The Bushnell Launch Pro (BLP) and SkyTrak+ are among the best options for launch monitors under $5,000. For this price range, you can expect them to have their respective pros and cons, making it a tricky pick on the best option.
Fortunately, I’ve owned both the Bushnell Launch Pro and SkyTrak launch monitors and have created this review to compare both devices side-by-side, so you have a clearer picture of what both options offer and which is worth your money.
SkyTrak shines by providing weather settings, portability, side-angle readings, wireless setup, and photometric readings. But Bushnell Launch Pro gains more love because it’s easy to set up, includes one free year of the basic software package, provides in-depth shot and club data, houses up to 10 simulated courses, and is enabled by wireless internet.
Both devices are great, honestly. If you’re a recreational golfer, the differences between these devices may not be a deal-breaker. But again, the last thing you want is to make a careless purchase and later realize that one would have better served you than the other.
So, in the rest of this article, I’ll walk you through the features, specifications, performance, accuracy, design, and overall performance of both Bushnell Launch Pro and SkyTrak launch monitors.
Bushnell Launch Pro vs. SkyTrak Comparison Chart
Before we dive into the head-to-head review, here’s a rundown of how both devices measure up across relevant factors. It will help you make quicker decisions on which is better for you if you’re in a hurry.
|Factors||Bushnell Launch Pro||SkyTrak+|
|Data Metrics||Ball Data (Carry Distance) Ball Speed, Vertical Launch Angle, Horizontal Launch Angle, Spin Axis, Backspin, and Sidespin) as well as Club Data (Club Speed, Club Path, Angle of Attack, and Smash Factor)||Ball Data (Ball Speed, Launch Angle (vertical), Descent Angle, Backspin, Sidespin, Side Angle (horizontal launch angle), Max Height, and Carry Distance) as well as Club Data (Club Speed, Club Path, Face to Path, Face to Target, and Smash Factor)|
|In-Built Display Screen||Yes||No|
|Simulation Availability||PC||PC and iOS|
|Battery Life||5-7 hours||5 hours|
|Weight||2 pounds||1.71 pounds|
|Laser Ball Detection Dots||Not present||present|
|Simulation Packages||Foresight software packages||True Golf E6, WGT Golf, and Trugolf E6 Connect|
|PC Connectivity||Ethernet, USB-C cable||Full USB or micro USB cord|
Bushnell Launch Pro
Both devices give you ball and club data. I figured this is the area where most people are interested. So, instead of listing off everything that both devices offer, we will focus on what they don’t provide.
For example, the Skytrak+ has the ball and club data you’d expect from a typical launch monitor, but it’s missing the angle of attack.
I’ve tried to think of why this is so, but the closest conclusion I came to was that it probably has to do with the angle of the radiator that measures it.
On the other hand, Bushnell Launch Pro has the angle of attack metric but lacks face angle data such as face-to-target or face-to-club path.
The Bushnell Launch Pro has a hitting area of 7” by 10”, which is pretty much right in the middle of most hitting strips you will use in a golf simulator.
The device uses the display on the screen to show you the shape of the hitting area. When you drop a golf ball, it shows you where it is on the screen. So, you can adjust if you’re a bit far forward with the ball.
It has an edge over SkyTrak because it makes the BLP fast, efficient, and easy to use.
On the part of SkyTrak, the hitting area is not an area. It’s just a red dot on the ground where you’re supposed to place the golf ball that works just like the original Skytrak, but the Skytrak+ is 40cm larger in area.
While using both launch monitors, I noticed a little delay between when I hit the shot and when it appeared on screen for the SkyTrak. This is a unique feature of the Skytrak that’s not present on the Bushnell Launch Pro.
Indoor and outdoor performance
Skytrak+ does work indoors and outdoors, which gives it an edge over the original Skytrak, but you still need a map when using the device outdoors, so you cannot take it to a golf course. If you’re at a grass-driving range, it won’t work either.
