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Having some sort of yardage finder on the course and being able to clearly see how far you hit each club is super important if you want to improve your game. In this post, I’m going to be reviewing the Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors and giving my honest opinion after testing them out. I’ll also show you the cheapest place I could find it for sale, so continue reading.
|No need for additional devices||Requires subscription|
|One of the most feature-packed units||Requires phone data|
|Top-notch analytics||Putting sensor sometimes doesn’t track|
|As accurate as any other GPS||Phone goes in front pocket (without Link)|
Key Takeaways: Aside from the annual fee that’s required, the Arccos sensors have some of the most advanced club and game tracking features on the market. If you’re looking for a device to give you info on and off the course, it could be perfect for you and that is why it’s one of the best golf GPS units.
Who Should Buy: The Arccos sensors could be right for you if you don’t like wearing watches or you don’t want to carry another device around the course. Personally, I don’t like the fact that you have to pay an annual fee, but if that doesn’t bother you, they could be the perfect fit.
Our Testing Process: Our goal is to help you find the right product. We spend a lot of time testing products so you don’t have to. Learn more about how we test.
Out Of Bounds Golf Rating: ★★★★☆
Arccos Smart Sensors Specs
|Arccos Smart Sensors|
|Battery Life||3-5 Years|
|Courses||40,000+ (See Here)|
What Are Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors?
Smart Sensors from Arccos are screw-in sensors that easily fit at the end of the grip on all your golf clubs. There is a special sensor which is for the putter. The sensors are light and sound-activated and deactivated when a club is turned upside down and returned to your golf bag.
If you don’t know, it’s basically a shot tracker that attaches to your clubs and will record all your data and send it to the app. It’s somewhat similar to the Garmin CT10 or Shot Scope V3, if you’re familiar with those.
Simply by removing the club from your bag the sensor is activated by light and, using Bluetooth, is connected to your phone and the Arccos Caddie app, also identifying the club you have selected. When a golf ball is struck, the sound is picked up by the sensor and tracking is activated.
Finally, when the next club is selected, the distance for the previous shot is recorded. Up to five practice swings are treated as mulligans and do not affect tracking.
The putter sensor is slightly different in that it has more sensitivity to detect the stroke and sound of a putt.
Arccos Caddie Setup
While waiting for the sensors to arrive I created my Arccos member account at https://arccosgolf.com and downloaded the app to my phone in readiness. From the website’s home page, click on Sign In and then Create Account.
The Arccos Caddie app is available through the app store on your phone either Android or Apple.
When purchasing a set of sensors, a one-year membership of the Arccos Caddie system is included, but if you are receiving your sensors as part of a club purchase through Ping, TaylorMade or Cobra, you will get a 45-day free trial, following which it must be paid for.
When you receive your set of sensors they are screwed into the end of each club with each sensor being the same black and green color, except for the all-black putter-specific one shown below.
For the sensors to work effectively, the app needs to be able to identify which club you are using and this is achieved by pairing each sensor with the correct club using the app. You will use your phone camera to do this.
In the app, you will select the correct club from a chart and then using your phone camera, scan the sensor until a “paired” symbol appears. On the Arccos website is a support section which has lots of videos showing how to set up the system correctly and I suggest you watch the one on pairing.
Make sure you only take one club out of the bag for pairing purposes and return it to the bag once paired to avoid duplication.
Starting A Round
Arccos says that they have more than 40,000 courses from 190 countries available through the app and accessing my local courses was no problem at all. At the course, start by opening the app on your phone and like any other GPS system, it will scan for nearby courses. Choose the one you are playing and click on Start Round at the bottom of the screen.
If you look at the screenshot of my phone below you will see some other options such as Shot Detection Mode. This allows you to use devices other than your phone to connect to your sensors or to just use the GPS without shot detection.
It is possible to connect to your sensors via an Apple watch or the Arccos Link device. I don’t have an Apple watch but I did decide to buy the Link device.
Both still need you to use your mobile phone but both the watch and Link devices make connection possible without having to have your phone in your pocket, more about this later.
Once you have selected Start Round, the course will become visible on your phone screen starting at the first hole. You are of course able to select different starting holes if that is possible on your course.
To be able to use the primary shot tracking feature you must have your phone in your front pocket or on your belt. It should be in the left-hand pocket if you are right-handed and the right-hand pocket if you are left-handed. Now all you have to do is play golf.
The sensors will track each club you select, the distance travelled to your next shot and the number of putts taken on or off the green. As far as the GPS is concerned, it works like any other similar system allowing you to view yardages and record round data.
