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Best Portable Golf Launch Monitor

Golfers no longer need to sign up for a lesson or a club fitting to get some feedback and data on their golf game. The personal golf launch monitor is an affordable yet effective way to know how far the ball is going, whether or not it is spinning properly and if that new grip change was really worth it. Here are our favorite portable launch monitors in 2022. 

The best portable launch monitors are:

  1. FlightScope Mevo Plus – Best all-round performance
  2. Swing Caddie SC200 – Best value
  3. Rapsodo Mobile – Best for practice
  4. Ernest Sports ESB 1 – Best for swing speed and distance  
  5. TrackMan 4 – Best if you have an infinite budget

FlightScope Mevo Plus 

FlightScope Mevo Plus 

Years ago, if you wanted the technology available in the FlightScope Mevo Plus, it would have cost you well over $10,000 and potentially closer to $20,000. With this small unit, you get 16 data parameters, indoor and outdoor use, and the ability to set it up as a golf simulator. 

Key features

  • It comes with E6 Connect for practice courses and driving range simulators
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Sync with a mobile device
  • 16 Unique data parameters
  • Can save videos of shots with opportunities for overlays 

Data & Functionality

The Mevo Plus has 16 data parameters. These will include carry distance, club head speed, vertical launch angle, total distance, roll, height, smash factor, spin rate, angle of attack, and more. Essentially everything an amateur golfer would need to know about their golf shot is covered by the Mevo Plus. 

Even better you can now upgrade to the clubhead data package that also gives you 11 more key metrics relating to your clubhead and impact including swing path, clubface angle, dynamic loft, low point and many more. This add-on makes it the ideal device for working on your swing between lessons.

The Mevo Plus will automatically sync with your mobile device, and it has a long list of devices that it is compatible with. Our favorite setup was to link to an iPad as it gave a bit more of a detailed look, with it being easier to see the intricacies of the golf swing. 

Usability & Portability

The Flightscope Mevo Plus is really easy to set up. Regardless of if you are inside or outside, the Mevo Plus sets up in less than a few minutes, and it does not require much positioning or manoeuvring once you have it in place. 

The unit itself is small, considering all of the tech packed inside, and it is easy to bring with you to the driving range. When you are on the go, the only thing you need to be able to read the data from your Mevo Plus is your phone. There are no heavy batteries or large wires involved with setting this unit up. 

Flightscope Mevo Plus

Battery life is only about two hours which is a little low and one of the few negatives of this model, but we’d suggest it does last for longer if you’re not pounding ball after ball. The standard Flightscope Mevo (not the Plus) is a bit lower in price and does have long battery life, but it does not come with the simulation capabilities or as many swing parameters.

How should I use this to improve my golf?

The Flightscope Mevo Plus gives you detailed insights into what causes you good and poor shots. It can be used for swing analysis, as an additional indoor practice range, and you can even play around multiple golf courses on an iPad or use it to power a home golf simulator.

The Flightscope Mevo is the perfect way to learn more about yourself as a golfer. Initially, the amount of information that you get from this unit will be overwhelming. However, the analysis dashboard can be personalised so you can focus on 2-4 key metrics. The Flightscope Mevo Plus really is the complete tool to help you work towards improving your overall skills as a player. 

Accuracy

The Flightscope Mevo Plus is accurate to within 1-2º depending on which metric you are focusing on; in this price range is the most accurate launch monitor you will find. There are some other options on the market, like the Trackman, that may have more accuracy, but it’s also in an entirely different price range. If you have the Mevo Plus configured correctly and set up according to recommendations, the numbers can be trusted. 

Value

The Flightscope Mevo Plus is a bit more expensive than other portable golf launch monitors, but it also collects and provides more information than other portable golf launch monitors. Also, unlike some other portable launch monitors, there are no ongoing subscription fees for using the software.

If you like to practice, think you may one day get a simulator setup going, and you want accurate results, the money spent on Flightscope Mevo will be well worth it. 

Golf Insider verdict

The Flightscope Mevo Plus is a great all-around option for a portable golf launch monitor. This is not for an occasional golfer that is on the fence about whether or not a simulator or launch monitor is a good idea for their game. If you are committed, and you know how data and parameters could change your game, this is the way to go. 

Swing Caddie SC200 Plus 

Swing Caddie SC200 Plus shown on a screen.

The Swing Caddie SC200 is a great portable golf launch monitor for the golfer that wants a low budget launch monitor. The Swing Caddie SC200 has voice distance output; it sets up quickly and gives golfers some great overall measurements to guide them during practice. 

It focuses on speed and distance rather than accuracy, but if you need more insight into this area it could be the ideal tool.

