A launch monitor is a crucial golf accessory which is why it carries a high price tag. However, if you employ astute decision-making and do your homework, you can maximize your bang for your buck.
Golfers on a tight budget can escape by dropping under $500 on a launch monitor that provides simple data insight and no access to simulator software. Conversely, serious players searching for accurate measurements should brace themselves to drop over $4000 for a decent setup.
The next factor to consider is the data parameters you want to evaluate. Obviously, the first prize is to measure every club and ball data point, but the more advanced a device is, the higher the retail price.
Entry-level launch monitors measure basic metrics like the ball and club head speed, carry distance, and on occasion, the smash factor. However, remember that the fewer parameters a device covers, the less accurate they are.
Conversely, superior golfers who demand detailed insight at every turn are best off with a premium model that captures club and ball data. These devices monitor anywhere from 18 to 20 metrics to provide increased accuracy.
High-end outdoor and indoor golf launch monitors measure intricate details of your swing, such as angle of attack, club path, and face angle.
The most accurate launch monitors on the market typically fetch a premium due to the wider data parameters they track. The reality is, these devices cost an arm and a leg and are often out of the question for the average golfer.
Therefore, you need to make some sacrifices. I suggest looking for a device that provides a minimum distance, ball and club speed, and smash factor. Although these models fall short in providing pinpoint accuracy, they are good enough for the average player to gain a deeper comprehension of your golf swing.
Next, you must think about your plans for using the launch monitor. Are you going to set it up indoors to power a golf simulator? Or, will you transport it between the driving range and home? Maybe the answer is both.
If you want a launch monitor that drives your simulator, you need one that pairs with software such as WGT or E6 Connect. Keep in mind that some software may only function on select operating systems. I suggest double-checking this before you pull the trigger on a purchase.
Those players happy using a launch monitor on the practice range can get away with a simple device that displays limited metrics on the model.