BEST PERSONAL LAUNCH MONITORS 2022

Have personal golf launch monitors gotten more accurate over the years? Yes … but at a price.

For example, take industry leaders like Foresight, Bushnell and Full Swing. The Foresight GC3 retails for $7,499 and the Bushnell Launch Pro and Full Swing Kit retail for $3,999 each. But don’t despair if you’re on a budget!

In this buyer’s guide, we will be breaking down how various personal launch monitors perform as well as their ease of use, accuracy and, of course, recommending which performs best at different price points..

Best Launch Monitor

Best Golf Launch Monitor: Bushnell Launch Pro

Even though the Bushnell Launch Pro carries a hefty $3,999 price tag, it has outstanding performance across all metrics. The Launch Pro is on par compared to the GC3 and will save you $3,500. The Launch Pro can be used inside and out thanks to its built-in barometric pressure sensor. This means that whereever you’re playing, the unit will read how far you’re hitting it, taking into account altitude and weather. The only downside to the Launch Pro is that it is subscription-based model.

Whether you’re working on your short game or chasing higher ball speeds, the Bushnell Launch Pro is the best in the business.

  • 1st in accuracy
  • 8th in user friendliness
  • 1st in features
  • 4th in portability

How We Test

We're here to help you find the perfect personal launch monitor to fit your needs.

To do that, we put the leading devices in the category through a thorough and fully independent testing process that leaves no feature unexplored, no detail unchecked, and no stone unturned.

Our Metrics

To determine the accuracy and reliable of the data offered by the devices tested, we tested them side by side with an enterprise-class Foresight GCQuad launch monitor indoors and out. Foresight is trusted by the R&D teams at every major golf equipment company and is renowned for the accuracy of the data it provides.

The metrics we consider when rating Personal Launch Monitors include Accuracy, Ease of Use, Portability, and Features.

Every launch monitor we tested was compared to the Foresight GC Quad for our baseline.

 

Garmin R10

Golf Launch Monitor Technologies

Most, if not all, launch monitors available today are powered by one of two technologies: radar or cameras.

Radar

Radar-based systems use Doppler radar to follow the flight of the golf ball. Doppler works by bouncing microwaves off an object: in this case, a golf ball. By continuously sending waves and receiving the reflections, Doppler-powered devices track the movement of the ball through space.

Enterprise radar launch monitors like TrackMan and FlightScope X3 feature larger Doppler radars which are capable of tracking a golf ball over its entire flight. Less expensive consumer-grade units like the Voice Caddie SC200 Plus and the Rapsodo have smaller Doppler units that don’t quite track the full flight of the ball.

With the exception of SkyTrak, Bushnell Launch Pro and Foresight GC3, all of the models we tested are radar-based.

Camera

Bushnell Launch Pro

As the category suggests, camera-based launch monitors use high-definition cameras to measure ball data at, and immediately following, impact. While camera-based systems can’t measure the full flight of the ball, they typically provide more accurate axis tilt and spin measurements and are far more reliable in limited-flight scenarios.

Depending on the quality of the cameras, some camera-based launch monitors struggle under certain lighting conditions and in highly reflective environments.

SkyTrak, Bushnell Launch Pro and Foresight GC3 are the only camera-based systems in this test.

BEST TECH - Full Swing KIT

BEST TECH - Full Swing KIT

Those who want all the features possible, look no further than the Full Swing KIT. It can be used inside and out, as well as customizing everything and anything you want with the unit or within the app.

Golf Launch Monitor Features That Matter

Metrics

All of the devices we tested provide ball speed, club head speed and carry distance. If you’re looking for club head data, offline and dispersion numbers, you might want to look at the enterprise solutions like ForeSight and Trackman.

Bushnell Launch Pro and Foresight GC3 are the most feature-rich launch monitors on the market. SkyTrak and Mevo Plus also provide an abundance of data offerings.

Accuracy

While you’re going to get the most accurate information from enterprise solutions like Trackman and Foresight, personal launch monitors offer reasonably accurate measurements.

The most accurate personal launch monitors are the Bushnell Launch Pro and Foresight GC3. For those who are looking for something at a more affordable price, the Rapsodo and the Mevo Plus are great options.

Garmin R10

Ease of Use

For most of us, practice time is limited and it shouldn’t be wasted trying to configure, connect and use a device meant to help us improve faster. Some units require more precise placement at setup.

For the easiest of setups, Voice Caddie SC300, Voice Caddie SC300i and SC200 Plus get you practicing in no time. PRGR is easy to set up and collect data. Full Swing is simple and easy to use plus its customizable options outperform every other launch monitor.

