The ES Tour Plus outshines the SkyTrak Launch Monitor with its extensive data points covering club and ball metrics, making it ideal for golfers aiming to improve their swings. However, it comes with a higher price. On the other hand, the more affordable SkyTrak lacks comprehensive club data, and its accuracy in detecting longer shots falls short.
Choosing between the ES Tour Plus and SkyTrak can be tricky, and I’ve noticed many people struggle with this choice in online reviews. I decided to try them out myself to determine what they each brought. The ES Tour Plus was great in my tests, giving me accurate data on ball speed and directions. It had many more data points, giving me a detailed look at my shots.
The only hiccup is more expensive than the Skytrak, which is more budget-friendly. The SkyTrak is good for slower hits and nailing ball distances and directions. But it’s not so great at measuring ball speed, and it doesn’t measure club head speed. It does, however, give launch angle, side angle, side spin, and backspin RPM.
In the rest of this article, we explore the specifications of these launch monitors, compare their performance, and discover the advantages and disadvantages associated with each launch monitor. Let’s begin.
Ernest Sports ES Tour Plus
|Buy Now For $1,995
Skytrak Launch Monitor
|Buy Now For $1.695
A major difference lies in the depth of data capture and the weight of these two launch monitors. In the following table, I’ll compare the dimensions, weight, battery life, and data captured by both launch monitors. This should give you a quick overview of their differences and similarities.
|ES Tour Plus
|10.125” (H) 7.375″ (W) 2.625” (D)
|6.75 (H): 5.75 (L): 2.5 (W)
|high-speed infrared cameras and four 3D Doppler radar sensors
|Photometric camera technology
|USB Cable Wifi
|iPhone and Android
|iPhone, Android, and PC.
|Ball data captured
|Launch Angle, Ball Speed, Spin Rate, Spin Axis, Height, Hang Time, Landing Angle, and Carry Distance Roll Distance Total Distance
|Smash Factor Back Spin Rate, Side Spin Rate, Spin Axis, Spin Loft, Horizontal Launch Angle, Vertical Launch Angle, Roll Distance, Apex Height, and Flight Time
|Club data captured
|Clubhead Speed. Smash Factor, Angle of Attack, Spin Loft, Face Angle, Club Path, and Dynamic Loft
After unboxing the ES Tour Plus’s portable and compact design impressed me. It’s also lighter than some of the other launch monitors I’ve tried.
The SkyTrak was also surprisingly light—one of the lightest I’ve used. I was pleased with how easy it is to carry around, and I was excited to set up these monitors and take them for a spin to see how they would perform in action.
Ernest Sports ES Tour Plus
- Comprehensive Data Analysis: The ES Tour Plus offers extensive data metrics crucial for golfers looking to improve their skills. It measures ball data like ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance, and club data, including club head speed, smash factor, and angle of attack.
- High-Speed Camera System: Equipped with a high-speed camera system, the ES Tour Plus captures and analyzes the club and ball at the moment of impact with high precision.
- Ease of Use and Portability: The ES Tour Plus is praised for its user-friendly interface and portability. Its compact design allows for easy transport and setup, making it suitable for use on the course and in indoor facilities.
Setting up both Launch Monitors was a breeze, thanks to the user-friendly and well-organized instruction manuals that came with both devices. The process was straightforward and hassle-free.
The ES Tour Plus, with its wireless connectivity feature, made the setup even more convenient. Connecting it to my iPad through Bluetooth pairing was a simple task. This eliminated the need for cables and increased the device’s portability, allowing easy movement when I took it to the range to hit some shots.
Downloading the ES Tour app was also a seamless process, and following the app guide made connecting the device to my iPad a smooth experience. The stable and adjustable stand of the ES Tour Plus ensured a secure placement.
Setting up the SkyTrak was equally straightforward, following the manual, which covered everything from app calibration to the position of the launch monitor, However, I hit a snag connecting it to my iPad through WiFi. I had to power off the monitor three times and retry before finally getting it to connect.
The ES Tour Plus employs radar-based technology to capture crucial data points like clubhead speed, ball speed, and spin rate during each swing. Dual photometric cameras and advanced sensors enhance the accuracy and precision of the obtained data.
On the flip side, SkyTrak utilizes a high-speed photometric camera system to track data such as ball speed, carry distance, spin rate, and launch angle with impressive accuracy.
ES Tour Plus offers compatibility with third-party golf simulation software like The Golf Club, E6 Connect, and Perfect Parallel. These software packages provide access to an extensive library of over 100,000 course simulations, so you have much to choose from. It does, however, offer fewer software options than Skytrak.
