It was really the last frontier of app-driven GPS golf course rangefinders: Not the wrist — there are plenty of GPS watches out there — but the hand itself. As in the golf glove worn by the majority of players. Long known for their excellent golf balls and other accessories, Zero Friction introduced its Distance Pro Glove this year, and it’s both easy to use and accurate.
After several rounds putting it into action, Golf Tips can recommend the Distance Pro without hesitation. Powered by a small watch battery, a small, lightweight digital screen rests atop the flap of the glove, surprisingly unobtrusive and readable at a quick glance (though if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses, you’ll most likely need to remove them to read the numbers). The accompanying Zero Friction app is loaded with more than 35,000 golf courses and, after a quick registration and Bluetooth pairing between phone and gadget, all it takes is a tap of the “Play Golf” button to put the glove into distance-dialing action (it’s best to tuck your phone into a pocket and carry it with you from shot to shot to maintain a steady connection). Numbers for center, front and back of the green are displayed. Small buttons below the screen either turn the unit off and on or allow you to advance or backtrack between holes; we found that the app sometimes won’t move to the next hole automatically so you need to make sure it’s showing what you’re playing (and make sure the device is set to auto-advance mode).
If you want a more detailed view of each hole, just pull out the phone and view a clear, full-color satellite view of it on your phone’s screen, along with more information on distance to bunkers, landing areas, etc., via a movable “bullseye” target.
The glove itself is available in two models — synthetic with a Cabretta leather palm ($139.99) and a durable “Motion-Fit” combination of Cabretta leather and stretchy spandex ($159.99), and once it wears out the display unit can be removed and attached to a fresh glove. Each device is sold with two gloves, with more available online.
Of course, if you don’t wear a glove to play golf, you’ll go with a stand-alone app, watch or handheld device. But if you do, the Zero Friction Distance Pro is worth a look.