AmateurGolf.com Picks: The Best Affordable Launch Monitors
15 Oct 2023
by Todd Mrowice of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Equipment Reviews

If memory serves me correctly, it wasn’t all that long ago when the idea of owning your own personal device that would display distances on the golf course seemed like a bonkers concept. Why would we need that when we could just pace off from the sprinkler heads? Well, times change and today it’s not IF you have a rangefinder, but rather WHICH type you have. Laser? GPS? Watch? Handheld?

A similar tide is turning with golf launch monitors. More average Joes and Janes are investing in launch monitor technology than ever before. And one of the remarkable things about the companies that are producing these units is that they are becoming more portable, adaptable, and affordable. Of course, you can pop for the household name, Trackman, and spend $20,000 (or beyond). The market and demand have given manufacturers plenty of reason, however, to get us into more affordable solutions whether your setup is at home, in the office, or if your launch monitor travels to the course.

Some of the most frequent questions I get these days revolve around home simulator setups, with the biggest piece of that purchase puzzle being the launch monitor. Thankfully, we here at AmateurGolf.com have a knowledgeable partner in ACE Indoor Golf. For all of your home golf simulator purchases and questions, be sure to visit their website. Among their offerings are four affordable launch monitors that stand out from the pack. Let’s look at these cost-conscious models you should consider.

Price: $5,999
Why we dig it: User-friendly and virtual golf quality.

The GC3 launch monitor is an affordable favorite for a number of reasons, but let’s highlight the biggest two.

First, the GC3 is probably the most user-friendly unit that exists. If you’re a launch monitor novice or an expert, you can navigate the aspects and software required to operate this unit. It is also among the best when it come to “plug and play” directly from the box. Connectivity-wise, you’ll have the choice of WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, or USB which covers all bases.

Second, I’m a huge fan of the virtual golf option with the GC3. The course details and playability is consistent with units that cost twice as much. It updates from shot-to-shot quickly and if you have multiple players it’s easy to move between one another. Some fun tracks include Teton Pines and Awbrey Glen.

The package for the $5,999 is more than sufficient with FSX Play. It includes good courses and plenty of club data. However, if you’re the type that wants more you can upgrade your club head measurement software to give you specs like smash factor and club head speed. Likewise, if you’d like more courses you can upgrade to a different FSX package for a small fee.

The GC3 belongs on this list for more reasons than not. Whether this is your maiden voyage with launch monitors or you’re looking to land one for the next decade, this model is a great choice.

Rapsodo MLM2Pro
Price: $699
Why we dig it: Did you see the price above?

Rapsodo MLM2Pro
As someone who writes about every consumable golf item out there, I don’t throw around “best deals in the game” haphazardly. The MLM2Pro from Rapsodo, however, is worthy of that designation in the launch monitor space. Now, seven hundred bucks isn’t chump change, but when you look at what this unit packs into the price point you’ll appreciate it as a true deal.

The MLM2Pro utilizes Doppler radar technology to crunch a lot of the core data, and then dual cameras take care of the spin specs. It’s accurate within 1% of models that cost up to 10x as much, which for the amateur golfer is more than sufficient. You can even pair it with your iOS or Android device to add a third camera that will display a face-on or down-the-line video.

The unit sits atop a sturdy tripod and if you’re familiar with Rapsodo products, it’s slightly larger than the original MLM. Still super-convenient as far as transport goes as the carrying case should easily fit into the large pocket of your golf bag.

After you purchase the unit, you’ll receive access to 30,000 golf courses for one year. After that, the yearly subscription is $199. If you love playing sim golf, it’s a steal. The Swing Vision aspect of the unit is fantastic as you’ll get a dual swing replay, which looks great on a tablet if you have one to connect.

FlightScope Mevo+
Price: $2,199
Why we dig it: Continuous improvement from FlightScope

FlightScope Mevo+
FlightScope might be my favorite overall brand in golf simulators. In my estimation, they were the first company to offer a truly affordable option with the Mevo family that had the functionality that consumers wanted. The 2023 Mevo+ is certainly an upgrade from its predecessor, but amateurs who own the 2022 model shouldn’t feel too left out. You still have superior technology.

