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Branded “the personal launch monitor you’ve been waiting for”, 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.
The GC3 is a very advanced, powerful launch monitor, and its main draw is being able to provide accuracy, versatility and portability that rivals the GCQuad while being significantly more affordable.
In this Foresight Sports GC3 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 GC3 perform? How does it compare to the GCQuad? Is it worth getting if you have the budget for it?
Here’s what I’m going to be covering in the review:
- What is the GC3 launch monitor?
- Setting Up & Using The GC3
- Data Parameters & Accuracy
- Software & Simulation
- Performance Analysis
- Where To Buy The GC3
Ready to try the GC3 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 GC3 launch monitor?
The GC3 is a performance-focused launch monitor that precisely measures an array of club and ball data parameters using a combination of infrared object tracking and high-speed camera systems.
Unveiled in 2021, the GC3 uses a triscopic photometric camera system, with one more camera than the GC2’s stereoscopic system but one less than the GCQuad’s quadrascopic system.
Three high-speed cameras positioned vertically capture thousands of images per second and build a complete 3D model of the club and ball at impact, resulting in measurements that are direct and not calculated.
The GC3 has a sleek, portable design that bears a lot of resemblance to the GCQuad. It has direct-to-screen output, and unlike the GCQuad, the display is touchscreen-enabled.
Other features of the GC3 are:
- a thermoplastic rubberized finish
- a transflective LCD display that is readable indoors and outdoors
- a lithium-ion battery
- a barometric sensor that adjusts data readings based on atmospheric conditions
- an accelerometer for auto-leveling
- wifi and ethernet capability
The GC3 can do much more than just provide ball and club data measurements. It can also be hooked up to full golf simulation with Foresight Sports’ in-house FSX 2020 software along with various third-party solutions like GSPro, Awesome Golf, and more.
Plus, the GC3 comes bundled with the new FSX Play software which is powered by the Unity graphics engine. An upgrade is available, called the Players Plus Bundle, that unlocks ten additional courses including many world-famous venues.
The GC3 is designed to be easy to carry from the home to the driving range.
Setting Up & Using The GC3
Setup of the GC3 is easy and straightforward.
The first thing you should do is plug the GC3 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 GC3 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 GC3 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 GC3 should sit at the same level as the hitting surface.
From this position, the GC3 will track ball and club data inside a zone that’s about 7”x10” large.
Note: The default target alignment of the GC3 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 GC3 detects a ball in the hitting zone, a “READY” screen will be displayed along with a solid blue or green LED light. 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.
If you’re setting up E6 CONNECT with the GC3, do the following:
- Install the E6 CONNECT Launcher (Windows 10 or later) and follow the steps.
- Install the E6 CONNECT Installer and go through the steps.
- Activate E6 CONNECT with the activation code provided to you by Foresight Sports.
- Connect the GC3 in the Device settings.
- Create an E6 account.
- when the indicator light is flashing, it means that the GC3 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 GC3 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 GC3 including setup and operation, refer to the user manual here.
Data Parameters & Accuracy
The GC3 measures the same ball data as the GCQuad, namely:
- ball speed
- total spin
- side spin/side axis
- launch angle
- side angle
When club markers are applied, the GC3 can measure the following club data:
- club head speed
- club path
- smash factor (efficiency)
- angle of attack
Unlike the GCQuad, the GC3 does not measure face angle, loft & lie, impact location or closure rate, nor does it provide putting data.
Then there’s that all-important question: just how accurate is the GC3? The answer is very accurate.
The accuracy of the GC3 is roughly in line with the GCQuad. In terms of numbers, I found during my tests that ball data readings are within 0-3% of the GCQuad’s readings. This is extremely close. Ball speed measurements, in particular, are nearly identical.
Similarly, club data measurements tended to be within 0-4% of the GCQuad’s measurements. None of this is surprising because both launch monitors share the same flight algorithms and capture methodologies.
Putting the GCQuad aside, you can also expect the GC3’s accuracy and reliability to be superior to other launch monitors like the Rapsodo MLM, Garmin Approach R10, and SkyTrak. Readings with these “lesser” launch monitors could differ by as much as 30% compared to the GC3.
