Game Golf and Arccos: A high level Product Comparison Review
25 Jan 2015
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Equipment Reviews

Game Golf's short game dashboard
Game Golf's short game dashboard

Watching first-mover Game Golf and newcomer Arccos hit the market running with shot tracking systems has been fascinating to me, a former technology guy who now runs a golf website. I follow all of the trends in technology, and like many of us I’ve purchased many gadgets before they were ready for prime time – even if they seemed destined to fail I wanted to be one of the believers who gave them a chance.

Many wound up in the “land of forgotten toys” (my desk drawer) where they can hang around with my Sprint Palm Pilot phone.  I’ve become more selective as I get older, joining the ranks of those that wait for version 2.0 before taking the plunge.

But I’m going to go out on a limb with two things. First off, the category of club- attached GPS tracking devices is here to stay. And secondly, I’m going to commit to a partnership for AmateurGolf.com with one of these companies before the first day of spring.  I sincerely believe it’s another example of bringing us closer to statistical analysis available to pros now (think ShotLink) at an affordable price point.

Let’s take a look at the two main players. I encourage our readers who have put them into play to provide us with your feedback on not just their usability, but how it’s helped you score better and enjoy the game.


As mentioned above, Game Golf is the undisputed first-mover who hit the market in 2014 with a serious product, in partnership with Graeme McDowell and a strong team of technology backers in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the company is headquartered. I wasn’t sure at the time what to make of it. The idea of putting red disks onto the end of all 14 clubs, then tapping a belt-worn device before each shot to mark exactly where you are on the course seemed too good to be true.

The ability to “mark” your position on the course during a round was a feature in some of the GPS distance devices, but it just seemed too impractical to try and keep up with on the course, especially during tournament play or a serious match.

Had Game Golf, with its little red discs finally solved this problem? And would it be full of bugs or too cumbersome to use?

As it turns out, Game Golf works, and it’s perfect for individual game analysis. Moreover, the information gathered from the millions of shots hit around the world has already told company founder John McGuire a couple of things he was willing to share with me. (And the gleam in his Irish eyes told me that there is more information coming.)

Game Golf works independently of your smart phone or computer while on the course. The package retails for $199.

“We already know that golfers across all skill levels come up short of the green the majority of the time,” McGuire told me at the PGA Show in Florida. “We also know that most players have two clubs in their bag that they hardly ever hit.”

Imagine then, the power of information applied to your own golf game. You might know you never hit your 52 -degree wedge, but just can’t pull the trigger on replacing it with something that might help you score better. Game Golf might help you make that decision.

More importantly, when you’re looking at your own stats like greens hit, up-and-down percentage, and everything else in an easy- to- understand graphical view, you might decide it’s time to stop worrying about hitting the green more from 175 yards and start thinking about how to get it up-and-down more often, like the pros do.

Learn more about Game Golf here.


I wasn’t sure where Arccos fit into the equation until I saw their presence at the PGA show in Florida. They had a really nice space, signage, and professional team, including co-founder Sal Syed -- a former CRM software executive. This Stamford, Connecticut company is -- if you’ll allow me to throw in a Harvey Penick reference -- “taking dead aim” at the golf shot tracking category.

I’m not sure what the late Mr. Penick, known for the country wisdom of his best- selling “Little Red Book” would think of all of this technology being applied to golf. I’m of the school that it’s time to get with the program, at least for myself, and stop entering my stats into an app and let one of these able companies do the work for me.

The Arccos package, for now, works on iOS only and retails for $399

The black Arccos grip attachments, similar to the little red discs provided by Game Golf, attach to each of a player’s clubs and are paired to that club so you never have to tell it what club you’re hitting on the course. The Bluetooth- connected Arccos devices are considerably larger, and their rubber housing provides a bit of extra length when plugged into the grip. 99% of players will adjust to this quickly, and might even feel some benefit from the initial feeling that you’re gripping down on the club.

From a functional standpoint, Arccos doesn’t require a device to be worn on the body or a tap before each shot. They’ve built in a motion sensor that picks up shots as you go. You will, of course, need a Bluetooth- connected smart phone in your bag or on the cart to allow Arccos to do its thing.

Some of you might read that difference and think it’s game over. But it’s much more complicated than that. What about putting and overall shot tracking accuracy? And what if you prefer to keep your phone out of the equation and do all of the analysis later? The good news from my perspective is that competition is going to bring innovation, and new features on both platforms are bound to come of it. Maybe it will be like iOS vs. Android. (And by the way, note that the Arccos Golf functions on iOS only for now.)

To learn more about Arccos Golf, click here.


I absolutely love the idea of tracking my shots and analizing the data. I'm doing an archaic version of that now by inputting my greens hit, putts, fairways, etc. into a free app. Both Game Golf and Arccos notch this up to an entirely different level, like going from a flip phone to a smart phone. I'm hooked and I haven't even fully demoed them for myself.

If the long term goal is to capture data automatically and not input it, either company is going to have to show me that their system is best before I feel comfortable recommending them to members. It’s simply too early to pick a winner. And maybe, as McGuire told me, both companies can raise category awareness and grow at the same time. After all, everyone’s got woods, irons, wedges, and a putter, and a whole garage full of last year’s models. But what’s the installed base of game tracking devices, something like .05% of golfers? I like the target market opportunity -- tens of millions of golfers worldwide who love technology and want to lower their handicaps.

There are going to be people who think it’s a fad, and would never consider it for themselves. And that’s fine. We play an individual game and after now playing several rounds with friends that use these products I can tell you it adds no time to their routine, and doesn’t affect the other players in the group a bit, other than the obvious questions early adopters get – kind of like the first time I put my brand new Rescue club into play before anyone had adopted the term hybrid, or Y.E. Yang had used one to hoist a ball over a huge tree to four feet and defeat Tiger Woods in a major. Those of you who have purchased Game Golf or Arccos know what I’m talking about. The problem is, you’re showing your friends the product itself on the course, but that’s not the part that gives them the "ah-ha moment," or the visualization of how it's going to help them improve. Show them the app and all of the cool data you now know about your game, and the lightbulbs will go on.


We will be posting full reviews of both Game Golf and Arccos (and any newcomers) in the next 30-60 days and plan on having an announcement for you before the first day of Spring. It would really help to hear from our regular visitors and members, so if you’ve put one into play please let us know what you think.

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