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10 reasons to add performance-tracking to your game

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There’s simply no denying the fact that statistics have taken over the game of golf. ShotLink has become as much a part of a PGA Tour event as equipment trucks, corporate tents and tournament-goers yelling “get in the hole!” after nearly every shot.

Indeed, it’s quite clear that the data revolution is here.

Thanks to affordable and quite useful technology, there are also a number of products that make it a reality for any player to access the kind of ShotLink-quality data and analysis that was previously only accessible to Tour pros. But, now that you have access to your data, what are you supposed to do with it? How does that help you play better and enjoy the game more?

Those are two questions we aim to answer day-in and day-out at Arccos Golf. One of our charges is to make “performance tracking” as much a part of the game as hybrids and spikeless shoes.

With that in mind, here are 10 reasons to add performance-tracking to your game. 

Know Your Distances

Arrcos-GWRX-Distance-Full

Understanding your average and longest distances are the obvious benefits of tracking your performance. Whether factoring in your average distance for a tee shot or seeking ultimate distance control on an approach shot to a tucked pin, knowing your distances is incredibly powerful.

Club Usage

How often do you use your 3 iron? Should you swap out a fairway wood for a hybrid? Are you considering adding an extra wedge to your bag? When factoring club usage into performance tracking, the information gained is usually surprising and always insightful.

Mark Your Misses

Arccos-GWRX-Accuracy-Full

Most golfers will agree that big changes often require little action. A simple alignment issue could very well be the reason you’re missing more greens than normal. Understanding percentage of misses — whether left, right, long or short — can help diagnose what’s causing them in the first place, letting you worry about the tweak needed to return you to the right path.

Hole History

We all have that hole. We either love it, or we despise it. Unfortunately for most of us, it’s usually the latter. Regardless, performance-tracking can give you a clearer picture of past performances on any given hole or course. Local knowledge is one of the most valuable tools of the trade in golf. Knowing how you’ve performed on a hole takes that knowledge one step further.

Goal Setting

Arccos-GWRX-Achievement

We all want to get better, don’t we? When it comes down to it, you’ll never improve — or even maintain — in this difficult game without fully understanding where you need to get better. Performance-tracking allows you to better understand where you need to improve and makes measuring that improvement a breeze so you can focus on achieving your golf goals.

Bragging Rights

Arccos-GWRX-Personal-Bests-Full

Did you blast a drive? Have you recorded your lowest round? Are you achieving your golf goals with help from performance tracking? Feel free to tell the world by sharing some of your progress on social media or showing your achievements to your friends.

Finding Your Ball

If you’re having trouble finding your ball, a performance tracker can aid in finding it. Put the guessing and aimless wandering to a minimum. Use your average distances and internal rangefinder functionality to find your ball quicker by zeroing in on the likely distance it traveled. The course rangers and everyone playing behind you will thank you.

Category Breakdown

Handicap indexes are great to summarize your complete game based on course slope and rating. Adding performance tracking to your game will unlock in-depth statistics and handicap information for all areas of your game, again helping you hone in on improvement areas and identify your strengths and weaknesses.

In-Depth Analytics

Arccos-GWRX-Full-Scorecard

With all that data captured seamlessly during play, you’ll receive concise and measurable statistics and analysis that go beyond the age-old methods. Performance-tracking captures every shot and aggregates your complete game.

Data Not Habit

Too often, we rely on habit to pick a club and hit a shot. The data acquired on your game when tracking your performance can help you make informed decisions while on the course all for the betterment of your game.

The easiest way to understand performance-tracking is to start at the beginning. It’s actually a concept that’s been in golf for quite some time. Charting your putts, fairways hit or missed and greens in regulation aren’t new techniques.

It’s how you gain that information that’s changed. It’s what you do with that information that’s new.

Whether using scorecards, spreadsheets, Arccos, or one of the many other shot-tracking apps or products, ensure that performance-tracking becomes a key part of your game. Your game will thank you.

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Ben Larsen serves as Strategic Content Manager at Arccos Golf. Prior to joining Team Arccos, Ben spent more than a decade in the sports media as a writer, editor, columnist and managing editor, including stints at ESPN, AmateurGolf.com and Back9Network. Having been bitten by the golf bug nearly 20 years ago, Ben takes great pride in honing his daughter's swing, saving par and never, under any circumstances laying up.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Chris n

    Jun 15, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I’m actually interested in the arccos system, but having an “article” on the value of shot data written by a paid pr person from arccos doesn’t inspire confidence in the other information on this site. Most other sites that have “advertorial” content label it in some way. You should really have labeled this as sponsored content. I should have to read the author bio to see he works for arccos.

