As golfers we can control a lot of things about our game. The course we play, the clubs we use and, hopefully, the shots we make. The one thing we frustratingly have absolutely no control over is the weather.
Therefore golfers tend to check the weather forecast a lot, and want it to be as accurate as possible. The local television forecast or the generic weather app on our smartphones does tend to be a little too vague for us though.
It's all very well saying that the high on the day will be around 18 and there is a possibility of rain but when? And where? What if you were to drive a bit out of your way to a different course, could you escape the rain and get a round in that way? The standard forecasts just don't tell you.
Not too surprisingly though app developers have picked up on this problem and an increasing number of weather apps designed especially with golfers in mind are popping up these days. But which of them are any good? Here's a take on what we judge to be the top five right now.
In The Post:
Developed by Golf Weather
iPhone, iPad, Android
Considering that the Golfweather.com app is free it is rather impressive. It's huge database of courses covers over 50,000 locations worldwide so there is an excellent chance that the one you'd like to play, even if it's a small one, is listed.
Plug in its name (you don't even need to know the proper postal address) and you will be presented in seconds with a plethora of weather information, including an hour by hour forecast that features wind speed and direction, humidity levels and chance of precipitation. You will also be given the weather conditions at other nearby courses, so that you can contrast and compare to decide where might be your best shot to get a good game in. And finally there is a rather neat function, Course Trivia, which will tell you, based on historical weather data, which individual hole tends to be the windiest, hottest, wettest etc.
The interface isn't fancy but it doesn't need to be. You get a ton of good information quickly and that is really all you could ask for in such an app.
2. Golf Weather International
Developed by Xclusion
If you want a golf weather app that offers not only excellent weather information but also some rather gorgeous pictures of golf courses from around the world (that can be downloaded as wallpaper) then this is an app you should check out.
Again the weather information for over 30,000 courses is presented on an hour by hour basis and includes wind, precipitation and humidity info. It also offers both an allergy forecast and a UV index for the health conscious golfer, or just the one who doesn't want to miss every shot they make because they were sneezing their head off. The one thing missing is the nearby course comparison but other than that this is another nice, solid free app.
3. Weather for Golf
Developed by The Met Office
iPhone and iPad
UK and Ireland Only
Designed specifically for UK and Ireland golfers and golf clubs this is a clean, basic looking app that can offer you weather information for pretty much every single course in existence in its geographical range. The forecasts presented offer half hourly predictions, allowing for (potentially) more accuracy as well as live current conditions at all times.
All of the information you could possibly need is there, including cloud cover predictions which is a less usual feature. You can also directly compare nearby golf courses in a split screen which is a rather handy feature. And, if you need them once you have decided where you are going to tee off the app will give you turn by turn directions to get there.
4. Dark Sky
Developed by Jackadam
iPhone and iPad
This impressive little weather app is amazing but, as it is currently only available for US courses, and is not golf specific, so can't make the top of the list. It makes use of live radar information to offer minute by minute conditions and forecasts, offering you some of the most accurate weather prediction possible.
A wealth of weather information is available, both in text form and as some rather lovely looking graph visualizations. And so that you don't have to keep checking your phone you can set alerts that will go off to warn you of whatever weather event you are concerned about, for example, it will buzz and tell you it's due to rain in 16 minutes so you can speed that round up a bit.
There is no specific course information as this is not a golf dedicated app but it will deliver address specific information which is almost as good.
5. Galvin Green Gear Up
Developed by Galvin Green
iPhone, iPad and Android
This semi weather app is actually rather cool. Developed by Galvin Green, one of the leading performance golf clothing manufacturers in the world it will not only give your course specific weather forecasts but will also offer tips on just what you should wear to beat the heat/rain/wind etc. as well as where you could buy a specific item of clothing in your local area.
Of course, in reality, it's all one big advert for GG but the weather information provided is actually rather good and obviously you don't have to buy the stuff but is is rather neat to have a clue about what to pull out of the wardrobe.