Skip to content
A golfer at the golf course getting ready to swing a golf club with a Garmin Approach R10 unit behind the tee

Top 7 Best Portable Golf Launch Monitors You Should Buy in 2024 | Buyer's Guide

It's been an amazing few years for portable golf launch monitors! Get the pros and cons from the best in our collection—from Swing Caddie, Garmin, Rapsodo, FlightScope, and SkyTrak!

***This article was updated in August of 2023*** 

Garmin Approach R10 vs Swing Caddie SC4 vs SC300i vs MLM2PRO vs FlightScope Mevo/Mevo+ vs SkyTrak+ | Which one should you buy?

Chalk up the last few years as a standout era for the best golf launch monitor! First, Swing Caddie made some solid upgrades to their SC300i golf launch monitor and MySwingCaddie app. Then Garmin came out of nowhere with the almost too good to be true Approach R10 portable launch monitor and golf simulator. And while these latest personal golf launch monitors—the R10 especially because of its simulation capabilities and outrageously low price—are like gifts from the golf tech gods, they drafted off some pretty impressive early golf launch monitors.

In this comparison, we pulled the seven best portable golf launch monitors in our PlayBetter collection—Swing Caddie SC300i, Garmin Approach R10, Rapsodo MLM2PRO, FlightScope Mevo and Mevo+, and SkyTrak+—and are giving you the pros and cons of each. 

Features We Love to Find in the Best Golf Launch Monitor

Ball Flight Metrics!

Get critical insight about your swing with ball flight metrics like carry distance, ball speed, ball spin, launch angle, and more.

Club Path Metrics!

Few launch monitors have it, but we LOVE seeing club path metrics in the Approach R10 and SkyTrak+! Understand your shot shape with club path, club face, and angle of attack!

Record My Swing!

Analyze your swing! A great launch monitor lets you record your swing through a companion app and will overlay your metrics in the video.

Hours of Fun!

The best golf launch monitor has the juice to outlive your obsession with your swing or an impromptu session with friends!

Companion App Perks!

Companion apps like MySwingCaddie and the Garmin Golf app let you do more with your portable launch monitor data and make it easy to use anywhere!

... Also a Golf Simulator?

Sometimes, a golf launch monitor is also a home golf simulator ... and now there are three in 2024 that are reasonably priced under $1,000—way under! 

COMPARING THE BEST GOLF LAUNCH MONITORS | APPROACH R10 vs SC4 vs MLM2PRO vs SKYTRAK+

Best Golf Launch Monitor 2023 — Garmin Approach R10

For several reasons, the Garmin Approach R10 has our vote for best golf launch monitor! Aside from a sweet suite of features—including club path metrics—and the fact that it is also a simulator, the price alone is enough to make an earnest golfer whip out their credit card. This 3-receiver Doppler technology launch monitor can go anywhere and requires a mobile device that has the Garmin Golf app downloaded. You can opt for the premium app subscription ($9.99 a month or $99 a year) for access to simulation features, including 42,000 golf courses worldwide.

Garmin Approach R10 Pros

  • It has club path, club face, and angle of attack metrics that you won't find on golf launch monitors/simulators for less than $5,000. Yes, that's a 5 with 3 zeros!

  • The Approach R10 has all the other metrics you could want, like ball speed, launch angle, launch direction, club head speed, backswing and downswing times, and more!

  • The Garmin R10 is not compatible with several third-party golf simulation software providers, such as E6 Connect, Awesome Golf, and TGC 2019.

  • This personal golf launch monitor is highly accurate, especially outside. Our friend Gabe at Let's Play Thru has tested it against other golf launch monitors and simulators, including SkyTrak, Mevo, and the GC2.

  • Game modes with rich visual graphics and multiplayer games and challenges.

  • Garmin's own simulation on 42,000 courses worldwide.

  • Improved indoor simulator accuracy with new compatible Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x radar capture technology (RCT) balls.

  • Super easy setup.

  • 10 hours of battery life.

  • Did we mention that it is only $600?!!!

Approach R10 Cons

  • Gabe from Let's Play Thru found the indoor distances to be a little under what they would be on the range. He and we are confident that Garmin can adjust this with a firmware update.
  • The R10 does not have putting. If that's a super important must-have for you on the course simulation, you'll want to know that.
  • The E6 Connect simulation is currently not available (this could change) to Android users through the Garmin app. It is, however, available for PCs.
  • Like some golf launch monitors, the Approach R10 will not automatically recognize your clubs because it uses Doppler-based technology as opposed to camera-based.

The Garmin Approach R10 unit sitting in front of other golf launch monitors, including the Rapsodo MLM2PRO, FlightScope Mevo+, SkyTrak+ and Swing Caddie SC4

Most Affordable Launch Monitor with Simulation — Swing Caddie SC4 by Voice Caddie

The wow-factor with the Swing Caddie SC4 is that for only $50 more, Voice Caddie took the highly accurate SC300i, gave it a sleek redesign, added more swing data metrics and made it golf simulation enabled. Furthermore, it even beats the Garmin R10 in the price category.