  2. Hellstorm

    Jun 12, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I picked up GameGolf last year and the tapping the club is not really a big deal. In fact, I think it actually helped me develop more of a preshot routine which was much more scattered before. Once I am good with the club I’m hitting, I line up my shot, tap it on the belt and step in and hit. There really isn’t much to it. The stats have actually helped improve my game a little as well, especially on courses I play frequently. I like going home after I am finished playing and looking over the round. for those unfamiliar, you can edit shots out as well….so if you are hitting a 3/4 wedge or something that is not a full swing or a normal shot, you just edit that shot out so its not calculated in the averages. If you remember its a 3/4 wedge or 1/2 wedge, you can save it as that as well.

  3. ML

    Jun 11, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I hit shots with my pitching wedge that range from 100 yards to 140

    It does no good for the guy that hits shots IMO unless I’m missing something

  4. Hunter

    Jun 10, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    It shows by the comments its not for everyone and that’s ok, but the people who like gadgets and want all the advantage they can get, go for it!! If it can be measured it can be managed has been a management strategy that many employ in day to day living, why not take this to our hobbies or ( obsessions… ) I play in a social group of 12 guys, 2 of us want one and cant wait to get an Arccos system and that probably where the system is in social golf. If 10 of the 12 wanted one they might not be $400

  5. Sean

    Jun 10, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I am one of those that is not a proponent of keeping statistics. I know my yardages, my common misses, and when to take a risk, and when not to. In addition, one can get so caught up in statistics that one forgets to play golf. Also, whether it’s something on a phone, or something on one’s belt, it’s just one more gadget. I like to keep it simple: me, my clubs, and my rangefinder.

  6. Brian DeBlis

    Jun 10, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    It would be great if it ever recorded your shots. I have used for a month. Out of 10 rounds it has recorded 2 full rounds! I keep my phone in my pocket the whole time. I know the batteries are all good as I check before shots, but it still does not record! Very big disappointment

    • Ben Larsen

      Jun 11, 2015 at 11:34 am

      Hi Brian: Sorry to hear of your negative experience so far. At your convenience, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Experience team, which will diagnose the issue and get things optimized for you. You can reach them here: http://www.arccosgolf.com/pages/contact

  7. tony

    Jun 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Pretty weak to limit it to only iOS platform users. I guess it makes it easier to decide if I’ll ever try it out.

  8. Tom

    Jun 10, 2015 at 7:52 am

    This are 10 reasons not to waste your time on timewasting gizmos…play golf with a clear head without thinking of anything.

    So you know your misses doesnt guarantee you will miss your next shot there….you hit your 7 iron 163 yards well i can tell you that your next 7 iron aint going that distance.

    I putted badly today let me work on my putting or my chipping was off let me work on it.Don t need an app for that.

    • TR1PTIK

      Jun 10, 2015 at 8:51 am

      You’re right, you won’t always hit your club the same distance – that’s why AVERAGES are so important. This is especially true for those who are new to the game or just bad at eyeballing distances (like me). I don’t understand why so many golfers have such distaste for technology on the golf course. They all moan about how it slows down the pace of play or people get too wrapped up into their phones etc., etc., but those are blanket statements that don’t apply to everyone who turns to technology for help. I’ve had plenty of people try and tell me what to do or not to do on the golf course, and you know what? Unless it’s actually interfering with someone else, or in breach of the rules, it’s none of your business how I play the game. We all have our own way of doing things.

      Btw, your “10 reasons not to waste your time on timewasting gizmos” only amounted to 2. 2 reason not to waste time on timewasting gizmos, and they’re shaky reasons at best.

      • Tom

        Jun 10, 2015 at 10:36 am

        I was just giving you a general view of my opinion be free to use a rangefinder or whatever you wish as long as you are not slowing people down.

        No great players used these trevino…hogan ….palmer ….woods …..they learnt to hit the ball well by spending hours on the range not disecting their stats on a screen.

        • Kevin

          Jun 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm

          obviously those didnt use something like this because the technology wasnt there

  9. ParHunter

    Jun 10, 2015 at 6:40 am

    At first I thought 7) Ball Finder was a brilliant idea and in most cases I expect it to work nicely, however if you play a tree lined course it might not work. If you slice it into the trees it is likely the shot will be a lot shorter as it will have it a tree.

  10. KK

    Jun 9, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks for the insight!

