8 Best Outdoor Golf Launch Monitors – 2023 Reviews & Buying Guide

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If you’re even a little bit serious about your golf game, a launch monitor is one of the most valuable assets you can have at your disposal. It allows you to measure ball flight data and track your shots so that you can understand the state of your game on a much deeper level.

Many people want to be able to use a launch monitor outdoors, whether it’s at the range, in the yard hitting into a net, or for a golf event. Being able to view your shot data on an onboard display, without needing separate devices or apps, is an added bonus.

Whatever the reason is you’re looking for an outdoor launch monitor, you’ve come to the right place. While most launch monitors work well both indoors and outdoors, certain models tend to be built better for outdoor use.

In this article, we’ll review and compare our picks for the best outdoor golf launch monitors across a range of different budgets.

Note: Golfstead has tested and/or conducted in-depth research into all of the products featured in this guide. Our editorial process for these rankings takes into account a mix of many factors which may include performance, reliability, usability, value for money, cost, and the general consensus from other users of the product. The list that follows may be reassessed or updated over time.


Our Top Picks For Outdoor Launch Monitors

Based on our own testing, research, and experience, here are our top selections:

  1. FlightScope Mevo Plus Launch Monitor
  2. Uneekor EYE MINI Launch Monitor
  3. FlightScope X3 Launch Monitor
  4. Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor
  5. SkyTrak Plus (ST+) Launch Monitor
  6. Rapsodo MLM2PRO Launch Monitor
  7. Garmin Approach G80 GPS & Launch Monitor
  8. Foresight Sports GC3 Launch Monitor

1. FlightScope Mevo Plus Launch Monitor

FlightScope Mevo Plus 2023 Edition Launch Monitor - Front View

The Mevo Plus is an absolute champ. Given the unbelievable amount of technology and features packed into the device and its affordable price at less than $2500, giving it the #1 spot on our list was a no-brainer.

Now offered in a new 2023 Edition which has an improved battery life, upgraded kickstand, and expanded features in the bundled E6 CONNECT software including PC compatibility, the Mevo Plus is generally regarded as being ideal for outdoor use because of its 3D Doppler radar system.

The Mevo+ has a sharp white/red colour scheme that stands out nicely. If possible, we recommend using it on the range, but it can also be used in the yard with a net.

Data Parameters

The radar technology of the Mevo Plus measures an impressive 16 ball and swing parameters. These include the essentials like distance, ball speed and club head speed, as well as more advanced metrics like spin axis, spin loft, lateral landing, roll distance, and shot shape.

This is bolstered by Fusion Tracking which adds synchronized image processing for enhanced accuracy and consistency. Plus, a new, optional Pro Package upgrade unlocks 11 additional advanced club and ball data parameters.

Software & Apps

FlightScope offers several apps compatible with the Mevo Plus launch monitor that enhance your experience. With the free FS Golf app, for example, you get a practice range, 3D trajectory views and video recording.

You can benefit from real-time performance data, automated video capture with trimming, and recorded training sessions.

As for software, the Mevo Plus is compatible with E6 CONNECT (full PC version), TGC 2019Awesome GolfCreative Golf 3D, and GSPro. Depending on the software you choose, you can play up to 100,000 courses, multiplayer, mini-games, and more.

Additional Notes

For best results, the Mevo Plus unit should be placed eight feet behind the ball on your target line. A minimum of eight feet of ball flight is needed to accurately record data parameters, whether that’s outdoors or indoors.

Mevo Plus users love the value you get for the money: excellent accuracy, great software, good customer support, versatility, and convenience. For more information on device compatibility, available add-ons, and software options, visit this page.


2. Uneekor EYE MINI Launch Monitor

Uneekor EYE MINI Launch Monitor - Front View

The EYE MINI is designed to pack Uneekor’s proven and successful EYE XO engine into a sleek and portable design that can be used anywhere.

This fantastic launch monitor can be used equally well indoors and outdoors, but what makes it great for outdoor use is its onboard E Ink backlit display which is readable in sunlight.

We are extremely impressed with the EYE MINI, and here are some more reasons why:

  • it measures plenty of ball and club parameters
  • it provides a unique slow-motion view of the club impacting the ball
  • it’s compatible with plenty of simulation software
  • it’s virtually just as accurate as the EYE XO
  • it’s more affordable than other units with similar features and accuracy

On top of that, the software that comes with the unit now has an iOS version, so using it on the range or anywhere else outdoors is now even more convenient.

