Arccos vs Game Golf

Arccos Golf vs Game Golf – Which is Better?

You can buy Game Golf on Amazon here. You can buy Arccos Golf on Amazon here. OR Buy Arccos on their website.

As you’ve noticed over here, I’m all about golf technology. I think if we’re going to get a younger generation playing more often, the more we can leverage technology to help them grow their game – the better.

This year there are two names that I’ve heard more than any other when it comes to pushing the limits of golf technology: Game Golf and Arccos Golf.

Game Golf has been around for about a year now, and they’ve continued to evolve their product into one of the most popular golf devices on the market today. Arccos is the newcomer to the space, who have just finished their round of pre-sales and have just recently launched in Dicks Sporting Goods and the Apple Store – among other places.

My goal with this article is to give you an extremely, in-depth and honest look at the pros and cons of both Game Golf and Arccos. I’ve probably played more rounds with both systems than anyone else, so I feel I have a unique perspective and ability to write about the pros and cons of each.

Also, see my review of the latest release, Arccos 360 here.

Why Would You Want a Stat Tracker?

Before we go too far into the differences in the devices, it’s important to look at what they both are, and why you’d want them.

Essentially both devices track every aspect of every round you play.

They can give you shot distances, and post round statistics that are much more in depth and valuable than anything we’ve currently seen. They both have slightly different ways of getting there, but both do a good job of getting the final result – it’s more a matter of personal preference and what your goals are.

So let’s jump right in and start taking a look at each of the devices and the differences between each.

Note: You can find my original review of Game Golf here, and my original review of Arccos Golf here.

Presentation/Looks

Both Game Golf and Arccos were designed to be bold. With Arccos opting for a Black/Neon Green color scheme and Game Golf going for bright red. The box and presentation of both products all look great.

Arccos Home

Game Golf Home

It’s clear that both brands have put a lot of time and effort into their branding and image, and it comes across really well in both instances. Personally, I prefer the sleekness and more modern look that Arccos has going for it, but this one in the end is really all about personal preference.

Presentation/Looks: Arccos Golf

Technology

This is where things really start to get important. Because with a device that’s supposed to track every single shot of your round, and give you accurate distances down to a yard – the technology behind these devices is absolutely crucial.

Game Golf as a product was first to market, and is generally a more simple product. There’s no phone interface for while you’re on the course, it’s simply a matter of tap –> buzz–> hit –>repeat –>download.

Each club has a red sensor that screws into the club, and you wear another larger sensor on your belt. Before each shot you tap your club to the sensor, and it registers your position on the course.

Then after the round you can collect your data, and start your analysis.

Arccos, and their proprietary technology that was originally licensed from Callaway is a bit more advanced.

Rather than using a separate GPS, it’s using the GPS that’s built into your iPhone to track your distances.

This system also doesn’t require you to tap before shots. You can play your round, get real time information, and generally not have it interfere with your golfing experience.

In practice, I found the GPS to be much more accurate on the Arccos System than I did on the Game Golf system. In fact, the GPS accuracy was one of my biggest complaints about GG in my original review. There were times I’d be in the center of the green, and it would have me 25 yards off in a bunker.

Now Arccos isn’t perfect in this regard, but generally speaking it’s always been pretty close when it isn’t dead on. You usually notice this the most when you’re on the edge of the green or on the edge of a fairway – and it doesn’t recognize it as such.

On top of the GPS being higher quality, the sensors are much more advanced as well. – as they have to be, since there is no tapping involved.

Before I played my first round with Arccos, I was extremely skeptical as to how thus would work. “There’s no way this will work as advertised,” is what I thought to myself.

Couldn’t have been more wrong. 95% of the time, Arccos gets everything exactly right. You play a hole, check your phone after, and it will tell you what club you hit, where you were, how far the shot was, and how many putts you took.

And that’s just the surface level stuff.

Occasionally it will miss a putt, if you don’t setup for it and just tap one in – but that’s easy to fix with the “gimme putt” button.

This is where Arccos sets itself apart. If all you want is stats and a scorekeeper, then great – check the app every few holes to ensure accuracy and forget about it other than that.

If you want an on course caddie, it can do that too. It will give you GPS yardages, you can see if on any given day your hitting you’re clubs longer or shorter than your averages (great if you’re playing some place like Pronghorn, where you’re at elevation and the ball travels farther), and you can get aerial views of all the holes.

No tapping involved.

That being said, this is also why Arccos costs twice as much as Game Golf. So you have to decide if price is a determining factor for you.

Technology: Arccos Golf

Price

Speaking of price, let’s talk about it.

When Arrccos was first released, it was opened up to people in the pre-sale at $299. Game Golf was $199 on their Indiegogo campaign, and then was mass released at $249. Just in the last few weeks I’ve seen that they lowered the price back to $199.

Arccos just launched at $399.

That’s a huge difference in the world of golf gadgets, as $399 will buy you a brand new high end driver!

When comparing prices, it’s also important to take a look at why Arccos is more expensive.  Game Golf’s tags are very basic. They can talk with the GPS sensor, but that’s about it – and that’s all they need to do.

Arccos doesn’t have a sensor on your belt, so the sensors on the club themselves have to do a lot. They’re essentially like mini-computers in each of your club, with bluetooth, an accelerometer, a battery, and impact detection features – in every club!

The good news for this, is the lack of tapping that we mentioned earlier. The bad news is more technology comes at a steeper price, and batteries mean that eventually they’ll need to be changed.

So while it very much will depend on what you’re looking for, it’s pretty clear who wins the price category.

PRICE: Game Golf

Real World Usability

You can have all the theory in the world, but if the product sucks to use, guess what? You’ll never use it!

And if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on a device like this and make it an integral part of your game – it better work well.

Let’s take a look at each of these products separately from a real life stand point.

Game Golf Usability

This is where far and away, my biggest problem with Game Golf comes into play.

The tapping.

Before every shot you hit, you have to tap the club to the sensor that’s on your belt. You’ll feel a vibration and you’re good to go!

Simple, right? In theory yes. In real life? The answer isn’t quite so easy.

Even after many rounds with Game Golf, I had issues with the tagging. Not from the technology standpoint, but from the mental stand point.

I’d be walking off the tee, and I’d forget whether or not I’d tagged a shot.

Same goes for tap in putts.

I also never figured out a good solution for what to do with penalty shots.

Now, I know the company has recommended practices for this, and I’ve gotten many comments and emails from readers who say they love the tapping and now it’s just part of their pre-round routine.

To them I say, that’s fantastic. If you can get that down, then the system is pretty good.

I never could.

At the end of the round, it then takes a couple minutes to upload to your computer, and despite improvements, the editing process is a bit clunky and not exact. Usually my rounds would be off by 5-7 strokes. So instead of just being able to play golf and forget about it, I was keeping separate score, and afterwards trying to remember exactly what happened and where I was – so that I could properly edit the shot.

It simply ended up being too much work for me, and was detracting from my ability to play the game – and to do so in a quick manner.

Arccos Usability

When I switched from Game Golf to using Arccos, this was a pretty big night/day difference to me.

Everything about Arccos is easy to use. Whether you’re on the course and trying to review holes, or trying to analyze data after the round – just about everything works well, and it truly allows you to just play the game.

For years I used Golf Shot GPS for distances and score. After every round I’d have to put in my score info. It took maybe 10 seconds. Arccos is no more invasive than that, and it gives you toooooons more data.

The only caveat to that is the shot editor, which has been greatly improved since I started using it, but can still be a bit confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Arccos rarely misses shots, but here’s a great example of where this might come into play.

Arccos will automulligan if it senses you hit a shot from the same place. So, let’s say I’m in the sand and I fail to get it out of the trap and it rolls back down to the same spot. I hit again, and get out.

There’s a good chance that since I didn’t move, and I used the same club, that it will only recognize that in the system as one shot.  At which point, after the round, I may need to go into the hole editor, and add the new shot.

This doesn’t happen all that often, and once you know how to do it, it’s pretty easy to fix. But it’s the one instance I can think of, where it could get in the way of the flow of your round.

Putting can also occasionally be an issue. I’d say 15 out of 18 holes I have absolutely no issues. Where it will fail to register a putt is if you have a one footer that you just walk up to and hit without taking the time to pause, setup, and roll it in.

Luckily, this is an easy fix, either by just taking your time, or hitting “add gimme putt” after the hole. Either way is easy and doesn’t in the way anymore than using a score keeping app like Golfshot would.

Bottom line, in my mind, this is why there is a $200 price difference between the two products. Real world usability is far and away better with Arccos, both from the perspective of during the round and after.

Real World Usability: Arccos Golf

Social

One of the most promising factors in these new devices is the ability to truly gamify what’s already a great game. With all of the different aspects of golf, it’s a sport that’s just begging to have a product that gamifies the system. Think badges, best stats, worst stats, challenges with friends – that’s the kind of thing that will keep me and my friends going out on a regular basis – and competing even when we can’t play together.

Recently Game Golf released their “challenges” feature, which truly steps this up in almost every level.

When I first started using Game Golf at the end of 2013, I was pretty disappointed by the lack of “game”. At the very least I wanted to see a page where I could look at fun stats like: longest drive, most birdies in a round, most bogey’s in a round, longest holed out shot etc.

While they don’t do much for my game improvement, they’re fun milestones to shoot for, and can be great bragging rights with friends.

Game Golf has this information, and even recgonizes it, telling me when I hit one of those milestones. But what I can’t believe they still don’t have is a “records” page or something like that where I can see it all. I have to scroll down through my round news feeds to find them, which is frustrating.

Bridgestone Long Drive

That said, the challenges are awesome, and ripe for potential partnerships and creative games. For instance, right now there’s a “Bridgestone Long Drive” challenge which is pretty cool.

Arccos on the other hand, is at a disadvantage being the newer company. They’re focusing first on the device and personal statistics before getting too far down the social path. My bet is that in time we’ll see a lot of aspects of Arccos rival GG in the social space, but as of right now, there’s not a whole lot there.

Social: Game Golf

Battery Life

If you’re playing a lot of golf, this can be an important component. And because of the different ways each system works, there are a few things to take into account.

First, let’s look at Game Golf – as it’s the more simple answer.

The tags on the clubs, don’t have batteries, only the sensor that you wear on your belt. You charge this via usb, and it’s generally good for about 2 rounds.

This can be good or bad. If you’re playing a ton of golf, and you don’t have time to download your round or charge it, you could find yourself out on the course with a dead sensor – in which case you’re out of luck. Good news here is that, it’s easy to charge, just plug it into a wall or computer.

Arccos on the other hand has a few different batteries to think about.

The first is the fact there is a round watch style battery in each sensor. So 14 of them. Supposedly they’re good for about 50 rounds.

So for the average golfer, you’ll get at least a year or two of battery life before this becomes an issue.  When you do eventually need to change them, it will be a minor expense, and probably take a good 45 minutes to change them all out – but then you’re good for another year.

