The golf simulator world and launch monitor world have changed significantly over the past several decades.
In the decades past, golfers did not have access to launch monitors to give them a ton of data to help maintain or improve a swing. Golf simulators once cost over 30-40 thousand dollars. It just not even approachable for most people
It is very common on the PGA Tour to watch golfers pull their Trackman or Flightscope out of the bag and set it up. Many professional golfers depend on their accurate data and utilize this data to compete on the highly competitive professional tours.
Also, many golf instructors have started to utilize launch monitors in their lessons with golfers and their own games.
These invaluable technology tools can truly help one improve and give the necessary data to get better!
The third way launch monitors are used is by amateurs either looking for an edge or want to set up a golf simulator in an extra room, basement, garage or even a shed.
I fall into the category of amateur that has utilized a less expensive launch monitor to build a golf simulator and utilize to improve my game.
I have been able to see around a 4 shot decrease in average score.
My scoring range went from 74-78 down to 70-74. Of course there are numbers that fall outside that range, but for ever 10 rounds, the majority of my scores are now in that lower 70s range.
Most people seek an alternative to Trackman because of the cost of the Trackman. The $18,000 price tag for most people will eliminate the Trackman, sending them to seek other alternatives.
There are several questions to ask as you enter the process of determining what is best for your situation and game.
- Do you plan on using the launch monitor at the range/course or in a simulator setup. Some may want both!
- What is your budget?
- What is most important: game like feel on a simulator, most accurate data, versatility.
5 Alternatives to the Trackman with pros and cons of each:
- FlightScope X3 Launch Monitor
- Foresight GC2 Launch Monitor
- SkyTrak Launch Monitor
- FlightScope Mevo+ Launch Monitor
- FlightScore Mevo Launch Monitor
Alternative #1: FlightScope X3 Launch Monitor
The closest thing on our list to the Trackman, but on average around $3,000 less than your Trackman.
Flightscope provides a wide range of options in their launch monitor to match your budget and your needs. The FlightScore X3 is their top of the line model to give you 50 data points and the key information needed.
If you are an aspiring professional golfer or high level golf instructors and need the data that is accurate and plenty of it, I would highly recommend checking out the price at Rain or Shine Golf for X3 Launch Monitor.
The features on this launch monitor are highly impressive and can help someone get better!
- 50 Full swing, chipping, and putting data parameters
- Overlay of swing data with club data
- Challenges to pracitce smarter
- Fusion Tracking Technology
- Track shots in real time
- Shot groupings
- 3D Swing Plane
- Short game
- Video analytics
- Skills App
- Environmental Optimizer
Where should I buy from?
I would highly recommend Rain or Shine. The options, pricing, customer service and financing offers are difficult to beat! Check out our links below:
Alternative #2: Foresight GC2 Launch Monitor
For half the price of the above item, you can be a proud owner of a Foresight GC2 Launch Monitor. The versatility to take this launch monitor indoors and outdoors and its overall performance indoors is difficult to beat at this price point.
If you do not quite have the budget for a Trackman or Flightscope, but want serious data that will help you improve, than the Foresight GC2 is a wonderful option.
- Easy transition between indoor and outdoor
- Trusted by professionals
- Stereoscopic camera system (10,000 frames per second)
- Option add ons – Head Measurement Technology
- True clubhead analysis
- Ease of use
- Includes impact and location on club face
- COmprehensive data at your fingertips
Alternative #3: SkyTrak Launch Monitor
The SkyTrak Launch Monitor sells for around $2,000. So if you are the golfer that wants to get better and enjoy some simulator golf, but can’t break the bank to do it, then the SkyTrak is a great option.
This versatile product can be used indoors and outdoors and can be paired with The Golf Club (TGC) software to provide a fantastic, real life type of simulator experience.
Overall, I went with this option for my golf simulator build and am thrilled with my choice. I was able to build a complete golf simulator setup for $7,000 total.
This included the SkyTrak, TGC software, gaming computer, enclosure with netting, HD Impact screen, projector and hitting mat. The overall package was a great deal and I have now played over 700 rounds of golf on courses like Augusta, Pebble, Whistling Straits, and St. Andrews.
The experience is incredible!
- Accuracy holds up when tested against most expensive products
- Compatible with TGC Software providing a great simulator experience
- Professional grade at a great price
- Tracking data to performance
- Multiple software options for simulator experience
- Shot delay
- Alignment can be difficult
Alternative #4: FlightScope Mevo+ Launch Monitor
At a similar price to the SkyTrak you can have a similar performing launch monitor with better performance outdoors than the SkyTrak. Overall, the barrier with the Mevo+ is the depth needed in indoor situations.
This launch monitor provides 16 data parameters and can be paired with the TGC software
- Pairs with TGC software
- Light and very portable
- Easy connection
- Access to FlightScore golf app
- Depth requirement in indoor spaces (4-7 feet needed)
Alternative #5: FlightScope Mevo Launch Monitor
This entry level pricing is around $1500 less than the SkyTrak or Mevo+ can be utilized at your range sessions or indoor. Certain setup requirements are needed to make it happen.
If you are really tight on your budget and can’t spend the extra for the plus or the SkyTrak this entry level launch monitor can provide some quality data to get you game headed in the right direction.
- FlightScore App
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- Depth requirement in indoor spaces (4-7 feet needed)
Why Buy A Launch Monitor?
Golf is a ton of fun! Golf indoors during winter months is a great release from the rigors of life and a great opportunity to practice your golf game. True game improvement can occur when you are able to play and practice 12 months out of the year.
When your game stops for 3-5 months due to winter or other factors you take steps backwards. As Ben Hogan said, “the secret is in the dirt.” To get really good at golf, a golfer must hit many golf balls with the right setup, instruction and now feedback.
The feedback provided by these golf launch monitors can be game changers.
When you pair the launch monitor data with your smartphone and a recorded swing you are able to make technical changes to become more consistent and on overall better ball striker.
Plus, the amount of fun you can have with friends and family in your golf simulator setup is difficult to beat!
Spending 3-5 hours on a Saturday on a snowy day in January playing Pebble Beach of TPC Sawgrass or even Bay Hill club will not only help you get better as your compete and play, but it will be a ton of fun!
It has been a game changer with my scores and in my life as a whole. I can now play or practice 365 days a year and enjoy the game I love on my journey to be my best possible version!
How To Decide What is Best For Your Situation?
It ultimately starts with budget and what you are seeking for out of your launch monitor. For me it was about setting up a simulator experience at a quality price.
The technology was comparable enough in the SKyTrak to the top end when I saw numerous side by side comparisons. I must also say that the TGC experience is difficult to beat.
When I would play on commercial units or a friend of mine that had one at his house, the softwares compared to TGC seemed inferior. The graphics and the overall realistic nature of it left a lot to be desired.
So what is your why? Do you want exceptional data (see first two options) or a simulator experience (see options 3 and 4). Overall, once you identify your why for the purchase, the decision becomes much easier!