Best Portable Launch Monitors 2023

The best portable launch monitors allow you to monitor your distances and swing with ease and perhaps cost less than you might think

best portable launch monitors
(Image credit: Future)

Best Portable Launch Monitors

Not only are launch monitors becoming more affordable, but they’re also getting smaller - which makes them easier to transport to the various different locations golfers like to practice, be it the driving range, an indoor studio or even the golf course. The best portable launch monitors need to be easy to set up and use - time spent faffing is valuable practice time lost - and the models we’ve selected below have proven to be very user friendly.

Accuracy is also a key factor and while more expensive models guarantee this, we’ve found that less expensive launch monitors from reputable companies stack up very well - especially for the avid golfer that just wants basic feedback on the shots they hit, whether it’s to tune up on their yardages or testing one club against another. 

VIDEO: Joel Tadman tests and compares five of the best portable launch monitors under $600 

Why You'd Want To Buy A Launch Monitor

Launch monitors provide quantifiable feedback on the shots we hit, enlightening us on the distances but also our strengths and weaknesses. Accurate club and ball data allows numbers like clubhead speed, carry distance, spin and much more to be seen instantly on a screen and help golfers make decisions on clubs or swing changes that may or may not be working.

The numbers can explain why you might have a tendency to slice it or hook it, and you can then correct your swing to eliminate bad tendencies. Launch monitors can also give insight into things like swing path, and because distance numbers are so readily available, they allow you to dial in your bag setup too.

Nearly every touring professional uses a launch monitor to hone their swings and many amateurs are also making the most of the technology now to improve their games too. Launch monitors these days are also very convenient because they can often be folded up nicely, or they are handheld devices so are highly portable.

Some of the premium models that you'll see on tour or in high-tech fitting studios can be expensive, so our rundown of the best portable launch monitors focuses mostly on the more affordable options, although we've covered some of the most portable premium options too. Be sure to take a look at our guides on the best golf simulator (opens in new tab), best golf rangefinders (opens in new tab) or the best golf shot tracking apps and devices (opens in new tab) if the latest technology is of interest.

Best Portable Launch Monitors

Why you can trust Golf Monthly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

full swing kit launch monitor reviewEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)
The model used by Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm

Specifications

Weight: N/A
Data: Club, ball, plus 16 data points

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Accurate
+
App experience is one of the best around

Reasons to avoid

-
Currently doesn't have a ball normalisation feature
-
Full app experience comes with a hefty price tag

As used by none other than Tiger Woods (opens in new tab), Full Swing’s Kit is a launch monitor that uses Doppler radar to analyze your shots. It’s extremely straightforward to use. Having downloaded the free Full Swing app and paired it to the launch monitor, you place it on the ground 10 feet behind the ball and hit away. There’s no need for stickers on the club face, leveling calibration or alignment sticks - just set it down, line it up, pair it and you’re good to go. 

Our testing revealed just how accurate and reliable the performance is here and the app experience really sets this package apart. Above all, this launch monitor is fun to use. It’s uncomplicated and functions quickly and effectively. It comes with a carry case, which makes it easily portable, and you can even pair it with your bluetooth earphones to hear the data parameter you want after each shot.

Flightscope Mevo+ launch monitor review

(Image credit: Future)
Radar-based unit that can be used indoors and out

Specifications

Weight: 465g
Data: Ball data plus clubhead speed and attack angle

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and lightweight
+
Easy and intuitive to set up
+
Wide range of features and data points

Reasons to avoid

-
No putting analysis

Flightscope's mid-range offering provides golfers with all the data they would ever need (and then some more) via a device that is easy to set up and an app interface that even the least tech-savvy golfer out there should be able to grasp. It's portable thanks to the included carry case that clips on to your bag and the fact it is very lightweight.

This launch monitor works outdoors, but it's suited more towards golfers that have an indoor hitting space and screen available as it also doubles as an impressive simulator where you can play some amazing courses from the comfort of your home.

