Arccos Golf has released it’s ‘next-generation’ artificial intelligence (A.I) platform, which now provides players with real-time strategies for every shot, on any hole in the world.
Powered by Microsoft Azure, Arccos Caddie 2.0 is the latest upgrade offered by Arccos, and combines sensors in the club with Microsoft's Azure Cloud, machine learning and AI to provide golfers around the world with their own personalised strategy on any golf course in the world.
Taking in to account your own personal shot-tracking history, the historical performance of other players that hit similar distances/ have similar handicaps, forecasted weather conditions and elevation changes, Arccos Caddie 2.0 is able to provide reccomendations for every shot you hit on the golf course.
Using AI, Arccos Caddie 2.0 provides you with tangible data to give you a tour-style stat analysis of your game - and from that recommendations are based on your previous performances. Of course, the more rounds you play the more stats the app will have, and therefore the more precise your stats will become. Currently you need five rounds before Arccos Caddie 2.0 will start giving you possible shot strategies.
Your initial shots are measured using sensors on the grips and connect to the Arccos app on your phone (which you need to have in your pocket). From there, you can see how far you have to the green, and the app will provide you with three possible club strategies; the optimum strategy, and two others if you would rather hit another club.
So far, more than one million rounds of golf have been played using Arccos since its introduction on over 40,000 courses worldwide, which boast 418 million GPS course mapping data points and 26 billion time-stamped, geotagged data points on golfer behaviours.
This is the second edition of Arccos' caddie, and by using the pioneering on-course data, Arccos engineers and Microsoft’s world class A.I. scientists have been able to make a significant expansion of the system's capabilities.
“The entire sports landscape is being revolutionised by advanced analytics, and golf is the most ideal sport for the application of these concepts,” said Andrew Turner, Senior Director of Global Sales at Arccos Golf. “Working with Microsoft, we’re plugging into a very traditional framework – the caddie/player relationship – and taking it to the next level through the power of A.I.
“Considering only 3% of golfers today have access to advice from a human caddie, we’re also helping adjust the caddie experience by making it available to anyone,” he added.
Arccos Caddie 2.0 uses a wide variety of inputs to provide golfers with real-time insights into optimal and alternative strategies, as well as outcome predictions, for every shot played.
Key factors considered by Arccos Caddie 2.0 for shot reccomendation include but are not limited to:
➤ A user’s shot history
➤ The historical performance of other Arccos users
➤ Wind speed/direction and other weather conditions
➤ Elevation changes
➤ Hole geometry
➤ Hazard locations
“The PGA TOUR has done a great job of using advanced analytics to help its players practice and perform their best,” said Mike Downey, Director, Principal Evangelist – Sports at Microsoft.
“At other levels of the game, capturing the necessary on-course data has been a real challenge. Arccos Golf has cracked that code and built a robust data set which is being deployed via the Microsoft Azure cloud to the benefit of golfers worldwide,” he added.
In 2017, Arccos users improved their handicap by an average of 3.55 strokes – a rate that’s 46.7x faster than the average player with a USGA handicap.
“Arccos Caddie 2.0 demonstrates A.I. complementing human capability,” added Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President – A.I. Business at Microsoft.
“Through the power of Microsoft Azure, amateur golfers have information at their fingertips, that was not easily available before. A.I. will have a huge effect on the golf industry and it’s an exciting time to be in this space as we help Arccos Golf lead the charge.”
However, the one thing to note is that due to the measuring of elevation on surfaces other than off the tee, Arccos Caddie 2.0 is not currently legal for competition play - although you can turn it off and continue to use the tournament allowed mode.
It also doesn't provide any strategy on the greens as there is not yet a facility to know exactly where pin placements are, instead just measuring the number of putts you might have per hole.
Arccos Caddie 2.0: How To Buy
There are now three different ways to buy Arccos Caddie 2.0.
1. You can buy the 14-pack screw-in-sensors for £249, and download the app free of charge. You can then rematch and repair those sensors with different grips/clubs if you decide to change at any point.
2. You will be soon be able to buy the smart-grips, which come with in-built sensors, for $149. You would then pay an annual subscription charge of $99. Currently, this is in a pre-order stage.
3. You can also buy a 'smart set'. At the moment, Cobra golf have Arccos built in to all of their latest F8 metal woods and irons, so if you purchase a set of Cobra clubs you will get the sensors included. Again, you would then pay a subcription charge of $99.