Think the Golf Course Isn’t a Place for Your Smartphone? Think Again

Despite an abundance of golf-related apps, smartphones still aren’t a staple accessory for everyone who hits the green.

However one Moncton-based startup is actively trying to change this, in a very affordable way. Foursum is an all-in-one mobile golf app allows users to track scores, analyze play, and connect with friends to compare performances, all from an iPhone .

The cofounders are off to a good start too: a year ago they set out to raise a seed round of $500,000, and ended up with $850,000.

Founded by three golf junkies, Matt Eldridge, Adam MacDonald, and Louis Melanson (a member of Professional Golf Association of Canada), Foursum gives smartphones the power of a GPS Rangefinder. The app itself allows even seasoned golfers to gain insight into their performance with advanced statistics and analytics. The app also helps golfers choose the right club with at-a-glance distances to each hole or hazard or tracking scores. “Foursum was designed and built not only to enhance the game of golf, but to improve it,” read a release.

In an email the startup told BetaKit that “many old school golfers would argue that the course isn’t the place for your smartphone. Foursum disagreed.”

“We’re not only debunking the lingering myth that mobile phones don’t belong on the golf course, we’re helping to grow one of the most popular games in the world,” said CEO Matt Eldridge. “Foursum adds new layers of insight, amusement, competition and reward to the game. We really want to bring on the next generation to the game of golf.”

According to Foursum, there are currently over 26 million people who self-identify as regular golfers in the US alone, with 68% maintaining a social network profile. The company is branding itself as “the first true social network for golfers,” making it easy to invite and follow friends to stay informed of their activities, progress, or milestones and compare performances. With over 26,000 courses to choose from, users can select courses by name or geolocation. They can also browse club info, scorecards, and activity from other Foursum members.

Like many niche social networks trying to appeal to the sports player, the comparing with friends aspect of the app could really strike a chord with hardcore golfers who want to assert their dominance on the fairways. The trend has already worked for the Nike+ running app where readers will have doubtless seen friends on Facebook informing the world that they just ran five clicks. It allows us not only to put achievements on loudspeaker, but to also challenge friends.

If Foursum can get enough golfers using their free app, there’s some clear potential for traction.

The startup see’s GolfLogix as its biggest competitor, an Arizona-based free app that provides users GPS, club tracking and access to booking tee times.

Other apps in the golf apps space make it quite drowded, however many performance-based apps can cost as much as $250. Here Foursum immediately has an advantage with their free offering.

The Canadian app store currently features several popular golfing apps in its “On The Green” section, like Golfshot: Golf GPS ($29.99), which gives players access to 40,000 professionally mapped courses; Golfscape GPS Rangefinder ($9.99), winner of the Apple Design Award; Golflink Game Tracker & GPS ($9.99) which gives users access to 21,000 courses; and V1 Golf ($4.99) which provides swing analysis.



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