April 12, 2016 - Golf GameBook

On a mission to make golf more fun

The story of Golf GameBook began almost a decade ago. 10 years might not be a very long time in some contexts, but when it comes to anything digital the world looked very different back in 2006. So different in fact, that nobody really talked about digitalization (especially the digitalization of golf) and people weren’t glued to their smartphones like they are today. Actually the first ever iPhone didn’t come out until 2007.

So, when we first came up with the idea of Golf GameBook, it wasn’t an idea for a smartphone app. It was an idea for making golf even more fun and making some elements from the world of professional golf available for the everyday golfers. Since then Golf GameBook has evolved from a handheld scoring device into an iPhone app and one of the fastest growing golf communities on the planet, but our original goal hasn’t really changed.

Back in the day we were still young (and had all of our hair left) and decided to go on a mission to make golf even more fun. Little did we know how far this mission has ended up taking us.

Back in the day when we were still young (and had all of our blonde hair left) we decided to go on a mission to make golf even more fun. In this picture me (on the left) and Mane were still blissfully unaware of how far this mission would actually end up taking us.

Together with my good friend, business partner and the other co-founder of Golf GameBook, Mikko Manerus (or Mane as he is more commonly known as), we are still on a mission to make golf more fun. Whether we have succeeded in doing so is up for you to decide, but the journey sure has been fun. We’ve come a long way and now we are getting ready to launch a completely renewed version of our iOS app – the third generation Golf GameBook.

The two eager young men have grown into some serious business men over the past 10 years. Luckily, the twinkle in the eye we had in the beginning of this journey and the passion for what we are doing still remain.

The two eager young fellas have grown into some serious business men over the past 10 years. Luckily, the twinkle in the eye we had in the beginning of this journey and the passion for what we are doing still remain.

As the launch of the completely renewed version on our iOS app is just around the corner, we felt the urge to reminisce a little and decided to share with you some of the interesting twists and turns we’ve come across over the years. During the next couple of weeks we will go through the history of Golf GameBook and tell you some stories behind how we got here. It has been quite a ride including highs and lows, bad decisions, funny coincidences as well as encounters with some of the best golfers in the world. So, I suggest you jump on board and follow the journey here on our blog.

We’ll publish a story approximately every second day and on Thursday Mane has promised to tell you how it all started.


– Kalle

@kallevainola@GolfGameBook on Twitter

30 responses to “On a mission to make golf more fun”

  1. Greg says:

    You guys have absolutely “made golf more fun”! My group loves your app. We tournaments and league competitions with anywhere from 16 to 40 players. Having real-time live scoring is invaluable to us. I’m always nervous when a “new” version comes out when the current version already works so well. But, I trust that you will continue to deliver an outstanding product.

    • Kalle Väinölä says:

      Thanks for the kind words Greg! We aim to offer our users the best possible quality and I personally think that the new version is going to be great. So please do come back once you’ve seen the new and improved Golf GameBook and tell us what you and the others in your leagues/tournaments think.

  2. Magistern says:

    It’s a great app! Lovely work! Is there any chance that Gamebook will be compitable with Pebble Watch? Or will it if compitable with any smartwatch, be locked to iPhone?

    • Johanna Alho says:

      Thanks for the compliment! Unfortunately we don’t have plans to develop the app for other smart watches than Apple Watch at the moment.

  3. Magnus says:

    Yes, its been a great add on for my golf.
    And great that it now work directly with my home club.
    But its so disiponted that you now only will support ios systems, we are many golfer’s around the word that not are into iPhone..
    With 75 rounds per year it will be a great lost, that im not have ability’s to cointuine using gamebook.

    • Johanna Alho says:

      Hi Magnus, first of all I apologise for the disappointment that our decision regarding the Android version of our app has caused you. However, the situation is only temporary as we are letting go of the Android version now simply in order to be able to direct our development efforts towards creating a native Android app. In the future this will enable us to offer Android users a service that is as good as our iOS app.

  4. Ari Huhtapelto says:

    Hi Guys. I still remember one golf competition organized by Finnair when you come across and told about you plans of GameBook. Since the launch it has been valuable part of my game follow up and strengthen own thoughts what needs to be improved. Waiting eagerly how much new version will improve my game – and if not I always know who I should blame for:):)


  5. Tony says:

    Like Greg your app has really added to the fun when we play in our regularly Saturday swindle (which generates points for an Order of Merit over the year). Keen to hear if you have any plans to expand the app to cover regular group activities – finding who is playing; allocating into groups and keeping track of points won over the year?

    Thanks for all your great work.

    • Kalle Väinölä says:

      Hello Tony, and thanks for your comment! Unfortunately we don’t currently support the type a golf league activity you described. But a league-format sits tightly on our roadmap and it will be a part of GameBook at some point in the future. For now you can create multi-round tournaments which can cover over 2 rounds. I would recommend you to create individual games and then manually calculate the order of merit over the desired period of time.

