Do you or the golfer you love sit anxiously by the window from November to April waiting to pick up the clubs and shake the rust off their swing? Are you a left-brained person who tweaks your golf game based on numbers and stats? Do you like having a training aid that will help to lower your handicap and claim that club championship next season?
Look no further, the answer for you is here: The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is the perfect solution to give you the game improvement tool you want for indoor and outdoor play. For those of us currently in the long freeze, this is a great way to keep swinging in the winter.
Unboxing the Rapsodo unit I was surprised by how compact and lightweight the unit felt. It comes with a nice carry case [similar in size to a rangefinder] along with a charging cable and quick start guide. My first thought was this will be really convenient to keep in my bag for any time I head to the range. I appreciate that the unit uses USB C to charge as that seems to have become the universal standard.
Getting Started with the Device
Following the super simple instruction guide I was able to get the Rapsodo app installed and login created within 3 minutes. To connect the unit I simply clicked the button on the side and was immediately connected to my phone. (Your experience may differ but there are good instructions for getting set up).
Getting Set Up in the App
In order to start using the app you will need to set up an account. It took me about 1 minute to create a username and login. The app is intuitive and easy to use. My best advice would be to click through the various menu options to see what is all available. I am going to focus this review on the Play and Stats portion of the app.
Play The Play portion of the app is where you will go whether you are indoor or out to get started with your session. When getting started outdoors the app will ask you to confirm your location and make sure you have the right orientation on the range. This will help give you an overhead dispersion view once you complete your practice session.
A key thing to remember is that you must select the club that you are using in the app. I forgot to do this for some of my range time, but not to worry you can update the club even after you are done hitting your swings. This makes sure that you have the most accurate data and readings.
There are also monthly challenges such as long drive or closest to a “virtual” pin. These can be a fun break from your usual practice session if you want to give them a go.
Home The “Home” section of the app is where all your statistics will be stored. All of your swings will be laid in a table for you to review. Swiping left on a particular row will bring up the option for you to view the video or delete the swing. You can also click on the club cell to update the club information if you forgot to change your club on the range.
I was easily able to download and share videos, too. This was quite helpful as a couple people saw me using it on the range and wanted to try it and get their data afterwards. One feature I thought was interesting is that the app will give you a key takeaway from your session. Tips based on your data, such as work on your dispersion or distance control. It is a nice way to get a quick nudge on what to work on during your next range session. Take a look at some of the screenshots below to get a better sense of how it is all laid out.
Physical Unit Placement
The unit should be placed 6 feet behind you, level to the ball. The app will show you the proper alignment for person and ball in order to capture the swing and subsequent data. I found there to be an issue with data capture when I set the unit in long grass behind me at the range. Once I found a mowed section of grass with no obstructions I had no issues. Make sure your phone is straight upright in the unit and away you go.
After ensuring my body and ball were in the correct position I took my first swing. Looking back at the unit I could see it captured a nice video clip, the data of my shot and an awesome shot tracer. I thought that all the information including the yardage, shot shape, swing speed, etc. were very accurate. I just got fitted for some clubs earlier in the season and the data seemed to align with what was shown on the high end simulator.
Data / Data / Data
If you are like me I am not a heavily data-centric person when it comes to my golf game. I have always relied on pounding balls at the range and relying on feel. I know there is a lot to be learned about your game from launch monitor data and the Rapsodo has made it easy for the data and non-data focused people alike to get value from this unit.
I like the ability to quickly see my distance, swing video, and shot tracer (outdoors). I plan to work on my swing speed this next spring to get some more distance so those numbers will start to come in handy.
If you are looking for an in-depth analysis of golf data and what it means I would suggest doing some further reading here.
Indoor Vs Outdoor
Indoor I like the Rapsodo unit as something that can be used indoors as well as outdoors. I have a small room in my basement with a net setup to hit shots into during the winter. One of the coolest things that I like about the indoor simulator is that it captures the video along with your shot dispersion on an aerial map.
I tried my best to trick the unit creating swings for duck hooks and banana slices but it picked up every one I hit. Take a look at some of the screenshots below to see how the data is displayed. I think the yardage was fairly accurate for how I was swinging inside. I wish there was a better way to display the indoor feature like having a virtual driving range layout that could be projected. You can see the images below for my indoor setup. Watch for a future post on creating your very own indoor simulator!
Outdoor Pulling out and setting up the unit at the range is less than a 1-minute activity. Take a look at my video below showing the time from taking it out of the bag to taking my first swings. I only had the unit fail to pick up a swing twice during my range time. I appreciate being able to look instantly at my swing, see the shot tracer and validate the distance. All of which I found to be helpful when working on my game. I think this is a such a powerful tool that can maximize the productivity of anyone’s range time.
Why do I like this
Portability is king for this unit. It is easy to use indoor and outdoor and you can get set up in under a minute. The app is easy to use and all data is accessible instantly. As a person who likes to have video data to analyze my swing, along with the shot tracer, this unit cannot be beat. I think for the price point (under $500!!!) this is the best launch monitor you can get and definitely see this as a key tool in improving my game next season!
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