We thought we would jump into the discussion regarding what the best budget launch monitor is on the market today. The first point to be addressed is what does “budget” exactly mean. From our stand point Trackman is the gold standard as far as launch monitors are concerned but the gold standard of course does not come at a budget price.
A new Trackman will set you back about 20K if you have deep pockets and the will to spend but we really would not advise golfers to start running out and buying them. Instead, a top budget launch monitor can be found somewhere in the two-thousand-dollar ballpark.
Just to be clear I would love to have a trackman. I just could not justify the cost when there are very good budget launch monitors on the market that provide golfers with a very good set of data for them to work with. What we would instead recommend is to book yourself some time with a trackman and a pro at your club and then use the budget launch monitor to help you track and work on areas of your game.
Keeping such a strategy in mind we went out looking at potential options on the market. While we considered and tried out many options two launch monitors separated themselves from the rest. The others fell well short in analytic capabilities or were exponentially more expensive for limited or no extra benefit and this is why we will only be putting forward two contenders for the best budget launch monitor.
|FlightScope Mevo+||SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor|
|Battery Life||2 hrs||5 hrs|
|Weight||1 lb||1.7 lbs|
|Club head speed||YES||YES|
|Angle of attack||YES||NO|
|Usability||INDOOR / OUTDOOR||INDOOR|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
FlightScope Mevo Plus – Best budget launch monitor
- mevo sports radar
- 16 Data parameters
- Indoor/Outdoor use
- Automatic video clipping
- Rechargable battery
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Internal camera for alignment
- 5 Simulated golf courses
- Skills challenges and mini games
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Internal camera for easy target alignment
- Dial in your distances indoors and outdoors
- Save, upload, and share each practice session
As mentioned, when it came down to it there were really only two options that we felt correct in including in our best budget launch monitor discussions. That being said, it did not take us too long in deciding which option we would select if offered the choice between the two, the Flightscope Mevo plus in our opinion clearly outperformed the Skytrak personal launch monitor.
While the Mevo+ uses 3D Doppler technology the actual accuracy is comparable between the two units and really not a point of concern. The level of accuracy is actually incredibly impressive when you would compare them to the very high-end options such as Trackman given their size and comparatively affordable costs. The real analytic benefit is actually in the fact that the Mevo+ is able to analyze not only ball data but also club data such as angle of attack, spin axis and loft and shot shape that Skytrack does not. This brings the Mevo+ even closer to the capabilities of the much more expensive alternatives.
In terms of cost the actual units themselves are quite comparable and fall somewhere around 2K. The deviations in pricing may be more associated with what type of packages you put around them depending on the what you plan to use them for. Such as nets vs screens, projectors etc. There are no ongoing software or usage fees with the Mevo+ that you need to access the full potential of the launch monitor or to facilitate the use of third-party software so it also inches ahead of Skytrack in this respect.
The knockout blow for us is really the flexibility of use between the two. The Mevo+ is equally used indoors as well as out making it perfect for the range, backyard or home. Since not all of us have a dedicated space to sacrifice in our homes but still would like to be able to use a launch monitor for our training sessions the Mevo plus gives us that option. This also makes it possible to pack it and take it along for a vacation or to a friend for fun.
Included are 5 simulated golf courses including Aviara, Stone Canyon, Wade Hampton, Sanctuary and Belfry as well as 17 practice ranges so if you are looking to expand the Mevo+ for golf simulation use there is endless entertainment already bundled in the package from the start.
From our standpoint the Mevo+ gives far more than what could have been even imagined a few years ago from a personal launch monitor. These types of metrics and measurement accuracy were only possible from the very high-end machines at prohibitive costs. So, to believe that the average golfer would need more data that this to take their game forward is nonsense. Again, it is not suggesting that sessions with a Trackman are not beneficial, they just are not needed on a daily basis now that there is the possibility to follow many of your swing metrics at a fraction of the cost. And this is why we have put the Flightscope Mevo Plus forward as our choice for best budget launch monitor.
FlightScope Mevo+’s key selling points:
Measure your numbers
Real-time performance data.
Evaluate your game
Save, upload and share practice sessions.
Visualize your improvement
Action video clips captured by phone with data overlay.
Optimize your performance
Automatic video clipping and storage.
Our Runner Up – Best budget launch monitor
Our runner up for the best budget launch monitor is the SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor. Skytrak uses photometric technology capture the ball metrics. High speed images of the balls movement after impact are taken in order to calculate where the ball will ultimately come to rest and how it will get there. As we previously have mentioned both of the technologies are comparable in their accuracy.
Skytrak does have a substantially greater battery life. Its lithium-polymer rechargeable battery can operate up to 5 hrs on a single charge as compared to Mevo’s. Unfortunately, this is not such a great benefit given that Skatrak for the most part is limited to home use where it could be connected to a power supply.
The one clear advantage Skytrak does have over the Mevo+ is that is requires less depth space from the screen for indoor use. You will read all kinds of proposed measurements about the space needed and some proposing Skytrak just needs the space to swing. While some things may be technically true, they are not realistic or really feasible. In real terms you are gaining about 5ft of space going with the Skytrak for both units to achieve optimal results. So, if you have only around 10 – 12 ft. of available forward space then it would be the better option for you.
Even if the SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor is our runner up it is still a great piece of equipment. If you are looking to set up an indoor stimulator you would be very pleased to get your hands on one. It can provide great family entertainment as well as keep you on top of your swing metrics and your game improvement targets.
SkyTrak Launch Monitor
- Play the world’s top golf courses
- Photometric technology
- PC and iOS simulation packages are available
- Portable design
- Customizable conditions
- Track performance
- Wireless design
- Embedded rechargeable battery
- Add on a simulation packages
SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor’s key selling points:
THE ULTIMATE, INDOOR LAUNCH MONITOR
Imagine having the technology to play golf on your terms, and the insight to take your game to the next level. SkyTrak is a personal launch monitor that delivers instant and real-time 3D shot analysis and ball-flight data. Plus, enhance your SkyTrak experience with a high-definition simulation package.
Hours of fun and enjoyment for friends and family Play championship golf courses from the convenience of your home Explore endless game improvement and practice features Get the accuracy and true affordability you demand
SkyTrak accurately captures, displays and contrasts your ball flight data. Key measurement parameters include: ball speed, launch angle, side spin, back spin, side angle and more.
This year I am tracking all the balls I find during my golf rounds to come up with this years winner of the OFF PIST GOLF BALL OF THE YEAR. If you would like to see if any of our recommendations strayed from the fairway come take a look.