In my first review for AAWP, I look at FreeCaddie Golf GPS, a cross platform free (ad-supported) application for displaying the distance to the green. The developers claim to have data for over 22,000 courses worldwide, with the ability for users to add their own courses if they are not listed via their website. There is also a pro version of the application which offers additional functionality, which I'll hopefully look at shortly.
FreeCaddie takes your GPS location and provides a list of local courses for you to select:
During testing I found that all of my local courses were available, including the small pay as you play ones; which shows the extent of the database. Once you have selected the course you are playing, you choose which hole you are playing from and the software gives a simple display of the distance to the front, middle and back of the green.
During my testing the distances shown compare very well with measurements taken with hand held laser measuring and GPS devices. Distances can be shown in either metres or yards. Being GPS-driven, you do not need a line of sight to the pin to get an accurate measurement to the green, which is an advantage over laser devices.
The application launches very quickly and remembers your last position, which makes it very unobtrusive during a round if you are keeping it in a pocket, which is how I like to use it. I found using the application this way showed very little battery drain (around 10 – 15% per 18 holes). Where GPS data is not instantly available, the application makes its best guess (usually very close) at your position for a few seconds whilst the GPS lock is made, this estimate is highlighted by question marks being shown against the distances. With a bit of mental arithmetic you can use the measurements to work out driving distance etc. as well.
You do have to tell the software that you have moved onto the next hole, otherwise you will be presented with incorrect distances. This can be a bit of pain as it is not always obvious from the distance reading that you are getting data for the wrong hole.
If you want a quick distance to the pin measurement with minimal interruption to your round then I can highly recommend FreeCaddie as it provides a single function very efficiently. Having accurate measurements has improved my scoring through better and consistent club selection.
If you are the type of golfer that wants to collect and analyse detail about your performance then there are other GPS applications out there such as Procaddie which give you that, but at the cost of having to enter data as you play. Given the accuracy of this application and the zero cost (other than data for ads etc.) it offers a very cost effective solution over dedicated GPS or Laser devices.
Reviewed by Julian Grail at