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I just downloaded the app and will use it on my next round in two weeks. I currently use an app made by Skygolf (Skycaddie) and it will be interesting to see the comparisons.

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Alright, now that I've had a chance to get out and really test the app for the 5 round limit of the free version, I feel like I can provide a public assessment.  

 

 

What is Striker Golf GPS? 

 

Striker Golf GPS is a new application in the iOS Golf GPS category that really doesn't fit into an apples to apples comparison against the big boy if the smartphone GPS application market.  Without beating around the bush, when it comes to identity and installed base, GolfShot GPS dominates the marketplace. While Striker Golf GPS competes with GolfShot GPS, it caters to a broader market segment, and makes some choices in it's implementation to be a different, and superior application for many uses, while leaving a couple of features on the table unimplemented.

 

What Striker Golf GPS is not. 

 

If you are someone that wants to track club by club distances via you smartphone application, this is not the application you are looking for.  For pretty much everyone else though, this is certainly an application to look at.

 

About the Features

 

Despite the choice not to go head to head with GolfShot GPS, Striker brings a lot of function to the table in a model well suited to their stated goals. For Striker Golf, the GPS functions are for course management, not statistical logging.  By making this decision, they have focused on an interface that provides far more robust usage at deciding on the next shot, as opposed to worrying about the one you just made.  The ability to touch a top down GPS image of your location, and hole layout with a quick wire and target spot on the map, you get very good distance to target estimates on the fly.  From a course management perspective, this is easily one of the most stellar implementations we have seen to date, and is arguably one of the most compelling implementations seen to date.  From that same screen comes the scoring system.  While on first use, the scoring system may seem a little odd, it is and incredibly efficient handling of the scoring process.  By eschewing the use of the standard +/- logic adopted by most competitors, and custom implementing in context editors for each statistic, they have created the most streamlined interface for entering hole by hole statistics of all of the current crop of applications. Unfortunately, there is a lot of statical information to display, and this is one of the weak points of the application today. Readability of entered values can be difficult in the sunlight, or if you are like me, when wearing contacts instead of glasses and the vision is not quite optimal. 

 

This brings us to where Striker Golf GPS has zigged where GolfShot GPS zagged.  

 

Social & group play are not strong features of the dominant player in the GPS marketplace.  Other apps have risen up to fill these gaps, with highly social oriented applications like Foursum Golf, and Golf Gamebook working hard at the mix of social and group play, with shared leaderboards, league management and modified scoring models. These features are well implemented within Striker Golf, but like the others, they do not really shine until multiple players, preferably most or all, of a group are using Striker Golf at the same time.  As such getting a good test of these features is not easy, and required coordination with a couple of other iPhone users.  With only 1 round in the books with multi player, the experience is good, but I simply do not feel that I have enough experience with it to give it a fair shake.  As expected, setup time took a few minutes, but the actual usage was stellar.

 

Comments

 

Before I wrote this up, I also communicated privately with folks at Striker Golf, and having had a couple of support issues with other vendors in this space, I have a good impression that what we see in Striker Golf is the beginning of something that has an enormous potential.  The people behind this are willing to take risks to build a best of breed application, and some of those risks may require some iterative improvements in order to get to the balance between form and function that they are clearly pursuing.

 

Conclusion

 

If all you want is club by club statistics, this is not the application for you, but for pretty much everyone else, I believe this is an application that is good right now, and has the potential to be a truly great companion on the golf course for a golfer of any skill level.  In addition to the golfer who plays with larger groups on a regular basis, the fun aspects of the social integrations open the door for talking trash and keeping tabs on scores across large groups that only make the application even more fun to use.

 

At this point, I am going to have to make the commitment and pony up to the full version.  Yes, I like the application that much.

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Good review Dru! Looking forward to testing the app when I get out in a couple of weeks.

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Sounds pretty cool.

 

I sent you an email as I would be interested in trying this app......playing in a tournament this weekend about 90 minutes from home.....Ocala Municipal GC ....this would be a good course to test.

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Ran the app today as the markers for the home course were updated (thanks Heidi). I'll write up a further review in a bit .

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Heidi, I use my iPhone with to monitor wind direction, speed, the exact location of the moon, as well as yardage on each and every shot.  Sure, this takes about 4 minutes, but it's worth it and means the difference between 84 or 85 for me.

OK, that was funny! Between that and your amazing talent for doing a driver fitting with the squeeze test, you may be a legend someday! Haha!

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