  11. John Dougherty

    Jun 9, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I use the Hole19 app, it’s free and gives me awesome stats! Love it!

    • TR1PTIK

      Jun 10, 2015 at 8:55 am

      I use Golfshot and have enjoyed it for quite some time, but I recently switched from Android to iOS so I am having to adjust the way I do things ever so slightly. I do think Arccos and Game Golf have their place and can help you save a little bit of time (no more pulling out the phone to press a button for shot-tracking, then having to press another button when you get to your ball then select the club from a list, and finally hit yet another button), but the GPS apps offered on Android and iOS have really evolved into useful tools for those of us who care to use them.

  12. Nah

    Jun 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    $399 is a lot for an App

    • Brian

      Jun 10, 2015 at 7:09 am

      $299 on Amazon. $309 with a battery pack/charger combo and benefits The Dan Plan. Just saying. Still pricey.

  13. MHendon

    Jun 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Give it to me for free and I’ll use it. Otherwise I can keep up with my most important stats pretty simply. FIR, GIR, Putts, score.

  14. Ben Larsen

    Jun 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Guys: Arccos doesn’t require tapping. Via Bluetooth and GPS technology, it requires only a one-time pairing process. Indeed, there are lower-tech ways to track your performance. The data and analysis you can gain from the newer tech, however, is what makes “Performance Tracking” a key piece to the puzzle.

  15. snowman

    Jun 9, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    it depends on the definition of It….. I think Arccos product does not require the ‘tapping’ and the “Game Golf” Product Does. As the article mentions there are also other lower-tech methods and apps that you can use to do similar tracking.

  16. Nolanski

    Jun 9, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    It sounds awesome. Im at work and speed read this article but do you have to tap it against your belt before each shot or something? Cause I’m a scatter brain and I’ll forget that half the time…

    • TR1PTIK

      Jun 10, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Arccos does not require you to tap. However, it does require you to carry the club upside down until you’re ready to hit the shot. I’ve read that this can be annoying for some in the beginning. Game Golf requires a tap which I think would be a little easier to remember in some ways, but I don’t like the idea of having to wear something on my belt that could fall off or get in the way. Both have their own positives and negatives, and both require you to change your habits a little bit on the course.

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Power vs. accuracy

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It is an argument that may never be resolved, but I thought I would toss this out for cogitation today. That is, which is the quicker path to lower scores – adding distance or improving your accuracy through the bag?

Every week, we see the PGA Tour dominated by outlandish distances off the tee and towering iron shots from distances most of us “mere mortals” cannot even closely fathom. Golf course architects have become all but powerless to hold back the modern tour professional, short of building 8,000-yard golf courses. About the only “defense” the game has against these modern athletes is when Mother Nature decides to grace a tour event with 15-25 mph winds. Wind is a great equalizer to the power game that dominates today.

But what does that have to do with the rest of us?

Based on various research into the golfer population of the United States, it is likely that your driving distance is a lot closer to 200 yards than 300 and that a 150-yard approach is calling for at least a 6- or 7-iron — not a pitching wedge like you see the pros hit.

So, which do you think would lower your scores more – learning to hit more fairways and greens or adding 5-10 yard to your drives and iron shots? Here’s a little exercise I devised years ago to help you accurately and realistically come up with the right answer.

It requires you to devote 2-3 rounds of golf to really learning what would help you the most, so you might have to take a break from a regular competitive game you play every week, but I’ll guarantee you that this little “game” will reveal that answer very clearly. Here’s how it goes.

For round #1, hit your drive and go find it. Then, pick up the ball and walk it another 10 yards (likely the maximum distance gain you’ll get from a new driver). But don’t walk it toward the green unless it finds the fairway . . . to be fair and accurate, you have to continue on the line it was taking from the tee. If it was headed OB and stopped 3 yards short . . . you just hit it OB with that “possible new driver”. Do this on every driving hole and see how your scores turn out.

For round #2, hit your drive and again go find it. Then, pick up your ball and “improve your lie”, either to the nearest edge of the fairway or to the preferred spot in the fairway if you didn’t hit it there. But here’s the kicker . . . any drive you move to its new preferred spot, also walk it back ten yards. Again, play it out and see what happens to your scores when you gave up a few yards for better accuracy.

If those two rounds of golf don’t accurately show you which is more influential on better scores, I’ve got another one for you.

