What I’ve Learned From Arccos

Four Years of Bogeys and Birdies

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been tracking my game on Arccos for almost four years.  I haven’t tracked every round, and changing clubs has caused me to “lose” some data, but there’s still a treasure trove of stats to learn from.  After my recent golf trip to Iowa, I decided to dive into those stats to see what I could learn.

For those not familiar with Arccos, check out my full review of the system here: Arccos 360.

Iron Distances – Just the Facts

When I look at the distances that I actually hit my irons, it shows me how much my work on the launch monitor has paid off.  The distances that I think I hit my irons are the distances that I actually hit my irons.  It feels good to know that I’m not one of those guys who says, “Yeah, a 6I will get there”, flushes it, and comes up 15 yards shorts.

That said, Arccos has also shown me that golf is not played in perfect conditions or from perfect yardages.  If I look at all the 8-irons I hit in a round, they could be 145, 158, 155, 167, and 150 yards.  As important as it is to know your base numbers, it’s also important to be able to take a little off, give it a little extra, and judge the wind and slope.

Ambidextrous Driving

I consider my “bad miss” with the driver to be a hook, however, the data shows that I’m equally skilled at missing fairways right and left.  Those stats don’t account for where I’m aiming, but I don’t consistently aim down one side, so I don’t think that’s a major concern.

While the idea of “taking one side out of play” is hotly debated, I think most would agree that it’s helpful to have one predominant shot shape.  That’s the primary focus of my practice these days and the one thing that’s keeping me from consistently better scores.

My Short Game Isn’t Ok

Ask ten golfers if they’re short game is good and at least eight will say, “It’s ok.”  It’s easy to think to yourself, “I get up and down pretty regularly, and most of my chips end up pretty close.”

Unfortunately, at the level I’d like to play at, chipping “pretty close” means nothing if I don’t make the putt.  I’m not getting up and down nearly often enough.  The data is there in black and white, no questions about it.  Time to head to the chipping green, which I’ll have time for because…

I Can Stop Practicing Bunker Shots

Bunker shots can be stressful, but I’ve learned that for me, they’re also very rare.  Thanks to good course management, I average less than one greenside bunker shot per round.  That means that as long as I can capably escape that bunker in one shot, I don’t need to practice in the sand.  My practice time is better spent on situations that I encounter more often.

Do You Use Shot Tracking?  What Have You Learned?

Share your lessons in the comments section below.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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4 Comments

  1. Amazing, simply amazing, needing a gadget to figure all that out.

  2. I started using Game Golf just over a year ago. My friends look at me weird but I want to use whatever tools I can to find out how to get better. I finally started keeping score for handicap and started at 31. Now, six months later I’m down to 28. A lot of that I attribute to knowing how far I really hit clubs and what my tendencies are. An example of this was learning from game golf that statistically, I hit my driver only 4 yards further than my 3-wood, but kept the 3-wood in the fairway significantly more – therefore, I haven’t pulled my driver out of the bag in several rounds. Finally, I found several articles about strategic golf and played rounds with, for example, my 6-iron, GW and putter, and other rounds with 5-hybrid, 7-iron, GW, and putter – in all of the limited club rounds I played equal to or better than full set rounds because the clubs I chose I am really comfortable hitting and thus I kept the ball in play and out of trouble. I really like reviewing my rounds with game golf because I see exactly where I lost strokes (fat chips) and set up practice sessions to fix those issues.

  3. I use Game Golf and I love the stats. They tell me what I need to work on and what is in good order. I was surprised what was good and bad, it wasn’t necessarly what I thought! Keep those stats and study ’em. You’ll reap the rewards!
    Keep us plugged in, Matt. Thanks.

  4. ChristopherKee

    I did the shot tracking for a year in 2015/2016. I used that data to learn what you did, focus my limited practice time on the skills that would give me the best gains.

    I managed to get down to a 2 handicap with nothing but chipping and putting practice and hitting MORE not less drivers off the tee. My stats showed I was more likely to bogey the hole when playing conservatively off the tee.

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