I am not a golfer who thinks that rangefinders are a good idea, or who enters my greens-in- regulation and putts-per-hole into a phone application. In fact, I usually leave my phone in the car during golf rounds.
But recently, during the epic Golf Road Warriors siege of Scottsdale, my fellow journalists and I agreed to use a scoring app provided by Grow the Game Golf, which recently debuted real-time leaderboard scoring and other features.
On the first day we took on Troon North’s highly regarded Monument Course, a Tom Weiskopf design that includes several enticing driveable par fours, great short holes, a few carries over desert flora and fauna, and an overall aesthetic that defined great desert golf when it was first built.
We had two foursomes, and one player in each group entered all scores on the app. As the day progressed, we were able to track our progress against the other group in a one-best-ball competition, and I was able to keep a close eye on my golf nemesis, Peter Kessler, in the match we were playing, despite the fact that we were in different foursomes. The Grow the Game Golf app allowed for gross and net leaderboard watching of all players and teams in our little group. And I took great pleasure in knowing that each time I made a par, Kessler, in the group behind me, was watching my score on his phone and cursing his luck and generally wondering how I was able to post an 80 on such a difficult course. The beauty of the app is that it lets the golf do the talking for you, if you’re playing well, and you can enjoy the fact that everyone else in your party– whether there’s ten or one hundred– will know when you eagle #15 as my partner Terry Moore did today, or you knock down four 4s in a row, as I did on the front nine.
The app also keeps track of all players’ net and gross scores in addition to specific games you might be playing. Future versions may even allow you to trash talk to the group behind you when they look at their phones to see how you’re doing. And what, really, could be better than that?