Arccos Golf Review

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50 Words or Less

Arccos delivers real-time shot tracking and statistics right to your phone…without tapping.  A must-have device for the serious golfer.

Introduction

No consumer product shows us the future of golf like Arccos.  Using GPS and Bluetooth technology, Arccos recreates your round on your phone while you play.  This opens the door to new opportunities for both golf improvement and golf enjoyment.

Note: Though I have reviewed GAME GOLF, this review will focus soley on Arccos.  There will be a separate comparison article coming next week.

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Set Up & Ease of Use

With 14 different Bluetooth sensors, I was sure that setting up Arccos was going to be a phenomenal pain in my backside.  I even timed the process so I could quantify what a life suck it was.  Instead I ended up with proof of how easy it is.

Screwing the sensors into each club took just under four minutes (same as GAME GOLF).  Then I downloaded the app, paired all 14 sensors, and put the clubs back in my bag in…six minutes and forty seconds.  That’s less time than it takes to get my 2 year old into her jacket.  Huge kudos to Arccos for making this process not only quick but simple as well.  If you want to see the entire instruction manual, it’s in the pictures at the bottom.

Arccos recommends downloading the map of your course onto your phone before the round.  This takes seconds, literally.  Once you get to the course, open the Arccos app and go.  No tapping, no nothing.  Just play.

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Why It Will Make You Better

As I said in the GAME GOLF review, the benefits of shot tracking and statistics are plentiful.  You get to learn the facts about your game, you can improve you course management, and you get to focus more on your game because the score and stats are being recorded automatically.

Arccos makes the stats even more meaningful by creating handicaps for each part of your game: driving, approach, chipping, sand, and putting.  These handicaps are all relative to your overall handicap which lets you know what parts of your game are holding you back and which parts are holding your scores together.

Beyond the data and stats, Arccos has a built-in GPS.  It’s not exactly robust – just front, middle, and back of the green – but it’s a nice addition, especially if you don’t have a laser rangefinder or dedicated GPS.

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Why It’s Fun

Though it’s occasionally disheartening to see the truth about your game, more often than not it’s a lot of fun.  And the biggest thing is: REAL TIME.  You can sit in your cart and watch the yardage number climb as you drive to your tee shot.  You can also use this information for “evil” when your buddy skies his tee shot.

The nice thing about Arccos is that if you don’t want to look at those kinds of things, you don’t have to.  Leave your phone in your pocket.  You don’t need to do anything.  Arccos lets you decide how much you want to interact with it during the round.  It can be 100% invisible or it can be a driving force in your on-course experience.

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Room for Improvement

For me, the only real problem with Arccos is one that it shares with GAME GOLF: it doesn’t know where the hole is.  This makes some of the stats that Arccos generates, such as “Proximity to the Hole,” rather puzzling.  I know that these stats are generated based on data-driven assumptions about length of putts made, but they’re occasionally way off: Arccos credited one of my chips as being within 4 feet of the hole when in reality I chipped to 30 feet and made a bomb.  These stats would be better if they were based on the actual data.  Also, knowing where the hole is would allow for more meaningful putting stats.

I also discovered that you can’t edit your rounds from the Web Dashboard, only from your phone.  I expect this is something that Arccos will be addressing in the near future.

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Longevity

With Arccos, the Longevity question actually has two parts: short term (battery life) and long term (use).

With regard to battery life, we need to consider both the phone and the batteries in the sensors.  Arccos claims that a round of golf will drain about 60% of your phone’s battery, and I found this to be pretty accurate.  When I played, I closed all the other apps on my iPhone 5s and messed with the Arccos app approximately once every two holes.  During that 2 hour 15 minute, 18-hole round, I drained 25% of the battery.  With regard to the sensor batteries, Arccos says they will last 40-50 rounds before needing to be replaced.  The batteries used are CR2032 which cost $1.50-$3 each and are easily replaceable (video HERE).

