I think most people purchase the Bushnell Launch Pro to use in golf simulators, however I’ve had several people ask me about using it with an iPad only.
There are a lot of people in this category that aren’t interested in buying a gaming pc, projector, screen etc. and are only looking to use it on the driving range with a mobile device.
I don’t fit that category exactly but I have done a full walk-through of the Bushnell Launch Pro iPad app, FSX Pro, which also has an iPhone and PC version available.
I wrote this FSX Pro for iPad review with those users in mind and will cover the setup, notable features, and some points about the subscription plans.
The Bushnell Launch Pro is a camera-based launch monitor capable of providing ball and club data. It is identical to the Foresight GC3 except for the Bushnell branding and the pricing structure.
The Bushnell Launch Pro is priced lower but requires one of three different annual subscription plans depending on your needs.
The Bushnell Launch Pro is also great for limited space indoors because it sits facing you as you address the golf ball. Radar based launch monitors sit behind you, down the target line and require about 8ft of ball flight. All of that can take up to 18ft of length for your golf simulator. With the Launch Pro, you pretty much just need enough room to swing a golf club.
I chose the Bushnell Launch Pro because I think the lower price with subscription options actually provides the most flexibility and lower cost of entry to a highly accurate launch monitor.
Alignment and Setup
Aligning a launch monitor is super important if you want accurate data. To align the Launch Pro before using you simply place the included alignment stick on the ground in the direction of your target.
The Launch Pro’s cameras lock on to the reflective alignment stick and the display will show the exact alignment of the stick relative to the launch monitor.
From there you simply pick up the alignment stick to lock in the alignment for your session. If you need to change the alignment you just repeat the process.
When you turn the Launch Pro off and on again it will be reset at 0*.
I love this method because it is quick and easy plus I feel confident that it’s aligned correctly. Other launch monitors like the Mevo+ use more of a visual alignment process but you can’t be 100% sure that you are not a couple of degrees off with your own eyes.
After aligning, the launch monitor’s display will show the hitting area. When you drop a ball down the ball’s position will be shown on the display and let you know you are within the boundaries and ready to hit.
Another affirmative confirmation that the Launch Pro is locked on and ready to go.
This process makes the Bushnell Launch Pro super easy to use outdoors as you will know when your divot pattern has used up the available hitting area. You’ll then just move over to fresh turf and align the Launch Pro again.
FSX Pro – Starting a Session
FSX Pro is available for iPhone, iPad, and PC. I like to use my iPad for portability and a nice display size.
When you open the FSX Pro app you’ll see a login screen. Bushnell Launch Pro users will need to skip that and use the “subscription/trial” button.
This will connect to your Launch Pro via WiFi and validate your subscription from the device rather than using a username and password. FSX Play and FSX 2020 also work this way for Launch Pro owners.
If you just turned on your Launch Pro it may take a minute or two for it to appear. I turn mine on first before anything else to give it time to start up.
Once logged in you can start a performance analysis session by adding yourself as a player, choosing a club, ball, and any tags to describe your session.
FSX Pro for iPad – Main Display
The main display for FSX Pro is very efficient and you can customize it to display what you want to focus on.
Each shot will be added on the left sidebar and as you change clubs the shots will be organized by club.
The main display area can be switched from a driving range view, ball flight view, table view, and club data view. The driving range view also has multiple camera views.
The data tiles at the bottom can of course be customized to display everything available or just a few that you want to see. You can enlarge them or minimize them.
Overall, it’s a very efficient screen for an iPad that lets me customize what I want to see quite a bit.
Notable FSX Pro Features
One thing that is a little frustrating is the number of features that are locked depending on which subscription you go with.
According to this chart, only Group Data and Dispersion Circles are locked for Basic and Silver subscriptions. I started out with the Silver subscription and my favorite feature of FSX Pro turned out to be locked, which is Target Mode. I guess that is included in either Group or Dispersion Circles…
In target mode you can add a target green at any distance and size to the driving range. When you hit shots to it it will keep count of your greens in regulation.
I always like hitting to a target so I was disappointed when I realized this was locked for Silver subscriptions (I upgraded to Gold).
By turning on the Compare toggle you can see all your shots on the same view, color coded by club. You can hide individual shots by using the eyeball icon next to the shot on the sidebar.
On the ball flight view there’s an option for Accuracy. By turning this on you will see a grouping with a dotted line that represents your accuracy within one standard deviation (or ½).
So your dispersion may be 30 yards because of one or two wild shots but your accuracy might be 12 yards. This is supposed to represent a better number for you to plan for on the course.
You can save your session within the app and to FSX Live when done but you can also create very nice reports for each session.
These reports look very professional and include pretty much all the data you would want from your session. This feature might be helpful to teach professionals that want to FSX Pro with their iPad at the driving range and email a report to their student when done.
You have the option to print, save PDF, save Excel (locked for Silver subscriptions), or email the report from within the iPad app.
The club view gives you a visual representation of your club data and will look familiar to FSX 2020 users.
Unfortunately this view is locked for Silver subscribers which I don’t understand because it’s available to Silver subscribers within FSX 2020.
Alternative Launch Monitors with Mobile Apps
Garmin Approach R10
The Garmin R10 is a portable launch monitor that is radar-based. That means it needs to sit between 6-8ft behind the tee location. It pairs with your phone using the Garmin Golf App but unfortunately there isn’t an iPad app at this time.
At $599 it’s a great entry level launch monitor but not likely to be used by teaching professionals or as accurate as the camera
Garmin Approach R10
- Includes ball and club data
- Automatic video recording
- 5 courses on E6 Connect for iOS
The Mevo Plus is another launch monitor that is intended to be paired with a phone or iPad. It’s also radar-based, but can be a better option for those that want to use it indoors as a golf simulator because it does support putting, unlike the Garmin R10.
There are no subscriptions needed with the Mevo+ but there are additional software add-ons such as the Pro Package which unlocks additional data parameters and the Face-Impact Location feature.
Add the Pro Package for club data like Club Path, Face to Path, and Face to Target!
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the Foresight GC3 is the same exact unit as the Bushnell Launch Pro. For those wanting to avoid subscriptions or if you live outside of the U.S., the GC3 is going to be your best option. With the GC3 you would get a license to FSX Pro and other Foresight software rather than needing a subscription.
- Available worldwide
- No subscription
- Full use of Foresight simulation software included
FSX Pro is a very nice, “no-frills” iPad app for your Bushnell Launch Pro. In my opinion it’s everything you need and not much that you don’t.
I do think it will be frustrating for the user that only wants to use their Bushnell Launch Pro with their iPad (not as a golf simulator with FSX Play or FSX 2020). That potential user would of course want to go with the Basic subscription and use FSX Pro but they will have several locked features. To unlock all of the features in FSX Pro they are forced to pay for a Gold Subscription which includes FSX Play, FSX 2020, and 10 courses, all of which they won’t use.
That said, I do believe the Bushnell Launch Pro is the best camera-based launch monitor available (under $10,000) and higher quality than the less expensive radar launch monitors.