ShowMeGolf app helps golfers track their games, and their friends and family

showme.jpg is free to download on iTunes.

Necessity is the father of invention, and Erik Winther is the father of a golfer. So he came up with ShowMeGolf, a GPS app for smart phones, so he could follow his son’s progress on distant courses in distant tournaments.

Distant? Winther is the CEO and founder of and lives in Denmark. His son, Patrick, plays golf for Oklahoma State.

“I could never watch him play a round when he was in the U.S.,” the elder Winther said. “Now I can.”

It’s sort of like the poor man’s version of the PGA Tour’s ShotLink tracking system, except the player is responsible for entering the tracking information. It’s also similar to Nike’s app that captures data on a run and posts details to Facebook.

ShowMeGolf has mapped about 20,000 U.S. courses, with more to come. While holes are mapped from the middle of the tee box to the middle of the green, players can manually move the tee and pin locations for the most accurate readings.

Here’s how it works: The player pushes a button before the tee shot. After reaching the ball, the player automatically gets a yardage to the middle of the green. Before playing the next shot, the player pushes another button (green if it’s from the fairway, red if it’s from the rough). The process is repeated until the player finishes the hole.

It’s a nice way to get quick yardages. The first PGA Tour player to sign up with ShowMeGolf is Ben Crane, who is known as one of the Tour’s slower players and could use anything that speeds him up.

ShowMeGolf can also be used for live tournament scoring, something some golf associations, including the American Junior Golf Association, have expressed interest in. Amateur tournaments with live scoring typically need volunteers stationed around the course to collect scores. With ShowMeGolf, the scores could be entered by each player, a caddie or a marker. The app also allows access to a live leaderboard, so players can see where they stand.

The ShowMeGolf app can also be used to analyze trends in shot patterns. Missing left a lot? Losing too many strokes around the greens? Subtleties like those, which don’t show up on a scorecard, are captured easily with this app.

The app allows friends and family to follow a round, and players can monitor each other’s rounds on Facebook.

This is one intriguing app, and ShowMeGolf is free to download. Thirty days after recording your first round, you’ll be asked to pay a $25 fee for the rest of the year. It’s cheaper than a rangefinder and has the perk of the shot-tracking option. See for details.