This high-end launch monitor provides enhanced accuracy and detailed ball and club data, making it valuable for refining and improving your swing technique. It stands out as one of the more cost-effective options on the market. However, you must pay an annual subscription fee to upgrade the software package and unlock its features.
I’ve utilized the Skytrak launch monitor and found it quite functional. However, a significant drawback was its limitation to providing only ball data. With the release of the Skytrak+, rumoured as an improved version, I was intrigued to see if it lived up to the hype.
Fortunately, I was impressed with its accuracy, and the addition of comprehensive ball and club data proved immensely valuable in refining my shots. It also stands out as a more affordable, high-end launch monitor, making it suitable for tight budgets. One notable downside, though, is the requirement of a subscription plan to access the full range of its premium features and courses.
In the rest of this article, I will review the key features that make the Skytrak+ launch monitor stand out, share how it performed during testing, and discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks associated with this launch monitor.
This launch monitor is designed to deliver exceptionally accurate and precise club and ball data. The following table highlights the key features that distinguish this launch monitor:
|5″x 6″x 12″
|Dual Doppler radar and photometric camera system,
|Apple and Android via App and PC
|Ball data collected
|Ball speed, launch angle, carry distance, total distance, back spin, side spin, total spin, side angle, max height, and descent angle
|Club data collected
|Clubhead speed, club path, face-to-path, face-to-target
The packaging was right, lacking any extravagant elements. However, the construction exhibited sturdiness, and the unit felt very durable. Despite its compact size, it felt heavier than the original Skytrak but remained less bulky than the Bushnell Launch Pro. The package also included:
- SkyTrak Software
- Quick Start Guide and User Manual
- Power cables and bricks
Setting up the launch monitor was quite straightforward and took me around 30 minutes. The process involved downloading the iOS and PC apps, ensuring the firmware was up-to-date, creating a Skytrak account, and connecting to the internet.
While setting it up, I noticed three lights indicating different statuses, including the power, Wi-Fi, and status lights. These lights change based on the mode the launch monitor is in. Whether using it with a PC or a launch monitor, I didn’t encounter any significant issues during the setup.
The SkyTrak+ offers three modes to connect to your chosen device:
- USB Mode: Involves a direct wired connection between the SkyTrak+ and your device.
- Direct Mode: This involves a wireless connection utilizing the built-in Wi-Fi connection in the SkyTrak+. Although internet access is restricted, communication between the launch monitor and the device occurs wirelessly.
- Network Mode: Allows an internet connection, enabling simultaneous internet use on your device while connected to the SkyTrak+. This mode is preferred for real-time data synchronization with the software. However, it may only be suitable in locations with internet access, such as a driving range.
I recommend you opt for Network Mode; it is very functional and offers an advantage that allows the data to sync with the software in real-time.
Here are some notable distinctions between Skytrak and Skytrak+:
- Increased Hitting Area: Skytrak+ offers approximately 40% more significant hitting area, providing golfers greater flexibility to capture a full range of shots.
- Enhanced Processor: Skytrak+ features a new onboard processor, resulting in faster shot-to-show capability. It also ensures easy and secure connectivity to various PCs and mobile devices.
- 5GHz Wi-Fi: Skytrak+ has added 5GHz Wi-Fi capabilities, delivering faster and more stable connectivity than its predecessor.
- USB Type C Charging: The Skytrak+ introduces USB Type C charging options, offering port stability and rapid charging for convenience.
- No Special Balls: Unlike some other launch monitors, neither Skytrak nor Skytrak+ require special balls.
- No Club Stickers: There is no need for club stickers when using either Skytrak or Skytrak+, simplifying the setup process.
Once set up, the launch monitor was ready for use.
Hitting areas and positioning
Setting up the launch monitor indoors, I recommend having a solid hitting mat and either a net or a screen/enclosure setup with a projector. I took out my longest club, the driver, ensuring I had enough clearance for a full swing.
Checking the spatial requirements dictated by my setup, I ensured at least 9 feet of ceiling height, 10 feet of width, and 12 feet of depth indoors. My Skytrak+ unit was positioned in front of me with the front lens facing perpendicular to the target line, and I used alignment sticks for verification.
Being a right-handed golfer, I placed the unit on the right side, ensuring the bottom was level with the hitting surface. Despite the 40% larger hitting area, precision in ball placement on the designated dot remained crucial for accurate measurements. One notable difference was that the Skytrak+ sat a bit farther away from the hitting zone than the original Skytrak, providing a more spacious and comfortable setup.
Technology and software
The SkyTrak+ brings a notable upgrade with its dual Doppler radar and improved photometric camera system, providing precise ball and club for every swing you take. Here’s a key point: this monitor offers driving range functionality without needing an annual subscription, providing essential ball and club data. However, you’ll need to pay a yearly subscription to unlock additional game-improvement features.
SkyTrak+ works with six third-party simulator software packages, including TruGolf E6 Connect, the Golf Club 2019, WGT by TopGolf, Creative Golf, Fitness Golf, and ProTee Play. Offering flexibility, the SkyTrak+ includes three software options: Basic Software (free), Game Improvement ($129.95 annually), and Play & Improve ($249.95 annually), each catering to different preferences and skill levels.
