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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.

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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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