For round #3, play your drives and iron shots just like you always do, but for every green you miss, do the following. If you didn’t hit your chip or pitch shot within 10 feet of the hole, play your ball out, but also drop another ball somewhere in the 5-10 foot range (vary it up) and see if you make the putt. Keep track of the difference of the scores you shoot with your “gamer ball,” and the score you would have made with the “one-chip mulligans.”

I’ve always approached golf as a game of continual learning, but that certainly isn’t limited to learning more about your swing or the courses you play. It’s also about learning where your own game really needs the most work and improvement, and just what that improvement can do for your weekly scores.

I hope many of you will dive into this learning exercise with gusto and share your experiences with all of us in the coming weeks.

More from The Wedge Guy

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Opinion & Analysis

2022 Shriners Childrens Open Preview: Back Rickie to finally win again

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With a roll call of winners that includes Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na, TPC Summerlin offers players of all skill sets the chance to compete, but no matter how long off the tee, find the fairways in order to have the chance to record a score similar to that seen over the last four years – over 20-under.

Joohyung Kim – Win

Rickie Fowler – Win and Top-5

Hayden Buckley – Top-10 and Top-20

Full respect to the top of the market, but look slightly further down to Joohyung Kim, who may be priced closer to the likes of Patrick Cantlay and Sungjae Im at this time next year.

‘Tom’, as he is fondly known, has had a meteoric rise since turning pro at 15 years of age, but the short five years has seen him win at every level from Asian Development to the PGA Tour.

Even ignoring the impressive early years that includes a sixth place finish on debut at the Thai Country Club, a course that two-time Shriners winner, Kevin Na, won at some 17 years earlier, and the South Korean still retains an incredibly progressive profile.

Early days on the PGA Tour saw the then 18-year-old miss the cut at Harding Park, though he was top-50 after the first round; finish 67th at the Safeway (11th after round one) and 33rd at the Corales, before again dominating the Korean Tour in 2021.

Returning to the PGA Tour in 2022, an early top-20 at the Byron Nelson and 23rd at the U.S Open at Brookline was enough to confirm promise, although he surpassed all with a 3rd at the Scottish Open, in front of Patrick Cantlay, winner and two-time runner-up around Summerlin, and Cameron Tringale, top-five at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, an event that strongly links Tony Finau, and therefore Matt Wolff, Sungjae Im and Kevin Na, a two-time winner of the Shriners.

Everywhere you look, Kim’s best three efforts of the year have connections with previous winners or challengers at this week’s course.

Seventh place at the Detroit Golf Club sees form lines with Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Wolff, whilst his impressive five-shot victory at the Wyndham Championship sees him go after the same double that Webb Simpson achieved when beating Na!

The figures work well throughout, ranking an average of 10 for approaches and around 20th for tee-to-green across his last five starts on the tour, whilst his top-class accuracy off the tee – an average of better than 5th since Brookline –  will continually give him chances to attack the right side of the pins.

Of course, Kim went on to be one of the stars of the Presidents Cup last month, being one half of a winning duo that beat world number one Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns in the foursomes, and Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele in the later four-balls.

A self-confessed joker, he relaxes at all the toughest moments and yet is still focussed enough to record final rounds of 63 and 61, as he did at Detroit and Sedgefield.

He’s on his way to the top.

 

I wanted to be with Dean Burmester, playing very well across the Korn Ferry and now PGA Tour, but I’m uncertain this will be his track, so row along with another 33-year-old, this time one that might do a ‘Martin Laird’ and resurrect his career.

Rather like Kim, Rickie Fowler was linked with a move to LIV, but whilst admitting the PGA Tour had its faults, it was still the best place to play golf.

And he has backed that up with what looks like a new desire. Having jacked his former caddy and recruited Rickie Romano, it looks as if he will reunite with former coach Butch Harmon, with whom he had great success. The changes look as if they have struck gold almost immediately.

Having not had a top-10 finish since the C.J Cup almost a year ago, Fowler bounced back to form at Silverado last week, when his sixth place finish saw him improve in almost all aspects. Indeed, his overall strokes gained of +8.8 were the best set of figures since the Wells Fargo in 2019, and came courtesy of positive aspects in driver, irons and putting, the latter something he is concentrating on above the other factors.

Form figures here need a touch of editing. The last two missed cuts are during a long, barren and depressing period for the man in orange, but previous course figures of 4/25/22/7 sit well with the most recent record of contenders.

Back happy with his game, with a team he is comfortable with, and with back form at the Memorial and Honda events, expect better still.

With course form repeating year on year, take a chance with Hayden Buckley at a big price for both a place and a top-20 finish.

