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Launch Monitors

Golf Gifts for Dad: Our Picks for the 6 Best Golf Launch Monitors Under $500 in 2022!

Buy Swing Caddie Golf Launch Monitors

Does dad want accuracy? You better believe it! For the most pinpoint numbers, you can’t beat the Swing Caddie SC300i or SC200 PLUS.

Buy FlightScope Mevo Portable Golf Launch Monitor

How can so much technology fit into such a tiny device? The FlightScope Mevo is the perfect on-the-go personal golf launch monitor.

Buy Garmin Golf Launch Monitors

The Garmin Approach G80 doesn’t even require an app! Super simple setup. Take it out of the box, and start collecting data! Plus, is that a Garmin R10?!

Buy the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor

Data for days! The Rapsodo MLM even comes with shot-tracer technology. For less than $500?! No, this is not a joke!

Choosing the Best Golf Gifts for Dad

Dad loves golf, and you love dad. Wanna find a gift that’s guaranteed to make your dad love you even more than he already does? We’ve got you covered with six of the very best golf launch monitors, each of them retailing for less than $500!

Any one of these products is sure to make your dad’s day, week, year, and beyond. If you’re not already his favorite child, buy him one of these, and you will be now!

We’ve even thrown in a bonus recommendation if your budget can creep up just a tiny bit more.

The coolest part? If you’re also a golfer, you might be able to convince dad to let you borrow the launch monitor you buy for him. Talk about a win-win!

So, let’s get to it and find the best golf launch monitor of 2022 for your dad.

Best Affordable Golf Launch Monitor Review Video

Shop Golf Launch Monitors on PlayBetter

Best Golf Gifts for Dad | Affordable Launch Monitors

Swing Caddie SC300i: Because Accuracy Is Everything

The whole point of a launch monitor is to get accurate information about your swing and the distances you hit each club, right? Well, the Swing Caddie SC300i is the most consistently, down-to-the-yard-accurate launch monitor for under $500 we’ve found.

Our buddy Gabe at YouTube’s Let’s Play Thru spent some time with the SC300i and said that accuracy throughout his entire bag was spot on, as verified with his rangefinder. Gabe also really loved the remote control functionality of the SC300i.

Using the SC300i practice mode, your dad will be able to record his swing and then review video with overlay shot data. Recorded videos can even be shared. So, if he wants to send you a video of his swing to get your tips, the SC300i is the device for that.

All of the swing data and videos are stored inside the MySwingCaddie app, so that users can quickly review and compare session data and shot videos.

Other cool features with the Swing Caddie SC300i:

  • Distance
  • Smash factor
  • Swing speed
  • Ball speed
  • Launch angle
  • Apex
  • Spin rate
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FlightScope Mevo: Great Things Come in Really Small Packages

For all that it does, you’ll be shocked at the tiny size of the FlightScope Mevo. Seriously! This thing is only 3.55 x 2.76 x 1.18 inches! How’s that for a portable launch monitor? The Mevo comes with a handy carry pouch and will fit easily in whatever golf bag your dad uses.

As for performance, the FlightScop Mevo wants for nothing. You get all the key metrics, including distance, clubhead speed, smash factor, apex height, and more. Plus, you’ve got the capability to record video of your swing so that you can review performance after each practice session.

On the range, in the yard, or indoors, the FlightScope Mevo easily goes wherever dad wants to take his game.

Key Mevo features include:

  • Carry distance
  • Clubhead speed
  • Smash factor
  • Apex height
  • Flight time
  • Ball speed
  • Spin rate
  • Vertical launch angle
  • Action video clips with data overlay
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Garmin Approach G80: A Portable Launch Monitor Ready To Use Within Seconds of Unboxing  

Let’s face it: A lot of our golf-loving dads aren’t the most tech-savvy. If that’s your dad, the Garmin Approach G80 might be the best budget launch monitor option. This thing doesn’t even require a launch monitor app. Just unbox it, turn it on, set it 8 to 10 inches from your ball, and start hitting shots. That’s it! Think your dad can handle that?

If so, your dad is going to be getting a handheld device that can serve as both a launch monitor and a GPS. That means he’ll be able to use it during practice sessions as a launch monitor to chart his swing performance and to see how far he hits each club, and he’ll be able to use it on the course to get yardages to the green and any hazards. That’s pretty slick dual usage for just $499.99. Not to mention free 60-day returns and free 2-day shipping within the continental United States if you buy from

The Garmin Approach G80 scores extra points for the instant feedback you get. Some of the devices on this list require you to review your data on your phone or through a connected app. With the G80 on the other hand, all of the information is contained within the unit itself. And it’s smaller than a cellphone, so it's super portable.

