Top Mobile Apps for Golfing


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Range finders have been used for awhile to help golfers determine distance to the hole, choose which club to pull out of the bag and decide whether to go for the green or play it safe around bunkers or water hazards. But it’s no longer necessary to carry a separate piece of equipment for the job. Now, smartphones can do the same thing – and most golfers already carry a cell phone to the course. One less thing in the golf bag to worry about.

Finding Courses With Apps

Smartphones like Android phones give golfers access to apps that can instantly find the distance to the hole. But there are many other ways golfers can benefit from carrying a smartphone to the course. GPS systems can help golfers find those hidden gems while on vacation and looking for a great place to take a shot. Also, apps are available, such as Golf Logix, that help you find top rated courses, inexpensive courses, courses with driving ranges or putting greens and courses off the beaten path.

Booking Courses With Apps

Many courses around the country are posting discounts for online users, allowing you to receive emails via the smartphone and book tee times for as little as 40 to 50-percent off regular rates. Some courses also offer a virtual tour of the course online, and many also post par scores and details about the yardage and conditions you can expect to face at each hole. With this information on hand, you can always get the best prices for the best courses, and often can get hard-to-find tee times at popular courses.

This takes the guesswork out of choosing where to play and when, especially when you’re on the road for a business trip or vacation. Get the best deals, choose ideal tee times, have reservations booked ahead of time and get to know the course – all from the convenience of the smartphone. Many courses allow golfers to pay for the round online, speeding the process when you arrive and are ready to check in and tee off. Try U.S. Golf Courses app, among others.

Preparing for Golf With Apps

For golfers who are also concerned with the conditioning it requires to stay competitive, apps are available to help keep up with training goals and achievements. Get apps to aid with workout sessions, track progress and help you determine how much the program is helping your golf game – which is the important part. There are also apps to help you determine what equipment best suits your game. Take a look at Golf Genie Practice Drills Pro, among others.

Keeping Up With the Pros

Also from the smartphone, keep up with pro golf events, find local tournaments to watch or participate in and get all the news on your favorite players. Smartphone shopping allows you to get the best deals on the newest golf merchandise, as well. And all this while keeping you in touch with the office and family.

Smartphones also help you keep track of practice lessons and tee times. Just as the phone became the go-to device for managing work and juggling family responsibilities, it is quickly becoming indispensable on the course. A recent informal survey turned up that there are no golf courses in the U.S. that disallow cell phone use on the course. However, it’s good etiquette to keep the phone on vibrate, especially when around tee boxes. While technology marches on, rules of etiquette still remain the same.

  

Hitting your 3 wood and considering a 5 wood

Here’s a great video that will help you hit your 3 wood better, but the pro also points out that you might want to consider a 5 wood instead.

  

Video games can help your golf game?

The Driving Range game on the Wii Fit Plus can actually improve your golf game:

It’s December of last year. Christmas is creeping up on me, and I haven’t bought many presents for my lovely wife. So I did what I normally do and hit Target, because that way, I can browse as many of her potential interests in one stop. Out of the corner of my eye, I see that there is an updated edition of “Wii Fit,” titled, simply enough, “Wii Fit Plus.” It’s a no-brainer of a gift. It’s also very much of a Homer Simpson kind of gift (as in buying Marge a bowling ball with his name on it), as I probably spent more time on the original “Wii Fit” than she did. And as it turned out, I ran the “Wii Fit Plus” Island Bicycle game’s beach ball course nearly to the point of contracting plantar fasciitis, but that’s another story.

There are several new games on “Wii Fit Plus,” and ironically, the one I avoided playing at first was the Driving Range game, thinking it would be like hitting off of indoor Astroturf tees and give you false confidence. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and so I set it up to hit 20 mid-range shots. Now, the thing with most interactive golf games is that you don’t really need to swing like you do on the golf course, but for the sake of authenticity, I went at it from the approach that if they’re going to get the balance board involved, I probably shouldn’t goof off.

And, wouldn’t you know it, my mind was subsequently blown.

Try it out! You might be surprised.

  

Physics and Your Digital Golf Game

By Arti Gupta for Digital Innovation Gazette

Physics and Your Digital Golf Game

The following is an interview with B.C. (Charlie) Rasco, president of Smarter Than You software and co-author of Game Programming Gems, 8th edition.

Digital Innovation Gazette: Tell us a little bit about your background. I have your title as president of Smarter Than You Software. So, what do you do?

B.C. (Charlie) Rasco: I’m a physicist by training. I got into game development after working at Boeing for a few years. I came out and made a few little games for Macs and PCs, and then I turned to slightly more specialized physics-based simulations — not necessarily for games — for some research at Oak Ridge and various universities around the U.S. The way the Game Programming Gems article came about is I made a little game for a company, a golf game, where you try to get the golf ball onto a tee. It’s a simple little game; it’s not meant to be anything special. But I wanted to make some nice, simple little physics games. When I did the first version, it didn’t feel right. I made modifications to it. I figured I should write this up for my own edification. After that, a call came out for this Game Programming Gems book and it seemed like a good place to put it.

DIG: You’ve written about drag physics. What is it and why is it important?

C.R.: It’s something that makes the games feel more realistic. There are two versions of it: One is the simplified version. People solved it hundreds of years ago. I implemented it for the golf-ball game, and it just didn’t feel like the ball was moving like it should.

So basically, I had to dig into this a little more to do the more realistic physics implementation of this drag, which is simply a ball moving through water. Implementing that turned out to be a fun little project. The goal for me is to make realistic physics and implement it in terms of simple little video games. A lot of these are not classic video games where you try to engage people in that manner. I like the simulation. I find it more satisfying when it works out well.

DIG: You talk about the two types of drag models. Is one better than the other?

C.R.: It really depends on what you need. The quadratic one feels right and looks right. But the other one is slightly more computationally expensive. Which one works better in what situation? If you have a single spaceship flying through the atmosphere, then that’s going to be your emphasis — so you’re willing to throw a little more computation at it. Otherwise, if you’ve got just a background situation with a bunch of little particles, you can go that route if people aren’t going to notice it that much. Once you have 10,000 things flying through the air, it feels like smoke.

I honestly don’t know which way would be better. The quadratic one would feel right, but whether you have enough computation to make that work is a good question. With the iPhone, it’s going to bump into that limit much faster than with a PlayStation 3. It really does depend on what your system is and where you’re going.

Arti Gupta has worked on software-engineering projects as a developer, architect and project and product manager for more than 10 years. Now she does community management for game development on the Intel Software Network site. Gupta likes reading, traveling and spending time with her family. Follow her on Twitter: @artigupta.



  

The basic golf swing by Jack Nicklaus

Whether you’re a beginner, or just a golfer who wants to improve his swing and get back to basics, this golf video from Jack Nicklaus is a must-see video. Here you’ll see one of the best and most simple lessons ever, from the greatest player the game of golf has ever known.

This video has one basic swing tip from the number one selling golf instructional video of all time – “Golf My Way” by Jack Nicklaus. The bottom line is that the swing, the hand placement and the ball placement should always be the same.

You don’t change your swing for the shot.

  

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