Golf is already a fantastic game, but the Arccos 360 Tracking System is trying to make it better. Most major sports have seen big data revolutions. Baseball has seen an advanced analytics revolution (which became the plot of the Hollywood film Moneyball).
Basketball, football and even hockey have had seen advanced analytics creep into their games.
But golf is lagging behind, mostly due to how difficult it’s been to collect good data.
Arccos and it’s competitors are trying to change that. They’re using sensors that you put on the end of your clubs, connecting those sensors to your smartphone and sorting that data to get you to improve your golf game. Big data is coming to golf.
The company was started by two childhood friends who loved golf and technology. At the time, they saw a gap in the golf market. They figured that if they could come up a tool to analyze and track a golfer’s game that would improve decision making on the course, they’d have a winner.
Using their blue chip pedigrees (the CEO is a Yale MBA and the co-founder was a VP at Bank of America Merrill Lynch), they built the Arccos company to create products to fill that void using funding from the billionaire Pritzker/Vlock family.
What Does the Arccos 360 Do?
The heart of this product is a smart sensor that you put into the end of every club in your bag. The 360 box comes with thirteen regular sensors and one putter sensor. The club sensors pair with your smartphone and use the GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer built into your phone to measure and store a lot of data about every golf game you play.
The sensors detect when you swing the club and store that swing with your location (from the GPS). That data is sent to the Arccos app on your phone where it is analyzed using Arccos technology. Every shot is recorded live and instantly saved to the cloud.
The app has GPS for over 40,000 courses throughout North America and Europe. It tracks where you hit your shot from on an overhead map and scores advanced analytics about which club you hit and how well you did with that club.
The result is a golf game that is tracked using a lot of data points and an app that give you an unbiased view of where you need to improve.
What Does the Arccos 360 Measure?
Scoring and Handicap:
The biggest thing that the Arccos app does is to calculate your overall handicap. It also gives you percentage breakdowns for eagles, birdies, pars, bogeys, and doubles+.
The app generates a driving handicap for you using your driver distances, accuracy and severity of errors made when hitting off the tee.
This is where the Arccos really shines. It will give you precise distances for every club. Over time, you’ll be able to see completely accurate distances for each club that you hit.
Not only can this help you improve approach by giving you the data to see which club needs some more time at the range to improve, but it will help you select the correct club at each distance.
Since the app also works as a rangefinder, you’ll have no trouble figuring out which club gives you the best chance at putting every approach shot on the green.
Chipping / Sand Play:
The app will also calculate separate handicaps for chipping and sand play to improve your performance around the green.
The Arccos app uses the rich data it collects with your putter, compares it to millions of shots made by other golfers and calculates a relative putting handicap using the Strokes Gained Methodology. Read more about the Strokes Gained Methodology.
Is Golf Actually Broken?
There’s little doubt that PGA Tour Pros could certainly benefit from this amount of data, but can the average weekend golfer make their game better using Arccos? On the surface, it’s not that obvious how Arccos and the data that it collects could help an average golfer. But when you scratch beneath the surface and start using a golf tracking system, it’s more obvious how they can help.
How many rounds have you played without getting better? How many times have you banged out a round at your local course, always scoring within the same range of a few strokes? What if Arccos provided a way to track what went well in your game and what didn’t go well, giving you a better idea of what you actually need to work on.
Instead of throwing one more scorecard into your bag and forgetting about your game, what if you could review every stroke in your game and find specific ways to bring down your score? Arccos can do that.
This is the second generation of the Arccos system. Arccos has worked hard to improve this version.
They’ve made the GPS more accurate. Lower profile sensors are more than 50 percent smaller and lighter (addressing complaints that the original sensors made your clubs too long). They’ve even enhanced the shot detection system which means that it’s far more accurate. Also, they have also drastically increased the sensors in the second generation, claiming that each battery (and remember that there is one in every sensor) can last two years.
Arccos 360 shot detection is automatic. With competing products, you have to tag or tap before every shot. The Arccos just knows when you swing your clubs. In practice this means that the Arccos just gets out of the way and let’s you play golf. The one caveat is that, since Arccos uses the accelerometer, GPS and gyroscope in your phone, you have to keep the phone in your pocket.
Also, you may have to edit your round if you hit from the same place in multiple shots (like trying to hit out of a bunker and have it roll back at you). You can see that process in this video:
What Does the Arccos System Tell You?
The best way to see what Arccos can do is to dig through the app. Arccos has a demo account filled with someone else’s golf games that you can click around in and see the type of data that it collects in Arcco’s high quality interface.
The first thing that you will see when you go into the demo is your handicap breakdown with a list of rounds that you have played, sorted by the most recent game first. Each round also includes your handicap breakdown (provided that you’re not looking on your phone, they hide this on the mobile app because there isn’t enough space).
The handicap breakdown provides a handicap score for driving, approach shots, chipping, sand and putting.
Once you select a round that you’ve hit from the list of recent games, you’ll see an overhead map of the first hole. Underneath the map is a column that holds the data for each hole. Clicking on each row will change the map. Overlaid on the map is each of your shots. The result is a really fun way to take a look at how you played each hole.
The chart below the map lays out data for each hole. It tracks:
- Distance to the tee
- Your driving distance
- Your score for the hole
- The general shape of the fairway
- Green in regulation score (GiR)
- Chip stats
- Sand stats
Probably the most useful feature of this chart is the Strokes Gained part of the chart. It lists each shot and rates them from excellent to poor, color coding them.
You can quickly scan the chart and see which holes you do well on and which clubs give you trouble. It’s easy to find places to improve your game.
Another great feature in the Arccos software is the club details / golf club tracker. By selecting the club tab, you can easily review each club’s distance, range, longest, GiR and usage.
Using this data, analyzed by the Arccos software to select clubs for different situations. It’s a golf shot distance tracker and it’s easy to use the data to find places to improve. Not happy with your seven iron range? Maybe it’s time to whip it out the next time that you’re at the range.
The other great thing that the Arccos app does is to provide a hole history view. Essentially, it allows you to easily review rounds that you’ve played at the same course. It’s really useful if you play a few courses on a regular basis. Once you build a history, you can see how much you’ve improved, both overall and in various facets of, your game.
Conclusion – Shot Tracker Golf
The biggest thing that most people talk about bringing to their game is analysis without emotion or pre-conceived ideas.
It’s easy to look at your game and make assumptions from what you think that you know. The Arccos (and to a lesser extent, it’s competitors) bring you raw data that isn’t tainted by emotion.
Arccos tells you what you need to work on, not what you think that you need to work on. The difference is subtle but can make a drastic difference when you’re trying to improve the quality of your game.