Best Cheap Golf Launch Monitors 2023

We collate some of our favorite launch monitors that are ideal for the more budget-conscious golfer.

Best Cheap Golf Launch Monitors
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Golf has become enveloped in technology of late. When you see the top professionals going about their practice you regularly see launch monitors and bits of golf tech around them, providing them with plenty of information about their swing, ball flight and how much power they're getting on each shot. While such tech only really used to be seen at professional echelons of the game, in recent years,  this has filtered down to amateur golfers like us - and we are now able to take advantage of the cutting edge data that Trackman or Foresight Sports GCQuad devices can deliver. 

The only thing is that they can cost a lot of money, thousands of dollars in fact - with a state of the art Trackman Launch 4 Monitor setting you back in excess of $17,000! But do not fret! We've managed to find several launch monitors that both deliver plenty of performance, while also coming in at a budget-friendly price. They can help you learn, practice and improve your golf swing, without breaking the bank. It must be noted though, that the cost of many of the models below is quite high, with most of our picks still costing a pretty penny. But it is all relative. The monitors we selected are cheap when compared to the premium designs on the market, but may represent a marked rise in comparison to the price of some of the best golf bags and best golf shoes.

Before we get to the list, the final question we want to answer is why would you want a launch monitor? Well each of the products below provides Tour-level data and insights into how we're hitting the ball. For example, you'll be able to see numbers like clubhead speed, carry distance, spin and much more thanks to these launch monitors. That can be a really handy tool to have to help you better understand how you're playing each shot and ultimately analyse where you need to improve. So, without further ado, let's get into our favorite cheap launch monitors, and for those of you after a less expensive laser, too, we also have a guide on the best budget rangefinders as well. 

The Quick List

Best Cheap Golf Launch Monitors

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Best budget

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor set up and ready to play

(Image credit: Future)
Our favorite budget monitor


Technology: Doppler Radar
Data: Club/ball speed, launch angle/direction, distance
Weight: 256g
Battery life: Up to 8 hours
Portable: Yes

Reasons to buy

Turns yours smartphone into a launch monitor with accurate, quick data feedback
Very easy to set up

Reasons to avoid

Currently not available on Android devices

The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is an unconventional looking piece of kit as it utilises your smart phone to deliver accurate readings on each golf swing. Essentially, utilising its doppler technology, this radar will display your swing information on your phone, showing numbers like carry distance, ball speed, club speed, smash factor, launch angle and launch direction. The other cool thing is it will film your swing and store up to 100 videos for free. It works in conjunction with the free Rapsodo app on your iOS smartphone indoors or outdoors. After setting up an account and logging in, rest your phone in the front slot and position it approximately six feet behind the ball.

The lines on the screen and the GPS overhead view help you align it correctly and select your hitting direction for enhanced accuracy. We should also mention the portability here because its small size and lightness means you can easily drop it into your bag whenever you need! Compared to some ultra-premium models in our best launch monitors guide - the Rapsodo's $500 price represents incredible value for what is an accurate, easy to use and fun launch monitor.

Best handheld

PRGR Portable Launch Monitor being held on the golf course displaying some swing data

(Image credit: Dan Parker)
Arguably the simplest and most portable units available


Technology: Dual Doppler Radar
Data: Swing/Ball speed, carry distance, smash
Weight: 125g
Battery life: N/A
Portable : Yes

Reasons to buy

Accuracy impressive for price point
Perfect amount of data on offer
Portable and long lasting battery

Reasons to avoid

Display is super-simplistic

Perhaps the cheapest model on this list comes from PRGR. This doppler radar option will fit neatly in your pocket for the ultimate in portability while providing all the data metrics to help you understand your game, like speed, distance and smash factor. The graphics and buttons are fairly basic but you get all the information you need on a screen that is easy to read. For those that don't want any of the bells and whistles that come with some of the top-spec models, the PRGR really is a fantastic launch monitor we think you'll enjoy. 

The latest version has a higher-quality dual radar sensor, an improved processor and algorithm to increase accuracy, a larger, high-resolution display and improved wedge measurement (especially on higher-lofted shots) that work together to deliver a seamless user experience. We also found it was very easy to switch between yards and meters, depending on which measurement you prefered. Whilst many of the models in this guide come around the $500 mark, this model can be found for around half that too it is definitely one of the best portable launch monitors out there.

