A personal launch monitor is the latest golf accessory that all golfers need. Finding the best launch monitor under $500 is not nearly as hard as it once was. More and more companies are finding ways to make their technology more affordable and available to a great group of golfers. Having a personal launch monitor priced under $500 means that you can get impressive ball data and statistics all while keeping your budget intact. As a former Class A PGA Professional, I highly recommend purchasing one of these best launch monitors under $500 options; it could really change the way you look at your golf game.
Our Launch Monitors Under $500
- Best Overall: FlightScope Mevo Launch Monitor
- Best Value: SWING CADDIE SC200 PLUS Launch Monitor By Voice Caddie
- Best For Playing Games: ERNEST SPORTS ES B1 Launch Monitor
- Best For Average Player: RAPSODO Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM)
- Best Cheap Golf Launch Monitor: PRGR Black Pocket Launch Monitor HS-130A (New 2021 Model)
- Best Premium Golf Launch Monitor: Garmin Approach G80 Handheld Golf GPS + Launch Monitor Radar Bundle
- Best Voice Activated Launch Monitor: Swing Caddie SC300i by Voice Caddie Golf Launch Monitor Power Bundle | 2021
- Outdoor launch monitor and indoor launch monitor
- Lightweight, durable and accurate
- Good mix of data points
- Doppler radar technology
- The Mevo Plus has more features, yet it costs more money as well
- Very easy to use
- It comes with remote control
- Has several different modes to practice
- Easy to set up with calibration
- Does not have an app that stores and analyzes ball data
When we say that the Swing Caddie SC200 Plus is the best value launch monitor on the market, it has much more to do with the technology you get for the money than the fact that this is a cheap launch monitor. A budget launch monitor doesn’t always give golfers the accurate data that they may expect. Therefore something like the Swing Caddie that is slightly lower in price but also more impressive when it comes to technology becomes a great option.
The Swing Caddies SC200 is very good at calibrating itself, even in tough weather conditions. The idea is that with the proper calibration, the results and shot data will be more accurate. Another great feature of this model is the voice output technology.
When you hit a shot, you will get the distance of the shot said out loud by the SC200. It will make it so that you don’t have to keep walking over to the portable launch monitor or your phone to look at results.
There are several different modes for players to use when practicing with the Swing Caddie. You can play in the practice mode, target mode, practice swing mode, or approach mode. The idea behind these different modes is that you will have to vary the type of golf shots you are using and become more ready for play on the golf course.
People like the idea that the Swing Caddie ends up becoming like a small golf couch as opposed to just a golf launch monitor. The stats that the Swing Caddie will display include the average distance, speed, smash factor, and it will hold your stats for the last 100 shots.
Last but not least, for those that are looking for a bit more of a technical or technology-based experience, the Swing Caddie does come with a remote. The fact that you can change between modes or simply switch to the next shot with just the press of a button is an excellent concept for golfers.
Overall you won’t be able to beat the technology for the price. If you are looking to try out a launch monitor, this is a great option that you will then be able to keep for years.
Best For Playing Games: ERNEST SPORTS ES B1 Launch Monitor
- Has several games to play
- Video swing record
- Will keep your golf sessions so you can review them
- Durable and easy to transport launch monitor
- It does not have as many data points as other monitors
Ernest Sports ES B1 Launch monitor is the best launch monitor under $500 for those that are looking to play games with their personal launch monitors. Sometimes practicing is boring for golfers, but when you have the better monitors, there are sometimes game modes that can help make things more interesting.
With the history that Ernest Sports has across several different sports, it’s no wonder that they have made golf practice quite a bit more fun. The ESB1 features shot tracer technology. This helps you see the pat of the golf ball and gives you a video recording with every golf shot that you hit.
The six data points that the ESB1 will display include ball speed, club speed, distance, smash factor, spin rate, and launch angle.
Then it comes to the games; there are five different game modes. Depending on your particular style of play and practice, you will easily find an option that works for your game. Our favorite was captured the flag; you will practice for hours and not even feel as though you are practicing.
At the end of your practice session, the ESB1 will have recorded and logged all of the information is collected so that you can look back. Overall this model has very accurate data and good features for the average golfer.
Best For Average Player: RAPSODO Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM)
- Easy to set up with your phone
- One of the best personal launch monitors for portability
- Just enough data points for accuracy
- Paid version available for additional upgrades
- Sometimes getting the setup right can take a little longer with this model
Some average golfers wonder if they should even be getting involved with the launch monitor technology. We can assure you that the technology out there will be well worth investing in. The personal golf launch monitors have finally reached a price point that they make sense for all players. The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is the perfect choice for the average player.
