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These golf apps will add to your day on the course

The Shot Tracer app offers a player video

The Shot Tracer app offers a player video of his or her shot, including superimposed "ball trails" such as are seen on televised golf coverage. Credit: Visual Vertigo Software

The U.S. Open championship returns to Long Island on Thursday when the world’s best golfers tee off at Shinnecock Hills. Whether you’re going to the Open or playing your own round at a Long Island course, these apps will add to your day on the links.

U.S. Open Golf Championship

(iOS, Android; free)

The official app of the Open is an especially helpful tool if you are heading to the tournament. The app features maps of the course along with information about where to find food and restrooms. There are also links to sites where you can buy tickets to the event or an LIRR ticket to get you there. The app is also loaded with news and golfer profiles and will have live streaming of action during the Open.


(iOS, Android; free)

Doing your own duffing next weekend? 18Birdies, one of the most popular golf apps for several years, offers tons of features for golfers. The app has GPS rangefinders for tens of thousands of courses and a digital scorecard to help you track your day. For those whose golf outing includes friendly wagers, the app keeps track of side bets.

Golf Pad

(iOS, Android; free)

A relatively new entry among apps for golfers, Golf Pad has an array of features including GPS rangefinders for thousands of courses, a scorecard for 1 to 4 players and well-done maps of the courses, including “flyover” photos to give you a better idea which club you should use. The app is also available for Apple Watch and several Android Wear watches.

Shot Tracer

(iOS, $5.99; Android, $4.99, beta)

Oh, the agony! You hit a perfect shot or sink an impossible putt, except no one knows about it but you. With Shot Tracer, you have a video of your achievement, complete with superimposed “ball trails” like you see on TV coverage. Developers say the app uses “complex cloud point mesh algorithms” and “the golf ball position and speed are tracked and traced using advanced cross functional key point scripts.” OK, like golf itself, don’t overthink it.

For teens, Facebook is so 2015

The social network is no longer the most popular online platform for kids 13-17, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The No. 1 teen social platform is YouTube, followed by Instagram, Snapchat and then Facebook. When this survey was last done in 2015, Facebook was No. 1, with 71 percent of teens using it. Only 51 percent of teens say they now use it. — PETER KING

Power struggle

Bitcoin mining, where users run computers continuously hoping to be rewarded with the cryptocurrency if they successfully solve complex math problems, is more than just a small niche. Scientific journal Joule predicts these computers will collectively use 8.2 gigawatts of electricity this year — equal to the electricity consumption of Austria. Joule says this electricity consumption poses “a big problem, and it is growing fast.”— PETER KING

Concierge shopping from Walmart

Walmart wants to be your personal shopper. The retailer unveiled Jetblack, a concierge shopping service where for $50 a month, members text their requests and receive same-day delivery from Walmart, Jet and other retailers like Saks and Sephora. The service — available by invitation only — has been piloted for the past eight months in Manhattan doorman buildings and will expand to parts of Brooklyn. — Bloomberg News

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