Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor (MLM) 2020 Review

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The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor connects to your iPhone or iPad to give you immediate swing feedback after each shot. Launch monitors are becoming more and more important because they give you very accurate details that you cannot see or comprehend just by looking at the results of your shot. 

Clubhead speed, launch angle, distance, ball speed, spin rate, etc. can all be measured so that you know where your game can improve. Rapsodo has proven to be one of the most accurate and thorough products in the personal MLM market over the years, and for a very modest and inexpensive price of around $500.

The “mobile launch monitor (MLM)” market has exploded over the past couple of years, and Rapsodo has started to rise above the pack just a little. 

Back in February, we posted an article that put the FlightScope Mevo ahead of the Rapsodo MLM, but Rapsodo has done something very important since that article. They have included indoor net capability so that it works no matter where you are. 

The MLM market is important because it allows you to work on a specific aspect of your swing and get immediate and correctable results. 

Rapsodo works by both measuring your shot and producing a video of your swing. This helps because you can see how small and minor swing changes affect the hard data that is produced by Rapsodo. 

It also helps you to discard results (there are so many things that can alter the results of a swing on a case-by-case basis) for the truth of how your swing will perform on a regular and consistent basis.

Things To Consider Before Purchasing a Launch Monitor

If you ever watch PGA pros practicing on the range, you will probably see a piece of electronic equipment measuring their shot results. Equipment like the Trackman launch monitor, the Foresight GC2, or even the Skytrak model will cost you at least $2,000 and in the case of Trackman equipment upwards of $20,000. On top of the cost is the hassle of carrying around one extra piece of electronic equipment that is both bulky and expensive. 

Enter the Rapsodo mobile MLM. A mobile launch monitor that connects through Bluetooth directly to your iPhone, the same phone that you were going to be carrying on the course anyway. The results produced through your phone to Rapsodo are then found immediately on the Rapsodo app. 

At right around $500, you get the portability and ease of carry that you need at a price that you can afford. On top of that, it is accurate to less than 2% of most of the high end options out there, and is accurate to about 2.5% of the Trackman products. 

All of that means that the Rapsodo is a portable, inexpensive, and accurate launch monitor that could truly revolutionize your golf game.

For launch monitors in general, you need to have at least some experience in golf and a fairly consistent swing. If you are just starting to play the game, your swing is going to be so inconsistent and you will probably hit the ball well infrequently enough that a Launch Monitor will be the least of your worries. 

Use the money on lessons or some type of swing analyzer. However, if you have a pretty consistent swing and make good contact with the ball more times than not, then this launch monitor is a great addition to your bag. 

You can use it at home hitting into the net, on the driving range, or even on the course and you get immediate feedback on each swing. This can help you make minor adjustments that could take major strokes from your final score all at a pretty decent price.

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor Review

 

Features and Benefits

Hardware Features

picture of rapsodo mobile launch monitor (MLM) on table

The hardware is exactly everything that you see in the picture. It is small, easy to carry, and extremely sturdy. Everyone I have ever played golf with, no matter how old or how  young, have had their phone with them on the course. In addition, if you are using the product at home or at the driving range, you just set it on the ground, connect the phone to it, and you have a launch monitor ready to go in no time. 

App/Software Features

 

Setup 

One of the best things about the Rapsodo is how easy it is to setup. Simply download the app onto your phone, take the Rapsodo out of its case, connect your phone via bluetooth, and you are ready to go. You do not need to be an expert at either golf or technology, simply have the ability to follow a few simple instructions and you are ready to start using your MLM.

Data Measured
  • Clubhead Speed. While swing speed does not always correlate with distance, it is certainly a strong indicator. If you can get your swing speed up, you can usually increase your distance as well. With the Rapsodo, you can make some small tweaks to your stance and swing to see if it increases your clubhead speed.
  • Ball Speed. Ball speed is actually a much better measure of how your swing is transferring energy to your ball and therefore a much better indicator of distance. Knowing your ball speed could be helpful in comparing clubs and how different clubs transfer energy to the ball better with your swing. 
  • Distance. Everyone wants to add a little distance to their game. Making small adjustments and watching them work (or not) is a perfect use of the Rapsodo.
  • Smash Factor. The smash factor is a measure of the amount of energy transferred from club to ball that we were talking about earlier. It will tell you how efficiently you are producing distance with the clubs you are using. 
  • Launch Angle. The vertical angle that your ball starts on. This is important because you want a high launch angle to get good ball flight but if it is too high you will lose distance. You can play around with your lofts, your setup, and your stance to see what type of launch angles you can produce.
  • Launch Direction. This tells you if your ball began left, right, or at your intended target. It should be different depending on whether you are trying to hit the ball straight, draw it, or fade it, so it is important to know where the ball started to begin with.
Other Features
  • Shot Mapping. You can use your phone’s GPS to see where every shot landed on either the course or the range. You get real time information, but you can also save it to look at and study later. This is a huge advantage because you can see how consistent you are with each club bot in accuracy and distance and see what clubs you need to work on the most. You can also see where you lost strokes or from which distances you could add or subtract a club.
  • Club Gapping. This feature is useful during play because you can visualize the ball path and distance to know what club to use for a shot. Club selection can be difficult and can take away your confidence, but knowing which club fits the situation helps a lot.
  • Video Playback. If you have ever taken a public speaking course, then you know the best way to improve is to watch and listen to yourself. It is painful and gives you a dose of humility, but it is definitely helpful. Video playback does the same for your golf swing. It is one thing to hear someone say what you are doing wrong but quite another to see for yourself.
  • Shot Library. All of your shots are stored (the first 100 are free but you can add additional room) to go back and review later. This will allow you to see your growth where you are improving or where you are maintaining or getting worse.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use. This feature has increased the value of the Rapsodo by a lot. If you are in a cold or rainy environment but want to practice your swing and get real time results, the Rapsodo can be setup for use with a net, and inside. If you have kids, a busy job, or anything else that keeps you away from the course, this feature is invaluable.
  • Shot Tracer. If you have ever seen that red line that traces each shot while watching golf on television, then you know what shot tracing is. This will allow you to see your ball flight and if you are drawing, hooking, slicing, fading, or hitting the ball straight. You can also make subtle changes in your swing or stance to see if that ball flight will change.
  • Smart Club Recognition. Simply hold whatever club you are using up (driver to lob wedge) to the camera and the Rapsodo will recognize it for more accurate data. This feature will allow you to stay in the groove you are in with your swing even when you need to change clubs on the range, and it is great on the course so that you do not have to keep inputting new clubs into the app.
  • Games. You get better by playing. You can improve your swing and short game by working hard, but there are nuances to the game that you cannot replicate on the range or the practice green. With the Rapsodo you can challenge people to “virtual” games anywhere and at any time and get some of those real life situations in virtual golf.

Our Experience With The Rapsodo MLM

The device is really accurate, especially when you compare it with other higher priced models. There were a few times, however, when out on the course the smart club recognition did not work. It kept reading a wedge as a 6-iron, but it was easy enough to manually enter in the club. 

Hitting into a net is a little bit difficult to truly gauge how you are doing. It is one thing if you really know your swing well and what you did right or wrong, but it can be hard to believe that the data on the screen is always right. While this new feature is helpful if you cannot get to the course or range and need to practice, it can be difficult to get used to unless you really know your swing.

The best thing about it is that you can go back after a round or after a hitting session at the range or in the backyard and get some real, hard data about your swing. You can pull up the data on each shot, like distance or club head speed, and then watch your actual swing for that shot. You will see what you did right and what you did wrong and it will help you visualize how to correct those mistakes.

Other Online Reviews

We have scoured the web looking for other testimonials and reviews of Rapsodo users to find out what they think about this MLM. Here is what they said:

Alternate Option

 

FlightScope Mevo

In our initial review in February of 2020, we rated the FlightScope Mevo as the best affordable launch monitor on the market. It was and is the same price as the Rapsodo, and at the time produced very similar data with pretty accurate results. 

In addition, the FlightScope name was pretty well-known in the industry, and the Mevo seemed like the better choice. 

In September, Rapsodo added a very specific feature that would now place it ahead of the FlightScope Mevo. 

It now works when hitting into a net. 

The Rapsodo is a little more accurate and it is easier to use to begin with, but that added feature has made it as flexible and useful as any launch monitor under $2,000 at a great price. 

We’d most likely only recommend the FlightScope Mevo over the Rapsodo if you didn’t have an iOS device.

Final Advice

It can be really hard to tell how your game is progressing based on playing a few rounds per month or spending a few days per week on the range. Most of the data you receive is quite subjective and it is hard to know how to change your swing to improve your game. 

That is where a product like the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor comes in. It gives you, in real time, objective measurements and data that you can change on the spot to see how those changes affect results. 

Professionals have been using launch monitors for a while because they can give you objective data that can really help your swing and your scores.

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