Rapsodo MLM Review
We Tried It

Rapsodo MLM Review

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Rapsodo MLM Review

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

  • $500 user-friendly, mobile launch monitor accurate to within two percent of TrackMan or FlightScope
  • Value-add of Coach Connect App for teachers and students
  • Multi-function, multi-purpose MLM

Rapsodo is a Whoop Strap or FitBit for Your Golf Game

No, it’s not a wearable. It doesn’t track your heart rate on three-footers and they disguise it to look like a mobile launch monitor (MLM). But after a test session, I’m convinced this product is a complete health tracker for your swing.

More feature-rich than the competitors in the $500 price range, Rapsodo evaluates shots from a practice session using a suite of accuracy data that’s within one or two percentage points of TrackMan and FlightScope.

And it accomplishes that at a fraction of their price tag.

Once an outdoor product only, it now can be used indoors with the required dimensions (six feet between golf ball and the unit and eight feet of flight required).

An Android version continues to inch closer to completion.

Real-Time Data Tag Teams with Real-Time Visuals

Where Rapsodo leads in the affordable MLM category is the visuals.

Pairing up the camera of an Apple device with Rapsodo’s Doppler radar is a formidable combination.

The unit can record and save up to 100 shots (or you can upgrade with a subscription to save thousands of swings to the Cloud) in real time, offering standard MLM numbers for distance, ball speed, clubhead speed, smash factor, launch angle and launch direction.

The only missing data point is spin rate. The R&D team is continuing to work on that. And, yes, it would definitely complete the metrics package.

Either way, the visuals are what give Rapsodo its edge in the affordable MLM category.

Rapsodo MLM launch monitor

Start with the directional shot tracer function. Similar to what you typically see on PGA TOUR coverage, it displays ball flight and shot shape in well-defined detail.

Combining the active tracer with a video playback of each swing using the iPhone camera and Rapsodo app is what separates it from the likes of FlightScope Mevo, Swing Caddie SC300 and ES14.

Easy to overlook is the Smart Club Recognition feature. Just a simple wave in front of the camera to change clubs is all you need. No manual input necessary.

“We like to say with Rapsodo you see the full cause and effect,” said Art Chou, General Manager of the sports analytics company based in St. Louis, Mo. “You see your swing, you get to see the shot shape and the data is all about helping you improve. We make it all about player performance.”

Rock the Cradle

Out of the box, there isn’t a lot to a Rapsodo.

Basically, it’s a cradle not much bigger than an iPhone. It has a flip-up back to hold an IOS device (multiple generations of iPhone and iPad are accounted for) at a required angle.

That’s it.

Charging the unit, downloading the app and going through a bit of a tedious process to sync up the two devices is something I was told to execute at home, not on the range.

Smart advice since there is some time and patience required.

With Bluetooth active, make sure you position the unit properly at the range. Not like I did. Rapsodo has to be at the same level as the golf ball to function correctly. I got eight feet behind spot on but, once I looked from the side, it was clear the unit was a couple of inches too low.

Easy fix but it’s something to be mindful of.

Also required is line of sight. Optical tracking of the first 50 to 60 feet of ball flight requires Rapsodo to have an unencumbered path.

Get those right, see a green light and you’re set.

Wedges Lead Off

With any new MLM the inclination is to pull the headcover off a driver and begin a rapid-fire session.

Great fun but not overly insightful if you’re trying to find out what an MLM is capable of.

That’s why I like to test these types of products with a heavier emphasis on shots from 100 yards and in.

Frankly, the difference between 236 and 244 yards off the tee isn’t that important to me. Way more consequential is short-game performance since I like to carry four wedges (call it a weakness).

Knowing my launch monitor numbers pretty well, the swings I use (half, three-quarter and full swing) to achieve specific wedge distances tend to be good benchmarks for launch monitor or MLM testing.

Starting there and working my way up through the bag provided good feedback on the Rapsodo data.

And it’s extremely good. Close or equal to top-of-pyramid TrackMan and FlightScope.

