For many golf instruction aficionados, Erika Larkin needs no introduction. Named a GOLF Magazine “Teacher to Watch” and Golf Digest “Best Young Teacher,” she’s also made a huge splash on social media in recent years with her unique “golf edutainment” videos. (Check out her Instagram page: @ErikaLarkinGolf)
Larkin is the director of instruction at the Club at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va., home to a highly-regarded Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that attracts its fair share of accomplished players, as well as a healthy crop of mid- to high-handicappers as well.
She views Arccos as a game improvement tool across all skill levels, and a complement to her “True Swing” philosophy that espouses effortless athleticism. Larkin has logged several rounds with Arccos Caddie and is beginning to tap into its depth with her students of all ages.
“I teach several competitive junior players who play at away events that I’m not able to get to. With Arccos and the Coaches Dashboard, they can record their competitive rounds and I have access to the data immediately following their round,” says Larkin.
Whether it’s up-and-coming junior golfers aiming to get a college scholarship, or recreational players looking to rapidly lower their handicap, Larkin believes that Arccos provides instructors and students with a data-based approach that removes feeling and emotion.
“I’ve had students tell me they felt like they played terribly but scored well, and I’ve had others say they struck the ball solidly and didn’t post a good score,” says Larkin. “I’ve always told them that ‘feel isn’t real,’ and Arccos will help me demonstrate this and to help them see their games through a different lens.”
A relatively new Arccos user, Larkin also appreciates many of the system’s original features, such as Smart Distance and Smart Range, and traditional statistics, like greens in regulation. But she’s also a proponent of advanced analytics and plans to use Arccos Caddie’s Strokes Gained Analytics feature to set goals with her students.
“If I have a golfer who is a 20 handicap and wants to get down to a 10, we can start by setting it to a 15 handicap to give them something to work toward so they don’t become discouraged,” Larkin says. “They can also see what it will take to get to their ultimate goal simply adjusting the comparison.”
As a female instructor, Larkin’s audience, in both social and traditional media, includes thousands of women golfers. She would love to help grow Arccos adoption among other female players and says Arccos Caddie Link helps them feel comfortable, figuratively and literally, by freeing them of the need to carry their phone on their person.
“Most of our golf apparel … we don’t have pockets to carry phones. But using Arccos through Link or Apple Watch completely removes that barrier and should make it that much more appealing for women who want to use,” Larkin says. “I’ve been using it and it’s comfortable, intuitive and easy to sync. You can put your phone in your bag and forget about it, or you can check it for yardages [with the Arccos A.I.-Powered GPS Rangefinder] and Caddie Advice for club recommendations.”
Whether via Link, Apple Watch or smartphone, Larkin says the key is that Arccos provides golfers with on-course data and recommendations they can’t get at the practice range.
“On the range, even with a launch monitor, it’s still not the same as being on the golf course,” she says. “With Arccos you’re getting realistic picture of how you play under the pressure of a normal or competitive round and how that effect distance and direction.”
Arccos Strokes Gained Analytics feature includes actionable tips from Arccos Ambassadors like Trillium Rose, Ryan Crysler and Andrew Rice. When asked how it will feel to have her head shot and her drills on the app, Larkin laughs.
“I try to make golf instruction simple and easy, and Arccos makes stat tracking and post round evaluation simple and easy,” she says. “Let’s not make golf any harder than it has to be. I’m excited to help make the golf journey for my students more effortless and enjoyable with the help of Arccos.”
Look for more tips, golf edutainment videos and other insights from Larkin in the weeks to come.
Golf’s first Artificial Intelligence platform, the Arccos Caddie app syncs with Arccos Caddie sensors to automatically track your shots while helping golfers of all skill levels improve faster and shoot lower scores. In 2020, the average new Arccos user improved their handicap by 5.02 strokes.