There are launch monitors everywhere. They are an integral part of almost every club fitting and every teaching session. Golf has become a data-driven game, and some of the data come from the best golf launch monitor for the money. Given that many of the world’s best players are using these devices to drive both equipment and on-site decisions, it is understandable that average golfers would be hungry to do the same.
|Best Golf Launch Monitor For The Money||Product Image||Expert Rating||Get It On Amazon|
|1. Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor||Check Price|
|2. Flightscope Mevo - Portable Personal Launch Monitor For Golf||Check Price|
|3. Voice Caddie Swing Caddie Sc300 Portable Golf Launch Monitor||Check Price|
Best Golf Launch Monitor For The Money
Our Top Pick!
Product Name: Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
Product Description: Rapsodo has harnessed the power of your mobile device and combined it with our professional grade machine learning to create the mobile launch monitor. You will be able to work on your game like never before with professional accuracy for shot distance, ball speed, club speed, launch angle, launch direction and shot shape. Review your shots and improve your game with video on each shot you take and an active Tracer to track your shot shape. Share videos with your friends when you Bomb a drive or pinpoint an iron.
Value For Money
Ease Of Use
In the following sections, we’ll share what we feel are the best options for the best golf launch monitor for the money, the technologies they build on, and the data they provide.
1. Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
If you were looking for a golf launch monitor on the market, you might have heard about the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM). Released in 2019, the Rapsodo MLM was the first launch monitor to use iPad and iPhone technology to deliver launch data, video playback, and a shot tracker.
It was named the Best Personal Golf Launch Monitor in 2020 and is also the Official Golf Digest Launch Monitor. Rapsodo is a manufacturer of data collection products for several sports, including golf. Their previous (now discontinued) golf product, the R-Motion simulator, has been a great success.
What’s A Rapsodo Mlm?
You might be surprised to learn that Rapsodo was the creator of the SkyTrak, one of the most successful launch monitors ever created. However, in the wake of that success, Rapsodo wanted to come up with its own branded launch monitor solution. That’s what led to the development of the MLM.
The Rapsodo MLM describes itself as “the only launch monitor that uses the power of your iPhone or iPad to provide instant feedback on launch data, instant video replay, and active track.”
It uses the same machine learning technology to help baseball and softball players understand and analyze their pitching performance.
Together with the camera of your Apple device and the MLM’s own Doppler radar, the MLM can accurately measure six key data parameters, including the speed of the ball and the angle of launch. The GPS of your mobile device also enables shot mapping. The MLM could only be used on the range where the ball could take its full flight at launch. But with a post-release update, it can now be used indoors or outdoors while hitting the net.
As you probably know, the MLM does more than just record shot data; it also gives you a very informative view of each shot with video playback, active tracer, and shot mapping.
A. Playback Of Video
You can watch every shot of your video playback. The video is taken from the ground and behind the ball on the target line with your mobile device camera.
Many would consider this angle less than ideal, but you need to keep in mind the price and what the MLM is designed to do. You can compare the playback of a few shots along the same lines—for example, your best shots with your worst shots. This will make it easy for you to see differences in your swing that could explain poor results.
B. Shot Tracer
Attached to the video playback is an activity tracker that follows your ball from launch to landing. This tracker is similar to what you see on professional PGA Tour broadcasts. What happens is that the video stops immediately after you’ve been tracked, but the ball tracker keeps moving on the app screen.
Besides watching your swing, it’s really important to be able to see your ball flying. The MLM ball tracker fills this missing piece of the puzzle, so you’re even better equipped to analyze and improve your game. There’s no tracer hitting the net for obvious reasons.
C. Mapping The Gps
With a hitting region (e.g., on the range) and using GPS technology on your mobile device, the MLM can give you an overhead view of where your shots land in the bag for different clubs.
This useful feature will allow you to understand the gaps and dispersions of your club. You’ll then be much more prepared to choose the right golf club for your next shot and avoid penalizing hazards.
D. Recognition Of The Smart Club
This feature is designed to automatically detect which club you are using. It’s best suited to irons. What you’re doing is wave your club in front of your mobile device, and with the MLM, the club will be detected and selected in the settings.
2. Flightscope Mevo – Portable Personal Launch Monitor For Golf
There is no question that interest in budget-friendly consumer launch monitoring space is on the rise. Enterprise-class launch monitors with head tracking technology (Foresight, Trackman, FlightScope X3) still cost almost as much as the Honda Civic. No, thank you.
Mid-tier offers from Skytrak, Ernest Sports, and FlightScope (Xi) are starting to fall in price, but you’re still looking at $2k minimum – affordable enough for some, but still, a little more than the average guy is going to spend.
What You Get And What You Don’t Get
When it comes to data, Mevo gives you club speed, ball speed, break factor, start angle, spin, carry yards, peak height, and flight time. This is it. That’s a lot for some. For others – particularly those interested in advanced head data (such as path, face to path, angle of attack, etc.) it’s not going to be nearly enough.
For those who focus on precision, the lack of an offline measurement may be a deal-breaker. At the same time, fitters will likely notice that the angle of descent is not included. Still, again, it is a $500 consumer unit and is by no means intended for use in any professional capacity.
Again, we need to manage our expectations to a reasonable level. Mevo offers the ability to capture and analyze launch data, which is exactly what you would expect from a launch monitor. That said, the game/skills modes of low-priced units like Swing Caddie SC200 are particularly lacking. Frankly, I’m not too concerned about what is, admittedly, a limited competitive feature.
Mevo is at an early age, and we expect FlightScope to roll out improvements to both the software (app) and the device itself (firmware) at a reasonably fast pace.
