Rapsodo MLM2 Pro Launch Monitor | First Look

This could be a Game Changer, we just had to try it

We have been so intrigued ever since we heard about the launch of the Rapsodo MLM2 Pro at the start of this year (2023).

A $1000 AUD personal golf launch monitor that can deliver accurate numbers? We thought it definitely had the potential to be a game changer.

Sure, you can pick up a Garmin R10 for around $800 AUD, but we have seen enough reviews of this product to get a sense that it was not in the same league as a Skytrak or a Mevo+. Afterall, all spin numbers from the R10 are calculated/derived from club data.

So when we heard that the MLM2 Pro used a high speed camera to capture actual spin data together with a Doppler radar, we thought it could really be a genuine contender. If this $1000 launch monitor/simulator can deliver accurate numbers, it could give products that are 3-4 times it's price a serious scare. 

At Kaizen Golf, we are all about quality products at honest prices, so we just had to give this product a try! So we bought one to try out once we felt that most of the teething issues have been ironed out by Rapsodo.

This article is a First Look article covering our initial impressions of the product in terms of initial set up, out of the box functionality, accuracy, as well as integration with third party golf simulation software. We will also do a more in-depth accuracy test as well as a long term review down the track.

We hope that it will help you in making an informed purchasing decision if you are looking to purchase this product or if you are on the market for a personal golf launch monitor for your golf simulator set up.

Rapsodo MLM Pro Golf Launch Monitor

Disclaimer: we do not sell these products or any golf launch monitors, so our review is based on our experiences and is aimed to provide you with honest information.

Rapsodo MLM2 Pro - Quick Overview 

Before we unbox the product, let's cover some quick facts about the product.

The Core Tech

Instead of being a radar or a camera based golf launch monitor, the Rapsodo MLM2 Pro combines the best of 2 worlds. It uses a radar to measure club head and ball speed and uses a high speed camera to track how the ball spins. In actual fact, it has 2 cameras, one for capturing spin (Impact Vision) and the other for filming your golf swing (Shot Vision).

Rapsodo MLM2 Pro golf launch monitor cameras

This bit of tech is what's getting us really excited! We know that Doppler radars can very accurately measure club head and ball speeds, if the added camera is able to accurately measure spin, the MLM 2 Pro in theory should be in the same league as products like the Skytrak and Mevo+ which cost around $3-4K. According to Rapsodo, spin rates are within 1% of professional grade launch monitors - these are pretty bold claims! 

A word on measuring spin - the Rapsodo MLM2 Pro uses uniquely marked Callaway Chromesoft X balls (called RPT balls) for measuring spin. It takes a super slow-motion video of the ball flight right after impact to determine how the ball is spinning. You will not be able to get any spin information if you don't use balls with these markings.

Rapsodo MLM 2 Pro golf Launch monitor RPT Balls

Functionality

Like most golf launch monitors, the Rapsodo MLM2 Pro requires a companion app to work. I.e. it doesn't have data display built in. But once you've got the app, you can access a wide range of data metrics as well as practice and golf simulation play options. Note: there are no PC options available at the time of writing this review (Dec 2023).

Data Output

Datapoints which are measured by both the radar and cameras include:

  • Spin Rate
  • Spin Axis
  • Ball Speed
  • Club Speed
  • Launch Angle
  • Launch Direction 

With data points captured, the following ball flight characteristics are then calculated:

  • Carry Distance
  • Total Distance
  • Descent Angle
  • Apex
  • Shot Type (Shot Shape)
  • Side Carry
  • Smash Factor

In other words, you have all the metrics you need to play simulation golf!

As I mentioned above, the number one difference this product has with the Garmin R10 which is it's closest competitor in terms of price is the fact that spin is actually measured instead of calculated. 

