SkyTrak+ Launch Monitor Review

50 Words or Less

The SkyTrak+ launch monitor is extremely accurate and has excellent software that can drive improvement.  Easy to use after the initial set up.  Annual fees required to access most features.

Introduction

The original SkyTrak launch monitor, released almost a decade ago, was the first to pair an affordable price with professional-grade accuracy [review HERE].  Now SkyTrak is raising the bar with their new SkyTrak+ launch monitor.  Sporting dual doppler radar and an improved camera system, it promises even greater accuracy at a price that’s still within reach of normal golfers.

Set Up & Ease of Use

My largest – and perhaps only – gripe with SkyTrak+ is the initial set up.  Rather than going through every detail, I’ll summarize by saying I needed to call customer support no less than three times.  It’s worth noting that customer support was amazing – responsive and very helpful.  None of the issues were major, but they all kept me from getting started with the SkyTrak+.  This was frustrating because anytime you have a new toy, you want to play with it, not call for help.

That aside, once it’s set up, SkyTrak+ is easy to work with.  It doesn’t have an onboard display like the Swing Caddie SC4 [review HERE], so you do need to connect it to an iPad or PC.  I tested it with a wireless connection to an iPad.  During most sessions the connection was stable, but it did drop out a couple times.

Like most modern launch monitor, SkyTrak+ requires very little ball flight to work.  Additionally, neither the clubs nor the golf balls need stickers.  Like the original, there’s a red laser pointing at where you should place the golf ball, but you don’t need to be precise.  Per SkyTrak, the acceptable hitting area with SkyTrak+ is 40% larger than the original.  I found I could put the ball a couple inches from the dot and still record a shot.  Finally, there is a small delay from the strike to seeing the shot on screen, but it’s usually not more than a couple seconds.

Overall, after the initial set up, SkyTrak+ is fun and easy to use.  The software is very intuitive, and the device works as advertised.

Accuracy

The original SkyTrak had impressive accuracy, and the new SkyTrak+ launch monitor is even better.  By adding Dual Doppler Radar they’re able to give club data, and the new Photometric Camera System improves the ball data.  The list of data points is impressive: carry and total distance, ball speed, club speed, smash factor, club path, face angle, back spin rate, side spin rate, spin axis, spin loft, horizontal and vertical launch angle, lateral landing, apex height, flight time, and descent angle.

I tested the SkyTrak+ head to head with my Foresight GCQuad [review HERE] in an indoor setting with new, premium golf balls, and the SkyTrak+ performed extremely well.  Ball and club speeds were consistently within 1 MPH.  Launch angles were usually within one degree.  Most impressive was the accuracy of the spin data – typically within a couple hundred RPM.  What was interesting is that the two systems would often produce almost identical raw data but generate distances that were several yards different.  I don’t view this as a major issue for either system as both were consistent with their yardages.  Overall, with regard to data accuracy, I would have no issue using the SkyTrak+ in a professional setting.

Software

One of the biggest selling points for the SkyTrak+ launch monitor is the software.  The graphics are great, it works well, and it has excellent depth of features.  This review will only deal with the iOS software, but SkyTrak+ does work with PC also.

When you open the SkyTrak app, you’ll see three options: Practice, Challenge, and Game Improvement.  If you don’t pay for an annual subscription, the only one available will be Practice.  This takes you to the driving range.  The graphics here are beautiful, and there’s a nice menu of options (above) that lets you customize the experience a bit.

If you do have an annual subscription, the Shot Optimizer is available (above).  This shows you the optimal ranges of launch angle, spin, and descent angle for each club.  This can help you to better understand your set and identify areas for improvement when you go for your next club fitting.

Paying for an annual subscription also unlocks the Challenge and Game Improvement menus.  Within Challenge, you’ll find three games: Closest to Pin, Target Practice, and Longest Drive.  These add a fun, competitive element to your practice.  All three games have a nice array of options such as distance to target, number of shots per round, and how the game is scored.

Finally, there’s the Game Improvement area, which is where the SkyTrak+ software really shines.  This area includes Bag Mapping, Skills Assessment, and Wedge Matrix.  Bag Mapping helps golfers to know how far they hit each club in their bag.  Knowing your distances, having sensible gaps, and not carrying redundant clubs are topics I’ve written about many times, so I’m pleased to see this feature.

The Skills Assessment is akin to the Trackman Combine – a test of your ball striking that runs from your wedges through your driver.  You can customize the test (above) with specific distances, clubs, and number of shots per target.  This is a great way to add pressure to your practice, work through your bag, and evaluate your improvement over time.

As someone who loves hitting wedge shots, the Wedge Matrix may be my favorite mode.  You start by choosing how many different clubs you want to test and how many different shots you’ll hit per club – pitch, 1/2, 3/4, and full.  Then you hit all those shots and are presented with a report on your wedge skills (above).  This report includes the carry and total distances for each club and shot type, dispersion, and offline tendency – all information you can use to make better decisions on the course.