Among the most exciting features of the Garmin Approach G80:

  • Estimated carry distance
  • Clubhead speed
  • Ball speed
  • Smash factor
  • Tempo
  • More than 41,000 preloaded golf courses
  • Touch targeting
  • Green view
  • PinPointer for blind shots
  • PlaysLike distances
  • Rechargeable battery life up to 15 hours
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Garmin Approach R10—An Extra $100 Gives Dad an Awful Lot

No, this is not a bait-and-switch. We told you we were going to tell you about the best golf launch monitors under $500, and we’re going to do exactly that.

But… A very quick aside…

For $599.99, you can get your dad the absolute most coveted golf launch monitor and indoor simulator on the market—the Garmin Approach R10. This thing has been impossible to keep in stock, so when you see it as available, don’t procrastinate your purchase!

We could go on and on about the R10, but we’ll save that for our full-fledged reviews of that product. Suffice it to say that you get ball speed, launch angle, launch direction, clubhead speed, club path, backswing and downswing times, angles of attack, clubface angle, spin rate, spin axis, observed ball flight range, carry distance, total distance, smash factor, swing tempo, and apex height—all in a device that’s literally the size of a deck of cards.

Now do you see why we just had to squeeze this in here? If you want to step it up just a bit, the R10 is guaranteed to amaze your dad.

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Rapsodo Mobile Golf Launch Monitor: Includes a Built-In Shot Tracer

You know when you watch golf on TV and the shot-tracer line shows you the exact ball flight of the player’s shot? Pretty cool, right? Well, with the Rapsodo, you can give your dad his own shot tracer to see his own shots. To get just that feature alone for less than $500 makes this product a game changer.

But of course the Rapsodo does plenty more, including distance, ball speed, club speed, smash factor, launch angle, and launch direction. And all delivered with an interface that our friend Gabe at Let’s Play Thru said “is an absolute pleasure to use.”

One caveat: This is an iPhone launch monitor. So if dad is an Android user, move on in this list.

Some of the things that make the Rapsodo a worthy contender:

  • Distance
  • Ball speed
  • Club speed
  • Smash factor
  • Launch angle
  • Launch direction
  • Video feedback
  • Shot tracer
  • Satellite range mapping
  • Bag mapping
  • Smart club recognition
  • Shot library
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Ernest Sports ESB1: How Does Dad’s Game Compare to the Pros?

Here’s another easy-to-set-up launch monitor. This is a great option if your dad would like audio feedback to go along with visual information. The ESB1 can be set to spit out numbers audibly after each shot, allowing for feedback without having to step away to look at a screen.

Another cool, though humbling, feature is the ability to compare your stats with those of PGA and LPGA tour members. Keep practicing!

Some of things your dad might like about the ESB1:

  • Ball speed
  • Spin rate
  • Launch angle
  • Smash factor
  • Club speed
  • Distance
  • PGA/LPGA stat comparison
  • Audio feedback after every shot
  • Rechargeable battery with 20 hours of battery life
  • Downloadable firmware
  • White or black LCD display option
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Swing Caddie SC200 PLUS: Best Cheapest Launch Monitor?

The SC200 PLUS may not do every single thing that others on this list of contenders for best golf launch monitors under $500. But you know what it does do? All of the most important stuff. So, if your dad doesn’t need every last bell and whistle, save some dough and pick up this hand-held beauty for just $349.99 at

Made even better with the additional Practice Swing Mode, the Swing Caddie SC200 PLUS measures your swing speed numbers without you having to hit a ball. Get uncompromised precision using the latest in doppler radar technology and calibrating atmospheric pressure sensors. See instant feedback on its LCD display including carry distance, swing speed, ball speed, and smash factor, plus a voice output reporting of each distance.

In addition to being our lowest-priced option on this list, the SC200 PLUS is also in the running for best portable golf launch monitor.

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No Wrong Answers ... On PlayBetter!

Stick to this list, and you’re sure to find one of the best golf gifts for dad he’s ever received.

Money’s tight and you want to get the best you can while spending as little as possible? The Swing Caddie SC200 PLUS definitely won’t dissapoint.

Got some extra money to spend and want to go above and beyond? Buy him the Garmin Approach R10. You (and he) won’t regret it.

Does your dad have an iPhone and love the idea of his own shot tracer? The Rapsodo Mobile Golf Launch Monitor is the only product in this price class that can deliver that technology.

Want pinpoint accuracy? It’s the SwingCaddie SC300i all day.

How about a golf launch monitor that does some of everything in a package that fits in the palm of your hand? Gotta go with the FlightScope Mevo.

What about a product that’s simple to set up and is both a launch monitor and a GPS? The Garmin Approach G80 checks all of those boxes.

And if your dad is curious about how he stacks up to the stars on the PGA and LPGA tours, then the Ernest Sports ESB1 gives him that cool and unique feature.

There you have it. The best golf launch monitors under $500, every option guaranteed to bring a big smile to your dad’s face. Just be careful that you don’t borrow this thing so often that you’re using it more than him. You are shopping for your dad, right?

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