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Review: GreenFinder for BlackBerry

By James Falconer on 20 Aug 2008 12:11 pm EDT
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GreenFinder for BlackBerry

Chances are, if you're a golfer you can appreciate that knowledge is power... Especially around the golf course. Knowing yardages to exact locations is invaluable, and can help lower your scores.

Golfers will be well aware that there are other rangefinders out there (SkyCaddie is the big name) but for that, you're shelling out big bucks along with a monthly fee. GreenFinder is an app that installs directly on your device, and it only costs $35 a year... not a bad price... especially if your course is mapped accurately. The app works with any GPS enabled berry, and I have to admit... after trying it out for the first time the other day... it works pretty darn well.

GreenFinder on the BlackBerry 8800How it Works

GreenFinder uses the GPS technology built into some Berry devices to display the distance to the front, middle and back of each green. It can also be used to tell you distances to and to carry any hazard on the course. For example, on my home course, the app tells me that it is only 220 yards to the front of the trap on the right hand side of the fairway... and 240 to carry it. After my tee ball, I can then use the application to tell me the distance to the pin. Depending on where the pin is on the green, I can estimate the exact distance using the front/middle/back distances.

Putting GreenFinder to Use

So, you're on the first tee and ready to golf. Open GreenFinder and you're ready to go. You can either search for your course, or let the GPS find your location and it will automatically find the course where you are standing... that's kind of cool!

When you're ready, click the course name, and go 'Play Course'. You're off to the races. Immediately you will notice data for hole #1. Chances are the hole is a par 4 or 5, so you will probably see data to a hazard encountered by your tee shot.

You will also notice that there are two 'tabs' at the top of the screen. One for 'green', which tells you no matter where you are, how far you are to the front, middle and back of the green. The 'fairway' tab gives you data you'll need off the tee. Very handy.

GreenFinder for BlackBerry

Another cool feature built into this app is the distance finder. At least that's what I'm calling it. Go ahead and take your shot, and then hit the space bar where you made contact. Proceed out to your ball, and you will notice that GreenFinder is counting up in yards, on your screen. When you arrive at your ball you will know exactly how far you hit your shot! This is handy for figuring out how far you hit each club... Take 5 to 10 solid shots with each club, mark the distance, and within minutes you can have a chart of your clubs and distances you hit each one :)

If you don't want to actually LOOK at your device (kind of lazy I know), you can also have GreenFinder speak the distance to the center of the green to you. All you need to do is hit the mute button (I know, seems a little backward, but it's easy to access) and you'll get your yardage.

Key Features

GPS Distance - Uses your berry's GPS capabilities to display distance to the front, center and back of greens... along with important key hazards along the way.

Audible Distances - As I noted above, you can have GreenFinder speak the distance to the center of the green, so that you don't even need to look at your device.

Real-Time Course Downloads - Download courses as you need them. Step on the first tee and download the course data in seconds.

Measure Shot Length - Press one button to record where you took your shot. When you arrive at your ball, you'll see how far you hit it!

Is My Course Mapped?

Good question. To take advantage of this app you'll need to have your course mapped. Thousands of courses have already been mapped in great detail. To find out if your local courses are available click here.

Of course, if your course isn't available, you can always map it yourself, or request that GreenFinder map it for you. They can plot out your course via Google Earth images for you!

If your course IS mapped, but you want to add more data, you can always add more points, name them, and submit them. New additions to the course data will be reviewed by GreenFinder and added to the course if accurate!

Will it Improve Your Game?

YES. Having yardage around the course is incredibly valuable, especially if you know exactly how far you hit each club. I squeezed in a round with GreenFinder the other day, and I figure it saved me 3-4 strokes. I'm a low handicap golfer, so that number is quite impressive! The high handicapper might glean more benefit from it... to encourage them to get to know their club distances, and match the right shot for the target zone.

Bottom line is that it's so nice to know exactly how far you are to execute each shot properly. Giving yourself a target zone instead of one number to the middle of the green will open your target area, and give you a much larger target to shoot for. You'll have the confidence to commit to the shot and strike it the way you want...and more importantly, the game will get a heck of a lot more fun!

Why Buy it?

