. Very simple and intuitive and, the best thing is, the distance measurement is very precise considering it’s a free app.
You can also log your number of putts after you’ve finished the hole for analysis purposes. If you want to change holes, simply swipe at the bottom of the screen or select a hole number.
The analytics feature is also where the Hole19 golf app truly shines, especially for coaching purposes. You can review well-designed charts, graphics, and stats of your fairways hit, where you can select the number of analyzed holes. You can also review the duration of the round, covered distance, your best hole performance, longest drive, and the total number of putts.... the data seems endless.
You can easily upload all these stats to your desktop (or, ask your students to upload for reviewing later) via Hole19’s “online clubhouse” feature. If you want even more stats, you can upgrade to the Premium version to benefit from the 'advanced statistics' feature.
Another really amazing thing about the Hole19 app is the fact that the database includes more than 41,000 courses from all over the world. The accuracy provided for each course is simply mesmerizing, again, considering the Hole19 is a totally free app.
One more useful feature for coaching purposes is the collective scorecard feature, where you can add friends to your list. This way, you can keep a set of scores. After each hole, we can enter strokes for each individual player (or student), and you can enter various details including sand shots, penalties, the number of putts, and fairways hit.
You can also personalize the app with your details such as your handicap and all your clubs - (including your wedges, which is especially useful if you’re a high handicapper).
Using The Hole19 App For Coaching
As a coach, I have quite a lot of students with various levels. Some are complete beginners - often still using golf mats as a way to train at home - who are simply not ready to invest in expensive equipment, especially those that are not clubs like a GPS rangefinder.
So, being a free app with satisfying features, I can easily recommend the Hole19 app to all my students. With the online clubhouse feature, they can upload their stats to their desktop, and then discuss it with me via email. This way, I can easily analyze their performance and give them the appropriate advice.
The above-mentioned collective scoresheet means that, if several of my students are playing together, they can enter strokes for each of them, making it easier to compare stats and to give each other advice. Obviously, it is also useful for me as a coach so I can see it more clearly the mistakes (and key performances) of each student.
I have to say, the Hole19 app is a very impressive addition to the game. It is a free app, but the features offered is comparable to some expensive golf apps and even standalone devices. Also, if you still want more features, the premium subscription is relatively affordable at just €7.99 per month, which can be even cheaper if you subscribe for 6 months or a year. Definitely worth it, and I’ll definitely recommend the Hole19 app both for playing and coaching purposes.