Skytrak Launch Monitor Review: The Best Value in Golf Simulation
For the past several years, I have been looking to create a cost-effective home golf simulator setup. Like many of you, I scoured all the options out there. Based on all of the research I did for my home golf simulator guide, SkyTrak was the product that enticed me the most. A couple of months ago, I finally bought one, and am happy to share all of my findings in this in-depth review.
SkyTrak has been on the market for several years now. It has been praised for its accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and software package. At $2,000, it is a significant investment for many golfers but pales compared to the cost of other launch monitors like Foresight, Trackman, and Flightscope.
In this review, I am going to try and help you understand the benefits and potential drawbacks. If you have any further questions, feel free to put them in the comments section.
This Is For the Recreational Golfer
SkyTrak bills itself as providing a more expensive commercial launch monitor with a software package geared towards the recreational player.
Currently, it offers data on your golf ball only. When you compare it to other launch monitors, there are a few things to be aware of. Most companies like Trackman and Foresight are producing commercial units that are geared towards golfing professionals. That’s not to say recreational golfers are not using their products, but they are much more expensive and offer far more information.
In addition to providing ball data, units like Foresight are also providing measurements on your swing such as angle of attack, the path of your club, dynamic lie angle, and a few other important pieces of information. These measurements are mostly suited for teaching professionals and club fitters who need to diagnose a golfer’s swing or get the right equipment in their hands.
It’s a lot of data. You need to be trained properly on analyzing it all and understanding how it relates to your swing.
In my opinion, it’s an overload for most recreational golfers. I believe if you can get an accurate representation of your ball flight, carry distances, and spin rates, then you will have plenty of feedback for your practice sessions at home. Additionally, the ability to play a simulated golf course only requires ball data.
This is where SkyTrak shines. It was developed for recreational golfers. I believe all of the information that the unit measures are adequate for golfers who are just looking to practice more effectively and have fun playing simulated golf courses without having to shell out a massive amount of money. A full simulator set up with commercial launch monitors can easily set you back $15,000 – $30,000.
Is It Accurate? YES!
When I first spoke with Corey Gavreau last year from Par2Pro for my guide to Home Golf Simulators, I asked him about the accuracy of SkyTrak. I hadn’t tried it yet, and to be honest, I thought it was a little too good to be true at the price point they were offering.
He responded that the ball data was very similar to the GC2 from Foresight Sports, which was shocking to me since their launch monitors range from $8,000 – $15,000.
Since SkyTrak has been out for several years, there have been plenty of people who have tested it against Foresight, Trackman, and Flightscope. Almost everyone has reported back that the results have been reasonably close in the proper settings. There is no way you could ever expect the same data because companies use different technology to measure.
I have used every single one of those systems quite extensively (mostly Foresight). I know all of my distances and spin rates, and I can tell you that SkyTrak is right in line with the data I have received elsewhere.
It is very challenging to test units side by side. Since Foresight also uses high-speed cameras to capture ball data, it needs to be in a similar position as SkyTrak relative to the ball. However, Par2Pro gave it a shot, and you can check out this video, which shows pretty solid results from SkyTrak.
I Tested Against FlightScope
Comparing SkyTrak to Flightscope and Trackman can be a little tricky since those are radar-based systems. One of their main limitations is that they struggle with indoor use. They need more space to see the ball launch – some would say as much as 23 feet. That is exactly why a photometric launch monitor makes sense for home usage in limited spaces.
I tested the SkyTrak against the FlightScope Xi Tour to see what would happen. The Xi Tour is an excellent launch monitor that costs roughly 4-5 times as much as the SkyTrak.
My buddy Nick Banks, a teaching professional, and I hit shots with each club in our bag and looked at the numbers. After 4-5 shots, it was quite evident that the FlightScope was struggling. Both of us know our yardages very well with every single club in our bag, and it was obvious that the FlightScope was overestimating our carry distances by roughly 20%. However, the SkyTrak gave us carry yardages that were exactly what we would expect on the golf course.
This was not a surprise because there really wasn’t enough space for the radar to pick up on the ball flight. It’s not to say that FlightScope is an inferior product. But it was interesting to see just how well the SkyTrak performed in an indoor application, which is what many golfers are looking for.
