When people think of Golf Launch Monitors, Rapsodo tends to be on the lips of most. They are widely believed to have produced one of the best Launch Monitors ever made and continue to receive praise for their state-of-the-art-technology.
The “Top Pick” was, therefore, no real contest as the Rapsodo offers pretty much everything you need.
Users can set real-life parameters such as wind and temperature. The software is incredibly-detailed and the output boasts an amazing design and graphics. It looks like you’re playing an EA Sports game! This is arguably the highest-quality Launch Monitor around, so if you’re crazy about golf, then this might be worth it…
Complete Review of The Best Golf Launch Monitors
As advanced technology continues to progress, so do the possibilities in sports. Golf is no exception. Golf Launch Monitors are fantastic, practical and useful devices that measure both ball data and club data, Ball data includes analytical elements such as ball speed, spin rate, spin axis, launch angle and hang time.
Club data is based on, for example, club speed, path, swing pane, spin loft an attack angle. The follow-through after a swing was once solely the act of covering your squinting eyes from the sun in an attempt to track your shot. Now, golfers’ eyes are turned to a nifty little monitor that analyses the performance of your shots in ways that have never been able to be analysed before, especially for the casual golfer! For more information on ball speed, club speed and spin rate, read up with our complete golf ball review.
Launch Monitors, which partially could be a form of Indoor Golf, generally come in two types — Photometric Launch Monitors which are camera-based, and Doppler Radar Launch Monitors, which are radar-based, using the scientific Doppler Effect principle.
Both systems within the two types of Launch Monitor records and translates the data into statistical numbers. Golfers, many professionals included, utilize the data to analyze their shot performance, which often leads to them changing and customizing their balls and particularly clubs to fit exactly to their style, to maximize their optimal performance.
Let’s talk you through the best 5 Golf Launch Monitors available to buy in 2020…
ATTENTION: Because of the current situation we have seen a lot of putting mats go out of stock.
This may cause a few of our recommendations to be unavailable right now. We suggest that if you find the one you like in stock, order it straight away.
Golf Launch Monitors at Home or at the Range
FlightScope is one of the leaders in Launch Monitor technology. The Mevo is a modern-looking and modern-performing Doppler Radar monitor. The device is pocket-sized making it a very convenient one to not only take out to the driving range but also out onto the course. The Mevo is very popular, as it’s uniquely suitable for both outdoor and indoor use.
It covers a lot of analyzable elements of performance for it to translate into performance stats. Data is then nicely readable from software that has easy-to-play-with user interface. Users can save and track their data over long periods and plays. There is also dial-in separation for each club. This is a nifty device that would prove useful and enjoyable for all kinds of golfers, be it a casual-Saturday player or someone turning pro!
• Great both Indoor and Outdoor
• Modern Design
• Nice User Interface
A real unique one from Rapsodo, who proves to be the most innovative Launch Monitor developer. Their Mobile Launch Monitor is the first to use your phone’s camera to analyze your hits. It has the facility of instant video replays that are analyzed and returned with shot statistics.
As it is a phone-based Launch Monitor, your phone’s GPS is used to assess where the shot lands. You can share your shots instantly on social media or send video messages to friends! Incredible, right? If you’re looking for this level of interaction, then this is the one for you! You can save the best videos to your library.
• Use your Phone Camera (first time ever!)
• Share your hits via messaging or social media
• Instant Video Replays
This Launch Monitor has been voted “Best Outdoor Launch Monitor” of 2020 and we can really see why the technology has moved into the phone. Great stuff, really!
The SC 200 is a Launch Monitor of a somewhat-basic design, but gets the job done! Statistics are simple to read and understand. It is arguably as accurate as any leading Launch Monitor, proving itself as a great value-for-money device.
The SC 200 uses Doppler Radar technology and is great for the basic elements of your swing, but you would miss out on some features such as spin rate and launch angle. This shouldn’t be a problem unless you need to be incredibly-analytical about your game. It’s pocket-sized and is made of a nice design. It also has a high measuring range; 30-320 yards. Ideal unless it’s Rory McIlroy reading this.
The device could perhaps be seen as an affordable option, and we’d advise it as one to purchase if you haven’t owned a Launch Monitor before. You may want the SC 200 to test assess how useful you find monitors to be, before eventually purchasing one at a higher-range and more-modern user interface.
• High Measuring Range
• Distance voice output
This is a unique one… it’s more of a Swing Analyzer rather than a Launch Monitor. The device clips to your golf club. We compared SkyTrak’s visual output to that of EA Sports, and the R-Motion isn’t far behind, which for its incredible value-for-money, makes this one a very appealing Launch Monitor-alternative to use.
It also has an array of games and award-winning courses, making this an incredibly-fun device to use. There are 15 courses within the software. This is a great one for the driving range, as it creates the enjoyment of being out on the course with various shots and challenges to achieve. You can also add players to play with friends! The R-Motion is very easy-to-use, made even easier from its realistic and graphical simulation.
It has 4 hours of battery life, meaning that it’s also useful to take out onto the course as well as on the driving range. We’re still baffled as to how affordable the device is. It’s a fantastic alternative to SkyTrak and Launch Monitors in general.
• Runs on PC – no Launch Monitor required
• Attaches to your golf clubs
• In-Built Games and Courses
When people think of Golf Launch Monitors, SkyTrak tends to be on the lips of most. They are widely believed to have produced one of the best Launch Monitors ever made and continue to receive praise for their state-of-the-art-technology.
