The 6 Best Budget Launch Monitors On The Market

Launch monitors play a significant role in maintaining your golf swing during the freezing winter months but to get the most out of the launch monitor can be quite expensive. However, there are some budget-friendly options available and we have taken the time to compile a list of the best budget launch monitors available.

In drawing up a shortlist you have to consider what your expectations are and features available from the various brands. Factors to consider include:

  • Price
  • Accuracy
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Data points measured
  • Features provided
  • Accuracy of the Units

Price

Prices can vary between $300 to $600 and skyrocket to more than $10,000 for the top-of-the-range launch monitors generally used by professional golfers and in simulators.

Accuracy

Accuracy of information fed back from the launch monitor is crucial in allowing you to become the best golfer that your abilities allow. Inaccurate information could set you on a wild goose chase working on parts of the swing that are actually working well.

  • Trajectory

Accurate ball trajectory is important to determine whether you are able to draw or fade the ball and whether you can hot low and high shots. This will point you to your strengths and highlight weaknesses to work on.

  • Spin

It is just as important to know how much spin you impart on the golf ball to determine whether you will be able to stop the ball on the green or work the ball around to get around obstacles.

Data Points Measured

As prices increase, the quality of data points and accuracy provided by the launch monitor improve.

This does at no means indicate that budget launch monitors cannot provide you with meaningful information.

It is like buying a budget vehicle and comparing it to a premium car. The budget car will get you from point A to B but won’t provide you with all the detailed information from a sophisticated onboard computer.

The minimum data points you should get from a launch monitor are clubhead speed, carry distance and spin. Many golfers are under the impression that they hit the golf ball farther than they really do. Carry distance will help you to understand how far you hit every club in your bag thus giving you confidence when you have to cross an obstacle on the golf course.

Launch monitors generally track

Clubhead data such as

  • Attack Angle
  • Face Angle
  • Clubhead Speed
  • Club Path
  • Swing Plane
  • Swing Direction
  • Dynamic Loft
  • Spin Loft

Ball data such as

  • Launch Angle
  • Launch Direction
  • Ball Speed
  • Ball flight
  • Height
  • Hang Time
  • Smash Factor
  • Spin Axis
  • Spin Rate
  • Carry distance
  • Landing Angle
  • Total distance

Durability

Since launch monitors can require a significant investment, you want a respectable brand with a history of durability that will get you through many a winter.

Usability

Test out the user interface and the usability of the launch monitor. It’s no use if it takes hours to set up every time you want to use it and the data points are provided in a manner that is difficult to interpret.

Launch Monitor Technology

Launch monitors use either radar or photometric technology to capture data at impact and provide you with the relevant data points.

Radar launch monitors make use of Doppler radar to monitor the golf ball in flight. This makes it preferable in an outdoor environment where the launch monitor can track the ball’s flight until it lands. Radar technology needs to be placed a significant distance, 4 to 8 feet behind the ball, thus requiring significantly more space than a photometric device when used indoors.

Photometric launch monitors use a series of high-speed cameras that concentrates on the impact area and then calculate many data points using sophisticated algorithms. As photometric launch monitors are placed perpendicular to the target line, they can be placed closer to your golf ball therefore it uses less space. This makes them ideal for indoor use.

Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for 6 Best Budget Launch Monitor

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
OUR RATING: 4.3/5gstblcr-table__imageFlightScope Mevo+ Launch Monitor
  • ACCURATE real-time performance data
  • Automatically capture data and video on your mobile device.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT and PORTABLE 3D Doppler radar
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 4.3/5gstblcr-table__imageRapsodo R-motion Golf Launch Monitor
  • Distance accuracy is within 2% of Trackman at just 2% of the price
  • The real-time video feedback comes with a SHOT TRACE and DATA OVERLAY
  • SET UP IN UNDER 30 SECONDS
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 3.9/5 gstblcr-table__imageSkytrak
  • Wirelessly connects to compatible device and displays data
  • Measurable parameters include ball speed, distance (carry and total), launch angle, club speed, spin rates
  • High-speed photography
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 3.6/5gstblcr-table__imageVoice Caddie SC300
  • Adjustable Loft Angles Apps
  • Voice Output of Distance Instant Feedback via LCD Display
  • Portable Golf launch monitor
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 3.5/5gstblcr-table__imageGarmin approach R10
  • Track key metrics when paired with a compatible smartphone
  • Automatically recorded video clips
  • Virtual rounds on over 42,000 courses
VIEW ON AMAZON →
OUR RATING: 3.2/5 gstblcr-table__imageES14 launch monitor
  • Included Components: Monitor, 9V Battery
  • Easily and affordably
  • Audio feedback
VIEW ON AMAZON →

Some of the best budget launch monitors available will be discussed in a little more detail below.

1. FlightScope Mevo+ Launch Monitor

Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Superior outdoor accuracy for units at this price
  • Portability
  • Basic simulation software Included

Cons

  • Requires loads of space indoors

Flightscope’s Mevo+ is extremely competitively priced compared to the Skytrak launch monitor.

Its Doppler radar technology makes it ideal for outdoor use

In addition to being used as a launch monitor is works well as a golf simulator with several options of courses and games to play including a driving range.