Many reasons... First, it will hopefully make the game more fun for you, and improve your scores. Second, you only have to pay one low yearly fee for the application. Third, you don't need to carry another expensive device to make this work... Simply load it on to your Berry and off you go. Lastly, you don't need a computer to manage the software, download updates or anything else. Everything you need happens in real time, OTA on your device!

Conclusions

It could be because this is my first experience with a GPS rangefinder, but I was really impressed with this one. It improved my game and made things just a little bit more fun! I'd recommend it for scratch golfers, all the way up to high-handicap golfers looking to make improvements and lower their scores.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable price point ($35/year)
  • Accurate distances
  • Thousands of courses mapped already

Cons

  • Not as powerful as SkyCaddie and other stand-alone devices
  • Could drain your battery life quickly

Download

GreenFinder is available for the 9000, 8800 series, 8300 series and 8100 series. A free trial is available here , or you can purchase and install OTA for only $35 CAD per year.

James Falconer James Falconer "Community Manager, Mobile Nations" 354 (articles) 804 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Review: GreenFinder for BlackBerry

41 Comments

Sounds like an excellent alternative to skycaddie. I will be anxious to try, I will just have to wait until my course is mapped or I'm at an available course.

I have been using it for quite some time now, and it works as advertised. The database did not have my club mapped and within a reasonable timeframe after I requested the course, it was available

By the way, I am a Verizon user, and yes it can work with the Verizon GPS; if you subscribe to Verizon's Navigator system and have the "Follow Me" function turned on.

Hit 'em straight...D

im a verizon customer, and i use VZ navigator, but greenfinder told me that it couldnt work on my phone. i have my gps turned on and the follow me function on, what did you do to get it to work? thanks

I love it. I have been using it for 2 months on my Curve. If your course is not mapped, you can email a request to have it mapped and within a few days you are notified that your course is mapped and ready to use. PJM

I use another software that tracks each shot (putts, fairways hit, greens in regulation, sand saves, etc), keeps score, dist for each club, can input notes for each hole. It has one time fee that you pay and only pay for upgrades once it goes from 6.0 to 7.0 version.

I put this app on my BB and it does not find any courses via the GPS. I tired the follow me function with VZNav with no results.

Does this app really work with Verizon or is this yet another GPS rain on our day?

It will work if u put Navigator in a "Follow ME" mode then start Green Finder, and rather than use "Search" type in a course...
On my Curve 8330 it works perfectly.

D

Hi,

I'm using Navigator 4.1 and after I get the "Follow Me" map it requires me to Exit VZ Navigator to get to Greenfinder. When I click on Greenfinder it says "GPS in not supported on this platform (8330). Any suggestions?

Thanks,

David

Marked my local out last Sat and within 24 hrs it had been approved and put on the website. really easy to use when marking a new course. Will have my first round this Sat. so far so good.

I totally urge anyone with a blackberry to try the trial version, once you do you'll be hooked and signing up for a years membership. My home course wasn't listed, and within one week they had it mapped and I loaded the trial version. I wanted to see if it really was as good as Golf for Women said - it is really accurate, easy to use, and easy to read. Thanks!

I love Greenfinder. Playing a lot of courses, travelling from Florida to California I have not found a course that wasn't mapped as of yet. Now the mapping isn't 100%. There are some bunker and hazard locations that aren't mapped but you can add them for the next time you play.

The biggest help is knowing the distance, if you're shooting a laser than it's going to be more accurate but for me to get within a yard or two is all I need.

I looked at SkyCaddie - it is more sophisticated but it's one more device I need to carry. For me I put the device on silent and activate Greenfinder and away I go. The battery takes a hit but I haven't run out of juice yet - during or after the round.

Service is great - I purhcased the software and then had a glitch with my connectivity (AT&T not Greenfinder) and couldn't access the software after my free trial. The guys at Itinerant Software set me up with just an email.

Look forward to seeing it continue to evolve.

GreenFinder does not work on my BB pearl 8100 with bluetooth connected GPS, it cannot find GPS signal. But my BB map can find the GPS signal and works fine. Any clue?

Anyone have a fix for allowing GreenFinder to access the GPS on a Verizon 8330. Does paying the $10/month for VZ Navigator work?

I just loaded the GreenFinder and it works well on my 8330. I do have an issue with paying an extra 10 bucks a month for GPS. That along with the 35 bucks a yr is gonna cost me a heck of a lot more than my SG2 did, but I will check to see if it's any better quality. If anyone has a workaround so that I don't have to pay, by all means let me know.