With the Rapsodo Mobile, you will get to use the active tracer replay on your videos. This lets you say the way the golf ball is traveling and the ball flight you are looking for.
No need to manually enter your club. Simply show the club to the camera, and your MLM will register it. Eventually, the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor will use the GPS on your phone to start determining how far you are hitting each of your shots. The device will eventually turn into a personal caddie that you can bring with you out on the golf course.
If you are worried about the data collection process with a launch monitor, the Rapsodo allows you to keep your last 100 golf shots for free. If you want to keep more than this, you will need to pay for the upgraded version of the launch monitor.
We like the fact that this so quickly works with your phone and makes it so that you can set up and get data almost anywhere you are. Calibrating the launch monitor just takes a few minutes, and then you will be ready to swing. Whether you are hitting a few dozen balls or buckling down for a four hour range session, this is a tool you will want to have with you.
Best Cheap Golf Launch Monitor: PRGR Black Pocket Launch Monitor HS-130A (New 2021 Model)
- Very fair pricing
- Good golf ball data
- Trusted brand and company
- Now way to keep track of previous results and information
The $500 price point is sort of the new line for these consumer-grade radar systems. However, some companies have learned how to break that $500 mark by quite a bit. If you are looking for a personal golf launch monitor but don’t have the money to spend, the PRGR could be a great choice. This option has very impressive accuracy, especially for the price.
The PRGR comes with the ability to show you swing speed, ball speed, carry distance, total distance, smash factor, and more. These data points are quite impressive when you consider the fair value of this launch monitor.
With how easy the PRGR is to use, many people are finding that it makes a good solution for other sports in addition to golf. The manufacturer is Yokohama, and they have been in business for more than 100 years. This is not a company that tried to jump into the golf launch monitor market without the proper history in the business.
Don’t expect anything fancy with the PRGR; there is no Wifi and no setup. Simply turn it on, take a swing and see what you are looking at from a data standpoint. The ability to switch between yards and meters also makes this one of the more versatile budget launch monitors on the market.
BestBest Premium Golf Launch Monitor: Garmin Approach G80 Handheld Golf GPS + Launch Monitor Radar Bundle
- Only GPS Launch monitor combo on the market
- Very easy to set up and use
- Garmin almost always gives accurate data
- It won’t be as accurate as the Mevo that is dedicated towards golf ball data collection
The PRGR Golf launch monitor was known for being a budget style, but the Garmin products are almost never included in a budget type category. Garmin sets out to make some of the best technology on the market, and the Approach G80 Handheld Golf GPS and Launch MOnitor is no exception.
The thing that we love about this particular option is that it comes with a GPS as well. Essentially, you will get several of the most used golf accessories on the market for the price of one. This G80 package comes with the GPS, Trolley/Cart Mount, USB Cable, and even a warranty.
When you are out on the course, the launch monitor can collect the clubhead speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo, and even an estimated shot distance. There are options to play virtual rounds of golf on many different courses around the country and the world.
As you are using your golf launch monitor, you can also use the G80 as a GPS device to let you know how far you are from the hole. Overall the combination of launch monitor and GPS unit is a unique one and one of the things that really helps this particular model to stand out from the crowd.
Best Voice Activated Launch Monitor: Swing Caddie SC300i by Voice Caddie Golf Launch Monitor Power Bundle | 2021 |
- Very easy to work with
- Has experience upgrades
- Accurate ball speed data
- Can talk to it and control what the launch monitor does
- The wifi app combination is not good for the SC300; you will have to look at data on the launch monitor
Last but not least is the best voice-activated launch monitor, the Swing Caddie SC300i. As you may remember, the Swing Caddie has appeared on our list one before. However, they make several different models that are affordable and feature impressive technology.
With the SC300i, you will get the most recent technology from Voice Caddie and even the ability to capture and analyze video related to your golf swing data. There are several different modes that you can use when working with the SC300i.
Technology included with the SC300i includes the Voice Output and accurate control. Essentially golfers are going to get excellent data and be able to control all of this just by speaking to their launch monitor. If you are a serious golfer that wants to just keep practicing and every once in a while get a bit of data, this is the option to go with.
