This week is an exciting one for those of us who really get into golf hardware and tech. From new golf clubs to golf balls to launch monitors and more, the PGA Show is where you’ll find the latest, greatest gear we’ll be talking about in 2024. All the big names will be there along with smaller, upstart companies looking to make their mark on the golf world in the coming year.
For us here at Proof Golf, that means one thing: we’re looking for hands-on information about the newest simulator tech. Whether it’s a new hitting mat, impact screen, software, or launch monitor, we’re keen to see what shows up in Orlando this year. And as much as I’m interested in anything in the golf simulator space, I’m very intrigued to know whether or not Garmin has any early announcements for an update to their now-3-year-old Approach R10.
The rumors, or lack thereof
As it looks right now, I’m not too sure we’ll hear anything. With golf tech, the rumor mill is pretty quiet right up to the launch of a new product. With the new Skytrak+, for example, there were very few rumors circulating before its arrival, and then it simply showed up. We come from the world of laptops and mobile tech with Chrome Unboxed (our other site), so I’m far more accustomed to new devices getting leaked left and right. Golf tech simply isn’t like that.
So instead, I’m left looking at timelines. The Garmin R10 arrived mid-year in 2021, so a refresh in 2024 wouldn’t be too outlandish. There are no real guidelines for launch monitor refreshes just yet, so that means there are no set number of years between releases that we expect. Skytrak took a decade to launch a follow-up while the 2023 Mevo Plus was unveiled just 3 years after the original. There’s just no playbook for this stuff.
What I’m hoping for
What I could see happening is at least an announcement or tease of some sort at the PGA Show 2024. I think Rapsodo did a great job creating hype for their MLM2Pro last year at the yearly event, even if that device has had its share of setbacks. Unlike Rapsodo, Garmin lets their device be pretty open and largely compatible with tons of software thanks to a thriving, industrious community of users. As we speak, the R10 works with GS Pro, E6, Awesome Golf, TGC 2019, Creative Golf, and Garmin’s own Home Tee Hero, making this one of the absolute most versatile launch monitors around.
If Garmin were to take a cue from Rapsodo and add a single, high-speed camera to the existing R10 for spin axis reading, easier alignment, and better chip recognition, the Garmin Approach R10 would be nearly perfect. There are putting options out there, but I think a better solution long-term would be for a company like Ex Putt to get deeper integration with all launch monitors for a superior putting experience regardless of your launch monitor. But that’s for another post.
For now, I’m holding out hope that we hear something from Garmin about an Approach R10 sequel and that this device comes with some small upgrades that could make for massive improvements in the $599 launch monitor that single-handedly shook up the golf simulator world forever. A well-timed, well-executed, similarly-priced device could truly shake things up once again.