Best battery life

The SC300i and its large display resting on the golf courseEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Mike Bailey)
A compact, versatile radar-based option that can be used indoor and out


Technology : Doppler Radar
Data: Swing/Ball speed, launch, apex, smash, carry
Weight: 437g
Battery life: 20 hours
Portable: Yes

Reasons to buy

Accurate, especially outdoors
Large display
Fairly easy to set up
Video feature with stats overlay on app

Reasons to avoid

A little larger and heavier than the competition, so not quite as convenient to put in a golf bag

One of our favorite launch monitors to have been released in recent years, the Swing Caddie SC300i was so highly regarded by the Golf Monthly team, that we chose to list it in our Editor's Choice Awards for 2022. This is an ultra-portable, doppler radar system that is an upgrade on the impressive SC300. The improvements between the two models are plain to see with the newer addition to Swing Caddie's range of products featuring more features, a bigger screen and new sensor technology. That all in turn helps to deliver more readings and accuracy about the type of shots you're playing as well as how well you're hitting the golf ball. 

We found the SC300i was seriously accurate in terms of the ball speeds, swing speed and clubhead speed. It connects directly to the free MySwingCaddie V2 app on your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth so users can track their performance in real-time. There's a voice output option of distance and a remote control that enhances the user convenience. It even includes video playback and analysis as well as increased battery life of up to 20 hours. It'll also measure things like clubhead speed, launch, angle, carry distance, apex height, spin rate and smash factor, making it one of the more comprehensive pieces of technology on this list. 

Most compact

Garmin Approach R10 Launch Monitor resting on the golf course

(Image credit: Future)
One of the most compact launch monitors


Technology: Radar Capture Technology
Data: Club/ball speeds plus additional distances
Weight: 221g
Battery life: Up to 10 hours
Portable: Yes

Reasons to buy

Powerful device in a compact package
Can play 42,000 courses worldwide when linked with Garmin Golf App

Reasons to avoid

Compatible smartphone required to use

The Garmin Approach R10 is one of the most compact launch monitors out there and, with a retail price of $599, packs a formidable punch at a low price. It gathers an enormous amount of real time data which is then displayed on the accompanying Garmin Golf App. Metrics such as club speed, ball speed, smash factor, ball spin, club path and club face angle provide a clear picture of how you strike the ball and are great data points to help you improve your swing or get an idea of how far you hit each club in the bag.

It's a premium feeling, compact device that comes with a tripod and a phone stand all in a convenient carry case. To use, simply place the R10 around 6ft behind the ball and hit away. You then connect the device to a smartphone or tablet and all the data is display on screen. When paired with the Garmin Golf app, players can also use Driving Range Mode to help recognize areas of strength and areas for improvement; automatically record video clips to analyze their swing and utilize the entertaining Home Tee Hero golf simulator to master and enjoy over 42,000 golf course worldwide.

Best for features

Voice Caddie Swing Caddie SC4 Portable Launch Monitor on the ground

(Image credit: Future)
A lot of launch monitor for your money, the SC4 is packed with features


Technology: Doppler Radar
Data: Carry/Total distance, swing speed and multiple other swing points
Weight: 20.79oz / 589g
Battery life: 10 hours
Portable: Yes

Reasons to buy

Audio plus nice visual display
Doesn’t have to be paired with a smartphone
Has simulator capabilities

Reasons to avoid

Spin rates seem high

At $550 retail, it’s certainly one of the value options amongst the best portable launch monitors on the market and, out of the box, it might be the easiest to use. Simply charge it, turn it on (you can get 10-plus hours per charge), set it five feet behind the ball, line up with your target line and go.

In testing, we found that the SC4 pretty much has all the necessary metrics. It starts out with distance, which can be toggled between carry and total distance. It will give you launch direction so you know whether or not you pushed or pulled the shot. There’s swing speed (clubhead speed, which seems to be extrapolated) and ball speed, launch angle, apex, smash factor (how solidly you are hitting it) and spin. 

The SC4 can be used without a mobile device, but we would recommend pairing it with the MySwingCaddie app via Bluetooth as it opens up a lot more information and possibilities. This is how you can get a virtual range and see all your statistics in graphical form, such as their groupings. We could also record and integrate videos with our smartphone and tablet when using the app. 

Best GPS combination

Garmin Approach G80 GPS held aloft on the golf course

(Image credit: Future)
Best GPS and launch monitor combination


Technology: GPS technology
Data: Club/ball speed, smash, tempo and estimated carry distance
Weight: 119g
Battery life: Up to 15 hours
Portable: Yes

Reasons to buy

An excellent GPS in its own right with accurate distances and full hole maps
A solid launch monitor built in and easy to use

Reasons to avoid

Launch monitor information isn’t as detailed as some

This is one of the best Garmin GPS devices on the market and while it doubles as a golf range finder and gps device, it can also deliver launch monitor functionality too. That makes it an extremely competitive package and comes in at around the $500 mark as well which, given the range in functionality here, means you can get plenty of value for your money. 

