In 2011, the PGA Tour launched the strokes gained statistic. It assigns values to each stroke, with a 40-foot bomb worth more strokes gained than a one-foot tap-in, even though both strokes count for one shot on the scorecard.
Eleven years later, V1 Game puts the power of evaluating strokes gained and much more in a player's pocket by tracking every aspect of a player's round and guiding them on what areas of their game to focus on to improve the most. In this article, I will take a closer look at the V1 Game Eagle tier subscription, which costs $119.99 a year.
Loading up the application for the first time, the five call-to-action buttons are on the bottom: play, review, analyze, virtual coach, and settings. Following playing a round, these come to life with valuable information.
When using the app during play, V1 game automatically tracks shot by shot from when a player stops in a specific area. Its precision increases for those wearing an Apple watch. The app's "breadcrumbs" notes on each hole where you walked and stopped in blue.
The watch will buzz when it believes the player's taken a swing, allowing them to swipe to select what club they used and what hole they are on. Following each hole, players input what they shot and how far away from the hole each putt was. If the app is off, players can click and drag to where they were. After my last round using the app, the watch only misplaced two shots.
When done with 18 holes, the app asks the player to sign the card, reviewing to ensure all data is correct. Once this is finalized, players get an extensive, nine-tab in-depth review of their round. There's one slide for each strokes gained category in the system: driving, approach, short game, and putting. Then, it provides a traditional review with your typical fairways, greens, scrambling, putts, and driving statistics. Next, there's a round potential tab, pointing out the three current keys in your game and where those can improve. It also reviews your best and worst holes. After signing the card, players can easily look back at this again in the review tab.
It drives home the point of taking the time to review every single stroke in the app before signing off on the card. For example, on the third hole at Maderas Golf Club in Poway, Ca., a par-5, the app correctly recorded a two-putt par. However, it thought I took two strokes to get off the tee, throwing off my average driving statistics.
The app becomes even more valuable when playing at courses consistently. When you're on a hole you've played before, the app will highlight where a previous tee shot ended up and what you scored on the hole from there. For example, as the first screenshot above shows, I recorded a four from the left rough.
The round gets added to the system and is added to the three other tabs: Virtual Coach, Review, and Analyze.
The virtual coach really gets into the nitty-gritty of analyzing all aspects of a player's game. In bold, the "eliminate mistakes" tab will pull from the three greatest errors in an average round, such as "3 putts per round."
It then suggests what to work on first, then follows with a "work on next" section. As users add more and more rounds, tapping on the "improving" and "declining" green and red graphs, respectively, will help remind users of the parts of their game that are shifting, for better or worse.
Even more data lies beneath the trends section. Players can scroll down to get the specific data on why V1 Game is recommending those categories, with histogram charts in each of the four strokes gained sections. Looking through these felt like a level of detail about my game I could've never imagined from my tabulation of fairways, greens, and putts per hole on an old scorecard.
By clearly highlighting what users can improve upon the most, V1 game delivers an excellent game-improvement experience, for less than the price of a round of golf at a premium course.
Better yet? AmateurGolf.com members save 20% on all levels of V1 game by using code AMATEURGAME20 during the checkout process