The Bottom Line
Here’s what I can tell you after hitting several thousand balls on SkyTrak – you are getting very accurate ball data. You’ll be able to get an excellent representation of your ball flight, spin rates, and carry distances. Are they absolutely perfect? No, sometimes the unit makes mistakes. But I have also seen that from other commercial launch monitors as well.
Overall, I believe that for $2000, this is an incredible value for what you get. For those of you who are interested in OptiShot, this is a huge step up in accuracy.
Like many of you, I don’t have space in my house to have a dedicated home golf simulator. So I had to get creative.
We recently finished a room on the second floor of our house. But it mostly serves as a playroom for our children. Fortunately, I was able to convince my wife that since I run a golf site, it needed to be the space for my simulator.
Luckily it has very high ceilings and plenty of space for me to swing. My main challenge was that I needed to keep the main play space open when I wasn’t hitting balls. I can get everything set up and the SkyTrak ready to measure ball data inside of five minutes.
Here is a picture of what it looks like.
Here is the list of products I got, with the costs. I highly recommend checking out Shop Indoor Golf because they have the best simulator bundles that can save you money.
The Net Return Mini Pro Package – Net, Side Barriers & Roll Up Turf ($1049)
Refurbished iPad Air ($215)
iPad Stand ($30)
SkyTrak Play & Improve Package ($199)
Grand Total: $3,393
If you wanted to go with a projector, things could get a bit more expensive. Overall, I think most of you can expect to spend anywhere between $3,000 to $5,000 to get a comfortable setup.
There are two packages I would recommend taking a look at from Shop Indoor Golf for those who don’t want to purchase items separately.
At just over $3000, you can get the SkyTrak Indoor Training Package, which includes SkyTrak, a high-end net from Net Return, and a 6′ x 10′ roll-up turf.
If you are looking for a more premium set up with a projector, then the SkyTrak SIG10 Package might interest you. At around $7,500, you’ll get everything you need, which is why it’s probably the most popular bundle out there. This is essentially everything you need to build a higher-end simulation setup.
Practicing With SkyTrak
Hitting balls into a net at home can get a little boring. I still believe it is better than not practicing at all. However, having zero feedback on what direction the ball goes and how far it travels can create a guessing game. How do you know if what you are working on is producing a better ball flight?
Solving this puzzle is what makes SkyTrak such a valuable game-improvement tool.
They have made their virtual range software quite robust since it first launched. I am using software version 3.0.2, which has many features that you would expect from commercial launch monitors. I believe the quality of the software is what makes the unit so valuable. They’ve done a fantastic job of clearly displaying data in a meaningful way.
You can review your shot history, which will display your tendencies in several key categories.
One of my favorite features is the ability to see your dispersion tendencies; here is a picture from a few shots with my pitching wedge:
You Can Challenge Yourself
Just hitting balls can lack excitement. If you are a reader of this site, you know that I believe the best practice sessions feature randomization and playing games that put pressure and meaning on each shot.
There are several features in the game improvement package that can help with this. There is a closest to the pin challenge, which will help sharpen your iron play. They also have released a skills assessment challenge. You are asked to hit a series of targets, and you are given a score based on your performance. However, I did find the results to be a little penal!
You have to pay $99/year to access these features, which may rub some people wrong. You should expect to purchase the Game Improvement package at the minimum if you do buy SkyTrak. The virtual driving range will get boring pretty quickly without it. In all honesty, you’ll probably end up getting the Play & Improve package for $199 (I’ll get into that shortly).
Long story short – SkyTrak is an excellent practice tool. It will give real feedback on your swing. It will also provide plenty of data and challenges to make your practice sessions at home more effective and fun.
The first month that I had SkyTrak, I only used it for the practice features. I was deciding what kind of setup I would use, so I was actually using my iPhone to access the virtual driving range.
I decided that I was not going to get a PC because of space limitations. If you go the Mac route, you need to run SkyTrak through an iPad. I purchased a refurbished iPad Air for just over $200, which was better for me since it was a portable solution. I also purchased this stand so that I could clearly see my shots.
