PRGR Golf Launch Monitor Review

The PRGR golf launch monitor is often seen listed as a no-frills launch monitor and features in many of the “Best affordable launch monitor round-ups“. It is also recommended as the go-to launch monitor for speed training with Speed Sticks and The Stack System. The latter is how we use it at the University of Exeter Performance Programme, but how accurate is it? And what else do you need to know?

Here we review the PRGR launch monitor and test the PRGR launch monitor side-by-side with Trackman, to see how accurate it actually is.

We did a side-by-side testing with a 7 iron and a driver to look for ball speed, club head speed, and carry distance. Some of the results were exactly what we expected, but some were a bit surprising.

TLDR

  • The PRGR is not perfect, but more accurate than we imagined. It is a super useful tool if you want feedback on swing speed training, distance control, or just want to add more data to your practice sessions.
  • The PRGR launch monitor has club head speed accuracy within about 4 to 8 mph of the Trackman.
  • Ball speed and smash factor were within 1mph compared to TrackMan.
  • Carry and total distances are a little hit or miss, as the PRGR does not capture launch or spin data.
  • The PRGR offers solid data at a really affordable price.

Key features

The key features of the PRGR are providing you with data on:

  • Club head speed
  • Ball speed
  • Smash factor
  • Carry distance
  • Total distance

This makes it a great tool if you are looking to work on your distance control and strike, want to increase your swing speed over the winter, or just add more data to your practice sessions. Unlike many launch monitors it gives you swing speed data without having to hit a golf ball (why you’ll see it promoted by Stack System and Super Speed sticks). However, is this data accurate?

Accuracy testing vs TrackMan

PRGR launch Monitor vs TrackMan setup

We carried out side-by-side testing with the PRGR vs TrackMan in our Golf Studio. Five shots with 7-iron and 5 shots with data to compare the numbers the PRGR offers. Below is the error data between the two launch monitors, the full testing data is here.

7-iron error data

Minus values represent it reading lower than we recorded on TrackMan. Positive values represent an overestimation in reading compared to TrackMan.

Shot #CHS (Error)Ball speed (Error)Smash (Error)Carry (Error)
1-3.7-0.40.061.7
2-8.2-0.60.151.9
3-3.9-10.051.4
4-6.5-1.30.09-0.5
5-2.10.40.042.7
Average-4.9-0.60.11.4
S.D.2.40.60.01.2
PRGR launch monitor vs TrackMan testing data with 7-iron.

Driver error data

Minus values represent it reading lower than we recorded on TrackMan. Positive values represent an overestimation in reading compared to TrackMan.

Shot #CHS (Error)Ball speed (Error)Smash (Error)Carry (Error)
1010.017
210-0.01-7
3000-9
410-0.01-15
5-220.03-16
Average0.00.60.0-8.0
S.D.1.20.90.09.2
PRGR launch monitor vs TrackMan testing data with Driver.

Club head speed

The club head speed reading was underestimated by the PRGR launch monitor by 2 to 8mph with 7-iron, but was surprisingly more accurate with driver shots with 0 to 2mph error. We should note, we updated the ‘club’ function on the PRGR to show to the correct club for each testing setup.

The error was a little more than ideal with irons, you can also see there was a lot of variance in the numbers rather than a consistent underestimation.

Ball speed

Based on the club speed numbers, we had our concerns, but the ball speed numbers were very impressive, with all shots with 7-iron and driver within 2mph.

This is really impressive considering the cost of the PRGR vs TrackMan.

Smash factor

The smash factor is calculated by dividing your ball speed by the clubhead speed, so it makes sense that this is relatively accurate based on results for clubhead speeds and ball speeds. The error for smash factor looks very low as smash factor only ranges from 1.1 ish to 1.5 ish for most golf shots that are well struck.

Carry distance

The carry distance numbers were where we again saw deviations from the TrackMan. The 7-iron shots were two to four yards off, but the driver data had a big range of error from +7 to -16 yards vs TrackMan.

