I have previously explored the idea of GPS golf apps and their place versus range finders or traditional yardage charts. Having always used Golf Shot previously, I recently discovered that Tag Heuer has developed an app to use with the Tag Heuer Connected smart watch.
I never normally wear a watch of any description when playing, but as an owner of a Tag Connected I thought I’d venture out for 9 holes last night and give it a go.
Downloading the App
This actually proved to be a very quick and easy process.
Firstly you will need a WiFi connection on your watch. Then it’s simply a case of going into the Play Store and searching for Tag Heuer Golf. Press download and within a minute I had the App downloaded onto my watch. At this point I got a prompt to download the app to my Smartphone.
It actually took longer to download the app onto my phone, but again done in a couple of minutes. The watch itself is showing a pairing code and once you have created a Tag Golf username and password on the phone app, you can pair the watch and phone within seconds.
Not really sure why I had to pair again within the app, as the phone is already paired to my phone via the Wear OS app anyway?
The first screen on the watch asks you to find a nearby course and you can do a quick search. Once it provides a list you select the course you want to play and select download. That course is stored and any subsequent time you open the app the downloaded course is there are an option for you to “START ROUND”.
The phone app opens on the “My Courses screen and again it asks you to find a course. It provides a list of local GPS courses or you can search by name for a specific one. You then select “ADD COURSE” and it downloads onto the phone. For some reason Paris International Golf Club is there as a default. A neat feature is that when you click on the course it takes you to a page with the address, phone number and some buttons for that venue from call, directions, website to “Play on this course” and delete. Press delete and Paris is gone.
Visually the app is easy to navigate, there are not many sub menus and it seems user-friendly and intuitive to use. Once you have selected play this course, you can add playing partners and choose a scoring system;
Strokeplay, matchplay or stableford and you can also choose gross scoring, net scoring and scoring “To Par”.
You can also choose the Handicap system you wish to use too.
After this you get a list of holes displayed with the par and stroke index and a map option.
The watch is even easier, press start round for the course you want to play and you immediately get a 2d image of the hole, which you can scroll up and down. On the right it’s displays the hole number the distance and the score. The distance marker defaults onto the hole, but when you scroll up (back towards the tee) as the center distance marker moves you get a new distance measurement to that point.
One thing to note – all default units are metric so meters, if you want yards you have to go into the settings’ menu on the phone app (top right-hand corner) and change the units. It’s also in the settings’ that you can set the clubs you have in the bag, the lofts on them and the distances you want for each one carry or total).
Using on Course.
The watch map is a basic 2d map, but it is good for showing the shape of the hole, key features such as bunkers and water hazards.if you press the distance you then get the yardage for the hole from the different tee blocks and the par. Press the hole number and you get a menu to select each hole and the par.
The phone map is much more interactive. It’s a 3d representation of the hole with trees and other features. It provides some key distance information, IE. to the hole, to the front of the green, to the front edge of hazards. There is also zoom functionality you to zoom in, to scroll up and down the hole to get different views and perspectives.
One thing I really like is the bulls eye target which you can move around the hole. This provides a yardage to reach the that target from the tee, but also the yardage it will leave you to the hole and based on your clubs it recommends what club it will leave you for your second shot. Also, based on where you put that target, it selects your club from the tee for you too.
Another really clever trick is that you can record your shots. So when you have tee’d off if you press “record shot” and walk to your ball and then press “stop record”, it records the distance that you have just hit it, what club you used and whether you hit the fairway, the rough or any other hazard. I love the fact that it builds up distance history for each club and tells you your average distance for each club in the bag. (The only downside here is that it’s total distance rather than carry distance).
Another word of caution, on the 5th hole I got a flyer and went long, I tried to record my wedge back to the green and the GPS didn’t keep up so it recorded a 313 yd lob wedge shot. It is possible to delete this distance record, but a couple of when I was switching between apps the GPS wasn’t keeping up and missed that particular shot.
Entering a score is easy.
On the watch press the score icon. And you have two scrolls, one for the score and one for the number of putts. Select each and press OK then it’s onto the next hole.
On the phone press score, and you get a vertical scorecard screen, at the bottom on the left two scrolls again one for score, one for putts, but you can also select bunker shots, penalty strokes and whether you hit the fairway or not. Press OK and you log the score and number of puts, then depending on the scoring system chosen you get your overall scorecard.
On the watch itself, there’s pretty much none that I’ve found yet. It’s just a very good on the wrist yardage guide and score keeper.
The phone app offers more! Select “me” and you get a history of rounds played and your handicap. Under my performance then you have best score, Longest shot, putts per hole, GIR and scoring charts. Press the statistic and you get more info, so when I press best score, it takes me into that round and the stats for it, broken down into; score, long game, short game, and putting. Each one has further detail and charts.
I can also select round recap and I get a nice screen showing the key stats and the scorecard.
From a one time use, I like it. At first, it doesn’t look as detailed as Golfshot, but that’s because the view of the hole in Golfshot looks more like an aerial photo.
If you are using Golfshot Pro, then it has more features that the Tag Heuer App, however that requires a subscription. In comparison to the free version of Golf Shot I think Tag Heuer Golf offers much more.
It is easy to use and visually you get the information you need very quickly. I like the visuals for the stats and the fact that I can move the target around to get carry distances over bunkers or to the run out on doglegs is brilliant.
I’m not sure if I can get used to playing golf with a watch on, but if I do then the watch itself is as good as anything I’ve seen on an Apple watch.
Currently I have just have one round of history, so I’m keen to see how useful the stats and average distances will be over time as I get more rounds behind me and the couple of GPS errors are frustrating when trying to record shots.
I wouldn’t record every shot in the long term, as that certainly slows the pace of play down, but generally I like it. It offers more functionality that any other free to use app I’ve seen, and provides everything I need both on the course and for data afterwards.
Good work Tag 8/10