You could easily connect your iPad to a TV or Projector, but that wasn’t in the cards for me since my wife, and I decided our kids’ playroom would be a screen-free room for them. Such is life!
Once that decision was made, I could now do simulation through the World Golf Tour. It’s worth noting that if you have a PC, SkyTrak has tons of integrations with leading simulation companies like TruGolf, another strong point of this product.
This Is the Real Fun
While I did enjoy my time on the virtual range for the first month, I have to be completely honest with all of you. World Golf Tour is incredibly fun with SkyTrak. It’s almost addictive.
To me, this is the main reason to buy SkyTrak. I’ve actually found myself wanting to fire up WGT instead of the practice range. And you know what, that is completely fine. Playing a simulated golf course is some of the best practice you can get. You are constantly switching clubs and getting as close to the course as you can, rather than rifling 50 drivers in a row.
To access the simulation features, you need to pay $199/yr, but I did not find it an outrageous amount of money. You are getting access to a great library of golf courses (Pebble Beach, Congressional, Bethpage Black, etc.) with top-notch graphics. The only major drawback with WGT is that you cannot play multiplayer right now. So if you have your buddies over, you are unable to compete against one another.
The Short Game Sucks
There is one major limitation, though, that all of you should expect. This is not just a SkyTrak problem; it’s a problem with all golf simulators. The short game sucks.
Trying to hit 20-yard pitch shots or a 30-foot putt on a simulator can be downright infuriating. It’s challenging to visualize how far you need to hit the ball, and it can get frustrating at times. Shots that you would have no difficulty with on the golf course can easily get knocked back and forth over the green, turning an easy par or bogey into a quadruple-bogey really fast. This was not a surprise because I experienced the same thing on much more elaborate simulator setups I have used in the past.
That being said, you start getting used to it, and it becomes part of the deal. Overall, getting to play some of the best golf courses in the world in HD graphics is incredibly fun. On top of that, World Golf Tour’s online challenges turn everything into a big game that you don’t want to stop playing. So beware, you might get sucked into hours of golf (is that a bad thing?).
Other Things You Should Know Before Buying SkyTrak
The major complaint some people have had with SkyTrak is the delay in data. It takes anywhere from 4-7 seconds for your swing to register. There are occasions where it will not register (I found that very infrequent, though).
Personally, I did not find this to be a nuisance at all. After each swing, I actually took the time to think about the quality of my shot and where I thought it would go.
Here is a brief video of one of my friends hitting a ball and then the shot registering:
Some other things that you should know:
- SkyTrak has to be level with the ball, which means you should have a mat large enough to stand on and place the unit.
- If you want the most accurate data, use premium golf balls and a quality golf mat.
- You can potentially damage the unit with an errant shank. You might want to purchase a protective case ($149 extra)
- If you want to access more simulation software options, you should plan to use a PC.
Is It Worth It?
I can’t reasonably tell you whether or not you should shell out several thousand dollars. That’s a lot of money to most people. I certainly wouldn’t recommend doing it if that money was supposed to go to your children’s college fund!
However, if you have the budget and want a reasonably accurate and fun simulation experience at home, I believe this product is a home run for everyday golfers.
SkyTrak has filled a nice little niche in the marketplace. If you don’t have the budget for a $10,000 – $70,000 home golf simulator, then you can get very close to what those offer with a setup for under $5,000. I am delighted with my purchase, and it has made this golf offseason incredibly fun. I’m hitting balls almost every day and looking forward to firing up the unit whenever I get a chance.
Stay tuned for my follow-up article, “How to Convince Your Wife You Need to Buy a SkyTrak.”
You can purchase the SkyTrak launch monitor with the game improvement package from Shop Indoor Golf. This is where I bought mine, and I recommend them as a resource. If you have any further questions, please put them in the comments section, and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.
Excellent review. I would like to add, as fun as the WGT simulation play is, I purchased the TGC package for a one time fee (just under $1000) and it is amazing. The short game issues are not there with this software. There is unlimited number of courses, including Augusta (Magnolia National). And possibly the best thing is you can join a simulator tour that plays 2-3 rd events weekly where you can establish a hndcp and compete against other simulator players! Great fun!
