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Accessory Reviews

Gadgets: Spy X18 The Beacon Bluetooth Speaker

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Playing music on the golf course has become both acceptable and convenient at many golf courses and driving ranges, and as a result more and more golf-specific gadgets have become available.

You might already have a bluetooth speaker at home, but some models are better for golf than others. Take Spy’s X18 Bluetooth Speaker, for example. It’s designed to fit in a cup holder, which means it won’t fall out of your golf cart when you punch the gas.

If you’re not riding, you can hang it from your golf bag with a handy carabiner. And although we can’t endorse the behavior, there’s also a mic and speakerphone should you need to take a call on the golf course.

Here’s what else you need to know about Spy’s X18 Bluetooth Speaker. 

the beacon speaker

It’s durable

  • It has a molded outer silicone shell skin for durability.
  • It’s water resistant, good if you spill drinks or it rains.
  • It’s IPX6 water-resistant, and drop-proof from up to 1.2 meters (that’s about the length of your driver, folks).

golf speaker

Good battery life

  • Boasts 15-hour battery life of full max volume playback, good enough for about three rounds of golf.
  • Built-in 2200 mAh class A high capacity rechargeable lithium battery

Sound-quality is “up to par”

  • The Spy X18 is equipped with dual 400mm speaker drivers and dual passive radiator, made for enhanced bass and consistent sound quality.
  • It’s rated power 6W with 360-degree surround stereo sound

Here is a sound bite from the voice on The Beacon bluetooth speaker:

IMG_1563

Where to buy

  • Spy’s The Beacon speaker is available for $99.95 at spyoptic.com in both orange and black shells. 
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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. DMT

    Nov 9, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I have considered bringing my speaker to the course. I have seen a number of people use them. The key word is SEEN. Unless I’m right next to their cart or bag, I can’t hear it, let alone be distracted by it.

    How is that more distracting than the walker in your group with clubs banging together as he walks? Or the other twosome in their cart driving around looking for their balls in the rough while you hit? Not to mention the guys NOT in your group in the next fairway, on the next tee, last green etc, who bang the gas and drive off during your crucial putt or tee shot?

    Or, God forbid, someone talking on the course?!? And the PLANES IN THE SKY!!! How dare they fly while I’m hitting?

    If anything, a little background music will drown a lot of that out, not be more distracting.

  2. Clark

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I see a lot of anti music posts on here. I don’t see a problem with low level music in your group as long as you are respectful to others around you. We play a GAME.

    If you are willing to spend the time and money to play. It is your descretion on enjoyment. If you play strictly by the rules, fine, don’t listen to music. If your rules are loose, then wear your loudmouth attire, drink that pint, improve your lie, and enjoy the experience. Neither is wrong.

    I’ve been a playing professional for over a decade now. Be respectful of others and enjoy the time with friends. Leave the Tour attitude on TV (or at least save it for a tourney) and out of your foursome. Just go out there and have fun.

    • Pro

      Oct 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Professional? What is your name and what are your stats?

  3. Bob

    Oct 22, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Why are you promoting this? Everyone likes their own music and no one wants to hear someone else’s from the adjacent fairway.

  4. Rule the World

    Oct 18, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    It’s simple:
    Play by the USGA/ R&A rules, idiots!

    Simples!

  5. Joe

    Oct 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    It looks like one more thing to leave on your cart when your finished playing. IF, I used such a device it would have to hang on my bag so it would not be left behind.

    Also, I don’t need any outside noise to distract me or others. I you are playing alone, use headphones. If playing with others forgo any music.

  6. Mark

    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Music has no place on the course. I go to the course to enjoy the peace and quiet and nature. Our club has enough issues with Juniors trying to snapchat every shot. If you play in headphones you are ignorant and anti social. Find another game.

  7. McCleod

    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I am 70, but I see nothing wrong with a little low-volume music in the background when my friends and I are playing. What with the customary slow play issues – it is often relaxing. Those that are aggravated with the “hacks” among us had better be happy that we play at all. The “players” could not support their hobby if all 5% of then had to fund golf in America. And, we are all “hacks” at something. I can soundly beat every good golfer I know in tennis. Just saying . . .