Features

The Uneekor EYE MINI is a camera-based launch monitor consisting of two high-speed infrared cameras. Its onboard display shows six ball parameters and four club parameters after every shot with no separate software required.

The EYE MINI sits in front of the golfer like the SkyTrak+, and it measures 11 total data parameters including seven ball parameters and four club parameters. Five additional parameters are calculated within the software. Club stickers (included) are required to measure club data.

The EYE MINI comes bundled with the Uneekor View software, available for PC or iOS. In it, you can view a simulated 3D ball flight with your data after every shot.

What we like the most about View is the Club Optix slow-motion view of the club impacting the ball. The QED and EYE XO offer this from a top-down perspective; the EYE MINI’s side view gives you a whole new insight into how your ball impacts the clubface.

Currently, the EYE MINI is compatible with GSProTGC 2019, and E6 CONNECT, but a software package is needed to unlock third-party capability. Other packages for the EYE MINI unlock additional profiles, sessions, and the Refine+ software.

Given the quality of the EYE MINI, the quality app, the Optix slow-motion view, and the excellent third-party compatibility, it’s pretty difficult to pass up if you have the budget for it.


3. FlightScope X3 Launch Monitor

FlightScope X3 Launch Monitor - Photo 2

Looking for the best of the best? Want the most power, accuracy and reliability for outdoor use on the market? Your answer is the FlightScope X3.

The X3 launch monitor, used by pro golfers such as Bryson DeChambeau, is like the Mevo+ on steroids. It can handle the most intense and demanding applications including practice sessions, golf lessons, and club fitting.

The X3 is well-suited for outdoor use thanks to its 3D Doppler tracking. It has full golf simulation capability, and it also has some of the best chipping and putting tracking on the market.

Data Parameters

The X3 is capable of measuring over 50 full-swing, chipping and putting data parameters.

We won’t even bother listing them here, but you get a list of them on this page. Let’s put it this way: if you want to quantify every meaningful aspect of your swing, you won’t be left disappointed.

To measure this data, the X3 uses patented Fusion Tracking technology, which combines 3D radar and image processing for extremely high accuracy.

Features

Most of the features of the X3 are accessed through the FlightScope VX app, which you can download for free on iOS and Android devices. Some FlightScope apps that are compatible with the X3 are also usable on Windows 10.

With the X3, you can set up multiple camera feeds and then sync the multi-angle video with radar data on every shot.

The X3 has a powerful feature called the Environmental Optimizer, which allows you to modify factors like altitude, wind speed, humidity, and air temperature. This helps you understand how weather and climate variables affect your shots.

The X3 also provides wedge D-Plane data, which includes angle of attack, face angle, club path, and dynamic loft. This enables you to get valuable insights into your wedge play and improve weaknesses in your wedge game.

Other features of the X3 with the VX app include (but are not limited to):

  • data margins (min and max values for smarter practice)
  • customizable interfaces
  • club & ball tracing
  • lesson recordings
  • putter face & path tracking
  • customized challenges

Additional Info

Purchases of a FlightScope X3 launch monitor include an E6 CONNECT software bundle. E6 CONNECT is one of the best golf simulation softwares on the market, with 4K graphics, practice ranges, full course play, and various online games.

The X3 is also compatible with other third-party providers which include TGC 2019Creative Golf 3DAwesome Golf, and GSPro.

16 feet of space (eight feet of ball flight and eight feet behind you) is required to properly use the X3. Additionally, metallic stickers are needed when using the X3 indoors in order to accurately measure spin.

The X3 is a dream if you can handle the cost, but it’s worth noting that its performance is essentially the same as the TrackMan 4 while being significantly less expensive.


4. Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor

Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor - Diagonal View

Have you ever wanted to know which launch monitor Tiger Woods uses? That would be the Full Swing KIT, an advanced radar-based launch monitor built at Woods’ request and according to his standards.

Full Swing developed the KIT over the course of many years in collaboration with Woods, who sought a launch monitor that he could take to the range and that he could count on as much as his indoor Full Swing Pro Series simulator.

The KIT is a radar-based launch monitor that provides an array of club and ball parameters, with no stickers or alignment aids required. Its accuracy is comparable to higher-end launch monitors while being thousands of dollars less expensive.

Features

The Full Swing KIT uses machine-learned Doppler radar and dedicated processors to measure sixteen data parameters. These include ball speed, distance, club head speed, smash factor, spin axis, face to path, launch angle, apex height and club path.

