There are some great applications that can turn your mobile phone or smartphone device into a golf GPS. Many have free trial periods (or are totally free!). Some of these applications, like GreenFinder, GolfShot, and FreeCaddie Pro have most, if not all, of the features of the standard units, and, at a fraction of the price, they are certainly worth a try.
GreenFinder works on Blackberry, iPhone 3G, Android, and Windows Mobile phones. You can download and use it five times for free. It gives you distances to the front, center, and back of the green, as well as distances to fairway hazards and the distance of your last shot. You can even map your own courses with the GreenFinder golf GPS.
GolfShot works only on the iPhone 3G and is comparable to any of the standalone golf gps devices. With the iPhone's touchscreen capability you can pinpoint any spot by touching it: GolfShot will calculate the distances from your current position to that spot and from that spot to the center of the green. It shows distances to green, fairway hazards, and special layups. It also has aerial views of the course and keeps automated statistics that are displayed with wonderful graphics.
FreeCaddie Pro works on Blackberry, iPhone 3G / 3GS, Windows Mobile, and Java enabled phones. It can display the differences to the front, center, and back of greens, as well as distances to bunkers and hazards. Other features include a shot distance function, the ability to map your own points, scorekeeping, and statistical analysis.
Now GolfLogix , who introduced the first standalone handheld golf GPS back in 1999, has become the first of the major handheld GPS manufacturers to make its technology available for download and use on the smartphone. Currently, its software is available for the iPhone 3G and the Blackberry Curve, Bold, Tour, and Storm, and will soon be available for the HTC Touch Pro.
Is this the beginning of the end of the standalone golf GPS? If people already own the hardware, why not just provide them with the software.