Trivia question: What’s the #1 Launch Monitor in the World?
I can hazard (or is it HZRD now?) a guess as to your answer.
If your metric is the number of units sold and in use by PGA Professionals, indoor fitting, and retail locations, major equipment manufacturers, along with more than a few entertainment venues and home installations, the answer, by no small margin, is Foresight GC2.
With something in the ballpark of 10,000 units in the field, it’s the most widely-used launch monitor on the planet.
Didn’t see that one coming, did you, Trebek?
The Official Launch Monitor of MyGolfSpy
Hopefully, you’re aware that MyGolfSpy uses Foresight GC2 launch monitors for nearly every bit of club testing we do. In fact, we’re about to start our third full season of testing using GC2 launch monitors. The technology has unquestionably made our testing better (and easier), which is no small thing considering the volume of work we do. Perhaps as interesting; when we started looking for a new launch monitor, Foresight was barely on our radar.
I was first introduced to the Foresight GC2 by TaylorMade’s Chief Technology Officer, Benoit Vincent. You guys remember the time shooting my mouth off got me in a ridiculous haircut, right? Well, after my trim (and painting), Benoit and I were talking about club testing, launch monitors, and whatnot. I distinctly remember him telling me that if we’re serious about testing, we should consider using this thing called GC2.
He brought me inside one of the hitting bays at the TaylorMade Kingdom and showed me a gadget smaller than most shoe boxes. Enthusiastically, he told me that the device from a company called Foresight had replaced the in-house technology that previously filled the entire hitting bay. More accurate, and unlike their literal garage’s worth of technology, the GC2 was also completely portable.
It sounded interesting, but in late 2011 our testing was still in its infancy, and we weren’t really in the market for a launch monitor.
Fast Forward to 2013. Having wrapped up our 2013 Most Wanted Driver test, we undertook a sizable effort to expand and improve our testing program. Over the span of several months, we had conversations with R&D guys at four different golf companies. While a good bit of the conversation was about testing methodologies, number crunching, and how to go about testing 25 different clubs at once, invariably the conversation turned to launch monitors.
As we talked about our testing plans and our need for technology that could provide consistent and reliable ball and head information those R&D guys each made the same unsolicited suggestion.
Foresight. Without question and without disagreement, Foresight. And so that’s what we got.
For nearly three years, and across two Most Wanted Driver a Most Wanted Iron Test, and countless one-offs we’ve depended on Foresight’s GC2 with HMT, and we haven’t looked back.
Today, we look forward.
A 6 Year Run
The original Foresight GC2 was released in early 2010. The HMT add-on was released three years later, but otherwise, save a few generations of software updates, the largely unchanged system has more than held its own against everything else on the market.
But hey, this is technology we’re talking about. Everything gets replaced eventually, and so after an outstanding 6-year run, Foresight is ready to launch its successor to the GC2.
Five years in the development, Foresight’s newest technology, the GCQuad, will officially launch at the upcoming PGA Show. Like the GC2, all of its key components – the cameras, lenses, circuit boards and other electronics – were all developed in-house by Foresight’s engineering team. There’s no repurposing of parts, everything in the GCQuad was designed specifically for use in Foresight launch monitors.
Billed as the industry’s first quadroscopic launch monitor, the GCQuad’s overhauled chassis holds four cameras. In addition to doubling the optics, Foresight moved the cameras farther apart, creating a wider field of view. With four cameras providing four unique perspectives, the GCQuad can perceive even the most subtle changes in angle and rotation.
Effectively we’re talking about a higher resolution system that offers significantly tighter tolerances (standard deviations for measurements have been cut in half); raising launch monitor reliability to a new level.
The under-the-hood stuff is why the GCQuad can deliver ball and head data more accurately than any other launch monitor on the planet, but it’s hardly the whole of the GCQuad story. Foresight has rolled in a significant number of usability improvements that fall under what Foresight calls You-Asked-For-It Upgrades. We’re talking about features that made it into the GCQuad because end-users asked for them.