A winner on the Canadian Mackenzie Tour and on the KFT (beating the highly rated and strongly fancied Taylor Montgomery), the 26-year-old hasn’t quite hit the heights expected, even if we are all too quick to expect players to be winning within months of arriving on tour. That is harsh given in 32 PGA stars, the former Missouri athlete has six top-20 finishes that include three top-10s.

Best of Buckley’s starts in a handful of top level starts last year were a fourth place in his home town at the Sanderson Farms, followed immediately by a top-10 here, and therefore last weekend’s top-20 in Mississippi may be the catalyst for a similar effort this week.

Long off the tee, Buckley should again give himself plenty of chances to score and, importantly, confidence with the putter will be high after finding almost six shots on the greens last week, a similar figure to that at the Rocket Mortgage and Detroit.

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Opinion & Analysis

2022 Open de Espana: Betting Picks & Selections

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Golf may be in a strange place at the moment, but at least the DP World Tour is serving up quality courses, if not always the best of fields.

It seems as if we have had quality courses on show for a few weeks now, and with Valderrama, Dom Pedro, Gary Player CC and Jumeirah still to come, the tail end of the season does not let up.

This week, the Club de Campo hosts the Spanish Open for the third year in succession, and whilst a gifted short game will never go amiss in mainland Europe, the course is more forgiving than previous locations, allowing the likes of Julien Guerrier, Wil Besseling, Alex Levy and Bernd Wiesberger the chance to win despite the frailties in other departments.

Hennie du Plessis Win/Top-10

Lucas Bjerregaard Win/Top-10/Top-20

Hot favourite Jon Rahm could lap this field as he did when winning by five shots in 2019, and whilst he was nowhere near right and had several excuses last year, it serves as an example to those wanting to smash their way in to the 9/4 chance, a price shorter than many of the prices offered about Tiger Woods in his prime.

Whilst it’s tough to see Rahm out of the frame, there are cases against Adri Araus and Eddie Pepperell for win purposes, so look further down the list for a couple of players that should suit the course, even if current form doesn’t scream out.

South Africa has seen a couple of winners here in the shape of former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Thomas Aiken, and I’ll take a chance that fellow Springbok Hennie du Plessis can join them.

 

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A post shared by Hendrik Du Plessis (@hennieduplessis)

Although the winner of just two events in a career close to 150 starts, the 25-year-old has shown enough in five starts in Spain to think Club de Campo will light him up again.

At the beginning of the season, du Plessis led the MyGolf Life Open for three rounds before finishing runner-up at Pecanwood, behind Pablo Larrazabal and Adri Arnaus.

Having then finished runner-up at the Limpopo Championship for the second time, has finished third to Larrazabal at the ISPS Handa at infinitum Golf Course and sixth in Girona behind Arnaus again – cracking form if the latter’s second and fourth in two attempts around here ae any guide.

He then flirted with the LIV tour, and banking almost $3 million when running up at LIV London, would not have been too depressed when he was dumped by Greg Norman et al, even if it seems as though the move took something out of him.

Despite a top-20 at Crans, recent form leaves a bit to be desired, but he should be buoyed by returning to Spain, where he can add finishes of fifth,18th and 39th to the results listed above.

Very long off the tee, there is a chance he performs similarly to the players listed higher up the page, those that also took advantage of length.

Lucas Bjerregaard is tough to read, but is another that comes to a track that should suit his length and par-five skills, as it did when 12th last season.

As a winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links and Portugal Masters, the Dane’s modus operandi should be fairly clear, and with last year’s leaderboard showing correlation with much of the courses in the Middle East, I expect the 31-year-old to thrive this week.

Lucas turns up when least expected, as he did when coming off a series of missed cuts and poor finishes to finish third at Celtic Manor in August, whilst he also did the same when needing to do well to keep his card, recording his best finish of 2021 in Portugal, and when just outside the top-10 here last year, again off a series of poor results.

When he is ‘with’ us, the Dane has a game full of strong tee-to-green product, using his length off the tee and strong iron play, but it is also the way he repeats form at certain tracks that just pushes him into being a play.

First, second, ninth and 12th at the Dom Pedro, and second and ninth at Crans, both courses can be tricky but are susceptible to those with experience in the wind and with power on their side – again, find the short stuff leaving wedges to the greens.

Whilst he may have his supposed safety net of Portugal in a few weeks’ time, Lucas needs a good finish to get him much closer to the top 117 in the rankings. Why not start at a course at which he found over seven shots in overall strokes gained just 12 months ago?

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