Thursday, February 8, 2018

FlightScope Mevo Review

Recently I purchased the FlightScope Mevo. The FlightScope Mevo is FlightScope’s latest launch monitor product that is available for $500. I’m sure most reading this review post have read other reviews on it as well. I highly recommend my friend Erik Barzeski’s review as well as friend of the blog, MyGolfSpy, review:

They can be found here:

Erik Barzeski Mevo Launch Review

MyGolfSpy Mevo Testing

I had heard about how small the Mevo was and even seen video reviews of it. But despite that, I was still amazed how small it was. It is roughly half the size of my iPhone:

It also has a little kick stand:

You can use the Mevo in conjunction with your iPhone or Android. There’s a free App that you download with the Mevo and the settings allow you to adjusted if you’re taking a full swing outdoor, full swing indoor or chipping. It allows you to adjust the altitude you are playing at. I found that to be a little cumbersome since I am only at about 30 feet above sea level and once you get below 1,000 feet it is difficult to adjust the slider to a reasonably close level of your altitude. For me, I just kept the altitude at 0 feet since we are so close to sea level.

Like the other reviews you will see, I found the Mevo to right in line with other launch monitors. I did not measure it side by side with a launch monitor. Instead, I was on a Trackman a few days prior with a driver and the numbers were almost exactly the same when I want on the Mevo.

The only number that changed a bit was the club speed, but I was using a TaylorMade M1 driver on Trackman while using a Callaway Epic driver on the Mevo. Driver designs reek havoc on club speed measurements. Also, the instructional guide says the Mevo should be about 4 feet behind the ball and from reading the reviews you have about 4-7 feet to work with. As Erik Barzeski points out, moving the Mevo around a bit and allowing the Mevo to get a few swings in will get more accurate club speeds. I did not know that. Although the club speeds were only about 2.5 mph slower, tops, than Trackman while the ball speeds were the same as Trackman.

I did have some connectivity issues at first, but that started to resolve itself after some firmware updates.

I have yet to have used the stickers. The stickers are more meant for indoor use to track carry and spin rates. There is some discussion that without the sticker and using it outdoors it may read some inaccurate spin numbers, but it appeared to have worked well for me thus far. You put 1 sticker on the ball and you can purchase extra stickers for cheap.


The bigger question is ‘why are you using the Mevo?’

While I have had my fair share of criticisms about launch monitors and their data, I’m not against using them for instruction, practice and club fitting. My criticisms have more to do with the margin for error being greater than many of these companies’ claims and using the launch monitors for scientific research without knowing the actual margin for error.

Having worked in scientific research on the statistics end, it is quite okay to use a measuring tool that has a margin for error. Even if it is a somewhat sizeable margin for error. The key is to get an accurate determination of the margin for error so you can account for that. That will allow the researcher(s) to come up with more accurate data and conclusions.

The other issue was the belief that many golfers, be it instructors or amateurs or Tour pros, was that having a launch monitor somehow made you a better instructor. And that if you did not have a launch monitor it meant you were not as good of an instructor and somehow all of the accomplishments and improvements you have made as an instructor were by luck. I find that type of thought to be equally as absurd as the arguments I hear against launch monitors and technology.

That has been my criticisms of launch monitors and my critics have either been compensated by companies or given free launch monitors and when they don’t have a way to argue against my actual criticisms…they resort to lying and claiming that I am anti-technology which could not be further from the truth. I am about getting it right. Much more often than not, the technology gets it right. It’s the people (myself included) that get it wrong. I just try to be skeptical because I know that if I have gotten it wrong, others can make the same mistake.

As a statistician that works with full-time Tour players, coaches and caddies, I tend to analyze radar data with most of the clients. The clients that really don’t care much about radar data are the players that hit the driver fairly well (if not very well) and have no intention of changing their launch conditions.

The players that have struggled with the driver or have struggled in the past and found that certain launch conditions provide the best results we tend to analyze the data more closely. A player that may be looking to change their attack angle is something we look at because the launch data that a golfer has in competition is often very different than what they have on the range.

