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iMasters: Great and good of golfing apps

By Matthew Knight for CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • There are hundreds of golf apps on the market, but which ones should you buy?
  • Tiger Woods the latest pro to throw his hat in the ring with "My Swing" app
  • Masters tournament apps provide unrivaled mobile coverage from Augusta National

London (CNN) -- It's no secret that officials at Augusta National detest cell phones at The Masters tournament, but professionals and amateurs alike are finding their phones an increasingly useful source of golfing insight, as apps devoted to one of life's more pleasurable and frustrating pastimes flood the market.

It doesn't matter whether you're an inveterate hacker or nibbling your way down towards scratch, it seems as The Masters gets into full swing, there is a myriad of ways to digitally improve your experience of the tournament as well as your game on the fairways.

The Masters Golf Tournament (iPad, $1.99, iPhone, Android, Free)

For a conservative club which treasures its traditions, Augusta National is refreshingly forward-looking when it comes to technology, helping Masters' fans keep up with the action wherever they are.

The 2011 iPad app is a luxurious HD affair featuring nine video channels (U.S. viewers only) which includes dedicated coverage of Amen Corner, as well as giving access to many of the features which appear on the Masters website proper.

iPhone and Android users are equally well catered for with five, live streams of video as well as comprehensive coverage of the tournament, including up-to-the-minute scores, alerts, hole previews and flyover videos of America's most famous and beautiful course.

Everyday Golf Coach (iPad, iPhone, Android $5.99)

Britain's most popular golf instruction app is also starting to grab the attention of golfers in the United States thanks to its comprehensive suite of tuition videos (there are 32 of them in all) guiding you through all the basics of maintaining a clean and reliable swing.

Golf is a technical sport and one correct piece of advice can really do you a lot of good
--Noel Rousseau, creator of the Everyday Golf Coach
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Created by UK-based PGA professional Noel Rousseau the iPad version also comes with a "SwingAnalyzer" which lets you import your own swing and compare it with your favorite professionals.

"Golf is a technical sport and one correct piece of advice can really do you a lot of good," according to Rousseau.

Tiger Woods: My Swing (iPhone $9.99)

Woods may still be in the metaphorical woods since returning to competitive golf at last year's Masters but who wouldn't want to try and emulate the swing of someone who's won four times at Augusta National?

The new app, which features videos and analysis of Woods' newly remodeled swing, lets amateurs upload their swing to the app to compare it with Woods' side-by-side.

Practically every club in your bag is covered with Tiger on hand to provide detailed swing analysis and a string of useful tips. Profits from the app are being donated to the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Woods said: "Everything about this app is based on how I practice. I've rebuilt my swing a number of times over the years and use this technology to gauge my development and help with my swing transitions."

Golfshot: Golf GPS (iPhone, iPad, Android, $29.99)

The GPS rangefinder app -- just one of many to choose from on the market -- helps you plot your way around over 35,000 courses worldwide giving you accurate yardages for all your shots from tee to green and in between.

There's also a scorecard function which makers ShotZoom Software say generates "PGA Tour quality statistics" letting you keep track of every aspect of a round -- fairway accuracy, greens in regulation, putts per round, and more -- helping highlight your strengths and weaknesses as well as tracking your improvement.

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12 (iPhone, Android, iPad $6.99)

Irritatingly, Augusta National doesn't feature on the latest handheld versions of EA Sports spectacularly popular Tiger Woods golf sim. But you can play the old course at St Andrews, Pebble Beach and TPC Sawgrass and many more. This new version also includes a closest to the pin challenge that lets you compete with you Facebook friends.

Let's Golf 2 (iPad, iPhone, Android, $4.99)

Gameloft's best-selling golf game gets a revamp with extra holes, courses and characters.

The fantasy 3D golf game is one of the most popular simulations on the market and this version includes new "Shoot Out" and "Closest the Pin" challenges.

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