Flightscope X2 – A Review

February 1st, 2011 by John Graham Leave a reply »

Flightscope X2The Flightscope X2 is the latest release by EDH, a South African company that develops doppler radar systems across many sports and also the defense industry.  My first experience with Flightscope was with the Kudo. I was in the market for a launch monitor and wanted to see the difference between some of the systems. My review can be read here: Trackman vs Flightscope.  That did not go very well for what I was looking for a the time and still to this day.  Flightscope continued to upgrade the software and firmware and later released the Prime.  I gathered some data from a side by side test of Prime and Trackman and those results can be read here: Trackman vs Flightscope 2.

This post will discuss their newest machine called the X2.  This machine is a completely new and redesigned machine.  If you haven’t read the previous posts listed above, I have been quite critical about the Flightscope machines and there ability to accurately measure the club delivery data.  Specifically, there ability to measure the club heads Angle of Attack into the ball for an iron shot.  This information is critical for accurately determining the clubs 3d path at impact.  The Kudo and the Prime, in my opinion, were just not as accurate as Trackman in this parameter. So the big question is, did the X2 solve this issue?

As far as I can see, the answer is YES.

Or at the very least it sure looks like it because now I can’t tell that the information provided is blatantly inaccurate like I could before.  This machine is a considerable upgrade from the two previous machines and now must seriously be considered a viable competitor in terms of its accuracy with Trackman.  With that hurdle out of the way and the fact that the price tag is still less than half that of Trackman, I think this machine will be tough to beat.

Here’s how my review went. I stopped by the booth to check out the new machine and was asked if I would be willing to meet with the CEO about it.  I agreed and spent about an hour with the CEO and Head Engineer hearing about the new features much of which I didn’t fully understand. =) After that, I went and hit some shots with a 7 iron to test out the one parameter that I was most curious about. Angle of Attack with an iron.  I hit a few shots to warm up and tried to get a sense of what I was feeling relative to the angle of attack it was measuring.  We then shot some video where I try to guess my angle of attack based on feel alone.  Here they are but no laughing at my stand up move. =)

Here’s a look at the numbers from the video. Sorry they are a little small and hard to see but let’s see what’s there.

Flightscope X2 Screen ShotFor those of you that can read the screen, you’ll notice a few swings that stand out as very different than the others.  There are three shots that recorded a dynamic loft less than 10 degrees.  Not possible with a 7 iron so these probably represent the swings where I hit the ball fat but they can surely be ignored.  They mentioned to me that they are hoping to be able to remove those shots in the version that get’s released in April and replace the data with just blanks so it is obvious.  You can see that all of the shots recorded a negative angle of attack showing a downward hit.  My feel also seemed to match what the machine was picking up.

Now, there’s no way for me to say that the machine is way off anymore.  It is clear to me that Flightscope is committed to overcoming the issues I had talked about in previous posts and I applaud them for that.  This machine is a little more expensive and also has a couple other features that are new. Those include an automatic leveler and an integrated targeting camera.  One of the other features of this machine is its ability to be used without a laptop. The integration with the Ipad is a nice touch and could allow for simple use on the course.

I also plan to do an extensive review after Spring time if I can get one to use for a little while when on grass.  That is really the last piece left but so far I think they have made great strides to close the gap and improve their accuracy.  Use this for what it’s worth as I know many of you have been very interested in this review.  Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below that you still may have and I will do my best to answer them.

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28 comments

  1. John,
    I too was impressed with the upgrades and improved accuracy that the Flightscope X2 provides … so much so that I purchased one at the show. I had been debating whether to purchase a used Trackman and pay the large yearly fees to bring it up to date and with the release of this X2 and spending time with the people at Flightscope I decided this was a sound investment. Thanks for all you do – it is helpful to many.
    Trent Wearner

  2. Meindert Jan says:

    Thanks for this blogpost John. In a market where money is an issue being to make proper choices is important.
    It seems the new software shows some more raw data as well?
    I had a session with a client on the Kudu last saturday. I like the software for practice but not so sure for fitting/teaching. Lot of recalculating manually but maybe I did it wrong .. just felt it could be better.
    Any idea on the price of the X2?

  3. Matt Wilson says:

    JG,

    The review I had been waiting for. I’m really glad (and excited) that your experience was positive. I’m looking at getting a demo unit to experiement with – when I do, I’ll also post a review. Consistency across the board is a paramount…no?

    Thank you once again for your dedication!

    Matt

  4. John Graham says:

    Trent, Meindert and Matt,

    Thanks for reading. The price at the show was $12000 US and it included an ipad along with the purchase. That’s all I know.

    JG

  5. Rob McGill says:

    Nice write up. Informed us of what we were wanting to know. Thanks for taking the time. I like that golf swing, by the way. Simple and effecient.

    Rob

  6. John Graham says:

    Rob,

    Said I was hitting it 185-190 which is off for sure but it’s guessing with the indoor flight.

