At first glance, technology and golf seem like odd partners. On the one hand, you have the ever-changing world of high technology, blinking and whirring at the speed of light. On the other hand, you have the tradition-rich world of golf, slow to change and proud of it. Upon closer inspection, however, it is clear that technology has always played an important role in the game of golf.
The most fundamental advances have come with improvements in golf clubs and balls. Beyond these changes, the game has seen the advent of rangefinders and GPS tools, not to mention the myriad teaching gadgets and swing aids that have come and gone over the years. These technologies have made the game more accessible, and at their best, they have made the game more fun. We even wrote an article about these innovations in golf here.
At 18Birdies, we believe that technology has the promise of enhancing the experience and enjoyment of golf, and even growing the game by making it more interesting and exciting to a new generation of golfer. The 18Birdies smartphone app is our first offering and represents big step in this direction.
The 18Birdies scoring system allows you to very easily track scores and even score for your group. Extensive user testing led us to the belief that we have developed the simplest method for inputting scores that’s out there today. In most circumstances, scoring a hole is a simple matter of tapping a button once, twice, or three times.
For players who are interested in additional metrics, 18birdies allows inputting number of putts, greens in regulation, number of chip shots, etc. All of these metrics are stored in the your history, so strengths and weaknesses can be assessed and monitored over time. And of course, tracking round history allows us to calculate a handicap. After playing five 18 hole rounds, you will receive a handicap that is based on official handicapping rules.
Friendly competition is one of the best elements of the game of golf. Very few of us will ever have the chance to compete at a professional level at any sport, but we can all take on our buddies in a little friendly side game. The 18Birdies app allows you to track up to three side games simultaneously. Currently, the game library includes Skins, Vegas, Nassau, Strokes, and Match play. The games are configurable. For example, you can set how much a skin is worth, or how many strokes your fellow competitors give or take in a given game. These games ensure that there’s something to play for on almost every hole. If you blow up on the first hole, it doesn’t need to take you out of the action for the whole day. With the added competition introduced by the side games, there are other opportunities to succeed
Our GPS+ system is designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. Rather than load the display with excessive data that can be difficult to interpret or use, we simply show you a clear satellite image of the hole with distances to your target and to the green. You can adjust your target to find the distance to your desired landing spot or to evaluate the distance to bunkers or water features. Also, if you happen to find yourself in a situation where you cannot see the pin from where you’re standing, you can pop open our Blind Shot Compass that points you in the correct direction. This feature is great when you’re in the trees, but also comes in handy when dog legs or undulations obscure your view.
Lastly, as we were building 18Birdies, we wanted to cultivate an organizing principle for golfers to come together. So, our solution is a fully featured social medial component that we call Connect. Connect allows sharing of messages between friends or within your favorite course communities. You can create private groups that allow you to talk trash with your friends before, during, and after your round. Beyond this, we will be developing social sharing so that you can share directly to other social channels scorecards from each round.
This is just the beginning for us in providing technology-based experiences that make golf more fun. As we continue to develop 18Birdies, your feedback is valuable to us. Please let us know if you have any questions or thoughts. You can send us a message by emailing support@18Birdies.com or by clicking the Feedback button within the app, which is located in the More tab.