Thanks, Brad! I’ve heard great things about that software since there are plenty of user-generated courses and a strong online community. If I had a PC system I would certainly give them a look!
hey how does this work and how do you go about getting
I understand that the R-Motion simulator was developed to match data from a launch monitor. Have you had the chance to try that system and compare to skytrak?
Mark – I have yet to try that system personally, but I have read about other’s experiences. Having a photometric launch monitor (high-speed cameras) has proven to be one of the most reliable ways to capture ball data inside. R Motion is not directly capturing your ball data, it is inferring it from a few sensors on your golf club. So while it probably gives you “ballpark” numbers I wouldn’t expect them to be completely accurate. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be fun to use it, but for golfers who really want accurate simulation the best option is to go with a more reliable measurement system.
The R-Motion system is able to work IN CONJUNCTION with Skytrak, so you still get the reliable photometric ball data. Additionally you get R-Motion club data, which the Skytrak lacks.
Can the Skytrack be used with “Almost Golf balls” or Foam balls?
It will not display accurate yardages if you use a foam ball as it is directly measuring. So if you want real distances that you would see on a golf course, you would have to use standard golf balls.
Jon, great review. What is the threshold on pitch shots not being accurate? For me, the main reason to buy a Skytrak would be dialing in distance wedges from 110 yards and in. You had mentioned 20 yards being a a problem, but how about say 40-50 yards?
Thanks, Kevin! If you are in range mode I found the wedge distances to be very accurate, dialing in numbers inside 100 is important for me as well.
The problem I encountered is having to hit a pitch shot or putt in a simulated environment. It’s hard to visualize the green, its slopes, and how the ball will react. I think that is the main limitation of golf simulation in general. It’s not necessarily about accuracy, it’s not being able to actually see the shot in front of you in “real life”
Michael P says
Hi Jon. I enjoyed your review. I recently purchased a SkyTrak, and have a similar set up to yours. I’m curious how accurate you think the swing speed data is. I know it’s calculated, not measured. Prior to setting up my home simulator, I frequently played at a local simulator facility that uses the About Golf sims (which are what they use on the Golf Channel with Martin Hall and others) which I believe actually measures clubhead speed. For my low irons, I’ve found the swing speed on the SkyTrak to be pretty similar, but I have found the longer clubs, especially the driver, to be lower than what I’m used to seeing. It could be that I’m holding something back out of worries about clipping my ceiling (fingers crossed, not yet!). It could be the About Golf sim has the speeds too high. Curious what your experience is.
Also, curious if you could recommend a good swing speed device. Thanks.
Thanks for reading Michael! Since the swing speed is not directly measured it is working backwards off of your ball speed. While it is going to be fairly close, I wouldn’t expect the numbers to be totally accurate.
The best product I have found to measure is this swing speed radar
If you are looking to increase your swing speed then check out a system called SuperSpeed golf – I wrote a review about it here.
Hi Jon. A few weeks in with the device and speeds and distances have all normalized pretty much, which I attribute to getting comfortable swinging all-out without worrying about the ceiling.
Have you ever used the Swing Speed Radar with the SkyTrak? Is it possible to use both at the same time?
Lastly, I strongly recommend to all users to get the metal protective case. I’ve not hit it after hitting thousands of balls, but one of my less-skilled friends tried out the system and clanked his second shot off the metal case. The metal case did it’s job. Very smart purchase to protect the expensive device.
That makes sense, I think a lot of people at first are a bit hesitant to swing indoors (myself included). Personally, I have not tested the Swing Speed Radar along SkyTrak. It might be difficult because the unit could block SkyTrak from measuring properly. In my opinion, you should mostly be focused on increasing your ball speed. That is the true measurement of swing speed & strike efficiency. When that number goes up, good things are happening!
Great recommendation on the metal case, you certainly don’t want to damage your investment 🙂
Lee Meyers says
Will this work for left handed players?
absolutely – you just need to change the settings on the software and arrange the unit properly.
kevin altman says
it is a little troublesome for left and right handed players to play at the same time. I am considering rather to get the True golf to solve this issue or I hear that simulator guys have a prototype of a lack of better term lazy susan that you can turn the monitor 180 quickly to allow for alternating shots for left and right handed players that are playing together.