    • 8thehardway

      Oct 18, 2015 at 1:12 am

      What sort of music do you listen to when playing tennis?

  8. mgholda

    Oct 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    i listened to music while I played today for the first time
    Don’t know if it was the Celine Dion and Backstreet Boys or if it was just my day but anyways shot my best score ever (113). Me and my life partner just bought some Mariah Carey songs and can’t wait to listen to them this weekend on the course.

    • Boblocke2

      Oct 21, 2015 at 12:25 am

      Classic. Life partner and Celine Dion while banging a 113.

  9. 8thehardway

    Oct 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Wait ’till you meet Playlist Pete who blasts ‘ Ride of the Valkyries’ on the tee box, ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ in the sand trap and ‘Summer Breeze’ on the putting green. Sure, he’ll turn it off after he hits so no problems, right?

  10. ooffa

    Oct 15, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Golfers come and go. Rock and Roll is here to stay. Tee it up and rock on. It’s time to bring these old geezers back from the brink of their stodgy old ways.

    • Affoo

      Oct 16, 2015 at 11:44 am

      You’ll be gone like Lamar Odom you’re in the same league as him and we’ll laugh

      • Like

        Oct 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        I like that.

      • prime21

        Oct 21, 2015 at 8:09 am

        Dropping a quote about someone who is struggling to cope with life is a classless move. Nothing about what you said is funny. It is sad to see that any human finds it ok to “make a joke” about the trials and tribulations of another, especially considering the individual nearly died. If knocking people down is the only way you can lift yourself up, you should take some time to reevaluate what is going on in your life and seek help from a mental health care provider. The staff at GolfWrx should also be ashamed that they allowed your post to go through. Until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you should keep your commentary where it belongs, in your underdeveloped brain. I wish you good luck and hope that you find happiness in your life.

  11. Non

    Oct 15, 2015 at 3:52 am

    “both acceptable and convenient at many golf courses”

    NO, it HAS NOT. Only at mickey mouse low-class backwoods munis. Stop this lying now. It states, clearly in the rules of golf that music is NOT ALLOWED in play on the course at any time.

    If you have any respect for the game, you will stop any music on the course, period.

  12. Joshuaplaysgolf

    Oct 14, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Kyle, totally agree with you, if you aren’t doing it around other groups, who cares? As long as your group is cool with it. The issue is that a lot of people don’t have that awareness and get salty when asked (politely) to turn the music off while your swinging. I’m in my late 20’s, so not a crotchety old guy or preppy country club jerk, I adore hip-hop and listen to music constantly while I practice, which is 4-5 hours every day…but I always have my noise cancelling headphones in so I don’t annoy anyone on the range. It’s not all that different than if someone is talking while your swinging. Just be respectful of other people, as some golfers just want a few hours of quiet, sunshine, and a stroll around a georgeous course. I also agree with you fully that we need as many youth as possible, and the average golfer is really at the core of the golf economy. ‘Serious’ players and low handicappers might make up, what, 5% of golfers? I don’t think anyone wants to scare anyone off, but just want people to be self aware enough to cut the music when they’re around other groups. Everyone is out to have fun, that’s why we play, but that looks a bit different for everyone and when one person’s good time effects someone else’s good time, that is where the conflict comes from.

  13. Brian

    Oct 14, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    100% AGREE

  14. mgholda

    Oct 14, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    The people who typically play music while on the golf course are either (1) hackers, (2) playing in a couples event, or (3) older guys trying to act younger. Whichever one fits your particular case, it is disrespectful conduct and should not be encouraged. I play serious golf to escape from societal de-evolution, not to be reminded of it. This is where I draw the line. Sorry to be “get off my lawn guy”, but this is indicative of larger problems in today’s world.

    • Non

      Oct 15, 2015 at 3:53 am

      Thumbs up agree

    • Teaj

      Oct 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

      I wouldn’t call myself a hacker or play in couples events, nor do I consider myself to be old at 31. I have played music on the course but am courteous enough to know when to turn it down if approaching a group or within earshot of another group. I guess I am not the so called typical golfer playing music on the course then.

      • Bert

        Oct 15, 2015 at 8:16 pm

        I doubt it. Use headphones and keep the noise to yourself.

