Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best launch monitor 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2020
Best launch monitor of 2018
Like choosing clothes or cosmetics, choosing launch monitor should be based on your purpose, favorite style, and financial condition. There are dozens of choices for an launch monitor these days. These are composed of modern styling with modern technology to match it. Here are some good examples.
Here are my top picks with detailed reviews, comparison charts and buying guides to help you purchase the perfect item for your needs. Before you spend your money on launch monitor, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this launch monitor win the first place?
The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this launch monitor come in second place?
The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.
Why did this launch monitor take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
launch monitor Buyer’s Guide
Here’s a look at some options
Our top pick for personal launch monitors is the Swing Caddie SC 200, the latest from Voice Caddie. It’s the most affordable, fairly accurate and even talks to you. The best part is that’s also very easy to use.
While it doesn’t actually measure spin rate (which is one of the most valuable features of Trackman, for example), it gives you plenty of other information. Like Trackman and Flightscope, it uses Doppler radar, which is amazing, considering its size is close to that of an iPhone And unlike some other portable devices, it’s self-contained; no need to pair it with a phone. It uses four AAA batteries and comes with a remote control.
And here are some of the cool features: It has a barometric pressure sensor to adjust for more accurate readings. You can adjust it for different lofts of clubs for more accuracy. And it will store all your statics.
As far as reading go, you can get ball speed, clubhead speed, smash factor, carry and total distance. Additionally, you can use for it practice, set it for Random or Target mode and play games and see how you score. No doubt, this makes practice more fun and productive.
Ironically, what this portable launch monitor doesn’t do is report the launch angle of your shots, though that information is certainly used in the calculations of carry and distance.
NOTE: If you don’t need advanced features such as barometric pressure adjustment, consider the original (and excellent) Swing Caddie SC 100, which sells for a lot less here.
If money isn’t an issue, the FlightScope Xi Tour is the closest thing to having one of the big boys. Because not only does this unit do what the Swing Caddie does, but it measures so much more like spin rate, side spin, launch angle, attack angle, face to target, face to path, swing plane (both vertical and horizontally) as well as a provide a club acceleration profile.
The FlightScope Xi Tour is fairly easy to use and it interfaces with an iPad or other device. Because it’s more sophisticated, it can provide more data as well as a variety of graphs that can tell you more about your game and even help with club-fitting. You can see a virtual representation of your swing and you can play FlightScope Skills challenges. As the name would imply, it’s popular with professional golfers.
The drawback, of course, is that while it’s portable, it is bigger than other portable devices, so you’re not going to put this in your golf bag, even without the iPad. But for serious students of the game and even instructors, this is probably money well-spent without having to finance it like an automobile.
But if you want something cheaper, smaller and even more portable, FlighScope has just introduced the FlightScope Mevo, which pairs with your phone. It measures ball speed, club speed, smash factor, vertical launch angle, carry distance and spin rate.
Mevo can be used for other sports, too, like baseball and soccer, but the golf application is specific. You can even take video with your phone and add data overlay to the videos as well as share your results with your teacher.
Like Flightscope, SkyTrak is more sophisticated than the Swing Caddie, but isn’t nearly as portable. But you can set up a virtual driving range in your house or garage, or even better, use it as a golf simulator to play famous courses from around the world.
Similar to the FlightScope Xi, it can hook up wirelessly to your iPad or personal computer and if you have a large monitor or big screen TV, you can set it up like the golf simulators that cost thousands of dollars more. Obviously, this is more difficult to take to the range, but not prohibitive. But it can can be used for game improvement, entertainment or both.
Like the Swing Caddie, the Ernest Sports ES1is portable, but unlike the Swing Caddie, it isn’t all self-contained. It uses Bluetooth to connect with a phone or iPad. It measures swing speed, ball speed, and smash factor, but also calculates spin rates instead of measuring them directly.
Is to really help you hone in on your, you guessed it, approach shots. Again you will have shots, but this time before each shot it will give you a distance between 40 and 100 yards. You then have to try and get it as close to each distance as possible, and it gives you a score out of 10.
