Golf launch monitors are a game-changer for any serious golfer, providing accurate data on ball flight and swing performance. With the vast array of launch monitors available on the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming.
In this blog post, I’ll dive into the world of golf launch monitors and break down the top options on the market. From affordable options for recreational golfers to high-end professional-grade monitors, I’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
So, whether you’re looking to practice at home or play simulated golf courses, read on to find the best launch monitor for your needs.
Table of Contents
- Best Launch Monitors Under $1,000
- Best High-end, Professional-grade ($1,000-$20,000)
- What to Consider When Choosing a Golf Launch Monitor
- The Different Types of Golf Launch Monitors
Best Golf Launch Monitors: Our Top Picks
Consumer-Grade (Under $1,000)
High-end, Professional-grade ($1,000-$20,000)
SALE: SAVE $50, $549 (usually $599)
This ultra-portable and lightweight launch monitor gives you key metrics to improve your game. You can display data and record your swing on the Garmin Golf App. This launch monitor is great to use at home or on the range.
- Portable and easy to set up in various environments
- Provides valuable club and ball data for swing analysis
- Compatible with golf simulation software for virtual play
- Record swing and stats on the Garmin Golf App
- Slightly less accurate than more expensive launch monitors
- Requires subscription for premium features and some golf simulation software
- Metrics: Ball speed, Club head speed, Smash factor, Launch angle, Launch direction, Spin rate, Spin axis, Carry distance, Total distance, Club path angle, Club face angle, Angle of attack, Apex height, Shot dispersion and deviation.
- Battery Life: 10 hours (rechargeable)
- Compatible Golf Simulators: Yes, Garmin Golf App, E6 Connect, Awesome Golf, The Golf Club 2019, Home Tee Hero
- Companion App: Yes
- Price: $599
The Garmin Approach R10 Launch Monitor is the most versatile, affordable golf launch monitor. It’s my top choice for most affordable launch monitors. Ultra-portable and lightweight, you can easily take it wherever you want to practice. This launch monitor is excellent for improving your consistency. It gives you 20 key metrics such as ball speed, distance, spin, launch angle, and, most importantly – lateral data.
What sets the R10 apart from the competition is that it’s the only launch monitor under $600 that can work as a complete golf simulator. So if you’re looking for a cheaper launch monitor that does it all, look no further.
My testing proved that the metrics are on par with multi-thousand-dollar launch monitors for a fraction of the price. That’s why it’s our best overall consumer-grade affordable launch monitor.
The Rapsodo Mobile offers a bit of everything you need to analyze your golf game, launch monitor capability as well as analysis, and the accuracy is tough to beat.
- You can use it indoors or outdoors
- Connects right to your iPhone or iPad
- Quick feedback helps golfers make swing changes
- Data overlay feature
- Will set up and start recording within seconds
- Portable and easy to manage
- Apple devices only, no Android
- Alignment can be finicky
- Does not work in dark settings
- Uses your phone, drains battery
- Shot tracer only works outdoors
- Metrics: Ball speed, Launch angle, Launch direction, Club head speed, Carry distance, Total distance, Smash factor, Apex height
- Battery Life: 8 hours (rechargeable)
- Compatible Golf Simulators: No
- Companion App: Yes
- Price: $299
The Rapsodo MLM is portable, affordable, and offers many features to help golfers track their swing metrics and analyze their form.
One of the standout features of the Rapsodo MLM is the shot tracer functionality, which allows golfers to see a shot’s trajectory in real-time, just like watching the pros on TV. Additionally, the app is intuitive and easy to use, allowing golfers to access all their stats from various practice sessions in one place.
While the Rapsodo MLM may not be as accurate as some of the more expensive launch monitors, it’s still an excellent value for the price, and the portability makes it easy to take to the driving range or use at home. Overall, if you’re looking for a portable launch monitor that offers valuable data to help improve your golf game, the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is worth considering.
Simple and easy-to-use launch monitor. If all you want is carry distance, swing speed, and ball speed at an affordable price, this is a great unit.