Software & Simulation
With the GC3, you have access to Foresight Sports’ suite of core software platforms and apps which consist of FSX 2020, FSX Play, FSX Pro, Foresight Fairgrounds, and the Foresight App.
In addition, with a valid FSX license, you can integrate various third-party solutions. These are GSPro, E6 CONNECT, Awesome Golf, and Creative Golf.
FSX 2020 is Foresight Sports’ in-house software solution for their GC line of commercial launch monitors,
The latest release is FSX 2020, and users of previous FSX versions can upgrade at no additional cost.
FSX is a complete software 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.
FSX 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 is excellent software when it comes to function and features, but the graphics are surpassed by other simulator software like FSX Play and E6 CONNECT.
All things considered, I do think that FSX 2020 is overpriced. A license for this software is required to get any kind of golf simulation with the GC3.
FSX Play, which is Foresight Sports’ other in-house offering, 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, 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, so stay tuned.
FSX Play supports up to 5K resolution and comes bundled with at least 15 courses.
I definitely recommend giving FSX Play a try because it offers you a new and fresh experience that is different from FSX 2020.
The other “lesser” applications usable with the GC3 are:
- FSX Pro: a dedicated performance insight platform for PC or iPad. It’s often used by coaches and club fitters but home users can also benefit from it. You can view the full gamut of club and ball data in a 3D range environment that simulates your ball flight.
- Foresight Fairgrounds: a fairgrounds and carnival app that provides fun minigames like Balloon Pop, Putt Skee, Shooting Gallery, Darts, and Splash Wall.
- Foresight App: see and interact with your shot data via Android or iOS.
The GSPro software, which requires an FSX 2020 software license to use, is designed to be ultra-realistic with advanced ball physics and 4K graphics.
What makes GSPro unique is its integration with the Open Platform Course Designer (OPCD), which allows anyone, regardless of skillset, to create courses that can be played by members of the GSPro community.
In addition, GSPro integrates with Simulator Golf Tour (SGT), a service that allows players to participate in virtual golf tours with weekly tournaments. You can even compete in the PGA Tour schedule.
Aside from the large community that is constantly building new courses (well over 450 are currently available) and playing in tournaments, GSPro offers:
- lifelike 4K graphics built with the Unity engine
- an OpenAPI interface
- a driving range and on-course practice
- full course play (with flyovers)
In my view, GSPro isn’t as suitable for tech-challenged golfers as other software, although you can keep yourself very busy with the practice and local play modes without getting involved in the community stuff.
E6 CONNECT is an integration that requires an FSX 2020 software license to use. However, the software is delivered with additional web features including being able to track every shot under a given profile, sorting shot history, and tracking every shot taken inside the software.
You get the full gamut of features with the E6 CONNECT integration, including:
- a full driving range and practice area
- tournament play and online events
- an array of multiplayer formats
- flexible gameplay settings (mulligans, wind, weather, etc.)
- minigames including Long Drive and Closest To The Pin
A Basic subscription to E6 CONNECT provides access to P2P gameplay and a library of content that changes on a periodic basis. With an Expanded Subscription to E6 CONNECT, you get over 68 additional courses to play (90+ total) and access to all content that has ever been released.
E6 CONNECT is one of the best and most powerful golf simulator software solutions on the market right now, so the fact that Foresight Sports was able to bring it into its ecosystem is terrific.
This software is quite expensive as it is, but the good thing is that the required FSX 2020 license is already included in the price of the GC3.
A lifetime membership to Awesome Golf is included with the GC3. This software has cartoon-like graphics is heavily focused on fun and entertainment with friends, family and children.
Awesome Golf has four main modes:
- 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 packed with fun simulation features that will keep you busy for hours on end. It’s available for PC and iOS and is very affordable compared to other third-party options.
This is a great alternative for those that can’t handle the price of E6 CONNECT and want a one-time purchase. To be more exact, it’s just 48% of the cost, although it does also require an FSX 2020 software license.
The base version of Creative Golf contains 15 reproduced golf courses from around the world. For an extra $600, you can get over 130 additional courses to play.
