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Review: Golfshot Golf GPS App

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Touring pros have caddies, detailed yardage books and a wealth of course knowledge to give them the confidence to hit their best shots. For many of us mere mortals, we simply have yardage stamped on sprinkler heads to help us figure out how far to hit each shot. It’s hard to pick the right club and play our best golf without having accurate information, and the Golfshot GPS smartphone app provides comprehensive yardage for every shot on more than 40,000 courses worldwide.

Golfshot GPS for iOS and Android devices provides pinpoint distances to up to 30 targets on each hole, shot tracking, scorecards for your entire foursome, robust statistics and even an augmented reality view. It’s simple to start your round, beautifully designed and easy to use and the database of courses is continually updated. Since its an application for your smartphone or tablet, you don’t have to lug around another device on the course. And for a one-time fee of $30 with no annual fees and automatic updates, Golfshot GPS is packed with more features and a lower price than most standalone GPS units.

You can download the app on iTunes and Google Play. If you just want basic scorecard data and not the GPS distances, there is a Lite version for free which you can download on iTunes and Google Play.

Pros:

  • Massive database of 40,000 courses.
  • Accurate distances for up to 30 targets per hole.
  • Simple, intuitive interface.
  • Robust scorecards and detailed statistics.
  • Universal app for iPhone and iPad.
  • Seamlessly integrates stats with the GolfPlan App.

Cons

  • The price — until you realize it is only one-time with no annual fee.
  • The GPS will drain your battery quickly if you’re not careful.
  • Shot tracking could be a bit easier and include position not just distance.
  • Golfscape view needs some more polish before I’ll use it regularly.

Starting a Round

Starting a round is as easy as tapping “Play Golf.” After you set some basic profile information about yourself and sync the courses in your state, Golfshot will find the course closest to you from a database of 40,000 courses worldwide. Once you’ve selected the course and the tee you’re playing, you can add additional golfers to your round. You can add golfers from a list of your Facebook friends, your contacts or you can manually add a new golfer. That’s it — you can start your round.

If you’re not in a rush, Golfshot has a fairly extensive settings menu that allows you customize the app to your needs. GPS settings allow you to maximize battery life and score settings allow you to set specific layup distances, your club set and specify which stats to track for you and your other golfers.

Up to 30 GPS Targets on Every Hole
Golfshot GPS Screen

This is where Golfshot really shines. Every hole can have up to 30 targets including front-edge, back-edge and center of the green, bunkers, water, hazards, doglegs and even layup distances. While I haven’t done a scientific study, I have noticed that the numbers generated by Golfshot are generally within two yards of standalone GPS units, sprinkler head yardages and even laser rangefinders under normal conditions. I haven’t hit a shot yet where the Golfshot numbers were so off that I should’ve selected a different club.

The design of the GPS screen makes viewing the distances quick and easy. But there are times when you need to know the distance to a part of the hole that isn’t tracked, such as a layup point. You can easily toggle between a GPS view and an aerial view. The aerial view pulls in satellite imagery of every hole and allows you to zoom in for greater clarity. TouchPoint positioning allows you to tap anywhere to get an exact distance to that point and from that point to the green. In addition to the regular GPS Screen, this is one of the features I use the most because it allows me to see the hole before I even tee my ball up. I don’t have to guess how much room I have before the fairway runs out or how far I need to hit my drive to cut the corner.

Golfshot is a universal app, so when you download it for your iPhone, you also get the app on you iPad. Before a round, my buddies and I also use the aerial view on the iPad app to run through the course and plan our round, the clubs we might hit off the tee and get a feel for the course. In the most recent update, you can add notes to each hole just like the pros.

Scorecards & Stats
Golfshot Scorecard

“Four, two, driver, right.” That’s how easy it is to enter scores on each hole for yourself and your playing partners. You select the score on the hole, the number of putts, the club you hit off the tee, mark if you hit or missed the fairway and even select sand shots or penalties. While it takes less than 10 seconds to mark a score, you aren’t required to track all those stats. If you simply want to keep your score and nothing else, you can. Although, tracking these stats allows Golfshot to provide a ton of valuable data to help you better understand your game.

From within the application or on Golfshot.com, you’ll have access to statistics such as greens in regulation, putting, scrambling and driving accuracy — including how often you miss left and right. You’re able to filter these stats by round, by date range and even by course. Most people will buy Golfshot for the GPS course data, but the robust statistics really make this app complete. If you’re a golfer trying to improve, the statistics in Golfshot will be eye-opening. For example, I’ve been working on trying to limit how often I miss right off the tee. From the statistics screen, I can see I’ve missed 31 percent of my drives to the right during the last 50 rounds. But during the last five rounds, I only missed right 24 percent of the time. You can get even get a chart that plots your change over time.