Swing Caddie SC4 Pros

  • Voice Caddie is a super-accurate launch monitor brand.
  • It has all the right data points, including: Carry/Total Distance, Swing Speed, Ball Speed, Smash Factor, Apex (Max Height), Launch Angle, Launch Direction, and Spin Rate.
  • Integrates with simulation on the MySwingCaddie app or with E6 Connect—you get one free E6 Connect course with the unit. A subscription is required for more courses. 
  • Get a free driving range simulator demo.
  • Choose from 2 modes: Practice or Target.
  • Instant on-screen readouts!
  • Swing video with data overlay.
  • Gives you audible voice output of your distance.
  • A remote control so that you don’t have to go back and forth to the unit to change up clubs or modes.
  • Super-reasonably priced launch monitor with golf simulator capabilities.
  • No RCT balls necessary. In fact, regular balls are recommended in an indoor golf simulator or outdoors at the golf range.

Swing Caddie SC4 Cons

  • Doppler radar does not offer the best spin numbers (Voice Caddie is continuously putting out firmware updates to improve this). Our go-to golf review guy, Gabe from Let’s Play Thru, found the spin numbers to be off a bit.
  • Only comes with one free E6 Connect course, whereas the Garmin Approach R10 and Rapsodo MLM2PRO each come with 5 free courses. 
  • Currently, the SC4 has limited compatibility with third-party golf simulation software—but this is common with a newly released launch monitor. Hopefully, we will see more.
  • The base price does not include the case. The Swing Caddie SC4 alignment case is $50 more.

Best Portable Launch Monitor — Swing Caddie SC300i by Voice Caddie

The Voice Caddie Swing Caddie SC300i personal golf launch monitor will spoil you with its upgraded features and technology. How would you like an extremely accurate launch monitor that will show you all your data on its own screen, AND allow you to see it in real-time on your phone, AND call out your distance every time, AND has a remote to easily switch up clubs? Talk about catering to your user preferences ... And the fun continues off the course, when the MySwingCaddie app will read you a bedtime story all about the in-depth analysis of your shots that day.

Swing Caddie SC300i Pros

  • Instant on-screen readouts of your shot.

  • Shows you 6 key data parameters on the screen of the golf launch monitor unit, including distance, smash factor, swing speed, ball speed, launch angle, apex, and spin rate (in app).

  • You have the option to see your data in real-time in the app installed on your smartphone if you prefer.

  • Swing video with auto recording.

  • Several ways to analyze your swing in the MySwingCaddie app

  • Newly updated and tested Doppler radar and barometric pressure sensors.

  • The Voice Output feature announces shot distance automatically after each shot, so you don’t have to walk over to the device to read it each time you hit.

  • The SC300i golf launch monitor includes a remote so that you can change mode, club, or target distance without having to walk to the monitor each time between shots.

  • Long battery life of 12 hours.

SC300i Golf Launch Monitor Cons

  • Although it has the requisite basics, the Swing Caddie SC300i doesn't have quite the amount of metrics as the R10 or the Skytrak, which may be appealing to some who don't want devices overcrowded with numbers, along with the comparatively lower price.
  • Not compatible with simulators.
  • Other than that, we've got nothing. We love this golf launch monitor!

Best Portable Launch Monitor with Video Analysis— Rapsodo MLM2PRO

The rapsodo MLM2PRO unit and tripod sitting next to RCT balls, carrying case, and partial PlayBetter log

The original Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor was a favorite among My Golf Spy and Golf Digest lists. Now, the new Rapsodo MLM2PRO™ is the official personal launch monitor of Golf Digest’s Hot List. It provides the same industry leading data with additional metrics to further enhance the user’s experience—plus golf simulation!

New features include measured spin metrics and full golf simulation features. The MLM2PRO™ uses two new dual cameras and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

Rapsodo MLM2PRO Pros

  • It's a completely different experience from the original Rapsodo golf launch monitor.

  • Adds golf simulation with 30K courses, virtual driving range, and third-party simulation software compatible.

  • MLM2PRO uses cameras and a radar to monitor data and analyze your swing

  • The two cameras give you several ways to observe your swing on video with data overlay.

  • Offers loads of data points, including measured spin.

  • Currently, it comes with 5 free E6 Connect courses and is also compatible with Awesome Golf.

  • Free 1-year membership with Rapsodo MLM2PRO purchase.

  • Rapsodo partnered with Callaway to create special radar capture golf balls for the best indoor simulator experience.

  • This is a competitively priced golf launch monitor/simulator under $1,000.

