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Arccos Caddie: Golf’s first artificial intelligence platform

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It’s a brave new golf world. Arccos is launching golf’s first artificial intelligence platform, Arccos Caddie.

Arccos, which you know from its shot-tracking app, has integrated the Microsoft Azure cloud platform into the about-to-launch Caddie. The utility uses advanced analytics to help golfers make better, data-driven decisions during their rounds.

We were keen to see the fruits of Arccos partnership with Microsoft (announced in January), and this is their first effort to move connected golf forward.

Approach_Zoom

Drawing from Arccos data set of more than 61 million shots on over 40,000 courses, Caddie is able to recommend optimal course strategy on most golf holes worldwide. It factors in wind speed, direction, participation, temperature and more. And it doesn’t require a user to have played a course before to make recommendations.

“Every shot in golf involves a decision-making process, and the caddie’s role has historically been to help you make more intelligent choices. Today, however, less than 3 percent of players have access to a caddie,” said Sal Syed, CEO and Co-Founder of Arccos. “Everyone else is missing out on a crucial source of information that can help inform every shot. With Arccos Caddie, we’re democratizing the caddie experience through the power of A.I. and the Microsoft Azure cloud.”

At the end of the day, beyond the undeniable “cool” factor and trendiness of connected apps, Arccos aims to help golfers get better. Per CEO Syed, Arccos users improved their handicaps to the tune of an average of 2.77 strokes last year. Obviously, their expectation is that Caddie will foster even greater improvement.

Hole_Overview

Caddie will be will be available via subscription and officially launches May 22nd. Arccos is offering a free promotional window to try the Caddie system from May 22-31. Any user of the Arccos 360 app (with Gen 1 or Gen 2 hardware) who has played at least five rounds will have access to the Caddie platform during that period.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Matt

    Jun 23, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Sounds like an excellent product and a good self coaching function for anyone who needs to start thinking about course management to improve their game. Enough to convince me to buy Arccos 360.

  2. Alex

    Jun 2, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Maybe I’m missing something, but when I tried using the Caddy, it wouldn’t give me any information on my shots after the tee shot. So I would hit a tee shot, but then when I would go to the ball for my 2nd shot, I didn’t have the Caddy option any more, just the standard Arccos yardages. The problem with this, obviously, is that if I don’t hit my tee shot to the exact distance and location that the Caddy wanted me to, then the club selection that it told me for my 2nd shot before I teed off is no longer valid. Seems strange to me.

  3. Joe Perez

    May 12, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Maybe I just don’t “get” it. If the suggestions are made using the data of 61 million shots, where does any recommendations based on MY ability factor in? Is using 61 million shots worth of data going to tell the caddie feature that *I* only hit my x-yards? Will it use the data from the cloud and then access *my* past rounds to see if the club it suggests is a club that I can hit that far?

  4. peter tiearney

    May 12, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Will these “caddies” be allowed in competitions?

    • TR1PTIK

      May 12, 2017 at 11:56 am

      It will likely be up to the rules committee of the event you’re playing. Standard USGA rules would not allow it.

  5. ooffa

    May 12, 2017 at 7:54 am

    it doesn’t.

  6. Egor

    May 11, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    The negativity is strong here …

    I’ve been using Arccos + Caddie for the last 4-5 rounds. It is useful to me because it has club suggestions based on my already tracked arccos rounds. There is room for improvement and it doesn’t currently recognize that I have a giant wall of trees on one hole, but it’s great tech.

    As far as slowing down a round, nah. Not at all. 3 years golfing. Two things have sped up my round – laser range finder, and on-phone GPS.

    Sure, I could walk off yardages, take into account my distance off fairway, do some math in my head, guess at the pin placement, look up the yardages from the tee to certain landing spots in yardage books that every course always has available and free (sarcasm) and hope that their tee positions are not too far off from the standard, but pulling out my phone for ~10 seconds on the tee and identifying actual yardage from my spot to my desired landing spot is much easier. Guessing at pin placement and walking off yardages potentially costs me more strokes. Is it 120yd to carry the front bunker or 125yd? Maybe it’s only 110yd, but I’d know for certain if I had my phone and a GPS app.

    You can hate on-course phone GPS apps all you like, but if the player knows how to use the tool quickly, they are much more efficient, time saving, and stroke saving than walking off sprinkler heads that *ALWAYS* have accurate yardages on them.. 🙁

    Get behind me when I’m walking off yardages for a round, and then get behind me with a GPS Phone App. You’ll change your opinion.

