Arccos Golf announces that Bob Ford, PGA, has been appointed Chair of its Advisory Board, and will help guide the growth, partnerships and product development strategies of golf’s leading data and artificial intelligence company.
The General Manager at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., Ford served as the PGA Head Professional at Oakmont Country Club for 37 years before retiring in 2016. During the 2017 U.S. Open Championship, the United States Golf Association presented Ford its highest honor, the Bob Jones Award.
“Bob is not only the game’s ultimate gentleman, he’s also been a friend and mentor to me and countless others at all levels of the golf industry,” says Sal Syed, Arccos CEO and Co-Founder. “It’s an incredible honor to have him serve as our Advisory Board Chair and lend his counsel as we work to help golfers and golf businesses make smarter decisions by harnessing the power of data.”
In addition to being one of golf’s greatest ambassadors, Ford’s sterling record includes qualifying for 10 PGA Championships, three U.S. Opens and two U.S. Senior Opens. He was also named PGA National Merchandiser of the Year (1985, 1997), PGA National Professional of the Year (1987) and PGA National Club Professional of the Year (1988). In 2005, Ford was inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame.
“Data is the future, and Arccos is moving rapidly toward connecting every shot in golf through its partnerships with equipment manufacturers,” says Ford. “At the same time, they’re working with Microsoft to build solutions that connect PGA Professionals with their students, while providing rich insights to the golf industry at large. Advising Sal and his team during this process is going to be a great experience.”
Golfers using Arccos improved their handicap by an average of 3.55 strokes in 2017. That represents a 46x greater rate of improvement than the average golfer with a USGA handicap, and a significant increase from the 2.77 strokes that Arccos users improved in 2016. This follows the launch last August of Arccos Caddie, golf’s first A.I. platform. Developed in partnership with Microsoft, it leverages the game’s richest data set – and live weather conditions – to show a player their optimal strategy on any hole in the world. Arccos Caddie was recently ruled Permitted Under the Rules of Golf, according to USGA decision #2017-0754.
“The PGA TOUR has done a great job of using advanced analytics to help its players practice and perform their best. At other levels of the game, capturing the necessary on-course data has been a real challenge,” said Mike Downey, Director, Principal Evangelist – Sports at Microsoft. “Arccos has cracked that code and built a robust data set which they’re deploying via the Microsoft Azure cloud to the benefit of golfers worldwide.”