I used to wonder how Bose just continually made home speakers and headphones that were just better than everyone else.
Why did nobody copy what they did or try to make their speakers as much like Bose as possible. Then I realized that other companies just could not do it.
Bose had been doing it too well for too long and other companies just could not catch up. The same could be true of the Skytrak Golf Launch Monitor.
The Skytrak just continues to stay a step above other Launch Monitors on the market and even at a much lower price tag, it can compete with some of the big boys.
It has all of the features, gives you all of the data, and makes it as easy as you could ask for.
The following is a Skytrak Review that will teach you more about this product and help you decide if it is the right Launch Monitor for you.
Things To Consider Before Buying The Skytrak
The Skytrak is still the king of the affordable golf simulators and it only continues to grow in importance.
Look for our review of this device coming soon. The Skytrak retails for around $2,000 which, at first glance seems like a lot.
However, if you were to compare this price with the Skytrak’s competitors like Tracman and Flightscope, you would see what a great price this is.
At the same time, Compared to the Optishot 2, which is a less expensive model, the Skytrak is a considerable upgrade.
The Skytrak is compact at about 7-inches tall and less than 2 pounds, but it packs a big punch.
You can connect it wirelessly to your device and it gives you incredible data to track your progress over time, choose the right club for different situations, give you in depth data on ball flight and club movement, and act as a personal caddie/swing coach.
It comes with a basic plan for free that you can upgrade 1 of 2 ways depending on what you are hoping to get from the device.
The price tag seems large, but compared to the features offered and the price of its competitors, the Skytrak is still the one of the best simulators/launch monitors out there.
- As accurate as brands like Tracman and Flightscope at a fraction of the price.
- Small and compact enough to take to the course, but can also be used to setup as a simulator in your house.
- The data is clear and easy to digest.
- The optics and visuals are great.
- The user interface is intuitive and simple.
- The data provided is as in depth as what you find in commercial simulators and higher end launch monitors.
- The cost/feature ratio is very good for the consumer.
- It is easy to use.
- You have a practice range option as well as the ability to simulate some of the best courses in the world.
- There is a challenge mode to play others and keep your competitive side active.
- The cost is prohibitive for a lot of golfers.
- To use it inside you need additional accessories and a lot of space.
What Type of Golfer Would Benefit?
The Skytrak is a really good launch monitor and simulator. It is very accurate and it gives you data and statistics on a number of things.
The bottom line is that this is not for a beginning golfer or even really a weekend warrior.
The Skytrak is for those golfers looking to take the next step in their game and just need some extra time to practice while learning more about the strengths and weaknesses of their game.
You can play courses, hit on a range, and play against others so that you really have the chance to work on any aspect of your game with the Skytrak.
The 3D graphics of your ball flight, immediate feedback after each shot, and the accurate data that you receive make it perfect for golfers who know what they are looking for and know how to make relevant and good changes to their own swing.
The Skytrak is a great tool for good golfers, and if that is what you are, the Skytrak can help you reach the next level.
Skytrak Features and Benefits
Hardware (5 out of 5)
Skytrak launch monitors use photometric technology, or high speed cameras that take images of the ball immediately after impact.
These images are used to measure parameters necessary to render distance and shot shape. You can also see spin rates and get an accurate depiction of where the ball would end up and on what line it would travel.
Complicated and accurate algorithms are used to give you the data that you see on the screen, but in terms of hardware, it is really just the small machine with the high speed cameras.
The ball data that you get from the Skytrak is just as in-depth and accurate as the $20,000 and $25,000 machines you can find. The only real difference is that they usually give you data on your club (path, speed, direction) as well as the ball.
While not technically hardware, if you are planning on using the Skytrak primarily inside, just the machine is not enough. Because Skytrak does not use sensors but a camera, no hitting area is provided.
You will need a mat to hit from and one that you can place the Skytrak either on or beside so that it can take pictures and read the data.
You will also need a net to hit into unless you are planning on doing some damage to your home. You will need to use real golf balls because that is what the Skytrak reads.
Software (5 out of 5)
The best feature of the software is how clear the data is and how advanced the graphics are.
If you get setup inside, even if you are using a small ipad, you feel like you are on the course.
