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Plugged-In Golf: Arccos Golf review

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


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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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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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 $400.  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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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.

Original article published here.

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