Do you have any thoughts on TruGolf as its in my budget and seems like a very strong simulator
John B. says
Awesome review, Jon! We just moved into a bigger space, and I was thinking about starting a simulator budget. Since it’s a rental home, how well does the SkyTrak do with foam/plastic balls?
Thanks, John! SkyTrak won’t do well with foam balls because it directly measures the flight of the ball (which will be far slower and shorter than a real ball). Another option would be to go with OptiShot, it only measures the club itself. The results won’t be as accurate, but you can definitely use foam balls with their system.
Please give me link to your comments on swing tempo.
Bruce here is my article on swing tempo: https://practical-golf.com/swing-tempo/
Brian Nelson says
I have the SkyTrak with the Jack Nicklaus / Perfect Golf, you can play with multiple players. We had several Friday nights & Saturday mornings rooting & hollering. We have also had several games of closest to the pin, turning into a drinking game. I would recommend to everybody. Lot of fun, while it is a great teaching tool.
sounds like fun!
Thanks, Jon! Great review. Quick question when purchasing a SkyTrak. Do you have to decide which package you would like when you buy? Say I purchase the Game Improvement software but change my mind and want the Play & Improve. Is it just a change in the settings and pay the price difference?
Yes you are able to upgrade your package after you make your initial purchase (they’ll charge you accordingly). Their website isn’t the most user friendly but they offer live support if you can’t figure it out. Glad you enjoyed the article!
Do any of the packages have ability to have local multiplayer options? Does this need an internet connection at all times? I am looking to purchase a simulator for my friends and I play in off-season and it will be my shed. Right now it is too far from my house to reach with Wi-Fi.
You don’t need an internet connection to use the range mode, but I’m pretty sure you will need one for any of the simulation software integrations. It is best to check with each provider beforehand, they all list their requirements on their websites.
Great read Jon!
I think I already know the answer to this question but Im a lefty, most of my buddies are righty’s. Say we all want to play a round, Is it possible to have lefty’s and righty’s playing at the same time? How much of a pain is it to setup and change settings back and forth?
Thanks, Kyle! I think that would depend on the simulation software package you are using. There is an option to switch SkyTrak to a left-handed user during the range mode, but you need to move the unit. So there would be a little bit of back and forth when switching between shots. I have seen setups where the mats are large enough on both sides to accommodate left-handed and right-handed players, but it will require much more space.
kevin altman says
kyle I have the same issue I am left handed have you bought a simulator. I am buying one this week and looking at trugolf but its about 12K for what I am getting but if you truly outfit the Skytrak and get a computer with the upgraded card and screen etc, the platinum package and add some courses and then the projector and computer its going to be about 9k. My email if it will post here is [email protected] love to hear what you did as a lefty. Everything I have read and seen on you tube is that with any launch monitor that sits on the mat you will have to move it between shots for left and right handed play. Simulator guys have developed a prototype lazy susan style turn table that rotate the launch monitor 180 back and forth an is very effective. I just sent them an email to see if they have started selling that at this point. That may be an option but I am still looking at the trugolf as I think the screen is much better. the downside other than the cost of trugolf appears to be that it only offers he E6 software which they develop and it the best graphics according to just about any site you view. I hope to get an email to tell me what you found out about left vs right. Google left and right handed play on skytrac for some videos of what folks are doing
D.J. Stephan says
Great article Jon! I really appreciate the time you took to share your insights. I had three questions I was hoping you might be able to help with:
1. I never see any cords running from the SkyTrack unit. How does it get power and transmit information to an iPad?
2. Are there packages you can buy to be able to play multi players on a virtual course? (I know you mentioned that wasn’t possible with WGT)
3. I’m thinking about setting this unit up outside. I have a big pergola I was going to install some curtains on and a hitting net. Do you foresee any problems with that?
Thanks again for your help! I’d love a place to donate some cash to you on here because its the only spot on the internet where I trust the information regarding simulators.
Here are the answers to your questions:
1) The unit transmits data wirelessly to iPad, so you don’t need to have it plugged into any power source (it carries about a 4-hour charge)
2) Most of the simulation packages available through PC let you play multiplayer, it’s best to check each providers website to make sure though. This is the only downside of going through iOS in my opinion.