Integrated GPS mapping helps golfers learn their distances easily and efficiently. What I really liked was the shot tracing to optimize ball flight with specific clubs.

(Spoiler: Knockdown shots and low stingers are a lot of fun.)

There’s also an option to listen to your shot data through the voice function instead of reading it each time. Nothing new here but it’s a more productive way to utilize the device’s feedback on the range.

“Data is fantastic as long as it’s simple to use. Not only does it have to be as user-friendly as possible but the whole experience has to be seamless,” Chou explained. “Let’s be honest. If we ask consumers to do things too far outside their normal procedure they won’t use it. To take that one step further, we also need to explain it in a way that’s easy to understand.”

From the visual and shot tracer, one thing I detected was poor transitioning at the top of my swing with the longer clubs. It was causing lousy sequencing, a lifetime fault of mine.

Fortunately, there’s help available for that.

Coach Connect Is a Clincher

Where Rapsodo has gone to another level is with Coach Connect.

Launched in full a few weeks ago with a full slate of assets, it offers an all-in-one coaching platform connecting golfers to swing instructors for online lessons.

Virtual interaction is smooth, reliable and pretty simple to coordinate through the app. That includes payment.

Rapsodo MLM launch monitor

A coach has the ability to mark up a swing, provide verbal feedback or drills to correct a problem and integrate Rapsodo’s data and combined visuals into the lesson experience.

Rapsodo has a pretty large group of swing instructors participating.

Aligned with Golf Digest for its Top 100 teachers list, you can choose high-profile instructors like Mike Malaska, Trillium Rose, Mark Blackburn or an instructor in your home state or city.

“Not having constant connection with students makes the learning curve last a lot longer,” said Malaska. “Coach Connect allows you to connect consistently with whoever you are working with from any place at any time.”

Already have a swing coach? An opportunity to invite them to the app through the lesson portal is also provided where he or she can jump on, bypass the marketplace and use it with existing clients without charging them.

“Malaska was our beta-tester,” said Chou. “He was the guy early on who told us what we needed to do. He got his daughter Ashley involved and together they crafted the whole platform. You can select anyone off the list, send a swing to them for a fee and we handle the transaction. Teachers control their pricing and how they market themselves. It’s kind of like Yelp or Uber for golf teachers. We’re getting a ton of great feedback already.”

Rapsodo MLM launch monitor

An Extension to Club Fitting

One troublesome piece of data from my Rapsodo test session was the gap between 4-wood and 3-hybrid. I knew it was there but with something of a lost year in 2020 from COVID, I was unaware it had become so pronounced—22 yards according to the numbers.

That’s way too much.

Put a check mark on equipment optimization as another value-added aspect of practice with Rapsodo.

“People go and get fit but they’re done in an hour or two. When is the next time you look at how those clubs are fitting you?” Chou asked. “You don’t until you go and get fit for another new driver. This way you have a running commentary on your equipment and what’s happening at all times. Rapsodo not only gives you the pulse of your game but it also offers a sense for the correlation between your swing and your clubs.”

Data + Visualization = Improvement

Rapsodo is health and wellness for your golf game. It checks every box in terms of performance function, not with bells and whistles, but with a well-executed platform for improvement.

The company has continued to refine the public-facing app with updates at least once every four to five weeks for several months.

“The more users we get, the more feedback we get. That allows us to fix problems but also add new features. It’s a constant process,” said Chou.

And it’s only going to get better.

Rapsodo has retained leading biomechanics expert Sasho Mackenzie to develop analytics that will break down practice sessions into even greater detail.

Expected launch for that is this summer.

It adds another level of dependability for teaching professionals, industry experts and consumers.

Titleist Performance Institute Co-founder Dave Phillips believes getting where you want to go faster is at the core of Rapsodo’s DNA.

“Golfers who incorporate feedback provided by a tool like the Rapsodo MLM immediately elevate the quality of their practice,” he said. “They can easily identify areas that need to improve.”

For more on heath and wellness for your game, go to Rapsodo.com.

