What is the difference between the Launch Pro and GC3?
Towards the end of 2021, Vista Outdoors (Parent Company of Bushnell) purchased Foresight Sports. With this acquisition, Bushnell made a strong committment to the growing launch monitor and golf simulation industry.
Not long after the annoucement, Bushnell announced their first launch monitor, the Launch Pro. And around a similar time, Foresight Sports (still operating under Foresight Sports for now) announced the GC2's successor, the GC3 Launch Monitor.
Aside from the subtle color accents, these two units look identical. And when you dive into the data offering, features, and integrations, they are also nearly identical. Which begs the question...
Are the GC3 and Bushnell Launch Pro The Same Launch Monitor?
The short answer is..kind of! These launch monitors are built on the same technology and provide the same set of data and features. So why is one $4,500 more?
The Key Difference
There is one key difference between the GC3 and Launch Pro. And that is the software and subscription packages.
The GC3 is an all-inclusive package that requires no subscriptions. You get golf simulation through FSX 2020, the FSX Performance App (3D Driving range + fancy data analysis views), and even Foresight Sports' new FX Play - a golf simulation software that features all new enhanced graphics.
With the Bushnell Launch Pro, you don't get anything without a subscription other than the unit's own on-screen numeric data display. You won't get simulation and you also lose a few data points like Club Path and Attack Angle without one of the two upper subscription options.
Here are the Bushnell Launch Pro's subscription options:
$99/yr (1st Year Free)
- Data: Carry distance, ball speed, total spin, horizontal launch angle, vertical launch angle, clubhead speed, smash factor
- Standard Driving Range
- 10 Cloud Saved Sessions, 2 Saved Videos
- 2D Ball Flight
- Dispersion Data
- Single Player
Everything in Basic, plus:
- Course Play: Play 5 golf courses for up to 4 players
- Online Play
- 3D Ball Flight
- 20 Cloud Saved Sessions, 5 Saved Videos
Everything in Basic and Silver, plus:
- Course Play: Play 10 golf courses for up to 6 players
- 3rd Party Golf Simulation Software Allowed
- Additional Data: Spin Tilt Axis, Back/Side Spin, Club Path, Angle of Attack
- Unlimited Cloud Saved Sessions, 10 Saved Videos
To get the full, and comparable, functionality to the GC3, Launch Pro owners will need to subscribe to the Gold subscription - which will cost you $799/year.
So at $2,999, the Bushnell Launch Pro will be considerably cheaper than the GC3 for the first few years of ownership (The GC3 costs $7, 499). But if you own the Launch Pro for 6 years or more, then you'll actually end up spending more money on the Launch Pro.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
The GC3 is built for the long game. No, not for drivers and woods. But for those planning on keeping their launch monitor for many years. If you think you're "going through a phase". Which don't get us wrong, we all do! Then the Launch Pro might be a better short-term choice.
The Launch Pro also would work better for someone who doesn't need simulation. If the basic subscription of the Launch Pro does what you need, then you'll get the same precision accuracy for much less than the GC3. And since the basic subscription is just $99/yr, it would take you 45 years to reach what the GC3 costs!
To sum it up..yes these two launch monitors are pretty much the same! One isn't more accurate than the other. And if you have the gold subscription on the Launch Pro, then the data and feature offering is identical. To decide which unit will be best for you, you'll need to look at how long you plan on seriously using the launch monitor. And whether or not you want all that would be included in the "Gold Subscription".