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Manual vs Automatic Shot Collection

There are several applications on the market that present users shot data statistics. Several applications automatically track shots based on GPS locations and sensors located on each club. As a player hits their shot, the sensor sends information about the shot to a receiving unit that collects shot data. From there, the receiving unit communicates with an application or other data source to store data.

Other applications, like DS.G collect data manually from the player. Following the completion of the shot, a hole, or a round, the user enters data into an application. The application stores the data and provides the player with various charts and analyses.

Whether you choose automatic or manual shot collection depends on how deep you need to dig to better understand your game, tendencies, and strategies. For casual players or players that don’t need in-depth data, automatic tracking provides basic data analysis. However, for serious players or players that have a strong desire to improve, manual entry provides the ability to capture much more data about the shot, therefore, the analysis the player receives is deeper as well. All automatic shot collection applications require 1) an application to store data and provide analysis, 2) a receiving unit to capture the shot immediately following the shot, 3) club sensors that collect and send shot data to the receiving unit, and 4) a GPS signal.The Pros and Cons of each method are captured below. BENEFITS OF AUTOMATIC SHOT COLLECTION The primary benefit of automatic shot collection is just that, it’s automatic. After a player charges their receiving unit, powers it on and connects to GPS, and ensures all of their club sensors are working properly, all the player has to do is select their club and hit the shot. Assuming no technical challenges with any of the associated equipment, shot data is collected and stored and turned into useful charts and graphs. DISADVANTAGES OF AUTOMATIC SHOT COLLECTION There are several disadvantages to automatic shot collection. Sensors attached to a club cannot capture data such as stance, lie, swing types, intended and actual shot shapes, intended and actual trajectories, intended strategies, etc. These factors are crucial in building tendency data analysis. Additionally, since the location of the shot is captured via GPS, precise locations are difficult to obtain. Oftentimes, users have to edit rounds to make sure locations are captured accurately. For example, a player may hit a shot from the edge of the fairway, but the GPS records the location of the shot as the rough. Additionally, if a player putts from off the green, the sensor picks up the shot as a putt even though the shot should be recorded as Around the Green. Post-round editing is required to resolve these types of issues as well.

From a technical standpoint, automatic collection relies on multiple pieces to all be working. If your receiving unit isn’t charged, or a sensor dies, or a GPS signal can’t be captured, automatic shot collection will not work. Additionally, automatic shot collection can miss or add shots randomly which all require post-round editing to resolve.

Finally, the cost of automatic collection can be high. Users have to buy receiving units, club sensors, and data analysis plans. The annual cost to support automatic collection can climb above $200 annually. BENEFITS OF MANUAL SHOT COLLECTION While manual shot collection requires additional effort by the player, the resulting data analysis, statistics, and strategies are significantly deeper than data obtained from automatic shot collection. DS.G provides many factors that lead to specific improvement, strategy and/or tendency charts. Additionally, DS.G allows users to determine which factors are important and users can turn on / off factors.

DS.G provides the ability to capture shot information on environmental conditions, course conditions, round-specific factors, gear-specific factors, as well as, individual shots. By providing a vast array of data options, players can dive deeper into their data providing additional clarity on what is working and where improvement is needed.

Since you the player manually enter data, mistaking surface types or other shot data will never occur. Therefore, you will never have to edit a round or shot to correct location-based errors.

DS.G also provides the ability to compare gear. This is a unique aspect of DS.G and can provide users with an unparalleled analysis of clubs and gear. Unlike any automatic shot collection application on the market, DS.G provides the ability to create unique clubs, club configurations, and gear, then conduct in-depth analysis to find what really works. For example, you have created two drivers. The first driver is a Taylor Made Stealth 2, Cali Red Stiff shaft with a Golf Pride grip. You have it configured for a fade bias. You have also created the exact same club, only configured it for a draw bias. As you play each configured club, make sure that club is in the DS.G bag, and you will be able to accurately determine which configuration works best for you in various playing conditions.

Finally, DS.G does not require any special equipment. All that is needed is a DS.G account, an iPhone and an internet connection. DISADVANTAGES OF MANUAL SHOT COLLECTION The primary disadvantage with manual shot collection is that the player enters distances. While the application knows the length of the hole, it’s up to the player to ensure the distance is correct, and enter accurate distance to pin measurements. Getting accurate hole information is important on Par 3s where the stated vs actual distances can be significantly different.

The other aspect of manual shot collection is that it takes time to complete all the data fields. While the speed certainly improves after the player becomes familiar with the input mechanism, it does take a concerted effort. However, with this effort comes significantly deeper data and analysis.

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