[Update for April 2020] Updated pricing. Stock is available on Amazon via the official distributor of Phigolf, Second Chance.
I originally did this review prior to Christmas and found the Phigolf to be an excellent present back then. Times have changed dramatically since then and I have noticed an increased demand for the simulator. With many of us looking to find ways to entertain ourselves, maintain mental health and have a little normality in life, I think the Phigolf is perfect for any golf fan. It is not a perfect swing trainer, but it should stave off the cabin fever during the lockdown.
While I am not golfer, this is a fun golf game which I am sure could be beneficial for improving your game and helping new golfers get into the game.
The PhiGolf is a small 9-axis motion-sensing gadget that fits into the top of an included swing stick. The sensor can be transferred to other clubs as long as you can insert its spike into the top of the club. While I don’t play golf this appears to be a popular way to use the PhiGolf.
The sensor itself weighs just 10g, and it is small enough for it not to be noticeable in use.
The sensor will then transmit your swing data over to a compatible app on your phone via Bluetooth.
The original PhiGolf was designed to be used with the Phigolf App, which allowed you to play golf on realistic 3D golf courses around the world. However, this app never really took off with just 96 reviews on Google Play.
PhiGolf cleverly decided to team up with WGT Golf (World Golf Tour) to get it working on their app. This is the number 1 free golf game on both Android and iOS with over 170k reviews on Android along and a score of 4.2.
While the game is free to play, it has adopted the annoying microtransaction feature allowing you to upgrade your virtual golf clubs and golf balls to improve your game.
With this app, you can experience more than 15 championship golf courses, including Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Chambers Bay and St Andrews.
You can play single-player full 18-hole stroke play and quick 9-hole closest-to-the-hole golf games, as well as drive ranges and more.
However, a more fun way to play is via head-to-head against friends or other players with live chat and competitive leaderboards in multiplayer games.
Playing in Topgolf mode lets you compete with up to six players and scoring points by hitting targets in the outfield.
Playing a golf simulator on a 6-inch device is not ideal, but the WGT app is compatible with Airplay and Chromecast, allowing you to cast the game to any compatible TV.
Setting everything up is simple. You will need to download the WGT game and go through the basic initial set up. Within the settings you need to go to devices and enable the PhiGolf, there are a few settings you can customise including selecting if you use the swing stick or real gold club.
When you start a game, it will try and connect to the PhiGolf, if you have not paired before you need to enter into pairing mode by holding down the button on the PhiGolf and everything should be automatic from there.
The hardest part for me was getting my Huawei P30 Pro to cast to my TV; its proprietory wireless screen sharing didn’t seem to like all my Chromecast devices, whereas when I switch to the Black Shark 2 it worked immediately.
Once set up, everything ran smoothly, I have a big 65-inch Sony AF8, so the experience was very immersive and enjoyable even for a none golfer such as myself.
For people that actually want to improve their game, the using the PhiGolf app it will analyse and then display on the 3D view all types of data required for swing coaching – head speed, swing path, tempo, face angle, attack angle and estimated distance.
It can then offer put analysis which can then help you can learn how to find the correct putting line and practice to increase consistency.
I mainly use the PhiGolf with WGT and played the basic 3 hole courses. I didn't really know what I was doing for most of it, but I did eventually get to grips with things and start to enjoy myself.
Price & Competition
Perhaps the most impressive thing about PhiGolf is its complete lack of direct competition. For a start, no other device integrates with WGT natively, so the PhiGolf is already way ahead of the competition for most users.
While there are a lot of golf simulators available, these are mostly in the form of large enclosures which are extremely expensive and not practical for the vast majority of people. The cheapest of this is around £1000 for the Optishot 2 Golf Simulator plus a screen and mat.
Admittedly, the more expensive golf simulators require you to use your clubs and real ball, and they will (semi)accurately track the distance and flight path. You could use real balls with the PhiGolf, but the sensor will not take this into account.
The PhiGolf WGT Edition 2019 currently cost £249.99, which is not exactly cheap but it pales in comparison to the other options.
I can see the PhiGolf becoming a very popular Christmas gift this year for golf fans. It might not be the most accurate way to simulate golf, but it is the best you are going to get at this price while also being much more convenient to use than other options.
As a none golfer, I found this a fun game to play, its price is perhaps a little high for anyone that just wants a casual golf game to play, but it is definitely fun to use and could be a good starting point for people interested in Golf, and no doubt golfing parents eager to get their child into the game.
Amazon do not currently have any stock on Prime at the moment but the third party reseller Second Chance Ltd are the official distributor for the PhiGolf and they have stock on the third parties page here.
[Original post November 2019]
PhiGolf WGT Edition 2019 Mobile and Home Smart Golf Game Simulator Review Score
Overall - 80%
A fun golf simulator making playing WGT far more interesting than just using the screen. While it is not cheap, Golf fans will no doubt love it.
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API