You can still access the practice mode without a subscription, but a subscription is necessary for a complete experience with advanced features. If you’re focused on accurate shot data and minimal features, you can use the monitor for free without any upgrades. However, I recommend upgrading if you seek advanced modes and simulator integration.
I compared the Skytrak+ with the Bushnell Launch Pro, and the ST+ impressively aligned data across various clubs, from wedges to drivers. However, out of approximately 200 shots, it missed reading about 10 to 12 shots, which could be a limitation, especially when used outdoors. The ball speed and launch angle appeared to be the most accurate, while club data, though slightly less accurate, remains commendable for a unit in this price range.
One feature that stands out is the Shot Optimizer, which provides a detailed analysis of club and ball data while comparing it to optimal launch conditions. The color-coded display (red, yellow, or green) offers a visual cue on how closely your numbers align with those of professional players.
I took the launch monitor to the course to try it out, and it yielded consistently reliable results, capturing every shot effectively. The 40% larger hitting area than the Skytrak model made ball placement less finicky.
For simulation purposes, I noticed that the ST+ may have limitations in chipping, and the provided software lacks putting features. Club data accuracy can sometimes be questionable, affecting its reliability for game improvement.
Two notable observations came to light during my testing of this launch monitor. Firstly, it is specifically designed for use with hitting mats, limiting its suitability for other surfaces. Additionally, there is an approximate 2-second lag between the shot’s impact and the shot’s visualization on the screen. While the lag time was not a significant concern for me, it’s essential to be aware of this aspect, especially for you to prioritize real-time feedback.
The SkyTrak+ has consistently demonstrated impressive accuracy in its performance metrics. Ball speed stands out as the most reliable of the data it provides, with launch angle coming in second. While there is a slight dip in accuracy regarding club data, it remains functional, considering the unit’s price point.
I’ve noticed that the club data is more accurate, especially with short irons and wedges. The spin readings are a standout feature, showing excellence by differing from the X3 by a minimal margin of about 100–150 RPMs. What truly impresses me is the precision of these measurements and the unit’s reliability in capturing spin and club data without additional stickers or special balls.
A buddy of mine who is a casual golfer with a handicap of around 16 tried this launch monitor out and found the SkyTrak+ functional, which has helped improve his game. It’s particularly suitable if you seek a tool to enhance your shots, offering impressive performance within its price range. Overall, it is a more affordable option for the indoor golf shop, providing valuable insights for refining swings without breaking the bank.
This particular launch monitor presents a more budget-friendly alternative priced at $2,695 and can be found in the indoor golf shop. Within its price range, it delivers impressive performance, making it an attractive option for casual golfers looking for valuable insights to enhance their swings. Whether you’re a beginner or a recreational golfer, this affordable option provides a practical tool for improving your game without breaking the bank.
Comparison with other alternatives
The launch monitor is notable for its affordability and provides highly accurate data metrics that can significantly improve your golf game. However, it comes with limited features unless you upgrade the software. If you’re a professional golfer or a coach looking for advanced features without a subscription fee, there are alternative options worth considering. One such alternative is the Foresight G3, which, despite being more expensive, offers a range of impressive features. Another more affordable option is the ES Tour Plus. To make an informed comparison, let’s examine these alternatives side by side.
|Skytrak + launch monitor
|Foresight Sport GC3
|ES Tour Plus
|ball speed, launch angle, carry distance, total distance, back spin, side spin, total spin, side angle, max height, descent angle clubhead speed, club path, face-to-path, face-to-target
|Ball speed, launch angle, side angle, total spin, backspin, spin axis, side spin, club head speed, smash factor, club path, angle of attack
|Launch Angle, Ball Speed, Spin Rate, Spin Axis, Height, Hang Time, Landing Angle, and Carry Distance. Roll Distance. Total Distance, Clubhead Speed. Smash Factor, Angle of Attack, Spin Loft, Face Angle, Club Path, Dynamic Loft
Skytrak + launch monitor
|Buy Now For $2,695
Foresight Sport GC3
|Buy Now For $6,999
ES Tour Plus
|Buy Now For $1,995
Pros and cons
This launch monitor excels in performance but could be better. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of this launch monitor.
What I liked:
- Affordability with impressive performance.
- Accurate ball and club data is needed for swing improvement.
What I didn’t like:
- Subscriptions are needed for premium features.
- Challenges with capturing shots off natural grass.
- Limited simulation features compared to higher-end models.
The SkyTrak+ Launch Monitor is commendable if you seek accurate and detailed ball and club data to refine your swing techniques. While its affordability makes it an attractive option, you should be mindful of the need for a subscription to unlock advanced features.
The subscription fee is about $200, granting you access to all its features. However, if you are a casual golfer interested in only accessing data to improve your swings, you can use the launch monitor for free without upgrading. But if you are a serious golfer or golfing coach, I recommend going for more expensive alternatives with more advanced features better suited to your skill level.