SkyTrak, on the other hand, provides three software options to enhance the simulation experience:
- Basic Practice Range Plan: This plan costs $130 and allows users to view data on launch angle, shot trajectory, ball speed, and total distance.
- Game Improvement Package: This requires a yearly subscription and includes a SkyTrak Launch Monitor, a protective metal case, features from the Basic Practice Range Plan, Play and Improve Plan, Skills Assessment, and a 12-month subscription to the Game Improvement Plan.
- Tee-off Package: Also requires a yearly subscription, covering all features included in the Game Improvement Package, along with a twelve-month subscription to the WGT Play and Improve Plan, allowing users to play 11 of the world’s most famous courses virtually and participate in the Closest to Hole Challenge.
SkyTrak also supports integration with third-party software like E6 Connect, WGT, or The Golf Club 2019, expanding the range of simulation options available to users.
I’m not a big fan of these subscription packages because they are overpriced for a couple of additional features. Skytrak only provides ball data, so I’d choose a less expensive option like the Meevo+ that does not require a subscription package and offers similar performance.
Skytrak Launch Monitor
Starting At $1,695
- Accurate Ball Flight Data: SkyTrak is known for providing highly accurate ball flight data on par with much more expensive systems. It measures key metrics such as ball speed, launch angle, backspin, sidespin, and carry distance.
- Simulator Integration for Enhanced Experience: One of the standout features of SkyTrak is its ability to integrate with golf simulation software. This provides an immersive experience where users can play virtual rounds on famous golf courses, participate in online challenges, or practice in simulated environments.
- Portability and Convenience: SkyTrak’s compact and wireless design makes it highly portable and easy to set up, whether at home, in the office, or on the driving range.
The ES Tour Plus showcased exceptional accuracy in capturing ball and club data during my testing. I tried it out with my 7-iron and sand wedge, and it consistently provided precise measurements for both.
The SkyTrak also delivered accurate ball data, including backspins, side spins, and ball speed. However, I did notice some discrepancies in the data readings for carry distance for longer shots.
One noteworthy observation was that the SkyTrak displayed data about 5 seconds slower than the ES Tour Plus, giving the ES Tour Plus an edge in delivery speed.
The ES Tour Plus impressed me with its customizable data display feature, which allowed me to access only the shot metrics I was interested in after each shot. For example, I could focus solely on spin rate, launch angle, and distance, eliminating unnecessary distractions from irrelevant data.
Another standout feature of the ES Tour Plus is its ability to calibrate for different clubs. Whether using my 7-iron or Sand wedge, I could easily calibrate it to adjust readings for each club.
I also observed that the Skytrak requires a well-lit room because it relies on cameras and struggles with data tracking in low light.
The Skytrak may also not be the best choice to improve your putting. While it does recognize putts as you make your play, it, however, has no dedicated putting practice modes.
The ES Tour Plus is more accurate in measuring club and ball data, giving you many details. Although it’s more expensive, it’s worth paying a couple of hundred dollars more for its increased precision and more comprehensive data.
While the ES Tour Plus is considered more affordable than other launch monitors on the market, such as the GCQuad, compared with the SkyTrak, it is the pricier option. The ES Tour Plus is available at the PGA Tour Superstore for $1,995.
The indoor golf shop sells the SkyTrak for $1,695.
Pros and cons
While both products offer the unique advantages they offer golfers, they also have their respective downsides. Let’s take a look at some I encountered during testing.
ES Tour Plus
|What I liked
|What I Didn’t Like
|You can set it up without messy cables, making it easy to use and connect to your phone or tablet.
|Relatively higher cost compared to similar devices.
|The software is user-friendly and designed for non-tech experts, even for easy use.
|The small LCD screen on the top of the device
|Provide comprehensive data metrics for detailed shot analysis.
|A more concise form
|provides real-time data feedback.
|What I liked
|What I Didn’t Like
|A more affordable option
|There are delays in providing shot results, with a few seconds of lag.
|The system precisely measures ball movement, allowing for the collection of detailed shot information.
|Other options provide more precise details on club movement.
|Accuracy on longer shots is not as reliable as premium alternatives.
Both launch monitors are high-end, although the ES Tour Plus is the more expensive. The ES Tour Plus stays ahead regarding the depth of data supplied but offers fewer software options. However, the software options available are sufficient if you are a casual golfer who prefers a par-3 or 9-hole course experience and would give you the in-depth data you require.
Skytrak, on the other hand, is more affordable by about 300 dollars. Still, you would have to pay an annual subscription to access some of its simulation features and data, which may be a more expensive cost in the long run.