3) As long as you have enough space to safely swing a club, and the net can handle the ball speed you should be fine!
Thanks for your offer for a donation, but we don’t take them on the site. If you are interested in supporting us you can become an Insider Member, which will give you access to some great coaching material from top instructors!
This is a great read with one exception.
The grand total should include the cost of several replacement windows because that one sided net wont be able to contain my recreational shot dispersion.
You’re definitely not the first person who has expressed that concern! That picture is a bit of an optical illusion, it is VERY difficult to hit the shot that far left, when you see it in person it is very different. But I do have another net that you can put on that side for protection 🙂
Thank you for the review. My fiance and I were looking into putting a simulator in our new house. My question was if you had 15-20k for the project would you go with the SkyTrak or use the extra money to go with a more expensive simulator? I guess, is there much difference between this and the slightly more expensive options? Over 20k isn’t really an option.
Glad it helped! I would say if you have more of a budget you could look into the TruGolf Vista series. Those are more of an out-of-the-box solution to build a more comprehensive setup. I’m not sure you would get more accuracy than the SkyTrak but it has a more finished look.
Very informative Jon, i have just set up a driving net in my garage but have left the mat outside, i just open up the roller shutter and fire away, just wondering how well the system works outside ?
Great information Jon.After reading your review, I have decided on skytrack. I have a space of about 22 feetx15 feet with 9 feet high ceiling.
Just have a few questions;
1. is it easy to connect it to a projector? Is there a site where I can get this information?
2. Do you recommend any site/store where one could everything needed to set-up a simulator, screen/mat etc..?
3. Does it have a multiplayer option?
4. Do you have any suggestions on any companies who would install this 😉
Thanks! Here are some answers to your questions:
1) It is fairly easy to connect to a projector, it depends whether you will be using a Mac or PC, but based on your specific hardware there are plenty of guides out there on how to connect to your projector.
2) I recommend checking out https://shopindoorgolf.com/ – that’s where I purchased all of my material.
3) SkyTrak does have multiplayer options with some of their software integrations, you can find out more here: http://www.skytrakgolf.com/simulation
4) Unfortunately I don’t know any companies that can install it for you
Brilliant article, Jon.
I have one question I fear is pointless, but I’ll ask anyways.
I’m looking for a reliable, on the range, monitor. Just wondering if you’ve found or foresee any downsides to using SkyTrak for this?
Or would you recommend another? I’ve looked at Mevo and the likes, but this seems far more reliable and less cumbersome.
Thanks! I would say SkyTrak is mostly reliable on the range except for two issues – 1) it might not perform as well in direct sunlight 2) If you are on a grass range divots etc might affect results
Kelley B says
Grif, I take mine all the time to the range. Depending on the sun, and if it’s facing the sensors, I do get some non-registered shots. But! Using it in the covered tee areas hitting on turf, it works great. Hardest thing is getting it flush with the mat. Skytrak works best with a less than 5 degree roll or tilt.
Have you reviewed OptiShot or PhiGolf? I believe both are able to use “soft” balls and therefore no net. Just curious how much of a downgrade that is.
Ryan – I have tried out Optishot. You can use softer balls, but I would say it’s not nearly as accurate as SkyTrak. If you’re looking to have fun, and save money then OptiShot might make sense for certain golfers. However, if you want accuracy then SkyTrak is a much better option. Obviously, there is a huge price difference between the two so the budget has to be a consideration. I have no tried out PhiGolf so I couldn’t offer an opinion there.
How long does it take to switch from right handed to left handed shots when in course simulation mode?
I’ve never played with a left-handed player on SkyTrak so I’m not sure how long it would take to change – sorry!
