Golf has come along way from the days of Old Tom Morris when all a golfer had to rely on was a rugged temperament, strong scotch, and the simple tools of golf — a few wooden clubs and hand made golf balls. Whether talking about modern, computer-optimized equipment or satellite-based GPS distance finders, golf is now played with the highest technology.
As a group, technology-based golf training aids are of a different realm than alignment sticks, chipping nets, full swing trainers, and such. They are set apart because they have some form of advanced technology built into them. This cutting-edge technology could be computer chips, radar, advanced optics, GPS, or some other advancement. In this post, we identify devices that we believe are best of breed. This post will be updated over time as new advances are made or as we discover new technology-based golf training aids that we would recommend.
A couple of quick notes:
- All featured technology-based golf training aids have full posts dedicated to them. To read those reviews just click on the section title or product item name (printed in blue font)
- The COVID pandemic has impacted the availability and price point of some of our recommended products across the site. We believe that both price and availability (where skewed) will come back into line over time
Best Technology-Based Golf Training Aids: Arccos Golf Caddie
The Arccos Golf Caddie is a fully automatic GPS and Shot Tracking System that captures a golfer’s shots and statistics in real-time as you play. It is probably the most advanced system for understanding how a golfer hits the ball and how to optimize course strategy to maximize scoring based on actual capabilities.
Essentially, through the use of individualized sensors placed in the grip of each club, the Arccos Caddie tracks real shot performance as a golfer plays round after round of golf. The Golf Caddie aggregates and analyzes the actual performance of each club over time.
In addition, the Arccos Caddy smartphone app comes with an advanced GPS that has mapped over 40,000 of the golf courses worldwide. The app can give a golfer all of the standard GPS data that might be needed to know distances to the front, back, and middle of the green as well as point to point distances. The GPS function can also adjust for elevation.
Using “artificial intelligence,” the Arccos Caddy can combine its knowledge of a golfer’s club capability and GPS function to give club recommendations like a human caddie. This recommendation can adjust for elevation changes and even wind, temperature, humidity, and altitude.
A final aspect of the Arccos Golf Caddie is that a golfer can, after a round, pull up the systems stored data on a computer or smartphone and review the details of the last round. Or the golfer can review passed round or aggregated data and analysis to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his game.
Best Technology-Based Golf Training Aids: Golf GPS Watch
A golf GPS watches are one of the most common technology-based golf training aids on the market. As a training device, they allow a golfer to better understand distances on the course, and over time to know how far they really hit the ball against those distances.
After looking at scads of golf GPS watches, we recommend two Garmin models that offer fantastic features at two different price points: the Garmin Approach S20 and the Garmin Approach S60.
Both watches offer:
- Over 41,000 pre-loaded courses
- Sunlight readable faces
- Accurate readings of the distance to the front, middle and back of the green
- Yardage to layups and doglegs
- Activity tracking such as step counting, distance traveled and calories burned
- Both are smartphone compatible for additional functionality
Where these devices differ is in styling, advanced capabilities, and price.
Garmin’s most advanced GPS watch offering a large 1.2” color touchscreen, point to point yardage and a tremendous range of capabilities for other sports such as swimming, running, biking, etc. It also has a wide range of smartphone capabilities, including texts, weather, calendar, and other functionality.
The Approach S20 has all the functionality a golfer needs on the course without the advanced capabilities of the Approach S60.
The S20 has a .9 X .9 inch, rectangular face with a black and white screen that is not a touchscreen. It also has an incredible 15-hour battery life when in GPS mode.
The S20 is currently sold for less than half the price of an approach S60.
The choice between these two Garmin GPS watches comes down to:
- Utilitarian design vs. a greater degree of style
- A singular focus on golf versus a broader range of exercise and sports capabilities
- Lower price versus higher price
The answer to those three trade-off questions will probably determine which of the two watches you buy. Both watches are exceptional in what they offer.
As mentioned near the beginning of the post, we expect that this listing of recommended technology-based golf training aids will grow over time. Shortly, we plan on posting reviews on our recommended advanced range finders and swing speed analyzers for the home.
If you have any recommendations for technology-based golf training aids, drop us a note in the Comment box below.