When Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Tony Finau walk to the first tee to play in a PGA Tour event, the best data-collecting system in golf, ShotLink, follows their progress and records every imaginable thing about their rounds. The players don’t have to do anything, wear anything or think about data production. An army of volunteers and a pair of 18-wheelers parked on-site gather the data and crunch it, then send each player a sophisticated package of statistics and information after each tournament.
With the release of the new Link Pro, Arccos – the Stamford, Connecticut-based company that recently became the Official Game Tracker of the PGA Tour – has taken the most significant step in the company’s history in replicating the ShotLink experience for recreational golfers.
For more than a decade, Arccos has allowed golfers to track what club they use, how far each shot goes and more by wirelessly connecting tiny sensors on their clubs to their smartphone and a free Arccos app.
In the beginning, golfers had to play with their phones in their pockets, but a few years ago Arccos released the first generation of Link, a matchbook-size device that clips to a players’ clothes or can be worn on a belt. Link acted like a tether and allowed golfers to keep their phones in the cart or a golf bag. Now Link Pro goes one step further on more than 40,000 courses.
On the first tee, after a player removes the unit from its charging case and turns it on, Link Pro connects to a smartphone and the Arccos App. After selecting the course about to be played and setting Link Pro as the shot-tracking method, all a player has to do is put the Link Pro in one of the front pockets of their pants, skirt or dress and play. That’s it – there is nothing else to do. Yes, for extra accuracy golfers can press a small button on the side of the unit after they take the ball out of the hole to indicate to the system exactly where the hole is located, but they can do that without taking Link Pro out of their pocket. Players can forget Link Pro until they walk off the 18th green.
This is all possible because Link Pro has improved microphones that allow the system to “hear” shots more easily. An upgraded GPS chip also allows Link Pro to connect and lock with satellites more quickly.
Link Pro makes the process…