ORLANDO, Fla. -- Standing just six inches high and four inches wide, The Radar might be mistaken for a chunky BlackBerry. You can't check your e-mail on it, but this portable Doppler radar unit will tell you the ball speed and carry distance of any shot you hit.
"Most people who are practicing on a range have no idea how far they are really hitting the ball," says Jon Leven, CEO of National Golf Products, the makers of The Radar. "And certainly at any indoor facility, when you are hitting into a net, you wouldn't know how far your shots are going either."
The Radar solves this problem, and it's easy to use. You simply select the radar band that matches the club you're swinging, and the device measures the ball's speed at several points immediately after impact. Using algorithms, The Radar then determines the spin rate and launch angle of your shot. The ball speed is displayed on the screen, as well as the distance, which is computed using the information The Radar has collected.
To be fair, this is not a true launch monitor. Leven says that it's accurate to within a yard on shots hit up to 150 yards. More than 150, and The Radar is accurate to within three to five yards.
The Radar requires one 9-volt battery and retails for $229. (Photo by David Walberg/SI)