For You

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Rick Young

Rick Young

Rick Young

MyGolfSpy contributor Rick Young believes golf has far more interesting stories outside the ropes than inside; that a beautiful set of forged irons is good for the golfing soul (even if they're hard to hit) and that the World Golf Hall of Fame is missing a dozen worthy golf industry icons who deserve an honored place in St. Augustine, FLA. Born and raised in Woodstock, Ontario, Young is currently President of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada....and trying hard not to be impeached.

Rick Young

Rick Young

Rick Young

Rick Young

Rick Young

Rick Young

Rick Young

Rick Young

Rick Young





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      Glenn

      3 years ago

      Terrible customer service. No response to emails. Chat is never available? Or at least whenever I have tried to access.
      They claim my monitor was shipped December 8, 2021. A month later still no monitor. Be careful ordering from this company.

      Reply

      Norman R deputy

      3 years ago

      I bought the Rapsodo last November 2020 on promise of software upgrade to support Android by EARLY 2021. Still awaiting this upgrade so that I can finally use my device.
      By this date you must be able to be more precise on rollout?

      Reply

      Matt

      3 years ago

      Great product, my only gripe is the lack of functionality in the games modes. A bit of tweaking (eg. make single player ‘nearest the pin’ a proper game) and some additional modes (eg. combine test and random distances with scoring) would enhance the fun this provides at the range.

      Reply

      David

      3 years ago

      You note that it doesn’t yet pick up spin rate, but that the functionality is in development. Once that’s figured out, do you expect it to be a software or hardware upgrade (ie will I have to get a new Rapsodo That can do this, or will I just be able to download a firmware update—for an addtl fee I’m assuming)?

      Reply

      Michael

      3 years ago

      My driving range has launch monitors in the covered stalls there. $12 for a large bucket should tell me everything I need to know about the particular thing I’m analyzing that day. And I don’t have to set up a damn thing and more importantly, don’t need an iPhone

      Reply

      Jacob

      3 years ago

      Does it detect left to right like a slice in the net mode?

      Reply

      David

      3 years ago

      Yes, this is the piece I’d like to know as well. I’ll be using it primarily outdoors, but into a net. The ball flight visualization is the differentiator for me over the Mevo. However the Mevo detects spin rate, so if Rapsodo won’t show ball flight characteristics when using a net, that’s probably the difference maker for me b/w the two products.

      Reply

      scott

      3 years ago

      I’m a american so I don’t buy Apple products. so it’s a no go. . Plus I can play 12 rounds of golf or buy a gizom that will tell me I need more practice. more.

      Reply

      Michael

      3 years ago

      very comprehensive for article. But needing launch monitor data is infrequent for me. But let’s say I wanted to compare two shafts on my driver, I can just go to my driving range, they have the launch monitor setup on a number of the bays there. $12 for a large bucket. I can probably learn everything I need to know for that price. If not, I can come back tomorrow.

      Reply

      Jon Silverberg

      3 years ago

      iPhone users as a percentage of all smartphone users in the US in the last five years has grown from 43% to 47% (statista.com). In the rest of the world,, that percentage is much lower.. Therefore, it is incorrect to claim that that there are more of them in use compared to Androids.
      Given that, I wonder a) why this company started with iPhone and b) just how long this company has been claiming that an Android version is “coming soon.”

      Reply

      joe

      3 years ago

      The kids gave me a Rapsodo for my birthday. Indoors, they say 8 feet between ball to the net but the IFU says 15ft from the ball to the net. Combine that with 6ft behind the ball and you are talking a lot of space. I found that the device requires a lot of bright light to pick up the ball indoors? 15ft back from the net with a Sand Wedge? PW? you really have to flight your wedges or…

      Reply

      Art Chou

      3 years ago

      Hi Joe – This is Art from Rapsodo. 8 feet is enough distance from ball to net; may even work with less room depending on your ball speed. We also recommend shining as much light as possible on the ball from behind your teeing area.

      Reply

      Randy

      3 years ago

      Just spent $200 on the PRGR BLACK launch monitor, after several weeks I have been pleased with accuracy and fact I didn’t need to tie into a phone . Has same ball data , but not the coaching feature . Thoughts ?