    As far as RandA legal – doubt it. Caddie has current wind data pulled from weather reports which it factors in. It’s awesome, but I don’t use it if I’m posting for Hdcp or playing in a stipulated tournament round.

    Arccos does have a “tournament legal” app for tracking shots.

  7. SV

    May 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Wonderful!! Something else to slow a round down. GPS/rangefinders, sprinkler heads or other course markers give the yardage. Make a decision and hit the shot. A player should be able to make a decision without having to consult an electronic device.

    • TR1PTIK

      May 11, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      In theory, this would actually help with pace of play because if a golfer trusts the information provided by Arccos they would simply grab the recommended club and play on rather than grabbing a club, second guessing themselves, and going back to their bag for another. However, I do agree that a player should be making these decisions on their own. It’s part of the “art” of golf. I think it’s similar to the deal on green reading books that provide detailed topographical information. I don’t mind if a player does it on their own accord by rolling a few putts and visually inspecting the contours of the green to jot down in their notebook, but that’s it. Using technology to take all of the skill and instinct out of it is paramount to cheating in my mind. You can do data analysis and all that nonsense off the course, but when you’re on it just play golf.

  8. MFJ

    May 11, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Is it ‘legal’? I don’t see any reference to being approved by the RandA/PGA. That would be an important factor for me.

    • MSchad

      May 11, 2017 at 8:29 am

      May be wrong, but I don’t think this is meant to be used “on course”. I believe using your data, it will analyze how you should play a hole/coarse to achieve the best score for your game a head of time. I’m looking forward to seeing if it recommends if I should use different club selections on particular holes on the courses I play.

    • TR1PTIKE

      May 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Because Arccos requires a phone to be on your person (from what I’ve read, specifically in your front pocket) and it provides GPS distances to various points on the golf course, it is illegal to use in competition where full USGA/R&A rules apply. This is one place where Game Golf has a distinct advantage as you can use the device with or without your phone. I own GG Live and despite what some reviewers have said, you do not have to have your phone in order to use it. You can simply turn it on, clip it to your belt, and play as you would with the old device.

      • Scott

        May 11, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        This is incorrect, at least to a degree. You can use GPS devices on course so long as they don’t have weather and elevation (there may be a local rule requirement for competition). I’m guessing the Arccos caddie app won’t be legal because it takes those into account. Hopefully they will make an app that takes elevation and weather out of it.

        • TR1PTIK

          May 12, 2017 at 10:07 am

          See Rule 14-3
          “Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an abnormal manner: a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; or c. That might assist him in gripping the club”

          As far as USGA rules go. You cannot use a GPS or Laser Rangefinder on the course during play.

      • Alex

        Jun 2, 2017 at 6:50 am

        Arccos has a “Restricted” version of their app available on the App Store that does not give yardage during the round so that you can use the GPS tracking for your round without getting any assistance from the app.

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Titleist expands M Grind loft offerings through Vokey WedgeWorks

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When it comes to offering versatility for players who like to manipulate their wedges around the green and on full shots, the Vokey M Grind is one of the best options around. Now, based on the success of the M Grind SM8 wedges—which had come in lofts of 56 and 60 degrees—Titleist—through Vokey WedgeWorks—is expanding the loft options to include 50, 52, and 54 degrees.

What is the Vokey M Grind?

The man himself, Master Craftsman Bob Vokey, calls the M Grind his “most favorite” grind, thanks to its versatility. The versatility is made possible by its medium bounce profile, and its aggressive heel, toe, and trailing edge relief. It is the ideal fit for golfers with a sweeping and more shallow approach into the ball and aren’t considered large divot takers.

“The grind in the back allows you to open up the wedge and get under the ball a little easier, while the front of the wedge allows you to get out and produce that lower, stronger ball flight,”
-Aaron Dill, Vokey Tour Representative

Since the tour is such a proving ground for Titleist and the products they release, it should be no surprise that these new loft options have been made available for golfers with players like Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay, and Charles Howell III all utilizing the M grind on tour.

SM8 Wedge Technology refresher

Each and every single Vokey wedge goes through a full grooves inspection to ensure they are cut with a level of precision that leads the industry to produce maximum spin and shot control. After that micro-grooves are cut in between the spin milled grooves to maximize spin on partial shots.