What We Think
So, with that said, we are impressed by Mevo’s ability to measure the ball’s speed. Head speed measurements are generally acceptable, and when significant variances occur, they are usually attributable to something like hitting the shot slightly fat or bouncing the driver to the impact. We’re talking about the kind of things that would make us throw the shot away anyway. We must also recognize that different systems measure clubhead speed differently so that even when the swing is closer to perfection, different systems often report different values.
3. Voice Caddie Swing Caddie Sc300 Portable Golf Launch Monitor
It’s a dream for so many golfers – from the gear head to the range rat – to own a launch monitor. But with professional models costing up to five figures, that dream is unlikely to become a reality for most of us.
Swing Caddie wants to help golfers make their dreams come alive. Their SC200 (review HERE) was one of the first entries in the market for personal launch monitors. Now Swing Caddie has brought out the next generation, the SC300, which adds more measurements and apps while keeping the price within regular golfers’ reach.
Set Up And Ease Of Use
Like the SC200, the SC300 scores key points for ease of use. Load it up, drop 60 inches behind the ball, and fire it away. The SC300 is significantly larger than the SC200, so you can easily read each shot’s results without bending or squinting. You can also get the device to report the numbers after each shot.
The SC300 comes with a remote control that makes many features easier to use. You can switch from driver to sand wedge in just one touch instead of cycling through every club with on-board buttons. That said, the range of remote control is limited, and it needs to be pointed directly to the SC300.
The Swing Caddie app connects quickly and easily to the SC300. The app’s primary value is that it stores your shots (if you create an account) so that you can monitor your progress over time. When it comes to distance, the SC300 did the same thing as the SC200. With mid irons, it does a good job of approximating the distance of transport. When you get to the ends of the bag – woods, and wedges – SC300 fights because it doesn’t measure spin.
How much you use the Swing Caddie SC300 is likely to depend on how and where you use it. If you’re currently hitting balls on the net, the SC300 will be an upgrade that you use regularly. The SC300 may come out for serious sessions for players who practice outdoors but stay home when things are more casual.
Irrespective of how you use it, the SC300 gets high marks for being portable and easy to use. It can live easily in your golf bag, and it can be set up in less than a minute. Also, the battery life of 12 hours is awesome. If you want something that’s incredibly easy to use and doesn’t require a smartphone connection, the SC300 is an easy choice, but be aware that it’s not as accurate indoors.
Best Golf Launch Monitor For The Money: Purchase Guide
Here’s what you should know when purchasing the best golf launch monitor for the money.
What’s The Launch Monitor, And What Can It Be Used For?
The Launch Monitor is an electronic device used in golf that captures ball and/or club data at the point of impact. Both recreation golfers and golf professionals can use them to make informed choices about their swing and/or equipment. Let’s take a look at some of the more practical applications for which a golf launch monitor can be used.
Get The Data To Carry.
Most launch monitors will provide the ball and/or club feedback in real-time data that can be used to make adjustments and improve. One of the most important data points provided is distance travel. This lets you know how far your golf ball travels in the air before it reaches the ground. This is an important component that you need to know if you are mastering distance control and is particularly useful in your wedge game.
Practice Anywhere, Anytime.
The launch monitor is a very portable device that can be installed indoors and outdoors. The ability to use it inside allows golfers to practice and play at any time, regardless of weather or time of day. This is particularly useful for those who wish to practice at night or those who live in the north and cannot play golf during the fall/winter months.
Make Decisions About The Equipment.
Launch monitors can also help you compare golf equipment. From golf balls to wedges to drivers, there is a launch monitor to provide an unbiased assessment. That’s why they’re must-have club fitters around the world. For example, you might be in the driver’s market, looking for something with a lower spin rate and a more penetrating trajectory. Sure, you could visually see your results with every option you want to test. Still, by incorporating a launch monitor into the process, you will be provided with concrete data that you can use to make informed equipment decisions.
Best Golf Launch Monitor For The Money: FAQs
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the best golf launch monitor for the money and their answers.
What Is The Difference Between A Personal Launch Monitor And What My Fitter Or Coach Uses?
A: The short answer is a few thousand bucks and a lot of accuracy. Enterprise-class launch monitors such as Foresight and Trackman provide significantly higher accuracy and significantly more data points. It’s not a matter of paying a lot to get a little more. The differences are huge, which is what you should expect, given that most of these personal launch monitors cost less than 3% of what professional-grade equipment sells.
What Kind Of Data Can I Get From A Personal Launch Monitor?
A: Each model has a slightly different data set. All of them will give you the speed of the ball and the estimated distance to carry. Pricer units often provide additional data such as launch angle and backspin. Some people take a stab at head data like clubhead speed and angle of attack. Few (if any) provide offline or dispersion numbers, and, frankly, most small device spin numbers should not be entirely trusted. You need to decide whether the basics are good enough or whether you want as much data as you can – even if it’s not entirely reliable.
What’s The Smash Factor?
A: Smash is a common club performance metric. This value is provided by several of the devices we tested (with varying degrees of accuracy). The formula for the Smash Factor is simple. It’s the speed of the ball/clubhead (ball speed divided by head speed). The theoretical (and reasonable) limit for Smash Factor is 15 (maximum efficiency). If the device does not accurately measure the speed of the ball, the head’s speed, or both, Smash Factor becomes meaningless. Anything above 1.45 with a driver is excellent, while anything above 1.5 usually means either that the actual ball speed was slower than measured or that the club speed was faster than measured.
Choosing your launch monitor is probably the most important decision you can make for your golf game over the next few years. We’re not taking that decision lightly, nor should you. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you get zero on the best golf launch monitor for the money.