The other concern is your iPhone’s battery life.

If you have an older phone with a battery that’s starting to wear out, you could run into some issues. For most people with a newer phone, you’ll have no problems.

Arccos says it should take about 50% of your battery life to play a round of 18. I was out with someone who had an iPhone 6 last week, and they were still at 67% after a full 18 with heavy email and social usage.

So battery life is really a matter of personal preference. Do you like a rechargeable battery that you might occasionally forget to charge? Or the once a year switch, that you don’t have to worry about on a day to day basis? I personally like the latter, but could go either way.

Battery Life: Tie

Mobile App

To be honest, I don’t fully understand why Game Golf has a mobile app. I can’t use it on the course, I can’t download my data directly to it, it really is only useful for getting notifications of rounds from my “friends” in the system.

The Arccos Mobile app let's you export individual shots you can share.

The Arccos Mobile app let’s you export individual shots you can share.

One person told me it was all about being able to keep golf “top of mind” for you.

I have other things that can do that.

Arccos on the other hand is built around the mobile app, and that’s how they track everything.

So while it may be a little unfair to compare the two since one is built around mobile, and one is an unnecessary add on – it’s clear Arccos gets the nod here.

Mobile: Arccos Golf

Online Dashboard/Statistics

This is one of the most important aspects of either device. How easy is it to get useful information that will allow me to improve my game, and how in depth can I go with that information?

Once again, the best way to do this is to look at them each separately.

Game Golf

After you download your round on Game Golf you can go to your dashboard and review your round, and see an overview of what you’ve done.

The statistics you get are all the traditional ones that you’d usually expect to see from a golf app. Examples being:

  • Average Score
  • Fairways Hit
  • Greens in Regulation
  • Approach info

It’s not the most intuitive system for getting information, but there are some pretty good surface level bits of data.

They do a good job allowing you to visualize shots in their online dashboard, but the data stays relatively basic.

I think the Activity stream is well intentioned, but just not that useful to me. My friends that have the system no longer use it, so most of the data I see is from people I don’t know. Also, I don’t need to see things like X person, is now following Y person – which is what much of my stream looks like.

Arccos Golf

The Arccos online dashboard is still in beta mode, so it’s got a ways to go as far as polish goes – that being said, I love what I’ve seen so far.

In particular one of the things that sets it’s system apart is their handicap system for measuring aspects of your game.

Arccos will give you a handicap score for 5 categories: driving, chipping, putting, sand, and approach.

So for any round or combination of rounds you can see that you were, for instance, playing like a 19 handicap with your drives, but a 6 handicap with your putting.

This is all based on the Strokes Gained methodology that you can read about in Every Shot Counts – but this is simply their way of making it more relatable and accessible to the average golfer.

The graphs and data are also far more in depth in Arccos, and while there are a few quirks with the system – for instance, I can’t figure out how to remove  a couple rounds where pre-release versions of my sensors weren’t working properly, and gave me an inaccurate score – overall the information is easier to access, analyze, and review than it is with Game Golf.

Dashboard/Statistics: Arccos Golf

A Couple More Notes

There are two other factors that you need to consider before deciding which one of these products is right for you.

The first is, quite simply, do you have an iPhone? Because as of now there is no Android version of Arccos.  I’ve been told that Bluetooth is less stable on Android due the wide variety of different phone options, which can make it hard to develop for.

So for the moment, if you have an Android, Game Golf is really your only option.  For me personally, I play enough golf, and Arccos is good enough that it’d make me strongly consider switching over – but luckily, I don’t have that issue.

The other thing to consider is tournament play.  Right now Game Golf conforms to USGA regulations and is available for use in tournaments, whereas Arccos isn’t.  I believe they’re working on a version of the app that does conform, but it’s not out as of the time of this writing.

Once again, I’ve never played any competitive golf (except this debacle), so it’s not a huge deal. I know however in places like Australia, most rounds do end up being competitive – so this is a big deciding factor.

Quick Recap:

  • Presentation/Looks: Arccos Golf
  • Technology: Arccos Golf
  • Price: Game Golf
  • Real World Usability: Arccos Golf
  • Social: Game Golf
  • Battery Life: Tie
  • Mobile: Arccos Golf
  • Dashboard/Statistics: Arccos Golf
  • Competition: Game Golf

Final Conclusions

If you’ve read all 3,000 words plus of this article, you’ve probably got a pretty good sense of which system I like better.

I think Arccos is a superior product to Game Golf in just about every way. From real world usability, quality of information you get, and technology – it’s ahead of Game.

The caveat is price.

You can accomplish many of the same things with Game Golf as you can with Arccos, for about half the price (or less if you buy off Amazon). If you’re not looking for on course information, super advanced statistics, and don’t mind the tapping – then by all means, you can grab Game Golf for half the price and be really happy with it.

However if you want something that won’t get in the way of your round, and will really give you tour level analytics that have never been available to amateurs before, Arccos Golf is hands down the best piece of golf technology I’ve ever used.

You can buy Game Golf here. You can buy Arccos Golf here or here.




There are 69 comments

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  1. Gary McCormick

    I am also very impressed with Arccos, but the elephant in the room as regards usability is the question – “Do you have an iPhone?”, because if you don’t, Arccos is NOT an option.

    • Sean Ogle

      That’s actually a REALLY good point Gary, and one I cant believe that I didn’t touch on in this post. Will update.

      Because it’s true, if you don’t have an iPhone then GG really is the only way to go if you want shot by shot tracking.

