REVIEW: Arccos Golf performance tracking system

REVIEW: Arccos Golf performance tracking system

In golf, knowledge means lower scores.

As players, we have an intuition about our problem areas on the course. Some of us have trouble finding the fairway. Others three-putt way too often. More still just cannot hit the green with a mid-iron.

However, that intuition isn't always accurate, sending us down a rabbit hole to fix a problem that isn't really a problem.

So, we need something that will deliver the truth about how we play and offer insight into what we should do to get better. That's exactly what Arccos Golf does.

Arccos Golf and its primary competitor Game Golf are products designed to capture and map every swing in your round, using GPS to provide you with insight into how you play golf, where you're playing golf and where you can improve.

Arccos Golf uses Bluetooth technology with your Apple device (sorry, Android users) to track your data. The sensors detect each shot that you hit, mapping where you struck the ball on a GPS to identify if you're in the fairway or rough, tee or green or hazard.

How does it detect each shot? Well, it's a simple setup process. You'll screw in each almost-weightless sensor into the butt end of the grip on each of the 14 clubs in your bag. Then you'll download the Arccos Golf app and pair each sensor to your phone with some easy-to-follow guidance. Then, when it's time to play, fire up the app again and tell Arccos that you're about to play golf. It will detect the course you're about to play -- or you can tell it -- and then you're off and running.

There are some simple tips to follow so that each shot gets captured.

1. Most importantly, make sure your phone is either in your pocket or very close to you as you swing. Arccos will only pick up shots if your phone is in Bluetooth range, which can be anywhere from 0-20 feet.

2. Make sure to make clear strokes. It won't pick up practice swings because the sensor is advanced enough to know when you're actually hitting a ball as opposed to simulating it. This is especially important for those putts inside the leather, although the app will allow you to add in a gimme putt.

3. Don't hit a second ball. If you're playing two or more balls in a practice round, Arccos is just going to get confused.

As you're playing, Arccos will give you live data, mapping each shot on a satellite view of the course, showing you which club you hit and how far you hit it. It will also give you live feedback on how far, on average, you actually hit each club. You'll get a sense of fairways and greens hit in regulation, as well how often you're putting and other good info. Obviously, the kind of data is illegal to have in competition, so Arccos has released a restricted app that doesn't supply that data in-round.

The app can also act as a GPS, giving distances to the back, middle and front of each green. Arccos is also compatible with the new Apple Watch, with the watch app providing GPS-like distances and recommending clubs to hit based on the data Arccos has gathered about how far you hit each club.

As you play more rounds with Arccos, it becomes more valuable as an analytical tool. It breaks down the game into five facets: driving, approach play, chipping, sand play and putting. Using the data from your shots, it gives you a handicap for each facet, telling you the area where your games suffers most. Digging deeper, Arccos can tell you how far you hit each club, your standard deviation, how close you hit the ball to your target and your tendencies.

The data might feel overwhelming to some players, but you can't get better if you don't know what you're doing. Arccos Golf provides that information. It's up to you to figure out how to improve your game.

Arccos Golf was recently reduced in price by $100, down from an initial $399 to a more realistic $299. No doubt, it's an investment in your game, but it's one a player looking to commit to improvement should make.

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