A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation.
When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Golf’s deep dive into data-driven analytics has begun to hit a fever pitch with companies providing more ways for golfers to analyze their numbers. It’s almost quaint now to think that all recreational golfers used to do was go to the range, watch the flight path of the ball they hit, and then try a few different alterations either by themselves or with a teaching pro.
Today, all that data can be amassed, analyzed, and improved upon with the help of a few golf gadgets. Everything from your Smash Factor (how efficient you deliver the club to the ball) and launch angle to even your plain old yardage can be tracked better than ever before. If you’re inclined to get better at golf, this is what you need.
Bushnell is the category leader in rangefinders. Others have entered the segment and cost less but just as when buying lenses for an SLR, good glass gives you good results.
The Pro XE allows you to range flags from 500 yards away with its JOLT technology vibrating the unit when you’ve locked on the flag. In addition to this, Bushnell updated its slope algorithm technology to account for ball flight, and the delivered product is more accurate than ever. This means you can just fire at all the flags you can no matter if the hole is playing uphill or downhill, trusting the yardage estimation the Pro XE doles out to you.
And if you use a cart when you play, the package comes with a useful magnet that lets you attach it to one of the crossbars while you shoot. At $549, it’s an investment product but one that can truly help you up your golf game.
The WHOOP strap made headlines in 2020 when PGA Tour veteran, Nick Watney, woke up one morning and noticed that the strap’s corresponding smartphone app indicated his respiratory rate had increased overnight. He’d felt sluggish the day before during his first round at the RBC Heritage Tournament and although he had no symptoms, took a COVID-19 test which came up positive. Soon, the PGA Tour bought WHOOP straps for everyone.
This wearable bracelet isn’t unlike a fitness band that tracks you throughout the day. This includes skin temperature, blood oxygen levels, and sleep activity. The band then offers up useable feedback and specific things the wearer can implement to improve the readings.
Version 4.0 is smaller than previous generations and a new line of wearable garments is also available that eliminates the need to wear the bracelet at all. Memberships to WHOOP grants access to your data, helping you to know how hard to train each day, when to back off, and when you might be pushing yourself too hard. Memberships start at $30/month and can be reduced by buying longer memberships.
Perhaps no category in golf has grown quicker than the personal launch monitor, giving everyday golfers access to a slew of numbers that used to only be available to tour pros. A new entry in this crowded market is Garmin’s Approach R10.
While this monitor features a number the ability to record each shot you take on the range, it’s also a golf simulator, allowing golfers to play 42,000 courses on its Home Tee Hero feature. There are other products in this segment that allow you to do this but they are often far more expensive.
What also sets the R10 apart is the ability to virtually compete against others who also have the device (with an added membership). This is the most unique feature of the R10 and a potential game-changer for Garmin’s golf division, which has already introduced three new golf products in the last five years.
The R10 sells for $599, and is one of the best launch monitors on the market.
It’s hard for golfers to truly estimate how far they hit with their clubs, and especially so when they’re in the middle of an all-time round or coming off an adrenaline high of a big birdie putt. That’s where the Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors can help by giving you all that information to help you know with certainty how far you hit each club while also letting you replay each shot you took during a round.
By screwing the sensors into the butt end of your golf grips, the Arccos Caddie Smart Sensors can replay each round via its corresponding app to get a sense of how you. Arccos has expanded its universe to provide a Caddie Link ($129) that allows you to leave your phone in the bag (without it, you’d need to keep your phone nearby while you play for the sensor to record the data). It now also features an AI caddie to help you choose which club to use by analyzing all your shots.
It’s a remarkable tool for the serious amateur who wants to significantly improve their game, make the cut on a team, or start competing in tournaments. A set of 14 sensors costs $179.
I wouldn’t normally add two items so similar to a list like this but the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is highly touted by professional golfers, and with good reason. The easy-to-use launch monitor sets up in 30 seconds and covers all the standard metrics you need to understand your swing like shot distance, ball speed, club speed, and shot shape (among others).
But aside from its ease of use, the Rapsodo can also record videos of each of your shots and provide you with shot-tracing lines and shot measurements. The downside is that this can only be done using an iPhone or iPad as there’s no compatibility with Android products quite yet.
One of the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor‘s best features is its CoachConnect compatible app which allows everyday golfers access to some of the country’s best teaching pros. Users can go into the app’s coach feature and select from a number of Golf Digest-approved coaches to research them, check out free swing tips, and read about each coach’s philosophy before deciding whether to purchase lessons from them or not.
The coach I used charges $60 a lesson, which includes a swing analysis and a video message of what to work on. I purchased a bundle of three lessons from her for $150, which was a bargain to work with one of the best coaches in the country for three individual lessons. The device’s measurement seem right on level with my other personal launch monitor that I own.
The only drawback to the Rapsodo playback feature would be that the device has to sit on the ground in order to measure your swing and that means the camera angle isn’t really the best to analyze your swing. But that’s a small complaint given its other features. The Rapsodo costs $500.
Most golf instructors will say that “feel isn’t real,” but the deWiz swing analyzer goes against that line of thinking a bit by seeking to help you groove the correct swing. What the deWiz device does is accurately measure golf swing data like transition plane, the length of your backswing, your hand speed, and your swing’s tempo ratio.
By providing real-time feedback through vibrations or chimes, the wearable device (which looks similar to an Apple Watch) helps ingrain the proper path into your swing, creating muscle memory so that you can accomplish a consistent, repeatable swing. The product is endorsed by a number of professionals, including Annika Sorenstam, Henrik Stenson, and Bryson DeChambeau.
The deWiz tracker costs $699 and is great for the serious golfer looking to dramatically improve their swing.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected].