Golf Launch monitor with golfer

Launch Monitor Buyers Guide

launch monitor buyers guide

what can a launch monitor do for you?

Our simple answer to this question is, WAY MORE THAN YOU THINK! That’s right, a launch monitor can do a ton for your golf game! In this launch monitor buyers guide we show you everything you need to know before making that investment. Think about it, when is the last time you saw a PGA Tour Player without a TRACKMAN®? It’s not because they look cool. No matter what part of your game you are looking to improve a launch monitor can help. The question becomes how do I know which launch monitor is right for me?

Budget friendly launch monitors

We consider anything under $500 budget friendly when it comes to launch monitors. Mainly because they can get up into the $20,000 range. So for under $500 these rangefinders have a lot to offer without slacking on quality. When it comes to launch monitors it’s important to start with the end in mind. What is your goal? What part of your game are you trying to improve? Are you wanting to hit the ball farther or work on distance control? Are you trying to spin the ball more? Are you trying to get that slice under control? All of these goals will point to a different launch monitor.

More distance/distance control

If all you are looking to do is hit the ball farther and or control your distance better you are in luck! This is the most affordable launch monitor category and devices are cheaper than you may think. For Example, The ES12 Player Launch Monitor by Ernest Sports can help with both of these things plus gives you ball speed! At just $199 this is a great option for to help someone hit the ball farther as well as learn their distances more.

For a slightly higher cost, the Voice Caddie SC200 Plus offers additional data and gives you the ability to track your club head speed without hitting a golf ball. This feature alone has made the SC200 Plus very popular amongst golfers looking for extra distance. At $349 this is one of the better values amongst launch monitors. It also tracks carry distance, club head speed, ball speed, and smash factor.

What is smash factor?

Smash factor has become a very popular term in the golf data world. Simply put, Smash factor is how efficiently the golfer transfers energy to the ball. Smash factor is ball speed divided by club speed. The higher the smash factor the more effective your golf swing is at transferring energy to the golf ball. A good smash factor for the driver is around 1.5. Simply put this is a ball speed of 150/ a swing speed of 100. This has become a very popular statistic because it is an easy way to tell if you are not striking the ball with as much efficiency as you could be. All of the remaining launch monitors we will discuss include this feature.

Spin Rate and launch angle

If you are looking to track spin rates and launch angles, these are the launch monitors for you. With extra data does come a higher price tag, however these launch monitors are sure to deliver with plenty of features to improve your skills.

One of the most popular launch monitors in golf has got some recent upgrades. The Voice Caddie SC300 has been one of the best selling launch monitors and for good reason. It tracks all of the important data we discussed but now offers spin data as well! At $499 we believe this to be one of the best options for golfers looking to get more out of their practice sessions. The SC300 also tracks launch angle and apex, which can be very helpful for someone looking to improve their wedge game. All of these features at under $500 is an absolute steal.

Of course this isn’t your only option, the Ernest Sports ES14 launch monitor includes all of these same features for $495. With the Ernest Sports mobile app you can get all of your practice session data right on your smartphone or tablet. This makes analyzing you data extremely easy and convenient. You can look at averages for each club, and even challenge yourself at the range with different targets. The best part is, the Ernest Sports mobile app is free for life.

Help!! i’m trying to fix my slice

Fixing a slice has never been easier with the right tools and technology on your side. Sure, seeing spin rate is great, but if I can’t see my swing how can I know the cause? The solution, The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor. The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is a a launch monitor that hooks right up to your Apple device. Yes, it is only available on Apple at the moment. This device has the ability to track all the important data points we have discussed like ball speed, club head speed, launch angle, and direction, but one feature separates it from the rest. It records your swings and includes ball flight. That’s right, the MLM (mobile launch monitor) is basically a TRACKMAN®. Best part is, it records up to 100 of your swings, this means you can take your practice data and actually see what causes your slice.

There is no practice like seeing your own swing and the results. Nothing has made improving golf easier than the ability to watch your own swing. This feature alone has made the Rapsodo MLM one of the most popular devices out there.

Honorable mention

Now, although this device isn’t technically budget friendly, priced at $550, it certainly deserves to be a part of this conversation. The Ernest Sports B1 Launch monitor is the newest released device on the market. This product is a recent update of the Ernest Sports ES14 launch monitor and features a larger display, better battery life, and most importantly, is positioned behind the player for better ball flight data.

Are you ready?

Now that you know what the right launch monitor can do for you, are you ready to take your game to the next level? We hope that our launch monitor buyers guide has helped guide you in the right direction to the perfect launch monitor for you. If you have any questions you can email us at, ask us in the chat, or comment below!