Arccos 360 Review: Tour Level Stat Tracking?
There are very few golf products I review that I’d say I rave about. Arccos Golf is one of those few things.
So when I heard that they were releasing Arccos 360, the newest version of their product – I was really excited.
Update: Arccos latest products are their Smart Caddie and Smart Grip system (and their excellent). See my full Arccos Caddie review here.
In this post I’m going to walk you through what Arccos 360 is, why I use it during every round I play, and why I think it’s one of the very best tools and toys for amateur golfers. I’ll also share a couple criticisms I have of the product that you should consider before buying.
With that, let’s jump right in.
What is Arccos 360?
Arccos 360 is an analytics system that tracks every shot you hit on a golf course and provides data about all of your rounds.
It also has a built in GPS rangefinder, so you can get distances to the front, back, and center to any green.
Out of the box it includes 13 regular sensors and one putter sensor. You screw each of them into the butt of your club, and then it pairs via high frequency sound waves or bluetooth with your phone (I believe the putter is the only sensor with 360 that uses bluetooth).
Throughout the round it uses your phone’s GPS to track where you are on the course, and then the sensors relay that information back to the free app on your phone.
When you hit a shot, it will detect it in the app. Then when you hit your next shot, with a different club, that’s how it knows how far the previous shot was.
It’s a brilliant system, and one that I’ve played over a hundred rounds with in the last two years.
It’s gotten to the point where if I can’t play a round with Arccos for some reason, I truly feel like I’m missing out on something important!
What does Arccos 360 Track?
Arccos 360 tracks pretty much all of the same things the original Arccos tracks, but the app has been updated repeatedly over the last couple of years.
Here are just a handful of the things Arccos tracks during every round:
- % of greens hit and where your misses are (front, back, left, right)
- % of fairways hit and where you miss
- Distances of every shot
- One putts, two putts, Three putts +
- Sand saves
- Up and downs
- Eagles, birdies, pars, bogeys, double +
- Average drive
- Longest drive
- Avg. distance to pin on approaches
It gives you numbers for most of these on both a per round basis as well as for you as a whole over your last 20 rounds (you can adjust this number of rounds in the online dashboard).
Something really unique about the Arccos system is that it provides a more user friendly version of the Strokes gained methodology that is discussed in the book Every Shot Counts.
It does this by providing you a handicap number for 5 different metrics:
So it might give me a 7 for my “driving handicap” in a particular round, but a 21 for a “sand handicap”.
Essentially saying I drove it like a 7 but hit it out of the sand like a 21.
This allows you to really see over time what your strengths and weaknesses are.
The app gives you a ton of useful data, but the online dashboard really allows you to dig in and see graphs, scatter charts and more. You can truly see how you performed on every single shot.
For instance you can see how you’ve performed historically on any given hole:
First Impressions of Arccos 360
Everything about the Arccos brand is sleek. From their black and green motif, to the sensors themselves, to the packaging – it all looks first rate.
I’ve heard some people complain about the previous generation of Arccos sensors, saying they were too big. While they did stand up abour 3/4 of an inch on top of the club, I personally hardly ever noticed them, and anyone who tells you the weight throws them off was probably full of it (I couldn’t tell at all.)
Yet Arccos addressed those critics with the 360 product, as the sensors are about half the size of the old ones. They screw in easily, and sit flush with the club. Every once in awhile you’ll have to tighten them, but that’s not a big deal.
With 360 they’ve greatly improved the pairing process, which took me about 15 minutes, and didn’t have any of the occasional errors that I had with the original set.
However after taking it out of the box and playing a few rounds, I think my biggest first impression is that not a lot has changed.
And that’s a good thing.
Arccos wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with the 360. Rather they were trying to make a better, more reliable version of something that was already pretty refined.
Overall, they succeeded.
What are the Differences Between the Original Arccos Golf and Arccos 360?
There will be three types of people reading this:
- Current Arccos users wanting to know if it’s worth an upgrade
- People debating between the older sensors (which can be found cheaper right now), the new 360, or a competing product.
- People thinking about giving Arccos 360 as a gift. If this is you, check out this post.
I’ll address each of these in this post, but first let’s look at the major differences.
I mentioned this before. The Arccos 360 sensors are about half the size of the original product, and if weight or size was an issue for you before, then it shouldn’t be with the new update.
Improved Shot Detection Technology
I was told that the goal with Arccos 360 was to be able to be fully hands off during a round of golf. With my old sensors I’d get the occasional round where something would go wonky, and if I wasn’t paying attention, I might have to give up on the data for that round (this happened maybe 1 in 10 times).
So I usually would check it every couple holes to make sure everything was good.
While this is a good practice, with the new technology they wanted you to be able to truly put it in your pocket and forget about it. While I’m not sure they’re quite there yet, it’s a solid improvement and I’ll talk more about that below.
Improved Battery Life
One of the big complaints of the original was that after 50 or so rounds you had to change the batteries in the sensors.
Personally, I wasn’t bothered by this.
Once a year I bought a bunch of batteries for about 20 bucks and spent 20 minutes changing them out. No biggie.
But the batteries on the new Arccos sensors are guaranteed to last 2 years, and you can get additional warranties for up to 4 years – so that should appease lot of people who had issues with this.
Those are the primary differences you’ll see in the updated system.
How Well Does Arccos 360 Work?
After a handful of rounds with the new system I can safely say that it’s an improvement on the old system.
With a few caveats.
I usually play with my phone in my back pocket, and have never had an issue with Arccos recognizing my shots.
With the new system they recommend you put it in your front pocket – and during my first round I assumed it wouldn’t make that big of a difference.
Well, I found that it would occasionally miss shots when the phone was in my back pocket and never skipped a beat in my front pocket.