Features

While measuring the flight of the golf ball is the primary purpose for all of the units we tested, most offer some additional features. Some allow for simulator play while others include features to record your swing or leverage GPS functionality on the golf course. Others add elements of gamification like long-drive contests and closest-to-the-pin challenges.

If you have the money, the Bushnell Launch Pro and Foresight GC3 offer games, range, courses, competitions and more. Both launch monitors graphics are good but Full Swing has higher-quality graphics. It truly feels as if you’re at the course.

Rapsodo is a perfect launch monitor to record your swing while getting some data. SkyTrak and Mevo Plus provide games, range sessions and courses to play, no matter the weather. Garmin G80 is not only a launch monitor but also a GPS device so you can get some numbers to your target and some data points.

Smartphone/Tablet Apps

While the Voice Caddie and Garmin offerings are self-contained, the other devices we tested require an app to communicate with the launch monitor and relay data to the user. We found the applications to be generally easy to navigate and hassle-free.

The Rapsodo MLM, Full Swing Kit, Bushnell, Foresight and Skytrak stand out for their simple interface and layout though Rapsodo proved to be a battery killer when taking swing videos.

Rapsodo

BEST PERSONAL LAUNCH MONITORS 2022 - FEATURES

 ProductMobile AppWeightOutdoor/Indoor
Bushnell Launch Pro

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YES5 lbIN + OUT
Ernest ES B1

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YES3 lbIN + OUT
Flightscope Mevo Plus

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YES1 lbIN + OUT
Flightscope Mevo

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YES7 ozIN + OUT
Foresight GC3

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YES5 lbIN + OUT
Full Swing Kit

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YES4 lbIN + OUT
Garmin R10

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YES7 ozIN + OUT
Garmin G80

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YES4 ozIN + OUT
PRGR

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NO4 ozIN + OUT
Rapsodo

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YES9 ozIN + OUT
Skytrak

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YES1 lbIN + OUT
Voice Caddie SC200 Plus

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NO7 ozIN + OUT
Voice Caddie SC300

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YES1 lbIN + OUT
Voice Caddie SC300i

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YES1 lbIN + OUT

EXPERT TIP - Practice with the Ball You Play

If your plan is to use a personal launch monitor to gain performance insights while banging limited flight, beat to hell, or generally inconsistent range balls, you're wasting both your time and money. Practice with the ball you play (or at least one that's similar) so the data you collect is consistent and meaningful.

Personal Launch Monitors – Top Five Takeaways

What’s Your Budget?

The price range for the units we tested ranged from less than $200 to just under $2,000. If you want enterprise-level accuracy and features (head data, for example), you’re looking at $7,499 for a Foresight GC3. If you go all out, you’re going to shell out $25,000 for a fully featured unit.

Indoors, Outdoors or Both?

If you’re going to use your launch monitor almost exclusively indoors, save your money for a SkyTrak. Consider buying used if you’re on a budget.

Those who want an affordable launch monitor indoors need at least eight feet of flight distance before the ball hits the impact net.

The best launch monitors for outdoor use are the Foresight GC3 and Bushnell Launch Pro. The Rapsodo for under $500 is your next best option.

If you’re splitting time between indoor and outdoor use, consider the Full Swing Kit as it performs well enough inside and better outside. Full Swing always makes updates to their technology which improves accuracy. You should also look at FlightScope’s Mevo or Mevo Plus at a lower price. They can handle either environment. The option to use metal dots can improve tracking a bit and the video features are well executed.

Business, Practice or Fun?

If you’re a fitter or teaching professional looking to leverage data, more than likely you’ll need to look at the enterprise solutions. Foresight GC3 or Bushnell Launch Pro offers some fitting capabilities and the bag-mapping feature (also available in the Rapsodo MLM) is impressive.

For recreational golfers looking to measure their distances, some of the $500 radar units do a reasonably good job. At the $500 price point, the most accurate unit we tested provides enough data points to help you improve and understand your game.

For those just looking to have a good time with their friends, units that offer games like closest to the pin or long drive may offer the most bang for the buck. Mevo, Rapsodo, SkyTrak and Voice Caddie include a selection of games that extends the capabilities of the device beyond just capturing data.

Depending On Your Needs

If you’re a golfer who wants the most metrics and most accurate readings, you’re going to have to pay for it. The Launch Pro and GC3 are the most accurate launch monitors. However, the Full Swing Kit isn’t too far behind and has improved considerably since its debut. Rapsodo provides a few data points but are accurate for those on a budget.