Rapsodo MLM2PRO Cons

  • Even though it has two cameras, the MLM2PRO is not a camera-based golf launch monitor.
  • To enjoy most of the features on the MLM2PRO—including third-party simulation—you have to have the premium membership ($199/year). But you do get it free for the first year.
  • Currently, this Rapsodo has limited compatibility with third-party golf simulation software—but this is common when a launch monitor is first released. 
  • The MLM2PRO does not have club path metrics like the R10 or more expensive devices like the SkyTrak+ or Bushnell Launch Pro.

Best Portable Golf Launch Monitor with Options — FlightScope Mevo and Mevo+

FlightScope provides two notably different golf launch monitor options, which is why you'll want to check out the Mevo and the Mevo+. While both launch monitors are very accurate and very portable, their features and price are considerably different. The FlightScope Mevo is a 3D doppler radar personal launch monitor designed to help you improve performance—a very small, but accurate package (3.55" x 2.76" x 1.18"). The unique FlightScope Mevo+ portable golf launch monitor, designed for more serious golfers, adds simulation to the mix and doubles the data parameters of the Mevo. Still conveniently small (6.8" x 1.2" x 4.6" ), this home launch monitor and simulator is a big step up in features and price—$1,999.00 compared to the $499.00 Mevo price tag.

Mevo Portable Launch Monitor Pros

  • 8 basic essential data parameters: Carry Distance, Club Head Speed, Ball Speed, Smash Factor, Vertical Launch Angle, Spin Rate, Apex Height, and Flight Time

  • On the affordable end of the high-quality launch monitor spectrum

  • Can be used indoor or outdoors

  • Very accurate numbers

  • Portable and Pocketable: 3.55" x 2.76" x 1.8" (90 x 70 x 30mm)

  • Long battery life: up to 4 hours on a full charge

  • No subscription fees

FightScope Mevo Cons

  • Requires 4-7 Feet behind the ball
  • Launch Angles can read slightly higher
  • Can be hard to use indoors due to space required
  • Can't be used with simulator software

Mevo+ Golf Launch Monitor and Simulator Pros

The FlightScope Mevo+ golf launch monitor sitting flat in its case.

  • 16 of the most important data parameters: Carry Distance, Club Head Speed, Smash Factor, Apex Height, Flight Time, Ball Speed, Vertical Launch Angle, Horizontal Launch Angle, Lateral Landing, Angle of Attack, Total Distance, Roll Distance, Spin Axis, Spin Rate, Spin Loft, and Shot Shape.
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors.
  • Numbers rival many launch monitors and home golf simulators that are much more expensive.
  • You can purchase the Mevo+ Pro Package software add-on for 11 more data points!
  • You can purchase the FlightScope Face Impact Location software upgrade to help you consistently make contact with the center of the club.
  • Great for simulator use.
  • Comes with very good simulation software; 10 free E6 Connect courses and 17 practice ranges.
  • No subscription fees.

FightScope Mevo+ Cons

  • Requires a minimum of 8 feet behind the ball
  • Requires stickers on golf ball to measure spin
  • Launch Monitor will work with less space but will be completely inaccurate
  • Battery Life can be low for a long day at the range

Best Indoor Launch Monitor for Fun — SkyTrak+ 

SkyTrak+ golf launch monitor is the first affordable practice, play, and entertainment simulator that provides realistic results that compare accurately to your actual shot-making ability. SkyTrak+ connects easily and quickly to compatible iPads, Androids, and PC's via its built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, and you are ready to start hitting shots on the SkyTrak 3D Practice Range anywhere, anytime.

The SkyTrak+ launch monitor unit being held in a hand over grass and bushes

New SkyTrak+ Portable Golf Launch Monitor Pros

  • Faster Response Times! Delays are nearly nonexistent!

  • Advanced Club Data Added! Thanks to integrated doppler radar technology, you'll get Club Head Speed, Smash Factor, Club Path and Face Angle.

  • Improved Accuracy! Updated photometric technology + the addition of dual doppler radar!

  • Improved Outdoor Experience! GOLFTEC heard the feedback and made the SkyTrak+ amazing indoors and out!

  • New Shot Optimizer Interface! Get commentary from #22 golf instructor in the world—Nick Clearwater!

  • Amazing Simulator Value Package! Only $249/year for 15 E6 and 15 WGT courses for iOS or 15 E6 courses for PC!

  • No Stickers Required! You won't need club or ball stickers. Nor will you need to buy special balls!

  • 40% Larger Hitting Area! That's a lot more room to get it right!

  • Improved Shot Optimizer & Shot Score! Measure results against millions of golf shots for an objective way to see progress and improvement.

SkyTrak+ Cons

  • It's no longer the most affordable golf launch monitor and simulator.
  • It must be on a golf mat at the golf range to get accurate readings.
  • Most of its features are subscription-based.
  • The SkyTrak+ golf launch monitor and simulator only has a 5 hour battery life.
Previous article Top 5 Things from Day 2 of the 2024 PGA Show