- Affordable pricing compared to other launch monitors
- Portable and lightweight design for easy transport
- Voice output for hands-free practice sessions
- Three versatile modes for different practice goals
- Decent accuracy for the average golfer
- Not as accurate as some high-end launch monitors
- AAA batteries not included
- May not be suitable for highly advanced golfers seeking professional-level data
- Metrics: Carry distance, Swing speed, Ball speed, Smash factor
- Battery Life: 15-20 hours. Takes four AAA batteries (non-rechargeable)
- Compatible Golf Simulators: No
- Companion App: No
- Price: $349
The Swing Caddie SC200 PLUS is a portable, affordable launch monitor that provides accurate ball speed, carry distance, and smash factor data. It has a user-friendly interface and is easy to set up, requiring no calibration.
The SC200 PLUS also has a voice function that announces your shot data after each shot, allowing you to stay focused on your swing. However, it has limitations in measuring data for longer shots and may struggle to measure data in windy conditions accurately.
It also does not provide data on spin rate or lateral movement. But for its price point, it’s an excellent option for golfers who want a reliable and portable launch monitor.
One of the best sub $400 golf launch monitors with a built-in screen.
- Compact, lightweight, and portable
- Great price
- Accurate, especially outdoors
- Connects to free app
- Voice output option for distance
- Video playback
- 20-hour battery life
- Indoor accuracy could be better
- Metrics: Carry & total distance, Swing speed, Ball speed, Smash factor, Launch Angle, Apex (Height), Spin (available via App)
- Battery Life: 20 hours
- Compatible Golf Simulators: No
- Companion App: Yes
- Price: $399
The Swing Caddie SC300i golf launch monitor is a top-notch device that impressed me with its build quality, performance, and accuracy. The device is portable and easy to carry, with a sleek, modern design that makes it stand out. One of the most significant improvements over the SC200 Plus is that the SC300i provides spin data, launch angle, and apex.
The device is packed with features, including voice output and remote control, which is incredibly helpful when you’re absorbed in your swing. The MySwingCaddie app is slick, intuitive, and easy to use, and it tracks and saves all of your data.
The SC300i delivers impressive results at its price point. While it may not offer the same level of precision as more expensive launch monitors, it is significantly more affordable and provides valuable data on your swing. In addition, the device is easy to set up and navigate, and the user interface is intuitive and user-friendly.
Overall, the Swing Caddie SC300i offers superb value for money, making it an excellent option for golfers of all levels who want a high-quality product without breaking the bank. I highly recommend trying it if you’re looking for a reliable and portable launch monitor to help you improve your golf game.
Combines GPS and launch monitor tech into one single unit. Take this on the course with you as a GPS handheld, or bring it to the range to use as a launch monitor.
- GPS & Launch Monitor in one unit
- Easy to read
- Lightweight and compact
- Hole mapping
- Practice and games modes
- Swing tempo and smash factor
- No spin or launch angle metrics
- No club suggestion like other Garmin devices
- Metrics: Carry distance, Club/ball speed, smash, tempo, and estimated carry distance
- Battery Life: 15 hours
- Compatible Golf Simulators: No
- Companion App: No
- Price: $499
The Garmin Approach G80 is a great product that doubles as a GPS handheld and a personal launch monitor. Great to keep in your golf bag to use on the range and the course.
The launch monitor gives you basic metrics, including distance, club and ball speed, swing tempo, and smash factor. It does not consider spin, launch angle, or lateral data.
I love this product for its simplicity. You turn it on, set it next to the ball, and start hitting shots. It’s very accurate, and if you only want to measure speed and distance without needing an app, consider this launch monitor.
This is one of the most trusted launch monitors on the market. It is used by pros like Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson to track their data. You can capture videos of yourself and send all the data straight to your smartphone or tablet for further review. It’s easy to use this indoors or outdoors.
- Fantastic price
- Accurate data indoors and outdoors
- Automatically video clips your swing
- Eight metrics
- Real-time data straight to your phone
- Compact and portable
- Must apply stickers to balls for accurate data indoors
- Temperature can affect the accuracy
- Metrics: Carry distance, Club head speed, Ball speed, Smash factor, Vertical launch angle, Spin rate, Apex height, Flight time.