Shot Tracking
Golfshot GPS Screen

It’s all well and good that Golfshot provides you exact distances to virtually any point on the golf course, but if you don’t know how far you hit your clubs, it probably won’t matter. The shot tracking feature within the app can help. While I think it’s a bit clunky and inaccurate at times, with a couple clicks you can track any shot and have access to average distances right within the app. Instead of guessing that your 5i goes 195 yards or that your average drive is 250 yards, you have actual, on-course data that tells you how far you hit each club. This is another way Golfshot can bring you closer to the pros. They know exactly how far they hit each club and that helps them make smarter decisions on the course.

Profile and Golfshot Community

As with almost any app these days, you will have a Golfshot profile and access to the Golfshot Community where you can connect with friends. Your profile contains basic information about your location, home course and a photo. But it also contains a snapshot of your best statistics, all the rounds you’ve stored in Golfshot, swings you’ve recorded and you can select the equipment you play. Golfshot also generates a handicap automatically, but I’ve found inconsistencies in the data and use the USGA handicap generated from MyScorecard.com — I’ll review that site in a future article. When you connect with friends, you’ll be able to see their profile, all the rounds they played with Golfshot and even high-level statistics.

Bonus: Augmented Reality View
Golfshot AR Screen

The augmented reality view in Golfscape is available as an in-app purchase for $9.99 and you can access it directly within the standard Golfshot GPS screen. When you open the Golfscape view, it turns on your phone’s camera and takes all the GPS target data for the current hole and drops it on top of the camera view. As you look down the fairway, you can see it’s 180 yards to carry the right bunker or it’s 225 yards to reach the water. This is the exact same information available on the standard tracking screen, but the benefit of the Golfscape view is that you can see the numbers plotted right on hole as if that bunker had a big sign sticking out of it with the exact distance printed in bold colors.

As much as I love technology, and even augmented reality specifically, I haven’t used this on the course very often for anything other than showing off how cool it is.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a GPS unit and you have an Android or iOS smartphone, you should definitely consider Golfshot. Yes, there are free GPS apps, but with the one-time price and no annual fee, you get access to a polished, accurate, easy-to-use app with a robust feature set and a continually updated course database. It’s hard to beat Golfshot.

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When he is not obsessing about his golf game, Kane heads up an innovation lab responsible for driving innovative digital product development for Fortune 500 companies. He is also the co-founder of RoundShout and creator of Ranger GPS, the free iOS GPS app for the driving range. On a quest to become a scratch golfer, Kane writes about his progress (for better or worse) at kanecochran.com and contributes golf technology-focused articles on GolfWRX.com.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Bob

    Aug 18, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    I purchased Golfshot years ago. As of last year, I no longer have the GPS view. In this view, you can move a cursor around a pic of the hole on your screen. It is excellent for estimating a distance for a layup. I don’t know why this was dropped. I purchased this app specifically for this feature. Make sure the app you buy has this GPS feature. I have emailed them this year and last, but they have not responded to me. Make sure the app you buy has customer support. I see from some of these comments that they may no longer offer this for the standard fee. you have to pay an annual fee for the more expensive app. It doesn’t seem fair to remove capability that you already paid for.

  2. Pingback: Golfscape App | Garmin Approach

  3. Barry Bevis

    Apr 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Just downloaded Golfshot GPS and its terrific – just 1 problem in the Aerial mode how do you get rid of the Touchline distance indicator?. It comes on when you touch the screen and I don’t know how to turn it off.

  4. Ray Fairclough

    Sep 28, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Hi guy’s, after reading all these good reviews I am upgrading my mobile, sorry Cell Phone to a smart phone just to purchase GolfShot app. A few questions, if I may? How much data does the app use and does anyone’s phone become hot with 4 – 5 hrs of use.

    • Max

      Dec 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Hi it uses about 30-40% for a round for me. If I start out at 100% charge then there is no worry at all you can still get through the rest of the day. It uses GPS on the course only so no data is consumed, unless you sync the course library but you should do that at home on the wifi.

  5. Chris

    Jun 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Shotzoom, the company that makes GolfShot, just released TourCaddie, which is basically the same product, but now costs $30.00 a year.

    My guess is GolfShot will not be updated and will soon not even be supported in future iOS releases.

    Sure hope I’m wrong, but it doesn’t look good.

  6. Diana

    Apr 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    My golf GPS is working great. Got a great deal from Amazon and I’m so excited that I want to share the discounts that I received with everyone: http://amzn.to/Y4TQRi – Believe me, you will not be disappointed.

