If you’ve ever used and loved a launch monitor before, it likely wasn’t one you could afford to own. I’m not talking about the cheap ones, or tracker app on your phone. I’m talking about the real deal.
Either it was property of the club you belong to, an accessory at an indoor golf simulator-studio or something you played with at a golf show. You tried it, you liked it, but you couldn’t imagine putting down at least $20,000 on one. That’s the reality for most of us. But maybe it doesn’t have to be anymore. I’m not saying you’re going to stumble onto an extra $20,000 anytime soon. But you might be able to get by with just an extra $500.
The pocket-sized FlightScope Mevo retails for $499, and when FlightScope began promoting it, I was pretty skeptical. How could something so small be so good? (No offense, Kevin Hart.) They weren’t promising the world with it, but they were promising an awful lot: accurate measurements on carry distance, ball and club head speed, vertical launch angle, spin rate, smash factor, apex height and flight time. All of that for just $500? Reeks of "too good to be true," doesn’t it?
I had to give it a shot. When the Mevo arrived in the mail I almost missed it; it was wedged between two postcards. Taking it out of the box, I almost didn’t see it. It was wedged between a charging cord and a tiny carrying pouch. I read the instructions and installed the mobile app (records all your data and provides a pretty comprehensive analysis).
The Mevo is only the eighth launch monitor I’ve ever tested (ranging in price from $500 to $25,000). After my testing, I have it as my fourth favorite, but the three I put ahead of it were all full-priced, premium monitors, like Trackman. Yes, the Mevo really is good. Yes, the Mevo really is impressive.
Mevo stands for:
- Measure your numbers (real-time performance data)
- Evaluate your game (save, upload and share practice sessions)
- Visualize your improvement (action video clips captured by phone with data overlay)
- Optimize your performance (automatic video clipping and storage)
It delivers on all of those things.
Outdoor tests were more effective and informative for me. I didn’t have the recommended amount of space at home to test it indoors (15 feet), so was only able to test it once at a simulator studio, but I had thousands of feet of space to test it outdoors and did so several times in several different places, in several different weather scenarios (even in the rain). Each time I walked away impressed with the consistency of the readings, especially outdoors, and disappointed in the inconsistencies in my swing—man, I’m not very good.
I often like playing golf on simulators because they seem to think I’m a better player than I really am. It’s a morale and confidence booster. I hit the ball better, carry the ball farther and tend to not miss the broadside of a barn in those sessions. Similarly, I get the impression the Mevo thinks I’m better than I really am. I was consistently getting “carry distance” readings longer than I think I hit those clubs, but I’m okay with that because the “exaggeration” was consistent. Of 25 7-irons I recorded, 24 carried between 167.63 and 177.21 on the Mevo. In reality I average 157-162 with a solid 7-iron.
In fact, out of all of the measurement categories the unit claims to measure I found all of them to be consistent one way or the other. (Either close less, or close more.) I found that to be most helpful and most valuable, considering the time and money investment in buying and setting up the product was so inexpensive and uncomplicated.
Is the Mevo for you? For those of you considering investing in the Mevo, here are some valuable notes:
- It is not as accurate as a full-featured launch monitor. If you need that level of accuracy, you also need five-figure sums.
- App configuration is critical. In the app, you select what type of shot you’re hitting (pitching, indoor, outdoor). You tell it how far it is from the tee, the height of the area you’re hitting in and whether you want it to record video or data. This does require a bit of setup (trial and error) to get going, but when you figure it out once, it is SO easy every time after that.
In my opinion, the everyday casual golfer (like me) can really benefit from consistent use on a launch monitor like the Mevo. With some more advanced models, I often get information I’ll never be able to use (or understand). The Mevo gives me readings I understand, that fall within a realistic spectrum of expectations. I came into this testing with modest expectations, but will say that the Mevo exceeded my experiences on similar priced ($500-$2,500) launch monitors.