      Reply

      Sean

      3 years ago

      I’ve used this MLM and Bastian is correct, it didn’t last 10 minutes under So.Cal sun. You have to put a shade over it.

      Also reason I sold my MLM is that you can’t adjust the angle of the iphone.
      Camera angle is upward so it records from ground and up. Meaning you won’t get a clear ‘from the behind’ picture of your swing.
      You can probably get a tripod stand and put your phone on it. I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why it won’t work.

      Reply

      Eddy Whitaker

      3 years ago

      have you tested this against flightscope? Also feel like the struggle with wedge distancing is a pretty big con, also I’m on android so no go for now

      Reply

      Michael

      3 years ago

      Could not disagree more, I found the Rapsodo very difficult to use for a number of reasons. For starters, living in South Florida the Rapsodo is barely usable outdoors mostly because your phone will overheat in the sun so you need to find some shade at the very least. Next I found the user interface extremely clunky and counter intuitive and I’m not some old guy who thinks apps are things your order before your meal lol. It would not recognize my club for the auto change either but the real deal breaker was every 10-15 shots it would lose connectivity with my phone (iPhone XR) and I would have to stop re-pair and start all over again. You’re better off with the Garmin G80 for the same price and avoid these headaches with the Rapsodo.

      Reply

      Art Chou

      3 years ago

      Michael – This is Art from Rapsodo. Very sorry to hear about your negative experience. if you are game I’d like to offer to have a quick call to check your firmware and app version; we could also look up your shots and see what our issues are. Please reach out at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to take care of you.

      Reply

      Clay Nicolsen

      3 years ago

      As soon as they have an Android version, and it gets tested to show comparable accuracy and useability, I’m in.

      Reply

      Max R

      3 years ago

      I’ve got the PRGR and more than pleased with the device’s limited yet accurate results. I”m going to be using it with @sashomackenzie’s @thestacksystem to improve swing speed. The best part is that you don’t need a ball to use it.

      Reply

      Kyle

      3 years ago

      I’ve had one for a few months using it net only and seems pretty good for both full and half shots.. Can’t wait to get outdoors and use the function I’m looking forward to most which is shot patterns laid over gps picture of my range. The video playback is a neat feature but I would rather use a video from a higher perspective. It would make sense to me to utilize the better camera(s) on the back of the iPhone and pair it with an iPad for a readout or replay of the shot. I would think the accuracy could be quite a bit better utilizing those higher quality lenses of the rear cameras. Would be an interesting option. Also looking forward to them working with Sasho McKenzie as it may add the functionality of reading swing speed with speed stick training.

      Reply

      Ed

      3 years ago

      Thank you for the write up Rick. Great work. I’ve been using the Mevo Flightscope , same price, and I have been having excellent results. It can be used indoor and outdoor. There was a Titleist fitting at my club this weekend and he had a Trackman. He let me put my Mevo next to it to compare and the results were similar to what you experienced with Rapsodo. Have you used the Mevo Product?

      Reply

      Rick Young

      3 years ago

      Thanks Ed. Appreciate it. I have tried Mevo & Mevo + . Both are excellent products with dependable data sets and feedback (I call Mevo the Mighty Mite) I think most of the MLM brands have done yeoman’s work with their technology platforms. Can’t break the numbers down into the detail a TrackMan or GC Quad can but those products aren’t targeted to consumers.

      Reply

      Dave Graham

      3 years ago

      They do realize I assume that 70% of the cell pone market is Android? As soon as I read that this is Apple only I stopped.

      Reply

      Shaun

      3 years ago

      Do you know when they will finally have the Android app out? They said end of last year but that came and went and still no update. It’s annoying taking an iPad to the range when i could be using my android phone.

      Reply

      Pinhi1

      3 years ago

      Will the spin rate be part of an app update when released or will it require a new Rapsodo unit? Really want this one but have held off due to spin rates not being included. Dont want to buy one now and Rapsodo releases a new unit to include the spin rate data.