I found that any of these games (or any practice in general) works well when you have some clear distance markers on the range to shoot for. If you just have an open field and it tells you to hit it 7yards it can be a little difficult to get a frame of reference.
I started on practice mode with my iron and hit about 20 shots.
One after another, it was pretty much right on the distance I was anticipating at about 15yards.
Occasionally it would miss a shot altogether, which happens with any launch monitor regardless of the price.
I found that if you hit your shot well, then the accuracy was pretty much dead on. However if you top it, or have a bad slice then the information can vary wildly.
I found in general that the longer the club, the less accurate the device became. I have a tendency to have a bad slice, and there were times where I had a big banana slice with my driver, and it would tell me I carried it 260.
Yet most of the time when I was hitting my drives straightish, it would give me a number that seemed pretty spot on.
This only happened once in my testing, but where you stand and outside conditions could play a role in your results.
Here are the new features on the SC200
But aside from these the technology is pretty similar, as are the different modes (practice, target, and approach).
The question of whether or not the SC200 is worth the upgrade kind of depends on you and how you plan to use it. Do you have custom fitted clubs and lofts? Definitely worth getting the 200.
The new one will be a little bit more accurate across the board, but the rest comes down to personal preference.
In most of my testing I was the only one (or one of the only ones) on the range, and I really liked the voice distance output.
ProTee Golf Simulator
With the GC2, you can practice or play golf in any environment with equally trusted results. Outdoors, the portable GC2’s exclusive self-leveling technology provides verifiably accurate results on every surface and on every shot. Indoors, the GCproduces the most accurate measurements of ball characteristics at launch – period. And at less than inches long and under four pounds, the GCmoves from outdoor to indoor as easily as it fits in your golf bag.
The very latest in Golf Simulator technology, the GolfBlaster3D Golf System allows golfers to play on some of the most famous golf courses in the world and use their own standard golf equipment. GolfBlaster3D uses a great new graphics engine reproducing golf courses in a high resolution with an ultimate level of reality. Three dimensional objects such as houses, bridges, clubhouses and other objects come to life on the golf course and are integrated within the 3D graphics to provide the very best level of simulation.
The GolfBlaster3D is so advanced and accurate. The system deploys a unique dual sensor tracking method that gathers information from both the golf ball and the club head. Therefore it is capable of detecting every possible kind of shot played with the ultimate of accuracy. Hooks, slices, fades, draws, lobs, pitches, putts etc are all reproduced with fantastic realism. We cannot imagine any other system having the same amount of accuracy and realism.
Getting custom fitted for your driver is crucial because the various head designs across the market offer very different launch conditions. Gone are the days of when you were a ‘9.5° stiff’ golfer, as your ideal spec will vary from one model to another. Be sure to go to a reputable pro that uses a launch monitor and has a good variety of drivers from different manufacturers to try.
Improve Your View
The monitor you’re using right now might have come bundled with your desktop PC, or maybe you bought it back when 1,240 by 76was considered high resolution. Since you spend a huge part of every day looking at it, however, it pays to be picky when picking the right screen. Price ranges vary widely, as do the quality of panels. We’ll walk you through the latest trends in display technology, as well as the specific features to look for when buying your next desktop monitor.
Popular panel types used in desktop displays are Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA), Super PVA (S-PVA), Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment (MVA), and In-Plane Switching (IPS).
You’d be hard-pressed to find a desktop monitor that does not deliver full HD imagery. To do this, the panel must have a native resolution of at least 1,920 by 1,080, and it must have a 16:aspect ratio to do it without stretching or cropping the picture. Graphic design professionals who require a high degree of image detail should be looking for a WQHD or UHD monitor.
In the not-too-distant past, most LCD monitors used cold-cathode florescent lamp (CCFL) technology for backlighting, but nowadays LED-backlit monitors are ubiquitous, and with good reason. LEDs offer a brighter image than CCFLs, they are smaller and require less power, and they allow for extremely thin cabinet designs. CCFL displays are generally less expensive than their LED counterparts, but they are few and far between these days. Now we’re seeing monitors that utilize quantum dot technology to offer superior color accuracy, increased color gamut, and a higher peak brightness than what you get with current panel technologies. The next wave of monitors will feature Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology that promises ultra-high contrast ratios, true blacks, and a super-fast pixel response. Expect these displays to carry a hefty price when they hit the market.
