Should all other Personal Launch Monitors be scared of the Bushnell Launch Pro powered by Foresight?
We’ve got limited information about this story but what we do know is that Bushnell and Foresight joining forces already has golfers excited. But why are two completely different companies coming together? Read on to find out!
After testing Bushnell and Foresight products for many years, I can say with complete certainty, both companies are top of the food chain in their selected industries.
Bushnell are known best for their golf rangefinders. In testing, Bushnell’s rangefinders have the clearest optics, top notch accuracy, and many features to help you shoot lower scores. There’s a reason why most of the PGA professional were using them at the PGA Championship at Ocean course in South Carolina.
Foresight is one of the leaders in the launch monitor space. Many PGA professionals use the Foresight GC Quad while practicing on the range or on the course at an event. So why would Foresight want to compete against themselves in the Launch monitor space? Simple…it’s a different niche of the market. The Personal Launch Monitor space is grabbing a lot of attention by the everyday golfer.
Bushnell Golf enters the launch monitor market with the introduction of the Launch Pro. Bushnell have partnered with Foresight Sports to bring a “Pro-Level” Launch Monitor to the Everyday Golfer.
“Our two teams are the right combination to win in the growing launch monitor market. Foresight Sports’ leading technology combined with the strength of the Bushnell Golf brand will facilitate growth in new and existing golf markets,” says Foresight Sports Co-Founder, Jon Watters. “It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a part of this sport. Not only to be witnessing the evolution of our game toward a broader, more enhanced user experience through technology, but to be actively helping golfers improve while growing the game and reaching new users. We are excited for the future and this partnership with Bushnell Golf.”
When looking at both companies, Bushnell is really good at distributing their products across the world in big box stores. EG they already have their products in these stores. Foresight is very good at providing accurate consistent data but don’t have a lot of their products in mainstream stores. See where I’m going with this? It just makes sense when you think about it. Foresight have the technology of their GC2 just sitting around because the GC Quad has taken over. So why not use the GC2 data and repurpose it in the Launch Pro.
This is obviously my own opinion and I could be completely wrong but this theory just makes sense in my head.
Just food for thought.
That’s literally all we’ve got, a look. A picture. But a picture can give us enough hints to make a few assumptions.
“The Bushnell launch Pro Launch Pro will offer our core consumer access to the best technology in ball striking measurement and analysis, which will support our consumers in their pursuit of improvement,” said Vishak Sankaran, President of Bushnell.
Okay but we want to know what specific data points the Launch Pro will offer. According to bushnellgolf.com, the Launch Pro will include club head speed, ball speed, launch angle, carry distance, spin rate and roll out. However, the picture of the Launch Pro includes side spin and launch direction. Whether this was by accident or just another tease by Bushnell/Foresight is to be determined. The Launch Pro will offer off-course, lifestyle inspired golf segment. Launch Pro users will have access to multiple course simulations to enhance their in-home or off-course playing experience according to Vishak Sankaran, President of Bushnell. I don’t know about you guys but that sounds right up my alley.
A lot of golfers have been asking the question, “will it be a camera or doppler radar based launch monitor?”. Come on guys! Do you really think Foresight, a top of the industry camera based model really start, from scratch, a doppler launch monitor? I will bet my house on the Launch Pro being a camera based Personal Launch Monitor and them using the same technology within their GC Quad.
With all of this technology that Bushnell/Foresight are offering, how much will it cost? Well if you look at their new competitors with similar data offerings, you’re looking around 2k for the unit. The Launch Pro might come in around that number but for having two top quality companies come together, the price might come in higher. Who knows!
How can Bushnell/Foresight differentiate themselves from every other PLM on the market? I think it’s simple. You have two leaders in the industry coming together so you get double the amount of knowledge and technology into one unit. Sounds great right? Plus the tech that Foresight have is incredibly consistent which can’t be said for some of the Personal Launch Monitors on the market.
According to Bushnell’s website, they will be available in the Fall of 2021. Not too long to wait.
The biggest thing that needs to be addressed is, can I trust the numbers the the Launch Pro produces. Don’t worry, we will be testing this unit as soon as we get one in to test. Then we will spill all the beans to provide you with more information to make a better, more informed decision.
