Mark Twain referred to golf as “a good walk spoiled,” and if you’ve ever had a bad day on the links, it’s not hard to understand what he was talking about.
Sometimes you miss the easy putt. Other times you shank the ball so hard, you need NORAD’s help finding it. But it’s all worth it for those rare perfect shots.
One way to get more of those feel-good swings is to play regularly—as in, all the time. Another is to be Tiger Woods. If neither of these is an option, though, there is some technology that can help you lower your score—without taking a mulligan. Here are a few options to consider.
Leupold Gx-3I2 Rangefinder
The quickest way to get a low golf score is having the correct club. And the best way to do that is to know exactly how far you are from the green. Leupold made its rangefinder name in the hunting industry, where distance is just as key—and it has transferred that expertise to this $400 device. It’s light (7.8 ounces), compact, and claims an accuracy rate that’s within 1/10th of a yard. The only thing it doesn’t have is the ability to calculate slope, as some others do. (Buy it here.)
You can’t get better if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Arccos was one of the first swing trackers that duffers embraced. The $249 product has trackers—small attachments to the club’s grip—that are 50% smaller and lighter than their predecessors. They last for two years without needing a charge. The trackers record each shot and offer real-time analysis of your performance, which you can use to improve your swing. And after it gets to know you, Arccos can make personal strategy recommendations on most courses worldwide, thanks to a partnership with Microsoft. (Buy it here.)
Garmin Approach S6
Garmin’s golf-centric smart watch Approach S6 measures your swing, offers color maps for 38,000 courses worldwide (alerting you to hazards and traps), and alerts you when you get a text or email. Perhaps best of all, the $300 device does this without any additional subscriptions or fees. You’ll need to charge the watch after every round, and the screen is fairly small, but users say it’s lightweight and comfortable. (Buy it here.)
Self-V Fairway Headcover
It’s impossible to take a selfie when you’re teeing off. But this club cover has a built-in mount and attachable phone clamp that will let you position your phone and take remote shots as you channel your inner Jack Nicklaus. Beyond the social media aspects, it’s also a good way for you to record video of your swings to review later and see what you’re doing wrong, rather than guessing in the moment. (Buy it here.)
Mizuno JPX900 Driver
When it comes to golf, there is nothing more technology focused than the clubs. Manufacturers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars optimizing wedges, drivers, and putters to make them better for players. The tech in the $500 JPX900 isn’t computers or gears, it’s a pair of adjustable 8-gram weights that let you control the loft, lie, and face angle of the club head. That level of personalization could result in longer drives—assuming, of course, that you hit the ball clean. (Buy it here.)
We’ve included affiliate links in this article. Click here to learn what those are.