The 6 Best Golf Launch Monitors

Updated September 04, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

6 Best Golf Launch Monitors
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. You probably can't count on your competing golf buddy to give you pointers on your swing, so if you want a chance to beat him, you'll need outside help. A launch monitor can give golfers plenty of insight into their playing habits, helping them to improve speed and distance, as well as inspiring them by showing their progress. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best golf launch monitor on Amazon.

6. Ernest Sports ES12

The Ernest Sports ES12 features a vibrant blue hue, so you won't accidentally mistake it for a ball and send it flying. Plus, you can sync it to your smartphone to save your statistics. Unfortunately, some players find the display a bit confusing.
  • great for high handicappers
  • favorite of golf coaches
  • accuracy decreases when on grass
Brand Ernest Sports
Model ES12
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Voice Caddie SC 200

The Voice Caddie SC 200 is a highly customizable launch monitor, allowing you to set the loft angle of your club, making it ideal for those practicing with a wedge. It also takes barometric pressure into account when reporting your statistics.
  • audible speed announcements
  • well-placed controls
  • cannot measure missed hits
Model SC200BL-parent
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Ernest Sports-ES14

The Ernest Sports-ES14 shows not just the ball and club speed, but also the "smash" factor, helping you learn how much energy is transferred during your swings. However, the display screen is very small and placed along the top, rather than the front, of the monitor.
  • available in white and black
  • displays spin rate
  • too heavy to put in your pocket
Brand Ernest Sports
Model Ernest Sports/ ES14- Wh
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Sports Sensors SSR364

The Sports Sensors SSR364 has a little kickstand, allowing you to position it where you need it. It also comes with a small carrying pouch with a loop that you can easily hang from your bag, making toting it around a breeze.
  • receives data from 10 inches away
  • shows speed in miles or kilometers
  • within one percent accuracy
Brand Sports Sensors, Inc
Model SSR364
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Sureshot LMX31615

The creators of the Sureshot LMX31615 didn't skip any convenient features. Not only is it extremely slender and lightweight enough to go into your pocket, but this launch monitor can also be controlled remotely, so you don't need to step away from the tee.
  • great price for such a smart tool
  • well-organized statistics
  • large backlit screen
Brand Sureshot GPS
Model LMX31615
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Sports Sensors SSRTT364

If you're serious about improving your swing and showing up your golf buddies who need an ego check, the Sports Sensors SSRTT364 can be your secret weapon. Along with analyzing your swing speed, this monitor also tells you your tempo ratio.
  • activates at the push of a button
  • detects speeds of 40 to 200mph
  • shows feedback in seconds
Brand Sports Sensors, Inc
Model SSRTT364
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

How Launch Monitors Work

Radar. High speed cameras. Complicated algorithms. All marvels of modern technology, the pinnacles of millennia of human tool development, things that previous generations would likely condemn as witchcraft were they to see them firsthand.

And we use them to improve our golf swings.

All of that state-of-the-art tech is used in a golf launch monitor, analyzing enough information to navigate the space shuttle, but using it instead to figure out the hitch in your swing.

Some monitors use Doppler technology — the same kind your local weatherman uses — to analyze the full flight of your ball after you hit it. They then use the flight information of the ball to extrapolate how you struck it, exposing any flaws in your mechanics.

This technology literally evolved from the kind the military uses to track missiles, so show some respect.

Other models use high speed cameras that inspect the first couple feet of the ball's trajectory. They take numerous pictures during this time, allowing the monitor to record things like ball velocity, club angle, spin rates, and more. This gives them all the info they need to tell what the full flight of the ball would be, and where you'd end up on the course.

Ultimately, every monitor provides a host of data that you can use to pinpoint holes in your game. What data they provide varies by model, but chances are any monitor will give you plenty of information to start rebuilding your swing.

How A Launch Monitor Can Help You Shave Strokes Off Your Game

Launch monitors are impressive tools, but that's all they are — tools. Don't expect one of these to immediately turn you into Jordan Spieth in a single afternoon. Still, if you've struggled with your handicap, these machines may help you identify weaknesses that the naked eye had previously missed.

With that in mind, most experts would recommend that you use one under the watchful eye of a swing coach or course pro. You may be overwhelmed by information, or find yourself focusing on data points that aren't really that important.

The first way a monitor can help you occurs long before you ever set foot on a course. You can use one when you're getting fitted for clubs to ensure that your sticks are matched to your swing. This gives you an immediate leg up on the competition, allowing your club head to square up on the ball nearly every time without requiring swing correction.

One of the most important data points to consider is launch speed. Simply put, the harder you hit the ball, the further it's likely to go (provided you don't hit it directly at a tree or a water hazard, of course). If you're not getting much distance on your drives, it may be due to an inability to generate speed off the tee. This gives you something to work on with your coach.

You'll also be able to see your launch angle, which will determine how high the ball will fly once it's in the air. A ball hit hard and at a good angle will get you to the green in fewer strokes (which, of course, will put more pressure on you not to choke on that putt). If you're hitting the ball too high or too low, the monitor will reveal it, and then it's up to you to correct it.

However, be careful how much emphasis you place on each particular swing. Remember, one swing equals one data point — nothing more. You're looking to see what your average readings are on your normal swings, so don't go crazy over-correcting after every stroke.

And if it turns out you can't correct your swing, here's an equation you can use to still get the most out of your monitor: fun = swing + booze/time.

What To Look For In A Launch Monitor

While just about any monitor, if used properly, can improve your game, that doesn't mean that they're all created equal. Below are a few things to keep in mind before you buy one, so that you get the most bang for your buck.

First off, it helps to know if there are any particular aspects of your game that you're most interested in working on before you commit to a particular model. For instance, if you're curious about how much spin you're putting on your drives, make sure you get a unit that measures spin rate.

Next, think about where you'll be using it. If you're taking it out on the course or the range, then a Doppler model might be your best bet. If you have limited space to swing or you practice indoors, you'll likely want a high speed camera unit instead.

Beyond that, it's all about what bells and whistles you want (and are willing to pay for). Some measure things like barometric pressure and other weather variables, which is great if you're trying to determine what time of day is best for your game. Others can communicate with your smartphone, allowing you to analyze your data at any time, like in a boring meeting or during one of your kid's dance recitals.

Regardless of which unit you choose, having a launch monitor will bring you one step closer to the perfect swing. Of course, the downside is that owning one leaves you with one less excuse as to why you can never break 80.

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Last updated on September 04, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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