If you are looking for a complete golf simulator set-up for your home, garage, or backyard, check out the kits we have available in our Resources and Guides section.
But, if you’ve either got your simulator area already set-up, or you are planning a DIY build, or you just want a launch monitor you can take to the range with you, let’s run through some of the different models available.
Before we get into specifics the first thing to realize is that launch monitors vary greatly in cost—from a few hundred dollars right up to over $20,000 for the higher end units. Of course, the amount of data they provide and their accuracy is somewhat reflected in their price. But not always! There are some outliers that are bucking this trend. Part of what’s happening is that the technology has been around for a while now and it’s becoming cheaper and easier to access for manufacturers.
Let’s start of with one of the new players that has turned the launch monitor industry somewhat on its head in recent months and that’s Garmin, who have released the Approach R10.
The main thing that’s got peoples attention with this unit is the price $599, the data it records and its accuracy.
In short, it measures 14 different club head and ball flight parameters. It records videos of your swing automatically as you practice, with the relevant shot data attached, which you can display on your phone or iPad. The native Approach R10 graphics for the range or not super engaging visually but because it integrates with E6 Connect you can use their range graphics which are outstanding. You get five E6 Connect courses preloaded and you can get more with paid for upgrades. Plus, if you sign-up to the Garmin Golf App you also get access to 42,000 courses worldwide preloaded on the device.
When we tested our demo model in house simultaneously against TrakMan, FilghtScope X3, and SkyTrak units, the Garmin data came up instantaneously, it didn’t miss a shot and it was as accurate as the other three. All in all, at the price point it occupies, the Garmin is a pretty compelling proposition.
Of course, if you do want to go to the high end of the market, say a Trakman 4, it does track more data, 30 plus parameters to be exact, and it’s now added impact location and a bunch of putting data.
If you still want to get high end performance but at a lower price point than TrakMan, the FlightScope X3, that 24-7 Golf carries, has everything you might want. Bryson De Chambeau and Bubba Watson amongst other touring pros rely on it and with it you get 50+ full swing, chipping, pitching, and putting data parameters.
The X3 can also capture data and automatically clip video from multiple camera feeds on every shot. Plus you get 5 included courses with E6 Connect, 17 ranges and skills challenging games. When we tested this unit in house a very interesting feature was the wedge D-plane data, fascinating and a really helpful tool if you’re really trying to finesse your wedge play.
We have FlightScope X3 at $14,999, as mentioned that’s a good deal lower than other high end launch monitors like the radar based TrakMan 4 at $20,000, or the photometric based at $1,999 around.
Then again, i you’re working around a budget somewhere between The Garmin Approach R10 and FlightScope X3 there’s a couple of other standout options we carry.
The Mevo+ from FlightScope, has been a super popular seller since it was released. At $6,699 it’s small, light and portable. Can be used indoors or out and captures sixteen various ball flight and clubhead parameters. Like the Garmin and FlightScope X3 you can automatically generate video of your swing with attached shot data, (which looks like it will be a standard feature of a lot of reasonable quality launch monitors going forward.)
You get the same 5 courses and 17 ranges with the included iOS E6 Connect bundle, just like it’s more expensive cousin the FlighScope X3, and access to the FSS Skills app, where you can create custom challenges to improve different aspects of your game.
Honestly, this unit will be enough to satisfy most golfers. Even coaches and tour players would get an awful lot from it. So our advice would be to check it out thoroughly before you commit anything in a higher price unit.
The last launch monitor we’ll look at is SkyTrak, which is at the same price point as Mevo+ and has been a tried and tested reliable performer over a number of years now. With SkyTrak you can measure 11 various parameters and it integrates well with TGC 2019 course software to give you access to over 150,000 courses, so you’re unlikely to ever get bored!
SkyTrak is also a great space saver as it sits alongside the ball rather than needing room behind the ball like radar units do. With a performance rate that has been proven to be 98% as accurate as TrakMan again it’s a standout option in its price range.