PRGR Portable Launch Monitor

(Image credit: Dan Parker)
Arguably the slimmest and simplest units to use

Specifications

Weight: 125g
Data: Swing/Ball speed, carry distance, smash

Reasons to buy

+
Provides basic info quickly
+
Very accurate
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Archaic display

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. 

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) to capture more shots, as well as the ability to switch between yards and meters. You can also use it with any SuperSpeed swing training clubs to see if your exercises are increasing the amount of speed you can generate.

Foresight Sports GC3 launch monitorEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Foresight Sports)
Our Top Photometric Pick

Specifications

Weight: 2.3kg
Data: Club and ball

Reasons to buy

+
Tour level accuracy and analytics
+
Clear, built in display that provides accurate data fast

Reasons to avoid

-
A little bit clunky to carry around

More than a decade after the debut of its GC2, Foresight Sports has announced the product’s successor, the GC3. The latest addition to the Game Changer (GC) family will provide more golfers than ever before with the unmatched data accuracy and true-to-life simulation experience guaranteed only with Foresight.

Built on the same advanced photometric technology found in the company’s flagship launch monitor, the GCQuad, the new GC3 features a three-camera system that measures ball and club performance data, both outdoors and indoors, with precision and accuracy. One of the things that makes the GC3 so accurate is its Barometric Sensor, which takes into account temperature, humidity and altitude and gives you accurate data based on these real time factors. 

There are lots of similarities with the GCQuad, which is no bad thing, in particular how easy it is to use and the speed at which it does its measurements for around a third of the price. Factor in the indoor and simulator experiences and the GC3 is an appealing prospect for the serious golfer.

Swing Caddie SC300i Launch MonitorEditors Choice 2022

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

Specifications

Weight: 437g
Data: Swing/Ball speed, launch, apex, smash, carry

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

This ultra-portable, doppler radar launch monitor is a new model that improves on what we saw with the SC300 by using atmospheric pressure sensors to provide more accurate data. 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.

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor review

(Image credit: Future)
Partners with your phone to provide performance insights

Specifications

Weight: 256g
Data: Club/ball speed, launch angle/direction, distance

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 literally turns your smartphone into a launch monitor to give you a wide range of numbers like carry distance, ball speed, club speed, smash factor, launch angle, and launch direction. It also films your swing and stores up to 100 videos for free (you can get more storage with a subscription) and offers video playback with shot tracer.

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 because its small size and lightness means it can easily go in your bag all the time. This model also made our guide on the best cheap launch monitors (opens in new tab) because the Rapsodo's price represents incredible value for this accurate, easy to use and fun launch monitor.

Garmin Approach R10 Launch Monitor Review

(Image credit: Future)
Best Compact Launch Monitor

Specifications

Weight: 221g
Data: Wide mix of club and ball data plus distances

Reasons to buy

+
Wide variety of data points
+
Can play 42,000 courses worldwide when linked with Garmin Golf App

Reasons to avoid

-
No normalisation feature to account for range balls

The Garmin (opens in new tab) Approach R10 is one of the most compact launch monitors out there and 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.

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.

skytrak launch monitor

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Best Home Set Up Option

Specifications

Weight: 794g
Data: Ball speed, launch, spin, side angle, distance

Reasons to buy

+
Instant 3D shot analysis
+
Portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Home set up required a lot of space

SkyTrak offers launch monitors as well as a complete home setup for the golfer with space to dedicate to their game. The launch monitor uses photometric technology and delivers instant and real-time 3D shot analysis and ball-flight data, and the company offers a high-definition simulation package for the ultimate setup.

Additionally you can play lots of different golf courses and it offers various mini-games for engaging practice such as Closest to the Pin, Longest Drive and Targets. It's a very portable launch monitor that can be used anywhere once paired to a device through its inbuilt Wi-Fi.