This is because the PRGR launch monitor doesn’t capture launch angle or spin data. I hit the ball quite low with driver, when I tried to hit it higher the error did change, so our hunch is that this is the cause of the error.

This error doesn’t render the PRGR useless, but consider how you plan to use the PRGR if you are planning to buy one to work on your distance control.

Usability & portability

The PRGR is very simple to set up – you take it out of the box, put batteries in, and it will start reading your golf swing within seconds. There are a few other controls to master, but they won’t take you long.

As far as battery life is concerned, we have been using the PRGR 5-6 times a week for a few months and the batteries are just getting to the point where we need to replace them. However, if you are headed out for a major practice session and haven’t changed the batteries much, I might put a spare back in the bag.

It’s also worth mentioning that the unit weighs just 4.4 ounces, so it’s lighter than a phone; keeping this in your bag certainly won’t throw off the total weight; it’s a very portable launch monitor.

As soon as you hit a shot, there is a display with the reading directly on the screen. The information shows up instantly, and there is no waiting around. The PRGR does not have voice capabilities like some of the SwingCaddie launch monitors.

PRGR launch monitor Screen display after shot with 7-iron

We’ll wrap up this section by sharing that the PRGR isn’t perfect at capturing data, it tends to produce a full data set for 19 out of 20 swings, then there are some shots when it doesn’t register. No launch monitors are perfect, so prepare yourself for this to happen now and again.

Where you set it up in relation to your swing path and the lighting conditions seem to affect this most.

Minimum requirements for good use

When setting up your PRGR, give yourself about 3 to 5 yards of space in order for the launch monitor to pick up on the speeds accurately. The PRGR does work great indoors, especially with the minimal space requirements. It’s a very good option for speed training in the colder months.

This won’t be a launch monitor you pair with a golf simulator, as there is no Bluetooth or Wifi functions, just a simple screen with all of the data.

Value

Most launch monitors on the market have Wifi, touch screens, Bluetooth connectivity, and even an app to go with them. We know, golfers like these features and often get caught up in the bells and whistles, but the key questions you should ask are:

  1. What data do I need to improve?
  2. Is this device accurate enough for me to train well?

For golfers who want to supplement practice and speed training sessions with some extra data on speed and carry the PRGR launch monitor offers great value. For golfers wanting to dial in exact yardages, you should look elsewhere.

The PRGR gives clear data and instant feedback on the metrics covered in this review. You’ll just have to decide if it is accurate enough, based on how you plan to use it.

Golf Insider verdict

The PRGR is not here to replace TrackMan, but for golfers who want a tool for speed training, it is a great choice – the accuracy of the club speed data is good enough and the accuracy of the ball speed data really surprised us!

If you want to add more data to your practice sessions the PRGR is good to a point. It offers ball-park figures for carry and total distance, but be aware there will be some error.

The PRGR launch monitor is super simple to use, lightweight, portable and the batteries will last you many, many sessions. It is a great tool for golfers who fit into the categories above.

Alternatives to the PRGR Launch Monitor

If the PRGR is a little too bare-bones for you and you want something more than just swing speed training, the Swing Caddie and the Mevo are two options that, although more expensive, have a bit more to offer.

Swing Caddie

The Swing Caddie SC300i is a portable launch monitor with remote control, portable charger, and an app to go along with it. This is a Bluetooth-enabled monitor capable of measuring:

  • Carry distance
  • Total distance
  • Smash Factor
  • Launch angle
  • Swing Speed
  • Apex
  • Ball Speed

The Swing Caddie comes with a nice case for carrying it around, and the readout on the screen is quite easy to see. The addition of the launch angle and apex also allows you to work on some other things in your game. Atmospheric pressure sensors also help improve the launch monitor’s overall accuracy.

Testing vs TrackMan coming soon.

