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Golf launch monitors have come a long way since they first came to market. The technology continues to improve and the price tags are shrinking. Now even casual golfers can enjoy these data-packed and game-improving devices.
We’ve spent years testing personal launch monitors in order to help you find the best fit. During our 2023 head-to-head test we paid special consideration to the cost-versus-performance, the software, and the size. We also looked at additional features, ease of use, and durability.
Whether you want the highest tech option or a budget friendly pick we have you covered. Here are the best golf launch monitors for 2023.
We’ve been testing launch monitors for more than five years. For 2023, we tested ten models head-to-head, both indoors and outdoors. We looked for accuracy (measured against the industry standard in both camera-based and doppler-based launch monitors), features, ease of use and portability.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a personal launch monitor.
Personal launch monitors are one of the most pricey pieces of golf equipment. Period. That said, there are a few really good options for less than $1,000. None of these is better than the Rapsodo MLM2 Pro, our pick for the Best Value Personal Launch Monitor of 2023.
A personal launch monitor should be more than a device used to dial in your golf bag. The best personal launch monitors feature unique software that allows you to play real golf courses and participate in golf challenges online. While some devices come with software included, others charge a yearly subscription fee to access all of the software benefits. In this regard, personal launch monitors have become largely “pay to play.” On the hardware side of things, devices such as the GolfZon Wave include an extra piece of gear (a putting simulator) to enhance your experience.
A personal launch monitor should be portable. Why? The versatility to use the device in your home simulator, your backyard and even on the range is a must. While most personal launch monitors can fit in a backpack, some can fit in the palm of your hand (see FlightScope Mevo). The largest launch monitors in the personal space are the Bushnell Launch Pro and Foresight GC3. Both are quite a bit larger than the competition.
The personal launch monitor space is growing and evolving. Just this year, we tested two new players in the space and we expect that number to keep growing.
That’s why we’ve made a checklist of what to look for in the best personal launch monitors. Here are the features that matter when it comes to finding the right device for your game.
Nothing matters more than accuracy. Nothing. Why? Because your game deserves complete confidence. No guessing. No nonsense. The best personal launch monitors provide real, accurate and actionable data to bring your game to the next level.
To find the most accurate launch monitors, we compared each device against professional-level equipment. This was done in order to produce a baseline, and industry standard against which we could measure the accuracy of each personal launch monitor we tested.
The most accurate golf launch monitor is the Foresight GC3/Bushnell Launch Pro. The devices feature the exact same hardware as one another (with different licensing and software packages). It was extremely accurate indoors and outdoors. This device provided accuracy that rivals leading launch monitors five times their price.
Looking for a sleeper pick? The dark horse as far as accuracy is considered is the Rapsodo MLM2 Pro. The addition of the new Callaway RPT golf balls really had a positive impact on its data. All things considered, its accuracy was pretty darned close to that of the Launch Pro/GC3.
The Skytrak+ and FlightScope Mevo+ round out the top five for accuracy. You can’t go wrong with either of these devices for capturing accurate data. The Mevo+ is especially great when used with the Titleist RCT golf balls.
Ball speed is one of the most important numbers that a personal launch monitor can measure. The measure is essentially how fast the ball is moving after impact. With increased ball speed, you should see increased distance. This is why accurate golf ball data collection is very important.
A personal launch monitor must provide accurate carry distances to be effective. While total distances can change depending on terrain, ground hardness, etc, your carry distances stay largely the same. If you know how far you carry the ball it takes the guesswork out of the game. The Foresight GC3/Launch Pro was the most accurate both indoors and outdoors. The Rapsodo MLM2 Pro was admirably accurate here, too, and is a great if you’re on a tight budget.
Spin rate is perhaps one of the hardest things to capture with a personal launch monitor. This is why Titleist has brought out the RCT golf balls. RCT Verified devices capture more accurate spin numbers when used in conjunction with an RCT ball. The Rapsodo MLM2 Pro won’t capture spin unless you use the included Callaway RPT ball. The Foresight GC3/Launch Pro once again reigns supreme in this regard. However, the Mevo+ and Rapsodo MLM2 Pro provide accurate spin numbers, too, for a fraction of the cost.
The best golf launch monitors should be intuitive to set up and use. I’ll put it this way: If grandpa can’t get it working, it’s too confusing. The best of the best in this regard have phone applications that are clean and user-friendly.
Devices such as the Garmin Approach R10 and Rapsodo MLM2 Pro can be paired with an Android or Apple phone in mere seconds (seriously, less than 20 seconds to connect). Devices that require the use of their own onboard Wifi signal such as the SkyTrak+ and GolfZon Wave proved a little harder to connect.
Connection is only half the battle, though. The user interface should be a breeze to navigate. Devices like the Bushnell Launch Pro and its large touchscreen and the Full Swing KIT’s side mounted buttons make navigating menus and changing settings much easier than others.
|Product||Mobile App||Indoors/Outdoors||RCT Verified||Swing Video Analysis|
|Rapsodo MLM2Pro||Yes||Both||N/A *Callaway RPT||Yes|
|Garmin Approach R10||Yes||Both||Yes||No|
|Full Swing KIT||Yes||Both||Yes||Yes|
|GolfJoy GDS Plus||Yes||Both||N/A||Yes|
Data is cool, sure, but what else can your personal launch monitor do? If you’re shelling out hundreds or even thousands of dollars, it better do something other than show you just numbers.