FlightScope listened to its buyers and made a few improvements to the newer unit. Structurally, the kickstand has been upgraded so it’s a little sturdier on grass. The battery life has been improved to three hours, although I always felt I was getting close to that with the previous model. Mainly, the 2023 Mevo+ gives you access to the FlightScope E6 Bundle which has 6 simulated courses.

What I like about this unit and its price point is that the average golfer can invest in the Mevo+ and will be more than happy, but so will the highly performing collegiate golfers and even golf instructors of the world. There really isn’t a limit to who can use the Mevo+. I’m also a huge fan of how responsive the ball tracker is as well as how quickly the data is provided instantaneously.

The Mevo+ also utilizes Doppler radar technology as well as image processing to create its patented phase-tracking which is among the most advanced pieces of tech in golf. FlightScope is consistently on my list of golf companies I watch to see what’s next.

Price: $2,995
Why we dig it: Reliable name, top-tier performance

SkyTrak is one of those household names in the golf launch monitor space. Time after time, SkyTrak has produced units that are at the top of the technology list in golf, and they do an excellent job of making it difficult to explore other brands. If you’ve been paying attention to pricing in this article, you’ll know that we keep bumping up slightly, but always for good reason.

The SkyTrak+ boasts improvements over the original SkyTrak model. The most significant improvement being dual Doppler radar readings to provide insanely accurate club data. The SkyTrak+ is also a very smart unit as it has machine learning software, so it will adapt and adjust the more you use it. This also allows you to compare yourself against golfers of all skill levels as millions of individual swings are stored in the SkyTrak database. Pretty cool if you ask me. Plus, a new Shot Optimizer will show you your optimal launch in varying conditions.

The improvement that hit me in the face though was the upgrade in the camera system. The optics on this unit showcase why it’s worth coming up to this price point. In addition, the SkyTrak+ features great tutorials from Nick Clearwater, a top-25 instructor. And from a purely fun standpoint, I love the Skill Rating option which gives you the ability to create up to ten target ranges in which you measure your skills. There’s even a randomizer when you’re in practice mode which forces you to hit to targets you may or may not be comfortable with. Now that’s practicing with a purpose.

Uneekor Eye Mini
Price: $4,500
Why we dig it: Next level everything

Uneekor Eye Mini
You know when you go into a purchase, say with a vehicle, and you end up splurging a little more to get something next level? Well, allow me to introduce you to the Uneekor Eye Mini launch monitor. Perhaps this isn’t a brand or model you’ve heard of, but it’s well worth your time exploring. In fairness, I felt that $5,000 was the ceiling for “affordable” launch monitors, and I’m glad Eye Mini slides in just under that number.

This unit looks like Darth Vader at address, and it packs a punch in performance. The cameras on this unit are dual high-speed infrareds that record over 3,000 frames per second. The package comes with stickers that you’ll have to apply to your clubface, which you may have seen with higher-end launch monitors. The club and golf ball data that the Uneekor Eye Mini produces includes attack angle, club path, smash factor, distance to apex, in addition to all the standard metrics that every model on this list has. It also has a feature called Club Optix which provides overhead, close-up views of the club in slow motion to show you before, during, and after impact views. Personally, I had never seen my swing in this light, and it was eye-opening (no pun intended).

All data can be viewed and accessed on the Eye Mini’s built-in monitor, or you can pair it with your favorite device for the ultimate visual experience. An upgrade to the Refine or Refine+ will grant you access to additional golf courses and additional profiles that you can create for family or friends.

Visit ACE Indoor Golf

As a friendly reminder, all of these outstanding and affordable launch monitors can be found by visiting ACE Indoor Golf. Even if you’re not in the market for a launch monitor, they can get you situated with mats, nets, enclosures, projectors, and anything else you can imagine completing your golf simulator setup. Be sure to tell them AmateurGolf.com sent you!

Watch our Webinar

We were fortunate to partner with ACE Indoor Golf recently to co-host a webinar on this exact topic. Check it out here.

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