It is a Photometric monitor that analyses an array of different ball and club aspects of performance. Users can set real-life parameters such as wind and temperature. The software is incredibly-detailed and the output boasts an amazing design and graphics. It looks like you’re playing an EA Sports game! This is arguably the highest-quality Launch Monitor around, so if you’re crazy about golf, then this might be worth it…
• Launch Monitor of the Highest-Quality
• Incredibly-Detailed Software
• Realistic Graphics
Buyer’s Guide – How to Pick the Top Golf Launch Monitor for you!
Why Buy a Golf Launch Monitor
Golf Launch Monitors are special, unique devices that help you understand your performance by giving incredibly-accurate data of your shots. Doing this allows you to make small, previously-unforeseen changes to improve your game. After all, golf is a sport of fine margins. Launch Monitors give you a great sense of what club best suits you, and gets to the bottom of the characteristics of your swing to help you analyze this in ways previously unseen.
We’ve all been there: placing your phone on record at the driving range or on the course to try and analyze your swing. Now, science does this for you in a way a human with a camera never could! Not only do Launch Monitors help you understand your personal game, but it also helps to improve understanding of ball flights and how to improve and control them.
Analytical stuff aside, Golf Launch Monitors can provide a lot of fun… and that’s what your beloved hobby should be about.
How to use a Golf Launch Monitor
How to use a Golf Launch Monitor depends on which type you’re using. Doppler Radar monitors were the first used and generally most used, but Photometric monitors are becoming increasingly popular, and we now have the first monitor that uses your phone’s camera.
Doppler Radar monitors are usually placed behind or to the side of you, often with a separate screen for data output, to look at immediately after you take your shot. SkyTrak is iPad-based. Photometric monitors are usually placed behind you and the ball. Some will allow you to set the parameters, such as wind and temperature. From connecting with your shot, Launch Monitors show a very accurate trajectory of your shot and a mass amount of analytical, statistical data.
Launch Monitor Measurements
Launch Monitors will all measure some, hopefully, most, but rarely all of the following…
|Ball Data:||Club Data:|
|– Ball Speed
– Launch Angle
– Launch Direction
– Spin Axis – Spin Rate – Smash Factor
– Side Total –
– Hang Time
– Club Speed
– Attack Angle
– Club Path
– Swing Plane
– Swing Direction
– Dynamic Loft
– Spin Loft
– Face Angle
…it’s important to note which measurements you value the most when looking for your ideal Launch Monitor.
Differences between Doppler Radar and Photometric Launch Monitors
– What’s Better?
Radar vs Camera is a quick-and-easy summary of the differences. The systems that are integrated within both types of Launch Monitors aren’t too different and aren’t too important to consider if you’re a casual golfer, so don’t worry!
When it comes to which is better, the answer can be seen as being down to personal preference. However. the progression of Photometric monitors, especially phone camera-based, will likely dominate the Radar vs Photometric debate, now that it’s turning into a Radar vs Camera debate.
Players can now use their phone camera to record their shots, which if you’re using the Rapsodo Launch Monitor, can then share the videos. Whereas Radar monitors track golf balls within a 3D space, camera-based monitors are able to lock on to golf balls and clubs within 3D space.
Is a Premium SkyTrak Launch Monitor the best choice?
Probably… but it depends if you want a value-for-money device. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives, some of which we’ve recommended above! However, the detailed features of SkyTrak and its incredible software is truly of the highest quality of any 2020 Launch Monitor. So, if you can afford it, buy one! If you can’t, then there are still plenty of fantastic alternatives that aren’t far behind in quality.
Can I replace TopTracer App with a Launch Monitor?
Yes, and we recommend that you do! Launch Monitors are more accurate and effective. TopTracer has a 2.3 App Store Rating, and when compared to Launch Monitors, we can see why that is!
Do Professional Golfers use Launch Monitors?
Yes, most professional golfers use Launch Monitors, especially when practicing. These are the pros that truly understand the fine margins of the sport and try to improve all aspects of their game, no matter how minuscule.
Flightscope Mevo vs Rapsodo – Who is the Best?
This is an evergoing debate, as the camps are pretty divided on which alternative to choose. The biggest difference here is that Mevo is using a portable launch device that will track your shots as Rapsodo is utilizing the integration with your smartphone to a larger extent. Generally, Mevo is a bit more established and probably delivers more of a high-end product as Rapsodo is more budget-friendly.
It will boil down to personal preference and how much money you’d want to invest. For us, the first choice would be the Mevo “Flightscope”.
Why should I pick a new Golf Launch Monitor for 2020?
If you’ve assessed the Best 5 Golf Launch Monitors that we’ve talked you through above, then you’ll have seen the unique benefits of each. Golf Launch Monitors are increasingly affordable, so there isn’t much excuse for not keeping up with the latest technology. The better your device, the better your game and performance will be. Easy to use, both indoors and at the range! Treat yourself!
Golf Hybrid Clubs
A club that a lot of people use on the golf course is the hybrid club. It can either provide aid in difficult lies or provide great distance when the ball has a clean lie in the middle of the fairway. Many golfers use the hybrid as a tee-off club where it may be seen as a fairway wood.
So, what is then the difference between a hybrid club and the fairway wood? Read our in-depth guide to hybrid clubs to read more!
Check it out → The 5 Best Golf Hybrid Clubs
My name is Andrew and I have been playing golf since I was 5! I currently play on HCP 2 and I have been working as both PRO for many years where I have been instructing both junior golfers and more established and experienced golfers. I have been working part-time at a large Golf Shop where I have been in charge of purchasing and custom fitting.
My favorite item in the bag at the moment? My TaylorMade Spider X Putter, for sure.
I hope you enjoy my guides here at Pine Club Golf. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at [email protected] if there is something you want to ask!