  6. Jeff says:

    Used the app last year for a scramble event and EVERYONE loved it. We want to organize another event this summer just because it was so fun to follow on the app. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new version brings!

  7. Mark Thomas says:

    I really liked the app, then found out that it would no longer be available on the android platform. Really stinks. Now our entire tournament of golfers has to find another app that works across both ios and droid platforms.

    • Johanna Alho says:

      Hi Mark,

      Unfortunately this will be the case for a little while. We are letting go of the existing Android version (which was built using a cross-platform tool) and creating a native Android app instead. This way we will be able to offer even better quality service to Android users in the future.

      Despite the Android app no longer being available, your Golf GameBook account won’t disappear anywhere and you can still access your profile by logging in at http://www.golfgamebook.com or on iPhone and iPad. When organizing group or league games, you’ll need to make sure there is at least one person in each group with an iPhone who can enter the scores. Alternatively you can send the Golf GameBook web app link (www.golfgamebook.com/webapp) to the players that don’t have an iPhone (certain formats not supported).

  8. Tim says:

    Is it true the app will no longer be available for android users? That wouldn’t be good.

    • Mikko Manerus says:

      Hi Tim,

      Unfortunately that is true. GameBook can no longer be used on any Android device starting next Monday (April 18).

      Golf GameBook was originally created on iOS and when we started developing the app for other platforms, we made the decision to use a cross-platform tool rather than develop a native app for each platform. Back then this seemed like the wise thing to do, but since then we’ve come to realize that it was a mistake. We openly admit to making the wrong choice and sincerely apologize for this.

      Using the cross-platform tool has set big limitations to our development work and it has become clear that we won’t be able to get this version of the Android version up to speed with our iOS app. This is why we are now letting go of the existing Android version completely and instead will focus our development efforts into creating a native Android app.

  9. Tim Webb says:

    Great Job guys! Hands down the best app I’ve come across, keep up the good work – you have an excellent product!

  10. Heath Stevens says:

    I stumbled across this app a little over a year ago when we were without a scorecard. Since then it has exploded in our golf group of around 50 guys. Makes golf more fun and eager to see what the next generation of the app looks like. Thanks!

  11. Lasse Larsson says:

    Hi I Love The app and have used IT for a couple years now .
    When are you going to release The new version ?

    • Kalle Väinölä says:

      Thanks Lasse! The new version will be out very soon. We are already counting the days here…

  12. Andreas says:

    Come on guys, you can’t just drop support for the Andriod app like that, even though it’s temporary. You’re leaving half of our tournament group in the void.
    If you feel that you need to do this redesign, why don’t you do it in the winter? Please rethink this decision and launch the new version when you’re all done instead.

    • Kalle Väinölä says:

      Hello Andreas,

      The reason for dropping the Android-version now is that we will be launching a completely renewed version of our iOS app and the existing Android version will no longer be compatible with it.

      Despite the Android app no longer being available, all users’ Golf GameBook accounts will remain as they are and can still be accessed by logging in at http://www.golfgamebook.com or on iPhone and iPad. When organizing tournaments like you are, you’ll just need to make sure there is at least one person in each group with an iPhone who can enter the scores. Alternatively you can send the Golf GameBook web app link (www.golfgamebook.com/webapp) to the players that don’t have an iPhone (certain formats not supported).

  13. Harri says:

    I’m totally baffled with the decision to discontinue the support for the Android app. It’s about to be summer in Europe, why not have 2 different apps running at the same time? Keep the Android version live, but just not support it. Or better yet do these changes and developments in the winter when the majority of users are not playing golf. Right now other golf app developers are popping champagne, because of the surge of users they are going to get. It is not just the Android users who leave, but also the Apple users who have friends using Android phones..

    • Susanna Sarkki says:

      Thank you for your comment, Harri.

      This has been a difficult decision for us, but we were forced to make it at this point. In the long run letting go of the existing Android app is not about cutting it out, but actually aiming to offer a top-quality product to everybody. We have plans to develop a native Android application, but we don’t have a real time frame for it yet, but we are hoping to develop it sooner than later. We only want to provide the best for our users.

      Please stay tuned for more information!

  14. Noel Rodriguez says:

    Is there a reason why you are not giving out the release date? Would be nice to know.

    • Susanna Sarkki says:

      Hey Noel,

      The reason we can’t say the exact release date yet is because the application is still in the testing phase. Stay tuned on our social media channels and the blog to find the latest info!

      Enjoy your golf season with us!

      • Noel Rodriguez says:

        Makes sense….me being a tester myself, I can understand not putting out a date until testing has been completed and perhaps a beta release made available.

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