Key features

  • Compact size
  • Will display readings directly on the unit
  • Has practice swing mode
  • Voice distance output 
  • Measures smash factor 
  • Comes with a remote control 

Data & functionality

The Swing Caddies SC200 will measure carry distance, swing speed, ball speed, and smash factor. The information is displayed directly on the unit’s screen, making it easy to see your numbers. 

Launch angle is not something that is measured with the SC200 Plus, but for the price and the speed of information available from the Swing Caddie SC200, we can’t argue. Another small, but important feature is the practice swing mode. This allows you to measure just club head speed and track differences between practice and real swings, or use this portable launch monitor for speed training sessions.

Usability & portability

We found that the Swing Caddie SC200 Plus works both indoors and outdoors. When using the Swing Caddy SC200 indoors, it may take a little time to get the unit positioned just right, and you need to give yourself enough room (about four or five feet), but in the end, it should still work indoors. 

On the driving range, it’s a simple and easy setup. You won’t need your phone to work with the SC200 Plus. This can be both a positive and a negative, but if you are after a no frills, easy to use portable launch monitor it is ideal. 

How should I use this to improve my golf?

The Swing Caddie SC200 Plus feels like having a coach or caddie with you at the range helping you dial in distance. When you hit shots, the Swing Caddie will tell you exactly how far you have hit the golf ball without you even having to look at the device. 

In addition, with the screen displaying the information around club speed, ball speed and smash factor this launch monitor can be used to dial in better striking too. It’s a good model for the less technologically advanced golfer, who wants feedback on the key areas covered above. 

Accuracy

Remember that this is our best value portable golf launch monitor, and part of the reason it can fit in the budget category is that the data parameters offered are not nearly as extensive and some are more accurate than others. It is very good for clubhead and ball speed data, but the lack of launch angle data means it has to estimate carry and total distance.

This means if you strike shots well and happen to hit it shots with the trajectory of an ‘average golfer’ the numbers will seem highly accurate. However, if you hit shots higher or lower than average, you’ll find the Swing Caddie under/overestimates your distance.

If you are set on a Swing Caddie and want greater accuracy on distance metrics, upgrade to the Swing Caddie SC300.

Value

There are cheaper portable golf launch monitors than the Swing Caddie SC200. However, if you want a mix of a cheap launch moniter with great user experience, that also gives you really good club speed and ball speed data, this is the one we would go for. 

Golf Insider verdict

There is only so “cheap” you can go with a portable golf launch monitor. The key is to find quality for a fair price, and data that fits your golfing needs. If you are interested in club and ball speed data than that is exactly what you will get with the Swing Caddie SC200 Plus.

Rapsodo Mobile Golf Launch Monitor

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor shown on iphone

The Rapsodo is a highly rated portable golf launch monitor that has a very simple setup and instant feedback for players. If you think it’s time to make some changes to your game, the Rapsodo can be the best investment that you make into your game this year. 

Key features

  • Very accurate
  • Sets up in less than a minute
  • Great video feedback and shot trace technology 
  • GPS Satellite view
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors 

Data & functionality

As long as you have an iPhone 6 or an iPad purchased after 2017, it will work well with the Rapsodo Mobile Golf Launch Monitor. The functionality is very simple, and it works almost as a phone holder. 

When it comes to data, you will get distance, ball speed, club speed, smash factor, launch angle, shot shape, and launch direction. There is no swing path-related data parameters, and the spin rates are not going to be measured with the Rapsodo mobile. 

Usability & portability

We found the Rapsodo to be one of the easiest and more intuitive portable golf launch monitors to use. The features like shot tracer, data overlay, and even the GPS Satelite appeal to all different learning styles. Once you have the information in the unit, then you can simply refer back to the library and see how your game is progressing. 

The Rapsodo can be used both indoors and outdoors; however, setting the unit up outdoors seems to be a little easier at times, whereas indoors the setup needs to be more precise to pick up all the shots hit and get accurate data. The battery life was good for a practice session and would probably hold up even if you used it for the entire round. 

As far as overall portability, the Rapsodo Mobile is one of the best choices out there. 

How should I use this to improve my golf?

The Rapsodo Mobile is one of our favorite choices when trying to determine yardages and basic accuracy. If you want to dial in how far you are hitting the ball and what club you should be using from certain distances, the Rapsodo is a great choice. 

If you are planning on spending many hours hitting into a net and what feedback on where your shots are actually going the Rapsodo will really help.

In addition, for visual learners, the data overlay and other functionalities included with the app can really help set up a plan for what needs to be practiced and worked on. If you need that extra motivation to get moving in your game, this is a good choice. 

