Best Portable Launch Monitor | Buying Guide & Reviews
If you are looking to improve your golfing ability, but can not justify the expense of full-time lessons or a coach, a launch monitor is a great training substitute. The best portable launch monitors will provide you with immediate feedback based on your swing, allowing you to make quick and easy adjustments to your playing style to improve your performance in moments. Any decent launch monitor will provide you with a detailed oversight of things like club head speed, carry distance, spin and more besides. This is exactly the kind of data you need to know in order to fine-tune your playing style to see the best improvements. Interested in learning more about how these training aids can improve your game?
Read on for our handy guide on what to consider when shopping for the best portable launch monitor.
A launch monitor will only be useful if it offers a certain range of features. Any good monitor will need to offer a decent range of measurements as part of its overall package. Swing speed is the most basic thing a launch monitor should measure and record. Other useful measurements include distance, shot tracking and carrying distance. Provided your launch monitor accurately captures this kind of data, you will be able to see how changes in your swing affects your accuracy and shot distance.
There is no point investing in a launch monitor if it does not offer a good level of accuracy. In particular, your launch monitor should provide precise readings of flight path and down range accuracy. These are particularly important for those players who experience difficulty with flight path and distance control. Launch monitors that utilise doppler technology are particularly effective at tracking things flight path. Even the most inexpensive launch monitors on the market utilise this technology. The more experienced golfer will likely be using a launch monitor to assess other aspects of their performance. More advanced launch monitors will offer accurate feedback on spin and smash factor. If you are looking for a launch monitor to provide you with more in-depth insights, make sure the model you are considering offers precise levels of accuracy across the board.
Ease of Use
This seems like an obvious thing to consider, but many golfers overlook user-friendliness when it comes to buying a launch monitor. The best advice is to first consider your playing proficiency. If you are a golfing novice with little knowledge of the ins and outs of the sport, a launch monitor that provides exhaustive feedback on factors you are not familiar with will be pointless. A stripped-back launch monitor that provides simple, straightforward data is probably the best way to go. More experienced players looking for in-depth measurements and data sets will be best rewarded by launch monitors that include scoring systems and database trackers. More expensive launch monitors will also include cross-compatibility with designated apps, allowing you to pull up desired data on your tablet or smartphone. However, even these premium-level launch monitors should be accessible and simple to use. You do not want to spend an age sifting through page after page of data just to access a single reading. Launch monitors with voice feedback are a good option for golfers who do not want to take the time to reset their system in between shots.
Advanced Software & Game Improvement Features
If you are looking to invest in a launch monitor, it means you are serious about improving your golfing performance and bringing down your handicap. Therefore you want to be investigating systems that make good use of game improvement software. The kind of game improvement features that are most useful relate to flight path control, distance control and general shot improvement. More advanced launch monitors will also take into account game and course management.
Portable Launch Monitors | Reviews
Keen to improve your golfing prowess? Read on for our pick of some of the best portable launch monitors you can currently find available on the UK market.
The FlightScope Mevo is an affordable and user-friendly choice of launch monitor to help you improve your golfing ability. The Mevo provides you with incredibly accurate measurements of real-time performance, giving you instant access to useful data that can be used to assess how you play with every club in your bag. The lightweight and portable nature of this monitor means you can put it to use on the course, on the driving range or at home. This monitor has been designed with indoor and outdoor practice in mind. You can make quick adjustments to data parameters to deliver in-depth insights on things like carry distance, club head speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin, ball speed and much more besides. The Mevo also allows you to automatically capture data and video once it is synced with your mobile. Provided you have downloaded the Mevo app you can practice without interruption. This monitor will automatically record, clip and save each and every video, while also implementing essential data overlays so you have a thorough record of your practice sessions.
This portable launch monitor is a good choice for those looking to track their progress over long periods of time. As videos and associated data is stored automatically, you can review each session in detail at a later date. You can also readily share your recordings and data with fellow golfers or your coach so they can expertly analyse your performance and provide useful feedback. The FlightScope Mevo is definitely the way to go if you are after portable convenience and ease of use. It might be relatively inexpensive when compared to other options on this list, but it delivers all the essential features you need to properly assess your performance and fine-tune your playing style to improve your game.
The Swing Caddie SC200 Plus will definitely appeal to more experienced golfers who want detailed data capture and feedback on their performance. The SC200 Plus is compact and convenient, making it a go-to choice for those looking for something portable. This handheld monitor can be tucked away in a pocket or inside an external pouch on your golf bag so you can put it to good use on the driving range or at your local golf course. One particular nifty featured offered by the SC200 is the inclusion of a Practice Swing Mode. This feature lets you measure and practice your swing speed without having to actually hit the ball. If you intend to practice your swing at home, this feature is very useful. This portable launch monitor also allows you to make many minor adjustments so the data captured from your swings is more useful and relevant to your individual playing style. Loft angles are readily selectable here, allowing you to tailor the monitor to your individual clubs. With this monitor, you can enjoy precise feedback related to each and every club in your collection. The SC200 offers plenty of additional features, including barometric pressure calibration. You can also gain instant overview of essential data relating to carry distance, ball speed, swing speed and smash factor. Even the most powerful swings can be assessed with this model, with an impressive measuring range that covers distances of between 30 and 320 yards.