  7. RD

    Apr 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I have had this app for a few years now and I am a big fan. They have always seemed to improve the app every year; now adding the augmented reality feature which is super cool. The yardage is typically within 2-3 yards when compared to a laser range finder. You can chalk that up to pin placement changes though. I think the only thing they are missing, that the range finders have these days, is the ability to measure the yardage with slope factored in. You can’t beat the stats and the ability to track, share, and review all your scores historically. And the best part for me, is the ability to track the scores of your 2 some or 4 some in real time. No more counting from the score card on the turn or at end of the round. There is nothing more delightful then ending a round and telling your buddy he only hit 20% of the fairways and 5% of the greens in regulation as you drive the carts back..LOL

  8. Trent

    Mar 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Love this app! Been using it for almost two years and have several dozen rounds on it. The stats it keeps are great for keeping an eye on my progress/lack of progress and where I can zero in on my weak areas. Yardages have been really consistent even against other range finding tools. Shot tracking is a great feature and once you’ve figured out how to keep the GPS from gobbling up the battery, you could go two rounds on on full iPhone charge. Well worth the one time price!

  9. Jake

    Feb 22, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I have been using this app for the past couple of years (ever since the MXPro did the recall cause it was…. Crap). Anyway I can not say enough great things about Golfshot, I absolutely love it. For me the yard ages have always been on (within 2-3 yards of rangefinders or incart GPS) I love all the stuff u can track and that it all dumps into the golfshot website to give u graphs of all your stats. I have not played any course where the golfshot did not have the score card for the course. If you have a smartphone buy it you can not go wrong!

  10. Scotty

    Feb 18, 2013 at 1:15 am

    I used golfshot primarily to track my handicap. I loved this app when I had it for the iPhone, but when I bought an android 2 years ago I found the handicap function didn’t work. Although requesting it be fixed it still doesn’t work 2 years later.

  11. Tom D

    Feb 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Another nice property of Golfshot:GPS is the size of the text fonts used. Us “mature golfers” can read the yardages without the need to put on reading glasses. Many of the other GPS yardage devices seem to be built for younger eyes. I still use Golfshot:GPS and have for over two years.

  12. Ed L

    Feb 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I’ve been using Golfshot on my iPhone for 2 or 3 years now. A great application, especially considering a dedicated golf GPS device costs 10 times more. Unfortunately, the USGA/R&A has made the use of this application (on a smartphone) illegal in tournament play (when Distance Measuring Devices are allowed). Their position is that the presence of apps on a smartphone (some that can’t be uninstalled like the Compass or Weather spps on an iPhone) that could be used to gain an unfair advantage is reason enough for prohibition regardless of the apps actually being used during play.

    Now, the USGA/R&A has made decisions regarding the use of all sorts of devices like cell phones, PDAs, computers, compasses, radios, etc… and the common theme is that the devices can be used on the course as long as the intent of use does not gain the player an unfair advantage. Using the compass as an example, if a player has a compass in his/her golf bag, that is not a breach of the rules. If the player uses the compass during play, then it’s a breach of the rules.

    Why this notion of “intent” is not applied to smarphones is a mystery and is contradictory to many of the rules in the Rules of Golf. Whether intentional or not, the USGA/R&A have sided with companies that manufacture Golf GPS devices. I’d have to spend $300+ for a device that has similar functionality to Golfshot on my iPhone.

  13. Chris

    Feb 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

    This program is consistently off by 8 to 10 yards. I just finished playing Pebble Beach and Coyote Springs (near Las Vegas) and even after adjusting pin positions it read short of actual distance (as determined by a top of the line range finder). I love the app, layout, course info etc but the yardages are so off it makes it unusable for its primary mission.

  14. Keith

    Feb 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I’ve been using Golfshot for about two years, although I rarely if never use the GPS features. After every round I entered my score and stats in and use it in that manner. I’ve got over 100 rounds in it and it’s a great tool to see where you need to improve. Golfshot also ties in with the Tiger Woods Swing app where you can videotape your swing and put lines on it/compare it to other swings.

  15. Desert Dweller

    Feb 12, 2013 at 4:10 am

    A friend recommended this app to me a few weeks ago and I can’t rate it enough – fantastic app. Great usability and interface, easy to get your head around, and the online golfshot community to connect with friends, see their scores etc is a great idea. Brilliant.

    I am a relatively new golfer and because I want to see improvement it certainly highlights the areas in detail where I am not performing as good and where I can improve to (hopefully) see my scores reduce.

  16. pg

    Feb 12, 2013 at 1:17 am

    I’ve been using golfshot for several years and absolutely love it. The yardages aren’t always 100% spot on, but I’ve stood next to friends many times shooting the same targets with various range finders and Golfshot has always been within a few yards of accuracy. For $30 it’s a steal.

  17. CJ

    Feb 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I like this app. BTW, it is also available for Windows Phone and I find it very gentle on the battery in this version.

    • Kane Cochran

      Feb 12, 2013 at 8:45 am

      Thanks for mentioning Windows Phone, can’t leave them out! Slightly different interface to fit within the Windows Phone style, but all the same great features. It’s even a bit cheaper at $19.99.

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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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