      Reply

      Jeff

      3 years ago

      I talked to a rapsodo sales rep before purchasing because I was curious about what data was measured and what data is calculated and was told spin rates will be added via software updates not new hardware.

      Reply

      Don

      3 years ago

      I’m waiting for the Android version of the app to come out. I’ve been waiting for over 5 months and have NO idea when it will be available. Until it comes out I’m just waiting and hoping for the app. NOT going to buy a new I-phone just to use the MLM.

      Reply

      Keith

      3 years ago

      I don’t use Apple, so I agree.

      Reply

      Rich Habibi

      3 years ago

      The fact that it is so close to the expensive models is very impressive, but I don’t understand how it can possibly calculate distance or carry if it can’t read spin? High spin versus low spin has a massive impact on distance, if it can’t read that, how is it calculating that close to the other units?

      Reply

      William

      3 years ago

      Rich, you are correct that spin rate affects the distance a ball travels. MLM uses Doppler RADAR (radio distance and ranging). This means the radar measures the distance based upon an algorithm independent of spin rate. Think about other objects that RADAR measures distance to or speed that are not ordinarily traveling with spin (e.g. aircraft in flight).

      Reply

      Wai

      3 years ago

      Does range balls mess with the effectiveness of the read outs?

      Reply

      Jeff

      3 years ago

      I hope this helps answer your question. Rapsodo will read the ballspeed whether it is a reduced flight range ball or a brand new prov1. If by effectiveness you mean consistency rapsodo read outs will be only as consistent as the quality of balls used. If you use a foam ball, reduced flight ball, or tour ball rapsodo will read the ball data it produces. I have noticed a tighter grouping of ballspeed and distance when I was at a range that used prov1 balls vs heavily used pinnacles at the range I mainly use.

      Reply

      Andrew

      3 years ago

      Given Rapsodo’s heritage in baseball, and the capabilities of a doppler radar, I would not bet against them being able to add spin rate without a hardware change. Spin axis would potentially be harder, but could be imputed.

      I agree with others that have said without spin rate, this product ultimately falls just short of being interesting enough to buy.

      Reply

      Bastian K

      3 years ago

      One of the Problems that keep me from commiting to this solution is that IPhones / IPads are notoriously fast overheating under direct sun. My regular range has no shade creating covers over the mats.. And I fear that this will limit the usable time on the range considerably.
      And if you dont have a supported Tablet/Phone – you are quickly reaching 1k+$ you need to spend.

      Reply

      Jeff

      3 years ago

      I live in Palm Springs and haven’t had heat issues but when it’s over 100 degrees up to about my personal limit of 115 degrees I made box cut out to shade the rapsodo/iPhone by using a 2 ft square box and cutting one of the sides off it to create shaded housing seems to do the job. As long as you keep direct sunlight off the device will work fine in the heat. The club pro had to keep an umbrella over his trackman to prevent overheating so I imagine you will have heat issues with all electronics if you don’t shade it.

      Reply

      Jeff

      3 years ago

      I’ve been using rapsodo since the beginning of January. I was able to test it against trackman using a driver indoors and was extremely surprised by the results. Rapsodo always read slower on ball speed consistently but was usually within 1mph and the largest error was 3% which I thought in a low light environment vs a 25K trackman 4 was amazing. Outdoor range is where the rapsodo shines. It rarely makes a mistake and reads very consistent. While the ball speed and launch read out are correct occasionally the camera will show a 45 degree slice when it tracks the tee flying out of the ground instead of the ball and once every 100 shots I sometimes get an outlier with a 170 mph swing speed and 295mph ballspeed but I just delete it and move on. Rapsodo shines as a full swing and speed trainer. It doesn’t do to bad with stinger shots either. For the bad, rapsodo does not do well with wedge shots when you start opening the face and it’s just to inconsistent for me to trust it to dial in the wedges inside 50 yards but the reason I bought it was I wanted consistent feedback as a swing speed trainer and for that I could not be any happier. I’ve owned the SC300 voice caddy and read or watched a review on every device and under $3000 and rapsodo is at the top. While skytrak may be great indoors I can’t say because I’ve only used it outside which is definitely not it’s strength, to sum it up in a word horrible. Distance and ballspeeds were significantly off by large amounts. My max ballspeed speed with skytrak was 148mph and 249y carry whereas rapsodo my max was 173mph ballspeed and got a 174.3 reading with trackman and 288y carry. My recommendation is if you aren’t going to buy a gc2 gcquad or trackman and want a cheaper device for indoor/outdoor use the rapsodo is the best device on the market.

