When it comes to golf instruction, a case can be made that there’s a significant difference between taking lessons from a golf pro and working with a golf coach. On the surface those difference may be merely semantic, but the deeper you dive, a coach not only works with you on swing mechanics, he or she helps you identify strengths an weaknesses, develop an improvement plan and works with you to develop a game plan every time you play.
One problem, your normal, everyday golfer probably doesn’t have the time or the wherewithal to have a full-time coach.
“A teaching pro doesn’t have the time to follow you around the course,” says Sal Syed, CEO and Co-Founder of ARCCOS Golf. “Those can be very expensive lessons for the golfer, and it’s not an efficient use of an instructor’s time.”
Arccos is a clear industry leader in data collection and golf analytics, and today is announcing a new feature that can provide you with a virtual equivalent to a Butch Harmon or Hank Haney. The Arccos Coaches Dashboard gives PGA teaching pros, college and high school coaches and other instructors easy access to their students’ on-course performance data.
And it’s free.*
Another Paradigm Shift?
“PGA Tour pros have access to coaches, why shouldn’t the average golfer” says Syed. The Coaches Dashboard leverages data collected by the Arccos 360 performance tracking system, and allows an instructor to analyze your performance an customize a lesson plan.
“Now they can see what you’re doing on the golf course, and help you with what you should be working on at the practice range,” says Syed. “It’s a paradigm shift. Previously it was let’s figure out something on the practice range and bring it to the course. Now let’s look at what’s happening on the course, and then bring it to the practice range and fix it.”
The Coaches Dashboard is a logical next step for Arccos. If it’s advanced analytics you seek, and you don’t mind having your phone in your pocket when you swing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete data collection system. The collection and presentation of that data has been a hi-tech marvel, but sharing it with your instructor? Not so much…
“Teaching pros have been after us saying we need access to our players’ data,” says Syed. “In the past they were either taking screenshots and sharing them, or students would give them credentialed access to their accounts.”
Coaches Dashboard gives an instructor access to their players’ stats in one central hub, provided those players useArccos 360. In theory, instructors can see how their students are fairing out on the course, allowing them to design better instructional programs.
“It helps me as a coach to cut to the chase in my developmental programs for individuals or small groups,” says Minnesota PGA Pro Brad Pluth. “It’s easy access and the shot charts and directional misses give me the data I need to guide golfers to achieve their goals.”
How might it work? Well, imagine you’re a 5 or 6 handicap, and you just shot an 83. The Handicap Breakdown inArccos may indicate you lost a lot of strokes on your approach shots. Your instructor can look over this round as well as your last several rounds and see where you’re trending. He can then send you an email saying he’s seeing a few things and give you a couple of things to work on until your next lesson.
“It’s going to be really fascinating to see how instructors use this,” says Syed. “The savvy ones – and I believe most of them are pretty savvy – will see opportunities to initiate contact with existing students.”
Pro Business Tool
If you’re a college or high school golf coach, Coaches Dashboard may be the mother of all no-brainers. For your regular teaching pro or instructor, it could conceivably create a new revenue stream
“It lets the pro scale his or her business,” says Syed. “I can help them become a better coach and teacher because real data is at their fingertips. They know a student’s actual on-course game and what they need to work on to help the student improve. And when you perform better as a coach or instructor, it helps your business. It’s a reputation business and your reputation comes from how much you’re helping your students improve.”
About that *asterisk* in the opening section - Coaches Dashboard is free for coaches and teaching pros to use, and golfers are not required to pay any additional fees to Arccos. An independent teaching pro may include online coaching as an enhancement to his lessons packages, or as a service to his students - it's really up to each pro. Arccosis offering an affiliate program to teaching pros, providing them with incentive to encourage their students to buy an Arccos 360 unit and use the Dashboard. The program itself has been in a soft launch for several weeks, with around 200 coaches and instructors nationwide currently using it.
The cynic, of course, would claim they can keep their own stats and report to their instructor, so there’s no need for any fancy electronic gizmos. For those golfers who can honestly assess their own games, then Coaches Dashboard – and any data collection system, for that matter – is an unnecessary expense. But data collected by Arccos, Game Golf or Shot Scope is a harsh slap of reality. Facts are, indeed, stubborn things.
“People might think they’re hitting their driver like 260 or 270, but in fact it’s only going 240 or 250,” says Syed. “But distance might not be your problem, maybe accuracy is your problem, maybe it’s short game or maybe it’s putting. Whatever it is, let’s let the data tell both the student and the teacher what the student should be working on.”
As of right now, Coaches Dashboard only allows the coach or teaching pro to see their players’ data. Over the next few months, Arccoswill be adding more interactive features, including notes and notifications, allowing the pro to be more of a virtual coach.
For more information, visit www.arccosgolf.com