10 ways the iPhone has changed golf

Apple debuted the iPhone in January 2007. Here are 10 ways the smartphone has made its mark in golf.


It's easier to play hooky

It's easier to play hooky
Answer emails, hold conference calls, even type up that pesky TPS report. Phones allow the facade of work while you're at play.

Paying up bets if you’re short on cash

Paying up bets if you’re short on cash
We all have that one golfer in our lives that loves to wager yet -- when the breaks go the other way -- they suddenly realize their wallet's bare. Thanks to mobile payment services, your win never has to go unrewarded.

Easier to take course photos

Easier to take course photos
Keep your camera at home when you play or attend a tournament. Moreover, you're not sacrificing picture quality, as the iPhone's megapixel lenses allow for SLR-caliber photos and the ability to create special effects.

Looking up rules in an instant

The ability to find rulings in a second -- along with a more interactive, user-friendly USGA site -- has helped resolve confusion regarding on-course rulings. Well, most rulings, that is.

Getting an on-course lesson or analysis

No need to run to the local pro if your drives sail wayward or three-putts become the norm. Plenty of apps and publications (including Golf Digest!) offer online videos and instruction that cater to any hacker's woe.

The ability to record your swing

Taping your swing used to be a production. Now, golfers can capture their movements -- however ghastly they may be -- without the hassle. But please, refrain from posting your swings on social media. It's bad enough we have to see those hacks in person.

Easier to listen to music

Unless you had a boombox or Al Czervik's bag, listening to tunes on the course used to be a pipe dream. Thanks to streaming services like Pandora -- along with the sport's new tolerance and acceptance of music -- a golfer never has to listen to the sounds of silence again.

Connecting with new golfers

Fill out your foursome thanks to sites like GolfLinkd or Golf Match, or better yet, find your playing partner for life with golfer-centric dating apps.
The iPhone didn't introduce GPS to golf, as courses had carts with the service installed. However, the iPhone undoubtedly facilitated a greater prevalence of its use, especially with apps that allow golfers to keep track of their own stats in the process.
Some golfers like being off the grid for a few hours. Conversely, when encountering delays or pauses in action, having your phone as a distraction can come in handy.