Tested: Shot track­ers

If you’re se­ri­ous about your golf, one of these could help you

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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