Kelley B says
It’s just a matter of going into the settings on the Skytrak, pressing the button that switches from right hand to left hand, and then move your Skytrak to the opposite side. All of this takes like a minute. I have to do this all the time with my husband being a lefty and me a righty 🙂
Dean Robichaud says
Very informative, I have already purchased a skytrak but still need a screen enclosure and projector. I would prefer a larger 9×12 screen as it would double as a theater. Can you give me your best advice on what products to get? Thanks
Brian Parkinson says
Amazing information. Thanks! I’m just designing what simulator options to go with (simple like your set-up vs the full bells and whistles) I like your set-up, but was wondering why you chose the roll-up mat vs. the 5×5 higher quality type mat. I read your post on the mats, but I’m not sure it addressed the advantage of the roll-up. Does it make the short game better having a longer putting surface perhaps? Based on your article on the mats, it seemed that perhaps the 5×5 options were more similar to hitting on iron off actual grass? Also perhaps more cushioning? Does the roll-up hurt your floor with a fat shot (I’m sure you never do that, but I may. It seems that the cost of your roll-up mat is as high as one of the mid-range mats you described.
Thanks again for the amazing information.
Brian – one of the main reasons I’m using the roll-up mat is because of my kids! The space is also their playroom so when I’m not using SkyTrak I needed to get rid of the mat quickly. If I went with a standalone option (especially a premium one) it’s quite heavy and large so it would not very functional. I was actually very impressed with the quality of the roll-up mat from Net Return – been using it for over a year and it’s still in very good condition. The carpet beneath it is completely fine. Another benefit of the roll-up mat with Net Return is that the ball will easily roll back to you after you hit, and you also can putt on it if you would like.
Hi John do you have issues with higher lofted clubs with this net? I’m concerned a 60 degree wedge might go over the net.
The net looks much smaller than it really is in photographs. I don’t have an issue with 60-degree wedges since I tend to deloft them. Since you are able to stand so close to the Net Return I don’t think it would be an issue for most golfers. However, if you hit a real “sky ball” I guess it could clear the net in theory.
Best review site I have come across! Kudos to you Jon. I have sold my 14′ professional craps table and have a perfect spot for a golf simulator. Although I golfed my first round when I was 10 yo with my father, I only golfed a couple times a year at business outings since then. For the past 6 years I have embraced golf as my main sports hobby golfing 3 times a week in a Men’s league, a couples league with my wife and one round when time permits walking 9 for exercise practice (I usually play my best rounds alone) but with a handicap of 12. I’m 62 but have the athletic ability to improve and work toward lowering my score. The SkyTrac seems to be the best choice for the money. My basement has 10′ ceilings and plenty of space for a dedicated simulator. I have taken a few lessons from my course Pros, which really has helped my game. My practice now is hitting a tennis ball in my yard with my pitching wedge each day, weather permitting. This serves 2 purposes, #1 excersises my lab hunting dog and #2 gets me swinging the club and with a tennis ball does provide some decent feed back on ball spin, loft and helps me to grove my swing. As far as the simulator, I was considering the best full size mat, and a flat screen vs the projector / screen. I have my son’s super charged gaming PC all set up for the simulator. What would be the best ball stop, that would look / work the best?
Shea Reeves says
I’m assuming a projector is required. What type of projector / screen give the best visual display?
Not necessarily. I use my setup with just an iPad and a stand. It’s hard for me to give recommendations on projectors as I don’t test them and certain models will perform better based on lighting conditions.
Hi Jon – Awesome review! My wife and I are building a home and she’s agreed to let me use one room for golf simulation. It’s not a huge space but a reasonable sized bedroom, measuring about 13.5 x 11.5 ft with about 9.5 ft ceilings. How does that compare to your in-home setup and do you think that’s enough space? Thanks!
I think that should be fine, but it depends on your height and swing tendencies as well. Check out my article on home golf simulators which discusses sizing more:
James Lopez says
how reliable is this for practice, realistically. i hit an 8 iron 160 on average, is it going to detect that or send it 120 yards or 200 yards? you said the graphics aren’t life like. Is it like nintendo 64 graphics or better than that?
It’s very accurate, you’ll see very close numbers to what you see on the course. It’s been independently tested vs. launch monitors that are 10x the cost, and usually, it’s within 1-3% of their readings.