One of the negatives of the Mevo+ is that it requires a metallic sticker to be placed on the golf ball when used indoors to increase the accuracy of information.

2. Rapsodo R-motion Golf Launch Monitor

Pros

  • Accuracy
  • Compatible with any golf club
  • The software provides access to 15 courses, driving range, and multiplayer option
  • Runs optimally on PC
  • Easy to set-up
  • Lightweight sensors clip
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Initial setup can take a bit longer due to software downloads

Rapsodo R-motion package includes 14 clips that attach to your golf club. The clips make use of photometric technology to provide accurate ball and clubhead data points whether used indoors or outdoors.

Data points accuracy are in acceptable range with recorded ball speed within +/- 1 mph and horizontal launch angle within +/- 2 degrees

Data points provided include

  • Face angle
  • Launch angle
  • Swing path
  • Club path
  • Clubhead speed
  • Ball speed
  • Smash factor
  • Distance

3. Skytrak

Pros

  • Requires little space
  • Reliable indoor performance
  • Excellent integration with top course software

Cons

  • Not quite as accurate in an outdoors environment
  • lack club data compared to premium units

Skytrak is one of the most desirable launch monitors but comes at a premium when compared to some of the other budget launch monitors. It is possible to purchase a Skytrak launch monitor for under $2,000 compared to some of the others on the list that is well below the $1,000 price point.

It is a photometric launch monitor making use of high-speed cameras to calculate and provide accurate readings and data points such as ball speed, carry distance, total distance, launch angle, club speed, and spin rates.

4. Voice Caddie SC300

Pros

  • The screen is readable in any light
  • Accurate
  • Long battery life
  • Instant verbal feedback on your shot if selected
  • Synchronize to a mobile device for data review

 

Cons

  • Spin rate is only available on the app
  • No off-line measurement

Voice Caddie provides a range of affordable launch that operates on Doppler technology, In addition to the Doppler technology Voice Caddie use atmospheric calibrators for increased accuracy

Voice Caddie provides verbal feedback of the data points after every shot which is stored on your mobile device.

The app offers different modes to achieve a better user experience.

Practice Mode

Practice mode Is used in general practice sessions and is ideal for bag mapping.

Data points provided by practice mode include

  • Total distance or carry distance depending on the selected setting
  • Swing speed
  • Ball speed
  • Smash factor
  • Shot apex
  • Launch angle

Target Mode

Target mode is aimed at increasing the consistency of distances with your irons. Distances can be set from 15 yards to 195 yards with 5-yard increments.

Data points provided

  • Total distance or Carry distance depending on the selected setting
  • Swing speed
  • Ball speed
  • Smash factor
  • Shot apex
  • Launch angle

5. Garmin approach R10

Pros

  • Lightweight, compact, portable
  • Use indoors or outdoors
  • Affordability
  • Gaming options

Cons

  • Accuracy can be better
  • Subscription required

The latest release from Garmin is the Approach R10 that caused quite a stir in the personalized launch monitor space.

The Approach R10 uses Doppler radar technology that bounces a microwave signal off the desired target and analyses the return signal.

Data Points measured

  • Ball speed
  • Clubhead
  • Launch angle relative to the ground.
  • Launch direction, right or left of the target
  • Club path direction
  • The angle of attack, vertical angle of the clubhead at impact
  • Backswing & downswing times are accurate to within 0.05 seconds

Data points calculated

  • Spin rate
  • Spin axis
  • Clubface angle
  • Total distance
  • Carry distance
  • Smash factor
  • Apex height
  • Swing tempo

6. ES14 launch monitor

Pros

  • Affordability
  • Accuracy and consistency
  • Templates for easy setup

Cons

  • Templates tend to break easily
  • Lacks some features compared to more expensive launch monitors

Ernest Sports launched the ES14 launch monitor as an affordable launch monitor aimed at teaching professionals as well as club fitters and serious golfers.

AS14 launch monitors are aimed to aid you in improving your game and to undergo a professional club fitting to ensure you have optimal coverage from the clubs in your bag.

To ensure you obtain maximum benefit from the ES14, Ernst Sports provide templates to assist you in the correct placement of the golf ball.

A kickstand enables you to stand the ES14 at a perfect angle to get the most accurate data whether you are hitting a driver with a low launch angle, mid-irons, or a wedge.

Data points

  • Ball speed
  • Spin rate
  • Launch angle
  • Smash factor
  • Club speed –
  • Carry distance

Final Thoughts

Budget launch monitors allow the average golfer to enjoy golf anywhere at any time of day. Furthermore, you can improve your game with the detailed data points that are provided.

No need to crash your budget anymore. Some of the best launch monitors are available below the $1,000 price point.

Although the competition is stiff and there are some extremely exciting products available, Mevo+ and Skytrak remain the leaders in the launch monitor market, each with its specific environment where they are more competitive.

Mevo+ is the leader in an indoor environment while Skytrak is the leader in the outdoor environment.

Based on the history of Skytrak they are a short head ahead of the Mevo+ in our opinion.

If we missed your favorite budget launch monitor add your comment in the section below.

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