On the other hand, the Bushnell Launch Pro works great indoors as a golf simulator or outdoors at the driving range or golf course.
Since it has a built-in display, it can be used as a standalone device if you don’t want to use any apps or other devices.
Software for the Driving Range
The Bushnell Launch Pro software has three main pieces from Foresight. Each one has a driving range.
- The FSX Pro is Bushnell’s PC or iPad app. It gives you all the necessary data, but not necessarily as a simulation would. It can serve as your driving range, especially if you’re not using a PC.
- The FSX 2020: This subscription was dedicated to the Launch Pro device. It is identical to the regular Foresight FSX 2020 but just made to verify the subscription with the Launch Pro. Apart from having all the basic features, you can integrate swing cameras, which is awesome.
- The FSX Play: This is Bushnell’s newest simulation software. It has a driving range similar to the FSX 2020 but has fewer features. There are no swing cameras and fewer settings or customization options.
NOTE: Depending on subscriptions, some of these features may be locked for you in FSX Pro.
For the SkyTrak software, you get the SkyTrak app with its driving range. I also like that it allows for many settings and customization options, such as how far the ball flies and creating targets of different sizes and distances.
The software has a cool feature called a randomizer that picks a different yardage for you and mixes it up so you’re not just hitting the same target repeatedly.
On the software, you can click on each data point for an elaborate explanation of what the metric means and pop a video of what the data means. So, SkyTrak is so cool for game improvement.
Price and value
The Skytrak costs $2,995 while the Bushnell Launch Pro costs $3,499, but one thing to mention is that the Bushnell Launch Pro goes on sale frequently throughout the year and around holidays; it can usually go on sale for $500 off, so that would make them the same price as the Skytrak.
Also, you can pick up a used or refurbished Bushnell Launch Pro from eBay for around $3000.
Pros and cons
Indeed, there are no perfect launch monitors out there. There are always two sides to the coin. To further help you decide which of these launch monitors is best for you, consider the pros and cons of each:
Bushnell Launch Pro
|It comes with an alignment stick and is very easy to set up.||The software packages are pricey compared to SkyTrak’s.|
|Connects wirelessly to your internet.||Only ten simulated courses were offered, despite the high price.|
|The accuracy for indoors and outdoors is reliable.||An extra fee is charged to access advanced shot/ball metrics like side spin, backspin, spin tilt axis, club path, and angle of attack.|
|The graphs make it easier to understand my swings and other insights.||SkyTrak’s battery life is better than the Bushnell Launch Pro’s.|
|The Foresight Sports simulation packages stand out in the market for sims.|
|For the price, the accuracy even challenges launch monitors that cost more.||It can take between 5 and 7 seconds to pull up shout metrics.|
|Reliable wireless connection.||It doesn’t provide as many shot metrics as the Bushnell Launch Pro.|
|The simulated renderings of famous courses look cool.|
|Ability to archive and review shot data later on.|
|The device itself is relatively affordable compared to the Bushnell Lauch Pro.|
All the time I used both launch monitors, Bushnell seems to be the more accurate (slightly) but the limitations of significant membership prices and only ten base courses are tough to swallow.
On the other hand, even if you don’t know much about SkyTrak, their reviews always look good from real users. So that’s a good side.
That being said, here’s my final rating based on the experiences I had with both devices:
|Rating||Bushnell Launch Pro||SkyTrak Launch Monitor|
|Ease of Use||10||8|
|TOTAL (50 points):||46 Points||40 Points|
Overall, despite the fact that it costs a little more, I will pick the Bushnell Launch Pro over the SkyTrak anytime, any day.
I love its 3-camera system, reliable Foresight technology, which PGA Tour Pros also use, similar accuracy to the Foresight GCQuad, indoor and outdoor reliability, and even the unit display.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you.
You can’t go wrong with SkyTrak if you’re on a tight budget. It’s even a smarter option if you want to use it indoors with an iPad only and you live outside the U.S. (At the time of writing, Launch Pro is only sold and can only be used within the U.S.)