Quick – who won the 2017 U.S. Open?
We forgive you if it took a second to recall Brooks Koepka's name. There were four major champs last year, and there will be four more crowned this season. It's part of what makes professional golf so great. But with apologies to Sergio, Koepka, Spieth and Thomas, we believe 2017 will be remembered for years to come for one thing: the year artificial intelligence was introduced to golf.
In January 2017, Arccos announced a partnership with Microsoft to create innovative products for golfers using artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Microsoft Azure cloud. The first result of this partnership was Arccos Caddie, released in May of last year.
Using Arccos Caddie, artificial intelligence determines a player's optimal strategy off the tee based on personal shot data, the entire Arccos database of 100+ million shots, live weather conditions and precise GPS course mapping points. The platform functions as your personal caddie sans the white jumpsuit. It also was the reason Arccos was named one of World's Most Innovative Companies of 2018 by Fast Company.
For all of the success and awards, what we do wouldn't be possible without our users playing with Arccos, providing feedback, telling their friends and becoming champions of the brand. For that, we are truly thankful. Below is a small snapshot of some cool stats from 2017 we mined from our database.
Those user improvement numbers are staggering. 3.55 strokes! And that's on the heels of an average improvement of 2.77 strokes in 2016. Recently, we had one user e-mail us to describe his journey from a 16 handicap to fulfilling a lifelong goal of shooting 72, all thanks to Arccos.
"Before I purchased Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors, I had broken 80 once in my life and was a 15 handicap. I recently accomplished a bucket list goal of shooting even par, which I didn't even think I was close to yet. I have only changed one thing in my golf game, and that is adding Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors to my clubs. Analyzing the data it provides, I can make more informed decisions about my club selection and game."
How exactly can Arccos Caddie help your game? For starters, it knows how you've been hitting your driver vs. 3-wood, how downhill the tee shot will play, whether or not you can reach the fairway bunkers, what effect the wind will have on the shot, how other Arccos users have played the hole and similar holes around the world. (And that's just the tip of the iceberg.) Players simply tap the "Caddie" button to receive their optimal strategy on any hole in the world, regardless if they have played the hole before. It's that simple yet that powerful.
"Artificial intelligence and data are revolutionizing industries across the world, and we're excited to be paving the way in golf," says CEO and Co-Founder Sal Syed. "Through our partnership with Microsoft, the people who literally created the industry of machine learning are now helping us solve problems that golfers are experiencing."
Alongside with Arccos Caddie, 2017 saw the release of the first smart driver in golf, with every Cobra KING F7 driver embedded with an Arccos sensor. That debut was so successful, every club in the Cobra KING F8 line come with an Arccos sensor embedded. Additionally, Arccos received Editor's Choice Awards from Golf Digest and MyGolfSpy and won "Most Innovative Product" from American Golf.
If you've used any of our products and have a user improvement story to share, we want to hear them! Just send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org or @ArccosGolf on Twitter.