Flightscope Mevo

The Flightscope Mevo is very similar to the Swing Caddie in what it can do, except that it does not have a readout on the screen, but an app that creates great visuals for your practice sessions. The Mevo is small and can fit in your golf bag; it’s one of the most popular personal launch monitors because of its accuracy and functionality. The Mevo measures:

  • Carry Distance
  • Spin Rate
  • Club Speed
  • Ball Speed
  • Vertical Launch
  • Smash Factor
  • Apex Height
  • Flight Time

Spin rate measurements are what set the Mevo apart from other launch monitors in this category, but do note, you have to hit a golf ball to get data, so this cannot be used for speed training without hitting a golf ball.

Testing vs TrackMan coming soon.

Rapsodo Mobile

The Rapsodo Mobile is a really fun practice device, and it can sometimes be found on sale for around the same price as the PRGR. With the Rapsodo, you use your own phone to get real-time results for the following:

  • Distance
  • Ball Speed
  • Clubhead Speed
  • Smash Factor
  • Launch angle
  • Launch Direction

The Rapsodo Mobile has a lot of great features for tracking your game and even sending off videos that you recorded to your swing coach. This one is more of a complete game improvement than just a swing speed measurement.

Testing vs TrackMan coming soon.

Frequently Asked Questions About PRGR Launch Monitors

Here are a few of the most common questions about the PRGR launch monitor and its capabilities on the golf course.

Does the PRGR launch monitor work inside?

Yes, the PRGR launch monitor does work inside and offers all the functionality that it does for outdoor use.

Is the PRGR launch monitor worth it?

If you are looking for a launch monitor that measures swing speed and gives you accurate measurements of your ball speed and smash factor, the PRGR is worth it. For carry and total distance, spin readings, ball flight, or launch, this is not the best choice. The PRGR launch monitor is a speed radar with above-average accuracy.

How accurate is the PRGR for carry distance?

For 7-iron shots, the PRGR is accurate to within 3-yards of carry distance when compared to TrackMan. For drivers, the difference is closer to 8 yards, with a wider range of error. Spin rates play into the carry distance on a driver just a little more, making it hard for the PRGR to be entirely accurate.

can the PRGR be used by left and right-handed golfers?

Yes, the PRGR can be used for both right and left-handed golfers.

Full testing data

Below is testing data for PRGR launch monitor vs TrackMan. Scroll to the far right for the error between the two.

7-iron data

CHS (PRGR)Ball speed (PRGR)Smash (PRGR)Carry (PRGR)CHS (TrackMan)Ball speed (TrackMan)Smash (TrackMan)Carry (TrackMan)CHS (Error)Ball speed (Error)Smash (Error)Carry (Error)
1811161.4316784.7116.41.37165.3-3.7-0.40.061.7
2741181.5917182.2118.61.44169.1-8.2-0.60.151.9
3811171.4416884.91181.39166.6-3.9-10.051.4
4771131.4616283.5114.31.37162.5-6.5-1.30.09-0.5
5821201.4617484.1119.61.42171.3-2.10.40.042.7
Average79.0116.81.5168.483.9117.41.4167.0-4.9-0.60.11.4
S.D.3.42.60.14.51.12.10.03.42.40.60.01.2

Driver data

CHS (PRGR)Ball speed (PRGR)Smash (PRGR)Carry (PRGR)CHS (TrackMan)Ball speed (TrackMan)Smash (TrackMan)Carry (TrackMan)CHS (Error)Ball speed (Error)Smash (Error)Carry (Error)
11041561.492411041551.48234010.017
21041521.462341031521.4724110-0.01-7
31071601.492491071601.49258000-9
41051551.482411041551.4925610-0.01-15
51041551.482391061531.45255-220.03-16
Average104.8155.61.5240.8104.8155.01.5248.80.00.60.0-8.0
S.D.1.32.90.05.41.63.10.010.71.20.90.09.2

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Will is a PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. He spent 10 years lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds in Biomechanics and Motor Control before becoming the Head of Golf for the University of Exeter. He currently runs Golf Insider UK, Sport Science Insider around wider consulting and academic roles in sport performance and motor control.

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