These days, you don’t need to have a team of PGA teaching professionals to improve your golf game. While some of the biggest names in the golf world have access to top-notch trainers, it’s not uncommon to see them walking around with a handheld golf launch monitor. The best golf launch monitor can give you a ton of in-depth information about your swing.
Imagine being able to pinpoint the exact reason why you repeatedly make fat shots or why your drives always end up pulling to one direction. Think about the difference having that information would make to your endgame. Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not.
Launch monitors can analyze everything from spin to carry distance, giving you the knowledge you need to improve on your own time. We’ll get into what these high-tech devices can do a bit later. First, here’s a collection of some of the best launch monitors that money can buy. Check out our buying guide below for some important information that you can use to find a device that’s right for you.
Comparing the 6 Best Golf Launch Monitors
Let’s have a brief look at some of the very best golf launch monitors in 2020.
|Ranking||Product Name||Type of Monitor||Price|
|1||Skytrak Launch Monitor||Photography-based|
|2||Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor||Camera-based|
|4||Voice Caddie SC300||Radar-based|
|5||Garmin Approach G80||Radar-based|
|6||Ernest Sports ES12||Radar-based|
1. Skytrak: Best Personal Home Golf Launch Monitor
- Launch monitor and golf simulator combination designed to act as a game improvement tool
The SkyTrak launch monitor is great for beginners and seasoned players alike. It’s simple to set up and pairs with your mobile device for easy data interpretation.
A high-speed camera built into the body of the camera is what picks up data. Simply position the unit so that it’s pointed directly at you. After the ball is launched, the monitor will push the data to your mobile device.
The thing that stands out the most about this monitor is the app. The SkyTrak app is very well-designed. All the information is displayed in a way that’s easy to understand, making it accessible to anyone. There are even some great course graphics with shot overlays and graphs.
- Photography-based monitor
- Measures ball speed, distance, launch angle, club speed, and spin rates
- Works indoors and on the course
2. Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor: Best Option for iOS Only
- NOW AVAILABLE!! - Can now be used hitting indoors or into a net on select Apple devices. See below for compatible iPhone and iPad models.
Is portability a top priority for you? Check out this smartphone-enabled monitor from Rapsodo. Instead of using a bulky data collection unit, it uses the technology you already have in your pocket!
Don’t let the simple design of this monitor fool you. It has a lot to offer in terms of technology. The available smartphone app is the brains of the operation. It’s a feature-rich piece of software that provides a lot of in-depth information. You don’t even have to pick up your smartphone to view it all. The app will display key metrics in large type so that you can take a quick peek at your performance from the tee box.
From a performance standpoint, this model goes above and beyond. Modern smartphones are already equipped with high-end cameras, so why not take advantage of it? It’s relatively accurate and automatically calibrates every time you use it, saving you tons of time.
- Camera-based monitor
- Uses smartphone camera
- GPS course features
- Measures distance, ball speed, club speed, smash factor, angle, and direction
3. FlightScope Mevo: Best Portable Personal Launch Monitor
- MEASURE: Mevo provides ACCURATE real-time performance data to help you train and improve with every club in the bag, whether on the range, on the course, or in your home.
Here’s another great portable option. This one is from Flightscope. Like the previous monitors, it works alongside an intuitive smartphone app. However, the main difference is the technology it uses.
This particular monitor uses Doppler radar. While it is small enough to fit into your pocket, the radar system does a pretty decent job of collecting data. Best of all, it can be used indoors.
The monitor analyzes many different aspects of the launch, which is good for improving your game. The downside is that you must use metallic stickers on the ball if you want to measure spin. Aside from that, the device offers decent accuracy for the price point.
- Radar-based monitor
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Works alongside smartphone app
- Measures distance, ball speed, club speed, spin rate, launch angle, smash factor, apex height, and flight time
4. Voice Caddie SC300: Best Professional Golf Launch Monitor
- Measures » Carry/Total Distance » Smash Factor » Launch Angle » Swing Speed » Apex (Max Height) » Ball Speed
The launch monitor from Voice Caddie is a unique option that’s great for golfers looking for something on the simpler side of things. While it does provide more detailed information through an app, this unit is designed for instant feedback.
Like the previous monitor, this one uses Doppler radar. The radar emitter and sensors are on the back. All you need to do to start collecting data is prop the unit up and point it in your direction.
With every swing, the monitor collects a variety of information. The coolest thing about it is that audible feedback is provided. It will tell you the distance of your shot instantly so that you don’t have to dig into the data yourself.
- Radar-based monitor
- Provides instant audible feedback
- Measures total carry distance, smash factor, launch angle, club speed, maximum height, and ball speed
- 3 percent margin of error for ball speed
5. Garmin Approach G80: The Sleekest Golf Launch Monitor for Money
- Features 3. 5” sunlight-readable touchscreen display and slim design with quick button access to radar
Garmin is one of the most popular golf GPS brands in the world. It’s no surprise that the company decided to release a golf monitor. This model manages to serve several functions while staying small and compact.
This is one of the sleekest launch monitors you can get. It looks like a smartphone. There’s even a touch screen color display. Hidden within the minimalist body is a Doppler radar system, which collects various data points about your drive.
When you are monitoring your shot, the device displays key metrics in large font for easy viewing. It’s a bit limited in terms of what it can measure. However, those limitations are made up for in the GPS feature. You can gain access to over 41,000 maps of courses all over the world and track your score as you play.
- Radar-based monitor
- 3.5-inch touch screen display
- Integrated GPS functionality
- Monitors club speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo, and estimated distance
Read more: What are the 5 Best Golf GPS Watches
6. Ernest Sports ES12: Most Affordable Golf Launch Monitor
- The ES12 by Ernest Sports gives ball speed and distance data instantly
Don’t expect to get professional-quality results with this launch monitor from Earnest Sports. The simple device provides basic information at an affordable price point.
This is a radar-based monitor. The Doppler radar system is located on the back. Earnest Sports has made setup relatively simple thanks to the pop-out kickstand. Once you have it propped up and in position, the monitor will analyze the ball’s speed and distance.
The accuracy of the radar monitor is decent. What we like most is how the data is presented. There’s a built-in touch screen display to check out your performance in seconds. If you need more in-depth information, look at the smartphone app. There, you can see simulations and compare it to live video of your swing.
- Radar-based monitor
- Color touch screen
- Compatible with smartphone app
- Monitors ball speed and distance
A Complete Buying Guide for Golf Launch Monitors
Golf is a highly technical game, so it’s not uncommon to see seasoned players spending thousands of dollars on high-quality training gear. Launch monitors are no different. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand. Needless to say, it’s a big investment.
With that said, you can get a solid monitor without hurting your wallet. A higher price tag doesn’t always equate to good performance. The most important thing is to choose a model that has all the bells and whistles that you need.
Forget paying thousands of dollars to a coach. The best golf launch monitor will act like your personal digital trainer. The detailed information it can provide can drastically improve your technique. Many models will even let you track your progress and show you measurable results. So what are you waiting for? Get your launch monitor and hit the driving range!
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