The number one obstacle to a good day playing golf is weather. Skilled or unskilled, every golfer agrees that rain, or even strong winds, prevents you from enjoying your 4-5 hours at the course.
Some golfers battle through inclement weather, but most try to avoid it. Unfortunately, without a good weather app, we can get caught off guard by gray skies and rain. We’ve played a lot of rounds. We’ve also tried out a lot of weather apps. Some are designed for golfers, others are not.
Through years of trial and error, we’ve narrowed the field down to five apps. These choices are sure to help you pick tee times that avoid rain. When this isn’t possible, these apps give you enough heads up to decide if it’s a passing shower and to power through, or if the storm will last long enough you should take a break in the 19th hole.
Accuweather covers you hour-to-hour, location by location. As its name suggests, it’s accurate. However, much of its value comes from providing information to all areas. Even when golfing in the mountains or lowly populated areas, you’re covered.
When you aren’t golfing, this is a great day-to-day app. Accuweather has a great system of tracking alerts in your area. If a wind advisory is active in your area, golfers and non-golfers want to know. If a thunderstorm warning pops up, both types of people want to know. Same goes for nearly every other type of warning. If you’re on the course or off, Accuweather keeps you aware of what’s coming, even if you don’t have the app open.
While wind does not really determine if you play or not, it can determine how you play. And really, this applies mostly to skilled golfers. When it gets really windy, it’s best to know before your round so you can adjust what’s in your bag.
It’s great to step into a drive with the wind at your back, but the flipped feeling of going right into the wind outweighs it. Instead, it’s better to opt for a lower ball flight and take out as much of the wind as possible.
This means swapping a hybrid for a long iron. It also means swapping the golf ball you typically play. Many a skilled golfer will tell you that a low, penetrating ball flight gives you added control in the wind. A great example of this is changing from a Pro V1 to an AVX ball. Similar levels of performance, but different ball flights.
Since you cannot change what’s in your bag or the type of ball you play during a round, you need to know before. This is something that Windy.com specializes in. With comprehensive maps and easy to understand charts, we really like this app for pre-round prep.
Most weather apps give you information about towns and zip codes, Golfweather.com lets you save golf courses to your favorites for easy access later. This is perfect for golf trips or playing in unfamiliar areas.
Rather than spend your time figuring out towns and zip codes, all you need to enter is the course you’re planning to play. Golfweather.com provides all the same information as a typical weather app, but is geared specifically to golfers. With updates and predictions for every three hours, this is a perfect app for those looking to get 9 in.
4. Storm Shield
Storms are the biggest threat to enjoying a round of golf—at least weather wise. Storm Shield allows you to layer active alerts in your area with radar. If there’s an active thunderstorm warning, you can see how it interacts with the radar, and plan how long you have to finish your round or get off the course.
This is specifically for iPhone users, but there is a specific design for iOS Dark Mode. Most apps have a variation of this, but Storm Shield has a dedicated design. If you’re a Dark Mode user, this is the most compatible app.
5. Weather – The Weather Channel
What more can be said about The Weather Channel that hasn’t already been said? TWC is a household name that has been providing accurate data for years. For golfers, its value comes the simple design.
You can download The Weather Channel app and immediately get maximum value. There is nothing hidden, it’s all visible and easy to navigate. One thing that we really like about The Weather Channel app is how easy it is to review air quality. For some, this determines if they will walk or ride. For others, it helps decide between 9, 18, or more.