What Do The Arccos Smart Sensors Do?
The first is that they track every single shot and will tell you how far you hit the golf ball and will keep track of how far you hit each club (it’ll recommend what club to hit based on how far away you are). This is incredibly useful if you’re looking to take your game to the next level.
It’ll show you fairways/greens in regulation, where your common misses were, your average driver length, and the number of 1, 2, and 3 putts. You’ll easily be able to see what part of your game needs the most work.
The second is that it’ll act as a golf GPS and will tell you the distance to the green and different hazards. All the courses in my area were on it, so that was awesome. I didn’t think a GPS would make that much of a difference but my shot distance was almost instantly better.
After you have tracked a few rounds, you will also have available the AI (Artificial Intelligence) element and Ask Caddie part of the Arccos system.
The AI selections allow you to see general conditions of the course such as undulations, temperature and wind conditions and then view adjusted yardages taking into account these factors. This feature can be turned off in settings by selecting Tournament Mode as using it during competition is not legal.
You will still be able to see temperature and wind speed but will no longer have the effect on yardages calculated for you.
Selecting Ask Caddie will give a suggested strategy for playing the hole either from the start or advice on club selection part way through playing a hole. Below is a screenshot of the optimal strategy to play the first hole based on my statistics and yardages for how I hit each club.
I have found that using the app can be quite data-hungry, although it has in fact been inconsistent and at this point, I am not quite sure why.
One round only used a small amount of data whereas subsequent rounds used a large amount. Possibly, this was due to the activation of additional features such as Ask Caddie as my use of the system increased.
Soon I discovered that it was possible to download courses at home using Wi-Fi, saving them as a favorite, and switching off mobile data use. By doing this you can select your course from favorites before play and then continue as normal selecting Start Round.
Your phone will only then use its GPS for tracking purposes. The disadvantage of this is that you cannot access anything requiring dynamic data such as weather condition effects or Ask Caddie. If you have a good data allowance for your phone then it’s best to leave it on and have all features available.
Arccos Caddie Golf App
The Arccos Caddie app on your phone works just like most GPS systems but with the additional AI features and Ask Caddie shot adviser. After playing your 18th hole, the app will end calculations for that round and produce a summary.
If you only play say 9 holes you will have to manually select End Round to get a detailed summary.
After completing your round, you will have to check the score on your app to see if it agrees with your scorecard. So far I have never had the same result.
The reason for this is mostly the addition of penalty shots or the putting sensor missing putts. These can be added during the round but I prefer to do it later. Normally, all of my in-play shots are recorded accurately and rarely need to be edited.
Having said that, it is possible to easily edit your round and add in any additional shots or penalties.
Now you might be thinking that this is a bit of a pain in the butt, however, I find this a really interesting part of using the system because it reminds me of all the decisions I made, good and bad, during the round. In fact, I can’t wait to sit down and check out my round as soon as I get home.
By the way, my putter has a soft face which barely makes any sound at all when striking a putt and Arccos do say themselves that recording putts is the most difficult aspect of their technology and they are still working on it.
My current handicap index is 11.7, which in competition equates to 12. I have noted this in the app so that all my statistics are compared with a global average for golfers of this ability.
Here are screenshots of some of my last rounds on a course with a CSS of 69 and the summary section of one of my best recent rounds. The second screenshot on the right compares my performance against 12 handicaps.
You may be able to see from the third screenshot that although I don’t drive the ball a long way, I am fairly accurate and make up for it with short game capabilities.
The fourth screenshot shows how I played the first hole, a par 4, and the clubs used on one particular occasion, where I ended up with a double bogey. So, driver, 4 iron, 52-degree wedge, 52-degree wedge (again) and 2 putts.
You will see from these screenshots that there is a lot of information available and on the website, there are more ways to view and analyze your performance.
If you like data (I do) then apps of this kind are great, but in particular, this system also tells you where your shortfalls are, what you need to improve on and how your game compares with others of similar playing ability.
Therefore, this is not for any particular category of golfer low or high, I think most players could benefit from checking out their weaknesses as well as being encouraged by their strengths.
Arccos Caddie Accuracy and Lifespan
During play, I compared distances against my SkyCaddie SX400 and it agreed in all cases within 1 yard and was also comparable with course markers, so if you only want one GPS system then this does the job.
Keep in mind that the sensors have an expected life of around two years, after this, if they fail, you will have to purchase new sensors. So you may want to factor this into overall costs.