The device is slim and features a 3.5″, sunlight-readable, colour, touchscreen display that looks great out on the course. The GPS is clear and crisp, giving you yardages to the front, middle and back of greens as well as carry distances over hazards thanks to the 2D full hole display. Amazingly, this little device also has a slope function which gives you accurate yardages for shots up or downhill.

The launch monitor - that uses a built in Doppler radar - tracks clubhead speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo and estimated distance. A really versatile piece of kit. Garmin also makes some of the best golf watches too so check that guide out as well if you are a fan of the brand, or if you want to go down a different route, see our guide on the best laser rangefinders as well.

Specifications Table

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Rapsodo Mobile Launch MonitorRadar and camera depends on phone256g8 hours
PRGR Portable Launch MonitorDoppler radar125gN/A
Swing Caddie SC300i Launch MonitorDoppler radar437g20 hours
Garmin Approach R10 Launch MonitorRadar221g10 hours
Voice Caddie SC4 Launch MonitorDoppler radar589g10 hours
Garmin Approach G80 GPSRadar119g15 hours

How we test golf technology

We test all golf technology as comprehensively as possible to gauge performance over time and whether it can actually help your golf game. As you would expect, this involves using different models regularly, and in different situations to see how the technology performs. A good example is using a monitor inside/outside, or in different types of weather. 

As the entire team are regular golfers, golf technology usually gets a thorough test and often get compared to one another side by side to test for things like accuracy, waterproofing, durability and other features. That way we can give honest and insightful feedback to you, the reader. The final thing we wanted to mention in this section is no manufacturer can buy a good review. Our testing team reviews golf equipment and makes its own opinion on how good or bad the product is.

How to choose a launch monitor

When discussing the best golf launch monitors there are a number of factors to consider. Let's take a look at them.

1. Accuracy

This is the most important factor to consider because if a launch monitor isn't accurate then it is useless. Obviously the top of the range models from Trackman and Foresight Sports are the best in this regard but as we have shown above, from our testing we have found more budget-friendly monitors which are accurate as well, such as the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor.

2. Metrics

Most devices these days give insight into metrics like ball speed, club head speed and carry distance however if you are looking for more specific club head data, and metrics like dispersion, then the cheaper models are more limited here. That being said we think several models above give more than enough data points for most people. 

3. Features 

Linking with the above point, there are models with more features compared to others. Of course for most of the models we tested, measuring the golf ball's flight was the main purpose but some units offered the opportunity for simulator play, GPS functionality, or the ability to record your swing. Be aware of some of these features and what you would like your monitor to do and then choose accordingly.

4. Camera/Radar 

There are usually two main technologies in launch monitors these days. Camera-based monitors use high-definition cameras to capture data at, and following, impact. Because of this they tend to be better for indoor use as some models may struggle in changing light conditions.

Radar designs use Doppler radar to follow the flight of the golf ball. These waves bounce off the golf ball to track the flight and this therefore makes them better for outdoor use. That being said there are models which have the best of both worlds, like the TrackMan 4.

5. Ease of use 

This is a big factor because when we have the time to practice, we don't want to waste any of it trying to work out technological issues. This makes the smaller devices like the Swing Caddie SC300 and Rapsodo particularly appealing.

6. Portability

Speaking of which portability is an important factor in itself. You don't want to have to be lugging something heavy around or something that takes too long to fold away. Therefore take a look at the weight and product dimensions of certain models, and whether they come with a carry case as well because this is very convenient. 

7. Price

We have to mention price when discussing launch monitors because that is a key factor in the making of this guide. For those of you who want, and can afford the top models, our best launch monitors guide has top of the range models for you, however this guide has lots of monitors that do an excellent job without breaking the bank. 

If you want to get fully kitted out with a home studio, why not take a look at our guides on the best golf net, or best golf mat as well.


Should I practice with a launch monitor?

Depending on how you're looking to improve as a golfer, practicing with a launch monitor can be a really beneficial way to give you insights on your swing and connection with the golf ball. That can in turn help you analyze your play better and shoot lower scores. 

Should I invest in an expensive launch monitor?

That depends on your skill set, budget and what you hope to achieve in the game. The more expensive models cater towards golfers looking to progress at a professional level. But there are more value options out there that, while they don't come cheap, represent a much better price than the top-spec models. 

Can I use a portable launch monitor on the course?

Absolutely! So long as you don't hold up the group behind you, set it on the turf and play away! 

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Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x

With contributions from