  2. Pete J

    I’ve been waiting for this kind of review so thank you Sean as I was eagerly waiting for Arcoss to come out for the past 5 months before making a decision between the 2 ahead of the Xmas. Luckily I have 2 buddies who bought the system last week so I was able to test it out at the weekend. Things didn’t get off to a great start though because two of the sensors didn’t work for one of my buddies so he just returned it. $400 and the sensors didn’t even work… :-/

    Now for my other friend, he did not have this issue. The pairing was easy and then we were able to get playing. Now of course my expectations for this were far greater than Game Golf because of the price so I’m sorry if this sounds harsh and don’t get me wrong it did work very well, the battery on my phone (5s) only lost 72% battery and I was definitely happy with it’s ease of use but to say it is non intrusive on your game is not true. The tags themselves are too big for me, they weigh 12g each (so yes I felt the difference) and they just look awkward on the club. Also, the putter tag is very annoying since I had to keep it upside down as I walk around the green, that is intrusive and that does change my routine so I missed 6 tap ins during my round.

    The other things as well is the GPS, how can they tell me I’m getting “Tour” analytics if the GPS picks up my shots 6 yards away. For $400, I EXPECTED BETTER. Again, I don’t want to sound harsh but my expectations for this product were so high and Arcoss did a great job setting this expectation, the look is slick (thanks Apple) but its functionality is not worth $400 and I”m saying this on behalf of other users who have similar expectations so I just want people to know this. The real time is a fantastic concept but I’m just not sold. I travel a lot and my clubs get knocked around but I’m expecting that Arcoss are preparing themselves for a lot of broken tags too. For these reasons, I’m going to go with Game Golf this Xmas. It’s half the price and I’m going to look at the tagging as a positive and with their new shot detection feature I don’t even need to worry about missing a tag anymore. Arcoss have let me down and I’m sure I won’t be the only one to say this…

    • Sean Ogle

      Pete, thanks for the comment!

      Sorry to hear that you were disappointed with Arccos, but it sounds like Game Golf will be a great option for you!

      I personally didnt experience many of the issues you mentioned. I can’t tell a difference at all with weight of sensors (but I’m also a pretty average golfer haha), and I rarely remember to carry my putter upside down, and only get a couple extra putts a round which is easy to fix.

      I travel frequently and have had no issues with broken sensors.

      It’s very much a personal preference between the two, so just glad to hear that you’ve found the option that suits you best!

      • Blake

        Its more than preference, really. Tag weight is a serious issue.

        For example, take your driver: Considering most players are carrying drivers with 65-80 gram shafts, adding 12 grams to the butt of your club is a huge amount of weight. In so doing, you will materially lower the swing weight, materially increase the static weight, and you will have materially altered the the balance point of the club. The end result will be a kick point that has moved up the shaft toward the grip, and the altered swing weight of the club will result in a club that is both lighter at the clubhead and stiffer than it would otherwise be without the tag.

        A possible workaround would be to switch to ultralight grips which get you back 25 grams to offset the effect of the 12 you placed on the butt of the club. Workaround or no, however, it must pointed out that you will have paid $250-$400 for a statistics gathering tool that will wind up adding an additional statistically measureable dispersive error onto every club in your bag.

        Data is great but seriously, from where I sit, there is no way I’m putting anything on the butt of a club (Arccos, GameGolf, GamePad, etc.) – especially if that club has been custom fitted and weighted with even a mid range shaft that cost as much as $250-$300 all by itself.

        JMTC. Thanks for such a thorough review.

        • Sean Ogle

          Thanks for the thoughts Blake! I guess maybe I should rephrase some of this. I’m about a 10-11 handicap, I put the sensors on and didn’t notice any difference. If you’re a really good golfer and you obsess about every aspect of your gear and really know what you’re talking about, then it could be a dealbreaker.

          For me? It’s had no negative impact on my swing or game.

  3. Bill Colbert

    Arccos has been great for my game! I was consistently in the 90s, but I’ve been down in the low 80s since starting to better understand my tendencies, and how to manage the course better. All thanks to Arccos. With Arccos, I feel like I’ll be able to break 80 in no time!

  4. Nick

    Just got Arccos. Worked great. Had to delete some extra putts because I hit some practice putts or hit ball back to player partner. My battery worn out fast but Arccos actually emailed me about it!! Wow!!And offered advice on how to shut down all my other apps. I didn’t realize I had so many apps open and running that drained my battery. What customer service at Arccos to know my phone was dying and to offer a solution!!

  5. Ian

    Great review. One thing that you did not touch on is use during competition. I am not sure that you would be allowed to use Arccos in competition (happy to be corrected here). Where I play you are not allowed to have your mobile phone on during competition.

      • stockboy

        Arccos now has two apps – one ‘restricted’ that does not display any stats during use (but still tracks them).

        But what I really need to know, that nobody hits upon, is whether or not the phone actually has to be carried in the pocket, or if it could be in the pocket of a push cart within a few feet of where you swing? I intend to order either a 6 plus (or a S6 Edge if Arccos gets its act together re Android), and for either carrying in the pocket simply isn’t an option. Presuming I am not anal about down-to-the-foot measurements, surely ‘close by’ would work? Any experience?

        • Sean Ogle

          I’ve always been told it pretty much has to be in your pocket. I’m not sure what the official distance is, but by leaving it in the bag, I think it’s less of a concern of inaccuracy as simply not registering a swing or a shot.

          • Dean

            The other issue would be with putting. With your phone staying in your golf bag, you would always be putting from just off the green and your stats for putting would be skewed.

