Garmin Approach R10 launch monitor review — a budget-friendly golfing dream

This affordable launch monitor does it all for less

The Garmin Approach R10
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Garmin Approach R10 launch monitor seems expensive at $600 until you compare it to full simulators (or even a local indoor practice facility). It doesn't offer the same accuracy as a $10,000 launch monitor, but it falls within the acceptable range. Add in the ability to play simulated rounds on thousands of courses, and you have a valuable golf practice companion.


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    Lots of data with reliable accuracy

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    Thousands of golf courses to play

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    Practice modes for all different clubs

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    Small, portable footprint


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    Extra monthly cost required for some features

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    Requires lots of space in front

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Garmin Approach R10 specs

Price: $599
Colors: Black
Weight: 5.22 oz / 7.79 oz (with tripod)
Water rating: IPX7
Battery life (rated): 10 hours
Mobile compatibility: Android, iOS
Measured metrics: Club head speed, club face angle, club path angle, angle of attack, ball speed, launch angle, launch direction, spin axis, spin rate, apex height, smash factor, carry distance, total distance and deviation distance
Measurement technology: Radar

Home golf simulators and launch monitors used to be reserved for professional golfers and the extremely rich. Those days are behind us, with launch monitors like the Garmin Approach R10 being available for around $599. Sure, that's not cheap, but when you compare it to market leaders like the Foresight Sports GCQuad and its $15,999 starting price, you start to see how affordable Garmin's model is.

Of course, there are some cuts, and the Garmin model doesn't do everything the more expensive models do, but it shouldn't be expected to at this price. It offers much of the same data, lots of simulated golf courses to play spread across multiple apps, and plenty of other cool features.

It's not without flaws, but for a golfer looking to make the most of their practice time without spending too much money, it's worth a look.

Editor’s note: this review is based on having the Garmin Golf Membership. While you can use the launch monitor without it, many of the best features are locked behind the $9.99 per month / $99 per year subscription.

Garmin Approach R10 review: cheat sheet

  • What is it? A full-featured launch monitor and golf simulator for the range, course, or home
  • Who is it for? Anyone looking to improve their golf game without spending thousands of dollars
  • How much does it cost? The Garmin Approach R10 is $599, though it's generally available for $50 off
  • How’s the user experience? Very accurate and easy to use regardless of golf skill level
  • Anything wrong? You need a good amount space between you, the monitor and a net for a home golf system

Garmin Approach R10 review: the ups

There's a lot to love about the Garmin Approach R10 launch monitor. The biggest reason is how affordable it is. Spending around $600 for a device that can tell you all about your golf swing while also offering fun simulated golf rounds is quite reasonable. Add the stellar battery life and compact form factor, and you have a recipe for success.

It offers incredible value

The Garmin R10 launch monitor in use at a driving range

(Image credit: Future)

While $599 doesn't sound like a great value to someone outside the golf world, this feels affordable when you consider that high-end launch monitors cost more than $10,000. Of course, there are some features and sensors that need to be cut; Garmin isn't offering thousands of dollars off out of the kindness of its heart.

Still, cuts or not, you'll have a hard time finding a more feature-packed launch monitor for $600. Whether you're looking for intense practice or a fun way to play simulated golf rounds at home, you can do it with the R10.

It's not alone in this price range, though, with the Rapsodo MLM2PRO coming in at $699 and the Flightscope Mevo selling for $549. I

Data, data, and more data

Screenshots of the data offered by the Garmin Golf app

(Image credit: Future / Garmin)

For my money, the thing that makes the Garmin Approach R10 is the impressive amount of data on offer. Every swing shows stats like distance, club face angle, swing path, and many others you'd expect from a high-end launch monitor or simulator.

One of the best ways to find out whether something is or isn't working in your golf swing is by looking at the numbers. Are you slicing because your club face is too open? Is it because your swing path is too outside to inside? Using this launch monitor, you can see that information, make adjustments, and see if the results change.

To put it simply, if there's something you want to know about your golf swing, the Approach R10 can tell you about it.

Every course you could want

Courses on the Garmin Golf app

(Image credit: Future / Garmin)

As long as you spring for the Garmin subscription (or use one of the supported third-party apps), there are thousands of courses to play. Everywhere from your favorite local course to world-famous private courses like Augusta are available in the app, so you can experience places you never thought you would.

Using the Garmin courses, the graphics are cartoon-style, which gets the job done even if I'd prefer a more realistic look and feel. They're pretty accurate, though, and if you spot any mapping issues, you can report them to Garmin.

As an experiment, I sent a friend a screenshot of a local municipal course without telling him anything about the course or the hole it was from, and he knew right away where it was. 

Plus, I found that playing simulated rounds with the Garmin Approach R10 is fun and more importantly, it's good practice. Whether you want to practice your local track so you're better prepared next time you play or you want to virtually travel the world experiencing famous courses, you can do it quickly and easily. 

Garmin Approach R10 review: the downs

As incredible as the Garmin Approach R10 launch monitor is from a value perspective, it's not without some flaws. Personally, I don't think they're deal-breakers, but they're definitely worth considering before you go out and spend your hard-earned money. 

You need a lot of space

The Garmin Approach R10 on a tripod mount facing a target

(Image credit: Future)

You need a minimum of 14 feet from the net or impact screen to the actual Approach R10 launch monitor, with you in the middle. If you have a sizable yard or a big indoor room that you plan to hit in, that shouldn't be a problem. If you're working in a small area, you might find that you can't get that much space.

You need at least eight feet between where you're hitting from and the net or impact screen. This is how much space the radar-based launch monitor needs to analyze the ball flight. You also need six feet behind you to place the launch monitor so it can read everything.

More expensive launch monitors that don't rely on radar sit directly in front of you while you're hitting, removing the requirement for the space in front and back. They also cost thousands of dollars more. If you can find the space, it's worth saving the money. 

Also, if you're not planning to use it at home and only want to bring it to the range, the space in front won't be an issue, and you only need to make sure you can put the launch monitor at least six feet behind you.

The subscription is expensive

While the Approach R10 is a tremendous value, some of its best features are locked behind a subscription, which means you're looking at an additional cost if you want to make the most of the device.

As of this writing, the subscription is $9.99 per month or $99 per year (it's definitely worth getting the annual plan if you intend to use the launch monitor for an extended period). 

Without the subscription, you can use the driving range and practice features, which is great. However, if you want to play simulated golf rounds at the thousands of supported courses, you'll need to throw down the money.

And while I do think it's worth it, it's definitely something to keep in mind if you're on a tight budget.

Should you buy the Garmin Approach R10?

Overall, I love the Garmin Approach R10 and plan to keep using it as a tool to improve my golf game. While it may not be as accurate as the more expensive launch monitors, it's within the acceptable range.

Even with some slight variance in the numbers, it does the most important thing a golf training aid can do — it gets you hitting more balls and practicing more often.

Sure, I wish it didn't require as much space to work as it does, but as long as you find eight feet between you and the net and another six feet between the launch monitor and you (that's 14 feet of total space), then you can make it work well.

Anyone in the market for a way to enhance their golf practice that doesn't involve spending $50 or more an hour to go to the local indoor golf facility will love the Approach R10, even with its small flaws. 

Dave LeClair
Senior News Editor

Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.