Golf launch monitors continue to rise in popularity. In the 2000s launch monitors were reserved for a select few professionals that could afford one. In recent times almost every professional golfer has one and there are a variety of options available to fit the different budgets of amateur golfers.
If you are looking to merge the wonders of modern technology with your golf game then you’ve come to the right place. Below we are going to take a closer look at 5 of the best golf launch monitors currently available on the market. In addition to reviewing the 5 best golf launch monitors of 2021, I will also look at factors to consider when buying a new launch monitor.
The 5 Best Golf Launch Monitors:
1. Trackman 4
|2nd Device||Yes(Mobile app)|
|Battery Life||4 Hours|
|Simulator Capabilities||Yes (Additional cost)|
Trackman is the gold standard when it comes to launch monitor designs. Their latest release, the Trackman 4 continues the brand’s legacy as the number one launch monitor in golf. If you walk on the driving range at a professional golf tournament almost every single player uses a launch monitor and most choose Trackman as their device of choice.
The Trackman 4 captures a whopping 26 impact and ball flight parameters in real-time. The data captured is delivered to you within 1 second on the mobile device connected to the launch monitor. The Trackman is also one of the only launch monitors that can capture putting data. Unfortunately, Trackman is only compatible with IOS-powered mobile devices (iPhone & iPad).
In addition to the data sets captured, the Trackman 4 can be used in a variety of different ways to test your skills via its practice offering called Trackman Combine. The Trackman 4 also includes a first-of-its-kind A.I.-powered coach named Tracy. Tracy gives instant insights and feedback to you when practicing saving you valuable time by processing the data for you.
To learn more about Trackman’s A.I.-powered coach, Tracy click here.
The Trackman 4 is a state-of-the-art device and with that comes a matching price tag. If you are serious about buying a Trackman make sure that you understand how the device works to ensure that you use it to its full potential. If used optimally the Trackman can be a game-changer for your golf game.
|2nd Device||Yes(Mobile app)|
|Battery Life||6 Hours|
|Simulator Capabilities||Yes (5 Golf Courses)|
Behind Trackman FlightScope is one of the most recognizable names in golf when talking about launch monitors. These two competitors continue to impress with each new release and it was no different with the release of the FlightScope X3.
The X3 captures over 50 data points about a player’s full swing, chipping, pitching, and putting. These data points are displayed back to the player via a mobile app on an iOS-powered device (iPhone or iPad). The X3 also features an environmental optimizer. This allows you to input environmental data into the system for it to consider these factors when measuring respective data points. Altitude, wind, humidity, and temperature all have an impact on the flight of your golf ball.
The X3 is trusted by some of the world’s leading players, Bryson Dechambeau and Bubba Watson both use the X3 as part of their daily routines as professional golfers when practicing or warming up. Similar to the Trackman 4 the X3 also carries a hefty price tag. Investing in a launch monitor is a big decision, but if used to its full potential it will be worth every dollar spent.
|2nd Device||Yes(Has it’s own screen)|
|Battery Life||6 Hours|
The GCQuad is a common feature on driving ranges at professional golf tournaments around the world. The GCQuad by Foresight Sports has a unique design that uses quadrascopic high-speed cameras to capture data within seconds. The GCQuad is different from its competitors in a variety of different ways but the main difference is in how it captures data. To learn more about this launch monitor’s unique system click here.
The GCQuad measures over 10 different ball and club data points that are displayed on the device’s screen within seconds after every shot. Golfers can get instant feedback without having to look at a second device. The launch monitor can be linked to a mobile device to access additional information as well as shot averages etc. The GCQuad is one of the only leading launch monitors that are compatible with both Android and iOS powered devices.
This launch monitor can also be converted into an indoor simulator when paired with the correct software from Foresight Sports. The GCQuad is a very impressive device and as far as accuracy goes you won’t get better than this launch monitor.
|2nd Device||Yes(Mobile app)|
|Battery Life||4 Hours|
FlightScope is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to golf launch monitors. With the release of the Mevo in 2018 FlightScope was one of the first brands to release an affordable launch monitor. The Mevo’s retail price is about a 10th cheaper than any other FlightScope launch monitor. This launch monitor is affordable, but it still packs a punch in terms of what it has to offer.
The Mevo measures 8 different data points including carry distance, club head speed, smash factor, spin rate, ball speed, vertical launch angle, and apex height. These parameters are ideal for the everyday golfer that wants to learn more about and improve their golf games.
The Mevo doesn’t have simulator capabilities but it can be used for both indoor and outdoor practice. The Mevo links up with the FlightScope Mevo Golf app to display data, this app is available for download to IOS and Android devices. This lightweight portable device is the ideal first launch monitor for golfers of all skill levels.
|2nd Device||Yes(IOS mobile app)|
|Battery Life||8 Hours|
The Rapsodo mobile golf launch monitor is one of the best value for money launch monitors currently available on the market. This pocket-sized device takes only 30 seconds to set up and it uses your mobile device as its display.
The Rapsodo captures 6 data points including carry distance, ball speed, clubhead speed, smash factor, launch angle, and shot direction. The Rapsodo’s features also include video feedback, shot tracer and GPS shot mapping. These features allow you to track your averages with each club and to analyze each swing in real-time after every single shot.