Some devices capture swing video automatically for you. The Rapsodo MLM2 Pro and Full Swing KIT provide excellent swing videos. Others offer entire simulation experiences that rival anything we’ve ever seen. The GolfJoy GDS Plus has the best simulation and graphics experience. Period. The hefty simulation software was developed in-house using the Unreal gaming engine. Translation? The graphics are nuts.
We’re also big fans of Skytrak+ laser-guided ball placement. This makes it extremely easy to ensure you’re lined up correctly and that the ball is in the intended hitting position.
Nothing against a bare-bones device but a little extra meat on the bone is never a bad thing.
The Launch Pro is incredibly accurate. It uses a high-tech camera system rather than Doppler and it consistently scored extremely well in our testing. It's not the cheapest or absolute simplest option, but it is the top pick for anyone serious about improving their game.
Accurate both indoors and outdoors. Display shows your numbers in real time. Software included for first year.
Device is quite bulky. Foresight Pro app isn't the most user friendly. Note; the Launch Pro is locked for USA use only.
The Bushnell Launch Pro is a state-of-the-art launch monitor that boasts an array of impressive features designed to elevate the golfing experience. It’s important to note that the Bushnell Launch Pro and the Foresight GC3 are built with the same technology.
You’ll notice that the Bushnell Launch Pro has a lower initial price. But you do need to pay an annual fee. The Foresight Gc3 on the other hand, has a higher initial price, but no annual fees. At the same level of functionality, the breakeven point is 5-years. So if you’re confident you will be using the device consistently over the next five years, and prefer to eschew annual fees, the Foresight GC3 is the best choice for you.
During our testing, we found the GC3 and Launch Pro were easy to setup and use. The on-board touchscreen makes connecting it to the Wifi and to the Foresight Pro application a breeze.
While the device can be a bit bulky to move around on the range, it’s really good for an indoor simulator where it can stay put. Above all else, our testing showed the Launch Pro to be extremely accurate, even when compared to devices four times the price.
The Rapsodo MLM2Pro is the best value personal launch monitor for 2023. It provides incredible accuracy at a price that can't be beat.
Intuative app, easy to setup and use, captures video of each swing. Very accurate, especially indoors with special marked Callaway golf balls.
Must use included Callaway balls to get spin numbers.
The Rapsodo MLM2Pro is the best value in golf. This thing competes with the big boys, no question about it. The new, sleek design is miles ahead of the first iteration. You can tell Rapsodo spent the time to refine the product.
Our testing provided compelling results. Besides being easy to setup and connect to the intuitive Rapsodo app (for both Android and iPhone), the device proved to be extremely accurate both indoors and outdoors. We are particularly fans of the swing videos it captures at impact, and the small portable size. The included carrying case is a nice touch as well.
The FlightScope Mevo+ once again proves to be a solid choice in the under $2,000 launch monitor space.
The device is small, easy to use and provides accurate numbers. It works great indoors and outdoors
App is not the most intuative.
The FlightScope Mevo+ is everything you’d want in an under $2000 personal launch monitor. Accurate numbers? Check. Small footprint? Check. Our testing showed that the FlighScope Mevo+ owns the mid-price category. It was very accurate (especially with the Titleist RCT golf balls) and the compact size is a big bonus.
We did find the FS Golf app to be a little finnicky at times. It could definitely be more polished, but we loved that it had support for both Android and iPhone.
The Full Swing KIT has a fantastic display to make digesting your numbers a seamless experience. It boasts improved accuracy both indoors and outdoors.
Big, bright display is great and easy to read. Setup takes mere seconds.
Data visualization and export could be better.
The Full Swing KIT is a Doppler radar-based personal launch monitor that offers accurate data collection for golfers. It can be used both outdoors and indoors, making it a versatile option. The Full Swing KIT is awesome to use. Throughout testing we loved the bright display and how it can be customized to show the most important metrics.
We found the setup process and connection to the application very easy. Although, we do wish that there was support for an Android application. Regardless, the Full Swing KIT provided accurate numbers and is more portable than some of the big boys like the GC3/Launch Pro.
The Garmin Approach R10 showed off increased accuracy in a compact package that's hard to beat.
Very compact form factor. App is clean and easy to navigate. Fairly accurate numbers.
Not as accurate as the Bushnell Launch Pro.
The Garmin R10 is a radar-based launch monitor that’s both extremely portable and easy to use. During testing, we found the Garmin Golf app to be one of the best applications out there for personal launch monitors. It provided a succinct and easy experience. The graphics provided within the Garmin Golf app were very fun and playful as well.
Perhaps our favorite thing about the Garmin R10 is its size. The device can nearly fit in the palm of your hand. Little touches like the magnetic tripod mount give the device a premium feel without the premium price tag.
Everything we do and say is based on cold, hard data. We challenge any and every claim with scientific measurement and analysis. If a product performs well, you'll hear about it. We'll tell you the truth and list the shortcomings if it doesn't.learn more
Everything we do and say is based on cold, hard data. We challenge any and every claim with scientific measurement and analysis. If a product performs well, you'll hear about it. We'll tell you the truth and list the shortcomings if it doesn't.
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