Another useful feature of this launch monitor is its voice distance output. This will automatically let you know how much distance you have cleared from your shots. This instant audible feedback means you do not have to refer to screen readings after each and every swing. As such, you can enjoy quicker resets in between your shots. This is particularly useful when you are practising at the driving range or simply trying out your swings at home. The SC200 Plus has been designed with portable convenience in mind. It is a particularly robust and durable option, while the included protective case will ensure your monitor holds up well for a long time. The remote control is another handy addition, allowing to make adjustments and reset your monitor from a distance.
It might be a little more expensive than other options on this list, but the Garmin Approach G80 more than delivers when it comes to first-rate features and user-friendliness. This convenient launch monitor boast a 3.5-inch touchscreen display that performs well in even the harshest sunlight. The slimline design of the monitor also makes it very accessible and easy to handle. The design is reminiscent of a contemporary smartphone, with quick button access at the side of the monitor housing for radar functionality. This launch monitor will track club head speed, smash factor, ball speed, swing tempo, estimated distance and more. If you are looking for a monitor that will keep a detailed record of essential golfing data, the Approach G80 will definitely impress.
This launch monitor also comes preloaded with more than 40,000 individual golf course maps, each provided in vivid detail and full colour. You can also make use of a selection of practice and game modes for when you want to fine-tune your golfing skills and improve your performance. This is also a practical option designed with portability in mind. After a full charge, this monitor will perform for up to 15 hours, even when you have GPS enabled. Arguably one of the most user-friendly options in this list, the Garmin Approach G80 is thorough in its measurements, very precise and incredibly reliable. Definitely worth investing in.
The Swing Speed Radar from Sports Sensors is a good option for golfers looking for a more affordable choice of launch monitor. This budget-friendly model does not skimp on useful features and functionality, either. An integrated microwave radar sensor allows for precise measurement of swing speeds, while club head speeds can be calculated within a range of 20 to 200 miles per hour. With such impressive levels of precision and a wide range of measurement, this launch monitor is a good fit for golfers of all proficiency. For best results, it is advised that you place the Swing Speed Radar in a forward location no further than 10 inches from the tee you are using. Once you have completed a full swing, you will get instant readings on the large display. This launch monitor can also be used to effectively judge ball distance based on the measured swing speed. The Swing Speed Radar can also be used to measure baseball batting speed, provided of course you suspend it in a batting cage so it is in an optimal position relative to bat height.
While the Swing Speed Radar is a reliable way to measure your swing speeds and judge potential ball distances, it is relatively limited in the kind of data it will provide. There is no scope for measuring things like spin, smash factor and other golfing insights. Unlike other launch monitors in this, you will not be able to make any real adjustments in regards to loft and other club-specific information. Therefore, it is not an ideal option for those who are looking for a suitable launch monitor to provide tailored launch feedback for a wide variety of clubs. That being said, if you are tight for cash and simply want to get a good overview of how fast you are swinging, the Swing Speed Radar may suffice.
The Arccos Caddie is definitely something to consider if you are looking for a first-rate portable launch monitor with plenty of useful features. This award-winning launch monitor is a particularly effective performance tracking system that utilises no less than 14 individual sensors, roughly corresponding to every club in your golf bag. With the Arccos Caddie, you can enjoy automatic shot tracking functionality and hands-free data capture at all times. This system also boasts an A.I. powered GPS rangefinder that readily adjusts to things like wind factor in real-time. It will also make adjustments in relation to things like elevation, temperature, humidity and altitude. This allows for incredibly precise yardage calculation, giving you relevant data that you can effectively use to improve your game.
This launch monitor also benefits from personalised caddie advice. This leverages artificial intelligence to provide you with the best feedback to develop an optimal golfing strategy. If you do not have regular contact with other golfers or a golfing coach, this is a very handy extra that will allow you to build confidence on the course and hone your golfing ability. Advanced analytics are also standard here, providing you with personalised performance breakdowns. This will guide your golfing practice and help you make more informed decisions when it comes to selecting the right club for every playing scenario. Also included with the monitor itself is a year-long subscription to Arccos software, ensuring it is good to go, right out of the box. Despite the premium features and functionality on offer here, the Arccos Caddie is relatively affordable. In fact, it is one of the cheapest options in this list.