On the second point – whether or not you’ll use it – Arccos has limitless longevity.  Not only is it a fantastic game-improvement tool that gets better and more robust as you add data, it’s also fun.  Crush your drive and then show your buddy how long it really was, or show him how short his pop-up is.  Also, the fact that it doesn’t require you to do anything more than carry your phone makes it more likely to be used.

Overall, I rate Arccos very highly for Longevity.

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Value

This is the one area where Arccos will have some trouble converting the more casual golfers.  The complete Arccos system – all 14 Bluetooth sensors – costs $300.  While I think that the value of Arccos is far superior to a new driver or a couple wedges, I know that I’m a more “hardcore” golfer than most, and I’m more focused on improving my game.

Ultimately, I do think that Arccos is a good value.  The value of the data it creates is beyond question, and their technological approach makes for a more seamless, hassle-free experience.

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Conclusion

Whether you want to use it for game improvement, game enjoyment, or a little of both, Arccos is the must-have golf accessory.  Using it does not interfere with your round at all, the technology works seamlessly, and the resulting data is invaluable.

Buy Arccos Golf HERE

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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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42 Comments

  1. Great write up Matt, I was looking forward to this one. Two questions, does your phone need internet access? I’m assuming yes as it’s using GPS. Also did you test out how far you could be from your phone and still have it register?

    I have a large phone and it’s not conducive to leaving it in my pocket.

    • Matt Saternus

      Thanks!
      1) Good question. I’m not sure, but I would assume yes.
      2) I did not, but I have just sent an inquiry to Arccos. I will post the answer when it comes in.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Matt Saternus

      I got an unofficial answer of 10-15 feet. Here’s the catch: the GPS is in the phone, not the club tags, so Arccos will record the shot location as where the phone is, not where the club is.
      Moral of the story: get a smaller phone. :)

    • Internet access is only needed to download the course data (maps, yardages, pars info, etc.) and only has to be done your first time you play a course. There’s also the option to download it ahead of time while your with good cell service or WiFi. Meaning even if you have a iPhone without an active data plan you can still use it with Arccos. The only thing you need while playing is a GPS signal which is free.

      The distance the sensor will transmit is, like Matt said, kind of a non-issue since it is in fact the iPhones location that’s being recorded. So you’ll want to keep your phone on you (pocket or belt clip). Bluetooth LE (aka Bluetooth Smart) has a range much larger than would ever bee needed given this scenario. So yeah a smaller phone would be better.

  2. Sinkingputts

    At $400 this is only for a serious golfer but for a serious golfer to find this useful they will need more data specifically 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 swings lengths.

  3. James Robinson

    When will this devise be able to adopt to an android phone?

    • Matt Saternus

      James,

      I don’t have an exact date from the company. They talked about a lot of changes and updates coming in 2015, but nothing specific.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. question: when you say leave the phone on is that including the app working in standby mode are not allowing the phone to close at all?

  5. How does it record penalties for your score? Does the GPS let you find yardages to bunkers or trees by using finger tips such as golfshot gps?

  6. Greaf review! How well does it perform to practice swings and for putting? Is there any issues with “tap in” putts where you don’t address the putt like you normally would? I would love to buy this but I’m skeptical to say the least. Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      AJ,

      It picks up putts quite well because the putting sensor is different from the club sensors and, I assume, more sensitive. I haven’t had it miss one yet.
      I have only played a few rounds with Arccos, but I have yet to have it pick up a practice swing as a real swing.

      Best,

      Matt

  7. andy isikoff

    if you drive ob, and then hit another how does that register…

    also, if you were playing alone and felt like hitting another 7 iron after a disappointing first shot (only with intent to play the first shot), what happens?

    can any mistakes be edited after the round?

  8. I play a lot in Germany and many courses are not mapped. Can I use it also without a mapped course?
    Thanks
    JB

  9. Frank Shields

    DON’T BUY IT! I am very disappointed with the system. Constantly getting bad data. The systems records strokes I have not taken and reports scores that are way off. Waste of money and Arccos won’t take it back.

  10. Vinh Nguyen

    Does it work with a Samsung phone ?

