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*Unofficial* Ernest Sports ESB1 Launch Monitor Review


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I got tired of waiting for a launch monitor manufacturer who has an app that is compatible with Android devices.  After some research and a few calls, I have purchased the Ernest Sports ESB1.  The Android app is not yet available, but having spoken to one of the engineers, the last hurdle was getting the Bluetooth connectivity to function reliably.  As of yesterday, 4/16/2021, I was informed that the app is ready and submitted to Google, but that they are waiting for Google's approval before it can be made available.  So, even though this will only be a review of the my experiences with device itself, I decided to post it, and continue once I have the app for my phone.  One of the positives that I already have enjoyed is that this is an American-based company, with friendly and accessible staff.  They have been very patient and helpful with all of my newbie questions.

The retail price of the monitor is $550, but keeping an eye out for sales can drop that considerably; my hard ceiling price for a personal launch monitor was $500, and I was able to stay below that with no problem.  Dimensions of the device are 8" x 5" x 1.25".  The ESB1 measures and displays the following data:

  • Clubhead Speed
  • Ball Speed
  • Smash Factor
  • Carry Distance
  • Spin

One needs to enter the clubs you have in your bag, with the added benefit of the ability of specifying the loft of each club.  Given that I am currently hitting Wilson D7 irons, which have *extremely* strong lofts (27.5 degrees for the 7-iron, for example), this is nice.  Another input option is altitude; this necessitated one of my many calls to Ernest Sports to determine the purpose and recommend setting for this parameter.  The engineer informed me that this was a way to artificially alter the data based upon the known effects of altitude above sea level upon ball flight behavoir.  The purpose is to adjust reported ball flight values if they seem unreasonable.  Specific altitudes cannot be entered, but one must choose from a list.  Fort Wayne sits at 870 feet above sea level, so I just chose the nearest available value in the options menu, which was 1000 feet.  Based on my results vis-à-vis the Trackman, I haven't messed with this setting, but I will do so to see how it effects the numbers reported.

You also have the ability to adjust the shot distance for each club from -9 < 0 < +9 percent, again, if these data seem amiss.

Another mode setting is the option to toggle between "normal" and "softer" shots.  I haven't yet tried this, but I am sure that it will merit another call to suburban Atlanta.😀  I will try this out and include my findings in my followup review.

I have run two tests so far:

  1. Side-by-side A/B comparison with Trackman at Apex Golf in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Hitting from a mat into a screen, located about 15 feet away
  2. ESB1 alone, in a fairly dimly-lit indoor dome driving range.  The maximum height of the dome ceiling is about 18 yards, and the maximum downrange distance to the far wall is 97 yards.

First of all, and probably obviously, I would not spend this kind of money on a launch monitor if there was not a phone app in the works.  Having to walk towards the monitor, which is setting 4-6 feet behind me, to see the results would be a non-starter for me.  My old-man eyes don't help, and I guess that you younger folks could see the numbers from that distance, but still...  Also, $550 is a lot of coin if all the monitor gave you were bare-bones numbers, IMO.  I can't wait for the app!

For the side-by-side Trackman test, I would first hit 4 or 5 shots with each club (PW - D), then randomly decide that the next shot would be the one for which I would record the data.  Not ideal, I know, but without the app, no shots are saved, and writing down the numbers for each swing would have been tedious beyond belief.  Also, I felt that choosing a random swing to be the one recorded would give a mix of good and poor shots, including topped, fat, heels and toes. 

I am pleasantly surprised by how close the ESB1 numbers were to those reported by Trackman,with a very big exception I'll mention below.  For my 15 handicap purposes, not knowing for sure if I carry my 7-iron 160 or 164 yards is a non-sequitur.  Informally, I did look at the numbers for each shot, and all were reasonably close, as defined by my needs.  A big exception were the spin values.  The ESB1 numbers as compared to the Trackman were all over the place, some higher, some lower.  I need to ask Ernest Sports about this.  Also, not a single shot was missed by the ESB1.

I recorded the numbers on a spreadsheet, but don't know how to embed it here.  Can anybody help?

For the driving dome testing, I didn't have anything with which to compare, but I wanted to see if the numbers seemed reasonable, especially in the comparatively subdued lighting.  I hit 5 or so shots with each club, PW - D, and looked at what the ESB1 reported.  Everything seemed to be within my expectations.  Also of some importance, not a single shot was missed, even the occasional topped/shanked shot.  I think that I recall that the smash factor for the shanked shot was around 0 😳.

So far, I can say that I am impressed with the accuracy of this personal launch monitor.  Looking at the things you can do with the iOS app, I am very eager to test the Android version, and I check the Google Play Store daily.  Once it is available, I will try to put it through its paces and report back here.  Of course, I also need to hit some shots outdoors!  Please let me know if there is anything else you would want me to try with this monitor, and I will do my best to include that in the next report.  Thanks.

For more details, here is the website: https://www.ernestsports.com/es-b1-behind-the-player/

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Semper ubi, sub ubi.

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Thanks for the review.   As a followup,  I would be really interested in how the device works for shots 100 and in.   While long game practice would be great,  I really want to work on those short game shot distances.   

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  Bellum Winmore 787

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the recommendation!  I'll add shots from <= 100 yards to the list of things to test the next round.

 

 


Sent from my SM-N975U using MyGolfSpy mobile app
 

 

Edited by Bluesman57
Typos
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Semper ubi, sub ubi.