Its portable, compact design has direct-to-screen output, and it’s the only launch monitor with a customizable OLED full-colour screen.

Other features of the KIT are:

  • separate processors for radar and media
  • an onboard 4K camera with 1080p output for swing capture and analysis
  • data customization and viewing on multiple devices including iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch
  • ability for data measurements to be spoken to you through headphones
  • ability to view normalized data in the absence of environmental factors
  • five hours of battery life

A dedicated companion app (iOS only) is available for the KIT which allows you to view your historical shot data, store video, track trends, and manage your clubs and bag. In addition, the KIT is now usable for indoor golf, integrating with the iOS version of E6 CONNECT.

The app and E6 CONNECT are not required to use the KIT; you can customize the data view format using buttons on the right side of the unit and view data on the KIT display after each shot.

What we love about the KIT is its easy setup, ease of use, intuitive app, and large amount of data parameters. And if it’s endorsed by arguably the best golfer to play the game (as well as top pros like Jon Rahm), you know it’s the real deal.


5. SkyTrak Plus (ST+) Launch Monitor

SkyTrak Plus (ST+) Launch Monitor

The SkyTrak Plus (ST+) was unveiled in 2023 as an upgrade and modernization to the original SkyTrak, which is probably the most popular and successful launch monitor of all time.

The ST+ has a faster processor, dual Doppler radar capability, club data, and upgraded software. One of its major upgrades is significantly improved outdoor performance, so as long as you’re hitting off a mat, you should have no problems using it at the range or in the yard.

Like the original SkyTrak, the SkyTrak+ is also a golf simulator that comes with an out-of-the-box driving range and is compatible with a wide range of third-party softwares.

Features

Thanks to the addition of a new dual Doppler radar system that works alongside a photometric system, the SkyTrak Plus is now able to measure club data which the SkyTrak could not do.

These new parameters are clubhead speed, club path, face to path, and face to target. Even better, unlike other launch monitors, no club stickers or specially marked balls are needed to get accurate readings.

The ST+ also measures various ball parameters including ball speed, launch angle, carry distance, spin, and descent angle. Advanced algorithms are used to calculate additional parameters within the SkyTrak software.

The SkyTrak+ comes with a Basic Practice Plan by default which allows you to view your ball flight and data parameters on a 3D driving range. Upgrades are available to the following:

  • Game Improvement Plan: adds challenges, game improvement features, more camera views, custom environment settings, and more.
  • Play & Improve Plan: adds integration with World Golf Tour (WGT), with full course play on 15 famous golf courses and closest-to-the-pin challenges, and access to 15 E6 CONNECT courses.

Beyond the in-house software, the ST+ is compatible with an array of third-party solutions including E6 CONNECTThe Golf Club 2019Fitness GolfProTee Play, and Golfisimo.

Because the SkyTrak+ unit sits in front of you, all you need is enough space to swing your longest club.

Despite the fact that the SkyTrak+ is better suited for indoor use, it still deserves a spot on this list given its power, accuracy (its readings are within 5% of the top devices on the market), features, and affordability.


6. Rapsodo MLM2PRO Launch Monitor

Rapsodo MLM2PRO Launch Monitor - Front View

The Rapsodo MLM2PRO, created by the same company behind the massively successful SkyTrak launch monitor, is designed to improve on the best aspects of its predecessor, the Rapsodo MLM, while addressing the common pain points users had in the previous generation.

In particular, the MLM2PRO introduces Android compatibility and golf simulation support, giving it complete visibility into the games of golfers all around the world.

Two things that set the MLM2PRO apart from other launch monitors in its class are its unique Impact Vision and Shot Vision views with active ball tracer. The latter is well-suited for outdoor use where the ball can take its full flight.

Features

The MLM2PRO launch monitor combines Doppler radar with two high-speed cameras. It measures 13 club and ball parameters, although Callaway RPT balls (included) must be used to obtain spin readings.

The cameras built into the MLM2PRO pave the way for:

  • Impact Vision: provides a slow-motion closeup of the club swinging through the ball
  • Shot Vision: gives a down-the-line video of your shot with a ball tracer

Because the MLM2PRO has no onboard display, its features must be accessed through the companion MLM2PRO app. This well-made app provides powerful analysis features including Rapsodo Combines and Session Insights.

From dispersion circles to performance tests to club gapping details and shot shape trends, the MLM2PRO app will help you understand your game on a much deeper level.