Did you ever get it to work? I have navigater and still get a gps not available on this device. I must be missing a step somewhere it works for some people

Activate VZ Navigator from your Blackberry (Remember you must be a subscriber to this service $10/Month). Then click on the "Maps and Traffic" icon. Then click on "Follow Me Map". Then click the red button on your blackberry(Same button you use to hang up on an active phone call). This will keep VZ Navigator running in the background. Now click on the "Greenfinder" icon. Search for your course. This works on my device. Good Luck.

Are you doing this on a Verizon Blackberry?

It still doesn't work for me. What operating system are you running under?

Then you must be much smarter than me because I still can't get it to work. Did you do something special with your Verizon Curve to get GPS active? I'm running the free month trial of VZ Navigator with v4.5.0.77 and it doesn't want to work.

Used it for the first time this week and so far so good. Great price $35 versus skycaddie etc. Very nice to not add additional gizmos to cart around. The negative is if the BB goes flying out of the cart you not only lose the golf gps but your damn phone too. bad scene. All in all a lot of bang for the buck

Has anyone tried GolfTraxx vs Greenfinder. I'm going to head south for a few days and wanted to try one of these out. I am using trial version of Greenfinder, but too cold to get on course around here.

Has anyone tried GolfTraxx vs Greenfinder. I'm going to head south for a few days and wanted to try one of these out. I am using trial version of Greenfinder, but too cold to get on course around here.

I have used IntelliGolf for almost 3 years now. It is the app mentioned above by a user that stated it tracks shots, score, putts. It is very powerfull and can gather a lot of data quickly. It's also easy to gather minimal info, upload to your computer and play back through the round to input fairways hit, left, right, short, long. It automatically counts GIR based on how many putts you take and your score. When playing alone I will track distances and that data is uploaded as well. Check it out --> http://www.intelligolf.com/ <--

This is just speculation, but I doubt these folks have people all over the nation mapping a course as soon as they get a request via email. A golf course can be mapped with relative accuracy by using Google Earth, zooming in, drawing lines and entering the GPS coordinates. You can measure from box to trap, box to water, front, center, back of green.

Has anyone with a 8830 on Verizon been able to get this to work? I downloaded Navigator and the program is still telling me GPS not available on this device

Has anyone with a Pearl 8130 on Verizon been able to make this software to work? I have Navigator and the program keeps telling me that GPS is not available.

I have a Storm and Greenfinder works fine. Accurate distances to the Green. Took very little tweeking to get the GPS working on a Verizon phone without VZ Navagator. Customer support is excellent. I requested a course that was not originally in their database, and was able to download it within a few days. I had a minor installation issue, and they got back to me in a few minutes, and solved the problem. I recommend this program, and its way less expensive than a stand alone Golf GPS system.

I can't seen to get the GPS to locate me. Can someone tell me how to set up the program to work on the Alltel network??

How much data does the greenfinder use? Does one have to have an unlimited data plan to use this system?

I've been told that I can pair my 8320, thru bluetooth connection, to my Garmin GPS so that I can use GreenFinder without having to pay the extra $10/month with Roger's. However, I haven't had any success...can anyone help me out?

I wanted to let you both know that this software was pretty amazing today at Carlisle CC in Carlisle, PA. It did everything you would expect from the screen shots and was simple to use. I prefer this over the more complex software because it is so quick and easy while playing. The really amazing part is that they quickly added the course from an e-mail request and had it ready on the day I played. Highly recommended.

Has any Canadians used this on Bell Mobility? Do I need to subscribe to the GPS Nav for $10/month. I assume not as my blackberry maps uses GPS for free.

In my opinion it would be a MAJOR MISTAKE if any of you purchase GreenFinder. They not only do not do what they claim but they will not respond to any emails asking for refunds. I requested a course to be added and they said it would take 2 weeks. 3 months later and 4 unanswered emails later they have not responded even though I have received their automated email response. They will not answer my requests for a refund either. Don't say you weren't warned. If they weren't based in Canada I would pay them a visit personally and get my money back one way or another.

Works as advertised. Customer support is poor to nil. I have asked for 3 courses to be mapped and after one month none of them have been mapped. I will renew next year but I think I could get a lot more out of it if customer support would answer my questions.