Reviewed on iPhone
Swing by Swing's Golf GPS Range Finder is a free GPS distance app for your mobile. You would be forgiven for having low expectations of a free GPS app considering you can buy golf GPS devices for upwards of £400. However, this app does the job, and does it fairly well. With more than 21,000 courses in its database, finding the course your playing is fairly reliable.
Once found, the app portrays aerial imagery of the course based on where you are standing. Clearly displayed is the distance to the centre of the green, and if you turn your phone to landscape it displays the distance in larger text, making finding the yardage you need even easier. You can zoom in and out of the aerial, perhaps getting a clearer idea of what is going on around the green prior to your approach shot.
The best feature of the app is the ability to touch the screen and find out how far it to the point you just selected, and additionally how far it is from there to the centre of the green. This feature is great for deciding on where you want to hit your tee shots, or where you want to layup to. Another key feature is the green feature that displays different coloured lines on a enlarged image of the green, displaying distances to the front, middle and back of the green. Navigation is simple and you can search for courses either by name or based on your location. Even if your course is not in the database, worry not, you have the ability to add or map a course yourself.
As with any free app, the adverts may take away from the enjoyment, but it is a small price to pay for a free app. You won't be blown away by the graphics or structure of the app, but in terms of assisting you round the course, it does it's job and does it well. If you are considering a GPS device but are perhaps put off by the prices, this is a perfect app to try out. We liked it more than any of the other free GPS apps.