The Vokey Spin Milled groove design has not changed since Vokey began offering variable depth and width designs depending on loft. Tolerances continue to get pushed, but since the design was already at the limit, it’s now more about being able to replicate rather than search for an elusive few hundred RPM.

When talking about those extra RPMs gained by potential tool and radius changes, Titleist likes to use the analogy of a pencil. You can sharpen a pencil to an absolute point, but the first thing you are going to notice when you start to use that pencil is how quickly that extremely sharp point dulls back to a “standard” sharpness. This relates directly to groove radius and Titleist’s philosophy to offer maximum spin for the life of the wedge, not just those first five rounds of golf, because unlike PGA Tour players, regular golfers can’t just wander into a tour van and ask for a new lob wedge every week.

Advanced WedgeWorks custom options

Inspired by the customization Aaron Dill (@VokeyWedgeRep), does to wedges on a weekly basis on the PGA tour the WedgeWorks custom options have been expanded to include:

  • Six unique toe engravings
  • Expanded stamping options: 10-character Straight/Freestyle; 15 characters around toe; 5-character staircase style
  • Custom paint-filled Loft and Grind markings and BV Wings logo
  • Hand Grinds: Raw finishes can be hand ground to exact specs, including both performance grinds and profile adjustments

Price, specs, and, availability

The new Vokey M Grind wedges will be available starting today for custom orders in golf shops and on Vokey.com in the lofts of 50, 52, and 54 degrees in a raw finish and in right hand only.

The wedges are priced at $199 each and that includes custom stamping, custom ferrule, and custom shaft bands.

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Tommy Fleetwood joins TaylorMade in multi-year deal; Fleetwood 2021 WITB

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TaylorMade has officially announced that Tommy Fleetwood has joined its tour staff in a multi-year deal.

The Englishman is no stranger to TaylorMade equipment and has been playing a set of prototype irons built by the company since 2019. For 2021, Fleetwood will play a bag with TaylorMade woods and irons, as well as the brand’s TP5X (2021) #19 golf ball, as he continues to test wedges and putters.

Per the company, Fleetwood upholds strong ties to Adrian Rietveld – who was TaylorMade’s lead technician on the European Tour before making the move stateside in 2019 – and he also played a variety of TaylorMade metalwoods after becoming an equipment-free agent in 2016.

“This could be the start of something special. I have a feeling there are some exciting times ahead, I couldn’t be happier to join Team TaylorMade.” – Tommy Fleetwood

Fleetwood is a five-time winner on the European Tour and has also had three top-5 finishes in the majors, two top-5 finishes in WGCs and a top-5 finish at the Players in 2019. In the Ryder Cup 2018, the 30-year-old went 4-1-0 winning 4/4 fourball and foursome matches with Molinari.

Speaking on the new signing for Team TaylorMade, David Abeles, CEO, TaylorMade Golf said

“Tommy Fleetwood is a premier golfer, but he’s an even better person. Statements like that get thrown around a lot, but if you ever have the chance to spend time with him, you’ll immediately know it’s true. There’s a warmth, sincerity and wit about Tommy that stands out. He’s the ideal fit for Team TaylorMade as we embark on a journey to become the most people-centric golf brand in the world. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the team.”

Tommy Fleetwood 2021 WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (10.5 degrees) or SIM2 Max (10.5 @ 8.5 degrees)
Shaft:Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (13.5 degrees Rocket)
Shaft:Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70TX

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (18.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 80TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7TF Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: Callaway Jaws (52S, 56S, 60T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot

Ball: TaylorMade TP5X (2021) #19

Per TaylorMade, Fleetwood is continuing to test TM wedges and putters.

Fleetwood is currently ranked No. 17 in the Official World Golf Rankings and is set to debut his new TaylorMade equipment this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

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Equipment

Best forged driving irons – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing forged driving irons. WRXer ‘Merv’ is on the hunt for a new driving iron and reaches out to fellow members for suggestions – with DI’s from Srixon proving to be popular amongst WRXers.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • FatThinShank: “Srixon U65/85”
  • Cptwiggly: “I love my u85 2 iron. I bent it 2 degrees weak for gapping, and it’s a great addition to my bag.”
  • Bama_Rich: “The new Callaway X Forged UT is the best feeling one I’ve hit. It has more of a “crack” at impact compared to the “clicks” feel of others. I have a review coming soon.”
  • golfer881: “+1 for Srixon ZX.”

Entire Thread: “Best forged driving irons”

Not yet a GolfWRX member? Sign up for FREE here.

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