When golf performance-tracking platforms like Arccos Golf came to market, they were billed to golfers as offering the kind of analytical information that would help them identify their tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. The data would tell the truth and allow them to see their games for what they were.
Actionable information is great, particularly if there's action taken. Arccos Golf says its users improved their handicap indices by an average of 3.55 strokes last year.
But most golfers don't have a lot of time to work on their flaws. More often than not, they simply accept them and try to work around them, putting in time as it's available.
So what good is information validating the ways you know you stink at golf if you won't do anything about it?
These days, golf performance-tracking platforms have realized their greatest value-add to the player. They've realized they can track thousands upon thousands of shots, from the player and golfers like them in skill, process that data against the variety of the world's golf holes, and they can then tell the player what to do to achieve the lowest score possible given their talent. If a golfer won't practice to get better, then the platform can at least help them enjoy the game more.
In other words, instead of telling players why they stink, these platforms have realized helping players work with what they've got is the best path forward. Arccos has been at the forefront of this transformation, last year introducing Arccos Caddie.
Working in conjunction with Microsoft and its Azure cloud platform, first-gen Arccos Caddie gave players recommendations on how to approach a hole from the tee box. Should a player hit driver or less? How would the rest of the hole play out, given a golfer's tendencies? What would be a good score for that particular player?
That was a great step forward, but what happens when things don't go to plan (which is often)? That's what Arccos Caddie 2.0 addresses, offering the overwhelming number of golfers who don't have access to a caddie the opportunity to use data-driven insights to help them shoot better scores. The advice comes from not only an analysis of a particular player's data but also data captured from more than 100 million shots in over 1 million rounds of golf on more than 37,000 courses with golfers of every skill level. Microsoft's artificial intelligence platform crunches numbers and adjusts accordingly, factoring in data including weather, elevation and course design.
At the start of each hole, Arccos Caddie shows the player several options to play out the hole, starting with the club selection for the tee shot along with the remainder of the pathway to holing out and the expected score. It's up to the player to pick a plan.
Arccos Caddie was initially an add-on service for users, but Arccos Caddie 2.0 is now available for free to all users of the Arccos 360 hardware ($250) and the associated apps for iOS or Android.
The Arccos product continues to evolve, and as more golfers produce more data to analyze, the end-user golfer benefits from being able to play golf with a better strategy. And who wouldn't pay money to make sure they shoot lower scores?