by Thor Olavsrud

How an AI caddie could improve your golf game

May 11, 2017
AnalyticsBig DataConsumer Electronics

Arccos Golf is leveraging the data generated by its golf performance tracking system to provide a subscription-based artificial intelligence caddie to help golfers make data-driven decisions on the course.

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Credit: Thinkstock

Stamford, Conn.-based Arccos Golf Wednesday launched a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence (AI) caddie for golf, saying the platform will help golfers of all skill levels achieve lower scores with the power of data-driven decisions.

Dubbed Arccos Caddie, the platform is powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and trained on a data set comprised of more than 61 million shots hit by the users of Arccos’ golf-tracking system, elevation data and 386 million geotagged data points on more than 40,000 golf courses. Arccos notes the AI platform also accounts for weather conditions, including forecasted wind speed, wind 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 three 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. With Arccos Caddie, we’re democratizing the caddie experience through the power of AI and the Microsoft Azure cloud.”

Arccos launched its golf-tracking system in 2014 and released the second generation, Arccos 360, last month. The system uses 14 sensors attached to the grips of your clubs. The sensors connect to a smartphone app. It can detect when you hit a shot, and then a combination of Live Shot Tracking, GPS 2.0 and Tour Analytics records the shot, provides hands-free mapping and rangefinder distances in yards or meters and breaks down your handicap into five key components — driving, approach, chipping, sand and putting. It analyzes your play to help you identify strengths and weaknesses.

arccos caddie Arccos

The company has fed the data generated by Arccos Golf over the past several years into Arccos Caddie. Caddie takes it all a step further, helping you select the proper club for the situation and projecting the odds that you’ll hit the fairway or the green and the odds you’ll miss left or right.

“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, director, principal evangelist — Sports at Microsoft. “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.”

“Golfers using Arccos improved their handicap by an average of 2.77 strokes last year,” Syed added. “With the introduction of Arccos Caddie, we expect this trend to reach even more dramatic heights.”

Arccos plans to offer Arccos Caddie on a subscription basis. It will launch the platform on May 22.