Let me know in the comments section if you agree with my theory on why Bushnell and Foresight joined forces. If not, whats your opinion?
Today, the crown prince of putters, Scotty Cameron, announced his new Champions Choice putter line. This limited release features three spruced-up models from Cameron’s Special Select putter line: the Newport, Newport 2 and Flowback 5.5.
While these will all feature custom aesthetics, that is not the cool factor for this release. What is it that makes these so cool?
Of all the Scotty Cameron designs, his Button Back putters are my favorites. At one time, the first-generation teryllium putters were my favorites. I love the feel of the teryllium insert and the Newport longneck is a head style of legend. Although my Tel3 Newport LN looks like it was left out in the rain for a season or two, it is still one of the jewels in my putter collection.
So why do I think the Button Back version is better? Basically, the answer is “time.” With the modern Button Back, Scotty has had time to perfect his machining process and to fine-tune the relationship between the teryllium and polymer in the insert. You get the pedigree of the teryllium combined with the modern milling of the 21st Century. That’s a win-win combination for me.
It seems unlikely but some of you may not have watched Brooks Koepka roll his Button Back Cameron putter to major victories. Yes, that’s the plural “victories.” His Cameron putter is a T10 Newport 2 Button Back prototype. As an amateur golfer, I never typically want to add Tour pro equipment to my bag. That said, every time the coverage zooms in on Koepka’s putter, I covet it a little more.
With the Champions Choice release, I need not Golem that oh-so-precious putter any longer. Admittedly, the Newport 2 in this release will not look exactly like Koepka’s putter but it’s closer than any non-Tour-truck putter we have seen in recent years. Plus, if the Newport 2 is not your jam, there are also the Newport and Flowback 5.5 models to choose from. All three feature that sweet teryllium face and buttons on their backsides.
Some of you younger folk may have been born after the original line of teryllium putters launched in 1997. While copper was already well established as a putter material, Mr. Cameron wanted something with different properties than pure copper for his insert. Though it looks like copper, teryllium is actually a copper alloy made up of 12 different metals. Completing the design is a layer of elastomer behind the insert to soften the feel. With the early models, this elastomer was hidden but appeared in the later versions as the iconic white border around the copper insert in the Teryllium Two line.
After the 2001 Teryllium Two line, the teryllium insert vanished from the production lines. From there, we would only see teryllium in limited releases. The most notable of these are the T10 and T22 putters celebrating the 10th and 22nd anniversaries of the original 1997 putters and the Button Back Newport in 2008. That 2008 Button Back was the first time we saw the button back design and it has always been my putter-collecting white whale. It is also the design that seems most similar to Koepka’s putter. I have a weird, maybe false, memory of Anthony Kim playing that Button Back as well before injuries forced his retirement.
Enough about the insert. Let’s take a look at the new Champions Choice models.
Though I just finished gushing about Koepka’s Newport 2, I actually prefer the shape of the Newport. I don’t need to go on at length about the differences between a Newport and a Newport 2. This topic has likely been discussed as much as the differences between an Anser and Anser 2. For me, I like the more compact look of the Newport, along with the more curving lines of the bumpers.
This version of the Newport is similar to the current 303 stainless steel Special Select Newport. The topline is a little flatter, it has a sight line and it also features removable tungsten weights on the sole. Like I said, you take the modern elements and mix in the teryllium and you have the best of both worlds.
I do feel that this one should say IBBK on it somewhere. No, you don’t have the B.K. initials stamped into the toe-end of the face but it really is inspired by Brooks Koepka. Common sense says that if you win back-to-back U.S. Opens, you should inspire a whole mess of things. Outside of the red, white and blue design, the only other deviation here is that this putter has a black sight line, while Koepka prefers his line to be white.
Like the Newport, the Newport 2 features a blending of the modern design elements with the classic teryllium insert. Should you be looking for a blade that is a little blockier with a thinner top line, this one is for you.
