Pros: Combines GPS and motion sensing technology to track every shot with minimal disruption to the flow of the game. Advanced data capture lets golfers learn the true distance and accuracy of each of their clubs to formulate a better tee-to-green strategy.
Cons: The device itself does not double as a rangefinder, requiring players to carry a separate product to identify the distance to the pin. Less avid golfers, the kind that play only a few rounds a season, can probably get by without Game Golf’s more advanced features. There are more affordable options for players who only care about their average score and putts per hole.
Bottom Line: When released earlier this year, the makers of Game Golf promised to revolutionize how golfers play, compete, socialize and improve their game. It’s safe to say they’ve kept that promise intact.
Introduced with great fanfare at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando this past January, Game Golf has been one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise abysmal year punctuated by store closings, employee layoffs and shrinking participation. If the sky is falling, as many industry experts proclaim, Game Golf hasn’t felt it. The product was sold out shortly after making its splashy debut.
Like other technology apps that have come before it, Game Golf records your rounds and analyzes your performance. But it does this with unparalleled ease and sophistication. The device itself, which is smaller than a deck of cards, clips to your belt. A set of durable tracking tags are attached to your clubs. When you’re ready to address your ball, touch the tag to the sensor on the device. You’ll hear a subtle beep and the device will gently vibrate indicating that it’s ready to track.
When your round is over, connect the device to your computer. Game Golf will transmit your data to its website where you can review your match. Like other pre-existing shot tracking systems, Game Golf will crunch your fairways hit, greens in regulation, average score and other standard insights. Where Game Golf truly separates itself from its competitors is through its ability to calculate the mean distance that you hit each club and the tendency you have to leave shots short, long, left or right of the flag. While Game Golf isn’t quite ready to tussle with the undisputed king of shot tracking systems – ShotLink – the margin of separation continues to shrink as the platform evolves.
Game Golf sells for $249 and does not include any annual subscription fees. The device can be bought online or through participating Apple stores.
Data and Accuracy
There are literarily hundreds of shot-tracking apps in the marketplace. And all of them are nearly identical in being able to track your FIRs, GIRs, putts per round, scoring average, etc. For a golfer who only plays a few times a year, this is plenty.
As for the avid golfer, the kind who can explain the difference between static and dynamic loft – you better bring the heat. This is the sort of player that will pour over results to help themselves identify what areas of their game fall short of levels attained by elite amateurs and pros.
One of the criticisms directed at Game Golf early on was that it didn’t make full use of its shot-tracking data collection. Yes, the system has always been able to measure and display shot distances, accurate to within five feet of the actual landing area. And it can’t be overstated how important it is to know how far you can actually hit your ball to lowering your score. But it’s also equally if not more important to be aware how well or poorly you’re controlling your shots as the distance to the hole increases.
The recently released Shot Performance Analysis feature is a breakthrough in advanced analytics allowing golfers to view their both their tee shot and approach shot accuracy. The new component displays a visual pattern of all your tee shots, mapping the distance each shot has travelled as well as the direction relative to the center of the fairway. On approach shots the flag becomes the target, allowing you to gauge your proximity to the hole using different clubs and from different distances.
Game Golf developed the Shot Performance Analysis component based on feedback collected from tens of thousands of avid golfers engaged with the platform, but it’s worth understanding how Columbia University Professor Mark Broadie’s research on golf shot performance has been equally influential.
For those who not familiar with Professor Broadie, he developed the acclaimed Strokes Gained Putting statistic adopted by the PGA Tour. He has also theorized (and proved through quantitative analysis) that the quality of a golfer’s shots from outside of 100 yards have a greater bearing on score than the quality of shots around the green. Or to put it another way, an average golfer would gain about 9.3 shots per round having Tiger Woods hit all their shots over 100 yards out but only 2.2 shots with Woods doing all the putting.
“We believe Mark Broadie’s strokes gained analysis is truly transformative, and it has certainly influenced how we’ve designed our analysis features,” says James Wang, Vice President of Product at Active Mind Technology, the makers of Game Golf. “One example of this is how we created visualizations of shot dispersion and distance from off the tee; similarly for approach shots, we visually show shot dispersion from various distances and various lie types. The intent is to help users formulate better tee-to-green strategies armed with this data.”