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@Bluesman57 .. just checked your link for the product page and the Android app is now available.

I was also gonna ask about shorter / wedge shots so curious to see what you find out.

WITB of an "aspiring"  😉 play-ah ...
..Callaway Epic Speed 4W (Project X Cypher)
..Tour Edge Exotics EXS 7W (Tensei CK Blue)
..Callaway Super Hybrid 23 (PX Catalyst) and Big Bertha 19 5H (Recoil ZTR)
..PXG 0211 6i-GW (Mitsubishi MMT) 
..Cleveland CBX2 54 and CBX 60 (both Rotex graphite)
..Evnroll ER5 (33", 385g, P2 Reflex Tour)
..all in a Datrek bag on a Bag Boy Quad XL push an MGI Zip Navigator electric cart.

Forum Member tester for the ExPutt Putting Simulator

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How much room in front of you do you need for the unit? Can you use it in a garage?

In the bag:
Driver: :titelist-small: TSi2 Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 6.0
Fairway: :Sub70: 939X 15° Project X Even Flow Blue 6.0
Hybrid: :Sub70: 939X 3 Hybrid Project X Even Flow Riptide 6.0
Irons: :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged 4-GW Project X Catalyst 80 6.0
Wedge: :cleveland-small: Smartsole S
Putter :yes-small: Tracy
Bag: 
:Ogio: Alpha Convoy 514
Balls::Snell: MTB-X or Black

Cart: :CaddyTek: CaddyLite ONE Ver. 8


God Bless America🇺🇸, God save the Queen🇬🇧, God defend New Zealand🇳🇿 and thank Christ for Australia🇦🇺!

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8 hours ago, MattF said:

How much room in front of you do you need for the unit? Can you use it in a garage?

I've used it at a facility with a Trackman bay, and I'd say that the screen was about 10' away.  The owner's manual specifies at 8' down the target line along the ball flight (at least 4' behind the ball).  By the way, the manual also specifies a 1' wide window for ball detection, and all I can say is that out of the 60 or so shots that I have hit while using the monitor, not a single one was missed.  Including some thins and shanks that I wish it had.🤪

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Semper ubi, sub ubi.

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18 hours ago, cksurfdude said:

@Bluesman57 .. just checked your link for the product page and the Android app is now available.

I was also gonna ask about shorter / wedge shots so curious to see what you find out.

Thanks for the notification about the app availability for Android!  I've been waiting to hear from Ernest Sports, but you beat them to it! 

I'm looking forward to trying the app, including with shorter shots. 

I forgot to add the link to the product manual: https://www.ernestsports.com/ESB1Manual.pdf

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Semper ubi, sub ubi.

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I sent in a few questions to Ernest Sports, and I wanted to share their reply with y'all:

 

Does the Android version of the app have all of the features that the manual shows for iOS?  Specifically, Session Simulation View, PGA Averages, and all of the skills challenges? Not at the moment.  It is the very basic functions at this time.  We will continue to improve on it and eventually have it mirror the iOS version.  I don’t have a timeline for this, but it should move pretty quickly.

Would changing the MDE setting allow for accurate measurement of higher-lofted wedges?  How about pitches, half shots, etc.? The MDE changes the sensitivity of the microphone.  This will help if some of the shorter (<20 yds) shots are not registering, although I have not had anyone that needed to use that function.  I would imagine if you were hitting very short chips out of fluffy grass, it would be necessary.

I know this doesn’t help you at the moment, but the new app (ES RANGE) also has some games/skills challenges.  You mentioned the <100 yards shots in your post request.  The skills challenge will eventually have 2 options: 1) random and 2) wedge.  In the wedge setting, it will challenge shots between 20 and 120 yards.

The implication seems to me that they are confident with the accuracy of the B1 with short irons.  And I look forward to the release of the wedge skills challenge!

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Semper ubi, sub ubi.

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Another short update.  I was able to get to an outdoor range today, so I was able to test out the data as well as the new app for Android devices.

Having the app removes the necessity of having to go back and look at the monitor itself for the information, which is a good thing, since the display is very difficult to read in the bright sunshine.  I had my phone near to my hitting area, and the spoken voice calling out the yardages was clearly audible, and I got no reaction from the people hitting right next to me, so I must have had the volume on my phone just right.

I hit all of my clubs in the bag, which are Driver, 3-wood, 5 wood, 4-hybrid and 6-GW + 52 and 56 degree wedges.  All yardages (I had the device set to record carry distances, but you can choose total distance if you want) seemed reasonable.  Looking at the session results and averages, all numbers looked to be what I expect them to be, based on past Trackman and real life sessions, including the higher lofted wedges.  I also had a range finder with me, and did verify a few shots.

There was one glitch that I noticed.  I didn't pay attention to this while at the range, but looking at the summary, I can see that not all club change requests made using the app registered.  For example, the club change from 6 iron to 4 hybrid didn't "take", and all of these shots were included in the 6 iron data.  It is obvious which ones belong to which club, so I do know that the swings were recorded.  I will check with Ernest Sports about this.  Oh, and good news: I hit a couple of horrendously fat shots, which carried all of 15 yards,  none of which were recorded!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It turns out that the "glitch" is actually the B1 not accepting 4 nor 3 hybrid as input.  I changed the club in my "bag" to 2 hybrid, but set the loft to match my 4.  All worked well then.

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