Arccos Golf: The Stat Tracking Platform You’ve Been Waiting For?
Earlier this year I wrote my in depth thoughts on the Game Golf platform that I was excited about for the better part of 2013.
Game Golf is a device that you wear on your belt, that pairs with tabs on each of your golf clubs to track stats and distances throughout your entire round.
I’ve played nearly 20 rounds with that now, and they’re making improvements no doubt, but there’s one major problem I keep running into: I’m forgetful.
If I hit a couple bad shots, the last thing on my mind is tagging a shot. Often I find myself walking 20 yards back just to tap my club to the device.
With time and habit forming I think this is going to go away, however, what if there was a similar device that didn’t require you to manually tag after each shot?
Well, soon there may be.
Enter Arccos Golf.
Arccos Golf is aiming to revolutionize the golf stat tracking world, by taking an idea similar to Game Golf, but making a few tweaks.
First instead of a separate device, it uses the GPS that’s built into your phone to track shots as you make your way around the course. Seems like a great idea (but we’ll see what that does for battery life).
Second, everything is in real time. No more round reviews, they’re touting the ability to see distances and performance throughout the round. I don’t know how valuable this is going to be in practice, but to not have to spend 10-15 minutes after every round correcting things seems pretty cool.
After a call with the Founders of the company last week, I was particularly excited about some of the in depth stats the are looking to track. Including separate handicap numbers for each of 5 categories: driving, approach, chipping, putting and sand play.
This will make it much easier to see where your game is really lacking and allow you to practice accordingly.
The Question Everyone Has Asked Me
I’ve talked to a few different people about Arccos since I first heard about it, and without fail each of them asked me the same question: how does it handle practice swings?
The answer is actually pretty cool.
When the clubs are upside down in the bag, they are essentially sleeping. It’s activated when you take it out, and then there is impact detection built in. So if you take 3 or 4 practice swings and just barely brush the ground, it knows not to register those as shots.
However let’s say that you chunk 3 practice swings and it registers those as 3 different swings. It’s smart enough to know that your next shot was 150 yards down the fairway with a different club – so the last swing must have been the actual shot you took.
Once I heard how this worked I started to get pretty excited and hopeful that this thing is really going to live up to expectations.
Getting Hands on and Presale
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you know that in mid June I’ll be taking another golf trip to knock off more top 100 courses. This time I’m heading to NYC, and it just so happens the Arccos team is close by.
I’ll be heading out for a day on the course with them to get hands on with the device and see the early prototype first hand. So expect an update at some point on my thoughts on how it really works in practice.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out the presale. It ships late summer and at $299, is $100 off the eventual retails price.
It’s not cheap by any means, but if it really does all it’s supposed to and you’re committed to improving your game, it could very well be money well spent.
I’ve been beta testing Arccos for about 2 months. It is awesome! It picks up all my shots accurately and with no effort on my part. I’m sure with Game Golf I would forget to tap the belt thing all the time. With Arccos, I don’t have to. And if I have to add a penalty shot or something I can do it while I’m playing a hole so I don’t forget. I would imagine many Game Golf users have a tough time remembering every shot on every hole and accurately handling things like adding penalty strokes after the round is over. Plus Arccos works as a GPS and gives me yardages to the front/back/center of the green. Why carry an extra GPS device strapped to my belt when I don’t have to? Smartphones are powerful. Carrying an extra GPS device is like carrying an iPhone and an MP3 player — why carry 2 devices when 1 can do both?
Battery life is great. An 18 hole round consumes about 40% of the battery on my iPhone. Never had a problem with it. Have even made it through 36 in a day.
Hi Sean – A friend used Arcoss as part of there alpha program recently and gave some very interesting feedback. There is a substantial amount of editing required while you play to ensure those shots are actual shots versus swings. Not at all as seamless as is suggested. I have not used it yet but my buddy has tested both and would give the green light to the GAME GOLF system as easier all round to use while playing versus having to go into your phone after each shot and edit location and if the shot was a shot. Arccoss took him out of his round of golf and at the end he had a dead phone as it ran out of battery. Will be very interesting to see your opinion after you use it. One big question for me is can Arccoss be used in competition and also how big are those tags as they seem really large. The GAME GOLF tags are smaller all be it one of them broke on me but was replaced very quickly. My concern here would be spending $400 on a system of 14 devices/tags – each tag is obviously a device as there is a battery in each one of them hence there size. They look really large.
Interesting, thank you for sharing! These are all concerns I have about the product, as well. That said, they were in alpha at the time, so I’d hope many of those issues are fixed before they’re widely released later this year.
It’ll also be interesting to see how they compete with Game Golf. GG will have been out about a year by the time Arccos comes to market – that’s a years worth of improvements, and a lower price point – so I can see pros and cons to both devices.
Excited to give detailed feedback as soon as I’m able to.
I can speak to a couple of those issues. The sensors are about 3/4″ and are the same diameter as the butt of a standard grip. The first round or two I played with them I accidentally gripped onto the sensor a couple times and felt it in the middle of my swing. I learned not to do that pretty quickly. The weight is negligible. Didn’t change the feel of my clubs at all. I’m completely used to them now. The size is partially driven by the fact that they’re coated in soft rubber. If you pull the rubber cap off, you see that the electronic guts of the thing and the battery are very small. The rubber is the bulk of it, and my hunch is that it’s there to protect the electronics when you slam your clubs into your bag. It’s the sensor that hits the bottom of the bag and takes all the impact. But with that rubber cap, they’re quite protected.
The in-round editing has dropped off substantially during the testing period. Earlier there was a little more noise in the system. As the Arccos guys have gotten more and more feedback and refined their app, the amount of time spent playing with my phone during a round has dropped steadily. Plus I’ve gotten better at using it — for example, I know how to better avoid creating erroneous shots by not casually swinging a club while walking to my ball or hitting a playing partner’s gimme putt back to him with my putter. I think it will be nearly seamless by the time the product gets launched. Though things like adding penalty strokes and such will always have to be manually entered. I would imagine it’s the same for Game Golf.
Phone battery life really isn’t a problem. I’ve used it on an iPhone 4s and iPhone 5s. Both were just fine.
Note: I am not an Arccos employee and am not paid by Arccos. Though I obviously do know someone that works there and that’s how I got my hands on a pre-release model.
So is each practice swing going to register as a stroke with the arccos attached? Or how does it know the difference between a practice swing and actual ball contact?
Thanks for the review! I was thinking about getting a gamegolf system but your review is giving me second thoughts.
Michael, read the most up to date review I did:
The sensors are very smart, there are a variety of ways they can track. For instance, it has impact detection, so it can tell the difference between a practice swing and a real swing. But to go farther, lets say it recognizes 2 swings from the same spot (say you chunk a practice swing). When you go up and pull your next club, say 200 yards down the fairway and hit from there, it will be able to tell that your last shot was the correct one if there are multiple strokes registered – and then it will automatically edit it.
Hi, I would like to know if there are any batteries in the tag itself? If so, what happen when the batteries goes out in the tags? Thanks.
Yes, there are batteries in each of the tags. I dont know the exact type, but I know they’re readily available, and supposedly easy to change out. They say you get 50 rounds in on a set of batteries.
As if $399 isn’t enough, they are going to charge more for new batteries in the tags after 50 rounds. I play 130 + rounds at least a year so you are telling me I’ll have to recharge them all then. Pure money scam