Review: FlightScope Xi Tour Launch Monitor

Upgrade to Even Better Fittings
I’ve been a huge promoter of fittings and using a launch monitor for the fitting.  I’ve been personally using a FlightScope X2 Launch Monitor for 3 seasons now and have been able to share the data I gathered while testings all the newest clubs.  It has served me well over the years, but the new launch monitor, the Xi Tour from FlightScope, is an improvement in a number of areas which have made collecting data even easier and fittings even better.
One of the biggest reasons to work with a launch monitor for fittings, reviews, and teaching is the accuracy of data.  No longer do you need to guess which club is better for you.  “It felt hot”,  “I’m pretty sure that one was the longest”, “It seemed pretty low spin” or “I think your club face was a little open”.  It simply is or isn’t something based on the data.  You can go outside at your normal range and swing away collecting thousands of numbers of what exactly each club does in your hands.   The new features of the FlightScope Xi Tour make it even more accurate, both outdoors and indoors for small spaces.
 

There are a couple options out when it comes to Launch Monitors.  FlightScope has been my “go to” for few seasons now and with the current upgrade I see no reason to change.  FlightScope offers full 3D Doppler radar tracking of the ball from tee to final resting place.  This means it is not guessing what the ball did, but tracked it the entire way.  It does also have the ability to test shots indoors or into nets.  It is best to use the foil dots so that it can track the ball better in such short distances.  While there is some guessing(math equations) involved the accuracy seems to be excellent based all the data I have collected indoors compared to outdoor testing.

The data that the FlightScope Xi Tour collects is equal to any launch monitor out there; actually more than most.  It can tell you more information than you would most likely be interested in.  It collects it all easily on a PC or iPad.  I exclusively use the iPad app to test clubs because it is the simplest and easiest way to hit balls at the range.  My laptop just doesn’t have the battery life or portability that my iPad does.  The connection is via WiFi and makes for a quick and easy set-up once I get to the range.  The set-up and use is very simple.  While this is a complex computer, you don’t need a whole lot of tech skill to figure it out.

Below is a list of the data that is collected and stored for each shot.

Ball Data
  • Ball Speed
  • Vertical Launch Angle
  • Horizontal Launch Angle
  • Vertical Descent Angle
  • Smash Factor
  • Spin Rate
  • Spin Axis
  • Carry Distance
  • Roll Distance
  • Total Distance
  • Lateral Landing
  • Apex Height
  • Flight Time
  • Shot Dispersion
  • Skills Distance to Pin
  • Skills Score
Club Data
  • Low Point
  • Club Speed
  • Club Speed Profile
  • Club Acceleration Profile
  • Face to Target
  • Face to Path
  • Dynamic Loft
  • Angle of Attack
  • Club Path
  • Spin Loft
  • Vertical Swing Plane
  • Horizontal Swing Plane

For me the FlightScope Xi Tour offered two big upgrades over the X2 that are worth it.  The first was the more compact size.  The X2 would get very cumbersome to drag out to the range with a full bag of clubs to test.  It was almost like carrying two golf bags.  The Xi Tour actually fits in the large side pocket of my golf bag.  This is big deal because it makes it really easy and convenient to test clubs.  

The other big improvement that I noticed was the accuracy of tracking my golf ball.   When I would take the X2 to a crowded range, I would pick up my “neighbor’s” golf shots from time to time.  The Xi Tour is able to focus better on just gathering the data on my shots.  It can block out the other flying objects around me.

One of the keys to fitting is the exact details and charts to tell the golfer what the ball is doing.  While every swing is different, the results should be as good as possible.  Even high handicap golfers can get fit based off a FlightScope Xi Tour launch monitor.  Their results might be less consistent than a low handicap golfers, but there are still certain clubs that have more ideal numbers, smaller circles and overall better results.  While some of those things can be done with just the naked eye, it is faster, easier and charted by FlightScope to make it simple and clear which clubs work better.  It is also data driven, not based on opinions or guesses.

Another options for using the Flightscope Xi Tour launch monitor is for teaching.  The club data that can be seen in the above slides helps show why the ball does what it does based on club path, angle of attach and face angle at impact.  All those things can be shown in 3d.  A good teacher that knows how to use this data and change their students swing to get better results can certainly make great use of a FlightScope.  Not only are they telling students what is happening, they can show them.  Even the teacher can learn a thing or two from seeing the tiny angles that the FlightScope can track in the club head.  For many of the other Launch Monitors our there, this is an add-on feature usually driving the price even higher.  It is included as part of the standard FlightScope Xi Tour model.

Another feature that will serve the student well is FlightScope Skills.  It sets up what they call a combine where you can test your ability to hit targets in a timed fashion.  Can you hit a 20 yard pitch 5 times in a row, or what about a 30 yard wide target at 165 yards, or can you stripe a drive 5 times in a row over 225 yards?  Since golf is a precision game, these skills tests or training sessions are very valuable for improving your course management.  Golf instructors could make great use of this with their students.

Launch Monitors are becoming a necessity among golf professionals.  If you are a fitter or a teacher, having a good launch monitor is simply part of the job in 2017.  I think FlightScope offers the best overall package at the best price.  If you look at comparable units that give the same data with the same ease and accuracy, you won’t find a better unit than the Xi Tour Launch Monitor.  Yes the price isn’t necessarily an option for most golfers, but if you go to a teacher or fitter, you want them to have the best tools to get the job done and the upgrades found in FlightScope Xi Tour will make fittings even better.

Check the price online here

For more information: www.flightscope.com

Quick Hits
+Incredible accuracy
+Compact size
+Indoor or Outdoor radar tracking
+iPad app is easy to use
+Ball data
+Club data
+Comparison charts
+Practice skills app

–still beyond most golfers budget

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