- Battery Life: 4 hours (rechargeable)
- Compatible Golf Simulators: No
- Companion App: Yes
- Price: $425
The FlightScope Mevo is a portable launch monitor that provides real-time data feedback on distance, ball speed, spin rate, launch angle, and other metrics for golf and other sports. It’s affordable and accurate, making it an excellent option for golfers who want to improve their game without spending thousands of dollars on a high-end launch monitor.
The device is highly portable and easy to set up, with app integration allowing users to view and analyze their data on their smartphone or tablet. It captures videos of swings and offers video analysis tools to help golfers make specific improvements to their swing mechanics.
While it may not provide the same level of accuracy as higher-end devices like the Trackman or SkyTrak, the FlightScope Mevo offers accurate and reliable data feedback on key metrics like ball speed, spin rate, and launch angle. It’s a valuable tool for golfers looking to improve their performance and track their progress over time.
A great personal launch monitor for $500. Accurate, easy to use and gets the job done.
- Portable, solid data points, app, and device screen display
- Easy to set up and get practing right away.
- Data points are displayed directly on the screen.
- You don’t need the app to use it (however, I recommend it)
- App is not the best design and could use improvement
- Bigger than other launch monitors in its price range
- Does not measure lateral data.
- Priced a bit higher than other comparable launch monitors
- Metrics: Ball Speed, Club Speed, Distance (Total/Carry), Smash Factor, Spin Rate, Launch Angle.
- Battery Life: 20 hours
- Compatible Golf Simulators: No
- Companion App: Yes
- Price: $499
The Ernest Sports ESB1 golf launch monitor is a device that measures ball speed, club speed, distance, smash factor, spin rate, and launch angle, which can help golfers identify areas where they can improve their swing and make better equipment choices.
The device connects to an app on your phone via Bluetooth and has a decent battery life that lasts for 20 hours of usage. The device is compatible with iOS and Android and has a protective bag and a one-year warranty.
It is a bit larger and bulkier than other launch monitors in the $300-600 space, measuring 5 x 8 inches, but it is lightweight. Setting up the device is straightforward and works well indoors and outdoors.
The app needs improvement in design and UX, but it is functional, with a standard practice mode, capture the flag, five-shot, and skills challenges. Overall, the ESB1 holds its own in terms of features, accuracy, and overall performance compared to other launch monitors in the $300-600 price range.
SkyTrak is an affordable high-end golf launch monitor with accurate measurements and a software package suitable for recreational golfers. At $2,000, it’s a cheaper alternative to commercial launch monitors like Foresight and Trackman.
While it only provides ball-flight data, other systems like Foresight offer more detailed measurements on the swing, making it more suited for teaching professionals and club fitters. However, for recreational golfers looking to practice and play simulated golf courses, SkyTrak’s measurements of ball flight, carry distances, and spin rates are adequate feedback.
SkyTrak’s photometric technology is also ideal for indoor use, where radar-based systems like Flightscope struggle. It has been tested against Foresight, Trackman, and Flightscope, and the results have been close in the proper settings. The SkyTrak is an excellent value for what you get, providing accurate ball data at an affordable price.
The Bushnell Launch Pro offers Tour-level data accuracy at an affordable price, with customizable target lines and golf simulation compatibility.
- Offers Tour-level accuracy at a much lower price point than competitors.
- User-friendly design, with simple power button and touchscreen for easy options management.
- Provides accurate data on ball speed, carry distance, launch angles, and spin rates.
- Customizable target lines for optimal alignment.
- Compatible with golf simulation through FSX Play software.
- Smaller hitting zone than competitors.
- Lacks some club metrics, including closure rate, loft/lie, impact location, and face angle.
- Additional packages required for full data access and simulation options.
The Bushnell Launch Pro is a high-quality launch monitor that provides Tour-level data at an affordable price. This launch monitor has the same accuracy as the Foresight GCQuad but costs less than half the price. The device is straightforward to use, with a blue power button that allows you to start hitting shots without specifying the club you’re using.
The Launch Pro also features a touchscreen that lets you manage options such as club tracking and backlighting. The software is excellent, allowing you to connect the device to a tablet or computer via a USB cable or Wi-Fi connection.
