In a ruling that Golf Digest states “expands the possibilities of how technology is used in competition,” USGA Decision Number 2017-0754 declares that Arccos Caddie is Permitted Under the Rules of Golf.
Golf’s first artificial intelligence platform, Arccos Caddie is free to all user of the Arccos Caddie app. Developed in partnership with Microsoft, Arccos Caddie shows a player their optimal strategy on any hole in the world. It leverages insights from shot history, live weather conditions and golf's richest dataset of course and elevation mapping.
The USGA explained their decision in a letter directly to Arccos:
"…use of the Arccos Caddie application in conjunction with the Arccos Caddie application, as submitted, has been evaluated and it has been determined that the use of the Arccos Caddie application is permitted under the Rules of Golf when a Committee establishes a Local Rule permitting the use of distance measuring devices (see Decision 14-3/0.5).”
This means that Arccos Caddie can be used in competitions when rangefinders are allowed. Please note that the app must be toggled to “Tournament Mode,” which turns off the live display of elevation.
“It is fascinating to think about competitors in the U.S. Amateur or other elite USGA events consulting their conforming Arccos Caddie app, just as they would their green-reading books or caddie advice,” wrote Mike Stachura, Golf Digest Senior Editor, Equipment. “It's a new world, but in 2017 and our reliance on smartphones, it's a step toward progressiveness.”
Below please find the two Arccos-specific Decisions by the USGA.