There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
WHAT WE TRIED
WHAT IS THE FORESIGHT GC3?
Golfers are looking for the next big thing, and the Foresight GC3 might just be it.
The Personal Launch Monitor space has, shall we say, left plenty to be desired when it comes to accuracy. The entry of the Foresight GC3 may have pushed the cost of ownership above the $500 point that golfers have become accustomed to, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
The GC3 PERSONAL LAUNCH MONITOR
The GC3 retails for $7,000, which admittedly might be out of reach for most golfers, but with that, not only do you get more data than you get with other personal launch monitors, that data is actually reliable. With the GC3, Foresight provides a robust number of data points, including the most important/relevant data that consumers need.
Here’s how GC3 compares to Foresight’s enterprise-class GCQuad:
Most of these metrics aren’t available in personal launch monitors within the $500-$2000 range. It’s also notable that the GC3 offers a Barometric Sensor. For those who don’t know what that means, here it is in a nutshell.
Temperature, humidity, and altitude vary across the world. I’m guessing you knew that. If your launch monitor numbers assume sea level, but you’re playing in the mountains, your actual distance will be significantly longer than what the data suggests because of the altitude and air density. Temperature matters too.
A barometric sensor takes into account the environment and gives you accurate data based on where you are. You just take this unit to the course you’re playing and you are good to go with your real numbers. No more guessing. It’s that simple.
WHY ARE WE TRYING IT?
Foresight is one of the leaders in the Launch Monitor world. Hell, we use the GC Quad because we want the most accurate data possible for all our testing needs. So when Foresight announced they’re coming out with a Personal Launch Monitor, it was a no-brainer to take it out and put it through its paces.
Foresight use is rapidly growing on TOUR and without sponsorship dollars pushing the shift. The majority of PGA TOUR pros inside the Top 25 own GCQuads. Pay attention next time TV cameras scan the range. You’re going to see a significant number of Foresights.
The best players in the world trust the GCQuad, but is there any chance the GC3 can provide the same level of accuracy for average golfers?
We had to find out.
Hi, I’m Harry, and I am a professional golf product tester. (Yes, they exist.) I test a lot of things at MyGolfSpy and play professionally when I’m not checking and comparing specs on gloves, rangefinders, bags, ball retrievers, etc.. You can call me the Director of Product Testing here at MGS. You can also just call me Harry. That’s fine, too.
USING THE FORESIGHT GC3
My first impression of the GC3 is how compact the unit is. It’s like a mini-me of the GC Quad. Well kinda. It’s a little lighter and offers one fewer camera. One thing that the GC3 offers that the Quad doesn’t is simple touch screen control. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and totally customizable.
How do you set it up to record data? Turn it on, plonk it down parallel to your target line, and hit. It’s that simple. Point and shoot, if you will.
When using the Foresight GC3 outside, you can link the unit up to a tablet or phone to get more data than what’s offered by the screen alone. If can also provide head data with one fiducial (the technical word for a sticker) placed high and in the middle of the face. If you’re lucky enough to have room to hit balls inside, you can link the GC3 up to a computer or via wifi to play Pebble Beach, hit the range, or just have some fun with a skills challenge.
Downloading and installing the software is easy, and setting up the device takes no time at all. I was off and running in a matter of minutes. Trust me, it’s every bit as fast, if not faster, to get rolling with the Foresight GC3 than most of the $500 Personal Launch Monitors we’ve tested.
For the money, I suppose it should be.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO THE GC QUAD?
Ok, let’s face it. The GCQuad is the holy grail of photometric (camera-based) launch monitors, but, it turns out, the GC3 doesn’t lag much behind. It’s true; the GC3 doesn’t give you Loft/Lie, Face Angle, Impact Location, or Closure Rate. It doesn’t measure putter data either. That might be a letdown for some, but, honestly, the only metrics I’d personally miss are face angle and maybe Loft/Lie. The other metrics aren’t as necessary, and in most cases, can be extrapolated or figured out some other way. Plus, for $7,000, you get a massive amount of data. It gets you a good bit of the way to the $18,000 GCQuad.
The question I have been asked the most is, “how reliable is the new GC3 compared to the GCQuad?” Well… I’ll just leave this data up for you, and you can see how it compares for yourself.
Honestly, I’m not surprised one bit. Both units leverage the same flight algorithms, and both capture data reliable. Even with the challenges of running both units in parallel, The ball was exceptionally close – consistently closer than we’ve seen with any personal launch monitor we’ve tested to date. While I did hit a single shot where the units disagreed by about 300 RPM, a healthy number of shots were bang on, often within 50-100 RPM of the GCQuad.
What about head data?
Unfortunately, while we can capture ball data while running the units side-by-side (well, across from each other), the same method won’t work for head data. What we’ve seen suggests the Foresight GC3 does accurately capture head data, and given the capture methodology is the same as the GCQuad, the expectation is that head data will be consistent and accurate.
Can we swear to it? No.
Are we confident? Definitely.
COMPARING THE GC3 TO R10 AND RAPSODO
The question is, how does the GC3 hold up against other Personal Launch Monitors? It’s a bit of a loaded question given the not entirely insignificant price difference. Apples and oranges, perhaps, but if you’re wondering what you get for the extra cash, here is a comparison between the Garmin R10, Rapsodo, and the GC3 compared to the GC Quad.
As you can see, both of these personal launch monitors don’t even sniff the GC3. While the more inexpensive units do well for a couple of metrics, a 7.64% average difference in carry can amount to more than a club length. And it’s not consistently 7.64%. Sometimes it’s less, sometimes considerably more. So I’m not sure if I would rely on that data to translate to the course.
Let’s talk about what the GC3 could improve on!
I’m going to be upfront with you. Unless you absolutely have to have a few more metrics (and are willing to pay another for $11,000 to get them), this unit is a game-changer. I haven’t found anything from a data, visuals, or satisfaction level that disappoints. The only negative about the GC3 is maybe the price.
If Foresight priced it in and around the Sky Trak price range, you’d see a lot of GC3s in basements, backyards, and garages. However, the GC3 is the better device (and it works reliably outdoors in full sunlight), so does it make sense to compete directly on price?
I don’t know. I don’t price products, I review them. And I definitely can’t predict the future.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE FORESIGHT GC3
Here’s the deal. Figure out which of these best describes you:
- A Serious golfer
- Someone who has or will have an indoor hitting space
- Someone who wants indoor golf entertainment
To be fair, if you’re any of the above would be thrilled with the Foresight GC3.
If you’re a serious golfer, you can get dialed in with ACCURATE numbers. You can also take it to your events and still get reliable data regardless of temperature, altitude, or humidity.
Those who have or will have an indoor hitting space in their house can benefit immensely. You can link the GC3 up to a computer or iPad and play famous courses around the world without leaving your house. Plus, in the off-season, you can get grinding on your swing with more data than has been available to you before.
Finally, if you’re looking for something to take your mind off work, you can use the GC3 in the simulator setting again via an iPad, computer, or iPhone and play the Fairground games or Zombie Apocolypse.
The Foresight GC3 is more capable than other units in the Personal Launch Monitor market. It’s that simple.
I understand that the GC3 costs $7,000 and can be out of the price range for some golfers. However, you have the option to buy the Bushnell Launch Pro model for $3,000 and add the features you want via software subscriptions. If you want the same capabilities as the GC3 straight away, The Gold package is $799 a year.
I want to be clear that the Foresight GC3 and the Bushnell Launch Pro are the same exact device and will provide the same data with equal accuracy. The only differences are the logo and the upfront costs.
Is this GC3 something that you’re considering? Let me know in the comment section below.