Review: Par-Tee Golf iPhone App

Urban golf with a twist.

iPhone apps are all the rage.  There are so many options out there and it can be hard to tell which ones are fun and which ones are a waste of money.  The Par-tee app is a new GPS based app that you can play augmented reality golf anywhere by using your iPhone.  It is a cool concept to virtually drop a ball at your house and then hit shots all around the neighborhood or city until you make it in the hole.  This is not a game for killing time indoors, it must be played outdoors.  I look forward to playing it this winter even with snow on the ground.  I could see this as a great adventure game where a car might make it even more fun.

It is pretty easy to use.  Turn on, drop a flag on the map and then drop a ball where you stand and swing.  Obviously choosing between the right 3 clubs is important and aiming at the pin is important, kind of standard stuff for golf.  The app lets you know how far you can hit each club so read what the GPS says for distance and then pick the club accordingly.

The augmented camera view is fun too as you can put the flag on your neighbors front porch or just about any interesting place you can think of.  It is the ultimate urban golf experience without breaking any windows.  It really is limited by your imagination and access to locations.  If you hit the ball on top of a building that you can’t get within 10 yards of, you might have to reset your hole.

I could envision setting up a league or challenge that has specific GPS coordinates to mark tee shots and greens.  You could challenge people to predesigned courses that you could map out or plan ahead of time.  It would be like adventure/urban golfing without worrying about broken windows or carrying clubs.

A side use of this app is as a cheap golf GPS alternative.  If you place the virtual green of the Par-tee app on the real green, it will give you the distance to where you are standing.  I tested it with my laser range finder and against a dedicated golf GPS.  It was close.  Not exact to the yard, but within a few.  The problem is that you can’t zoom out far enough to drop the pin for longer distances; the longest I could get on the course was 150 yards. 

And that really is my only complaint.  I would love to play a really long hole, but the only way to do that is to set the pin, the move away from it and then drop a ball, but that seems to be a bit cumbersome to really enjoy the game.  If you could zoom out just a little bit, not way out to something crazy like the whole city, but so that you could play something like 300 or 400 yards or even 600 yards would be fun.  Even if it took a bunch of strokes, I think it would still be cool.

The newest update is nice with the practice feature and just a little better stability.  It seems that the creators are taking the app in the right direction.  If it had just a couple more features or optional controls it would be the ultimate urban golf app.  It is a great app, just has a little room to get even better.

For $.99 you can’t go wrong, this is a fun outdoor golf app, which requires no golfing skill.  So if you want to play some urban golf wherever you are, this one will be fun using your GPS, Maps and camera to swing away without fear of breaking a window, just hold on tight to your iPhone.

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Quick Hits
+Fun inexpensive app
+Outdoor play
+Worry free urban golf
+anyone can play

–no zoom out feature