      Reply

      Marty Karr

      3 years ago

      Does the Rapsodo do just swing speed, without a ball, where it could be used with such things as the Super Speed training system.

      Reply

      Jeff

      3 years ago

      I could not get rapsodo to read club head speed without hitting a ball even when I swung and clipped tees. I guess it depends on how you train. I do my over/under speed training without worrying about what a radar reads and then use rapsodo to measure gains hitting a ball. If you want a device that reads speed stick swings the PRGR or swing speed radar work for that but then you sacrifice other features from rapsodo so I guess it just depends on what works for you for what you need it to do.

      Scott

      3 years ago

      Does it measure swing speed without a ball? For example, using SuperSpeed sticks.

      Reply

      Guy

      3 years ago

      Scott, look at Jeff reply just before your comment. No, the Rapsodo will not read an air swing with no ball. Too bad, that would make the Rapsodo even more interesting.. The best solution for Superspeed training is the PRGR. This capability and the spin rate reading would make the Rapsodo a perfect tool.

      Harry P.

      3 years ago

      If I am not interested in connecting with a swing coach, can’t I get all the ball info needed from Top Tracer range with a $9 bucket of balls?

      Reply

      Drew

      3 years ago

      Yes you could, if you’re lucky enough to have that access. I live in major metropolitan area (Los Angeles) and still the nearest TT range is about an hour from my house. And it’s ~$30-40 a bucket. And it’s very busy. A MLM is a no brainer for me.

      Reply

      Brent

      3 years ago

      Does this type of monitor work with limited flight range balls?

      Reply

      Brad Walters

      3 years ago

      Is this the same unit previously tested with a software upgrade or a new unit? Thanks.

      Reply

      Nick Hyett

      3 years ago

      Hey guys. Do you know when Rapsodo are going to release a new version of the product? Particularly interested to know when the spin rate would be implemented.
      Cheers

      Reply

      Jeff

      3 years ago

      I talked to a rapsodo sales rep before purchasing the product because I had this same question. I was told the hardware would be the same but there will be a software update when spin rate is added.

      Reply

      Harry P

      3 years ago

      If you don’t want to connect with a swing coach, can’t you get all the info needed from Top Tracer range with a $9 bucket of balls?

      Reply

      MarkM

      3 years ago

      Haven’t you guys always said that these lower priced launch monitors are basically toys compared tot he big boys without spin data?
      And sorry, but Android leads the world cell phone market 72% to 27% over Apple IOS so why is there a delay in an Android capable model?
      Count me out

      Reply

      Steve C

      3 years ago

      But IOS leads the US market

      jonwgee

      3 years ago

      Apple products all have the same camera software, every Android phone is different
      WAY easier to develop an app for Apple devices…..

      Rob W.

      3 years ago

      All Top Tracer ranges by me are mats only, and most fitting and practice bays are mats and indoors. The only way to get your numbers on grass is to pay for a lesson. For a golfer obsessed with their flight data, this thing makes total sense.

      Reply

      Adam

      3 years ago

      I hope you’ve had a better experience with the Top Tracer range, because my driver carry distances weren’t even close to being correct. Not only were they short, they didn’t even make sense based on ball speeds and launch angles. (which I do think seemed accurate).

      Reply

      Tim

      3 years ago

      What are you benchmarking your carry distances against to compare to the Top Tracer numbers? Curious as a new top Tracer opened near me..

      AcesAndHoles

      3 years ago

      Hi Rick, you were spot on with the height aspect of the MLM and the line-of-sight, did you have any issues with alignment? Did you follow the ball-box or the alignment metric when you tested?

      Reply

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