If you've never thought of golf as a sport, a quick look at Tiger Woods' myriad injuries in recent years should be enough to tell you that it requires not just an eye for angles, but significant physicality, resulting in a precise swing.
So, like other sports, like soccer and basketball, adding technology to the mix in the hopes of improving performance has increasingly become a part of perfecting the game of golf. To that end, Arccos has unveiled a solution that uses sensors to not only track the effectiveness of your swing, but provide guidance in much the same way as a human caddy might.
We took the system for a spin at Connecticut's Yale Golf Course, Golfweek's number one ranked campus course in the nation, to see exactly how useful the Arccos system really is versus the claims made in the company's slick demonstration video.
The Arccos system consists of 14 the sensors, which seamlessly screw onto each of your clubs, as well as an iPhone app (compatible with the iPhone 4S or later). You only need to pair the Bluetooth sensors with your iPhone once and from then on the app will recognize whenever you use the clubs on a course.
At a mere 11 grams, the sensors are lightweight enough to be negligible in terms of impacting your golf swing.
"We've tested this on hundreds of golfers and not a single golfer has any issues," Sal Syed, the CEO of Arccos, told Mashable. In fact, we did blind tests with golfers to see if people could identify with eyes closed which clubs have sensors and which don't, and literally no one can. The reason is that the 11 grams are at the fulcrum of the swing and they are a very small percentage of the club weight."
Once enabled, every shot is tracked in real-time using a combination of Bluetooth and GPS tracking, delivering data such as your putts per hole, average and longest drives and GiR (Greens in Regulation) stats.
Part of the strength of the system is its simplicity and hands-off operation. For example, the sensors will only record your last stroke at a given location. That means that all those practice strokes won't be recorded and mixed in with your real stats, a dynamic that eliminates the possibility of an incorrect evaluation of your overall performance.
Additionally, each club is tracked individually. So if you've been wondering if your gut is right regarding the use of a driver versus an iron on a particular course or in a specific hitting situation, after using the Arccos system a few times you'll soon know the truth, represented in clear and easy to understand numbers and graphics on your iPhone.
Associated with each club are details on which clubs you use the most and the distance achieved using each. Part of the "digital caddy" aspect of the system comes from the fact that it contains the GPS-mapped course information for just about every major golf course in the U.S. (about 16,000 in all). Therefore, no matter where you take your clubs, you'll be able to use the system seamlessly and without any major adjustments.
On hand to demonstrate how the system can guide you toward a better game was Arccos chief operating officer, Ammad Faisal, who illustrated how the sensor and app combination can even tell you, for example, if your pitch shots tend to veer to the right or left.
And, in case you're not a data nerd, you can even ignore the numbers and just focus on the bar graphs, which give you a simple comparison image of how each club stacks up in terms of your personal performance.
As for maintenance, the battery in each sensor is designed to last for at least a couple of years (or about 50 rounds of golf), after which the lithium ion batteries can be easily replaced.
At present, the free app is only available for iOS, but an Android version will be available sometime early next year. Slated to ship in August, those who pre-order the sensors will pay $299 for the set of 14 sensors, and the price will jump to $399 when it hits retail.
Original article published here