if there's one sport that technology has become well-known and used well, it'd be Golf. Fancy apps tell you about the course you're playing on, apps tell you the weather for your weekend round, and countless fitness trackers and watches have Golf features in them. None of these gadgets and breakthroughs make losing a ball less painful, but Golf Ball Locator is one Android app that aims to do just that. Using the camera on your device, this neat little app will find your white ball, and highlight it on your device, making it easier to find and helps you continue your game and even save money on not needing to replace lost balls.
Golfers will need to download Golf Ball Locator from the Play Store, and while it's not a free app, the developer is confident that it will start paying for itself during your first round of Golf.
Once you have the app downloaded, you can start to launch and use it. The app has a shade and sunny setting, which can be used to adjust things depending on the conditions where you are. There's also an accuracy slider, too.
When in use, you need to be roughly within 40 feet of where your ball may have landed, and then the app will start to scan, while you move your phone around as if you're recording a video. Green squares will appear around items that could be a ball, but a red square will confirm a lock and your phone will vibrate letting you know it's found what it was looking for. The below photo is a good example of a ball that is perhaps visible, but not immediately easy to pick out.
In fact, taking a second look, it's really hard to make out a golf ball in the above image! So, this is where the Golf Ball Locator app comes in and just after a few seconds, it's found what we were looking for.
It even gives you a rough estimate of how far away from the ball your phone is, but this example might not have been all that clear. After all, this is a flat, clear expanse of green and with some help most people might be able to see the white ball. This example of the ball in taller grass is another great example:
Sure enough, Golf Ball Locator did just what we wanted it to, and it's highlighted where the ball is, nice and easily for us.
In fact, Golf Ball Locator even works on different courses with a mix of sand and plant life, as we can see in this example here:
It's clear that Golf Ball Locator will have a fairly niche audience, that being those that play Golf, but as we noted at the beginning, Golf tech is a big business. This is perhaps a pricey app, but it's nothing in comparison to a decent set of clubs, and the app is only going to get better over time and all these updates will trickle down to users for free. You could perhaps consider the purchase price of Golf Ball Locator a sort of investment, as it will save you time on the course (time is money, after all) and you won't need to replace as many Golf balls by using this app. If you're the type of player that wants to head home with the same amount of balls that left with, then Golf Ball Locator is something that you should consider, especially given its one-off price.
- Speed (4/5) - I was impressed with how quickly Golf Ball Locator found and alerted me to a ball in the near vicinity, and it will definitely speed up your rounds of Golf.
- Theme (4/5) - The interface here is pretty simple, and while it could do with a fresh coat of paint, it gets the job done and is easy enough to use.
- Features (4/5) - This sort of object tracking isn't new, contrasting colors are fairly easy for computers to pick out these days, but the speed and ease of use combined with the useful feature of finding your white ball is what makes this a great app.
- Overall (4/5) - As neat little apps go, this could be considered a little pricey, it would be tough to offer as a trial version and it does get the job done and done well, no matter where you are or what time of day you're playing.
- Super-simple and easy to use, players of all ages will be able to use this to quickly find their lost balls.
- Works in different lengths of grass as well as greens with a variety of foliage and such.
- Makes for a great conversation piece at the driving range or on a round of golf with friends and colleagues.
- Vibrates to let users know that the app has found their ball nice and quickly.
- No free trial version available for users to test out first.
- Can be quite particular and sensitive when in use; there is a rigid way of using the app that takes some getting used to.
- Some white objects on the course might confuse the app, while the darting green square can confuse the user.
- More features besides just highlighting the ball would be nice in further versions of the app.
Golf Ball Locator is the sort of neat little app that will get tongues wagging and help people save money on replacing lost balls and perhaps even improve their game by reducing stress. It's a cool app and one that should make finding lost balls a hell of a lot easier on the green and while it is pricey, it works well and will only ever ask you for one payment, regardless of how many updates the app gets over its lifetime.