Critical Golf: Unbiased Golf Equipment Reviews

SkyGolf SkyTrak

SkyGolf SkyTrak

Announced in August 2014 at the Wyndham Championship is the SkyTrak (and hopefully available this Fall) is the first launch monitor from SkyGolf, the makers of the SkyCaddie lineup of golf GPS devices. The pitch is a consumer-friendly portable launch monitor that provides a host of information at a price point that is far below any of the extremely pricey alternatives that are currently available. The SkyTrak is a new consumer product developed through the formation of a new golf launch monitor started by executives at AccuSport (which in turn formed SportTrak LLC), makers of the discontinued Vector X, Vector Pro and Vector launch monitors, which has ceased operations. SkyGolf now becomes one of the four brands under SkyGolf, along with SkyCaddie , SkyGolf 360 (formerly ClubSG, their online portal), and their SkyPro training device.

The SkyGolf has an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery (with up to 5 hours of continuous use, and micro-USB charging cable included), accelerometer-based internal leveling system with no calibration required, dimensions of 5.75″ L x 6.75″ H x 2.5″ W, and a weight of 1.7 pounds. The SkyTrak connects directly to iPad Wi-Fi, as well as through a router/home network (which then offers internet access).

SkyGolf has announced two packages to date for the SkyTrak:

  • Basic Range Package.
    • 3D practice range with shot tracer.
    • The photometric (aka camera-based) SkyTrak measures: ball speed, launch angle (!), back spin, side spin and side angle (deviation from target line). Also have calculated club head spee and carry distance, offline distance and total distance.
    • 2 Camera views: first person looking down the line, and down range.
    • Shot replay.
  • Advanced Game Improvement and Challenge Package ($99 value)
    • Challenges: Longest drive contest, closest to the pin contest, and target practice.
    • Custom settings: change turf conditions (soft-normal-firm), humidity, and wind.
    • 5 Camera views: add more camera views to the Basic package to include first person, dynamic, downrange, follow-the-ball, or 45 degree overhead view.
    • Session history: stores shot data and graphically render a side and top view of shots, and average distance with each club.
    • Progress tracking, charts and graphs: tracks progress, can store information in their Cloud Storage in a personal data locker accessible via the SkyGolf 360 mobile app. Ability to chart stats by club by shot and see average carry distances, and maximum distance.
SportTrak SkyTrak
Click for views

This data is all shown on your Wi-Fi paired mobile device (the completely wireless SkyTrak lacks any display), along with immediate feedback on where, how, and the distance the ball traveled, displaying as a 3D visualization. What you can see from the images at right is a very professional-looking interface that rivals any of the competition.

We can also see from the images at rights the detail of the modes that are available:

  • Practice Range. This would be the most commonly-used mode by players. Options for views in this mode include:
    • First-person 3D view with calculated total and carry yardages, average carry for the club in use, ball speed, clubhead speed, launch angle, back spin, side spin and side angle. This view also shows an embedded graphic showing the overhead ball path and yards offline. Players have the option to replay the visualization as well as delete the shot (so if you never want to re-live that shank…). Fabulous.
    • Numeric view displaying the same data as the First-person view, above. Clear and easy-to-read.
    • Downrange view with 3D visualization with simplified set of data including calculated total and carry yardage, and average carry for the club in use.
    • Shot history view that displays a detailed summary of shot data.
    • Shot plotting view that highlights side and overhead visualizations.
  • Challenge. This mode allows users to set targets (both target size and distance from target) to focus on their distance control, and also to play against others.

On any of these, wind speed is also shown on the display and will factor into the calculations (indoors or out). We believe the device will come with an internal rechargeable lithium ion battery.

Naysayers will note the lack of doppler radar found in the high-end units, though SkyGolf claims extreme accuracy for the measured data, including:

  • Ball Speed: 0-200mph +/- 1mph
  • Launch Angle: 0-55° +/- 1°
  • Back Spin: 0-12,000rpm +/- 250rpm
  • Side Spin: 0-4,000rpm +/- 250rpm
  • Side Angle: 0-20° +/- 2°

At the retail price in the low thousands, the SkyTrak could take a chunk out of sales of the higher-priced FlightScope Xi and ForeSight GC2. Game on!

Retail price: $1,999 – $2,095, depending on included package (game improvement or package range package)
Available directly from SkyGolf: Check price now

And a few high-level marketing videos to check out the basics (don’t expect anything too technical – that isn’t the focus):

More about SkyTrak, include the basics of setup and use:

A video that talks about the technology behind SkyTrak:

And another that walks through what the SkyTrak numbers mean:

And lastly, if you are tired of if you haven’t had a chance to see it in person: