The 8 Best Golf Analyzers to Buy in 2018

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For a game that’s relatively straightforward — you hit a ball with a club into a hole, then repeat 17 more times — the sport of golf is shockingly nuanced. There are the myriad challenges of each course, the distance shots and the putting, the hazards and the rough, the choice of the right clubs and deciding on the right trajectory of each shot, and that’s not even taking into account the nearly endless nuances of swing mechanics. Thankfully, modern technology affords today’s golfers with digital analytical tools that collect legions of real-time data and transforms it into an approachable sequence of solutions focused on improving your game.

In evaluating the best golf analyzers we covered all types, including those that use sensors on your clubs and communicate with an in-phone app to offer guidance when you’re on the links to at-home game-playing/coaching hybrids that tap into a wealth of pro-level advice. The best ones utilize Bluetooth, GPS technology, and crowd-sourced comparisons specific to the courses you’re on, along with well-organized lessons and tips, and insight into what you’re doing right as much as what you’re doing wrong. Here, a handful of the ones we love.

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best Overall: Arccos Golf 360 Golf Performance Tracking System

Accros 360

Courtesy of Amazon 

Think of the Arccos Golf 360 as the smartphone of analytical systems. This kit marries all the modern tech trends — Bluetooth connectivity, smart apps for iOS and Android, GPS 2.0 tracking, live shot tracking, a virtual caddie, and an online community that includes data on 100 million shots taken across more than 40,000 courses — all to deliver a singular performance tracking system. Better still, it’s relatively seamless.

Simply attach the low-profile sensor to the end of each club (the kit includes 14, enough for every club in your bag), trigger the app, drop the phone in your pocket, and you’re set — no tagging, tapping, or sensor-swapping required. The system uses machine learning to understand every aspect of your game in every situation, and then provide insights into your own strengths and weaknesses. It automatically records and analyzes every shot you take and then layers in live shot tracking and GPS data, breaking down your handicap into approachable groupings — driving, approach, chipping, sand, and putting — to help narrow your focus. Developed in consort with Microsoft, the Arccos Caddie will also help you navigate each hole on courses throughout the world, offering suggestions based on the device’s understanding of how you play the game.

02 of 08

Best Budget: Game Golf Live

This device probably won’t win any design awards — the very noticeable, bright device clips onto your belt and communicates with the sensor tags attached to the top of the grip on each club, funneling data via an iOS or Android app. But for less than $100, the Game Golf Live is a great, low-cost way to track your game in real time.

After downloading the app, you sync your device to the sensor and then tag each club (by both club type and manufacturer), and then hit “Play Golf.” It’ll automatically bring up the closest golf courses and offer aerial views of each hole to help orient your attack. In the field, the device uses real-time shot tracking to follow and review every shot, so you can plot your way through the course and know the precise distance to any location based on a GPS-enabled rangefinder. You also get instant feedback from each shot on your phone to pinpoint your weaknesses and strengths. It also tracks how far you hit each ball with each club, and utilizes game metrics to pinpoint ways to improve based off four key areas: putting, off the tee, approach, and the short game. The Game Golf Live also layers in social media and gamification by letting you compete and compare your stats to friends or PGA Tour Pros, and compete in virtual challenges.

03 of 08

Best for Your Swing: Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer

For laser focus on arguably the most vital part of any golfer’s game, the Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer does precisely what its name suggests. Attach the sensor to your golf glove, pair it via Bluetooth through the Zepp app, and start swinging. The device measures club speed, hand speed, club plane, tempo, backswing length, and loads of other swing data to let you review your swing in 3D from any angle via the app, which also works on the Apple Watch. It crunches all that data to articulate a training program specific to your motions, with test protocols to help you see how much you’ve improved, and how you should shift future training exercises to continue improving — all of it displayed in video format for quick review on a phone or at home.

Adopted by legions of golf pros, Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer utilizes a Smart Coach program informed by PGA/LPGA players and Tour instructors to lay out clear-to-comprehend instructions and lets you share your progress when you’re ready for some social media bragging. For coaches, it also lets you manage multiple players so you can customize instructions for each client. The device also allows you to adjust your goals on five swing metrics to help hone in on the area(s) you most want to target.

04 of 08

Best for At-Home Simulation: Rapsodo R-Motion and the Gold Club Simulator and Swing Analyzer

Enter the virtual world of golf perfection with the Rapsodo R-Motion, which lets you use your own clubs at home (provided you have a mat and net), where you can play 15 of the world’s top courses, competing against yourself or a handful of like-minded golfers. The PC-enable device doesn’t require additional technology like a launch monitor or projector. Just attach one of the four sensors onto your club, and start playing.

The PC opens up access to courses as well as an avatar version of yourself, including driving ranges and wider gameplay, along with app-specific tracking like ball and club stats for each swing, average hit per club, ball flight, and swing path visualizations. It works in any living room and will let you improve your game during the unforgiving months of winter. Some users wish the kit came with more club mounts and positioning them on the club can be a bit of trial and error, but a solid user interface will definitely help you lower your handicap.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Best for Phone-Free Insights: Voice Caddie

This stand-alone device operates without the aid of your smart device. Simply position the Voice Caddie 4.5 feet behind your target ball, make sure it’s level to your ball, trigger the device into action via the included remote control, and start swinging (if you’re firing into a practice net, just position it 6.5 feet away). The device measures the carrying distance of each shot, as well as the swing and ball speed, and smash factor, recording average stats for each club with overall stats from the last 100 shots.

Choose between three modes: Practice records everything, Target Mode allows you program your desired distance and club choice and then rates you on a one to ten scale, while Random Mode sets random target distances to your accuracy, (as rated on a sliding scale of up to 10 points). While it can be used in open play, for the best results, consider this more a tool for practice, best used at either at the driving range or when hitting balls into a net. Also, keep in mind that the device has a harder time reading colored balls, so you're better off with traditional ones.

06 of 08

Best for Data Fiends: PIQ Mobitee Wearable Golf Sport Tracker

Some analyzers specialize in tracking and instructing on one aspect of your game, but the PIQ Mobitee Wearable Golf Sport Tracker does it all, offering analysis of your golf swing, and uses GPS to range-find and track your shots. Two sensors attach to the handle of your clubs to track your tempo, swing path, and club head speed for each shot, so you can compare your swing metrics across different courses and at the driving range, while the shot tracking tech helps you pick the right club for each shot based on your average shot distance per club. Then tap the GPS into action on the glove sensor, which communicates with the Mobitee smartphone app, to satellite-track where you are and how much distance you have yet to cover to reach the hole on more than 40,000 worldwide courses.

The app-driven PIQ ROBOT provides real-time info to help guide you make the best possible next shots, with a Winning Factors filter to help you focus on where you most need to improve. But you’re not forced to constantly glance at your phone for the most essential data. Simply look at the glove monitor and it’ll read the distance to the green. As you continue to use the device, it crunches data to help you make smart shot decisions focused on improving your handicap. After a round, you can compare your stats to previous games, or to others on the same course. The device is also queued to work in other sports like tennis and skiing.

07 of 08

Best for Easy Analysis on Multiple Clubs: Garmin TruSwing Golf Club Sensor

Unlike other analytic devices on this list which require you to commit the sensors to a multitude of clubs (and that often require you to buy more sensors to fit all the clubs in your bag), Garmin’s TruSwing makes it easy to swap the product from one club to the next without having to screw the sensor onto the club. Simply toggle the quick-release lever, and then swap it onto your next club (just below the grip).

Made by one of the leaders in GPS technology this Garmin device displays swing metrics on your enabled smartphone or tablet, including tempo, speed, club path coordinates, club path, and shaft angle and lean — to name just a few. It also provides 3D animation and side-by-side swing comparison via the Garmin Connect Mobile app. You can upload your data to the online golf community, tapping into others experiences and sharing tips and asking for advice from a robust crew of like-minded golfers. As you’d expect, it pairs seamlessly with Garmin’s other GPS golf devices, including the Approach S6 golf watch.

08 of 08

Best for Your Wrist: Shot Scope V2 Smart Golf Watch

If you don’t want to be tethered to your smartphone — and yearn for quick, at-a-glance insight into your game, go for the Shot Scope V2 Smart Golf Watch, which puts all the salient data right on your wrist. Marketed as the smallest golf-specific watch available, it combines GPS tracking with fully-automated Tour-level performance analysis, calculating accurate distances to the front, middle, and back of both greens and hazards, and utilizes Clubsense tech to trigger automatic performance tracking. That said, it also comes with an app, which offers more detailed data and analysis, with more than 100 Tour-level stats broken out into clubs, tee shots, approaches, short game, and putting, and you also get shot-by-shot maps of every round.

Our Process

Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular golf analyzers on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 12 different analyzers overall, screened options from 8 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.