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Those of you who are parents know that provoking instant distraction is a key parenting skill. You point at a bright red traffic sign so your kid won’t notice the donut shop on the left. It’s parental second nature. I bring this up because this may be what the folks at Odyssey will need to do with Jon Rahm when it comes to the Champions Choice Flowback 5.5. Rahm is gaming a mallet similar to this one, also featuring a flow neck to promote more of an arcing stroke. Look over there, Jon …
The Flowback 5.5 also has the aluminum sole plate that is found with the current Special Select version, making it the most multi-material one of the bunch. Naturally, this putter head fits in nicely with the mallet-that-plays-like-a-blade theme that has run through recent years.
Rounding out the Champions Choice package will be a red, white and blue color scheme. I don’t know if it was intentional but this ties in nicely with the upcoming Olympic games. Maybe JT will have a little bit of patriotic paint slapped on his Scotty in the coming weeks. Regardless, I always like seeing designs where the graphics on the sole wrap around to the face as well. It’s a solid and unique look.
The most surprising thing about the Champions Choice release is that these putters have a MSRP of only $600. Yes, I said “only.” Hear me out. A normal Special Select Newport 2 will run you $399. That means for a buck and two Bens more, you can have a limited edition with a teryllium face and backyard buttons. I had to triple check that price, making sure I didn’t see $600 instead of $900.
Yes, paying $600 for a golf club still makes me feel like a resident of Loonytopia, but this time I feel less loony as other limited runs cost well north of that. And that 2008 Button Back that I wish I had bought at the time? It is now a four-digit putter, not a three. The bottom line is that if you think you want one of these, buy it now. If you wait, it will likely cost you more in the future. While these officially release on Aug. 6, it may be a good idea to talk to the folks at your shop today to see if you can reserve one. I don’t have the numbers on how limited the release is, but these will sell out.
For more information about this release, check out ScottyCameron.com.
Long time MGS writer Dave Wolfe joins us to share his love of putters and his experience getting fit for one with Edel.
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Tests of “Old Versus New” never fail to generate buzz, curiosity and usually controversy. Given how far drivers have come from when your “old” is made from wood, finding the answer to the “is newer really better?” question is basically a gimme. But what about the putter space? Sure, there’s been plenty of evolution but how much has really changed?
Let’s find out.
Titleist Bullseye- A major winner. Depending on your perspective, it’s either a timeless design or a nostalgic relic. Chances are you’ve rolled a few putts with a Bullseye over the years.
Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab Putter- Our 2021 Most Wanted Blade Putter. Sure, it’s still an Anser shape but it’s also an embodiment of putter evolution.
Can one of golf’s most iconic putters compete with the best blade we tested this year?
Let’s find out.
Here’s how the timeless Bullseye fared against our 2021 Most Wanted Blade Putter, the Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab.
Under our Strokes Gained methodology, the field average is basically zero. That means that Bullseye lost strokes to the field at each of the distances we tested while the Odyssey White Hot OG gained strokes across the board.
Looking more closely at the numbers, the White Hot OG bested the Bullseye by a significant difference to the tune of:
That’s a combined difference of 2.288 strokes overall.
To put this in terms everyone can understand, in a controlled putter test like MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted, fewest putts wins. Over the course of our 2021 test, with the Odyssey, it took our testers 703 putts to completely hole out with the Most Wanted putter. It took 764 putts with the Bullseye.
What does that mean? Let me ask you this:
How would you like to miss an additional eight percent of your putts?
Didn’t think so.
Our data suggests technology makes a difference in performance. With the Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab, you have a putter packed with technology.
Its White Hot insert, like the Bullseye, holds its own iconic status. Not only does it offer tremendous feel but Callaway says it offers more consistent rolls. The numbers suggest that might be true.
Over the past three years, Callaway’s Stroke Lab technology has taken off. It has the potential to create more consistency with several key variables within the putting stroke. They are: Length of Backswing, Position at End of Backswing, Face Angle at End of Backswing, Forward Swing Time to Impact, Velocity at Impact and Face Angle at Impact. In 2020, the effectiveness and popularity of Stroke Lab was on full display. Tour usage and positive impacts on the variables listed above were evident.
Putting requires consistency. It’s safe to say the Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab produced more consistency than the timeless, though tech-deficient, Bullseye.
