Using the Arccos Caddie Coaches Dashboard at the 2019 US Amateur
Here at Butch Harmon Floridian, we require our athletes to use sophisticated stat tracking to provide a complete picture of their game. Arccos Caddie is our preferred method and the clear choice because of its automatic shot tracking and artificial intelligence engine. Arccos Caddie provides live yardages and data-driven club advice. You can game plan your round on any course at anytime from anywhere. In our minds, there’s no other way to play and hold yourself accountable.
The Arccos platform also includes the Coaches Dashboard. We find this very useful tracking all our players from across the country. What do I mean by “track”? We see every shot on the course! No longer do we hear… “I just didn’t drive it well or… “I missed a lot of puts inside five feet”... or “I thought I needed two more birdies coming in.” We don’t even need to wait for the player to come back for a lesson. We see the round as soon as it’s completed. We analyze. Arccos Caddie A.I. analyzes. Then we ask the questions. More often than not, players without Arccos wrongly analyze their performance and therefore make the wrong decisions on the course.
Now, you may not be a tournament player, but perhaps your men’s league or member-guest event is coming up soon. Maybe there is a better way for you to prepare and execute using the web-based Arccos Dashboard.
Let’s take a look at the 2019 US Amateur played at Pinehurst #2 and #4 in North Carolina. As reference point, we’ll use one of our juniors who qualified at the age of 17! Just qualifying for the US Am is a huge leap for a junior’s career and it helped him earn a scholarship to the University of Michigan.
Know Your Strengths Heading Into a Big Event
The Coaches Dashboard allows you to filter specific times throughout the year. Below are the player’s stats heading into the event held in August, 2019. We looked at trends from June 1 to July 31, 2019.
Pro Tip: We prefer to look at 4-8 weeks of trends for a tournament player rather than round by round or even week by week.
The player definitely had strong skills heading into the event! When we prepared for the US Am, we knew based on Martin Kaymer’s eight-shot victory at the 2014 US Open that there was a premium on fairways in regulation, sand play and putting. During the practice rounds, we confirmed that the native rough areas were mostly sand and fescue and may not be as difficult as they look. Approaches from longer distances, however, were very low percentage plays. The bunkers were challenging. Chipping was challenging and most likely there would be many scrambling attempts. We spent extra time chipping because this classic Donald Ross design featured extremely fast, firm “upside-down bowl” shaped greens that made even the simplest chips and bunker shots hard to keep on the green.
Based on our practice rounds and research, the game plan fits nicely with this player’s trends, especially driving and putting. We were good to go.
Pro Tip: When developing your plan for an event, fit your trends into the game plan rather than letting the course dictate your play. For example, if your driving performance is poor, lower your driving expectations! Find fairways with your 3-wood or lay back even farther on shorter holes. Don’t let poor driving create double bogeys or higher.
Dashboard Stats from Round One on Pinehurst #4
Dashboard stats for round one trended similarly to his stats prior to the event, except for chipping and sand play. Short game and bunker player were quite challenging on Pinehurst #4 as well. He displayed impressive driving and putting in keeping within our pre-event trends and game plan.
This junior shot a solid opening round of 73 on Pinehurst #4, slightly less than the field average of 73.141. We theorized a score around three to six shots (71-74) below the field average of 77.051 from round one on Pinehurst #2 would most likely advance to match play. We didn’t need to “light it up” and shoot under par.
Pro Tip: A common mistake amongst tournament players is to underestimate the value of par coming down the stretch. We call it “forcing birdies.”
We planned to rely on his historically strong driving and iron play to set up opportunities for round two. Drivers off nearly every tee. Make approach shots as short as possible even if from the native rough. Whatever it takes to get the ball on the center of the green in regulation or miss on the correct side.
Dashboard Stats from Round Two on Pinehurst #2
Well… his 78 in round #2 was just a hair above the field average of 77.136, missing the cut by six shots. Turns out we only needed 72 to advance to a playoff. But inside the Dashboard stats, we see he uncharacteristically lost strokes in sand play and putting. He played like a 23 handicap in the sand and a nine handicap on the greens. In fact he only had two opportunities in the sand during the second round that cost him at least three shots! First scenario: a not so simple, short-sided up and down on the fourteenth. Second scenario: a complete mess on the Par 3 seventeenth.
#14 a short-sided miss made for a hard up and down from the bunker. His leave from 14 feet didn’t convert.
#17 A bad break in the trees led to too many bunker shots that did not hit the green and triple bogey.
The final scorecard. Round two started on #10 and finished with an amazing two under on the final nine.
Arccos Dashboard Findings
Use the Arccos Dashboard to monitor your progress over time. Don’t react round by round. Know your strengths and take them to the course. Know your weaknesses and avoid them at all costs. Play honestly because #ArccosKnows.
Instructional Keys for Higher Handicaps
When it comes to bunker play, simply getting out of the bunker on the first attempt will avoid major strokes lost. A common mistake amongst higher handicap players is targeting the hole location from the bunker even if circumstances warrant a leave on the safer side of the green.
Pro Tip: Taking bogey from two-to-six bunkers per round will certainly not hurt your final score. Taking three shots in one bunker could destroy your momentum and confidence for the rest of the round.
Since the junior player missed the U.S. Amateur cut by six shots and lost at least three to bunker play, where do we find the other missed opportunities? Look no further than putting: two three-putts from 31 and 49 feet and a missed five footer for par on hole two. Not to mention another three-putt from 17 feet in the first round. When it comes to putting, it pays huge dividends to avoid three-putts, especially from long range when you can actually gain strokes against the field with a two-putt. You don’t have to make a lot of putts to be a good putter... you just have to avoid three-putting. Sure, everyone will miss putts from time to time.
Pro Tip: Spend less time on your shorter putts and more time mastering the speed of longer putts. In fact if you have 60 minutes per week to practice putting, we recommend 10 minutes on your stroke and 50 minutes on your lag putting skills from 30-50 feet.
In the final analysis, this young junior displayed great ball striking that was clearly good enough to make a cut at a difficult venue. But sand play and putting also needs to be “just good enough.” Get out of the bunker in one shot. Become a “lag putt master” between 30 and 50 feet. When these skills become good enough... then we can focus on the next area to improve.