Golf Launch Monitor Reviews

Serious About Golf: The 6 Best “Semi-Affordable” Golf Launch Monitors

Are you looking to take your golf game to the next level and trying to find the best golf launch monitor?

First off, congrats for having this kind of commitment to the game of golf! It’s an addictive sport but owning your own launch monitor is a clear promise to keep getting better.

Launch monitors are so cool because they can give you data that you can’t get from a normal lesson or practice session. A launch monitor can help you figure out what’s going on with your ball flight, launch angle, and make every practice 10X more effective.

This is one of the biggest reasons to grab your own launch monitor, increasing your own productivity while practicing! The days of mindlessly hitting golf balls is a thing of the past.

Our Picks for Best Golf Launch Monitors

  1. Flightscope MevoBest All-Around Launch Monitor
  2. Voice Caddie SC200Best Value Launch Monitor
  3. SkyTrak Launch MonitorBest “somewhat affordable” Premium Launch Monitor and Golf Simulator

Like every golf gadget or golf training aid, there are a ton of choices out there. In this post, I’ll break down how a launch monitor can help your game and show you the best ones on the market today. Once you’re done reading, you will have everything you need to pull the trigger and start understanding your game like never before.

How a Launch Monitor Can Help Your Game

What is a Launch Monitor in Golf?

Before I dive into the best golf launch monitors, it’s important to understand what they are as it’s not something you can pick up at your local golf shop.

A launch monitor is a small electronic device that measures different aspects of what happens to your ball at impact. They’re commonly used among PGA Tour pros, some golf retailers, and also during custom fitting sessions.

Launch monitors can provide data that you just can’t find anywhere else. Just ask Bryson “The Scientist” DeChambeau… in today’s world, data is a huge part of improving your game!

The problem is that some of the professional launch monitors are $10,000 to $30,000! Obviously, this isn’t possible for 99% of golfers but now there are lower priced alternatives that are budget friendly with tons of great data.

What To Evaluate A Launch Monitor For

You might have found yourself thinking, “What does a launch monitor tell you about your game?” The answer is… a lot!

Depending on which launch monitor you select, these devices can deliver a ton of different data points to help you improve your golf game. They can help you:

Learn How Far You Hit Each Club

Distance control with your irons is huge! If you want to take your game to the next level, you have to know exactly how far you hit each club on those approach shots. Knowing your distances will help you hit more greens and give you more birdie opportunities!

A launch monitor can show you carry distance and total distance.

Increase Your Swing Speed

99.9% of amateur golfers want to hit it farther. One of the easiest ways to do that is to increase your swing speed. Launch monitors can tell you the exact speed of each shot. Once you acquire some averages, you can begin to find new strategies to increase your speed and hit it further than ever.

Calculating the Right Spin Rate

The amount of spin you have on each shot plays a big role once the ball lands on the fairway or green. With drivers and woods, you want less spin so it will roll out further. With irons and wedges, you want them to stop quickly once they hit the greens.

Launch monitors can quickly show you if your clubs are a good or bad fit based on the average spin rate.

Best Golf Launch Monitors

Golf Launch Monitor Reviews

As you can tell, there are a ton of positive benefits to using a launch monitor to better understand your game and equipment. The last 10 years have seen some serious improvements in the technology world to help your golf game. Now, it’s more affordable than ever to add a launch monitor to your practice sessions.

Here are the best golf launch monitors to help you find the one for your game and budget.

Flightscope Mevo

The Flightscope Mevo is an all-inclusive personal launch monitor to help you improve your game. Paired with the app, this device can help you capture data and video right on your phone. This so helpful because it allows you to save the data and compare to your past practice sessions. Tracking your progress over time can help you boost confidence and keep you motivated to work on your game.

With the Flightscope Mevo, you can track everything including:

  • Flight time
  • Ball speed
  • Apex height
  • Smash factor
  • Carry distance
  • Club head speed
  • Vertical launch angle

While all this data is crucial, the best part is the app that comes with it. With the app, you can capture the video of your swing and pair it will the data all on one screen!

The app’s customizable interface is also very convenient and lets you control what you want to see for each session. Plus, the device is smaller than most cell phones making it super portable.

For more information, click here to check out our full review of the Flighscope Mevo.

Garmin Approach G80

The Garmin Approach G80 is a combination of a launch monitor and a golf radar as well. The golf launch monitor side of it tracks clubhead speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo and “estimated” distance.

The GPS side of this device comes with accurate distances for 41,000+ courses worldwide and comes with a full hole view as well. This will show you where bunkers are, carry over water, and give you a full hole by hole layout.

Garmin also provides a cart mount and lanyard carabiner to attach the device to the cart so you have smooth navigation throughout the round. It also comes with a mini charger to charge your gear and other golf gadgets. If you don’t want to buy a rangefinder separately, this could be a great solution for your game.

For more information, read our Garmin G80 Review.

VoiceCaddie SC200

The Voice Caddie SC (Swing Caddy) 200 is an awesome launch monitor for the money! This model lets you track stats for each club including swing speed, ball speed, loft angle, and “smash factor.” It also includes a distance voice output to announce your yardages.

It also has barometric pressure calibration and measures from 30-320 yards. The accuracy is within 3% ball speed and 5% of the carry distance.

It also comes with three modes; practice, target, and random mode. Practice mode helps track your shots while target mode lets you set a target distance to challenge your game and consistency. Random mode sets a random target distance and rates you out of 10 for accuracy.