    JG

  7. Tom Losinger says:

    John,
    I talked with the Flightscope people on Tuesday and they mentioned you testing the X2. So, I was curious your findings. A few things jump out at me for what it is worth.
    1- The vertical plane #’s seem high and not very consistent. (That is assuming I saw them accurately.)
    2- TrackMan will usually “throw” out bad #’s which it sounds like Flightscope is working on.
    3- I have always heard that Flightscope was every bit as good at tracking the ball as TrackMan so it is a little bewildering why you were getting bogus yardages.
    4- Flightscope is definitely making progress.
    5- Flightscope people seem super nice!
    6- In full disclosure I am a TrackMan user, but am always seeking the truth.
    7- We hope to be testing two TrackMan and a Flightscope side by side in a few weeks here in the Atlanta area.

    John, thanks for the review. Nice job.

  8. Fred Bond says:

    Interesting review on the Flightscope. As close as you were on guessing your AOA, why would you need Flightscope?

  9. John Graham says:

    Tom,

    I’m not sure how the yardage function works for indoors or maybe I was just ripping it. =)

    I would love to see the data that you collect if possible and which Flightscope are you working with in the test?

    I’m especially interested in just the two trackmans side by side test.

    JG

  10. John Graham says:

    Fred,

    You make a great point.

    I never thought of that. =)

    JG

  11. Tom Losinger says:

    John,
    It will be the X2. One other question concerning the X2. Does the iPad have a daylight readable screen?

  12. John Graham says:

    Tom,

    Ok great. I don’t think the iPad has a daylight screen.

    JG

  13. Flightscope gave me a trial run on their machine last year since I am based near them in Cape Town and my golf improvement quest gets quite a lot of media coverage. I must say the machinery is great but I think it is of more benefit to low handicappers then high handicappers. The detail is gives is tremendous, but you need to be a consistent ball-striker before you can pick up any meaningful patterns.

  14. Rusty says:

    John and others,

    It is difficult to test FlightScope and TrackMan side by side. They operate on radiowaves and as such, can interfere with each other. I tried side by side testing indoors a few years ago and the FlightScope blinded the TrackMan. After that experience, the TrackMan owner was not willing to go outdoors and do any more testing.

    I don’t know how the radio interference would manifest outdoors, but I would have a discussion with the FlightScope techs or Henri before you did any comparisions. The only true test you can actually rely on is to set up a robot and test each device seperately.

    I have used a FlightScope for years as a club fitting tool and have never been disappointed with the value for the investment. I have come to know the tech crew and Henri. I don’t often need help, but they have always be available, take suggestions seriously and give me a early look at new features. So, I am not exactly an unbiased observer to this issue.

  15. rick vershure says:

    I’m on the fence at this point. It will either be an X2 or nothing as TrackMan is economicially out of the question. How has the tech support experience been for those of you who have Flight Scope products?
    In anyone’s experience, and I realize that this raises questions of skill and need , is the FS unit a more valuable coaching or club fitting tool for those who do both?
    I, too, was under the impression that side by side testing would not work for interference reasons.

  16. Matt Wilson says:

    JG,

    Do you have a date set for the outdoor test of the X2? I suppose you are at least a month away.

    MW

  17. John Graham says:

    Matt,

    No there is no date but yes it will be at least a month away.

    JG

  18. T says:

    Great work with this. Any update on the outdoor test of the X2?

  19. John Graham says:

    No, I haven’t been able to get the machine to use outdoors.

    Still waiting.

    JG

  20. David says:

    I run a corporate golf company and have used ball speed radar guns for years at my events. I would like to take the next step and purchase Flightscope or Trackman. I would only be using it for drivers and would like the opportunity to upload the guest’s data to my website for them to view after the event. It sounds like Flightscope would be more than enough for this type of use but I would be interested in anyone’s thoughts.
    Cheers,
    David

  21. Laurent says:

    John,

    I have to make a choice between GC2 and X2 for an indoor usage.

    I would welcome your advice for the following:

    - What is the min ball flight distance you would recommend with X2

    - Is a metallic structure of the building a major issue with X2

    - Is X2 more or less accurate than GC2 for ball informations

    I can read everything on the web about GC2 and X2 comparison

    Thanks for your support
    Laurent (from France)

  22. Allan R. says:

    Hello. Just wondering, how much is the SRP price of the flightscope? Andc are there any terms?

  23. John Graham says:

    Laurent,

    As far as min distance, I believe it is about 20 feet or 6 meters.

    I’ve heard of some people having issues with metal structures and types of lighting but the FS engineers have been able to correct that issue on an individual basis.

    I think X2 is more accurate.

    Just my opinions. I would check with your sales rep about information on the first two items.

    JG

  24. John Graham says:

    Allan,

    I don’t know much about the Sales numbers.

    Last is knew, the FS X2 was $11000 US.

    Terms I have no idea about. Sorry.

    JG

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