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There are so many different gimmicks out there in the golf world that are completely unnecessary if you ask me. Two of the products that actually are important are a GPS and launch monitor. In this post, we’re going to be testing out the Garmin G80, Sc300, Flightscope Mevo, and the SkyCaddie SX500.
The two best products are the Garmin G80 and Flightscope Mevo. Both of them were extremely well built and were the most accurate units. The Mevo will work well if you just need a launch monitor. If you also want a GPS, the Garmin G80 will be your best bet.
What you’ll have to realize is that these products are not all the same. The SX500 is purely a golf GPS, the SC300/Mevo are just launch monitors, and the G80 is a launch monitor/GPS. It’ll all depend on what you need them to do. All four were pretty decent but the G80 and Mevo were our favorite. If you just want a GPS, you can see our favorites list here.
Garmin Approach G80 Features
The Garmin G80 is a handheld golf GPS that also comes with a built-in launch monitor to keep track of your club stats. It’s the only device on this list that can actually do both and it’s also the only hybrid device I’m familiar with (when writing this).
I really like the fact that you only need one unit to do two different things. Before, I’d have to make sure two devices were charged and ready to go. It’s not a huge deal but it is one less thing to worry about.
The GPS will show you the distance to the front, middle, and back of the green as well as the distance to hazards and doglegs. You can also select any point on the hole to get exact yardages. The list doesn’t stop there though.
Another feature the G80 has is the ability to adjust for elevation. Most golf watches will just give you a standard distance but the G80 will take an uphill or downhill shot and adjust it to the right yardage. It’s extremely useful if you want to improve your consistency.
The launch monitor is what you’ll bring to the range to see your swing stats and dial in your yardages. You just place it behind you, take a swing, and it’ll spit out the numbers. It’s going to record your tempo, clubhead speed, ball speed, smash factor, and distance. It also comes with some pretty cool practice games.
Who’s the G80 for?
If you’re in the market for a launch monitor to keep track of your club stats and also a GPS for the course, this could be a great option. If you just want a launch monitor it’s probably not the best option you can go with.
Read review: Garmin Approach G80
- Comes with GPS & launch monitor.
- Super accurate GPS.
- Easy to use.
- Has the most golf courses.
- The launch monitor doesn’t have all the tracking features.
- The launch monitor isn’t as advanced.
SkyCaddie SX500 Features
The SkyCaddie SX500 is a handheld GPS that doesn’t have a launch monitor but it does keep track of how far you hit each club and will recommend what to hit. Not all GPS units do this so it is really nice because knowing your club yardages is one of the best ways to become more consistent.
It’s probably the biggest GPS on the market right now and is one of the more informative GPS units. It has over 35,000 courses programmed into it and is one of the better devices for giving green data. Compared to the G80, the GPS does pretty much the same thing.
Who’s the SX500 for?
Since it doesn’t have a launch monitor and it doesn’t come with as many courses as the G80, it probably won’t be the one I’d recommend. It’s a pretty good GPS but it seemed to be a little bit more clunky compared to the G80. That being said, if I was interested in this unit then I’d probably go with the SX400.
Full Review: SkyCaddie SX400
- It gives a bunch of course data.
- It’s big and easy to see.
- The course selections are pretty good.
- It doesn’t have a launch monitor.
- The device was a little bit clunky compared to the G80.
FlightScope Mevo Features
The Mevo FlightScope is a portable launch monitor but it doesn’t come with a built-in GPS. It’s going to be useful on the range to really understand your game and dial in distances. Also, it makes practice a lot more fun since it’ll challenge you.
All you have to do is place it behind your golf ball, take a swing, and it’ll give you your data in real-time. It’s probably the most advanced monitor on this list and will give you the most data. Here is what the Mevo will track:
- Carry distance.
- Clubhead speed.
- Ball speed.
- Spin rate.
- Launch angle.
- Smash factor.
- Apex height.
- Flight time.
The key differences between the G80 and the Mevo are the spin rate, launch angle, apex height, and flight time features. These are the additional things you’ll get with the Mevo. You’ll just have to decide whether you want those features or you’d prefer to have a GPS on the course.
Who’s the Mevo for?
The Mevo will be perfect for someone who doesn’t need a GPS but wants the most information about their swing. It’s probably my favorite launch monitor, is built well, and is accurate. That’s all you can really ask for.
Check price: Flightscope Mevo On PlayBetter
- Offers a lot of tracking features.
- Super accurate.
- Has a swing recording feature.
- It doesn’t come with GPS.
- There is no practice mode.
Swing Caddie SC300 Features
The Swing Caddie SC300 is another portable launch monitor that is currently the same price as the G80 and Mevo. It does pretty much the same thing as the Mevo but there isn’t a camera to record your swing.
That being said, I did find the SC300 to be more fun when at the range because it has practice modes. Target mode lets you pick a distance and it’ll tell you how close you were. Random mode gives you distances and will tell you how close you came.
Who’s the SC300 for?
In my opinion, the SC300 isn’t quite as good as the Mevo and that’s why I wouldn’t recommend it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good little unit but the Mevo seemed to be more accurate. It’s the same price so that’s kind of a no-brainer to me.
Read review: Swing Caddie SC300
- Gives more swing stats than the G80.
- Comes with practice modes.
- Doesn’t come with a swing camera.
- It’s not quite as accurate as the Mevo.
- Doesn’t come with GPS.
Comparing The Price
Currently, the G80, Mevo, and SC300 are priced the exact same. The SX500 is around $150 cheaper. The prices are always changing so you’ll probably want to check if there are any sales.
As I said before, I probably wouldn’t get the SX500 myself because I didn’t think it was as good. Same with the SC300. It’s priced the same as the G80 and Mevo and I did like both of them more. If you find the SX500 or SC300 on sale for a good price then it might be worthwhile.
Comparing The Performance
This is the main thing that really matters. If the GPS or launch monitor data is wrong then what’s the point in having it? When I talk about performance I’m referring to how accurate they were, whether the battery was any good, and if the interface was easy to use.
For GPS, the G80 was really close to my laser rangefinder and the furthest off it was is somewhere around 7 yards. More often than not, the accuracy was within a few yards and I was completely fine with that. The SX500 was pretty good as well but it wasn’t as consistent.
The launch monitor data on the G80 wasn’t perfect but it was good enough to get reliable info. They claim it’s accurate to within 5 yards (for distance) but I noticed it was within about 5-7 yards. Sometimes it was spot on and sometimes it wasn’t, but it was always within the 7-yard mark.
The Mevo and SC300 pretty much had the same features and were priced the same. Compared to the G80, I think both of them were slightly more accurate on average, but the Mevo was the most consistent of the three. That’s why I prefer the Mevo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can you use them at home with a net?
A. You can but it’s recommended to see the ball flight.
Q. Does it track hooks and slices?
A. No, that’s why the range is recommended.
Q. How accurate are they?
A. With driver it was about 5 yards off, mid irons were about 3 yards off, wedges were about 7 yards off.
Are These Devices Worth It?
Overall, I’d say it’d be worth picking up a device like this if you plan on using them a lot and have the spare money lying around. They’re a great thing to have if you’re looking to improve your game and become more consistent.
If you want a GPS and a launch monitor, the Garmin Approach G80 could be a great option (not perfect but pretty close). It’s probably the one I’d go with if I had to make the choice because of the hybrid feature.
If you don’t really care about GPS but you want the best possible launch monitor (on this list), go with the Flightscope Mevo (on Amazon). It’s rated 4.5 stars on Amazon and a lot of people are super happy with it. If you’re just looking for a golf GPS, you can see our best golf GPS here.