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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:
- What is the Bushnell Launch Pro?
- Setting Up & Using The Launch Pro
- Data Parameters & Accuracy
- Software & Simulation
- Performance Analysis
- Pricing & Plans
- Where To Buy The Launch Pro
- Final Thoughts
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?
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 either ball data only or ball & club data that is viewable on the LCD display.
To bring the functionality more in line with the GC3, you can sign up for a software package, the Gold Subscription, that unlocks more data, allows you to save sessions and play on simulation software, and provides other benefits.
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.
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:
- Install and start the FSX software on PC (Windows 7 or later).
- Go into the FSX settings, go to Devices, and connect the GC3 via Wi-Fi.
- Verify that the status for the device says “Connected” with a green indicator.
- 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
The Ball Data Enabled Launch Pro can measure and provide the following data:
- carry distance
- ball speed
- total spin
- horizontal launch angle
- vertical launch angle
- spin tilt axis (Gold Subscription required)
- back spin (Gold Subscription required)
- side spin (Gold Subscription required)
The Ball & Club Data Enabled Launch Pro also measures the following club data after club stickers are applied:
- club head speed
- smash factor
- club path (Gold Subscription required)
- angle of attack (Gold Subscription required)
Additionally, the FSX software derives the following data:
- total distance
- offline distance
- descent angle
- peak height
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 that are offered with the Gold Subscription: FSX Pro, FSX Play, and Awesome Golf.
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.
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.
Awesome Golf is a third-party golf simulator software that is heavily focused on fun and entertainment with friends, family and children.
This software is packed with fun simulation features that will keep you busy for hours on end. Its four main modes are:
- Range: informative practice sessions and an in-depth analysis of every shot.
- Challenges: closest to the pin, long drive, target golf, and skills challenges.
- Shootouts: kid-friendly minigames including Super Splash and Boat Blast.
- Virtual Golf: full course play at four fictional courses in different environments.
Awesome Golf is included with the Launch Pro’s Gold Subscription and is usable on iOS, Mac, or PC.
There are certain rules for customers who paid for the old Gold Subscription or a Silver Subscription (these are part of a now-discontinued pricing model) and want access to Awesome Golf. I recommend getting in touch with Bushnell for information on that.
Other Third-Party Integrations
Through Foresight Sports, you can also integrate the third-party software solutions E6 CONNECT, Creative Golf, and Golfisimo if you have the Gold Subscription.
- 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: 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.
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:
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:
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:
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 $1999.99 for the Ball Data Enabled Unit and $3499.99 for the Ball & Club Data Enabled Unit. The purchase includes:
- accessories including a club marker pack and alignment stick
- a 14-day free trial to the Gold software
- a 14-day free trial to club data (Ball Unit only)
Bushnell occasionally runs promotions for the Launch Pro which drop the price even further.
The Launch Pro Gold Subscription costs $499/year. This unlocks third-party integration, FSX Pro and FSX Play, 25 courses, unlimited clubs, sessions, round tracking, and more.
You can also get an official carry case for the Launch Pro which costs $100.
The current prices for third-party software are:
- GSPro: $200/year
- E6 CONNECT: $2500 plus a $300/year or $600/year subscription
- Creative Golf: $1200
- Golfisimo: $800
If you’re content with simply viewing your shot numbers individually on the Launch Pro’s display, a Gold Subscription is not necessary. The Gold Subscription will be needed if you want to connect to any kind of software, and if you do, I recommend GSPro.
Where To Buy The Launch Pro
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
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.
Based on current prices, you would need to use the Launch Pro for at least seven years before the total cost, including the Gold Subscription, approaches that of the GC3.
One major downside is that the Launch Pro is currently only available in the USA. In addition, Bushnell has annoyingly changed the pricing and subscription models for the Launch Pro several times, causing confusion for existing users.
The Launch Pro’s affordability is why it’s one of the most popular high-end launch monitors among savvy consumers. With the Ball Data Unit and Gold Subscription, you can play your favourite courses with pro-level accuracy starting at just $2500 initially, which is 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.