In addition, you can enjoy golf simulation with the MLM2PRO through Rapsodo RangeRapsodo CoursesE6 CONNECT, and Awesome Golf. All of these options can be accessed through a mobile device.

While the MLM2PRO is considered a “budget” launch monitor at well under $1000, a Premium Membership to the app ($200/year) is required to access many of its features. This will bother some people, but the accuracy of the unit is outstanding, and Rapsodo will continue to build on it with updates, improvements and new additions over time.


7. Garmin Approach G80 GPS & Launch Monitor

Garmin Approach G80 Launch Monitor Data View

The highly rated Garmin Approach G80, from the same company behind the Garmin Approach R10, is a unique product.

It’s essentially an all-in-one handheld golf GPS with an integrated launch monitor, which means that not only can you obtain the essential data metrics for your shot, but you can also view top-down colour maps and get GPS yardages to any point on the golf course.

The G80 is unquestionably an outdoor launch monitor. It works well if you want to view your metrics as you’re playing a round of golf, but it also works great as a standard launch monitor or golf GPS.

Features

By pressing the quick-access radar button, you can set up the Approach G80 to measure club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, tempo and estimated carry after each shot. These numbers are easily viewable on the 3.5″ sunlight-readable touchscreen.

Enhancing the launch monitor experience are:

  • practice mode which evaluates your swing and provides feedback to help improve your accuracy and consistency
  • the ability to play virtual rounds on any course against friends or other players around the world
  • tempo training mode which helps you determine the backswing and downswing times that are best for you

In addition, the G80 is a full-featured golf GPS. Preloaded with over 41,000 courses, you can get distances to the front, back and middle of the green, hazards and layups, and you can touch any point on the map to get the yardage to that. You also have access to:

  • Green View which gives you a closeup look of the green’s true shape, along with a drag-and-drop pin for precise yardages into greens
  • information on the direction of the pin for blind shots
  • PlaysLike Distances which account for elevation changes
  • green contour data on select courses (with a Garmin Golf app membership)

Furthermore, it can be used as a digital scorecard and can be paired with the powerful Garmin Golf app. The battery life is up to 15 hours in GPS mode.

If you’re content with just being able to measure a few basic parameters and appreciate golf GPS functionality, the Approach G80 is a must-have device.


8. Foresight Sports GC3 Launch Monitor

Foresight Sports GC3 Launch Monitor - Diagonal View

The GC3 by Foresight Sports is a professional-grade golf launch monitor that is designed to fill the gap in the GC line between the old stereoscopic GC2 system and cutting-edge GCQuad.

Its main draw is being able to provide accuracy, versatility and portability that rivals the GCQuad while being significantly more affordable, at well under $10,000 with software included.

The GC3 has a sleek, portable design with direct-to-screen data output on a transflective touchscreen display that is easy to read indoors or outdoors.

Features

The GC3 launch monitor measures an array of club and ball data parameters using a combination of infrared object tracking and high-speed cameras. Three cameras are used as part of a triscopic photometric camera system.

A total of ten club and ball data parameters can be measured including ball speed, club head speed, launch angle, side spin, side angle, smash factor, and angle of attack.

The GC3 runs on a lithium-ion battery and contains an accelerometer for auto-leveling as well as a barometric sensor that adjusts data readings based on atmospheric conditions.

Additional Info

A really nice benefit of the GC3 launch monitor is that it comes in bundles that include FSX 2020 and FSX Play software, which provides an ultra-realistic golf simulation experience with support for up to 5K resolution. E6 CONNECT is another possible integration.

The GC3 is also available under the Bushnell Golf brand as the Bushnell Launch Pro, which allows you to pay for certain features through a subscription model instead of paying the full cost up-front.

Because of the GC3’s power, portability, and value for money, we think it’s a strong contender in the launch monitor space and one of the best choices to integrate into a golf simulator setup.

For more information on bundles, software, and more, go here.


Buying Guide

There are many launch monitors on the market that are suitable for outdoor use. We understand that making a decision on which model to get can feel a bit overwhelming.

It turns out that it’s not that difficult to find the best one for you once you consider all the factors that will affect your experience and match it with what your goals are.

Here are the most important factors you need to consider when determining which launch monitor will serve you best:

1. Portability

Figure pushing a cog

When it comes to outdoor launch monitors, portability is obviously essential. The launch monitor needs to be a freestanding unit like the Mevo+, GC3, or EYE MINI.

