Home Golf Simulator Reviews: SkyTrak
Posted by bret richards on April 01, 2016 0 Comments
When it was launched near the end of 2014, SkyTrak was heralded as a “complete practice, play and entertainment system.” Weighing less than 2 pounds and under 7 inches tall, SkyTrak promised to deliver “commercial quality ball flight simulations that reflect a golfer’s actual performance for game improvement and entertainment” at a fraction of the price of comparable alternatives.
The SkyTrak launch monitor has been in the hands of consumers for nearly 16 months and, for the most part, has lived-up to the hype. A photometric launch monitor with commercial-grade accuracy, SkyTrak uses high-speed cameras to accurately captures thousands of data points, including ball speed, launch angle, back spin, side spin and side angle. It then uses this information to simulate the ball’s flight.
It’s important to begin this review by highlighting that SkyTrak employs ball-tracking technology, as opposed to club-tracking technology, or a combination of both. Ball-tracking technology is inherently more accurate than club-tracking systems, and usually comes with a significantly higher price tag to match. Until SkyTrak came along.
What You Get
What do you get when you open the “box?” A photometric launch monitor that delivers unprecedented accuracy at a price point of approximately $2,100. With it’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the unit connects via Wi-Fi to a wide range of Apple products. But you will need to download the SkyTrak App first, which is available for iOS and PC.
SkyTrak comes packaged with a simulated driving range, and includes various challenges to keep practice fun, including closest to the pin, longest drive and targets. During the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show, SkyTrak unveiled a few enhancements, including the addition of practice greens of various shapes and difficulty levels to its driving range program.
But if you want to play a virtual round of golf using data captured from your SkyTrak launch monitor, you will need to reach for your wallet. More on that later on in our review.
Cost vs Accuracy
Over the past 16 months, a lot of exhaustive testing has been done comparing the results from SkyTrak with other, much more expensive launch monitors on the market, including TrackMan and GC2. Here at Golf Simulator Guys, we’ve completed our own rounds of testing, comparing the performance of SkyTrak against multiple products, including TruGolf.
The general consensus is that there is very little difference in the performance data between SkyTrak and that of significantly more expensive launch monitors, including those employing Doppler, radar-based technology.
SkyTrak promised to be the first, highly-accurate, low-cost ball-tracker on the market. And they delivered.
Pay to Play
SkyTrak is, first and foremost, a launch monitor. It can be used at home with a net, or taken to a local driving range. It does include a virtual practice driving range with some interesting features, but if you want to play a virtual round of golf, you will need to spend some additional money.
SkyTrak has been designed as an open platform with the expectation that developers would create simulated-play software utilizing its ball-tracking data. WTG Golf completed its integration with SkyTrak in October 2015 and includes two game modes for time and practice flexibility – closest-to-the-hole and full-stroke play on courses from around the world. SkyTrak is also integrated with The Golf Club. TruGolf’s E6 software, which is considered by many to be the industry standard in simulated play software, is in the final stages of integration with SkyTrak and should be available sometime this year. Additionally, Perfect Parallel Golf is designing simulated software as well.
However, with choice comes additional expense. WTG Golf will cost you additional $100 to $300 per year, depending upon which package you chose and the incentives available at the time of purchase. And an annual subscription to The Golf Club will cost you just under $500.
SkyTrak is very accurate, cost effective, and with multiple simulation-software options, it’s a very exciting product. And its fun to use, which will make practice more enjoyable and productive. The App that comes with the unit is intuitive and easy to use. And at $2,100, SkyTrak is a fraction of the cost of comparable competitors.
One small drawback - SkyTrak sits on a mat system, parallel to the target line. This makes it very inconvenient for right and left handed play at the same time during simulated play. In addition, after impact, there is a delay before the simulation appears. So far, it appears as though this delay exists regardless of the simulation software chosen.
All things considered however – SkyTrak is a tremendous value and is highly recommended by the Golf Simulator Guys.