          • Sean Ogle

            Yeah I dont think that would so much be the issue, because it register from the tag, rather than the phone. Biggest issue is losing connectivity if you get more than 10 or so feet away.

  6. Ryan

    GAME GOLF also recently added a ‘Shot Detection’ feature which automatically knows when you take a swing (which eliminates forgetting to tag a hole). Has a great community & always seems to be working on new features as well.

    My biggest turn off with Arccos is the price, the rather large amount of battery it drains from your phone, & the size of the bluetooth sensors.

  7. Eric

    I was ready to buy Game Golf then I read the review and the comments about the review. Now I am torn.

    One thing I know for sure is I will never but Arccos simply because of the price. For amateur and I use that term lightly, haha, 400$ is a lot for a hobby where my entire set of clubs is only about 700$. I had the 200$ saved from birthday money, thanks in-laws, but that doesn’t cover it.

    So think I will be just holding off until Game Golf gets improvements or Arccos reduces their price.

    Thanks again for the review.

  8. Simon

    Great review, I’ve been looking at getting one of these devices. I wonder if in future something like this is built into a club, probably too costly. But imagine if in the future each club was like a virtual Trackman built into the face, how cool would that be with all the data. But I guess these will do for now

  9. Jim

    I can’t find an app for Arccos on the Apple store but in Arccos’ promotional Youtube, you see the dashboard on an iPad.

    Also, how do you get the data from your iPhone onto a Mac or PC to view your game on something larger than an iPhone?

    • Sean Ogle

      Jim, you should be able to find it in any physical Apple Store location.

      Also, the data is automatically updated to your account, so you can login to the Arccos Dashboard on your computer and get even more detailed info, charts, graphs etc.

  10. David

    I was wondering with Arccos if you have to carry your iPhone in your pocket when you play for the Bluetooth to work? I like keeping my phone in the bag and sometimes I will be more than 10 or 20 feet away like putting for example. Will this be an issue?
    Thanks

  11. BirdHunter

    Great review Sean, i think we all appreciate the work you do and allowing us a forum as well. A couple of notes with the Arccos system, you do have to download the course you are playing before you play it and Arccos does recommend doing that before you head out to play since the download can take a while and you never know how good your download speed will be when you not on your homes wifi. Also you do have to carry your phone with you when using Arccos since it relies on the gps on your phone for positional accuracy. No leaving it on the cart or in your bag you have to wear it much like the game golf sensor. I have used both and am choosing to stick with game golf. The battery drain on the phone is just a little too much plus I also stream music from my phone while i play so constantly moving in and out of range can be a bit of an annoyance, probably much like other players think my music is lol. I did love the instant access of the Arccos system, fun to look at your round immediately after as opposed to having to come home to a computer. There are pros and cons to both systems like you pointed out quite well the ultimate system for me would be a combination of both and you can bet good money that system is probably currently in development!

    • Bill Meyers

      It has something to do with the vibrations from actually striking the ball. I am not 100% sure of how it works technically but it works, and it does know the difference..

  12. Bill

    I first purchased Game Golf, it was okay, but took a lot of attention, and remembering to tap before each shot. Brought it home, and it wouldn’t download. Company was willing to send me s new one as the determined it to be a defective unit. I returned it, and purchased ARCOSS. What s pleasant surprise. There was a learning curve of a couple of rounds, but man after that, Al you have to do is turn the application on, select your course, and play golf. This thing is perfect. It may cost more but it is worth every penny.

    • Sean Ogle

      I’d just leave it turned off until you get to the first tee. And as far as I know it should work for most Canadian courses. You can email them if you have a course you’re going to play and they’ll make sure to get it mapped.

  13. Paul

    Like to hear any feedback positive or negative from users of the Arccos users that are low single digit handicap please. (5 or less) Would be interested to know if they saw value in the device and helped in game improvement.

    Thanks

    • Sean Ogle

      No. You can download the course before the round either on your cell network or wifi, but after that it’s just using bluetooth and GPS – so your cell data shouldnt be affected.

  14. Will

    Sean,

    Thanks for the information. I was given the Arccos Golf as a gift this Christmas. Though I think I would really enjoy it and it would really help my golf game, I am in a season of life where I don’t get to play very much. I currently have played golf using my own score less than 5 times in the past 2 years. I play in more scrambles for work right now. My 3 kids are under 5 so it limits my time on the course. Is it worth holding onto Arccos or should I part ways with it and use the money for something else and worry about it a golf GPS another day (as technology will likely change over the years). I’m just afraid I won’t use it enough. Also, will it work on iPad or just iPhone?

  15. Antwan

    Sean, great article. Waiting for the sun to come up so I can hit the range. I don’t know if anyone asked, but do you think I could use Arccos on the driving range to keep track of my ball striking? Or does it only work when I’m on the course?

    • DonWA

      I own GameGolf and just got Arccos and will use it for the first time this month. I believe Arccos wouldn’t work on the driving range because while it would recognize that you hit a particular club, it wouldn’t know the distance the ball traveled since you are hitting over & over again from the same location. Golf Course example, if you hit a Driver from the tee, the Driver distance is calculated from the GPS location of your next shot. By hitting Drivers at the driving ranges, your distances would be zero yards since you didn’t change your location between shots.

  16. robb

    Sean,

    I have game golf and the biggest issues that I have had are editing stats after a round. I want to understand my typical distances of say a 6 iron and driver. If I chip with a six iron it will add a 10 yd shot to my avg 6 iron statistics. If I hit a tree and and end up with a 180 yd drive then that too contributes to the avg distance.

    Do either of these devices allow you to remove shots from the avg distance stats?