Here’s the rundown:
- Target Alignment Stick – It’s fair to say that aligning the GC2 with an outdoor target wasn’t the most precise operation. That’s fixed with the GCQuad. The new model ships with a reflective alignment stick. Point the stick at the target, press a couple of buttons. Boom precise alignment. Seriously, it’s every bit as easy as I just made it sound.
- Larger Outdoor Viewable Display –A larger, easier to read display provides shot info and quick access to menus. The ball and head data displayed is customizable, so that what matters most to you will always be visible on the screen.
- Expanded Ball Capture Area – With GC2 the ball needs to be positioned within a relatively small hitting area. By comparison, the hitting area for the GCQuad is massive. Not only will this reduce the time users spend rolling balls around, but it should eliminate the need to move the device when moving from a tee to the fairway and back (particularly indoors, off mats).
- Greater Device Connectivity – Connect your computer to the GCQuad via WIFI, Ethernet, or USB.
- Built-in Barometric Pressure Sensor – Automatically adjusts ball flight algorithms based on altitude, providing more precise down-range measurements.
- Swappable Lithium-Ion Battery – GCQuad’s battery should last about 10 hours, but there may be times when you need to swap or replace a battery. The GCQuad allows for simple, tool-less, battery replacement by the end-user.
If that wasn’t enough, the new model has a weatherized rugged outer shell to protect the cameras and other internal bits. Impact has been tested up to 60MPH, and while that may not sound like a lot, considering where the GCQuad is positioned relative to the golf ball, you’d need to hit the mother of all power shanks to do any damage.
The GC2’s flash unit has been replaced by solid-state LED lighting, which eliminates the need for the occasional flash replacement.
The HMT functionality has been integrated into the GCQuad. Unlocking its full capabilities, which now include the ability to capture putter data (both ball and head), will require an additional license. All users will be able to record swing speed regardless of their licensing level.
Also in development and expected to be released soon is a more user-friendly and easy to read (in sunlight) iPad app. Stay tuned for more details on that.
Trade-In, Trade-Up, and the Pre-Owned Market
To coincide with the launch of the GCQuad, Foresight will be implementing an aggressive trade-in program. The goal is to incentivize current Foresight owners to upgrade to the new technology, while at the same time to create something a certified pre-owned launch monitor program.
During the in the first few months of release, only existing users will be able to purchase the GCQuad. Foresight is predicting heavy demand for the new unit, and they want to ensure that loyal customers who want to upgrade won’t have to wait in line.
Users who trade-in an HMT will have club data capture enabled for no additional charge and anyone who purchased a GC2 after December 1, 2016, will get maximum value on their trade-in, including the HMT.
While a new GCQuad may be outside the price range for the average consumer and even small pro shops, Foresight’s trade-in program will create opportunities to purchase certified pre-owned GC2s at discounted prices. This has the potential to breakdown some of the barriers to ownership and help bridge the market gap between the consumer and the professional.
COMING SOON – FORESIGHT PEAK PROGRAM
Later this year Foresight will launch its Peak Program, an educational platform powered by top instructors, PGA Professionals, the newly formed advisory board, and Foresight’s growing list of brand ambassadors. As some of the world’s top coaches join the Foresight team, you should expect to see some faces you know contributing to the learning suite.
Check Out the Foresight GCQuad at This Month’s PGA Show
While the release of the GCQuad is particularly exciting for us, this is just the beginning of what’s shaping up to be a very big year for Foresight Sports. There’s more news in the pipeline, which we look forward to sharing with you in the coming months.
In the meantime, if you’ll be in Orlando later this month, swing by the Foresight booth to check out the GCQuad.
Pricing and Availability
The Foresight GCQuad is expected to begin shipping this spring. Pricing will be announced when the GCQuad officially launches at the 2017 PGA Show later this month.
Fore more information, visit ForesightSports.com.