You get the ball flight tracker that shows you what your ball is doing in the air, and it is much easier to track that movement than it is to track your own ball off the tee.
The driving range mode is as authentic as you will find in the launch monitor market.
Again, you see your ball traveling through the air, you see the line it takes and the way that it lands on the turf.
You also get great distance and spin statistics right away. You can play against other people and on some of the best courses in the world.
A lot of golf is mental, so staying competitive and having to think through strategy and club selection is important in practice as well.
There are also drills and fun games you can play like longest drive or closest to the pin that are less time consuming but also helpful for certain aspects of your game.
The Skytrak also is a great start to a complete simulation package.
Add a projector, a mat, a net, or even a complete studio and you are well on your way to being outfitted like a club-fitting shop.
Skytrak specifically measures this data:
- Ball Speed
- Launch Angle
- Back Spin
- Side Spin
- Side Angle
It uses this measured data and inserts it into algorithms within the software to accurately provide this information:
- Carry and Total Distance
- Flight Path
- Club Head Speed
- Angle of Descent
Ease of Use
There is nothing overly complicated about the Skytrak system. The app itself and the interface within it are intuitive and easy to read.
It takes a little while to get used to processing the information, but not because it is not easy.
I tried to find things that would make this difficult, but there is not much. If you have even moderately up-to-date electronics then it should not be difficult to to get started. It is not much more than a plug and play machine.
In terms of the data on the golf ball, the Skytrak is second to none. The numbers you get on spin and distance are almost enough in themselves.
When you put these numbers up against even the most expensive machines, they are equally accurate.
The software is able to use the accuracy of the cameras to immediately render other information like total distance and carry immediately after the swing.
For the data that it produces, the Skytrak is as accurate as you will find.
Cost (3.5 out of 5)
The old saying, “you pay for what you get,” really applies to the Skytrak. For many people reading this, myself included, $2,000 is a lot of money and could go a long way for a variety of other things. However, if you are someone really looking to improve their golf game, the Skytrak gives you a little bit of everything. A launch monitor, simulator, swing coach, caddie, swing information storage, and even a really good picture of what your swing looks like. The problem is that it costs $2,000, so even if it is worth if in terms of the features offered, it is up to each individual to know if it fits within your budget.
Additional Items to Consider Along With The Skytrak
The following 2 items should really be considered when purchasing the Skytrak, especially if you will be using the device primarily indoors.
If you are looking to amp up the experience to an even higher degree, check out the “Simulator Studios” either on the Skytrak site or similar products elsewhere.
These studio setups are similar to what you will find at a Golf Superstore or anywhere that fits clubs. They are a pricier option, but the benefits are great and it is like you are playing a round inside your own house.
A golf net is necessary with the Skytrak because it really only works using real golf balls struck with a real golf club. In reality, using a real golf ball is the only way to get a real feel for how you are playing.
It is hard to play all out and to take it seriously when you are hitting a foam ball into a wall like you can do with some other machines.
When you are hitting a real golf ball into a net, you get the feel and the confidence that comes with playing under more normal circumstances, and it feels like real golf when you see the ball flight and read the data.
A good golf net is important both for confidence and performance. You do not want to constantly wonder if the net is big enough, or have to buy a new net the following year. A good option for a golf net is the Spornia SPG 7, and you can read the Red Birdie review of the product and other golf nets by clicking here.
Indoor Golf Mat
This is another necessary accessory for using the Skytrak system inside. Standing on your wood or tile floors or hitting the ball off your carpet does not make sense and it would not make for easy reading for the Skytrak.
However, if you have a good golf mat that is made to feel like real turf both under your feet and when you strike the ball, it adds to the whole experience.
You also do not want a mat that will damage your club, turn the ball green, or rip/tear after a couple of months.
You want a durable mat that rebounds and hits like real turf. A good option for an indoor golf mat is the Dura Pro Commercial Mat, and you can read the Red Birdie review of the product and other golf mats by clicking here.
Alternatives To The Skytrak
The Optishot 2 is an excellent low cost option to work on your game at home.
Does it have all the bells and whistles of the higher end machines? No.
Is it as accurate or thorough as what the pros use? No.
