REVIEW: Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
Personal ball launch monitors are quickly becoming the most important training aid in your bag, and companies are utilizing the power of our smartphones to make these devices more accessible.
Featuring a hearty helping of features and an incredibly easy-to-use interface, the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM) might be the best we’ve tested in this category.
Features and Technology
Regardless of your brand preference, most personal ball launch monitors will offer the staple features:
The Rapsodo MLM offers all of these and more, including Smash Factor, launch angle, shot direction, video playback of your swing, shot tracer, satellite range mapping, bag mapping, and more. Perhaps the most impressive — and sometimes frustrating — feature is the Smart Club Recognition, which allows the device to automatically recognize your club from shot to shot.
The Rapsodo unit itself is quite simple and minimalist. It is essentially the “base” of what becomes the entire launch monitor, on which you place your smartphone, which serves as the main camera that tracks each shot. The final piece to the puzzle is a downloadable app that is used to pair your phone to the base, as well as serve as the main digital interface.
Setup of the device is a breeze. Once you’ve paired everything together — which takes about five minutes one time — you simply open the app on your phone, calibrate your location on the driving range using the satellite range mapping feature, position the device roughly 8 feet behind your target line, and swing away.
Performance and Accuracy
My first couple of sessions with the Rapsodo MLM were positive, but I noticed a small issue with the outputs I was seeing during one of my tests. It is recommended to use the device outside, but my smartphone camera tended to pick up the divots I was making instead of the ball. This lead to inaccurate readings on the monitor.
What was most impressive to me in this whole ordeal, and truly a testament to the attention to detail and customer-first mentality of Rapsodo, was the fact I was put in touch with the GM of North America for the brand immediately upon request. We had a quick phone call to discuss the issue I was experiencing, and a couple weeks later the app was updated and the issue was resolved. That is incredible customer service, and Rapsodo should be commended.
This lead to a much improved third session with the device, which showed me everything it could do. Shots were dead-on accurate to what I would expect in a launch monitor, the video playback worked flawlessly, and my practice sessions are valuable to me more now than ever before.
My favorite feature of the Rapsodo MLM is the ability to export my video sessions for later viewing, allowing me to not only see how my shot performed in terms of metrics, but also critique my golf swing to understand why the ball behaved a certain way.
I’ve tried my fair share of launch monitors, and while it might not be the top-of-the-line in terms of metric output, the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is easily the best personal monitor I’ve ever used.
It could not be more simple to set up, it takes up minimal space in your golf bag, the battery life is very strong, and it offers more features that you would expect from a personal device. While the Smart Club Recognition still has some kinks to work out, I have no doubt future upgrades of this feature will remedy the issue.
To learn more about this fantastic personal launch monitor, visit the Rapsodo Golf website here.