The Practice section is divided into the following modes:
- Driving Range: get the detailed data you need to improve your game; suitable for single-player practice
- Team Training: suitable for a small group of players and a trainer; allows comparisons, dispersions and average values
- Club Fitting: try out different clubs, and based on the observed data values including distance and dispersion, the software evaluates the best club for you to use
- Chip & Putt: choose a flag position, circle and cross, and train your short shots and putts around a practice green
- Practice On Course: practice shots from absolutely any position on the golf course
- Putting: play putting games on various greens
You can also compete in a global series of tournaments and rank amongst players around the world.
Another package available that is part of the Creative Golf program is Golfisimo. This affordable add-on software focuses on a family-friendly, fun-for-everyone experience with games for every age and skill level.
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 GC3) 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:
You can see that, unlike the GCQuad which provides values for closure rate, loft and impact location, these measurements are not present when using the GC3 since they are not measured.
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 onto a 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 GC3. It’s not quite as deep as what you get with the GCQuad, but it’s pretty darn close.
The base cost of the GC3 launch monitor is $7000, but it’s typically sold in the following bundles:
- Essentials Plus Bundle ($7499): includes FSX 2020, FSX Play, 25 courses, an Awesome Golf Lifetime Membership, and various other Foresight apps.
- Players Plus Bundle ($8999): includes everything in the Essentials Plus Bundle plus ten additional courses, bringing the total number of courses to 35.
- Ball Enabled Bundle ($5999): includes everything in the Essentials Plus Bundle but with ball data only; no club data.
Many of the additional courses included in the Players Plus Bundle are world-famous like Pebble Beach, the Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie, and Spyglass Hill.
Additional golf courses (premium or standard) can be purchased for FSX at around $95-$900 each.
Examples of third-party software prices include:
- E6 CONNECT: $2500 plus a $300/year or $600/year subscription
- Creative Golf: $1200
- Awesome Golf: $350
- GSPro: $250/year
I personally feel that in most cases, the Players Plus Bundle isn’t worth it because you’re effectively paying $1500 just for ten more courses.
Where To Buy The GC3
If you’re looking online, the best places (aside from the FS site) I would recommend to buy the GC3 are The Indoor Golf Shop, Rain or Shine Golf, and Top Shelf Golf. These vendors sell the Essentials Plus Bundle (and everything that includes) with an option to upgrade to the Players Plus Bundle.
You can choose any of these vendors based on your preferences. All have excellent customer support teams that will bend over backwards to make sure you’re all set.
If you plan to use the GC3 with golf simulation, I suggest the GC3 SIG10 Simulator Package. This is an exclusive package offered by The Indoor Golf Shop that includes:
- a GC3 launch monitor
- a SIG10 frame, enclosure and impact screen
- a short throw golf simulator projector
- landing pad turf
- side barrier netting
- a hitting mat and hitting strip
The GC3 launch monitor was a true game changer when it hit the market. Before then, the biggest stumbling block with Foresight Sports’ GC launch monitors was cost — the GC2 (now discontinued) could cost over $15,000 and the GCQuad could cost over $20,000 depending on whether you wanted club data or certain software.
But you can currently get the GC3 hooked up with not only FSX 2020, but also the next-level FSX Play software, for well under $10,000. At the end of the day, you could spend over 50% less than what you’d spend on another GC launch monitor plus simulation software.
This is tremendous value, even though the GC3 measures a few less advanced club parameters than the GCQuad.
And sure, Foresight Sports had to make a few more sacrifices to get the cost down such as a non-metallic finish, a fixed battery, a smaller hitting zone, and lack of Bluetooth functionality, but I think it’s a very minor tradeoff that won’t affect most users at all.
In short, the GCQuad is still king, but the GC3 is almost as good while being at a much better cost value. It is practically calling out to budget-minded golfers that want professional-grade accuracy and performance.
Having said that, there are some pretty strong competitors to the GC3 currently on the market, the most notable of which are the Uneekor EYE MINI and Bushnell Launch Pro. Some may end up opting for one of those instead.
Thanks for reading my Foresight Sports GC3 review. Are you interested in the GC3? Have you tried it already? What’s your experience? Tell us about it in the comments below.