It’s extremely portable and is about the size of your phone and comes with a small remote as well. Reasonably priced, this is a great model to help you start learning more about your golf game.

Voice Caddie SC300

The Voice Caddie SC300 is the next model up from the SC200 and provides more feedback for each shot you hit.

The SC300 measures:

  • Carry + total distance
  • Smash factor
  • Launch angle
  • Swing speed
  • Apex of the shot
  • Ball speed
  • Spin data (must have the app)

This is an incredible amount of data for the price! It also comes with a remote and has the same voice output as the SC200.

For some players, it might have too much information but this device has everything you need to fully understand your game. The one downside to the Voice Caddies is that they don’t have an app like the Mevo.

Ernest Sports ES12 Portable Launch Monitor

The ES 12 portable launch monitor is similar to the Voice Caddie SC200 and is fairly inexpensive. It pairs with your smartphone to save your sessions and makes it easy to compare with past sessions.

The ES12 model only gives you carry distance and ball speed. If you’re looking for a more advanced model, the ES14 is probably the way to go.

Ernest Sports ES14 Launch Monitor

Similar to the Voice Caddie SC300, the ES14 launch monitor provides additional information including:

  • Spin rate
  • Smash factor
  • Club speed
  • Launch angle

But it does cost more than double the price of the ES12.

Skytrak

SkyTrak launch monitor is a significant breakthrough in the golf launch monitor market but is more expensive than all the previous models listed. It’s a lot more money but comes with a ton of perks to help you improve your game. It’s part launch monitor and part golf simulator which makes this unlike any other on the list.

The device connects to a compatible device and displays the swing data instantly. It has high-speed photography that measures the golf ball and provides an extremely accurate reading of the shot. Plus, it gives you a simulated representation of the shot in action.

With Skytrak, you can see data such as:

  • Carry and total distance
  • Launch angle
  • Spin rate
  • Ball speed
  • Shot dispersion

The built-in, rechargeable battery lasts up to five hours of continuous use, weighs 1.7 pounds, and comes with a carrying case for maximum portability.

What I really like about the SkyTrak is its ability to be used as the foundational piece of a home golf simulator.

For more detailed info, head over to our full review of the SkyTrak launch monitor.

How to Choose The Best Launch Monitor

So how do you choose the right launch monitor for your game? Check out these four factors to make a quick decision.

Price

Some are $200, some are $2,000. Obviously, you want to find one that is within your price range but still has all the features you’re looking for.

Personally, I’d rather wait a few months to have the budget for a $500 one then buy a $200 model and feel like I bought too quickly.

Durability

Make sure to double check that these ones come with a case and check the reviews for durability.

Portability

This isn’t as much of an issue as it was in the past but make sure launch monitor is portable. The smaller it is, the easier it is to take to the range and help you constantly improve your game.

Warranty

Almost all of these offer some type of warranty but some are longer than others. Make sure to double check the warranty length so you can send in if there are any repairs needed.

Skill Level

While data is helpful, if you’re shooting in 100’s or 90’s, some of the launch monitors might have too much data. If you’re still working on your game, I suggest having a coach or lower-handicap friend help you out with the numbers.

Launch Monitor Alternatives

If you’re not looking for so much data, then make sure you check out these launch monitor alternatives. These devices can help you with distance control and tempo without all the other metrics.

Sports Sensors Swing Speed

The Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar is a more budget-friendly and will help you measure clubhead swing speed plus tempo time. Remember, all great players have one thing in common… a 3-to-1 tempo! This device can help you swing it smoother and more consistent with all your clubs.

Plus, it doesn’t even need to be hit with a real golf ball! You can use a wiffle ball, birdie ball or sponge ball in your backyard.

Arccos Golf Smart Sensors

The Arccos Golf smart sensors is a device that attaches to each club. All you do is insert a small piece into the grip of the club and pair it with the app. It then tracks your shots during the round and sends the information to the app.

This will help you learn how far you hit each club and make it easy to identify your strengths and weaknesses of your game. Unlike Game Golf, you don’t have to tap or tag it before your swing. The device comes with a battery that will last five years and fully guaranteed for two years.

For more information on Arccos, check out my full review of the Arccos 360.

Game Golf

Game Golf is similar to the Arccos golf unit above and comes with 32,000 courses. The only difference is that you do have to wear the device on your belt and tap the club to the shot before you hit. Otherwise, you won’t get all the details.

I’ve used this device before and enjoyed how easy it was to set up and use with the app as well.

How to Use a Launch Monitor

Indoor Practice

The cool thing about launch monitors is that you can practice both inside and outside. If you’re practicing inside, make sure you find a golf mat and golf net. That’s really all you need to get started!

Outdoor Practice

If it’s good weather outside, practice outdoors so you can see the ball flight as well. Paired with your launch monitor, your practice sessions will be more productive than ever.

Final Thoughts on Golf Launch Monitors

Hopefully, you understand how a golf launch monitor can help your improve your game and find the best equipment for your swing. The biggest benefit of a launch monitor, in my opinion, is that it can help you have more productive practice sessions.

There’s nothing worse than going to the range and actually feeling like you got worse, not better. With these launch monitors, you can now spend time improving or have your teacher assist as well.

Since there are so many to choose from, make sure you evaluate the monitors based on price, durability, portability, and warranty. Make sure to pick up one today so you can start understanding your game and playing the best golf of your life!

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