Take away the emotional connection with the Bullseye and what are you left with? For its time, an incredible symbol of craftsmanship that holds true to this day. However, our goal is help you shoot lower scores. It is 2021. We are here to encourage you to let go of the past and realize that no-tech putters like the Bullseye might be hurting you on the putting green.
The strokes gained numbers speak for themselves. Overall, the Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab is the best of the two putters by a considerable margin.
Can the Titleist Bullseye compete with the Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab? Based on our sample size, no. Can you still make putts with a Bullseye? Most definitely. However, in a game where putting makes up 30 to 40 percent of a golfer’s score, why would you not want to put a product in your bag that can actually help you shave strokes?
It is time to consider putting the “old” away and explore the plethora of “new” putter options available nowadays. The efficiency is there. Go through a fitting process. Dial in the appropriate putter for your game based on stroke type, playing length, lie angle and loft. Whether your next putter of choice is an Odyssey White Hot OG #1 Stroke Lab or another current model, the technology implemented theoretically will enhance your game. Trade in a minuscule sweet spot with little to no forgiveness off the face for a higher MOI, more consistent rolling putter.
Out with the old, in with the new. That is our suggestion. But, ultimately, the choice is yours.
FlightScope, Trackman or Foresight? Which one are you picking?
These are the leaders for golf launch monitors but they come at a price: $15,000 to $25,000. However, there is a more reasonably priced alternative.
Given that many of the best players in the world use these devices to drive both equipment and on-course decisions, it’s understandable that average golfers would be hungry to do the same.
Personal golf launch monitors are the Holy Grail for the average golfer looking to improve. Technology is developing rapidly and personal launch monitors have improved over recent years. These gizmos might still need a few years to become more accurate and provide more data points but they’re able to offer enough information to help you reasonably dial in your game, with your expectations managed.
If you’re considering purchasing a personal launch monitor or want to see how these devices measure up, read on.
If you want the best of the best, look no further than Rapsodo. It might only give you few data metrics but they are accurate. It comes with a Doppler radar and an application on your phone. The app records all your session data along with your swing which is recorded via video. Depending on how competitive you are, you have the option to compete with others around the world. Whether its long drive or a skills’ challenge, the Rapsodo has you covered. These are just some of the reasons why Rapsodo was crowned Most Wanted Personal Launch Monitor Winner of 2021.
We’re here to help you find the perfect personal launch monitor to fit your needs.
To do that, we put the leading devices in the category through a thorough and fully independent testing process that leaves no feature unexplored, no detail unchecked, and no stone unturned.
To determine the accuracy and reliable of the data offered by the devices tested, we tested them side by side with an enterprise-class Foresight GCQuad launch monitor inside and out. Foresight is trusted by the R&D teams at every major golf equipment company and is renowned for the accuracy of the data it provides.
The metrics we consider when rating Personal Launch Monitors include Accuracy, Ease of Use, Portability, and Features.
Most, if not all, launch monitors available today are powered by one of two technologies: radar or cameras.
Radar-based systems use Doppler radar to follow the flight of the golf ball. Doppler works by bouncing microwaves off an object: in this case, a golf ball. By continuously sending waves and receiving the reflections, Doppler-powered devices track the movement of the ball through space.
Enterprise radar launch monitors like TrackMan and FlightScope X3 feature larger Doppler radars which are capable of tracking a golf ball over its entire flight. Less expensive consumer-grade units like the Voice Caddie SC200 Plus and the Rapsodo have smaller Doppler units that don’t quite track the full flight of the golf ball.
With the exception of SkyTrak, all of the models we tested are radar-based.
As the category suggests, camera-based launch monitors use high-definition cameras to measure ball data at, and immediately following, impact. While camera-based systems can’t measure the full flight of the golf ball, they typically provide more accurate axis tilt and spin measurements and are far more reliable in limited-flight scenarios.
Depending on the quality of the cameras, some camera-based launch monitors struggle under certain lighting conditions and in highly reflective environments.
SkyTrak is the only camera-based system included in this test.
For those who are looking for a Personal Launch Monitor that can provide data to get dialed in, the SkyTrak is the one for you. It comes with Ball Speed, Launch, Backspin, Launch Direction and much more to help you play better on all year round. You can also upgrade your package to play well known golf courses around the world.