The sensors can be bought individually and don’t have to be purchased as a complete set. Battery life will of course depend on use and how many times you play each week.
It seems that Arccos, like most manufacturers, are constantly working on improving their sensors and software so it may not be a downside if you do have to update to the latest and hopefully more accurate versions every couple of years.
Arccos Caddie vs Competitor
There are a couple of different units that are similar to these, and we’ll talk about them next. The reason for my getting the Arccos sensors in the first place was that I decided to replace my irons with some new Ping G425s (6 to PW) and the Arccos sensors were available free with my new clubs.
You don’t only get sensors for the clubs you have purchased but receive a full set including a putter along with a 45-day trial of the Arccos system. The same kind of deal is currently available with Taylormade and Cobra.
Given that I got the sensors for free, I decided to buy the Arccos Link, a handy little gadget that clips neatly to your belt or pocket so that you can leave your phone in your bag.
When starting a round, you need to switch it on and select the Link option on the app before starting your round. You can then put your phone in your bag and concentrate on your game.
Arccos Caddie vs Garmin CT10
Both the Arccos and Garmin sensors track essentially the same thing and are both good products. The main difference is that the Arccos system connects with your phone while the Garmin connects with one of their watches.
The CT10 is going to be a bit more expensive up front, but the good thing about them is that they don’t require an annual fee. The Arccos sensors are a bit cheaper, but you have to pay an annual fee (after the free trial).
If you already have a Garmin watch then I’d get the Garmin CT10. If you don’t have a watch then I’d get the Arccos.
Arccos Caddie vs Shot Scope V3
Both the Arccos and Shot Scope offer very similar features and both of them are solid products. The main difference is that the Arccos sensors connect to your phone while the Shot Scope connects to the included watch.
Arccos is going to give you more advanced GPS data, but you need to have your phone with a good amount of cellular data. It’s also quite a bit more expensive when you factor in the annual fee.
Shot Scope V3 comes with sensors and a watch, which is where you’ll see GPS info. It just gives the basics such as distance to the green, hazards, layup spots, and shot distance. It’s also cheaper and doesn’t require an annual fee.
What I Like
One concern I did have is that the addition of sensors would make a difference to the feel of the club and how I gripped it, but in fact, they didn’t make any difference at all and after the first few shots I almost forgot they were there.
If you are just using the sensors to record shots and give round and performance statistics then there is absolutely nothing to do during play, so it’s very easy to use. Should you want to use all the other views in the GPS system, it’s still easy to use and get information quickly.
I love the analytical software and that you can view each round in detail as well as get advice on how your game could be improved. Knowing you are not a long hitter can be demoralizing, but also realizing you have a good short game is very encouraging.
To give an example, my driving relates to a handicap of 22 whereas my short game relates to an average handicap of 7. If you get into this system you will not believe how much information is available.
What Could Be Better
The putting sensor misses some shots but I have explained why that is the case for me (soft insert on putter face). With a standard metal putter face, the shot detection may be better.
The cost of annual membership is not cheap and given that the statistical analysis is only available with membership then it would seem to be an essential element of purchase.
Should You Buy Arccos Caddie?
For me, a decision will have to be made when my first year’s membership is coming to an end. I already have a SkyCaddie and the subscription to that is much cheaper than Arccos. While it doesn’t give as much information, after a year of using Arccos, I may have as much as I need for the time being.
While using the Arccos I decided to try out a new driver in the hope of gaining more distance. The new club was “guaranteed” to add 10 to 20 yards to my drives. I fitted the sensor out of my current driver and took the new one out for a couple of rounds.
Definitely convinced I had hit the ball much further I thanked the club professional telling him I would probably order once I had checked the stats. To my surprise (but probably not yours) the new driver didn’t go any further, in fact, I probably lost a couple of yards.
Arccos just saved me around $500 so has actually paid for itself for the next couple of years. If you haven’t been able to tell, I’m a big fan of having some sort of device like this. It just really depends on what you currently have and what you prefer.
If you don’t currently have either a GPS device or club tracking system and are thinking of getting one, then the Arccos is definitely worth considering. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it requires an annual subscription.
I don’t know if I’d recommend them to the average weekend golfer who gets out once or twice a month (unless you have the spendable cash) but for those who want to take their game to the next level, this is one of the best products on the market.
If you don’t want to carry your phone with you, you don’t have a lot of cellular data, or you don’t want to pay annually then I might go with something else. If you’re not sure whether or not these are the best choice for you then I’d recommend reading our best golf GPS article here.
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