You can measure your swing with a variety of devices. The difference is in the accuracy of the result—and how far under the hood you want to go. The best app lets you make reference lines and compare your motion to tour models. The body- and club-based devices go a step beyond and show basic speed and body metrics, and top-of-the-line launch monitors and motion-capture systems provide detail fit for a teaching pro. Launch monitors and motion-capture systems do their work with different inputs. Launch monitors track the ball with a camera or radar, and motion-capture systems track the body and club with video or position sensors. The best basic motion-capture system, the app-based V1 Golf, offers substantial punch for its small price tag—a simple interface to record and mark up swings, and the ability to compare and contrast your swing with an expandable library of tour-player swings. You can also use the app to share swing video or snapshots with other players or a coach who has the full V1 Golf coaching software installed at a studio.
To get real body and club metrics, you need to attach sensors to the body or club. Zepp Golf 2, Arccos and Game Golf Live are easy to use and provide fast, accurate measurements. The Zepp dongle attaches to the back of your glove, and the Arccos and Game Golf sensors screw into the butt of the club. Increasing the quality and sensitivity of the measuring device produces even more comprehensive information—at a cost. The top motion-capture system, the $25,000 GEARS, uses military-grade cameras, hardware and programming to produce a full 3-D rendering of your swing. The best launch monitors, the Foresight and TrackMan, use cameras or radar to track the ball off the face of the club and complex algorithms to extrapolate clubhead speed, ball speed, angle of attack, spin rate and a host of other metrics.
Optical: Foresight Sports GC2A with HMT, $13,190
Radar: TrackMan4, $18,995 (indoor unit), $24,995 (indoor/outdoor unit)
Professional: GEARS, $24,500 (240hz), $39,500 (360hz)
App: V1 Golf, $5
Game Golf Live, $299