The Review 09/26/2021
Arccos – Official MGS Forum Review by Glynn Stokes
I am in my early 60’s and have been playing golf since was 8-9 years old. I took a 10-year break when I moved to Australia and in 1989 I took it up again. Within 5 years I was on low single digit handicap and played regular A Grade Pennant. In 2006 I damaged my knee that required 4 lots of surgery over 7 years. I returned to golf in 2013 and by 2015 I had got my handicap back to 11, which I was happy with. I then got ill which required me to change my clubs and more importantly change to Graphite Shafts. Today I play golf for fun and the social aspect it provides. If I happen to win a comp every now and then that is a bonus.
· The Personal Questions:
· What region do you play out of?
I live in regional Victoria and about 3 hours drive from Melbourne in Australia and are a member of Bairnsdale Golf Club.
· How long have you been golfing?
I have been playing golf for 50+ years.
· What kind of golfer are you?
I am an average golfer that has the skill to play really good golf, unfortunately illness, injury and age limits that ability.
· The Golf Questions:
· Handicap? (Or average score)
My current handicap is 17.1
· Strengths/Weaknesses of your game?
I have always been very good at putting, chipping and bunker play. Right now my weakness is consistency. I am really struggling with my woods and long irons.
· What is in your bag and how did you choose them? Touch quickly but try not to dwell on each club since this review isn’t about them
My driver, fairways and hybrid are Callaway Epic Flash, and my irons 4-AWare Callaway Steelhead Pro with graphite shafts and a Cleveland SW. I was fitted at the Callaway Performance Centre. My Putter is a Callaway Warbird.
· **Do you consider yourself to be tech savvy?** Good devices should work well for Fred Flintstone as well as George Jetson.
I am tech savy.
· **How do you currently get your yardages?**
I really have not checked my yardages since changing clubs.
After a quick check of the product it looked like it would be simple to install.
Took about 30 min to install the sensors on my clubs. The only one that took a little more thought was the putter as it has a SuperStroke Grip.
Downloading the App and activation was easy as was the setup of CaddieLink.
Had some issues syncing the sensors on the clubs to the app. It took me 3 attempts to get them all to sync. Some sensors were identified very quickly, others took allot of moving the phone around, up and down etc before they synced. I am using a Samsung Galaxy S20+.
Downloading the course and setting up all the relevant profile info was easy.
So first time on course I had some issues. It did not pick up the first few shots so I restarted the app and after that it appeared to be working as I could see the clubs and shots appearing on the app. However it did not pick up all my putts or sand shots so I need to work out why.
The information it provides is impressive. It shows the club selected and real-time distances from the tee and to the green as you walk along. It is seamless so all you need to do is play. I use an app called mScorecard which provides scoring and allows for the input of stats and I am using this to double check the data. My phone was on my buggy so when I play next I will put it in my pocket to see if the issue with missed shots is due to the distance the phone is way from Caddielink.
My first impression is that I am impressed with the solution overall.
Looks & Feel (3 out of 10 points)
General Shape / Size / Fit
o The product came in quality packaging and in general looks well made.
o once the sensors are fitted to the clubs.
Customization (if any) - None
Durability or build quality (with a prediction on the long-term).
o Out of the box the product looks well made.
o The sensors are set into a rubber housing with a plastic base which screws in to the hole in the top of the grip. The potential issue I can see is that the club sits in your bag on the actual sensor itself. I am not sure how well they will stand up to the constant vibration of your clubs in your golf bag as you move around the course.
o I had Caddielink and 7 Sensors fail. (See Customer Service for more information)
o Caddielink is the only thing that in theory requires a case and it comes with a basic cloth bag that offers little protection.
Setup (5 out of 15 points)
Are the instructions clear and easy to understand?
o Instructions a basic and in some cases confusing.
o Downloading and installing the app was simple.
o Retro fitting the clubs with the sensors was easy.
o The SuperStroke option makes installing the sensor on your putter simple. It took a bit of thinking to work out how the sensor attached using the Superstroke Installation Kit as it did not come with any instructions.
o Initial pairing of the sensors to the individual clubs was not easy. In some cases it required multiple attempts. Be warned if this happens there is a good chance the sensors will fail.
o Connecting Caddielink was an issue as it connects via Bluetooth and does so automatically with out the need for verification. My phone is set to block any unverified connections.
How quickly does it charge / how long does the battery last? Is the cable proprietary?
o Caddielink take about 3 hours to charge and it looks like it would last 3-4 rounds.
o The Cable looks like a standard micro USB cable.
Did you need to ask for help or search online for an answer during setup?
Talk about any Customer Service interactions you’ve had.
o Caddielink failed after first round. Support sent me an email with the procedure on how to run diagnostics to verify that Caddielink had failed. Once confirmed I was shipped a replacement.
o On the next round I had 5 sensors become un-paired. Again I contact support and received and email requesting I try to Re-pair the 5 clubs, which worked.
o From the every start I had shot detection issues. The response from support was pretty much canned, emails that told me how to run Sensor Diagnostics, Caddielick Link Diagnostics etc. It took me 8 weeks to hopefully find what was causing the issue.
