May 16, 2017
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Arccos Caddie will be available on a subscription basis to those who have played five rounds with the Arccos 360 connected golf system and launches May 22. (Photo courtesy of Accros)
Artifical intelligence won't turn you into a professional golfer overnight — at least not yet. What Arccos Golf believes it can do is help golfers make smarter, data-based choices on the course that ultimately could lead to lower scores.
Five months after the company teased new technology at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, Arccos officially launched Arccos Caddie, a performance tracking system that's powered by Microsoft's Azure cloud platform and leverages over 61 million shots hit by the Arccos community, as well as precise elevation data and 386 million geotagged data points on more than 40,000 courses.
The system can also account for weather conditions, including forecasted wind speed and direction, precipitation and temperature.
“Every shot in golf involves a decision-making process, and the caddie’s role has historically been to help you make more intelligent choices," said Sal Syed, CEO and co-founder of Arccos. "Today, however, less than 3 percent of players have access to a caddie. Everyone else is missing out on a crucial source of information that can help inform every shot."
Using the platform as a "virtual caddie," Arccos is able to compile the data gathered through its club-based sensors — the current version is Arccos 360 — and, with the help of Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing services and machine learning capabilities, provide personalized recommendations for optimal strategies on nearly every golf hole in the world. That includes courses a golfer has never seen before.
Based on data Arccos has gathered, the average golfer improved their handicap by an average of 2.77 strokes while using Arccos last year. The company believes that number will "reach even more dramatic heights" with the introduction of Arccos Caddie.
“Arccos Caddie is the first platform in sports that truly harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to help players make smarter decisions,” said Mike Downey, Microsoft's director of sports. “Through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Arccos Caddie instantly digests unique data sets and delivers actionable advice to any golfer, from beginners to pros seeking to make the PGA TOUR.”
For the moment, Arccos Caddie will be available exclusively, on a subscription basis, to those who have played five rounds with the Arccos 360 connected golf system. The platform officially launches May 22.