Accuracy

You will find that the Rapsodo is pretty accurate when set up well for outdoor use. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get information on spin, and that will impact some of the overall accuracy and distance control data inside.

This means the Rapsodo is pretty trustworthy for clubhead and ball speed data, but can be a little hit or miss on distances, as unlike the Flightscope Mevo it doesn’t track launch angle and spin rate.

However,  it does track left and right misses, unlike the Mevo. These are the key trade-offs between both devices that sit at a similar price point.

Value

Compared to other portable launch monitors in the industry, the Rapsodo is a very fair price for what you get. Golfers will not have to break the bank to feel as though they are getting a really great practice partner. If you are diligent about how you use your Rapsodo, you may be able to take some of the money you would have used on golf lessons and apply it here. 

Golf Insider verdict

The Rapsodo personal golf launch monitor is good for most golfers, makes net practice more fun and gives good feedback on clubhead and ball speed, but we would not recommend it to mid and low handicappers wanting highly accurate data on shot distance and lateral error.

For keen high handicap and club golfers, the information collected and the way it is displayed will make you want to practice and work on your game. If you need the motivation go with the Rapsodo, if you want highly accurate shot outcome data, keep saving for the Flighscope Mevo +. 

Ernest Sports ESB 1

Ernest Sport ESB 1 launch monitor in white

Ernest Sports is a strong name for sports equipment, data, and accuracy. The Ernest Sports ESB 1 can provide accurate data and the stats you need to help you feel more confident about your abilities on the golf course. 

Key features

  • Works with or without an app
  • Display screen for quick information 
  • It comes with a charge cord
  • Good information provided
  • Quick and easy setup 

Data & functionality

The Ernest Sports ESB 1 will give you ball speed, club speed, smash factor, spin rate, launch, and distance. The great thing about this information is that it can be displayed on the unit, or you can use the app to see what your numbers are and how they are progressing. Although having access to the app is great, it’s also nice not to have to be using the phone if you don’t want to. 

The fact that you get the spin rate can be a very valuable stat for both low handicappers and average golfers that are trying to make real changes in their game. 

Usability & portability

The ESB1 launch monitor comes with a rechargeable lithium battery. The battery life is going to last many hours, and you can have a long practice session before you start to see any issues with the functionality of the ESB1. 

Setting up this model takes just a minute or two, and the numbers are displayed on the small screen rather quickly. Sometimes you have to be careful how you set the model up so that you are able to see the numbers that are provided and you are not blocked out by the sun. 

How should I use this to improve my golf?

If you want really accurate numbers when it comes to ball speed, distance, and spin, the ESB1 can be a great choice. If you are a player that does not enjoy having to look at your phone in the middle of a practice session, the ESB1 is a way to help you practice more efficiently while not taking away from your routine. 

Essentially this model can give your practice some purpose without taking away your routine on the range

Accuracy

We found the ESB1 to be quite accurate in terms of club/ball speed and shot distance, thanks to the addition of the spin rates, which certainly helps to get great information. However, data is limited to shots distance, not shot direction – when compaired with the Mevo Plus, which boasts 16 parameters there is a big jump in what you will get out of the Mevo Plus compared to this unit. In addition, something like Trackman or SkyTrak will be more accurate than both of the above and provide a wide range of data. 

Value

The ESB1 is priced about the same as a few other portable golf launch monitors – under the $/£500 mark. This one feels just a little pricer than it should be for the information it provides. However, when it comes to accuracy, durability, and ease of use, it will check all the boxes. 

Golf Insider verdict

The ESB1 is a great unit for getting distance and swing speed measurements. The fact that you can look right over to the unit while it is next to you on the range will certainly make it a strong overall choice for golfers. If you want a bit more features and functionality to play with, there are better models. 

TrackMan 4

TrackMan 4

If you have no concerns about your budget, the TrackMan 4 is the best overall portable golf launch monitor that you could ask for. If you are a bit of a golf geek and can’t get enough stats, the TrackMan 4 will be something that you will never hit the driving range without. 

It can be used at home, on the range and packs up into a super-sleek case to be taken where ever your next golfing adventure is.

Key features

  • Premium golf launch monitor technology 
  • 4 hours battery time
  • Built-in camera with easy alignment 
  • Extensive club and ball data
  • Used for putting in addition to full golf swing
  • Auto levelling 

Data & functionality

The TrackMan 4 launch monitor has a tremendous amount of club and ball data. For club data, you can get the basics like club speed and dynamic loft and things like face angle, face to path, swing plan, impact height, dynamic lie, and more. 

