App of the Week

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2012, 9:32am

Golf My Way


Rating 9/10

Sometimes it does not pay to go for the "latest", as I discovered learning to play golf through my iPhone.

Not having the will or the finances to play the sport in Hong Kong, I was lucky enough to get my first taste over the summer, playing nine-hole pitch and putt on Northern Ireland's Royal Portrush Golf Club championship course. I was surprised to find that it was fun, but, being clueless, I played a game that was way over par and tested the patience of the group behind.

Clearly, I needed to get some training. Golf Lessons with Jay Golden was one of the latest releases at the iTunes store and at only HK$15 it seemed a good deal. I started watching the first video: "Does your grip suit your swing?" Golden asks. With the buzzing of a helicopter in the background he continues: "What does that mean?" And then he goes on. After several minutes of meandering thought, he still hadn't told me much about the grip. I then understood why golfers have a reputation for being bores.

Back to the iTunes store, but this time I settled for Golf My Way, the app by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. I argued that with all his winnings, he'd have hired a top-flight production team who would dissuade him from ponderous monologues. They succeeded.

Niklaus is informative and almost succinct. Within seconds I learned that there are 14 possible golf clubs that can be used, but that Niklaus believes that all golf shots should be played with one basic stroke. This approach is slightly controversial, but with his experience and 73 PGA Tour victories, I was more than happy to follow his simpler ethos.

Golf My Way comprises 26 videos, each about three minutes long, covering topics from grip through ball position to bunker shots. Golden demonstrated just how long three minutes can be, but Nicklaus shows just how much quality can be squeezed into a short time, and that's what you want when you're playing the quiet game.