The Rapsodo offers exceptional value for money and it can be a game-changer for players that are serious about improving their golf games. Unfortunately, this launch monitor is only compatible with Apple devices (iPhone & iPad) but other than that there are only good things to say about the device.
Golf Launch Monitors vs. Simulators
Golf simulators also double up as golf launch monitors but not all golf launch monitors can be used as a golf simulator. Golf launch monitors capture various data sets about your swing and shot.
Golf simulators are also able to capture data, but the key difference is that it projects this information onto a screen to simulate the flight of a golf shot. As a result, players can play a round of golf on a simulated golf course. Most golf simulators feature graphics that allow you to play on some of the world’s leading golf courses.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Golf Launch Monitor
With so many options to choose from and the average price of a launch monitor, finding the perfect one is no easy task. To make the process easier for you we are going to take a closer look at key factors to consider when buying a golf launch monitor. By using the below as a guideline, finding that perfect launch monitor won’t be nearly as intimidating as it was at first.
Golf launch monitors vary greatly in design from one to the other. Top-of-the-range launch monitors from the likes of Trackman, FlightScope, and Foresight Sports feature advanced designs with all of the bells and whistles that any golfer could ever want.
In comparison, entry-level launch monitors don’t have the same features as top-of-the-range launch monitors, but they work just as well depending on your needs. Make sure to pay close attention to design features when shopping for launch monitors.
Your launch monitor of choice needs to provide you with the information that you are after in terms of clubhead speed, spin rates, clubface angles, club path, distance, etc. If you only want basic information an entry launch monitor will do. Furthermore, look at the overall design of the launch monitor to ensure that it features a high-quality design. A high-quality design won’t just be durable, it will also ensure maximum accuracy on the data it captures.
Functionality is another important factor to consider when shopping for a golf launch monitor. Golf launch monitors come in different shapes and sizes, it is vital to buy one that matches your needs in terms of functionality. If you want to use the launch monitor on the driving range, buying one that offers good battery life is a must. If you plan on using it at home with your at-home practice setup battery life won’t be as important. This is assuming that you will have access to a nearby power outlet.
Furthermore, if you plan on traveling with your launch monitor size becomes an important factor to consider. Ideally, when flying you would want your launch monitor to fit into your hand luggage. The last thing you want is for your launch monitor to get damaged by a luggage handler.
Last but not least also keep in mind if you need a secondary device to access the data on the launch monitor. Some launch monitor designs feature a screen that displays your shot data after every shot. With other designs shot data is accessed via a mobile device that connects to the launch monitor.
Top-of-the-range launch monitors carry hefty price tags. Buying a launch monitor can cost you the same as buying a car which is why it is very important to keep the price in mind. When buying a launch monitor it is vital to strike a balance between the functionality that you are after, design features, the overall durability of the launch monitor, and price.
Sometimes it is worth it to spend extra money on buying the product that you want. Also, keep in mind that a high-quality rangefinder will last for many years thus over time it will be worth the investment.
Below I have taken the time to comment on some of the most common questions asked by golfers about launch monitors. If you have any additional questions that you would like answered please feel free to comment in the comments section of this article.
Are golf launch monitors worth the spend?
If you are serious about improving your golf game then yes a launch monitor is worth the spend. If you are a recreational golfer that plays once or twice a month and that doesn’t go to the driving range regularly then it’s a different story.
In addition to time spent working on your golf game, it is also very important to understand the data. The data measured by launch monitors differ but regardless looking at the data that is measured with understanding is a must. If you go for lessons with a coach, discuss this with him/her, they will be able to give you expert advice on what is important to your swing specifically.
How accurate are golf launch monitors?
Top-of-the-range golf launch monitors are very accurate. Trackman, Flightscope, and Foresight Sports launch monitors are close to 100% (within 1 – 2 %) accurate with most other rangefinders offering accuracy of above 90% on the respective data sets measured.
For professional players, 90% accuracy won’t suffice given that these players are aiming for perfection, but for the regular golfer, a launch monitor that is 90% accurate will be more than good enough.
What are the different uses of a golf launch monitor?
Golf launch monitors can be used in a variety of different ways for different purposes. Launch monitors are an integral part of the club fitting process, if you go for a club fitting with a club-fitter or at a big golf retailer a launch monitor will be used in the process.
Launch monitors can also be an integral part of your practice sessions on the driving range or putting green. Depending on the data captured by your launch monitor you will be able to receive instant feedback on how your swing is progressing.
Launch monitors are also a great tool if you are looking to find out how far you hit each club in your bag. With the help of a launch monitor, you can determine the carry distance of each club which in return will make club selection a lot easier out on the golf course.
If you are serious about taking your golf game to the next level buying a golf launch monitor will assist. Launch monitors can be used to work on your swing but it can also help distance control, both of which are important for on-course success.
If you are in the market for a new golf launch monitor make sure to buy one that meets your needs both in terms of functionality and design features. With so many options to choose from and the significant price tags of some of these options, finding the perfect launch monitors is easier said than done. The options we reviewed today are a great starting point, buying any of them will be a sound investment.
This article was last updated on September 6, 2021 .