Although its popularity has faded recently, 3D technology is also an option on some monitors. Passive 3D uses inexpensive polarized glasses to create depth, and active-shutter 3D uses battery-operated glasses with lenses that turn on and off in sync with a 120Hz panel to deliver 3D imagery. Passive 3D doesn’t require a 120Hz panel, and images remain bright, but it is prone to motion artifacts and doesn’t always look good from a side angle. Active 3D typically offers good side viewing and does a good job of displaying jag-free images, but it produces more crosstalk than passive technology, and the glasses are usually uncomfortable and require charging. Either way, if you’re interested in 3D, expect to pay a bit more for a monitor that can handle it.
Golf Training Aids
It used to be that the two worlds of technology and sports couldn’t be further apart. One of them was a trial of athleticism and endurance, the other an experiment of science and wires, both as different as could be from the other.
This is not the case anymore, as technology has helped to make advancements through unique equipment in the sports world. Of all the sports that have benefited from technological advancements, the equipment and devices made for the game of golf are probably the most innovative.
For golf, we have everything from GPS to simulations that have helped us improve our game in several ways. Today we will be looking at one of those devices with the Golf Launch Monitor.
The covers of balls are either made of plastic like ionomer, or a more rubberized Urethane. The ionomer covers allow the ball to go higher, and reduces hooking and slicing. This type ball is also better for those with a slower swing. Distance and low spin are the keys to this type ball.
Professionals, or even very good amateurs, are better suited to the rubberized cover of urethane. These balls go further on the original drive, and offer more touch near the greens for the expert golfer. It will also benefit those with a very fast swing. These balls have less spin, so they will stop on the green, but unless you are skilled enough to take advantage of that, it might actually hurt your overall game. Some of these type balls are three, four or even five piece balls.
There is also a middle range ball available, which is a three-piece ionomer ball. These balls have higher launch and lower spin, and roll further once they land.
Combine these two or three basic types with the dimple patterns on balls, and you have a lot of options. The dimple patterns were developed to affect the aerodynamics of the ball in the air. Years of research have gone into different shapes, sizes and patterns. Pros recommend finding one that fits your game. Balls have 300 to 500 dimples. A smooth ball would go only half the distance of a dimpled one, scientists say. It is hard to say which dimple pattern is best, so it may be best to experiment to see which fits you best.
Finding your ball
An article on golf balls in American Golf magazine, say you should experiment and find the ball that fits you best. There are subtle differences, and constant give and take in the game of golf. You may have to sacrifice a little distance for a little more accuracy, or vice versa, depending on your skill level.
A writer in Golf Digest suggests finding the shot that is most important to your game, and use that as your main reference point. Through reading ball analysis and practicing with different balls, find the one that best fits your best shot, and stick with that one.
The Golf Digest article suggests balancing the cost of the golf balls against your skill level. Your skill level does have a lot to do with how well you will play, and the quality of the ball will accentuate that slightly to a certain degree. Finding the ball that best balances those two aspects is a good determining factor in which ball you should buy.
There are fancy things like drivers and launch monitors to help you determine which is best, but that can get expensive. If you are a beginner, or have a low skill level and are not likely to get a lot better, that may be too expensive. It is better then, to just experiment with different brands and types of balls. The ones you score the best with are the ones that are best for you to use.
If however, you are really good at the game, and want to continue to get better, you may need a higher level ball. Experiment with some of the three or four-part balls with the rubberized surface and see what works best.
Launch Monitor Fitting and Coaching Sessions
Take a lesson with one of the PGA accredited coaches who optimize the use of laser ball tracking systems.
See the ball flights, spin rates and club paths to better understand your swing.
Expert Club Fitting Session
Flightscope™ and Trackman™ are most commonly used during club fitting sessions. If you are looking to purchase new clubs, or you feel your current set up isn’t right for your game, a fitting session is the best way.