Are you consistently slicing your driver, but hooking your 3-wood? If you lay up with an iron will the gain in accuracy at a loss of distance translate to a better score? The Analysis tab can help you identify patterns in your game and will ensure practice time is spent working on the right things to lower your score. You can also use this feature to test drive a new club and compare its on-course performance against your existing gamer. Savvy golfers and industry professionals will quickly realize the immense opportunity this tool has for improving the teaching and club-fitting experience.
Features and Usability
One of the best features of the Game Golf platform is the visual map overlay of your previously signed rounds. There’s nothing quite like being able to review a round of golf you’ve played hole-by-hole, seeing the flight of the ball superimposed against the course with club and distance information available at your fingertips. When combined with Game Golf’s other statistical tools, the visual map can help you ascertain some amazing discoveries about your playing ability – whether it’s on certain holes, certain golf courses or specific situations like those long carries over water where a 5-yard miscalculation can be the difference between being wet or staying dry.
Whether you access your Game Golf profile over the web from a desktop computer or through the mobile app, the visual map is rendered the same way. It’s worth noting that the map can be a bit sluggish when viewed from a mobile device but that’s a minor quibble.
Another potentially great feature is the comparison tab where you can measure yourself against other golfers within the Game Golf community. For instance, you can compare the average length of your drives against Lee Westwood’s and feel wholly inadequate (unless of course you’re a member of GolfWRX). The tab lets you filter by all the usual stats (Fairway Accuracy, GIR, Scrambling, etc.) in addition to limiting the result set by a range of rounds or by golf course. It might be fun to see how your friends performed over the same period of time, but for the most part the comparison feature is still very primitive.
Future updates to the compare tab might allow a golfer playing to a 15 handicap index to measure themselves against the average single digit player based on a variety of criteria. “I don’t want to give too much detail here, but yes, this is something we’ve thought a lot about,” says Wang. “We know that more tools for comparison will add a lot of value for our users and help them even more in figuring out what areas of their game to focus on improving.”
In terms of statistics, Game Golf has just about everything covered. They have recently added sand save percentage, correcting a glaring oversight. Putting statistics themselves could use a pretty big overhaul, but Wang assures me that a future update will contain more detailed stats that are simple, intuitive and seamless.
Active Mind Technology has tried to strike a balance between catering to the community’s desire to immerse themselves in advanced analytics while at the same time not neglecting simple, but critical usability enhancements such as improving the scorecard.
A new drop down menu allows a user to quickly access any hole and make edits. There’s also an overview screen where you can review your round at a glance, as well as add or remove putts directly instead of having to wade through each hole’s shot-by-shot view.
Having been able to try out the device over the past several months, I’ve only had one instance over the course of 18 rounds where a scorecard was botched while being uploaded to the site. And even then, the support team at Game Golf was able to recover my shot data within the same day.
Judging by what early adopters have reported, most of the problems with scorecards were due to rounds recorded at nine-hole courses. Platform updates have since resolved those issues and Game Golf is able to handle both 18 and nine-hole rounds, as well as partial rounds and situations requiring shotgun starts.
As far as the platform’s social sharing capabilities, they are adequate for now. Users can brag about their rounds through Facebook, Twitter or email without much fuss. Push notifications let you know when any of your followers have posted rounds of their own.
John McGuire, CEO of Active Mind Technology has often referred to the platform as having a “stickiness” factor, but the reality is that the individuals within the community are still very much disconnected from a broader and more engaging social experience.
Game Golf is compatible with Microsoft Windows and Apple operating systems. I have had the opportunity to run Game Golf on my MacBook Pro as well as on a laptop running Windows 8. The software runs flawlessly on Apple but has crashed on occasion on Windows. Even when it runs smoothly, data transfers with the Windows app can be a little slow.
Game Golf’s online media hub, which lets users view their rounds and stats, can be accessed through a web browser or iPhone app. Beta testing for devices running Android was recently completed and the app is now available for download from the Google Play store.
The Game Golf device is sturdy, compact and weather resistant. The device can store up to nine rounds of golf and go about 10 hours or 36 holes before needing to be charged. When charging, a user can either plug in the device to their computer using the provided USB cable or they can connect the cable directly into an iPhone wall charger.
Setting up the device itself is pretty straightforward. Register a profile on the Game Golf website and download the appropriate software for your computer. Plug in the device to your computer so that it can be recognized. At the same time, remove the tags from the packaging and screw them into the grips on your golf clubs. Once your online profile is setup you’ll be prompted to identify the make and model of each club you’re tagging.