Most Accurate Golf Launch Monitor - Bushnell Launch Pro

Most Accurate Golf Launch Monitor - Bushnell Launch Pro

If data accuracy is the most important thing to you, the Bushnell Launch Pro is the one for you. The unit, and the Foresight GC3 have the same accuracy but the Launch Pro is cheaper. So for you to save some money and to have the most accurate launch monitor on the market, look at the Bushnell Launch Pro.

Flightscope Mevo

Metrics

BEST PERSONAL LAUNCH MONITORS 2022 - METRICS OFFERED

 ProductClub SpeedBall SpeedLaunch AngleShot TracerSpinDistance
Bushnell Launch Pro

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YESYESYESYESYESYES
Ernest ESB1

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YESYESYESNOYESYES
Flightscope Mevo Plus

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YESYESYESYESYESYES
Flightscope Mevo

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YESYESYESYESYESYES
Foresight GC3

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YESYESYESYESYESYES
Full Swing KIT

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YESYESYESYESYESYES
Garmin R10

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YESYESYESYESYESYES
Garmin G80

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YESYESNONONOYES
PRGR

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YESYESNONONOYES
Rapsodo

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YESYESYESYESNOYES
Skytrak

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YESYESYESYESYESYES
Voice Caddie SC200 Plus

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YESYESNONONOYES
Voice Caddie SC300

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YESYESYESYESNOYES
Voice Caddie SC300i

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YESYESYESYESNOYES

EXPERT TIP - On A Budget?

In 2020 we're starting to see a successful personal launch monitor take it's shape and for $500 you can reasonably expect some of these devices to give you information to help you in your game. The Rapsodo was more than 90% accurate on all data sets, with the exception of spin.

Personal Launch Monitors – More Tips

  • Some of the golf launch monitors tested work better indoors while others work better—or exclusively—outdoors. Before you purchase a launch monitor, make sure you know where you’re going to use it.
  • If you’re only going to hit a few dozen balls at a time, battery life may not be relevant. For longer sessions, especially when using video features, battery drain can be an issue.
  • Golf launch monitors are a part of nearly every fitting experience. Don’t expect to fit yourself with a consumer-grade unit. They’re not consistent enough and don’t provide the necessary data.
  • Personal launch monitors have improved dramatically but still have some room to grow. Models tested do a reasonably good job of measuring ball speed and launch angle for the most part. However, real spin measurements come at a cost.
  • When collecting data for your irons or driver, make sure you use your gamer ball and not a range ball.
  • The Skytrak performed well inside but when it was tested outside, it took three times longer to capture the data. Yes, the data was relatively good but it was very frustrating to capture the final data.

BEST GOLF LAUNCH MONITOR 2022 - RESULTS

 ProductsAccuracyUser FriendlyFeaturesPortabilityTotal
Bushnell Launch Pro

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1st3rd2nd7th95.5
Foresight GC3

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1st3rd2nd7th95
Rapsodo

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3rd2nd4th4th91
FlightScope Mevo +

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5th6th4th4th90.5
Full Swing Kit

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5th1st1st7th90.5
Skytrak

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4th6th4th7th88
Garmin R10

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5th3rd6th4th87.5
FlightScope Mevo

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9th6th9th1st85
Voice Caddie SC300i

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9th6th10th7th84.5
Voice Caddie SC300

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11th6th10th7th83
Garmin G80

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12th6th9th1st80
PRGR

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12th6th12th1st79

Voice Caddie SC300i

Personal Golf Launch Monitors FAQ

Q: What’s the difference between a personal launch monitor and an enterprise solution? 

A: Several thousand dollars and accuracy. Enterprise solutions like Foresight and TrackMan are more accurate and provide more data points.

Q: What data can I get from a personal golf launch monitor?

A: If you’re in the under-$2,000 price range, you can reasonably expect your launch monitor to give you ball speed, carry, launch angle and spin. If you’re looking for club head data, offline and dispersion numbers, you might want to look at the Bushnell Launch Pro and Foresight GC3.

Q: What is Smash Factor?

A: Smash factor is a common club performance metric. Several of the devices we tested provide this with varying degrees of accuracy. The Smash Factor formula is simple. It’s ball speed divided by head speed.

Q: Are all personal golf launch monitors accurate?

A: Not all are as accurate as enterprise solutions like Foresight and Trackman. But according to the results of our test, there are accurate units. The Foresight GC3 and Bushnell Launch Pro are very close to that of the GC Quad. The Rapsodo was more than 90 percent accurate on all data sets with the exception of spin.

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