During testing, the Launch Pro provided consistently accurate data, reporting ball speed, carry distance, vertical and horizontal launch angles, total spin, spin axis, backspin, and side spin. The Bushnell Launch Pro also borrows a brilliant feature from the GCQuad: the ability to customize the target line. The Bushnell Launch Pro launch monitor also powers golf simulation with the FSX Play software.
This premium launch monitor is the newest addition to the incredible line of GC launch monitors. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, it has everything you need to take your game to the next level. This launch monitor comes with the new FSX Play Software.
- Professional and premium experience
- Amazing accuracy
- Ball and club data
- New FSX Play Software is included
- Equally effective both indoors and outdoors
- 11 course, skills training, and worldwide competitions included
- Premium price tag
The Foresight Sports GC3 Launch Monitor is an excellent premium option. Whether you’re using it indoors or outdoors, you’ll get accurate data with this launch monitor.
The three precision cameras give you club and ball data with photometric technology. You get six data points for the ball, including ball speed, total spin, and distance. And you get four club data points, including clubhead speed and attack angle.
The new FSX Play Software is included with this launch monitor. So, you can combine it with the Best Golf Simulators and play 11 hyper-realistic golf courses in the comfort of your home.
Easily portable, you can move this launch monitor from your home to the range without hassle. And it gives you equally accurate data outdoors.
This golf simulator gives you a full simulation experience at a fantastic value. The Mevo+ Launch Monitor is compact, lightweight, and portable. It uses Doppler Radar tracking to provide you with accurate data.
- Quick and easy setup
- Provides vast array of performance data
- Integrated simulation
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors
- Durable and portable
- Comparatively expensive
- Battery only lasts about 2 hours
The FlightScope Mevo Plus is a game-changer for those seeking a professional launch monitor experience at a more modest price point. The Mevo Plus outperforms less expensive devices in nearly every way while still costing a fraction of a new Trackman or Flightscope X3.
The Mevo Plus is about 2.5 times the size of the original Mevo, but it still feels portable and well-built. Setup is fast and easy, with the ability to properly align the Mevo Plus to the environment using the Target Align mode. Indoors, the Mevo Plus accurately provides 16 data points, including lateral data. Outdoor use requires proper setup to ensure accurate results.
The Mevo Plus also includes a subscription to the e6 simulator, but the initial setup can be cumbersome. The FS Golf App is easy to use and provides a welcome upgrade from the Mevo app, including 3D visualization and video recording functionality.
Overall, the FlightScope Mevo Plus is a pro-level launch monitor that provides all the data needed for progress tracking at a reasonable price.
A great overhead golf launch monitor for a home golf simulator.
- Detailed ball and club data analysis with enhanced video recordings of impact moment
- Measures five additional club parameters compared to QED launch monitor
- Optix technology for slow-motion recordings of club impact
- Compatible with top simulation software including E6 CONNECT and TGC 2019
- Outstanding accuracy comparable to top-of-the-line launch monitors like GCHawk and X3
- Generally an indoor launch monitor that needs to be mounted overhead in a fixed position
- Requires software to view measured data, essentially a golf simulator.
The Uneekor EYE XO launch monitor is the company’s latest product, released in 2020. It is a high-speed camera and infrared sensor overhead-mounted launch monitor that tracks ball and club data parameters.
The EYE XO offers an uninterrupted, hands-free experience with left and right-handed play. It is a golf simulator that requires software to view the measured data. The View software provided with the EYE XO has features such as Optix technology that shows close-up images of the ball’s position and spin, slow-motion video of the club hitting the ball in real-time, and multi-angle video capture with slow-motion playback and drawing tools.
The EYE XO is compatible with other simulation software like E6 CONNECT, The Golf Club 2019, Creative Golf 3D, and GSPro. The EYE XO’s accuracy is outstanding and can measure up to 20 data parameters. The EYE XO has an excellent simulation experience, and its value for money is great.
The Foresight GCQuad launch monitor is the go-to choice for professionals due to its unparalleled accuracy, ease of use, and excellent software. Setup is quick and straightforward, with an onboard display that provides all ball and club data.
The GCQuad measures everything from ball speed to impact location, and the accuracy is unmatched in the industry. Additionally, the GCQuad offers the ability to customize the target line and capture putting data.
