I tested the 3 best golf apps for Apple Watch — here’s my favorite

Golfshot on an Apple Watch
(Image credit: Future)

The battle to get better at golf never ends. Golfers like me are always looking for new tools to add to their toolbox. Whether it be a new golf glove, a new pair of golf shoes, driver, or some other gadget, we all want to find the ultimate product that'll turn us into the golfer we want to be.

Surprisingly, the best tool for improving your golf game may be the one you already own — an Apple Watch. I recently spent some time with the Apple Watch Ultra and Golfshot's new practice tools, and it made me realize how the right apps can turn the Apple Watch into the ultimate golf score tracker and practice aid

I tried out three of the best Apple Watch scoring and stat-tracking apps — Arccos, Golfshot and TheGrint — and I have to say, they're all great at what they do. But there's one that stands out as my clear favorite.


I've been using Arccos for almost as long as I've been golfing. It's a great app for keeping your golf score. It uses sensors in your club to know when you've hit shots and automatically adds those shots to your score. 

But it's not without issues. The biggest among them is the price. You need to buy the sensors (or get them free when the company is offering promotions, which is most of the time) and pay $155 per year to access the service. It also doesn't do anything during golf practice — the app is strictly for keeping track of scores and stats on the course.

That said, once you learn how to use Arccos with with the Apple Watch, it's a magical experience. You take a swing at the ball with your driver (ideally, smashing it perfectly down the middle) and walk up to your ball to find out exactly how far it went. You hit the next shot, and when you get to the ball, you see how far that went (hopefully onto the green). You hit your putts (which are also tracked by the Arccos sensors) and go to the next hole. Your score is logged, and you're good to go.

After playing three complete rounds of 18, you can view all kinds of stats about your golf game. You're served average distances for each club, strokes gained versus your goal handicap in four categories (driving, approach, short and putting) and more. So while costly, Arcoss's ease of use and the tremendous amount of data it offers make it an incredible tool for Apple Watch-owning golfers. 


Golfshot offers some of the same features as Arccos, but it conducts score tracking and swing analysis using AI instead of trackers. It leverages knowledge of your game to predict what club you'll hit and uses the sensors in the Apple Watch to know you took a shot. It's great because you don't have to stick anything in your club. You also save a lot of money with Golfshot, as its Pro version (which is required to get all of the features) costs just $69 per year.

In addition to the shot tracking and all the stats that come with it, you also get the new practice features that use the sensors on the Apple Watch to provide all kinds of data on your swing. It's not quite as robust as a full-featured launch monitor, but it's still quite useful. It's so useful, in fact, that despite being a long-time Arccos user, I actually kept using the Golfshot after testing just for the practice features.


While incredibly popular among Apple Watch users, TheGrint doesn't offer any automatic shot-tracking features, which puts it behind the other two apps. However, it does offer lots of information and data if you're willing to log things manually.

One feature that stands out with TheGrint is the ability to see green contours on the Apple Watch display. When it comes to lining up putts and learning to read greens, this is an awesome feature to have accessible. You can get low, choose your line based on your eye and check the Apple Watch to see if the line you've chosen matches the green map listed in TheGrint.

It does offer score tracking, distances to the green and all those kinds of goodies, but you still need to add scores, number of putts and other data manually as you play. The tradeoff is that TheGrint's premium plan is a lot cheaper than the other apps at just $40 per year.

Which app is right for you?

Each of these three Apple Watch golf apps offers something that makes them stand out. With Arccos, you get the sensors for detailed shot tracking and club selection. Golfshot offers similar tracking but without the sensors and at a lower price. Plus, it has tons of features that work at the driving range. TheGrint doesn't have the tracking, but it costs a fraction of the other apps and has green contour maps on the watch.

In the end, I'm a creature of habit and will stick with Arccos for my on-the-course shot tracking and scoring. But I'm also going to keep using Golfshot for the range and to see more details about my swing. While I like TheGrint, I've grown used to spending money on automatic tracking apps, and I don't know if I could go back to doing it manually. However, if you're not accustomed to that and want to save money, it's a perfectly viable option.

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Dave LeClair
Senior News Editor

Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.