    • Andrew

      Apparently Game Golf uses the median value – not the mean – so short chips with irons will have no effect – assuming (a) you have logged a reasonable number of shots with that club, and (b) you hit more normal shots than chips with that particular club.

  17. Patrick Ford

    I just purchased the Arccos system and used it today. It worked perfectly! I followed all the recommended tips…set up for putts and carry the clubs upside down when walking to the green with my wedge and putter. Also do not throw you club down when finishing up with your wedge….you must set it down and then putt. The “gimme” put feature was easy to use. The auto mulligan worked perfectly.
    Another feature is the auto fill score card that you can see while in play.
    Great product worth the cost.

  18. Konstantin

    Excellent article, your points are spot on! If you have an Android, please check out our new product, Golf Tags: http://www.GolfPadGPS.com/tags. It’s in the same space as Arccos and Game Golf, but different. You tap the phone in your pocket to record a shot, but then you see/edit results in real time. And the price is only $99 for the set of 15 tags.

  19. John

    Sean,

    Great review. A thought and question on battery life of the sensor. I understand the 50 rounds of golf before replacing the battery, but what about hitting golf balls on the range? I am assuming there isn’t an off button? Every swing on the range would be draining the batteries and taking the sensors off between rounds would be a pain. Can you offer your insights?

    Thank you,
    John

  20. Kelly Bryson

    Arccos golf sounds really good except for one thing. You must own an iPhone so that now makes a $399 device possibly over $1000. Then there is the battery changing (supposedly once a year) and these batteries are not as inexpensive as implied. They usually run from $7 to $14 then multiply by 14 for the number of clubs and that is no small expense every year.
    I like the technology improvements to try and grow the game of golf and make it easier for golfers, but once again, everything seems to cater to those that have no concerns of affordability. Courses, equipment, clothing and now technology all cater to those with no money concerns. This seems to be the perfect storm to prevent the growth of the game.
    Look, I am a lover of the game and the only way for that love to spread is to grow the game and attract more people. By making things more expensive is not the way to do it. With so many options available to the consumer for mobile phone plans, manufacturers must take this into consideration. The plans are designed to give the consumer attractive calling packages and often times a free cell phone to boot.
    If Accros really wants to be number 1, then they better rethink how they are providing their device to the public. The iPhone may be number 1, but androids are definitely being used more often by consumers just because of the high cost of an iPhone. Put all the androids together, and the iPhone is actually far behind. It is time for golf and the people in the industry to make everything more affordable, easier to use and more fun so more people will become attracted to the game. If elitists want to keep golf to themselves, then the private snotty golf clubs are still available and I fear the growth of golf will cease. The golf industry must review what it is doing and analyze what they want the future to be. It is time to take a great game and eliminate the historical tag of a “rich man’s game” and make it a game for the common man.

    • Mark

      Not sure where you buy batteries, but Walmart carries the required CR2032 batteries for about $1 a piece. Not $7-14.

  21. Mike

    Hi, nice review but, i think you were making some wrong assumptions so I’d like to chime in. First with Ios vs android I don’t think it’s so much the Bluetooth stability as it is the fact that for Android a developer has to make it work on several varieties of the OS each manufacturer uses a slightly different version of the OS. With Apple its the same because you can’t get Ios on anything but an Apple product. Something that almost caused them to go out of business when all they did was computers. Apple requires a developer to pay a royalty for a “chip” in the device or app for each one sold. Goggle doesn’t. As someone else said you MUST have an Iphone to use Arccos when adds another $500 + to the $400 price tag. Also while Iphone is the single highest percentage phone used in the world Andriod as on OS passed Ios a couple years ago and continues to widen the gap. So for me, an Android user both form a price standpoint as well as the “apple we will close the architecture and charge more just because it’s got a apple logo on it standpoint,” I don’t guess I’ll be using Arccos anytime soon.

    Second, whether you want to spend $200 or $400 (plus a phone) someone who uses these systems would by definition into working on their golf game, practicing, studying, analizing stats etc. so they more likely will be plying a lot more than 50 rounds a year. I mean if you stumble out once a month with your buddies to drink beer and hack away you’re not likely to spend even $200 for a gadget. That’ like a year’s worth of beer at the course isn’t it? So i would think changing the batteries every 50 rounds is only going to buy you four to maybe six months. So add a couple of hundred dollars a year to the $1,000 dollar cost. I might not go as far as that other guy did in saying that the weight is going to screw up your swing but the size of the Arcoss sensors definitely would bother me. As far as not being intrusive on the game have to carry clubs upside down, make sure not to bang or lean on my putter, bump the putter check after a shot to make sure that it showed my chip as a chip not a putt, oh by the way if you use your putter off the green its still a chip if you are tracking stats. With Arccos you would definitely have to fix it after, not to mention that the phone has to be on your body so that you don’t get out of range, Something I wouldn’t do given the size of smartphones these days. This all tells me that Arccos is just as intrusive as Game golf. With Game at least the tapping becomes part of the pre swing routine and as i understand it the sensor now senses shots anyway so that’s a moot point.

    On the down side for both is the fact that neither device actually knows where the hole is. Not so good for stats like proximity to the hole or a strokes gained putting stat versus other like handicap players. both rather important. doesn’t look like either even able to tell you you 2 putted from 15 feet, (not so bad) or from three feet. (not so good)

    Being able to see the last shot while you are on the course is going to do nothing but slow an already slow game down. Not supposed to be doing the practicing on the course anyway. And while Arccos does have a “restricted” app out now if you read the USGA rule on the use of smartphones it clearly states that there can be no app on the phone that will suggest clubs, give gradient etc whether it’s in use or not. That means for someone who does play in tournaments they would have to unload the regular app and install the legal one each time the play in a tournament then do the same thing in reverse after. And forget and get caught and your DQ’d. Again someone who would be using these devices to improve their game would be likely to be playing tournaments.