Once you’re out on the course, turn the device on. Game Golf will automatically discover your location, usually within five minutes. A set of indicator lights will notify you when it’s ready to go. Since releasing the product in January, Game Golf has done an outstanding job mapping courses. As you would expect, the United States has the most coverage (over 18,000 identified so far). International courses are also well represented – a list that includes more than 3,000 in the United Kingdom and 1,700 in Australia alone.
Some golfers have wondered why the device doesn’t double as a GPS range finder or provide instant statistical feedback and analysis as you progress through your round of golf. The makers of Game Golf wanted to ensure that their product would conform to USGA rules for tournament use – which it does. From a more practical standpoint, everyone from Bob Rotella to Gary Player believe that having too much information at your fingertips not only affects the pace of the game but can actually wreck a golfer’s score.
So is Game Golf a slam-dunk decision for each and every golfer?
With the exception of a casual player who rarely tees it up outside of a summer scramble tournament, the answer is a resounding yes. The ability to accurately track your shot distances and analyze your misses is a must-have feature for anyone who takes their game seriously and wants to improve their performance.
It isn’t simply a matter of putting meaningful data into the hands of recreational players – other technology vendors will come along with their own take on stats. Game Golf has succeeded because it has taken an idea — tracking your score — and made it inherently simple. And like other award-winning products we see in other sectors, once we start using them we often wonder what we did without them.
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I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went
Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.
Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.
It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.
The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.
But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.
Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.
“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”
“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.
On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.
The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.
We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.
Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)
Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.
Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.
But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.
Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.
Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.
Review: The QOD Electric Caddy
If you want an electric golf caddy that doesn’t require that you wear a sensor or carry a remote — one that will be reliable and allow you to focus on your game, and not your cart — then the Australian-manufactured QOD is worth checking out.
The QOD (an acronym for Quality of Design and a nod to its four wheels) is powered by a 14.4-volt lithium battery, good for 36 holes or more on a single charge. It has nine different speeds (with the fastest settings moving closer to jogging velocity) so the QOD can handle your ideal pace, whether that be a casual stroll or a more rapid clip around the course.
The QOD is also built to last. Its injection-molded, aircraft-grade aluminum frame has no welded joints. Steel bolts and locking teeth take care of the hinging points. The battery and frame are both guaranteed for three full years. If you need a new battery after the three-year window, the folks at QOD will replace it at cost.
Its front-wheel suspension gives the QOD a smooth ride down the fairway, and the trolley is easy to navigate with a gentle nudge here and there. The QOD is always in free-wheel mode, so it is smooth and easy to maneuver manually in tight spaces and around the green.
The caddy also features three timed interval modes for situations where you might wish to send it up ahead on its own: when helping a friend find a lost ball or when you will be exiting on the far side of the green after putting, for example. The clip below includes a look at the caddy in timed mode.
Another area where the QOD excels is in its small size and portability. When folded, it measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall, making it the smallest electric caddy on the market.
Folks Down Under have been enjoying the QOD for some time, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when Malachi McGlone was looking for a way to continue walking the course without putting undue strain on an injured wrist that the QOD found U.S. fairways. After first becoming a satisfied customer, McGlone convinced CEO Collin Hiss, who developed the product and oversees its production in Australia, to allow him to distribute and service the QOD here in the states.
The QOD has no self-balancing gyroscope, bluetooth sensor or remote control. Bells and whistles just aren’t its thing — though it does have a USB port for cell phone charging that can come in handy. However, if you are looking for a no-fuss workhorse to move your bag down the fairway, the QOD should be on your radar.
The 2018 model has begun shipping and will be on sale at $1,299 for a limited time. It normally retails at $1,499.
Review: FlightScope Mevo
In 100 Words
The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.
It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.
The Full Review
The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.
The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.
As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.
Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.
Using the Mevo
When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.
Testing the Mevo
I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.
The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.
The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017. The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.
You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.
The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”
As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.
Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.
The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.
Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.
As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.
Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.
The results of our indoor session are shown below.
Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.
On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).
As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.
The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.
When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.
The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.
This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.
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Ben Kern WITB: 2018 PGA Championship (only PGA Club Pro to make the cut)
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Monday’s photos from the 2018 PGA Championship