Simulators, digital golf ball tracking systems and personal launch monitors continue to grow in the golf accessories market. The largest questions facing any kind of golf related tech is how much does it cost, and will it really help MY game? In this buyer’s guide, we break down the different offerings in this growing space and provide some details about the most important considerations when buying each one. The large range in prices and functionality can help steer many in the correct direction. While it is rare to see players without their Trackman or GCQuad on PGA Tour ranges, the cost of these items makes them difficult for even avid golfers. Less expensive options are available however that can help you get useful information about your swing and golf ball’s flight that can help you play better golf.
Top 6 Best Golf Launch Monitors and Swing Analyzers
Features to Look for When Selecting Your Launch Monitor
Above all, the price of these monitors will dictate which models may be best for your situation. The least expensive model tested for this guide costs less than $200.
The most expensive total packages will cost players well above $20,000.
The most important golf ball data points that should be considered are ball speed, carry distance, total distance, backspin, sidespin, height or apex, and decent angle.
Club data should include, at the very least swing speed, with complete monitors offerings data such as club path, angle of attack, and even impact location on the clubface.
Ultimately, players should look for a launch monitor that will help them meet their specific goals. Do you want to know exactly how far each of your clubs go? Are you interested in building your golf clubs to maximize your swing conditions, or do you need an all-in-one device that can help you build a complete golf swing from the ground up?
Comparing the Hardware of Different Monitors
Launch monitors can also differ in additional important features such as accuracy, consistency between shots, indoor and/or outdoor performance, and battery life. Data tracking can also differ. Many devices use cameras and radar systems that track the golf ball and calculate each metric using advanced mathematics. Typically, more functionality and higher levels of accuracy comes with higher costs.
What We Looked For
For our guide, the things we considered most important were accuracy, what each launch monitor was able to provide, and how much the cost of each monitor increased or decreased its accessibility to amateur golfers. With each model there are positives and negatives that need to be considered and applying each set of product advantages to your own game may be the best approach when reviewing our Top 10 List.
Who Should Buy a Personal Launch Monitor?
Avid golfers, players that want to sacrifice nothing regardless of cost, and industry professionals such as coaches and club fitters should be using some sort of technology to help them collect data about their swing or their clients. Industry class launch monitors may be too pricy for many of us, but options exist that fit almost any budget.
The first consideration must be price as $20,000 is obviously huge for most golfers. Players choosing options in the $500 to $2000 range however can grab something that can help them build a more solid golf game and gain more understanding about how to truly improve quickly.
At Golfers Authority we are excited to see where this space continues to grow as golf is becoming more accessible and launch monitors can allow players to golf in any weather type and at their dream course all with more information and more convenience than ever.
Review of the Best Launch Monitors and Swing Analyzers
Below we have described and reviewed 10 of the best launch monitors and swing analyzers on the market today.
Skytrak Launch Monitor
The SkyTrak is a more affordable indoor simulator option for golfers looking to practice and play year-round while gaining useful data about their ball flight and swing. SkyTrak comes standard with simulation courses that allow you to play anywhere you can swing a club and set up the monitor. Photometric technology gives data points like distance, spin, and speed in a variety of context for each club in your bag. Serious golfers may consider the SkyTrak when they want to practice often at home or when multitasking other activities.
The MEVO is a truly “personal” launch monitor that allows players to analyze their golf ball’s flight indoors and outside. This convenient launch monitors tucks easily into a golf bag or carry case and is easy to use during practice sessions or warmups. Importantly, the MEVO comes in beneath $1000 and makes using radar technology to track golf shots more accessible to a variety of players and coaches.
Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
The Rapsodo MLM or Mobile Launch Monitor is an extremely versatile and portable launch monitor that allows golfers to understand and visualize their golf shots in real time. Integrated with a shot tracking feature, the MLM pairs perfectly with your iOS devices to give you detailed swing, golf ball, and ball flight parameters at the range or on the course. Additionally, because the MLM leverages the operating system of your cell phone or tablet, the MLM will get better each time you upgrade your device making this launch monitors one of the best bets for amateur players.
Shot Scope V2 Smart GPS Golf Watch
The ShotScope is a different kind of golf ball tracking system that helps players understand their game better during and after each round of golf. The ShotScope system is seamless in that it provides data of each shot hit as a player plays. The GPS watch is coupled with grip attachments so that all the player has to do is play. After their round, they can open the app and review every shot taken to clearly identify holes in their performance or equipment.
Arccos Golf 360 Golf Performance Tracking System
The Arccos is similar to ShotScope in that it provides instant and retroactive feedback for your golf ball’s flight and rounds. Arccos is conveniently attached to a growing line of grip offerings and comes included free in many of the newest Cobra Golf clubs. Players can upgrade both their golf tech and their clubs with Cobra and Arccos Golf.
Swing Caddie SC300
The SC300 is the most complete launch monitor offered by Swing Caddie. The SC300 gives players club and ball data points to help them setup their entire golf bag. The SC300 is light and easy to carry. It can also be used indoors and outside. The SC300 price point is also attractive for anyone looking to know more about their game without spending over $500.
Foresight Sports GCQuad
The GCQuadis an industry class all-in-one golf launch monitor that can be equipped with club and even putter measuring software packages. Although one of the most expensive monitors available, the GCQuad is quickly becoming the leader for indoor golf club fitting and performance analysis. Due to the GCQuad’s camera based system, the monitor can pinpoint the exact strike location of each shot and give players and professionals even more options to dial in their perfect specs or improve the swing in many different ways. Also available in a complete simulator pack, buyers that wish to spare no expense can have an indoor golf setup that allows them to practice, dial in every club in their bag, and even play the most famous courses around the globe without ever leaving their home or office.
Garmin Approach G80
The Approach G80 is a handheld GPS and launch monitor combined into one unit. Players can use the G80 to get their numbers on the range or on the course. Next, they can use the G80 out during play to know exactly how far to hit each golf shot to various hazards and green locations.
The Trackman is the most common launch monitor seen on PGA Tour ranges and practice facilities. To many, the Trackman is still unrivaled in its ability to track the golf ball outdoors as it can visualize the entirety of each golf shot and tell players exactly how far it has flown, what shape their swing created, and how the wind and altitude is affecting their shots at every minute. Trackman is another launch monitor that can be used indoors or out and remains a perfect option for players or coaches looking to gain as much info as possible.
Swing Caddie SC200
Good design never goes out of style, and since its release in 2015, the SC200 is an affordable option for players looking to track their performance day to day or to compare club directly. The SC200 is the lowest priced unit in our list and does offer a limited number of features but is without a doubt better than nothing for players that want more than just visual confirmation of their golf shots.
Many golfers will have experience with golf technology and launch monitors either in retail locations, lessons and club fitting, or at golf facilitates such as Drive Shack or Top Golf. Owning a personal launch monitor of any kind can help you learn more about your game quickly and give you more opportunities to shoot better scores. Budget must be considered but each offering in this list provides advantages that players can use to improve their swings and performance from all over the golf course. Indoor practice can be the path to better golf year-round and launch monitor technology continues to give golfers more and more in home and office settings.