When V1 Sports launched the V1 Game golf performance stats and analysis mobile app in November 2019, it instantly expanded the might of the company’s offerings. V1 Game intimates powerful insights into your game and course management, without the need for external hardware. It transforms a smartphone or Apple Watch into a personal caddie, shot tracker and GPS device; providing intuitive performance analysis and comprehensive statistics that show your strengths, weaknesses and paths to improvement.
V1 Game was developed by Dallas Webster, who ironically lives in Dallas. “It was a passion project,” says Webster, an avid golfer and admitted data geek. “My day job isn’t app development, but I learned some software in college as an electrical engineer.” Four years ago, Webster’s growing family limited his on-course practicing. He read a book about strokes gained and immediately started tracking his own game data on a spreadsheet. “It was manual and clumsy, but I began getting insights into my game I hadn’t previously seen,” he recalls. Ryan Hebert, a close friend taking up golf for the first time, wanted similar insights to his own game. Ryan suggested they make an app to make the data more accessible and so they co created one. He admits it initially had too many button presses and awkward navigation. So they kept improving it, before V1 officials contacted him last year while seeking “a way to track on-course performance and merge it with their other portfolio of products,” he says. V1 renamed it V1 Game, and it’s now rock-solid.
Webster’s adamant that the app’s single-best feature is the intuitive shot tracking integrated with GPS yardages, particularly when you use the watch. “You don’t even have to take your phone out of your pocket,” he says. “You can glance quickly to get the yardage to the green with a quick tap on your wrist. We pride ourselves on the simplicity of marking a shot — the goal is to minimize interactions with the app, while maximizing what you get out of it.” No watch? No problem — you can quickly track shots after rounds on your phone.
Webster says his favorite feature is the instant post-round analysis. You may be “frustrated that you missed that last six-footer, but the app will tell you if you had a bad driving day and why,” he says. “Maybe you were missing left. It also tells you what you did well. Over time, this data is aggregated and you start to see trends in both bad and good days, so you know what to work on. We compare your performance to your personal history and a handicap reference of your choosing. You can also share data directly with your coach for feedback, to improve even faster.”
After receiving fresh input from PGA Pros, V1 Sports will soon add features without losing its essence. “The goal of V1 Game has always been to help players improve,” says Webster. “Many other apps out there do GPS or stats — but none make it digestible for average golfers. They just dump all this data on you and expect you to be a data scientist to figure out how to apply it to your golf game.” By contrast, V1 relates it all in easy-to-understand language and graphics. Says Webster: “Behind the scenes, there are complicated algorithms analyzing the shots. But the output is actionable data: ‘Work on your irons’ or ‘From 150-200 yards, you tend to miss short and left’ or ‘You are a great putter for a 10 handicap.’ We keep it simple for those who just want action, but we have mountains of data for the Bryson DeChambeaus out there.”