Tested: Shot trackers
If you’re serious about your golf, one of these could help you
We’ve put four of the latest through their paces.
Tracking golf shots wasn’t even a thing a few years ago, but with some big brands now in the market and millions of rounds being played on their platforms, it’s safe to say this tech is here to stay.
Modern GPS technology has made shot tracking both easier and more useful. Some systems are now so sophisticated they offer an electronic caddie function to give your best club selection for each shot based on your previous performances.
But with so much tech on offer, and none of them for less than £225, how do you know whether one could really help you improve? And if it can, which should you buy? We’ve tested five of the latest systems (including the Arccos set-up that comes free with Cobra’s latest F8 woods and irons) to help you make a more informed decision.
How can a shot tracker help lower my scores?
The majority of tour players now analyse their stats to see where they can get better. For club golfers, knowing – exactly – average distances with each club has obvious benefits. You can also identify trends; if you always go in the trees right on the fourth, aim further left. If you frequently fall short of the green, take more club. If your short game stats are abysmal, get practising! You can pore over as many or as few of the stats as you want, but as you do, you’ll realise it becomes addictive.
What information can I access on the course?
Late last year the R&A ruled that the Arccos Caddie featured can be used whenever rangefinders are allowed (in competition play), as long as you remain in Tournament Mode which turns off access to elevation changes. That means you’re allowed access to an artificially intelligent caddie, but you should not be able to see or access data which takes into account wind, weather or elevation details. You shouldn’t view any app or device which calculates your heart rate either.
Isn’t there a free app where I can track?
Yes. Game Golf offers a free app that works without the need for sensors in your grips. It offers access to similar levels of data and analysis as the full-on Game Golf system, but it’s not automatic – you need to tap the app before every shot (which is a bit of a pain and means keeping a phone in your pocket). However, it does give you data on greens in regulation, fairways hit, shot dispersion, scrambling, putts per hole, average distances and more.