  11. Can it be used on a driving range?

    • Matt Saternus

      You can leave the markers on your clubs at the range, but the system doesn’t do anything.

      -Matt

  12. Just thought I’d chime in on my experiences with Arccos…
    There have been a few issues that I’ve experienced:
    1) if you’re not careful and you bang clubs together it may register a shot that you didn’t take, but this is user error and is easily edited after your round.
    2) sometimes the sensor doesn’t activate for a shot, and I’ve had a full round twice that didn’t register a single putt. I contacted Arccos and it turned out to be faulty batteries which they replaced right away at no charge and it seems to have solved the issue.

    Otherwise there are a few things that could be improved or have already been improved:
    1) GPS has been updated to pin point touch screen movement which is a phenomenal addition!
    2) They are (they say) working to add a hole marker that would allow the app to calculate backwards to determine putting distances and expand on putting stats which would take this product to a whole new level of incredible.

    Overall this is an incredible product! When I’m taking half wedge shots, recoveries or punch-outs I can easily edit the round after to remove those shots from my averages. This is not a negative for this product. Also if I’m making a lay-up out of deep rough I can also remove those from averages. Same goes for severe wind conditions.

    All in all, if you know your game and pay attention this tool is invaluable. I’ve watched and tracked my distance increases through the season to always know where my club distances are as they improve with better striking and faster swing speeds. I might have made a lot of wrong decisions on course if I didn’t realize that I’ve added 5-6 yards to all of my clubs since the start of the year, but I can see for myself and it shows on the scorecard! I can also track, mid-round, when there is a lot of wind or a cold weather how the distances vary so I can adjust on the fly.
    I’ve also learned a lot about how different lies effect distances which is information I bank to make decisions on course (i.e. wedges fly farther from good lies in the rough, or ball may roll out an extra 5 yards from downhill lie… you can actually see the numbers and educate yourself!)

    This is a tool for those that are serious and willing to work with the tool to analyze their game. It’s not a live caddie, but it’s the closet thing you can get if you put your own thinking abilities to good use. For those that demand a full service, robot butler of tool to suddenly give them all the answers and fix their game automatically, they should stay away (and grow up). But this device is a god send to me and could be for many others who actually put thoughtful practice and analysis to improve their game.

  13. They are discounting the Arcco system by $100. Does this mean an improved system is imminent?

    • Matt Saternus

      Bill,

      If I had to guess, I would say no, but I don’t have any inside information at the moment. My hunch is that they had to bring the price down to get more in line with GAME Golf and that any improvements will be in the app and free to current users.

      Best,

      Matt

  14. Used the system twice. I switched one the sensors to a new driver but couldn’t pair it. When I tried to re-pair all clubs I could not pair a second club so now two of the sensors are no longer working. I contacted the company’s help desk but have not heard back yet.

  15. With some help from arccos’s help desk we determined that the batteries needed to be replaced

  16. I play in USGA amateur tournaments at my local club. Can I use the Arccos during a tournament round without violating the USGA Rules? If I can not use it during a tournament, can I leave the sensors on the clubs and not activate the App, or do I need to remove the sensors during the round? I would hate to be required to remove the sensors every time I play in a USGA Tournament.

    • Matt Saternus

      Peter,

      I know that initially Arccos was not legal for USGA tournaments, but I believe they do have a tournament-legal mode now.

      Best,

      Matt

  17. Does the sensor monitor swing path and convert it on to the app screen so you can view it like the “Swingtalk” Analyzer does?

  18. How can you handle tracking fly distance instead of roll distance for irons? Tracking hitting from the next spot isn’t always accurate and non-value added information if you had a lot of ball roll or a crazy bounce.

    • Matt Saternus

      This system measures total distance. Obviously some shots are going to run out like crazy and some won’t, that’s golf. Ultimately, when you get enough rounds in, all that washes out.

      -Matt

  19. Bill Webster

    I’ve been trying to assess from reviews etc. if this system is for me. Thanks for a great review. One question: Is there a source where I can find out if the courses where I play are mapped – before I buy? So far, I haven’t found one.

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