We hope you now feel as though you are ready to purchase a great launch monitor under $500. Years ago, this would not have been possible, but the portable launch monitor has come a long way. For players that are interested, you can get some great technology for your game for a very fair price. There are, however, certain things that you should look for when choosing a golf launch monitor.
The best golf launch monitor options on the market can be used both indoors and outdoors. This means that there is an outer covering on the golf launch monitor that makes them more durable. Of course, if you happen to hit your launch monitor with a club, it could easily be destroyed, but if it tips over in the grass at the range, things should be fine.
Although these golf launch monitors are more durable than they were years ago, you will still want to make sure that you take care of them while you bring them around the golf course and the range.
The more data points that a golf launch monitor can collect, the more accurate your results will be. Most launch monitors will collect information such as ball speed, vertical launch angle, ball flight, and more. If you want good results to use with a simulator, you will need lots of data points.
Depending on if you have a camera based launch monitor or a doppler radar, the overall results will be easier to collect. Overall the more data points you can get, the more you will learn about your golf swing and its overall abilities.
Many personal launch monitors are going to display data directly on the screen. This is easy for golfers to walk over and look at their information and see how their golf game is doing. However, most of these golf launch monitors do not keep a lot of the data for a long time.
Instead, the golf launch monitors that hold on to data are those that have a wifi mode. With each swing that you take, the information is then transferred to an app on your phone. When the information makes it to this app, it will then analyze it, run some averages and keep stats for your golf swing and game.
This is where you can see if your are improving as a player or if your stats are getting worse. If you are trying a new grip or a stance, this is a great way to see if it is actually working for you.
The battery life of a golf launch monitor is important if you like long practice sessions on the range. The best kind of battery combo you can get for a launch monitor is something that is rechargeable. However, this is not the case with all of the monitors on the market.
If you think that you will use your launch monitor often, make sure that you consider the power issue. Knowing to charge the unit and keep it at full power will only help ensure that you have a launch monitor to use for your entire golf session.
Something with around three hours or more battery life can be a good choice for serious players.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have a better idea of which golf launch monitors will make the most sense to try for your game, you may still have some lingering questions. Golfers tend to have an easy time deciding on a GPS or laser distance measuring device. However, when it comes to the launch monitors, many wonder if the technology will be worth the price.
What is the most accurate launch monitor?
The most accurate launch monitor in the world of golf is the Trackman launch monitor. However, the Trackman is not going to be close to our $500 price range for this review. Instead, you will want to find a local golf fitting center that has a Trackman that you can use.
The Trackman is known for its large collection of data and the impressive data points that it will collect. However, you will spend thousands of dollars on the Trackman. For PGA Professionals and golf courses, the Trackman is a great choice.
However, for the average golfer working on trying and getting a few more stats about their swing, the Trackman is likely a bit too expensive and not necessary.
Are cheap launch monitors worth it?
Cheap launch monitors are worth it as long as they are highly rated and accurate. If you are a golfer that typically hits a seven iron 150 yards, if your launch monitor can’t get with a three yard or so range of this, then it is not worth the money.
Hitting with a launch monitor that is not accurate may cause you to change your overall thoughts and ideas about your golf swing. Players may try swinging harder unnecessarily simply because the launch monitor is showing that the swing speed is down.
In addition, if you are using your golf launch monitor to try and help you choose a new set of golf clubs, that information is going to be even more important. Cheap launch monitors that are highly rated are worth the money; other than that, you can expect to get what you pay for.
Is it worth getting a launch monitor?
If you are serious about starting to lower your score and learn more about your golf game, the launch monitor purchase is worth it. You must carefully choose a launch monitor that is accurate and has the data points that you need to succeed.
One option that we have seen some golfers do is purchase a golf launch monitor with several different people. Everyone takes turns using the launch monitor for a week or so at a time, gets the data they need, and then they pass it along to a friend.
This is a great way to save money, especially if you don’t think you will use your golf launch monitor quite as much as you should justify the cost.
Hopefully, you are now feeling a bit better about the best launch monitor under $500. As you can see, golfers are lucky to have quite a few great choices; it’s just a matter of finding one that will be a good fit for your specific golf game. The best launch monitors on the market are going to have great clubhead speed data, dispersion data, and some will even have GPS Functionality. The Flighscope Mevo is the best affordable launch monitor on the market. You will not be disappointed by how this Mevo compares to other launch monitors, even some of the most premium ones on the market. For a consumer-grade unit, this is one of the best golf launch monitors you will even find.