Fixed launch monitors, which typically refer to powerful overhead systems like the Uneekor EYE XO and QED, are generally out of the question as they are designed for indoor use. The only instance where they could possibly work for an outdoor setup is via a covered outdoor area like a canopy.

Freestanding launch monitors, on the other hand, are portable. They can be carried to the range, sit in front of you or behind you in the hitting area, and can be moved around as needed. The majority of launch monitors fall under this category.

These kinds of launch monitors can also be moved indoors and used there with a net or impact screen setup whenever you want.

The bottom line? If you want to use your launch monitor outdoors, forget about overhead-mounted or otherwise fixed systems like the QED, EYE XO, or TruGolf APOGEE.

2. Tracking System

The exact method a launch monitor uses to track a shot and measure data isn’t usually important as long as it’s accurate and reliable, but there is one thing to keep in mind.

Generally, launch monitors are either camera-based or radar-based.

Camera-based systems capture high-speed images of the ball immediately after impact and, based on these images, derive various data parameters.

Camera-based launch monitors perform very well indoors and outdoors, but some models can have issues in bright, direct sunlight or if there is excessive glare on the ball or clubhead. They typically only need to be positioned a couple feet in front of the golfer perpendicular to the target line.

This means that a golfer doesn’t need extra space behind them for their setup, so in that sense, a camera-based launch monitor is space efficient. On the other hand, if you’re at the range, launch monitors positioned like this may be vulnerable to shanks or severe mis-hits from other golfers in neighbouring hitting areas.

Radar-based systems, in contrast, track the ball through Doppler radar technology. These radars emit a microwave signal from the unit which bounces back from the golf ball after impact.

Radar units are widely considered to be optimal for outdoor use because they don’t depend on ambient lighting conditions. If you’re at the range, though, and the unit is behind you, it may be in the path of foot traffic and at risk of potential theft, so you should be cognizant of that.

Each type of launch monitor has its benefits and drawbacks, and these should be taken into account when making your choice.

3. Apps & Software

FlightScope Mevo Plus - Face Impact Location Heatmap Sample 1

Do you have a PC, iOS or Android device? If so, you can take advantage of free companion apps and in-house software that is offered with most of the launch monitors on today’s market.

All of the launch monitors reviewed on this page come with apps and/or simulator software. These apps typically unlock an array of additional features such as advanced tracking, skills challenges, and even new data parameters.

Launch monitors that don’t have an onboard display will typically require the use of a companion app. Either way, apps and software are going to give you a much richer experience, so you should check out the apps available and see what they offer.

Just be aware that some apps can experience occasional glitches or be out-of-date, especially apps for older launch monitors. Also, if you plan to use PC software outdoors, you’ll need a laptop.

4. Parameters

Which data parameters does the launch monitor track, and what parameters do you want to see?

As you might expect, less-expensive portable models will tend to measure less parameters, while more expensive models will provide a more detailed picture of your ball and club data. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, however.

Most golfers at a minimum want key metrics like distance (total, carry) and ball speed, and pretty much all launch monitors offer this. If you’re looking for a more detailed analysis with information like dispersion, club path and angle of attack, your choice of launch monitors will narrow a bit.

Make sure that the launch monitor you’re buying has all the data points that you’re looking for.

5. Budget

Money bag

Not everyone can afford launch monitors that cost $1800+, and fortunately, there are options that cost well below this amount.

Cheaper launch monitors tend to be more portable. However, it’s pretty obvious that that the less you spend, the less you’ll usually get.

This could be in the form of worse accuracy, less ball flight parameters, a less convenient setup, or less added features, but most of the price differential usually comes from accuracy and reliability.

In this guide, we’ve tried to include quality launch monitors over a range of budgets that golfers might have. But the great thing is that you don’t have to drop the full cost of it at once.

Our recommended launch monitor source here provides easy financing options that allow you to pay for more expensive models over the course of a year or longer. Don’t forget about this option.


Conclusion

Launch monitors suitable for outdoor use should work well whether it’s cloudy, sunny or dark. Radar-based units tend to be best suited for this, but most camera-based launch monitors also work very well outdoors.

Finding a launch monitor that meets your needs is certainly possible with some research.

Each of the launch monitor options reviewed above offer excellent value for the cost. We’ve given you the information you need to make a decision; now it’s up to you to go the rest of the way.

We highly recommend reading customer reviews of launch monitors to obtain useful insights as to how they actually perform. This can help you a great deal in the decision-making process.


Thanks for reading this guide. Are you looking for a launch monitor for outdoor use? Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

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