The PRGR Launch Monitor - One Year Review

Key takeaways

It's been over a year now (Apr 2020) since I bought the PRGR launch monitor and it is something that I still use on a regular basis for my practice. This is in spite of the fact I have also since bought a Skytrak launch monitor. 

In this article I will go through key features as well as limitations of this unit as well as tips on how I get the most out of using it.

In summary, at the ~$300 (AUD) price point, the PRGR launch monitor still offers unmatched value and should definitely be considered as part of your golf practice arsenal. It is hardly surprising that the popularity of this product has exploded since it's introduction to the market. 

If you are interested in purchasing a PRGR launch monitor, you can check out the 2021 edition of the PRGR launch monitor from our partners at Golf Performance.

[NEW EDIT - read our review of the 2021 version here]

What's in (and not in) the box?

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it - so the famous quote goes. Although the quote has its origins in the world of business management, I believe it holds equally true in golf, just think about our fixation over our handicaps.

Over the last decade, with the advent of technology, the world of golf coaching and practice has drastically changed and the transformation has been mainly driven by the accessibility of launch monitors. 

Although the most sophisticated units are still only found in a coaching setting due to their price point (~$15k+), in recent years, as technology continues to mature, we have seen a further 'democratisation' of launch monitors - the everyday hacker is now able to get his/her hands on high quality units for decent prices, and the demand in this segment of this market is growing fast. 

Key Features

Through the initial research into this product as well as the eventual purchase and use of the unit I believe that the PRGR product philosophy is this - build an entry level launch monitor but don't compromise on performance. 

Here's what you get from the PRGR launch monitor (note there's a newer version available in 2021, I will mention features from the new model below as well). 

PRGR launch monitor - data points

Data Points - the PRGR launch monitor is a doppler radar based unit and provides the following data points:

  • Club head speed - and the PRGR has a party trick where it can measure club head speed without the need to hit a golf ball - this is a really useful feature for speed training. This is not even offered by units 50x it's price!
  • Ball speed 
  • Smash factor - ball speed / club head speed. Although just a calculation, this is again a really useful feature when you want to get feedback on ball striking, e.g. seeing how close you can get to the magic 1.5 number with the driver.
  • Carry distance - this is an estimated figure based on the club selected and ball speed. In the old unit, it only supported distances in yards which resulted in me having to make a yards vs metres conversion chart, you can now toggle between yards and metres in the newer unit.
  • Total distance - again this is estimated, I don't really use this number though.


  • Size / Portability - one of the best things about the unit is its size. It's even smaller than my old iphone 6 and fits easily into your pocket or golf bag. I really enjoyed taking it to the course, the driving range with ease, and even when I want a quick hit in the backyard, I prefer to use this unit over the Skytrak due to it's small size and ease of set up. See below for a photo of me using it on course.

PRGR golf launch monitor on course

  • Screen display - simple display with club head speed, ball speed and a third metric which you can toggle between carry distance, total distance and smash factor by using 'carry/total' and 'mode' buttons. Note The 2021 unit has a bigger screen and higher resolution so it displays distances and smash factor all in the one screen without the need to toggle.
  • Navigation - simplicity was again the emphasis - no menus to fiddle through, just 5 buttons:
    • Enter/On/Off - power and club selection
    • Up/down arrows - shot history and club selection
    • Carry/Total - self explanatory
    • Mode - distance vs smash factor 
  • Set up - in general, I found that the unit has a pretty high tolerance in terms of how far back you place it behind the ball. You will get decent reads if you place it level'ish with the hitting surface anywhere between 3-5 feet directly behind the ball. Given the radar is a lot smaller than those in higher end launch monitors, you will need to select the club/loft to improve reads and distance estimates - this is very similar to other radar based units in this price point. One area where you may need a bit of trial and error in the set up is with the higher lofted wedges, I usually get better reads when the unit is slightly higher than the ball, at around 3-4 feet behind the ball. I usually put the unit on a tripod so I can adjust the height to get the best reads. One of the features of the newer 2021 model is an improvement in reading wedge shots - however I've not personally tested the newer unit. You will also need ~5 feet of flight if you are hitting into a net.
  • History - you can go back through 500 of your most recent shots via the up/down buttons.
  • Power - the unit is powered by 4 x AAA batteries. You can get anywhere between 30-50hrs out of each set of batteries. 
  • Accuracy - this is the big one and features above will not mean very much if the PRGR unit doesn't perform well in this aspect. So to test out how accurate this product is, I pitched my PRGR unit against my Skytrak launch monitor which is well known for being extremely accurate with ball data and costs ~10x the price. To test the unit out with different clubs, I measured 10 shots each with my 56 degree wedge, 7 iron (35 degrees) and driver (10.5 degrees) in an indoor setting and the results are very interesting, let's go through the results of each club:
PRGR vs Skytrak

56 degree wedge - 50-60m pitches

PRGR vs Skytrak sandwedge


  • Club head speed - as the Skytrak unit estimates the club head speed, the PRGR actually did a much better job in measuring the club head speeds of lofted wedge shots. Measurements from the Skytrak seem too high.
  • Ball speed - very close with differences between 0-2 mph. 
  • Carry distance - again very close with differences between 0-3.3m (6%).

 PRGR vs ST - wedge

 7 iron - full shots

PRGR vs ST 7i

  • Club head speed - closer compared to wedges, I would say the PRGR is again more accurate. E.g. shot in the photo below, if the club head speed was 71 per Skytrak, then the smash factor would have been 1.5 to achieve a ball speed of 106, which is physically impossible for a 7i. 
  • Ball speed - very close again with differences between 0-4 mph. 
  • Carry distance - again pretty close with differences between 0-11.5m (8%).

PRGR vs 7i compare


PRGR vs ST driver compare

Observations (obvious one being I could use a few more yards off the tee! Indoor swing syndrome anyone?)

  • Club head speed - pretty close, again I would say the PRGR is more accurate here.
  • Ball speed - very close again with a couple off by 9-10mph and the rest less than 5mph.. 
  • Carry distance - I found that the PRGR was sometimes off here. As it  does not measure launch angle and spin, it would be very hard to accurately estimate carry distances for the driver. I have been able to get more accurate carry distance and ball speeds at the driving range and at the course where there is more ball flight to measure.
Driver PRGR vs Skytrak

    Note, I did get some misreads between the 2 launch monitors when collecting data for this test, more in the wedges.


    Sounding pretty good so far? There are things that the PRGR unit does not do very well or does not do at all:

    • High lofted wedges do require a little bit of trial and error in terms of set up to reduce misreads - this should be much improved in the new model
    • Does not offer additional ball and club data points including launch angle and spin. 
    • No accompanying app.

    Suggested Uses

    Given very accurate club and ball speed readings offered by the PRGR, it would be great for the following uses

    • Improve your ball striking - set the measure to smash factor and get instant feedback on centred strike.
    • Speed training - with accurate club head speeds with or without the ball, monitor and track your incremental speed gains over time. This unit has become the de facto standard measuring device for golfers using golf speed training aids. 
    • Bag mapping for your iron carry distances.
    • Wedge practice - dial in those wedge distances, either at the range or into a net. 

    To Sum Up

    After more than a year of ownership, I believe the PRGR is a no frills launch monitor which performs extremely well for the features it offers. At the ~$300 AUD, it still represents great value. It compliments our range of Kaizen Home Driving Range Packages very well and will improve your golf. 

    If you are interested in purchasing a PRGR launch monitor, you can check out the 2021 edition of the PRGR launch monitor from our partners at the Golf Performance Store.

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