As mentioned when I run the initial setup I found that more than half of the sensors took 25-35 seconds to be identified, in fact 3-4 I needed to try several times before they worked. When I run Sensor Diagnostics I had the same issue however all but one eventually connected. I advised support that a sensor had failed and was shipped a replacement.
The app and Caddielink have a range of diagnostic tools, which is good however you need to run several in order to identify potential issues with the sensors. Simply running Sensor Diagnostics may not tell you if there is an issue with the sensor. If it is totally dead then yes, however in my case I had 6 sensors that Sensor Diagnostics said were paired and therefore in theory working. However when I ran Caddielink Link Diagnosis I found that the sensors connection was intermittent. Now things started to make sense, as this would cause the Random Shot Detection issues I have been experiencing during the test. In the end I identified 7 sensors that were either not being identified by Caddielink or were acting strangely. For example Sensor Diagnosis would tell me that 2 sensors were not paired. I would then Re-Pair them and then double-check that they were paired. If I then run Sensor Diagnostics again 5 minutes later they again said not paired.
My advise to anyone is that if a sensor is not identified within 10 Seconds you have a potential problem.
To test I have finally found the problem, I played a round and tried to use the 7 clubs that had sensors as often as possible, every shot was detected. I can only hope that the replacement sensor work perfectly.
I hope my case is isolated. I live in Australia so the package has a long way to travel and we have know idea what could have happened to the package in transit.
Most/least useful metric presented.
o Providing you can get accurate data I think the club distances matrix is the most valuable.
o However I would think that most golfers could find the amount of information presented overwhelming.
o I would love to see a basic version that simply offers club distances, fairways hit, greens hit etc. at a much more affordable yearly subscription.
Accuracy (12 out of 15 points)
Are the yardages accurate? (compare to another method if possible)
o Distance accuracy is limited by the accuracy of GPS. GPS-enabled smartphones are typically accurate to within a 4.9 m (16 ft.) I found it to responsible accurate. I used a laser to verify distances and they were generally within 3-5m.
Do the calculation or “plays like” distances match up with what you would’ve come up with?
o Yes – I used another GPS Golf App to verify and they indicated pretty much the same distance.
On-Course (5 out of 30 points)
Did you have to think about or remember anything to use the product?
o Yes, you need to make sure the course was downloaded and that CaddieLink was connected.
o Be warned If you log out of the course is deleted and you to download it again. I have suggested that they need to save file on the phone to resolve this issue like other apps do.
Did it interfere with your normal golfing routine?
o Yes, you cannot simply press Start Round and expect it to detect every shot, you need to check every shot and putt.
o Manually adding shots may be ok during a practice round however during a competition I found it distracting and frustrating.
o I have major issues with shot detection. I never managed to record a round without the need to add shots that Arccos simply failed to detect. I could understand it missing the odd shot here and there but in my case it failed to detect on average 14-16% of fairway shots and 8-10% of putts per round.
How intuitive was using it on the course?
o I use a laser to obtain distances. I would generally this to review the round.
Did you like using it?
o No as I could not get it to work properly.
Compare and contrast to what you are currently using or have used in the past.
o I use mScorecard for scoring and statistics. It has the ability to record club distances however it requires more work. That said it is also free. As far as distances to the pin, bunkers etc I use a laser which is quick and accurate.
Do you play better or worse now that you’ve got a new method for yardages.
o Worse as I spent more time trying to get it to work than think bout the shot I needed to play. Having accurate club distances will be of benefit and hopefully over the next 6-9 months that will lead to me playing better golf.
Miscellaneous (9 out of 10 points)
o Caddielink makes life easier particularly if you have a big phone.
o It also reduces the drain on battery in your phone.
Play it or Trade it? (10 out of 20 points)
Considering all the issues I have faced the answer should be Trade It
However, I really do see some merit in what this solution can provide. Hopefully we have resolved the detection issues and if this is the case then I will Play It until the subscription runs out.
This product has lots of potential and I would loved to have had it 30 years ago when I was totally committed to bring my handicap down to low single digits. Having data that allows you to identify deficiencies in your game is huge and therefore you know what you need to work on. More importantly though, it allows you to see any improvement.
I see this solution as a great tool to use in the short term as it provides one thing that all golfers should know – individual club distances.
However, would I spend $540AUD for the Sensors, Caddielink, Superstroke Kit plus the ongoing subscription of $140 per year, the simple answer is NO.
Final Score: 44 (Add up all categories and present a total score out of 100
Callaway Epic Flash 9 Degree
Callaway Epic Flash 3 wood 15 Degree
Callaway Apex 21 Hybrid 19 Degree
Callaway Steelhead Pro 4-AW Irons
Cleveland 54 Degree Wedge Steel Shaft
Recoil Graphite Shafts in all Callaway
Cobra Vintage Series Stingray 40
Preferred ball - Seed 001