Golf Simulation

The SkyTrak+ launch monitor supports simulated golf through three software platforms: E6 Connect, World Golf Tour, and The Golf Club.  To use SkyTrak+ with one of these services, you do need to be subscribed to one of the annual plans.  According to SkyTrak, this gives users access to over 100,000 golf courses.

If you pay for the Play & Improve annual plan through SkyTrak, you do get access to simulated golf.  You’ll have 15 courses through E6 Connect, 15 courses on World Golf Tour, and Closest-to-Hole play on 6 courses through World Golf Tour.

Value

The SkyTrak+ launch monitor retails for $2,995.  Please consider supporting Plugged In Golf by buying it HERE.

As noted earlier, annual subscriptions are required to unlock many of the features.  The Game Improvement plan is $130/year and gives you access to the Game Improvement and Challenge modes in the SkyTrak software.  It also makes SkyTrak+ capable of powering simulated golf.  The Play & Improve plan is $250/year and adds on 30 courses of simulated golf through E6 and WGT.

Looking at price, the two closest competitors to the SkyTrak+ are the FlightScope Mevo+ at $2,000 [review HERE] and the Full Swing KIT at $5,000 [review HERE].  Based on these two competitors, I think the SkyTrak+ is priced very well.  I strongly prefer the SkyTrak+ to the Mevo+ and think it’s worth the additional money for the ease of use and superior software.  While I prefer the onboard display of the KIT, $2,000 is a hefty premium to pay.

Conclusion

The SkyTrak+ launch monitor is a meaningful upgrade on the original and a great way for golfers to get accurate data on their game.  While it’s not cheap, it’s a strong value when compared to the Tour-grade launch monitors like Trackman and Foresight.  The excellent software is one of the strongest selling points and a key to the longevity of this device.

Buy SkyTrak+ Launch Monitor HERE

Visit SkyTrak HERE

Matt Saternus
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12 Comments

  1. Wouldn’t the bushnell launch pro be a good competitor?

  2. Matt,
    This looks like it might be a perfect solution for my current needs and budget. I have not set up an indoor hitting bay (yet) and I’ve been planning to build one. At the least, I know I will need a hitting mat, a screen, a projector, and maybe some cameras. Is there a product that has all of this put together in a package (or a service) that you recommend or have reviewed?
    Does it have a battery so that you can take it to the range, or does it have to be plugged in?
    Thanks,
    Ken

    • Matt Saternus

      Ken,

      The SkyTrak+ has a battery, it does not need to be plugged in.
      Check out the link above to PlayBetter.com. They have numerous all-in-one simulator packages.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Ken I have my SkyTrak set up in my garage. I have a hitting net and mat. The ST is connected to a Dell PC and also to a large screen TV that hangs from the ceiling. All the data shows up on both the PC and TV. It all works really well. Hope this helps a bit.

  3. Christopher Lovelasy

    I have an original skytrak with tgc2019 software. Do you believe the plus is worth the difference when they only offered me $500 trade-in. My only complaint would be missed shots. It doesn’t happen real often but always seems to be at critical times. Is the accuracy that much improved. I don’t feel like my numbers really match my actual play on the course.

    • Matt Saternus

      Christopher,

      When you say that it’s missing shots at critical times, what does that mean exactly?
      I do think the Plus is a substantial improvement in hitting area and missed shots.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. I have been looking at various simulaors/ launch monitors. Having just recently started playing golf again ( 20 yr break) i am going to start seeing a coach again to get my swing back in order but, with winters in Illinois, it limits what options are available. My big question is are these a viable option to continue practice indoor during the winter to get my handicap down when combined with input from my coach?

    • Matt Saternus

      Eric,

      Absolutely, yes. The one thing to keep in mind is that you will need a coach who is comfortable with technology and knows the device you’re going to use. There are still coaches out there who don’t understand the numbers and won’t be able to guide your use of a launch monitor.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Thanks for the review. I have just returned my SkyTrak plus for a full refund for the following reasons:
    1- constantly lost connection between the SkyTrak plus and the iPad. This was even after SkyTrak support finally admitted that the tech doesn’t like mesh networks and I consequently set up a totally separate network on a hard wired access point, taking care to separate the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands as the SkyTrak doesn’t like those on the same SSID either. Still the unit constantly loses connection in both direct mode and network mode.
    2- the app- what a piece of underdeveloped junk, it crashes randomly, does not follow even the most basic design standards for iOS software and whilst the features are great the usability is awful especially if you try to use it with a newer iOS device without the home button and why on earth do you have to come out of the app every time you switch between functions in the app?
    3-accuracy of the readings: I found that the carry distances were pretty accurate but that was the only accurate reading that I got – and that’s available for $300 with the Garmin. The spin rates, face angle, face to path, launch angles were all way off vs a Trackman. In fact I tried to get my unit to give me an out to in and open face reading by deliberately chopping across the line with a massively open face and the reading was face angle 3 open and path inside 4 degrees !!!!

    All told this is a totally underdeveloped piece of technology that shouldn’t be beyond the alpha lab let along on the market to consumers.

  6. How do face/path angles measure up to gcquad?

    • Matt Saternus

      From the review: “I would have no issue using the SkyTrak+ in a professional setting.”

      -Matt

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