This was a little bit annoying because my routine is to instinctively put my phone back in the back pocket after checking it, but after a couple of rounds I was able to change my tendency, and I really never found having my phone in my front pocket to be much of an issue.
That said, for people who like to keep their phone in a cart, bag, or not have it on them at all – this could be a deal breaker.
What I like about this new system is that I’m often playing on private courses where cell phones aren’t allowed. By knowing it is more accurate, I can leave it in my front pocket all day, and then make any small adjustments after the round.
Usually this was simply adding a penalty stroke, or a putt if I was handed a gimme.
The GPS rangefinder I’ve found to work great, and give very accurate results. You can also select any point on the hole, and it will give you “to the yard” distances as well. So if you need to know how far it is to carry a hazard, that info is there. Although I do wish they actually displayed those numbers in text form like Golfshot does.
What Are the Downsides of Arccos 360?
Regardless of how much I love the product, it’s not perfect – nor would you expect it to be given the amount of new technology packed into this system.
Right now here are my biggest complaints about the system:
There’s nothing to really get excited about as an existing user
Yes, 360 is better than the original. The tracking is better and more reliable, but I would have loved to see some new features to truly make upgrading a no brainer. Things like:
- Better putt tracking. Right now you can’t see distances of putts you made. I know this is a difficult thing to get right, but would be really cool and it’s the only area they are lacking right now in terms of stats.
- Better social integrations. Right now you can see your friend’s rounds, but I’d love to see better challenges, games, and thing to truly bring out the competitive side of golf.
- More personal bests – I had encouraged them to add the “personal bests” early on with their first product, and I love it. But I’d like to see even more. For instance, streaks. “Most rounds in a row with a birdie.” “Most rounds with multiple bogeys.” “Most pars in a row.” Etc.
Those are the biggest things that jump out as me as updates I’d like to see.
Luckily these can be done in software updates, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them in the coming months.
I’d prefer not to have my phone in my front pocket
Again, this isn’t a deal breaker, but I was pretty surprised to see that I had to have my phone in my front pocket to ensure shots got tracked. Especially when this didn’t seem to be an issue with the previous sensors.
I have an iphone 6 and it’s fine, but if you have a 6 or 7 plus? Could be a bit bothersome.
Lack of replaceable batteries
Yes, the batteries in Arccos 360 last much longer than the previous system – but the problem is that they’re not replaceable unless you send them in.
They have warranties you can get to ensure this won’t be an issue, but for the money, I can see some people being put off by this.
For me, I get so much value out of Arccos that I’m sure I’ll buy whatever they come out with next before these batteries die, but it might cause some people to pause before hitting the buy button. If this is you, I’d recommend just grabbing an original set of Arccos Golf and call it good – you won’t be disappointed.
Lack of Android App at Launch
Finally this isn’t something that affected me, but I know a lot of users had issues with it.
When they launched Arccos 360 a few weeks ago it said on the website it was supported on both IOS and Android.
However apparently the Android app still isn’t ready. It should be any day now, and I’ll update this as soon as it is – but I would have been pretty pissed if I bought it and wasn’t able to use it right away.
Here’s another take on Arccos 360 from my friends at Plugged In golf.
How Much Does Arccos 360 Cost?
Arccos 360 currently costs $249. I’ve seen the old system on Amazon for just over $200, so realistically it makes sense for most people to spend a few extra bucks and get 360.
This is about $140 more than Game Golf, so if you’re truly on a budget then check out that system, but in terms of usability, information, and user experience it pales in comparison to Arccos.
Is it Worth Upgrading from the Original Arccos Golf?
Many of you reading this will already have Arccos Sensors and are wondering if it’s worth the upgrade?
The answer? Maybe.
For all intents and purposes Arccos 360 doesn’t necessarily offer any new features you didn’t have before.
Does it generally work better, have smaller sensors and have a better battery life?
Yes, so if those incremental improvements are worth it to you, then absolutely pick up a new set.
But if you don’t mind keeping an eye on your phone every few holes and changing out the batteries occasionally then I don’t see any huge reason you should run out and upgrade.
Should a New User Buy Arccos 360?
Yes, absolutely, hands down, YES.
Like I’ve said, I love Arccos. The amount of data it gives me is truly unbelievable.
And if you’re not a data nerd like me, then simply getting to see the distance of every single shot you hit should make this worthwhile.
There’s nothing better than bombing a drive and having the visual representation to remember it.
Like that time I smacked one 300 yards on The Old Course:
I still greatly prefer Arccos over Game Golf, and I while I haven’t used Shot Scope (the newcomer in the industry) I think I still prefer to use my phone over a wristband, but I’ll confirm that when I can test it out.
Do You Need to Be Technically Inclined to Use Arccos?
Generally no. Is it something I’d buy for your 82 year old grandfather? Probably not, but it’s evolved enough that it really requires minimal technical knowledge to use.
The only thing you really need to do is learn how to edit shots in case something does happen, but once you’ve done it a couple times you see it’s really easy to do on the fly – and something you rarely have to do with the new 360 system.
While the new Arccos 360 isn’t perfect, it is still the one product that nearly every round I find myself saying:
“Have you heard of Arccos?”
I’m a total fanboy, and I’m cool with that. Because not only has the information it’s given me helped me improve my golf game, but more importantly, it’s helped me immortalize and document many of my rounds on some of the world’s coolest golf courses.
I truly believe it is one of the few golf gadgets that is both fun to use and actually beneficial to your game. And I also think it’s the very best golf gift you can buy in 2017 and 2018.
Questions? Leave them in the comments!
- Unparalleled Analytics
- Easy to use and doesn't interfere with round
- Rangefinder works well
- Still expensive for some
- Have to keep phone in front pocket
- Batteries aren't replaceable