All of the devices we tested provide ball speed, club head speed and carry distance. If you’re looking for club head data, offline and dispersion numbers, you might want to look at the enterprise solutions like ForeSight and Trackman.
While you’re going to get the most accurate information from enterprise solutions like Trackman and Foresight, personal launch monitors offer reasonably accurate measurements.
Even the best golf launch monitors must be easy to use. For most of us, practice time is limited and it shouldn’t be wasted trying to configure, connect and use a device meant to help us improve faster. Some units require more precise placement at setup.
While measuring the flight of the golf ball is the primary purpose for all of the units we tested, most offer some additional features. Some allow for simulator play while others include features to record your swing or leverage GPS functionality on the golf course. Others add elements of gamification like long-drive contests and closest-to-the-pin challenges.
Rapsodo is a perfect launch monitor to record your swing while getting some data. SkyTrak and Mevo Plus provide games, range sessions and courses to play, no matter the weather. Garmin G80 is not only a launch monitor but also a GPS device so you can get some numbers to your target and some data points.
While the Voice Caddie and Garmin offerings are self-contained, the other devices we tested require an app to communicate with the launch monitor and relay data to the user. We found the applications to be generally easy to navigate and hassle-free.
If your plan is to use a personal launch monitor to gain performance insights while banging limited flight, beat to hell, or generally inconsistent range balls, you’re wasting both your time and money. Practice with the ball you play (or at least one that’s similar) so the data you collect is consistent and meaningful.
The price range for the units we tested ranged from under $200 to just under $2,000. If you want enterprise-level accuracy and features (head data, for example), you’re looking at $7,000-plus for a used Foresight GC2. If you go all out, you’re upwards of $25k for a brand-new, fully featured unit.
If you’re going to use your launch monitor almost exclusively indoors, save your money for a SkyTrak. Consider buying used if you’re on a budget.
Those who want an affordable launch monitor indoors need at least eight feet of flight distance before the ball hits the impact net.
If you’re splitting time between indoor and outdoor use, consider FlightScope’s Mevo or Mevo Plus. They can handle either environment; the option to use metal dots can improve tracking a bit and the video features are well executed.
If you’re a fitter or teaching professional looking to leverage data, more than likely you’ll need to look at the enterprise solutions. SkyTrak offers some fitting capabilities and the bag-mapping feature (also available in the Rapsodo MLM) is impressive.
For recreational golfers looking to measure their distances, some of the $500 radar units do a reasonably good job. At the $500 price point, the most accurate unit we tested provides enough data points to help you improve and understand your game.
For those just looking to have a good time with their friends, units that offer games like closest to the pin or long drive may offer the most bang for the buck. Mevo, Rapsodo, SkyTrak and Voice Caddie include a selection of games that extends the capabilities of the device beyond just capturing data.
If you’re a golfer who wants the most metrics and most accurate readings on the market, you’re likely not going to be satisfied with a personal launch monitor. If you’re looking to improve your understanding of the data associated with your game, like ball speed, clubhead speed and carry, and not break the bank, models like the SC200 Plus, Rapsodo, and Mevo Plus are reasonably accurate.
There are some shortcomings that personal launch monitors are still working on. While consistent readouts 60 yards and under is an area in need of improvement, you can still derive some short-game data from personal launch monitors. Personal launch monitors like the Rapsodo and Voice Caddie SC200 Plus are consistently off by five to 10 yards so you have to know your baseline and do the math.
The Rapsodo is a small compact unit that packs a punch. Although it provides limited metrics, it’s the most accurate unit we tested. The lack of data is partially offset by features like shot tracking, launch, and dispersion charts and the ability to film your swing. Oh and it comes with a shot tracer to see your shot direction.
All of the devices we tested provide ball speed, club head speed and carry distance. Other metrics produced by each unit are detailed in the chart below.
In 2020 we’re starting to see a successful personal launch monitor take it’s shape and for $500 you can reasonably expect some of these devices to give you information to help you in your game. The Rapsodo was more than 90% accurate on all data sets, with the exception of spin.
