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.