Indoor vs Outdoor

The unit offers both indoor and outdoor modes which means you can use this for your indoor golf simulator. But a word on both indoor and outdoor modes:

  • Indoor - as it uses a radar and sits behind the ball, you need a minimum of ~14 feet (~4.5m) of space.
  • Outdoor - as you will need to use RPT balls to get spin numbers, practically you will not be able to get spin numbers if you use this unit for a outdoor range session using range balls. Of course, you will have real ball flight to look at at the range. 

Practice & Play

The MLM 2 companion App gives you the ability to Practice and Play simulation golf out of the box.

In terms of practice, the App has a Driving Range mode as well as a 'Combines' mode to test out your skills.

Rapsodo MLM 2 Pro Driving Range

It also offers a out of the box Golf Simulation capability which has over 30,000 golf courses. It's not the most realistic Golf Simulation that you can play, but if you want to just pull up your home club and have some varied practice, it does the job very well.

Note that the out of the box simulation play is only available in portrait mode (Dec 2023) which isn't great if you want to project the image on a screen, but I believe landscape is coming soon.

Rapsodo MLM Pro Golf Simulation

All in all, the Rapsodo MLM2 Pro offers a very comprehensive user experience out of the box through it's app.

Third Party Integration

For golfers who are looking for a better Golf Simulator experience, the Rapsodo product also offers integration with 3rd party golf simulation software. 

As of now (December 2023), supported integration includes E6 connect and Awesome Golf.

With it's annual premium membership (which you need), you will actually get complimentary access to a number of driving range modes and 5 golf courses with E6 Connect. 

Although officially not supported, with a bit of tweaking, you can also get the unit to "talk" to GS Pro. 

Rapsodo MLM2 Pro golf simulation play

More on this below.

The Cost

Apart from the initial purchase price, the ongoing cost of owning a Rapsodo MLM2 Pro also has to be considered as part of your buying decision:

  • Initial Purchase - at the time of writing (Dec 2023), the unit retails for just over $1K. Deals can be had though, for example, we saw deals for less than $1K as part of Black Friday Sales.
  • Premium Subscription - you will only be able to access spin numbers and simulator integration if you have the Premium Subscription. This subscription is free for the 1st year of ownership and then it's $199.99 USD annually after that.
  • RPT Balls - you will get a sleeve of RPT balls with your initial purchase. But if you need new balls (and you will eventually), they are around $170 AUD per dozen, or around $50 a sleeve. Ouch, especially with the Chromesoft balls not being known for their durability in golf simulator enthusiasts circles. 

So now we've done a quick intro of the MLM2 Pro, let's open the box and hit some balls.

What's in the box 

Our unit came in a nicely packaged box and comes with the following items:

  • MLM2 Pro Launch Monitor - the star of the show
  • Tripod - you will need to attach the unit to the tripod so it can be easily positioned on the floor. The tripod also comes with a slot where you can easily rest your phone or tablet on.
  • Carry case - pretty high quality carry case for when you are on the move
  • 3 x Callaway RPT Balls
  • Charging cable - USB to USB-C
  • Set Up Instructions 

Rapsodo MLM2 Pro golf launch monitor whats in the box

Here are our initial thoughts on the unit

  • Premium build quality - the unit has a high quality feel to it - feels solid and uses premium materials. The cameras also look to be high quality components. 
  • Very portable - once it's packed into the carry case, it's definitely small enough for putting inside your golf bag. You can definitely take it to the course or the range or move it indoors and outdoors without much hassle. 
  • Simple design - there's only 1 button on the unit itself for turning it on and off. The rest are done within the app. As mentioned before, the unit doesn't come with a display and you will only work with the app. There is also just 1 LED that tells you what's going on with the unit.

So far so good, let's move onto pairing it with the app. 

Initial Set up

Installing the App & Registering

The process of initially installing and registering the product was super easy and pretty standard:

  1. Search for the MLM2PRO app via your IOS or Android device and install it.  
  2. Create an account / password
  3. Turn on your MLM 2 Pro and follow instructions on the app to register your device as well as activate your free 1-year Premium Membership offer.

It's recommended that you fully charge the unit before turning it on.

Overall, we had no issues with this step. 

Establishing Connection

Now this part took a little bit more work.

There are 2 ways you can connect to your MLM 2 Pro launch monitor:

  1. Local Network - basically through your wifi. It will connect to your wifi network and "talk" to your phone/tablet that way.
  2. Direct WiFi - your phone/tablet connects via the MLM 2 Pro's own wifi. 

MLM2 Pro Launch Monitor connection

We initially tried to connect using the Local Network option and was able to establish a connection, but had to abort mission to change to a Direct Wifi connection pretty quickly as this method was unusable for my set up :

  • It took a long time to establish a connection
  • We experienced a number of drop outs which made things quite frustrating
  • There was really bad lag, i.e.
    • It sometimes took a long time for the resulting ball flight to be displayed after a ball was hit
    • Even during the alignment process (see below), image from the camera was very grainy there was quite a bit of lag

This could be due to the distance between the wifi router and our simulator set up, but we were not able to make this working. We also observed lag with our Skytrak unit under this type of connection, but it's nowhere near as bad. 

There's also a theory where if you put a wifi extender near your simulator set up that it would improve this, but I've not tried this theory out.

So off we go to establish a Direct Wifi connection, which proved to be a lot smoother. You will just need to ensure that both Bluetooth and Wifi is enabled on your device for this to work.

The drawback with this method is that because you will have to use your phone's own data connection for internet access, and you will need internet access to use all the functionality, including 3rd party simulation. This became another challenge for me when trying to use an Ipad which doesn't have cellular data. More on this later. 

Personally, I really think a direct cable access would be really useful here, which is how I connect with my Skytrak unit. But given that the MLM 2 Pro doesn't work with PCs, this option was not really going be technically practical - you will end up with adaptors plugging into adaptors... 

Overall this is probably the area which can improve the most. 

Disconnection issues during use? Yes unfortunately, again more on this below.  

Positioning the Unit -

Distance to Ball, Distance to Screen - according to Rapsodo, you need to have the unit positioned 6.5 - 8.5 feet behind the ball and have at least 8 feet from the ball to your screen/net.

Rapsodo MLM distance requirements

Unfortunately, due to space constraints, we can only manage 6 feet of space behind the ball but have 8 feet between ball and our impact screen.

Result? We are happy to report that shots are definitely being picked up with very few no-reads and they seem pretty accurate. 

Level and Alignment - the unit needs to be placed on a level surface and should be directly behind the hitting area pointing straight at your target line.

In terms of level - we know that our simulator space is pretty level so we've just played the unit straight down on the floor.

With regards to alignment - we really loved how the MLM2 Pro uses its camera to indicate where it's pointing, which just makes lining up your unit super easy and fool proof.

It also shows where the ball should be placed and as mentioned before, we have been able to make it work even with the ball slightly outside the marked "hitting zone".

In general we found getting the unit positioned and aligned to be really easy, using the inbuilt camera to help with this was ingenious. Well done Rapsodo. 

Rapsodo MLM2 Pro alignment

Rapsodo MLM2 Pro golf practice

Quick Hit | Accuracy Test

As part of our initial test of the unit, we hit a few wedge shots, a few 8 irons and a few longer clubs. 

I find that the numbers produced by the MLM 2 Pro are very similar to number that I get from using our Skytrak unit. 

Below is a 'Impact View' playback of a shot that was hit with an 8i, and it's spot on in terms of numbers that I expect from my 8i. 

MLM 2 Pro golf launch monitor impact view

A side by side test against our Skytrak unit will happen soon and we'll be able to comment further on the accuracy of the MLM 2 Pro, but it's fair to say that, so far so good!

Simulator Play

After our quick accuracy test, we couldn't wait to test out the unit's Simulator Golf capabilities. Afterall, this is the main reason that most of us buy launch monitors - to play simulator golf.

As part of the Premium Subscription - you will get access to a trial version E6 Connect as well as Awesome Golf.

With the E6 Connect trial version - you have access to a number of driving ranges as well as 5 golf courses. So if you just want to play simulator golf with good realism and graphics and are not too picky with which golf course you play on, you don't really need to spend more on the full version. So we decided to give that a go.

Let's just get the headline results out of the way:

  • Were we able to play 18 holes of golf? Yes - and it was great fun!
  • Was it easy to get set up? Not exactly...

First, according to the Rapsodo website, the M2M2 Pro integration with E6 Connect only runs on IOS devices. No Android, No PC, although it looks like they are working on a PC integration. So if you are not an Apple user like me, then you will need to first buy an iPhone or iPad before you can proceed further.

Of course I wasn't going to give up so easily and after a quick trip to the nearest Officeworks I was equipped with a brand new iPad and thought that was the final hurdle before some simulator golf with the MLM 2 Pro.....nope.

Because I didn't opt for an iPad with cellular data, it meant that although I was able to download E6 and register for an account, I could not connect to the device using Direct Wifi and authenticate our license from the MLM App - apparently that needed a little thing called the internet. 

After some trial and error, I was able to get it working by:

  1. Using my Android phone to connect to the MLM 2 Pro via Direct Wifi mode, and authentic my E6 Licence from the MLM App using the phone.
  2. Once authenticated, load up E6 from my new iPad and VOILA, we are playing golf! 

Not sure how this all works under the hood but it works! So if like me, if you don't use an iPhone and have just an iPad which doesn't have cellular data, give this method a try! Or if you know a simpler way to make this work, we would love to know how you are doing it.

A word on disconnects - it seems that the biggest complaint with the MLM 2 Pro is the periodic disconnects. Over my 18 holes on E6, I was able to get through 17 holes without any issues before E6 told me that the MLM 2 Pro was no longer connected. I proceeded to close the MLM App, re-establish a Direct Wifi connection with the unit, re-authenticate E6 license, and to my surprise, I was able to resume my round. Good, but that was a little annoying to be honest. 

Another downside of the MLM 2 Pro in a golf simulator setting is that putting is currently not supported. It was a little annoying when you get assigned a auto-3-putt against your will! 

MLM 2 Pro Golf Simulator Play with E6
MLM 2 Pro Golf Simulator Play with E6

Thoughts so far and next steps

So that was our initial first look at the MLM 2 Pro, and we were very glad we bought one to try out. We were able to get a lot more insight about this unit that don't seem to be very well documented elsewhere on the internet. Overall here are our initial thoughts on this product.

Pros

  • Very accurate - we have seen no evidence to disprove Rapsodo's accuracy claims.
  • Offers good functionality - both through it's native driving range and simulation play as well as through integration with 3rd party software like E6.
  • It's much cheaper than other units that offer similar levels of accuracy and functionality. 

Cons

  • Establishing connection with the unit can definitely be improved and I believe having the capability to support a direct USB connection to a PC would be a great addition. 
  • Disconnects can get really annoying.
  • Reliance on IOS products for E6 is a bit restrictive. However I do believe support for PC is not far away. 
  • For the elite players who are extremely dialled into their numbers, if they don't use a Chromesoft X for on course play, then the numbers may be a bit off. But I suppose that is not who this product is targeted at. 

So if you have an IOS device and are happy to fix the periodic disconnects until they sort out their connection issues, then at a very reasonable price tag of ~$1000, this product genuinely deserves some serious thought, even against products that are several times it's price.

Over the next few weeks/months, we plan to do a lot more testing of this product and will be sure to share our findings in future articles. Stay tuned!

Finally we hope that you find this article informative. If you are interested in this golf launch monitor and have any other questions or want us to do any specific testing, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you have already got a MLM 2 Pro, we'd also love to hear about what you think of it! 

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1 comment

so better thanthe garmin ? how anout mevo plus.
also if you dont keep up the sub what do you get ?
im a scaratch golfer money tight though want somthing that gives good numbers more a practice tool than a play holes with it although some course practice would be done is this worth it ?

jonathan Fort

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