Find the correct equipment for your game including head designs, shaft and shaft flex, grip type/thickness that suit the requirements of your game.
PLEASE NOTE: The club fitting price does not purchase your fitting specifications from us. After the purchase of any equipment you choose to buy after the fitting, the specifications for this/these items will be provided on request upon collection of the equpment.
Our Dynamic Fitting offers everything a golfer needs to know in order to make an educated new club purchase or to retro fit an existing set. The use of our state of the art fitting studio, launch monitor technology, and expert analysis will help in choosing the proper shafts, lengths, lie angles, grip sizes and set make-ups from beginning to advanced golfers.
Iron Fitting is one of the most overlooked aspects of your bag. During this session, your club fitter will evaluate your current iron and wedge set checking for the proper loft and lie, length, shaft flex, weight, bend point, ball trajectory and spin rates. Recommendations will be made for the proper shaft type, manufacturer, make and model, along with club head recommendations and any adjustments that should be made with these critical “scoring” clubs. The Iron Fitting is the best option for those who are looking either purchase a new set of irons or retro fit their current set up.
With no wires to connect and its own built in battery, the SkyTrack launch monitor gives you total portability, where ever you may be. Shot tracer technology, allows you to see your own ball flight on your iPad, giving you instant feedback on your shot shape, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and much much more to improve your game. With shot tracer providing views from two camera angles, your practice time will become more beneficial and you will be getting all the information you need, than actually being out on the course.
Precision-crafted useful technology.
Ernest Sports revolutionizes the game with a great new tool for teaching professionals, club fitters, and serious golfers. The ES1delivers critical data instantly, easily, and affordably.
The ES1puts the power of creative technology in your hands providing you with critical information to improve any golfer?s game, including club speed, launch angle, ball speed, smash factor, spin rate, and distance.
Launch Monitor Systems and Golf Simulators ~
SkyTrak is a photometric launch monitor system and golf simulator. It is small (6” x 7” x 2.5”) and weighs about pounds. Using it in your garage, living room, or backyard can be done easily. You can also take it out to the range with you. The system currently connects wirelessly to your iPad in seconds and gives you the feedback necessary TO KNOW WHERE YOUR SHOTS ARE GOING.
You can connect your iPad using a HDMI cable to a projector or large screen TV. By doing this your SkyTrak becomes a training center similar to those golf simulator machines at commercial training facilities. Either way the visual is remarkable and provides a true representation of your shot shape. One of the innovations coming soon is an app for other mobile devices including Android.
SkyTrak provides excellent feed-back visually of your ball flight, launch angle, and trajectory. It then gives you the further data read-out on club speed, ball speed, launch angle, back spin, side spin, side angle, carry distance, and total distance with the digital readout monitor. This data is recorded so you can take a number of different strokes with one particular club and compare the results and see the averages for that series of shots.
You don’t need a lot of room either. The SkyTrak sits on the floor and casts a laser light out from the device about 1inches away to designate your ball position. You can use a tee for drives or other tee shots. With the visual and technical readout SkyTrak provides it has never been easier to find weaknesses in your game and to make adjustments instantly to evaluate the improvements. After making adjustments you can then burn the mechanics into your muscle memory. Ultimately these mechanics can then be taken to the course.
UD women’s golf team
The University of Delaware women’s golf team hosted its third annual Fall Invitational Tournament at Rehoboth Beach Country Club Oct. 24-25, with 1teams from all over the East Coast.
Harvard University won the 54-hole event, which featured 3holes on Saturday and a concluding 1holes on Sunday. Two Crimson golfers, Lito Guo and Anne Cheng, finished first and second, respectively.
Andrea Slane of UD took third, with Nathalie Filler of Delaware in fifth place.
Rehoboth Beach Country Club hosted the tournament once again, and its members provided 3volunteers to help with spotting, live scoring and other assistance.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your launch monitor wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of launch monitor
- №1 — Voice Caddie SC 200 Portable Golf Launch Monitor with Audible Output
- №2 — Ernest Sports ES12 Portable Launch Monitor
- №3 — Voice Caddie Golf Swing Caddie