Bushnell Launch Pro Review – Pay Only For What You Need!

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Wearing the tagline “accuracy above all”, the Bushnell Launch Pro is a golf launch monitor designed to allow you to experience the power and accuracy of the Foresight Sports GC3 while only paying for the features you want.

The Launch Pro is a very advanced, powerful launch monitor that measures ball and club data with professional-level accuracy indoors and out.

In this Bushnell Launch Pro review, I’ll take an in-depth look at the launch monitor. I’ll look not only at how well it measures ball and swing data, but also at its usability, golf simulation features, and how it stacks up against similarly priced products.

How does the Launch Pro perform? When is it a better choice compared to the GC3? Is it worth getting if you have the budget for it?

Here’s what I’m going to be covering in this review:

Ready to try the Launch Pro right now? Click the button below or scroll down to the bottom of my review to see my final verdict!

Note: In the majority of cases, launch monitors tested on Golfstead are acquired temporarily and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on personal experience and research. Although the author makes every effort to ensure proper setup of the device and do direct comparisons with other launch monitors when possible, there are many variables that can affect data readings and performance. Therefore, exact results with a particular launch monitor may differ from person to person.


What is the Bushnell Launch Pro?

Bushnell Launch Pro Launch Monitor - Front View

You probably know Bushnell as the company behind many of the best golf rangefinders and GPS units on the market, not to mention a wide range of optics and outdoor products.

The Launch Pro is their entry into the growing launch monitor space. Created in partnership with Foresight Sports, it’s designed to bring high-end ballstriking data to consumers under the well-known and respected Bushnell brand.

The Launch Pro, at its core, is a launch monitor that measures various club and ball data parameters using three high-speed, high-resolution cameras and an infrared system. This triscopic camera-based device is essentially the same as Foresight Sports’ GC3 but branded under Bushnell Golf and sold according to a subscription model.

Its sleek, portable design benefits from a touchscreen-enabled onboard LCD display that is readable indoors and outdoors. Its portability makes it easy to move from the home to the driving range.

Other features of the Launch Pro are:

  • a lithium-ion battery
  • a barometric sensor that adjusts data readings based on atmospheric conditions
  • an accelerometer for auto-leveling
  • wifi and ethernet capability

With the very affordable base purchase, you can access a reduced set of club and ball parameters that are viewable on the LCD display. To bring the functionality more in line with the GC3, you can sign up for various software packages that unlock more data, allow you to play on simulation software, and more.

Software usable with the Launch Pro includes FSX Pro, FSX Play, and FSX 2020.


Setting Up & Using The Launch Pro

Setup of the Launch Pro is easy and straightforward and is virtually identical to that of the GC3.

The first thing you should do is plug the Launch Pro into an outlet and allow the battery to fully charge. The battery level can be checked in the Settings menu.

After you power up the Launch Pro for the first time, you’ll be prompted to connect to the internet either through Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet. Then you’ll need to register the device using the displayed registration QR code.

Place the Launch Pro unit upright around two feet away from the hitting area. When you address your shot, the unit should be straight ahead and slightly forward from the ball, oriented perpendicular to your target line. The Launch Pro should sit at the same level as the hitting surface.

The Launch Pro will track ball and club data inside a zone that’s about 7”x10” large.

Bushnell Launch Pro Setup Diagram

Note: The default target alignment of the Launch Pro is perpendicular to the orientation of the unit. To change the alignment, lay down the included alignment stick in the hitting zone up to 10° from the default target line and allow the unit to recalibrate.

Once the Launch Pro detects a ball in the hitting zone, a “READY” screen will be displayed along with a solid blue LED light. When in club tracking mode, the light will be green.

At this point, you’re ready to take a shot and get data readings.

If you want club data, you’ll need to apply club markers to your clubface; you can use the included club marker packet for this.

If you’re using the FSX 2020 or FSX Play software with the GC3, do the following:

  1. Install and start the FSX software on PC (Windows 7 or later).
  2. Go into the FSX settings, go to Devices, and connect the GC3 via Wi-Fi.
  3. Verify that the status for the device says “Connected” with a green indicator.

Additional Notes

  • when the indicator light is flashing, it means that the Launch Pro is looking for a ball
  • online connectivity needs to be re-validated every 45 days
  • swiping down on the display brings up Quick Settings for things like the backlight, left/right handed modes, and battery level
  • the Launch Pro should be stored in a cool, dry place
  • the best way to clean the unit is to wipe it with a damp cloth
  • the unit weighs five pounds and has a battery life of 5-7 hours

For more details about the Launch Pro including setup and operation, refer to the user manual here.


Data Parameters & Accuracy

Bushnell Launch Pro - screen closeup

Parameters

The base Launch Pro without a software package can measure and provide the following data:

  • carry distance
  • ball speed
  • total spin
  • horizontal launch angle
  • vertical launch angle
  • clubhead speed (club sticker required)
  • smash factor (club sticker required)

With a Basic, Gold or Unlocked package, the Launch Pro also measures:

  • spin tilt axis
  • backspin
  • sidespin
  • club path (club sticker required)
  • angle of attack (club sticker required)
  • total distance (with FSX software)
  • offline distance (with FSX software)
  • descent angle (with FSX software)
  • peak height (with FSX software)

Accuracy

The accuracy of the Launch Pro is the same as the GC3, which is to say it’s very accurate.

Accuracy is comparable to the Foresight Sports GCQuad which is considered the gold standard in camera-based launch monitors. In terms of numbers, I found during my tests that ball data readings are within 3% of the GCQuad’s readings and club data readings are within 4%.

This is not surprising because both launch monitors share the same flight algorithms and capture methodologies. However, technically speaking, something like the GCQuad should have a slight edge in accuracy and reliability given that it uses an extra high-speed camera.

Aside from the GCQuad, you can expect the Launch Pro’s accuracy and reliability to be superior to other launch monitors like the Mevo+Garmin Approach R10, and even the SkyTrak+. Readings with these “lesser” launch monitors could differ by as much as 30% compared to the Launch Pro.

Another launch monitor worth comparing the Launch Pro to is the Uneekor EYE MINI. While I haven’t been able to do a direct shot-for-shot comparison between these two devices, my experience is that data readings are within a couple percent of each other. I really struggle to find a noticeable difference in accuracy between the two.


Software & Simulation

With the Launch Pro, there are three main software options depending on whether you have the Basic, Gold or Unlocked package: FSX ProFSX 2020, and FSX Play.

FSX Pro

FSX Pro Software 1
Source: FSX Pro Studio User Manual

FSX Pro is Foresight Sports’ dedicated performance insight platform. It’s often used by coaches and club fitters but home users can also benefit from it.

With FSX Pro, you can view the full gamut of club and ball data in a 3D range environment that simulates your ball flight. It allows you to:

  • add players and customize bags
  • add custom tag labels to shots for future reference
  • collect data in a free-form format and build workflows
  • customize your display
  • view averages for data measurements
  • compare different data sets
  • generate and export reports

FSX Pro is good solid analysis software for people who are just interested in analyzing their numbers and ball flight without playing simulated golf courses. It’s available on PC as FSX Pro Studio and on iPads as FSX Pro iPad.

This software is available for all Launch Pro packages but features are limited in the Basic package.

FSX 2020

Foresight Sports FSX 2020 software interface

FSX 2020 is a complete simulation solution that provides practice ranges, full course play, game modes, skills challenges, and opportunities for you to compete with other players around the world. You can also view real-time data for practice or club fitting.

Many standard courses are reproduced, as well as world-famous courses that include The Old Course @ St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Carnoustie, and Doral Blue Monster. Ten courses are included with the Launch Pro.

FSX 2020 has three main modes:

  • Play: play golf courses of your choosing with up to four players. Available game types include stroke play, scramble, and match play.
  • Compete: participate in a series of increasingly difficult skills challenges that include long drive, closest-to-the-pin, and Glass Break. Share and compare your results with other players online.
  • Improve: get complete ball and clubhead performance data in real time. This mode is for serious practice and club fitting.

FSX 2020 is excellent simulator software when it comes to function and features, but the graphics are quite dated and are surpassed by FSX Play.

With the Launch Pro, FSX 2020 is only accessible in the Gold and Unlocked packages.

FSX Play

FSX Play Software - Screenshot 1

FSX Play is a simulator software solution that builds off of FSX 2020 and is designed to provide an ultra-realistic golf simulation experience.

FSX Play is powered by the Unity graphics engine and uses High Definition Render Pipeline Technology (HDRP). It’s marked by an updated UI, 3D grass and foliage, rich textures, atmospheric gliding, enhanced lighting, 5K resolution support, and more.

FSX Play has three main modes:

  • Courses: play golf courses of your choosing (such as Torrey Pines South) with complete customization control.
  • Practice: hit balls on exclusive, unique driving ranges such as in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • Games: play long drive, closest-to-the-pin, skills challenges, leagues and tournaments.

Another thing that sets FSX Play apart is its minimalistic UI layout that displays important information without distraction.

FSX Play has been updated many times since its release, and the Foresight team is continuing to work on rolling out new games and updates. They are also working on making all FSX 2020 courses playable in the software.

I definitely recommend giving FSX Play a try because it offers you a new and fresh experience that is different from FSX 2020. Like FSX 2020, it’s only accessible in the Gold and Unlocked packages.

Add-On Software

Golfisimo FSX Software Integration

Through Foresight Sports, you can also integrate the third-party software solutions E6 CONNECT, Creative Golf 3D, and Golfisimo if you have the Gold or Unlocked Package.

  • E6 CONNECT: full driving range and practice area; tournament play and online events; an array of multiplayer formats; flexible gameplay settings; minigames, and more.
  • Creative Golf 3D: extensive practice mode; global tournaments; course play; challenges; minigames, and more.
  • Golfisimo: allows you to play an array of cute and entertaining simulator games for children and non-golfers.