The FSX Pro app is a highlight of the experience, allowing customization of the driving range view, flight, club, and table displays. Club fitters and tinkerers can add tags to each shot and edit them afterward.
However, the GCQuad is a significant investment, with the full-featured version coming in at $20,500. Nevertheless, despite the high cost, the GCQuad is a must-have for professionals who require the highest level of accuracy and those who can afford the best equipment.
Get Tour-level accuracy without breaking the bank with the Full Swing KIT launch monitor, endorsed by Tiger Woods.
- Full Swing KIT is an amazing value with strong accuracy.
- Standalone ability with an excellent onboard display.
- Measures sixteen data points and delivers club data reliably.
- Intuitive, responsive and feature-packed Full Swing KIT app.
- Supports golf simulation through the e6 software platform.
- Spin numbers can be less consistent compared to higher-end launch monitors.
- The display may be harder to read in bright sunlight.
The Full Swing KIT launch monitor offers excellent value and impressive accuracy, measuring sixteen data points, including carry distance, spin rate, and club speed. It can be used indoors and outdoors and has an onboard display for standalone use or can be paired with a phone or tablet for greater customization.
Its app is intuitive and responsive, allowing users to align the unit, change clubs, modify onboard data display, store swing videos, and analyze historical data. The Full Swing KIT also supports golf simulation through the e6 software platform.
Retailing at $4,000, it offers an incredible array of measurements at a fraction of the cost of professional-grade competitors and comes with a protective carrying case. The Full Swing KIT launch monitor is an excellent option for those seeking a reliable and affordable one.
Ultimate accuracy with dual radar technology, delivering in-depth data for every shot, but comes at a premium.
- The best of the best
- Offers millimetric accuracy for precise shot measurements
- Results displayed conveniently on smartphone via dual radar system
- Measures exact point of impact between clubhead and ball for higher accuracy
- One of the priciest launch monitors available
- Calibration needed for outdoor target detection
- Requires ample space between hitting mat and impact screen for accurate ball flight detection, especially when used indoors.
The Trackman 4 is the gold standard for professional-grade launch monitors and has gained popularity among some of the best players in the world. It retails for $20,000. First launched in 2016, it has evolved into a cutting-edge camera/radar hybrid solution that includes Artificial Intelligence (AI), a completely overhauled user interface, and Virtual Golf 2 simulator for challenges and games.
The patented OERT system uses multi-sensor technology, comprising Dual-radar and HD camera, measuring time-synchronized data to deliver true 4D silhouette clubhead tracking. It tracks the ball from impact to landing, as well as the club face impact location, and can be used indoors and outdoors. It also offers over 100 simulator courses, full putting analysis, club fitting software, swing video software, online tournaments, skills testing, and more.
With Tracy, the Trackman’s AI assistant, it carries out advanced analysis and makes personalized recommendations for critical areas of improvement. The Trackman 4 is an excellent device to learn about your game quickly and have fun in the process.
There are some essential factors to consider before making a decision. As someone who’s used different types of launch monitors, I can share my perspective on what to look for.
Accuracy is the most critical factor when choosing a golf launch monitor. If you’re investing in one to improve your game, you want to make sure you’re getting accurate data.
It’s not just about the device itself, though. You also need to set it up correctly and have enough space around you when using it indoors. Keep in mind that some launch monitors need more room than others, so make sure to check the requirements before buying one.
Every launch monitor will track basic metrics like swing speed and carry distance, but some offer specific metrics to help you work on your weaknesses.
For example, a launch monitor that records attack angle would be ideal if you want to improve your driving distance. If you’re working to fix a slice, get a launch monitor that tracks lateral dispersion, like the Rapsodo MLM or Garmin R10.
Consider what specific data points you want to track before deciding.
You want to take a golf launch monitor with you wherever you want to use it. Therefore, portability is something you’ll want to consider.
Every launch monitor on our list is portable, so you’ll have no problem taking any of them to the range. With some, you can even slip them into a pocket of your golf bag, and away you go.
A highly portable launch monitor is the best option if you like to do a lot of range work. But it’s always good to have some portability in a launch monitor.
Visual feedback is also something to consider when choosing a golf launch monitor. Some of the choices on our list connect to your device or an app, allowing you to track your shots.