Flightscope Mevo launch monitor

(Image credit: Future)
One of the most compact units on the market

Specifications

Weight: 438g
Data: Ball data including spin and club speed

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of data for the price
+
Simple to use
+
Impressive partnering app

Reasons to avoid

-
No internal camera or WiFi connection

The Flightscope Mevo is the little brother of the Mevo+, providing a more affordable alternative that still offers an impressive selection of data points, including clubhead speed, spin rate and carry distance.

It won't provide simulator functionality, video capture or skills challenges but as a more basic option for golfers that want accurate feedback on shots hit, it's one of the best around given how compact it is and how simple it is to set up and use on the range.

- Read our full Flightscope Mevo Plus launch monitor review

garmin approach g80 gps

(Image credit: Future)
Best GPS and Launch Monitor Combination

Specifications

Weight: 119g
Data: Club/ball speed, smash, tempo and estimated carry distance

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

Garmin's G80 is one of the best GPS devices on the market, offering up plenty of helpful features in a slim device with a 3.5″, sunlight-readable, colour, touchscreen display. This device works fantastically in its own right as one of the best golf GPS (opens in new tab), but its also an excellent launch monitor too - making this an extremely competitive package.

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.

Overall, the Approach G80 is a really versatile piece of kit. Garmin also makes some of the best golf watches (opens in new tab) too so check that guide out as well if you are a fan of the brand.

Ernest Sports ESB1 launch monitor

(Image credit: Ernest Sports)

Ernest Sports ESB1 Launch Monitor

An excellent all-rounder for under $500

Specifications

Weight: 850g
Data: Club/Ball Speed, Distance, Smash Factor, Spin Rate, Launch Angle

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Offers skills challenges
+
Video playback option and voice control

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky compared to the competition

This smart looking launch monitor pairs with a free app on your phone to access more data points. It gives six data points in all (Ball Speed, Club Speed, Distance, Smash Factor, Spin Rate and Launch Angle) while also offering voice control capabilities for club selection, a video swing record feature and interactive games to make your practice more effective. It also provides user assisted shot trace technology so you can analyze your shot pattern and fine tune your game accordingly. You're also able to add graphics to video playbacks of your swing and view data from previously recorded sessions.

How we test

We test all golf technology as comprehensively as possible (opens in new tab) 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. Of course many of the launch monitors also get used a lot because we do so much club testing as well. 

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.

What to look out for when buying 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.

Accuracy - This is the most important factor to consider because if a launch monitor isn't accurate then it is useless. Obviously the premium models at the top of this page are the best in this regard but you can also get more budget-friendly models with good accuracy, like the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor for example.

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 models like the Foresight Sports GCQuad and Trackman are the way to go. They are more expensive but offer incredible detail.

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. Some also have games too.

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.

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.

Indoor/Outdoor Use - Are you going to be using the monitor inside or outside? If you look to focus on the former then investing in a proper setup may be the way to go whilst if you want to use a monitor outside then something convenient and portable is a better call.

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.

Price - We have to mention price when discussing launch monitors. There will be some who can afford the top-of-the-range designs but many more won't. However as we have shown above there are still some very good more affordable models too.

Understanding - Not only does the launch monitor have to be clear in displaying data, but you the player needs to have some understanding of what those numbers mean.

FAQ's

Are portable launch monitors worth it?

We think a portable launch monitor is worth it because of the benefits available like a great understanding of your golf game, more efficient practice, convenience, and importantly, there are really good models out there that do not have to cost thousands of dollars. 

What launch monitors do pros use?

Professionals out on Tour use a variety of launch monitors right now. We regularly see players carrying around models from Trackman and Foresight Sports, whilst we also know some professionals use launch monitors at home, like the Full Swing Kit Launch Monitor used by Tiger Woods. 

If you want more buying advice, why not take a look at our guides on the best golf net, or best golf mat as well.

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 87 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 3.3.


Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-7 iron, TaylorMade P7MC 8-PW 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and a Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge 

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x