    If all you wanted to do with them there was feel good bout your monster drive or heckle your buddy about his weak one there are plenty of $20 dollar smartphone apps that will do that as well as working as a full blown GPS.

    Not sure I would use either one but if I did,(assuming I had a Iphone already) I’d use Game Golf because it would be less intrusive on my game. And yes I’d still be keeping score seperate anyway so going back and editing isnt a big deal after the round.

  22. grjumpy

    My problem with game golf is that there is no way for the pin to be located. Without that ability how can you tell how close to the hole your approach shots are or your putting stats. I assume Arcoss is the same.

    • Graham

      Game Golf assumes the hole location is within 2 feet of the second (or third) putt.

      It doesn’t track putts for distance anyway but with the approach analysis you can choose a club (or a distance) and determine how close to the pin you’re getting.

      It will also track number of 1, 2 and 3 putts etc, and your scrambling % (presumably the same as Arcoss will?)

  23. Bob

    The big, big issue for me is the Arccos app being only iPhone or Android. I use a Windows phone, which makes the Arccos absolutely useless to me or anyone with a Windows phone. Come on people, you have the software developed, port it to Windows.

  24. Adam

    I have the GG system and have uploaded around 20 rounds. I think its a great system but frustrating to edit each round but a necessary evil. I like the fact the tags are inert (unlike Arccos) as there is less to go wrong. I also use the golf shot app to record real time scores, GIR etc. Its then a simple matter of comparing the 2 when updating. Good review, keep up the good work.

  25. KW

    Not sure why you say Arccos has an advantage in the battery department when it is worse. The Game Golf sensor lasts 2 rounds, which is about the same as your iphone battery. If charging your phone isn’t a problem, then charging the sensor shouldn’t be a problem either.

    Another point you haven’t made is that you have to keep your phone on you for Arccos to work. Not everyone likes to have a phone in their pocket while playing. If you leave it in your bag/cart, you run the risk of the GPS tagging it in a different spot.

  26. Larry

    Only one seems to comment on an improvement in their Hcp using either system. You use all this great technology but the purpose is to improve the game. Does your index (mine is currently ~15) come down 3-4 strokes? My game is currently in the 85-95 range. An improvement of one stroke is hardly worth it. Most of us who play more than 25 rounds a year have a pretty good idea of how far our irons go +/- 5 yards. I guess I’m one of those who feels that expensive technology has driven up the cost of the game. After reading the excellent review and all the comments I’ll stick with my little book ($19) that records putts, approach shot yardage, club used and take that with me the next time I have a lesson from a pro with the money I saved.

  27. Bill

    As much as I wanted to believe this was a good system, fact is it just doesn’t work. You have to keep a copy of your scorecard and spend an hour adjusting the data to get close to what actually happened on the golf course. In the end all you get is bad data.

  28. Rob

    I commented on the Arccos Facebook page asking about Android. Their response gives me hope for the future:

    “Unfortunately we do not yet have an Android version of Arccos.

    But here’s the full scoop and the latest on our progress:

    When we initially developed our iOS app, we looked into developing an Android version as well. However, the Bluetooth functionality of the Android version at the time (KitKat) was not compatible with the Arccos system.

    In summer 2015 we completed a feasibility study of using Arccos on the latest version of Android (Lollipop) and we are pleased to say that the results were mostly positive. We are not yet at the point of announcing a timetable for release of an Android app, but we are moving forward with the planning for its development.

    It is also too early at this point to say anything about which phones might or might not be compatible with any Android app we might develop. It’s safe to say that to run Arccos the phone will need to be running Lollipop (or later), but it is possible that not all phones running Lollipop will be Arccos compatible. If and when we release an Android version of the Arccos app, we will list specifically which phone models it is compatible with.

    Until then, Arccos is only compatible with iPhone 4s and later. However, Arccos does not require an active data plan. If you have access to a functional iPhone (4s or later), it can be used with Arccos regardless of whether or not it has an active service plan. The GPS functionality of the iPhone does not require an active data connection. Arccos course information can be downloaded via WiFi before heading to the golf course. The iPod touch will not allow you to use Arccos because there is no GPS chip in the device like there is in an iPhone.

    If you have further questions, our number is (844)MY-ARCCOS. Or feel free to visit our “support website: https://support.arccosgolf.com

    Have a wonderful day!!”

  29. Mark

    Sean, great article still after nearly a year since you wrote it!

    Are you aware of CaddieON (www.caddieon.com) which is playable both on iOS and Android? It’s more close to Arccos, but however remarkably different. This video tells more about it: https://youtu.be/359jAtgh7S4. The app is to be downloaded for free on AppStore and Google Play and with it comes a really handy rangefinder with real course map. It would be great to read your article on this one as well.
    -Mark-
    P.S. Been close to hit that 80?

  30. Josh

    To combat the phone in your pocket Issue with Arccos all you need to do is buy a belt clip for your phone which makes everything pretty much the same as Game Golf in that aspect.

  31. Ben

    Hi Sean, great review.