Also, some launch monitors on our list offer video playback features for your swing. Recording and viewing your swing can be very beneficial to see any flaws you could work on.
Visual feedback is necessary if you’re serious about improving your golf game.
Golf launch monitors vary greatly in price, so it’s something to consider when choosing one. But, of course, you’ll get much more from a premium launch monitor than a budget one.
Therefore, it’s essential to identify what you need from a launch monitor. If a cheaper model has everything you need, you don’t have to spend big to get the benefits.
However, serious golfers usually benefit more from launch models in the high-end price range.
Generally, there are two types of golf launch monitors: photometric and radar.
These launch monitors use photometric technology. This technology consists of a high-speed camera or a series of high-speed cameras that take pictures while you swing.
The cameras capture images of the club before and after it strikes the ball. Then, algorithms in the software compare the images and use this comparison to calculate metrics like launch angle and carry distance.
These launch monitors use Doppler radar technology. This technology uses a transmitter to send out fixed-frequency radio waves.
Radar sensors pick up a different frequency when the waves hit a moving object. A radar launch monitor uses the difference in frequency to calculate the position and speed of the moving object. With this information, the radar launch monitor can calculate various metrics.
FAQs on Golf Launch Monitors
What is a launch monitor, and how does it work?
A launch monitor is a device that uses sensors to collect data about the golf ball and club during a swing. It measures ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, and more to provide insights into a player’s swing and ball flight. The device uses radar, camera, or a combination of both to collect data.
What metrics does a launch monitor measure?
Launch monitors measure metrics like ball speed, spin rate, launch angle, smash factor, clubhead speed, and more. The exact metrics measured will depend on the specific launch monitor.
What’s the best golf launch monitor?
There is no definitive answer to the question “What’s the best launch monitor in golf?” as it ultimately depends on the user’s needs, budget, and preferences. However, some of the market’s most popular and highly regarded launch monitors include the Trackman 4, Flightscope Mevo+, SkyTrak, Garmin Approach R10, and the Rapsodo MLM.
These devices offer a wide range of features, accuracy, and prices. Some are more suitable for indoor or outdoor use, while others are designed for professional use or personal training and entertainment. To determine the best launch monitor for your needs, it’s important to consider what you want to use it for, how much you’re willing to spend, and the features that are most important to you.
Are launch monitors accurate?
Yes, most modern launch monitors are highly accurate and provide precise measurements of the ball and club data. However, accuracy can vary depending on the specific model and how it’s used.
Can launch monitors be used indoors and outdoors?
Yes, most modern launch monitors can be used both indoors and outdoors, but they may require different setups or adjustments depending on the environment. Radar-based launch monitors will often work better outdoors because they need more space to see the ball’s flight versus hitting a net or screen.
Can launch monitors help improve my game?
Yes, launch monitors can provide valuable insights into your swing and ball flight, helping you identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to your technique. They can also be used for club fitting and selecting the right equipment.
How much do launch monitors cost?
Launch monitors can range in price from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the model and features. More expensive models usually offer more advanced features and higher accuracy.
Can launch monitors be used for golf simulation?
Yes, some launch monitors can be used for golf simulation, allowing you to play virtual rounds of golf on a computer or TV screen.
What’s the difference between a cheap and an expensive launch monitor?
The main differences between cheap and expensive launch monitors are the accuracy level, range of metrics tracked, and additional features like video analysis and simulation. Expensive models offer more advanced features and higher accuracy, while cheaper models may only provide basic data.
Are launch monitors worth it?
Launch monitors can be worth it for serious golfers who want to improve their game and track their progress over time. They can provide valuable data on swing mechanics, ball flight, and club performance, which can help golfers make more informed decisions about equipment and training. However, a launch monitor may not be necessary or worth the investment for casual or occasional golfers.
What launch monitor do PGA players use?
Many PGA players use Trackman, Foresight GCQuad, Full Swing KIT, and Mevo Plus.
If you’re a casual golfer who wants to track your numbers but not break the bank, I recommend the Garmin Approach R10. It tracks all the data points you need and can even be used as a golf simulator to project on a screen and even play full rounds of golf.
If you’re in the market for a high-end, professional-grade launch monitor, any of the above choices are worth considering depending on your needs.