    • Keith

      Oct 20, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      I’m scratch and 37yrs old. My cart has a radio and if I play elsewhere I don’t play without my speakers. Regardless of what some people on here think, you can play music in your cart/group without disturbing others. It’s really quite simple to do.

  15. TimJHU

    Oct 14, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I agree…if you are playing music on a golf course make sure you’ve got earbuds in!

  16. Devin Bland

    Oct 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I was given this speaker as a tee prize. It’s pure garbage.

  17. mgholda

    Oct 14, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Using personal headphones is OK, but using a speaker on the golf course subjecting everyone to your taste in music and disturbing their round is NOT OK. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT or anything similar.

    • alan

      Oct 14, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      you sound fun

      • J

        Oct 14, 2015 at 8:10 pm

        Because he doesn’t want to listen to someone else’s idea of ‘good music’? You sound like an idiot.

        The very strong majority of golfers would prefer it quiet when they are hitting a shot. What’s the difference in whispering about your crappy kid and having to listen to ‘NWA’, ‘Kenny Chesney’, or ‘Jimmy Buffet’ while someone tees it up?? It’s just not the time or the place. This is sort of like making a boom box for people who frequent libraries. If you ask your playing partners if they mind before turning it on and turn it off when other groups are around, it’s no big deal. But when your idea of a ‘good time’ starts ruining other people’s, there’s a problem. I’m guessing your the type who gets pissed and rolls his eyes when someone politely asks you to turn your music off while they hit. Try to find a little self awareness and figure it out. Bro.

        • alan

          Oct 15, 2015 at 8:09 pm

          thankfully my playing partners are good golfers not jacka$$ hacks that need it dead quiet so they can hit their slice into the woods. you want peace and quiet go hike the AT or PCT or go lay in the bed with your lame wife

          • uid1

            Mar 29, 2016 at 3:02 am

            You sound like exactly the sort that wouldn’t shut the f##k up with the noise, er, music, when someone else is trying to enjoy some peace & quiet or even take a shot.

            And don’t get me started on how you probably listen to the same tired music you’ve been listening to since you were a teenager (most everyone’s favourite music is from when they were a teenager, and idiot on the course this past weekend was blaring some 30+ year old stuff – boring AND annoying).

        • Bert

          Oct 15, 2015 at 8:19 pm

          +1 It’s always amazes me how some defend their need to disturb others.

      • mgholda

        Oct 14, 2015 at 9:39 pm

        Playing winning golf is fun. Care to play straight up for the deed to your mobile home?

    • TOOL

      Oct 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      …and if your bleeding ears are nowhere nearby, who cares what and how loud I play something;)

      • mgholda

        Oct 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

        Great name! Very fitting!

      • Jack

        Oct 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm

        So you’re that guy who likes to “share” his music with strangers and when they tell you to turn it down you feel like they are intruding on YOUR space?

        • TOOL

          Oct 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm

          Your assumption that I’m trying to ‘share’ my music with you or any other stranger is intruding…

    • Kyle

      Oct 14, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Sure some people may have their music loud and not be courteous to other golfers, but my friends and I play music because it’s relaxing and enjoyable for us. Takes a bit of the seriousness out of golf and let’s us get out and relax. When we come anywhere near other groups that may be able to hear the music we turn it down. All you’re doing is being stubborn/old school/dinosaur and taking the fun out of golf for young people who in the end are important to the sustainability of the game. Give your head a shake. If it doesn’t effect you with 99% of the time it won’t, shut your trap.

      • Non

        Oct 15, 2015 at 3:59 am

        “shut your trap.”

        Right back at you, eejit

      • Joe

        Oct 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        Kyle: You think that old people don’t like music, and you have to be young? Music has its place but that usually is not on the golf course where if it disturbs the concentration of other golfers trying to concentrate and enjoy their game.

        When your music interferes with others it should be left for a different time. Common courtesy will take you much further with your game and life in general.

        Have fun golfing. It is not a life contest against the young and old.

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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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.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: The QOD Electric Caddy

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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.

When folded, the QOD measures a mere 17-inches wide, 15-inches deep and 12-inches tall.

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.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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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.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

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.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

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.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

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.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

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.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

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.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

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.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

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.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

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.

Conclusion

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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