    Just a newer development; the iOS Game Golf app is now totally free to all users (requires free registration to their site), and works as a standalone phone only tap-to-tag-as-you-go system. That is, instead of using their hardware to tag each club, you just step up to your ball, tap on your phonethe club you’re going to hit, rinse and repeat until you hole out (then select next hole). Its a little more invasive as you need to physically pull out your phone before/just after each shot (and like the club tagging, its easy to forget a shot especially if you’re in a rush to get off an adjacent fairway) but gives you all the same data and metrics as well as the neat google maps overlay of your round. Its not perfect, as I’m yet to find a satisfactory way of marking penalties or drops – but for an app that’s completely FREE to use, I’m stunned at how feature filled it is. While as an amateur high-handicapper I’d struggle to justify dropping cash on the GG or Accros systems, I have no hesitance in recommending this app wholeheartedly. It’s not perfect, its a little buggy and round uploads occasionally fail for no good reason, but considering it’s completely free, my criticisms are by far outweighed. Maybe a good time for a re-review?

  32. spike

    I have swing by swing with a subscription $14 for 2 years it says on start up.
    I added NYC tags for about $16 for a set of 15 to have an extra, installed on the shafts right below the grips, no batteries, and not on the end on the club bouncing around in the golf bag, much safer looks like to me. It tracks everything I need, I just have to wipe the club over phone, add putts and penalties leaving the green, not that much of a hassle for me. I added a rubber wrist band with a NfC chip, it gives me the distance middle of the green at any time, it was less than 2 bucks. So for $32 , I can do everything these do, and turn to tournament mode for legal use.
    A no brainier for me! Check it out, no affiliation with anyone, just a senior golfer on a budget, and found a great system for me!

  33. Mike W

    I’ve owned and used both. While I really wanted to like the Arccos system the battery life in sensors was horrible. I was replacing batteries weekly and gets expensive. Also had the sensors replaced 3 times each time had the same issue. I wound up selling the set after the 3rd set. When it worked it was great but it was too much of a distraction.

    Now the game golf classic was perfect for me and wished I had bought this first. Tag and hit no looking at my phone or making sure I had it in my pocket all the time. Stats are stats so nothing to report there but I do enjoy the social aspect of game golf. And for the prices you can get game golf for now it’s a no brainier.

  34. Liz

    I’ve used GameGolf for about 2 years now. Never used Arccos. Have tried Swing-by-Swing and other GPS range-finding apps. I just don’t like messing with my phone on the course. It makes it too obtrusive in my game. I’m a tech geek so I can’t have anything high tech around my golf or my concentration/relaxation is disturbed. If I need a yardage, I simply pull out my simplistic range finder or pace from yardage markers.
    I do have habits around GameGolf that address most of the negatives. For one – I tap after the shot rather than before. I watch the magnificent (or #%&) shot with a pose then bring the club down and tap (automatically) as I watch the shot completion. This means I can remember that I tapped (or at least check the green light relatively quickly after the shot) to be sure I tapped. The only shots I tend to miss tapping are terrible misses. I also tap the last putt after sinking so can handle the final little tap in as needed.
    Regarding penalty, OOB/Hazard shots, I carry an unused club tag on my bag, and tag that twice after the ball flies into the desert or water (works since I tag after). The incorrect yardage is captured on my “penalty” club. If I’m not with my bag, I can tag after the hole and move it, or add, the shot during edit.
    In the 2 years, many new analysis features have been added. Love it. Great to understand yardages and strengths/weaknesses to adjust your game when you get a new set of clubs, try out a new one, or play in different conditions (all post round analyses).

  35. Gerard

    My unit has me tee off from the yellow tees, but I actually tee off from the blue tees. How do I get it to use the blue tees?

  36. Brad

    After reading this review my biggest question is does arccos use up your data? I used to have a different gps system on my phone and after a few rounds I used up 75% of my monthly data. This is diffidently something important for me to consider as I decide between arccos and GG. If this isn’t an issue I think it’s a no brainier to go with arccos. Also, I was on the arccos website and saw a picture of it on the iWatch. Do you have any idea if it is compatible with that now? That would be a game changer! I have been looking for a reliable gps for an iWatch for a while!

  37. Stu

    Since one of your largest detractors was the price, and you still gave the edge to ARCCOS I was partial to it. With the release of the Android app they offered a $50 discount on the $299 price, so I took the plunge on the ARCCOS system. Thanks for all the effort you put into this article!

  38. Jay

    Hey Sean, I am currently waiting on my Arccos to show up and can’t wait! I am a past user of Game Golf and can say that I was just as existed about that system but after 5 rounds using it I gave up with it as there was just way too much editing my rounds after. Not to mention always thinking to myself “did I tap or not?” As for the 12G weight at the end of the club I’m sure it won’t matter, if anything it will probably help as there is weight kit systems on the market that are suppose to help. Now for the price difference I can easily justify that with the less headache that I will endure, I know their is quite a bit of difference but really, how much do you spend on shafts, new drivers, new putters grips etc. Like I said I can easily justify this with the less time I will open editing as well as trying to figure out all the stats that I keep on my score cards and never do anything with (Lack of time) As for the battery it is a concern but I will buy a battery pack if need be. Thanks for your review and makes me feel better about my purchase. I will share my thoughts after it arrives and I get some rounds in with it.

  39. vishal makhijani

    Do you get used to the sensor being on the club? I find that I am initially a little distracted by the slightly loose feeling of the sensor at the end of the club.

  40. Matt Wainwright

    Have you tried the game golf live version?

    i’m thinking about giving it a go are falling out of love with the original versons for the reasons you mentioned in your review. Reading other GG live reviews it seems the gps accuracy is better and it uploads straight away via your phone.


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