Whilst the right golf equipment can help improve your game, at the end of the day it is what you do with it that will determine what you score. However now there are tracking services around to monitor your game and some like Arccos Caddie use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to suggest how to play each hole.
To find out how this technology can benefit your game I caught up with renowned coach Claude Harmon, who's client list includes Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka.
Hi Claude. You are involved with the Arccos 2.0 system and the tracking that it does for golf clubs, so what benefit do you think it gives amateur golfers?
I just think it allows them to figure out how far they hit all of their golf clubs. That sounds very elementary, but the average recreational golfer vastly overestimates how far they hit the ball.
The data that I look at with my players proves that when they make a double or triple bogey on a 150 yard par-3 because they hit it into the water short, they were trying to hit an 8-iron but they only carry that club between 130-140 yards. It’s not mechanics, they just need to hit a different club. The data therefore allows us to look at how far they hit their clubs firstly, but also what their strengths and weaknesses are.
Do you find that amateurs are interested in using this sort of tracking?
I think they will be once they realise what they can do and the power of it, and how it is allowing us to see what they do on the golf course. They can see the visual of a double or triple bogey on the screen with the analysis of each shot, so it's good for tracking your rounds, be it good or bad.
You can see on a good day when you have driven it well and putted well, and you can also see on a bad day that you didn’t hit many fairways or needed more putts, so it’s a good benchmark as to what you are doing.
From the statistics that you see, what’s the mistake that you see people make the most?
Well actually most people that I see, if they stay with it and enter enough rounds, can get much better and their scores dramatically improve because they know what they’re doing wrong.
Is there a common miss or bad shot?
I think the average golfer tends to miss shots to the right with the majority tending to slice the ball, and when you see that visually over a series of holes, it can help people realise that they may need to start allowing for it by aiming further to the left and letting the ball curve back to target.
There’s a lot of information that comes with the stats that you see from the Arccos system, so what are the key stats that you think amateurs should focus on when given all of this information?
Distance and how far you hit each club. Obviously the strategy aspect and in-depth detail would be great too if you had an instructor, but basically how far you hit each golf club out on the course whilst playing would be dramatically different to what many amateurs are seeing.
I’ve seen it in my own game, I used to think I was a terrible driver of the ball but I’m actually not that bad, I just don’t hit it very far. My Smart Distance on Arccos says I average between 260-280 yards so when I go out I accept that I hit a lot of fairways and keep the ball in play, being smart about the way I play.
One thing I picked up on was how often I used each particular club
I think that’s really important and when you look at the usage of clubs at your home club. If you play the majority of golf at that club and it’s the same few clubs being used, practice and get really good with those clubs.
What do you think of the Caddie part of Arccos 2.0?
I love it. The more data you put in, the AI starts to give suggestions and who wouldn’t want that? If it's giving you suggestions of which club would give you a better chance of a par for example.
It’s given us things that we never had before and I think it’s the first real innovation from an instruction standpoint that can be used whilst actually playing the game, rather than being driving range based. Arccos gives you chance to look at what you do out on the course, in the same way that the Tour players do.
As an instructor there is the Arccos Dashboard for you to use and manage all your pupils?
Yes, and I wouldn’t coach anyone who wasn’t using Arccos now. One of my High School coaches has made it mandatory that students use Arccos so that as a coach they have access to all of your data. The coaches can now look at not just players but specific courses for a tournament.
So he would be able to tell which players are expected to play well in that tournament?
Absolutely, based on the information and the data.
As an instructor, what is Arccos giving you that you didn’t have before?
Knowledge, without having to guess. We are able to predict the way they are going to play a golf course and help them come up with a game plan based upon their strengths and weaknesses
That’s great Claude, and thanks very much for joining us.
Thanks man, I appreciate it.
Arccos 360 GPS Tracking Review
Cobra Connect GPS Tracking Review