These add-on softwares come at significant extra cost, so I don’t generally recommend them unless budget is not an issue.


Performance Analysis

There’s data parameters and there’s simulation, but what about actually drilling down into your numbers?

Fortunately, the FSX software offers very powerful performance analysis features so that you can understand your game on a deeper level.

Let’s take a brief look at what this looks like, using the FSX 2020 practice range as an example.

Once you hit your shot, the software will automatically trace the ball’s trajectory, and you’ll receive the whole set of data metrics (measured by the Launch Pro) immediately after.

You can then go to the Data Analysis screen in the menu bar. The Ball tab will look something like this:

FSX Software - Data Analysis Ball Tab with GC3

Here, you can immediately view your shot trajectories and dispersions, as well as view ball data for your last shot or an average of all your shots.

The Club tab is perhaps the most impressive section in Data Analysis:

FSX Software - Data Analysis Club Tab with GC3

This tab shows you your club data in a way that allows you to visualize what all of the parameters actually mean.

In the Video tab, you’ll see something like this:

FSX Software - Data Analysis Video Screen with GC3

If you’ve recorded video of your swing with the camera of your choice, you’ll see it here. You can view the current data values and average data values for the most relevant metrics along the top, as well as analyze video of your swing with markers, playback speed control, etcetera.

In the Table tab, you can view and compare data for each shot in tabular form. You can also save to PDF, print, compare, and export your data.

This is the kind of deep dive that you will only get with tracking systems on the level of the Launch Pro. It’s not quite as deep as what you get with the GCQuad, but it’s pretty darn close.


Pricing & Plans

The Bushnell Launch Pro costs $3500 for the base purchase. This includes:

  • one year of the Basic Software Package
  • a 30-day free trial of the Gold Software Package
  • accessories including a club marker pack and alignment stick

Bushnell occasionally runs promotions for the Launch Pro which drop the base price even further.

The three software packages available for the Launch Pro are:

  1. Basic Package ($249/year): unlocks all data parameters; includes a basic configuration of FSX Pro
  2. Gold Package ($699/year): all benefits of Basic plus full access to FSX 2020 and FSX Play; additional clubs, sessions, and more.
  3. Unlocked ($3499): same benefits of Gold under a one-time purchase

You can also get an official carry case for the Launch Pro which costs $100.

The Basic Package is fine if you just want to analyze your numbers and aren’t interested in full-on golf simulation.

If you want full-fledged golf simulation, you should get the Gold Package if you don’t expect to use your Launch Pro for more than five years. Otherwise, the Unlocked Package is the better choice.


Where To Buy The Launch Pro

If you’re looking online, the best places (aside from the Bushnell site) I would recommend to buy the Launch Pro are Top Shelf Golf, The Indoor Golf Shop, and PlayBetter.

You can choose any of these vendors based on your preferences. All have excellent customer support teams that will work to make sure you’re all set.

Software packages for the Launch Pro are purchased directly from Bushnell during product registration.

If you plan to use the Launch Pro with golf simulation, I suggest something like the Launch Pro PerfectBay Package. This is a very affordable package offered by Top Shelf Golf that includes:

  • a Bushnell Launch Pro
  • a PerfectBay enclosure system
  • The Net Return Pro Turf
  • optionals like a projector with mount

If you’re not interested in this particular simulator package, you could pair the Launch Pro with a high-quality studio such as the SIG10 or SimStudio.


Final Thoughts

The Bushnell Launch Pro is one of the easiest, most affordable ways for golfers to get professional-level club and ball data in a launch monitor while having the option of unlocking indoor simulation software at extra cost.

In fact, at the time of writing, when you combine the base purchase of the Launch Pro with the Unlocked Package, you essentially get the full capability of the Foresight Sports GC3 for $500 less. The downside is that the Launch Pro is currently only available in the USA.

The Launch Pro’s affordability is why it’s one of the most popular high-end launch monitors among savvy consumers. You can get it hooked up with the full FSX software suite and with all parameters unlocked for under $5000 for the first couple years of use, which is pretty phenomenal.

Compare this to something like the Foresight Sports GCQuad which can easily push $20,000, or even the ceiling-mounted Uneekor EYE XO which starts at $10,000, and you see that the Launch Pro is a very attractive launch monitor for players looking for accurate and reliable performance.


Thanks for reading my Bushnell Launch Pro review. Are you interested in the Launch Pro? Have you tried it already? What’s your experience? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Bushnell Launch Pro

9.3

Accuracy

9.8/10

Compatibility

8.7/10

Usability

9.5/10

Features

8.8/10

Value For Money

9.8/10

Pros

  • Practically the same accuracy as the GCQuad
  • Only have to pay for the features you want
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Sleek looks
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Only available in the USA
  • Doesn't measure quite as many parameters as the top launch monitors
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