skip to main content

New Features in GHIN Mobile App Give Golfers a Helping Hand October 18, 2021 By Scott Kramer

New technology in the GHIN mobile app includes enhanced GPS-based features for thousands of courses. (Russell Kirk/USGA)

Maintaining a Handicap Index isn’t just useful for better, more experienced players who compete in tournaments. It’s for everyone. In fact, those who play golf mainly for fun can actually get more enjoyment out of the game while tracking their progress.

Thanks to new technology developed by the USGA, the GHIN mobile app presented by Sentry brings users a wealth of new features. It’s still simple to keep track of your hole-by-hole scores and stats, but now, the app is armed with course maps & GPS that add a new dimension. Think maps of thousands of courses worldwide, along with useful enhanced features that help you read putts.

To try it out, I visited the Legends Course front nine at Omni La Costa Resort near San Diego. Standing on the first tee, I signed into the GHIN Mobile app via my GHIN number and password, and selected “Play with GPS.” It immediately brought up a list of recent courses I’ve played. I tapped Legends and the app downloaded rich, colorful hole maps. Walking to my chosen tee, I saw the app’s distances for the first hole change with every step – a good sign of responsiveness. Then I started playing. 

The app provides distances to the center of the green and touchpoint distances to anywhere on the course. The cart GPS system at La Costa displays yardages to that day’s hole location, so I was able to quickly figure out that the app’s accuracy was spot on. Just like having a trusty caddie, knowing the accurate yardage for your next shot gives all of us, regardless of playing ability, more confidence and a better chance of success. 

Upon reaching the green, the app’s Approach Shot Heat Map and Putt Break Map provides helpful information when you’re trying to read a putt. Each green map includes arrows and color-coding, indicating general direction and speed. What blew me away is how the map rotates in real-time based on where I'm standing. That’s a game-changer feature that removes much of the guesswork.

After each hole, I finger-tapped the pencil icon that took me back to the scorecard so I could enter my score and stats for the hole. It was simple and user-friendly. After my round ended, I posted my score and was presented with a round summary of my score and stats It is possible to bypass hole-by-hole scoring and post your score afterwards, but for me, interacting with the app during my round helped me stay focused. I used the app on every shot, especially the putts, and found it to be helpful all along the way. I really liked the post-round, color-coded stats graphic, offering a quick summary of the round at one glance.

The app has other capabilities, too – one cool thing is that you can look up anyone’s Handicap Index. I like knowing how my friends have been playing, especially before taking them on for a round! The GHIN Mobile app presented by Sentry provides a complete experience with a clean look and easy-to-understand guidance.

So if you don’t have a Handicap Index through a GHIN association, get one. If you have one but don’t use the GHIN mobile app, download it. You’ll need to upgrade ($49.99 annual subscription) from the free GPS version to access the Enhanced GPS features such as the Approach Shot Heat Map, Putt Break Map, Shot Tracking and more, a worthwhile investment in your enjoyment in the game.

More From the USGA