I would estimate that 80% of the golfers I have worked with on Tour see LOWER club speed and ball speed numbers in competition than on the range. With the range the golfer has numerous swings they can choose from and when they finally start to find their groove they can produce top club and ball speed numbers. But in competition they do not have that luxury and the surroundings (i.e. water, bunkers, wind, etc) I believe makes them a little more conscious instead of free wheeling their swing. I have seen players do the opposite and perhaps the adrenaline in tournament play gets to them. Either way, it’s nice to know what the radar data says in competition because Tour players don’t make any money on the range. If they did, Seung-Yul Noh would be a multi-time major winner.


For me, the Mevo will be used for the following purposes:

1. On the range practice

The struggles I have had lately is my issues with ‘hanging back.’ This creates a too upward of an attack angle with the driver (+5 to +6 degrees) with not enough forward shaft lean. The end result is too much spin loft, too high of a launch angle, hitting the ball lower on the face and too much spin overall.

The Mevo doesn’t give us the spin loft data, but it does give launch angle, spin rate, hang time, Max Height, Smash Factor and carry distance. All of which can be used to help measure progress.

I do NOT plan on using the Mevo on every session or using it constantly because that is not the best way to learn. But, I do plan on using it about once a week to measure the progress I am making as well to experiment with ways to get the key metrics closer to where I want them.

2. Speed Training

Part of my ‘hanging back’ is that I have some speed issues. For instance, my club speed with the 7-iron is 92-93 mph. The Tour average with a 7-iron is 90 mph. However, I only hit my 7-iron at the Tour average of 172 mph carry. Again, it’s a launch conditions issue. When I get to the driver, my club speed is 109-110 mph while the Tour average is at 113.7 mph. Thus the hanging back, I believe, causes some speed issues when I get to the driver.

But part of being able to generate more speed is to train for it. The brain tends to hold back a bit, acting as a governor when practicing or playing. I think any legitimate device measuring speed can be useful in helping re-train the brain out of this habit.

3. Yardage Gapping

I’m a big stickler for yardage gapping. But, I look more at yardage gapping from 175-225 yards since most of the courses I play feature more of those shots. Recently I discovered that my 5-iron only went about 4-yards further than my 6-iron. After closer examination, the issue was with regards to the lie angle getting too upright by almost 2 degrees and the loft getting increased by 1 degree…causing the ball to fly higher and shorter

4. Equipment testing

In an effort to try and keep the spin rate down, I’m looking for equipment that will help with that. So that goes for ball testing and even testing at big retail stores in their hitting bays where their launch monitors can manipulate how far you hit the ball. The Mevo is also small enough that I can use on the actual course if there is nobody behind me.

5. Club fitting

For my money, the very best launch monitor for club fitting is the FlightScope Xi Tour. Mainly because it has all of the features and includes the shaft acceleration profile to help determine how well the shaft fits you. I will be taking a trip to Fujikura in April and getting fitted on their ENSO machine and receiving the highest quality fitting out there, but ENSO is not a launch monitor. With the Mevo, a club fitter can get most of the critical information to derive a quality club fitting.

Obviously, the Mevo has my stamp of approval. But I also thought it was good to point out to why I purchased the Mevo.

A few months ago I was talking to a very financially successful instructor who is pro-technology, but refuses to purchase a launch monitor. His reasoning was that the return on investment just wasn’t there for him. Most of his clientele are 1-off lesson takers and the customers that do take lessons he is more worried about keeping them playing the game and trying to get them to actually practice. He also explained that when he works with a Tour player or collegiate golfer that may want that information, he can either borrow or rent a launch monitor or use theirs if they own one themselves.

It’s hard to argue because he has quite a few excellent students, but the majority of his revenues come from clients that are simply not interested. And the only way to get a ROI on a $10k-$25k launch monitor would be to increase his lesson prices and that increase in the price point may drive away customers and actually decrease his revenues in the end. Instruction is still a business and a smart businessperson is always keeping a critical eye on ROI.

But with the Mevo he can now afford the hit if the ROI does not pan out. He can also use that to help more with club fitting and make up his ROI with that revenue stream instead.

For the regular golfer, if you understand launch data well enough, you can take the Mevo and get most of the information you need to get a ballpark figure in determing the missing metrics such as attack angle and spin loft.

It is still a guesstimate. And the top end launch monitors will provide you with face angle, path, etc. numbers that can help you understand your swing dynamics better. Thus, those high end launch monitors still have their value from a practice and instruction perspective. But at the price point of the Mevo, it provides a worthy and reasonable alternative.


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