(check out this article to read our in depth review of the Optishot 2)
Is it a great option for players in colder climates or players who want to be able to work on their game at home without breaking the bank? Absolutely!
You get the Optishot 2 software download that includes 15 golf courses (more can be purchased) and a simulator that gives you insight to each shot that you take.
You also get a fairly realistic turf mat with 16 sensors that track your swing data for accurate distance, spin, measurements, etc.
The software and sensors interact well with each other and the interface is very easy to use. Once you download the software, you could really get started ASAP.
To make the setup better, you could purchase things like a projector, golf net, or a larger hitting mat, and those things will both add to the cost and the experience.
The 3D graphics on your computer or tv are great and include a ball flight tracker that you see on PGA Tour events on tv.
- The 16 infrared sensors are quite accurate and durable.
- You can play and practice from the comfort of home.
- The next real step up in features costs around $2,000 (Skytrak) which is a significant increase in price.
- The software is good and easy to use.
- You get 2 foam practice balls that you can use if you do not have a mat.
- Adjustable rubber tees help you to place the ball at the height that you want for each club.
- Free software updates.
- There are a lot of potential additions like a hitting net, more extensive mat, and a projector to see the shape and data on each shot as you hit.
- 15 pre-programmed golf courses to make this simulator more fun and to give you a sense of playing a real golf course, and a driving range option.
- For a monthly fee, you can purchase a “Season Pass” that allows you to play in tournaments against other golfers to see how your game is improving.
- Not as accurate or feature rich as the more expensive options.
- You still need fairly significant space inside your home to make this setup work, even at its smallest.
The Mevo+ launch monitor continues to improve and grow in popularity. The Mevo+ uses a Doplar Radar to gather data and to give you an accurate description of each shot.
That means that it shoots lasers at the ball and club before, during, and after impact to get an accurate overall idea of what happened at impact and what the resulting performance would look like.
It is highly accurate because you get club and ball data together which gives you a better overall picture of what is happening with each swing.
The app is really easy to use and it will read data even when you are not looking at it so that you can get an idea of how you are progressing in your game month after month.
It has an easy and intuitive interface even if you are not technologically savvy. Here is a list of all the measurements and data that you get with the Mevo+, it is quite in depth but important to know:
- Carry Distance
- Clubhead Speed
- Smash Factor
- Apex Height
- Ball Speed
- Flight Time
- Spin Rate
- Vertical Launch Angle
- Horizontal Launch Angle
- Lateral Landing
- Angle Of Attack
- Total Distance
- Roll Distance
- Spin Axis
- Spin Loft
- Shot Shape
As you can see, you get a lot of data and it is a very accurate machine, especially for the price. The Skytrak is still considered more accurate, more thorough, easier to use, and easier to learn from, but the Mevo+ continues to get better year after year.
- Very in depth data with a lot of different numbers and statistics from which to learn.
- The Doplar Radar is powerful and accurate.
- Compact enough to setup at home or take out to the course in your golf bag.
- Has considerably more data and features than the Optishot 2 but not as many as the Skytrak.
- It reads both the club and the ball for more direct and accurate data that tells the whole story of your shot.
- Multiple golf courses and a training mode.
- An internal camera for feedback and playback later.
- Accessories are sold separately, but they are easy to pair with the Mevo+ for a really high end setup if you want it.
- The cost is prohibitive for a lot of golfers.
- Not as accurate or as consistent as the Skytrak.
- To use it inside you need additional accessories and a lot of space.
Final Thoughts On The Skytrak Review (4.5 out of 5)
As far as an affordable launch monitor that can be used as a simulator is concerned, you will not find one better than the Skytrak.
At $2,000, its affordability can be questioned, but its accuracy and performance cannot. You get great raw data like ball spin, distance, and carry and it is good to know where you are in each of these areas. You also get deeper metrics like roll, flight path, and angle of descent that help you look a little deeper into your swing.
The Skytrak gives you the opportunity to play any time you want either on a course, at the range, with some friends, or alone and it is the consistency of play that just may help your game the most.
You can also turn the Skytrak into a full simulator with just a little work. The bottom line is that the Skytrak is a great way for good golfers to get better.