This post was most recently updated on January 18th, 2022
Going to the range and practicing as well as receiving lessons can definitely help a golfer improve their game. Although, when doing this a golfer and their instructor are basing improvement and performance solely off how their swing looks and ball flight. Finding the best golf launch monitor can provide you with statistics such as launch angle, ball speed and spin rate just to name a few.
This article will highlight the top four launch monitors available to the public.
Best Golf Launch Monitor 2022
Short on Time? Here's A Quick Product Synopsis
What is a launch monitor?
A launch monitor is an electronic device used to calculate different metrics when a golfer swings a club and hits a ball.
Some of the metrics included depending on how high-end or low-end the monitor are carry distance, club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, vertical launch angle, spin, apex height and flight time.
The monitor tells you exactly what happens at the moment of impact and can help you find your weaknesses or strengths.
How does a golf launch monitor work?
Golf monitors can use either technology from a camera or from a doppler radar that captures data at impact. The monitors proceed to use the collected data with their system’s algorithms to give the golfer a set of statistics and projections regarding the swing and shot that was just made by the golfer.
What features do the best launch monitors have?
Some of the fanciest and best golf launch monitors have advanced features that make it easier for the systems to deliver accurate results.
The GC2 Smart Camera System for example has a series of complex high-definition cameras to attain the ball and club data right at impact and project the distance and flight trajectory using the software. These are often found at golf stores or at golf facilities.
The best launch monitors also have doppler radar as mentioned in the previous section. The monitor creates a microwave signal that comes out of the device and it interferes with the moving object (golf club or ball) and the reflected signal is captured and used to provide the statistics.
Launch monitors capture various statistics such as distance, ball speed, clubhead speed, smash factor, launch angle and launch direction. Below are the definitions of each category.
Distance: How far your shot went in yards or meters.
Carry Distance: How far the ball traveled once it first touched the ground (Doesn’t include roll out).
Ball Speed: The golf ball’s exit speed right after contact.
Club Head Speed: How fast your club was going right before impact.
Smash Factor: The speed of the ball divided by the speed of the club (swing speed).
Launch Angle: The ball’s angle in regard to the ground.
Launch Direction: The angle of the ball in regard to the target line.
Different monitors have different modes allowing golfers to focus on specific parts of the game to track or display a certain statistic. Some apps have customizable interfaces allowing users to display one statistic bigger than the other in order to focus on it. The SkyTrak has a mode that simulates a driving range so you can virtually be hitting off a range anywhere you are.
Are you tech savvy?
Using a golf launcher isn’t rocket science. They are pretty easy to use and include manuals and quick start guides. If you’re still having trouble using the monitor you can always call the company, look online or go on YouTube. Understanding the statistics is important so you can get the most out of your monitor.
Golf monitors vary in size and weight. The fancy models at golf stores are usually larger in size but that doesn’t mean the small portable ones don’t work just as well. The smallest monitors fit inside small pockets and some even clip on to golf gloves. The FlightScope Mevo is a great example of a super small monitor. The dimensions are 3.5 x 1.5 x 2.4 inches.
The FlightScope Mevo isn’t considered a high-end launch monitor but has many features most expensive options contain such as doppler radar technology.
The Mevo offers golfers a plethora of options and captures carry distance, club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, vertical launch angle, spin, apex height and flight time.
It also allows users to record statistics and videos on their cell phones. The monitor can also be used both indoors and outdoors. A player is able to save their data and check it later to track their improvement.
One of the advanced features that this monitor has is the Mevo app that records a video of your swing and adds the stats onto the same swing so you don’t have to flip back and forth.
The Mevo is convenient due to its size. It is smaller than most cell phones. The interface is customizable and includes data blocks that are able to display six different stats at once and has a 2D trajectory graph as well.
The 2D graph allows users to test out different trajectories to see what works for them.
The Mevo is white and red and can be placed in your pocket, backpack or golf bag.
The Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar measures not only swing speed but also tempo in order to aid players to swing more consistently which improves performance and contact when striking the ball.
This monitor doesn’t require players to hit a real ball but instead a wiffle or sponge ball will function just as well. This enables golfers to practice in their homes.
The swing tempo time that is measured begins at the start of the swing when the club reaches takeaway and ends right after ball impact. The measurement is recorded at one hundredth of a second. The radar measures swings and ball speeds from 40 miles per hour to just over 200 miles per hour.
This monitor is recommended for golfers of all ages and skill levels. The monitor is red and white with a small screen at the top that displays the stats. It comes with a stand in the back to set it on the grass at the range or on the carpet inside a home.
The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor allows you to analyze your ball flight due to the tracer it has and allows you to track your ball to where you hit it on your phone. The monitor uses your phone’s camera to capture the statistics on your swings and allows you to view it for feedback.
The metrics that the monitor measures is distance, ball speed, clubhead speed, smash factor, launch angle and launch direction.
When being used on the range make sure it doesn’t get wet or rained on because the model is not water resistant.
The app allows you to send your videos to friends and family. Even if you’re on the golf course you can use your phone’s GPS to see exactly where you hit the ball.
The Monitor can only be used outdoors and it is not meant for hitting into a net.
The Rapsodo includes a sturdy black and red case and also a USB charging cable when purchased. A rechargeable battery is also thrown in that lasts up to eight hours.
Currently the Rapsodo app is available on iOS (Apple) and anroid devices.
The Skytrak Launch Monitor has a much heftier price tag than the other systems in this list but it also has the best top-of-the-line technology.
The monitor makes you feel like you’re at TopGolf and measures ball speed, launch angle, back spin, club speed, side spin and side angle. It also shows carry distance and total distance.
The SkyTrak connects wirelessly to a bluetooth device and provides the statistics the second a golfer hits the ball. The launch monitor and golf simulator were created by SkyTrak to serve as a game-improvement tool.
One thing that makes the SkyTrak elite is its mode where you can simulate being at a driving range. This is extremely helpful because this can be done just about anywhere and is very convenient for anyone looking to get a practice session in.
The launch monitor displays everything in 3D but in doing so requires compatible hardware.
The following operating systems are compatible with the Skytrak: iOS, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2 (w/ retina display), iPad Mini 3 * PC: Windows 7, 8 or 10, Intel Core 2 Duo with 2.0GHz or higher, 2GB RAM or higher.
The SkyTrak comes with a rechargeable Ion-lithium battery that lasts up to 5 hours.
After reviewing the four monitors our conclusion is that the FlightScope Mevo is the best golf launch monitor available and that is precisely why we selected it for our editor’s choice award.
The doppler radar’s accuracy along with the portability and size made it an easy choice. The Mevo also features a phone app where users can track their statistics and take their results wherever they go.
Lawrence Smelser is part of the Golfible editorial staff and is a freelance golf writer. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour and most recently the 2019 Masters. He holds a journalism Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas