Gear: Arccos Smart Sensors Gen3+
Specs: 13 full-swing, screw-in sensors and one screw-in putter sensor
Who it’s for: Golfers who want a statistical look at their game and receive guidance on strengths, weaknesses, what to practice and which shots to hit on the course.
The Skinny: Arccos’s newest sensors are smaller and lighter, have a two-year battery life and allow the company’s best-in-class software to track your shots, create tour-level statistics about your game and use data to reveal how to shoot lower scores.
The Deep Dive: No one thinks about it this way, but when you begin every round of golf, the starter hands you a spreadsheet. We call it a scorecard, but the empty boxes under each hole number are there for you to fill in with data. Most golfers just write down how many shots they need to get the ball into the hole – their score – but sometimes there are dots indicating when you are given a stroke based on handicap, and circles or squares around the numbers indicate birdies and bogeys. Some teaching pros encourage students to note whether they hit the fairway off the tee, hit the green in regulation and how many putts they needed on the hole.
For about a decade, Arccos has tried to help golfers collect more data more easily, then make that data useful. With the release of its third generation of Smart Sensors, the company has refined its hardware and continued to improve the ways it uses analytics to help golfers understand what they do on the course, how they can improve and what they need to do as they play to shoot lower scores.
The Gen3+ sensors are small devices that easily screw into the grips of your clubs. There are 13 full-swing sensors in the kit, along with an updated, extra-small 14th sensor designed to fit especially well at the top of a putter grip.
After installing Arccos’s smartphone app and pairing the sensors to the app (which is only required before you use them for the first time), all you have to do is play and allow the system to work in the background. Using the GPS in your smartphone, Arccos can detect which clubs you use for every shot and where you hit them on more than 40,000 courses.
The new sensors do a better job of accurately detecting shots, which helps the software track your game with a higher level of accuracy. The company said Gen3+ sensors and Arccos’s constantly updated smartphone app can capture more than 98 percent of all the shots you hit and do a better job of filtering out things like practice swings, but you can still edit shots and data in the app.
The Arccos system uses the information it collects about your game and creates statistics that can reveal things you might otherwise never know, such as:
- How far do you hit each club in your bag
- The difference in your putting performance from different distance ranges
- Your approach game performance from 50-100, 100-150, 150-200 and over 200 yards.
One of the most useful aspects of the Arccos system is that it allows you to compare your game, statistically, to other players of any handicap level. This is possible because Arccos has tracked more than 500 million shots hit by players in 194 countries. So if you are a 12-handicap player and want to compare yourself to a 9, Arccos can reveal specific areas where those players are better than you. This allows you to practice smarter, because you might discover things such as your short game or putting are already at the level of a 9-handicap player, but you are giving away strokes on approach shots or off the tee.
The Gen3+ sensors work with the Arccos Caddie Link wearable device, which allows players to track shots and collect data without keeping their smartphones in their pockets. The purchase of the Gen3+ sensors also comes with a one-year subscription to the Arccos app. After that, the app costs $12.99 per month