Let me be clear right up front: I really love the Bushnell Launch Pro. Even at the standard $3000 (you can also get the ball-data-only for $1999 as well), this launch monitor continually amazes me with how well it tracks the golf ball, how little it misses, and how easy it is to work with. If you are looking for one of the best options to put at the heart of your simulator setup, it’s hard to go wrong with the Bushnell Launch Pro.
Unless you are trimming the budget, that is. In that case, even though $2000 – $3000 is on the more-affordable end of the launch monitor market, it’s far from cheap. The upfront cost plus the yearly membership needed to play sim golf ($499/yr.) is still pretty steep for many golfers, and that’s why a device like the $599 Garmin Approach R10 is so wildly popular. It brings sim golf and data-rich training to the masses.
Can a $600 launch monitor keep up with a $3000 one?
But is it really any good? Sure, it’s only 1/5 the price, but if it isn’t accurate, misses swings, and is generally not fun to use, is the lower price really worth anything? Let me put your mind at ease on those sorts of questions if you’ve yet to experience the little wonder that is the Garmin Approach R10: this thing is the real deal.
Now, I don’t mean that it doesn’t have its flaws here and there. You can’t putt (at least not out of the box and without some workarounds) and short chips can be a tad tricky, but overall, the R10 is a marvelous tool for both sim golf and swing training at its price. It’s wildly portable, easy to set up, and though there are some upgrades I’d love to see in a sequel, I really do adore this pocket-sized launch monitor.
Still, that doesn’t answer the question up there, does it? I can like it just fine and it can still fail when compared with a far more expensive device. And that’s why we made a quick video to test out that exact thing. In this video, I take 5 shots that are being tracked in real time by both devices on the same software.
I’m using Titleist RCT balls to maximize the R10’s potential and tracking results on Awesome Golf with both launch monitors. After 5 swings, I must say that I was more impressed than I expected to be. Not only did the R10 keep up, it was insanely close in both spin rate and carry distances. With no ability to track spin axis (no radar-only device can), there will be times when that draw you hit doesn’t quite register as such, but that’s about the only time the R10 fails to keep up.
And for just $599, that’s crazy impressive. I do want to see a sequel and I’d love for it to have a single, high-speed camera for registering spin axis like we see in the Rapsodo MLM2Pro, but for what it is and the price it commands, I simply cannot recommend the Garmin Approach R10 enough. It’s truly a marvel and a device I wish existed a few years back when I got into all this golf simulator stuff.