When you combine an Apple Watch with the Roundabout platform on iOS, you get the most advanced shot tracking system available to amateurs. Roundabout fully leverages available sensors on both the phone and watch platforms to transparently track your game while you focus on golf. With the Apple Watch you can get distances to the green at a glance at any time you need them and with our advanced swing detection algorithms, we can sense when you hit a golf ball and automatically track your shots as you play. Our state of the art artificial intelligence will do all the heavy lifting of tracking shots, all you have to do is play and tell Roundabout your hole by hole score. Scores can be input at the end of each hole, or after the round. Either way, Roundabout is equipped to improve your golf game with minimal interaction while playing. Let’s get started.
Installing the Roundabout on your Apple Watch
Starting a round with Roundabout on your Watch
Roundabout Watch Basics
Automatic Swing Detection
Watch Tracking: Score vs. Shots
Low Power Mode
Improving Swing Detection
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Installing the Roundabout on your Apple Watch
Before you can take advantage of at a glance yardages, shot tracking, and swing detection on your Apple Watch, you have to get the Roundabout app installed on your Apple Device. In most cases, the Roundabout app will automatically install on your Apple Watch when you download and install the companion app on your Apple iPhone and you do not have to do anything. However, if you have automatic downloads turned off or if you need to verify that the app is installed, you can do so in Apple’s Watch app. Search your phone for Watch or click on the Watch icon shown to the left to open up the Apple Watch app.
In the Watch app, make sure Roundabout is installed properly on your Apple Watch, look for it in the list of apps ‘INSTALLED ON APPLE WATCH’ as on the right. Otherwise, Roundabout may show up in the ‘AVAILABLE APPS’. If the app shows up in the ‘AVAILABLE APPS’ list, you can click the install button to add it to your apple watch. Once Roundabout shows up in the installed list, you should be good to go to use the app the next time you play golf.
2. Starting a round with Roundabout on your Watch
Starting a round with Roundabout on your Apple Watch is as simple as can be. Simply use your phone to load the course and GPS and your Apple Watch will automatically start up ready to go. Keep in mind that Roundabout does not store course information in memory, so internet (via cellular or wifi) is required to start your round. After the round is started, you no longer need a network connection. To start a round, Hit ‘Play’ from the home screen of Roundabout on your phone.
This will bring up the course selection screen and a list of nearby courses. If you are nearby the course you plan to play, you can just find it in the list and tap on it. If not, you can search for any course using the search bar at the top. It helps to use less words in your search to bring back maximum results as they will still be sorted by proximity to your current location. For example, if I am playing Pecan Hollow Golf Course… I will search for ‘Pecan’ or ‘Pecan Hollow’. Also, be careful with clubs that have multiple names, for example TPC Craig Ranch, could also be called ‘The Players Club at Craig Ranch’. Thus a search for ‘Craig Ranch’ will yield better results.
Once you select a course and a round type, the phone app will download the GPS information and load our aerial views for distance and shot tracking from the phone. The phone should also automatically launch the watch app if installed properly. You will see the watch progress from the Loading Screen to the Main GPS Screen. If the phone app opens to GPS, but the watch app is stuck on the loading screen, you can try two things to quickly fix it. A tap on the watch screen where it says ‘Tap Here to Retry’ should force the phone to send the course information over. If that does not work, you can also go to the Watch Menu from the Roundabout phone app and try to start from there. More on that later when we cover Watch Options.
3. Roundabout Watch Basics
The Main (GPS) Screen is what you’ll see most often using the Roundabout watch app. It provides at a glance yardages to the front (red), middle (white), and back (blue) of the green. The header of the screen will also tell you the current hole and par information. The two arrows at the bottom allow you to quickly change holes. On the left hand side, the flag button will move the pin location to wherever you are standing. This is useful to mark the day's flag location while walking on the green for the most accurate distance data post-round. The functionality of the ‘+’ button changes based on your settings, but defaults to ‘Add Score’ with the other option being ‘Add Shot’. More details on that in the next section. Once you have shots or a score tracked for a given hole, you’ll notice that ‘+’ is replaced with the current number of shots tracked on the hole. It still functions as a button to change score or add a shot if needed. You’ll also notice once if you are in shot tracking mode that once a shot is added, the quick putt button becomes available. This allows you to quickly add your putts to the hole.
4. Automatic Swing Detection
The Roundabout watch app uses on-watch sensors to detect golf swings and log shots while you play. Once you’ve started a round, you can put your phone in your back pocket or in a cart or golf bag while you play. During normal operation, the watch will use it’s GPS location even if the phone is left behind.
When you take a swing, Roundabout will detect the movement and give you a light vibration to indicate the detection. If you do not like the vibration, you can disable it in the settings on your phone (to be covered later in this article). The swing detection may detect both practice swings and real swings, so you’ll get a slight vibration for both. Don’t worry, our algorithm is smart enough not to mark redundant shots at a given location. After you’ve hit a shot, if you would like to input the club, the watch will automatically pull up the club selection window if you have track clubs enabled. If you do not want to track clubs or do not want to be bothered on the watch, you can disable the track clubs feature from the phone.
When a shot is detected on the phone, it will show up as a green circle with a black plus on the phone. These shots will be prioritized when the AI adds shots based on your score. The other circles indicate areas where the phone sensors indicate potential shots. For best results with our auto shot detection and AI, the phone should be kept in your pocket, however that is not required when using the watch.