Unbiased. No Guesswork. All Major Brands. Matched To Your Swing. Advanced Golf Analytics matches the perfect clubs to your exact swing using connected data and machine learning.
Q: What’s the difference between a personal launch monitor and an enterprise solution?
A: Several thousand dollars and accuracy. Enterprise solutions like Foresight and TrackMan are more accurate and provide more data points.
Q: What data can I get from a personal golf launch monitor?
A: If you’re in the under-$2,000 price range, you can reasonably expect your launch monitor to give you ball speed, carry, launch angle and spin. If you’re looking for club head data, offline and dispersion numbers, you might want to look at the enterprise solutions like Foresight and Trackman.
Q: What is Smash Factor?
A: Smash factor is a common club performance metric. Several of the devices we tested provide this with varying degrees of accuracy. The Smash Factor formula is simple. It’s ball speed divided by head speed.
Q: Are all personal golf launch monitors accurate?
A: Not all are as accurate as enterprise solutions like Foresight and Trackman. But according to the results of our test, there are accurate units. The Rapsodo was more than 90 percent accurate on all data sets with the exception of spin.
It’s our duty to you to tell you when we uncover industry secrets. Sometimes that means calling out companies for misleading advertising. This time it means we’re bringing attention to a company that is putting performance first.
We love telling you when we come across something that just gets it right. adidas golf shoes get it right.
adidas might not be a small name, in fact we concede that it’s a regular househould name. adidas destroys competition in almost all soccer equipment and has considerable sports apparel market share. But in the golf world, adidas is a perceived relative underdog. That is until, you evaluate their golf shoes based on performance. Then, adidas is a giant.
adidas golf shoes didn’t start at the top. Early renditions were notoriously narrow, and didn’t fit enough of the golfing population to surge in popularity.
We like to make the distinction between revolutionary and evolutionary. Revolutionary of course is a drastic departure from the norm while evolutionary advancement happens in consecutive small increments.
What is so impressive about adidas’ stellar rise to the top of our performance rankings was that while they maintained their classic three stripe look and overall aesthetic, their golf shoes were entirely revolutionized. And the revolution is almost impossible to detect or prove unless you already wear adidas golf shoes, or you test hundreds of golf shoes head to head like we do at MyGolfSpy.
Plain and simple, adidas Boost technology.
That’s not to say that their consistently great traction and stability, comfortable waterproof structure and new dedication to using recycled material isn’t important.
adidas boost technology was implemented in their running line in 2013 and made its way into the adipower Boost, the first golf shoe to feature Boost, two years later. Boost is quite possibly one of the most comfortable materials we’ve encountered in our testing. And Adidas doesn’t sacrifice performance to make their shoes comfortable. Boost does both.
adidas golf shoes are made for performance, and Boost is the foundation.
As we developed our shoe testing protocols, as always our objective was to test performance. Sure, looks and style matter to consumers but it’s a low priority in terms of determining the best performers in our test.
Our head to head testing protocols showed us that adidas is light years ahead of everyone else. It’s not even close.
MyGolfSpy began testing golf shoes in 2017, conducting both a spiked and spikeless test every year. In 5 years of testing, adidas has landed in our top five 17 times between the two tests. Of those 17 top five finishes, six are first place.
And that’s just in the men’s category…
When you compare and test hundreds of shoes side by side the difference between good and bad is black and white and beyond apparent. adidas golf shoes aren’t good. They’re excellent.
And not for nothing, adidas did shake it up a little bit in the style category. They recognized that even as classic as the three stripes are, they can be upgraded. Enter the Codechaos, the winner of the 2020 Best Spikeless shoe.
What we like about adidas golf shoes is yes, they kick-ass in our testing but that’s because they’re not phoning it in. They’re a large powerhouse company that would sell shoes just because their logo is on it. adidas lets performance do the talking, invests in improvement and isn’t afraid to make a revolutionary change.
We’re not saying you have to buy adidas next time you’re in the market for new golf shoes. We’re saying try them on. Take them on a test drive. Let the performance do the talking.
We have you in mind when we conduct our tests. adidas has you and your game in mind when they design their shoes.