For the ball data, expect ball speed, smash factor, spin rate, launch direction, carry, landing angle, and more. In addition, the Trackman 4 has some impressive putting club data like club speed, face angle, stroke length, forward swing time, total distance, skid distance, and more. This is an all-around tool to help your entire golf game. 

The Trackman app and computer software are some of the most advanced on the market and will allow you to record and track all of your performance. And with the addition of the golf course package you can power a home golf studio allowing you to play the world’s best courses all year round.

Usability & portability

In years past, you would need quite a bit of space, cables, and connections to get the Trackman to work. However, with the new Trackman 4 system is wireless, you have a small six-pound rectangle with a rechargeable battery to take you from one practice session to the next. 

You can expect the battery life to last about four hours, and the Trackman 4 will work both indoors and outdoors. Truly there are not too many flaws associated with the TrackMan 4. 

The one complaint that we have is that the complexity of some of this data takes quite a bit of time to learn. There are people that are fully trained in how to use a Trackman 4, but for the average golfer, it can be a lot of information to take in.  

Also, if you plan to use this indoors you’ll either need to attach a small metal disc (included) to your golf ball, or buy specialist Titleist golf balls, to get the most accurate spin data.

How should I use this to improve my golf?

The TrackMan 4 gives golfers all the information they could ever need to help hit more accurate shots, fix swing flaws and learn the details of the sport. However, the Trackman 4 can’t fix your game unless you are willing to put the time in. For the very dedicated golfer, the lowest handicap player, and the golfers that are ready to take their game to the more advanced levels, the TrackMan 4 can improve every aspect of your game. 

For an amateur golfer, although this data will initially be helpful, there are some basics that something like the FlightScope Mevo Plus can help with, and you can save quite a bit of money. 

Accuracy

The TrackMan 4 sets the bar from an accuracy standpoint – it is the gold standard we tend to compare against (along with GC Quad indoors). Golfers will compare all other launch monitors on the market to the accuracy of the Trackman and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. 

Value

The TrackMan 4 is by far the most expensive portable launch monitor on our list. However, it has the technology to back it up. A premium portable golf launch monitor that has this much data and information requires quite a bit of manufacturing and scientific research to perfect. It’s hard to call this TrackMan 4 “too expensive” because, for the right player, the value is there. 

Golf Insider verdict

If you have the money, the TrackMan 4 is hands down the best portable golf launch monitor. We will go one step further, though, and say, if you have the money AND you are willing to take the time to learn to use it, the TrackMan 4 is the best portable golf launch monitor. As a golfer, it can be difficult to navigate which tools you need and which you don’t. Be sure the TrackMan 4 is something you need. 

Frequently asked questions

In this section, we will cover a few of the most commonly asked questions about the best portable golf launch monitor and whether or not this is something that will help you improve your golf game. 

How are portable launch monitors powered?

Portable launch monitors are powered by a battery. Some are rechargeable lithium batteries, and others have simple AAA or AA batteries. The key here is that you will want to consider how often you are using your launch monitor and for how long. 

How long do batteries last in a portable launch monitor?

The length of time that a battery lasts in a launch monitor very often depends on how much data the launch monitor will provide. The models that have simulation capabilities and ten or more parameters usually have a battery power of fewer than three hours. 

Simpler models that give golfers some basic details about their game will have a battery time of five or more hours. For the most part, the launch monitors charge rather quickly as they often feature lithium batteries. 

Are mobile launch monitors accurate?

Not all mobile launch monitors are accurate; this depends on the model and the setup. The more technology your launch monitor features, the better the chance of it giving you accurate numbers. When a launch monitor has both swing and ball data, you can expect more accurate results. For the average golfer, there is plenty of accuracy from the portable golf launch monitors on our list. 

Which portable launch monitors can be used to power a simulator?

The Mevo Plus and TrackMan 4 will give you enough ball and swing data to work with golf simulator technology. The cheaper golf launch monitors that give golfers information on swing speed and total distance simply don’t have enough data to give players so that they will be able to get an accurate simulator experience. 

Summary

At this point, you should feel a bit better about the portable golf launch monitor and whether or not it is a fit for your game. The Mevo Plus stands out as the hands-down best for the amateur golfer. If you are on a budget, the Swing Caddie SC200 is a solid option to start giving you some essential data. Before you buy a launch monitor, try to make a commitment regarding how much you will work on your game and what your goals are; it will be easier to find a launch monitor suited for your game with this information in mind. 

For more detailed reviews check out our main article on the best golf launch monitors.

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Britt Olizarowicz is a former teaching and Class A PGA professional with more than 25 years spent with a golf club in her hand. Britt is a small business owner, author, and freelance golf expert that knows this game inside and out. She lives in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children.

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