5. Watch Tracking: Score vs. Shots
Different players have different preferences and different pre-shot routines. Roundabout allows you to follow a process that fits your style. You can modify the functionality of the ‘+’ button on the watch face. By default, the ‘+’ will allow you to add a score for a hole. Combined with automatic swing detection, this is a very powerful feature. You will play the hole while the watch tracks your swings. After each swing, you will get a light vibration unless disabled. If ‘track clubs’ is enabled on the phone, then after each detected swing the watch will change to the club selection screen from the flow diagram above to give you the option to enter the club with a single tap. If you do not wish to track clubs, you can disable on the phone or simply ignore the club selection on the watch. At the end of each hole, tap on the ‘+’ button in score mode to add a score for the hole. You will first be prompted for the score and then secondly for the number of putts taken and the starting distance of the first putt. We ask you for putts because putting strokes are very short and difficult to pick up with sensors and secondly GPS is only accurate to 9-15 feet. This accuracy is plenty good enough for strokes gained and shots around the green, but not good enough for putting where the difference between a 4 foot putt and a 15 foot putt is significant. In fact, the quick putt button when in “Watch Shots” mode takes the same input of number of putts and starting position.
If you want the least involved method of all on the golf course, simply start your round and play with your watch on. No need to input scores until you have finished your round. We want you to focus on golf and not on tracking shots.
However, some of our users like to build in shot tracking into their routine. We support that as well. Simply change the watch mode from “Watch Scores” to “Watch Shots”. Now when you tap the ‘+’ button on the watch face, the app will mark your current location and then prompt you for a club, incrementing your score by one as we add a new shot. This is a manual way to track every shot you take and with our new swing detection, is not typically needed. Just swing and we’ll detect the swing and prompt you for a club.
After you have at least one shot tracked on a hole, the quick putt button will become available. It works similar to score entry for tracking putts. Simply tell the app how many putts you took and from what starting distance in feet.
The manual method of “Watch Shots” is a great options for users with earlier series watches (like series 2) where the battery life may not be good enough to run in the normal mode or for those days where you forget to fully charge your watch before playing. Which brings us to…
7. Low Power Mode
In order to prioritize the watch GPS location over the phone GPS location, Roundabout now fully integrates with HealthKit. This also enables our swing detection functionality. The downside of integrating with HealthKit for a golf workout is that by default the heart rate monitor will also run while using Roundabout which is an additional drain on the battery. For newer series of the Apple Watch, a fully charged watch should last 7-8 hours with Roundabout running to its full potential. For series 2, this may be as little as 3.5 hours.
For this reason, we have introduced Low Power Mode. Low Power Mode can be enabled from the phone at any time. It will turn off the golf workout, disable swing detection, prioritize the phone’s GPS location on the watch, and disable the heart rate monitor. This will significantly extend the Apple Watch battery life at the expense of Roundabout automation. You can still get at a glance yardages and manually track shots from the watch in this mode. For best results in Low Power Mode, make sure to keep your phone in your pocket (back or front does not matter).
8. Watch Options
You can access the full list of watch options from the in-round menu while playing. Simply tap on the hole label at the bottom of the watch screen to bring up the in-app menu at any time. Select ‘Watch Options’ to see the full list of options available to configure your watch.
Start Watch -> Use this in case your watch does not start automatically. It will re-send course information over to the watch to get you started.
Watch: Change to Scores / Shots -> Use this to change between the modes mentioned above.
Turn Off/On Swing Detection -> Use this to Turn off or on swing detection specifically. Swing detection is automatically off if in low power mode.
Enable / Disable Low Power Mode -> This changes between low power and normal mode described previously.
Change to Left / Right Handed -> This improves Auto Swing Detection by knowing which way you swing the golf club.
Disable / Enable Swing Vibration -> This will turn off / on the slight vibration you get when a swing is detected.
9. Improving Swing Detection
If swing detection is not picking up most of your swings, check a few settings to make sure they are optimized for your configuration. First, set your ‘handedness’ in the menu mentioned above. Being right or left handed will impact the way we monitor sensors. Secondly, make sure the way you wear the watch is properly entered in the Apple Watch app mentioned at the beginning of this article. When you first bought your Apple Watch, you likely configured which wrist you wear it on and the crown orientation. This information is also important, so make sure the settings match how you wear the watch. The menu looks like the below in the Apple Watch app:
10. Frequently Asked Questions
How do I force it to use the Watch GPS instead of the phone?
In our default mode the Watch GPS is always used when available. In Low Power Mode, the phone’s GPS location will be used when available and displayed on the watch.
How do I improve the battery life?
If you forgot to charge your watch or if you have an older watch with a poor battery, simply put the watch in Low Power Mode from the watch options on the phone. This mode will disable swing detection, disable the heart rate monitor, and prioritize the phone GPS location when available to minimize battery impact.
How can I quickly mark the pin location?
Tap on the picture of the pin on the main watch screen when standing near the pin and the app will move the day’s pin location to wherever you are standing.
Why do you always use feet for putting and not meters?
Currently even the European tour uses feet in putting statistics. The simple conversion is roughly 3.3 feet to a meter. So 3 meters is approximately 10 feet.