Also, I would say the graphics are way better than Nintendo 64 (despite my love for my old system)
Hey Jon, I enjoyed the read. I’m a HS golf coach looking into a product that we can use indoors during the offseason and that same product to be used outside at the driving range. Would the SkyTrak be considered for something like this? Does the iPad need to be connected to a network at all times for it to work with the product? Thanks for the input
thanks, Zac! The iPad does not need to connect to a network, you can have a direct connection between the SkyTrak and the tablet (if you’re outdoors). I would say SkyTrak is the best indoor solution, the only issues it could have outside are in direct sunlight and/or if you are hitting at a grass driving range. Other than that it works very well outdoors too.
I want to get a launch monitor to use it outside. I can hit into a net. Do you think the mevo plus is to be preferred to the skytrak? Can you make a review of the mevo plus and compare it to the skytrak?
I reviewed the Mevo and compared it to SkyTrak in this article: https://practical-golf.com/flightscope-mevo-review/
SkyTrak has some limitations outside if the unit is in direct sunlight, but other than that if you’re hitting into a net I think you’ll see far more accurate data with the SkyTrak since it’s using a camera to measure.
Michael M says
Hey Jon are you still using this setup? Anything you would change or wish you had done different?
I am still using it, and very happy with the setup!
Mike M says
So I bought pretty much the same setup as you, the smaller net return was out of stock so I went with the 7ft since I had the space. I’m waiting on my skytrak to arrive. I’ve read where people say not to have the skytrak on the hitting mat – have you had issue with this? I bought the same mat as you. Also, which sim software are you using? Thanks for putting this together it made my purchase so much easier.
I’m using iOS, so my simulation is through World Golf Tour. As for the mat, I’ve never had an issue with SkyTrak reading shots on it!
Troy Bertrand says
Hey Jon, really enjoyed your review!! Do you have any experience using the TGC2019 software?
Thanks! Unfortunately, I don’t, but from what I hear it’s a lot of fun.
Thomas Sagaser says
I want to use SkyTrak on the range as well as inside.
What are your pro/con on outside usage?
I think the only con for using it outdoors is sunlight. The unit can struggle if there is direct sunlight getting in the way of the camera.
Ned Kelley says
Judging by the comments this review was performed about 3 years ago. Do you know if SkyTrak has made improvements? Has the chipping / putting improved to be more like real life? When playing a course, is it still limited to a single person or have they improved it such that multiple players can play? And in general, as these things evolve, do you know if SkyTrak is easily upgraded or do you have to purchase the latest and greatest to get enhanced features as they are developed?
Steve Cuellar says
Both Skytrak and E6 connect will notify you on your pc that an update is available. The dowloads are free, although I do pay an annual rate for Sky Trak and E6 Connect.
Steve Cuellar says
With TGC and E6 you can play with others. The chipping and putting still suck, but the rest is super accurate. I usually let the software determine the number of puts I take, based roughly on distance from the pin. You can also have the player decide how many putts to take. But actually putting is a waste of time.
Steve Cuellar says
I bought my skytrak 3 years ago, with TGC simulation software. It worked fine for a year, and then quit working. TGC website and phone help was worthless. I ended up purchasing E6 golf simulation software which was much more reliable. Last year I again upgraded to E6 Connect, and am very happy with it. My setup is in my garage, with an overhead projector and impact screen, which i pull up to the ceiling with pulleys.
Do E6 and the other sim plans have the same issues with the short game?
Has the Skytrak improved since it’s launch? So 2022 Skytrak, is more precise then say.. 2020
Model . Do they have Model ID ‘s
That note their difference.
Franklin Christopher says
In our house we have a right and left hand golfers.
How do we use skytrak to do this?
Keith Drake says
Hello Jon, Thanks for your review. I apologize if I missed your comment on this, but have you used the unit outside? I read on another review that the sunlight could effect the unit picking up the ball outside. If you have used it outside, was it hard to locate the red dot on the ground where the ball should be placed?
Thanks for you reply in advance.
Hi Jon, great review. Just wondering if a new skytrac simulator has any benefits or improvements on a skytrac simulator that is 2 or 3 years old
I have a SkyTrak and I love it, but I only use their basic $100/year software. I’m considering renewing to the next teir, which is an extra $100 and adds WGT.
But there are a lot of negative reviews regarding WGT.
Can some of you WGT users comment on it.
Yes it’s fun and works well?
Or no it’s terrible?