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Startup Takes Swing at New Golfing Technology (Video)

New Apple iPhone accessory seeks to give golfers the tools to improve their games.

With golf season in full swing, a startup company that takes its name from a trigonometry function is introducing an Apple iPhone accessory aimed at improving a player’s game.

Arccos Golf’s technology uses a combination of sensors and software to deliver real-time information about the golfer’s game, even as he or she walks the course. The founders say the new product, which was developed as part of Callaway Golf Co.’s open innovation project, gives amateurs the analytic tools used by the pros.

“Technology is like the equalizer among the pros and amateurs now,” said Arccos co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Ammad Faisal, who left a career in banking to join his childhood friend in the venture.

The Stamford, Conn.-based company isn’t the only one seeking to apply technological know-how to the centuries-old game, whose origins can be traced to first century Rome.

Garmin makes a watch that displays the yardage from the front, middle and rear of the green. Zepp Labs uses a sensor that is clipped onto the golfer’s club to measure the player’s swing. PGA Tour Caddie uses the phone’s GPS to track a player’s hitting distance and offers advice on club selection.

The Arccos product, which is expected to be available in late summer, uses 14 disc-shaped sensors that screw on to the grip of every club. Each club is paired with the iPhone app, using a low-power Bluetooth connection, to allow the software to automatically track the distances hit with the driver, various irons, pitching wedge or putter.

“It’s a golfer’s job to know how far my four iron goes, how far my five iron goes,” said Arccos co-founder and Chief Executive Sal Syed. “Right now, every golfer guesses — except for the PGA pros, who have … people in every tournament, tracking how far every shot is going.”

The Arccos technology uses an accelerometer built into the sensor, together with the iPhone’s GPS, to measure the distance of every shot. It offers the player comprehensive data — such as club averages, or the longest drive of the day. Through a partnership with noted golf statistician Peter Sanders, who founded the ShotByShot website, Arccos provides individualized analysis of the golfer’s game.

The GPA Tour Analytics feature analyzes the five components of any player’s game: Driving, approach, chipping, sand and putting.

“It gives you a very clear breakdown of where your strengths and weaknesses are,” Syed said. “That’s important because I think most golfers are intimidated by the game of golf itself because the only current metric to measure yourself is your score.”

Here’s a video look at the technology:

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