Interested in a Golf Simulator for your house or garage? I’m sure you have debated and researched many of the great options in today’s market. The price point for golf simulators is enticing (below 10K for an amazing setup). At one point, a 30-40 thousand dollars budget was necessary to setup a golf simulator in their own house. The SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor can get you started at a reasonable price.
The final decision on what actual golf simulator to buy can be overwhelming, so below I give my top 11 reasons why I ended going with the SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor. I will say, I have zero regrets and have now played over 300 rounds of golf and have decreased my average 18 hole score by 4 shots (outdoor golf). There are many great options for the golfer looking to build his or her own golf simulator. I want to provide you with the answers to many of the questions I had about the SkyTrak.
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Growing up, I had played simulator golf in a commercial setting and would often research to see what the cost to build in a residential setting was. The cost always seemed so out of control for the average homeowner. Then in the past decade the golf simulator market started to change and it became a possibility. As technology improved, more reasonably priced options became available. So I started down the path of researching the best options and spent close to a year debating back and forth between the ProTee and the SkyTrak. They are both great options, but below are my Top 11 Reasons I selected the SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor.
No longer does the rain, snow or cold weather stop me from enjoying the game I love 365 days a year. Living in the midwestern part of the United States can be frustrating for someone who loves golf. Our golf season is pretty much April through October, which leaves 5 months of no opportunity to play golf. However, with the golf simulator the opportunity to play 12 months a year is now there. Plus I now get to play many of the world’s top 100 courses and other great course creations with my family and friends.
So Why Should you buy the Skytrak Golf Launch Monitor? Here are my Top 10 Reasons To Buy a SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor:
- Left/Right Handed Golfers
- Easy Setup
- Software Access
- Game Improvement Opportunities
The entry point of the SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor is typically going to cost you around $2,000. When you compare this price to different options that have similar accuracy and realistic results, you will see that at the SkyTrak typically beats the competition.
Gone are the days where a golfer would have to spend 30-40 thousand dollars to enter the golf simulator world. Now you can start enjoying the game you love, 365 days a year in the comfort of your house or garage. The complete simulator build, if the SkyTrak is the ultimate selection you make, will typically range between 5-7 grand and will get you started on some of the world’s greatest and most popular courses.
If your budget is a bit larger, you can can exceed the 5-7 thousand dollar range through either upgrading to a Foresight GC2 or by spending your money on the computer, projector, impact screen, enclosure, hitting mat and other essential items to your golf simulator build. I would highly recommend the SkyTrak and spend the money in these other areas. You want the enclosure, impact screen and hitting mat to be high quality if you want the wow factor with your friends and family.
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When compared to other models that are a bit more expensive, the SkyTrak Golf launch monitor holds it own and will stay within a yard or two of the accuracy of launch monitors that sometimes cost 2 to 3 times as much as the SkyTrak. If you are looking for an awesome launch monitor that will provide a realistic golf experience then the SkyTrak will meet your needs. Also, the ability to improve your game is there with the SkyTrak, one limitation that some people see is that it does not track the club, and only tracks the ball. In the comparisons I have seen, the overall results and the calculations that the SkyTrak is producing based on only tracking the ball is quite impressive.
The data it provides has helped me improve my swing and ultimately lower my scores, plus with the entry price point of 2 grand, you will be playing golf everyday, if you so desire and your ball striking can’t help, but to improve and get better. When playing on the SkyTrak, with the 3 second delay, I can predict the shot shape before I can see it on the screen. When i feel that I hooked it, it sure does hook. This has helped convince me of the accuracy and the realistic nature of it.
The SkyTrak from the beginning has been reliable and I don’t have to spend time messing with the setup. I simple grab it and and maximize my time. From the initial opening of the box to two years later, I have been able to play golf 365 days a year. I move it from inside my house where it charges and take it into my garage where I use it.
Within 3 minutes, I have powered up my computer, projector, connected the SkyTrak wirelessly and am playing golf. Time is valuable to me as I work 40-60 hours a week and still find the time to enjoy the game and decompress. I do not want to have to spend time ensuring everything is just perfect with the setup.
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While I use my SkyTrak 95% of time in the indoor golf simulator build I have created, it does have the capability of performing outdoor at your local driving range. The versatility to be utilized for a golf simulator setup or a game improvement tool when at the driving range makes it an attractive option for this price point. The data provided through the SkyTrak 360 login that you will have access to can provide a significant opportunity to analyze and see patterns in your swing and the distances you are carrying your shot or the overall distance.
Another great versatility aspect of the SkyTrak Golf launch monitor is the ability to utilize multiple software options for game play. You are not stuck with just one option and the SkyTrak system currently has up to 5 options for different softwares you can use.
This keeps your software options wide open and can be selected on your budget, as there are different price points. I would highly recommend The Golf Club (TGC) software as it provides an amazing amount of courses, including many of the top 100 in the world in addition to high end graphics that brings the game to life.
Read our many posts about Golf Simulators and get all of your questions answered, here.
Always a major concern of anyone that has ever built a golf simulator. The space will ultimately impact the golf simulator you select. The SkyTrak provides you the opportunity to use it in as little as a 10 foot wide space. The optimum width for a golf simulator is 16 feet and looks truly amazing on anything for the 16-20 foot range. However, if your space is limited you can utilize the 10 foot wide space and still have a ton of fun and improve your game.
Several benefits of being able to hit from different spots within your space is it prolongs the life of your hitting mat and your impact screen. Being able to move it even several feet left or right reduces the volume of hits on one spot with both the mat and the screen. The SkyTrak also enables right and left handed golf pretty seamlessly.
6) Righty and Lefty Golfers
Have friends or family members that golf from the opposite side then? Then when selecting your golf simulator you must take several things into consideration. With the SkyTrak, due to its versatility and flexibility you are able to have both right and left handed golfers use the space at the same time. If you only have 10 feet of width, no problem. If you have have 10 feet of width and select a simulator that has to stay in a stationary position then you have a major problem.
You want someone to swing freely in your simulator space, with being able to move the simulator right or left of the center of the screen, you are able to help each person feel comfortable in the setting. If you have 16 more feet of width then this wouldn’t be a major concern. Both of my sons are left handed golfers and we have played plenty of rounds together.
We simply mark the mat to ensure it is in a safe spot and that it is squared up when setting it down. The SkyTrak allows for quick setup for both handed golfers and it isn’t a major pain to move it with the different golfers using it for that session. Is it ideal, no, but if your space is limited then it is a great option to allow for both right and left handed play.
7) Easy Setup
Right out of the box, after some charge time, the SkyTrak is ready to go and easy to setup each time you use it. You can keep it in the same spot and charge it when not in use with the right length cord, or you can take it to a different location to charge. Either way it doesn’t really matter, because it is built to move around. Want to take it to the range for your practice session? No problem! Want to take it with you if you travel? It is small enough to take with you! The software is a quick and easy download and the connection process happens pretty seamlessly.
You have several options for your connection, two options that require no cord and then the cord hookup. I will use my cord hook up if my battery is low from forgetting to charge it the night before. So far the battery life has been excellent and I have never had issues with it lasting for 4-5 hours at a time. The three light system on the side of the SkyTrak provides communication to the user on the process during setup and while in use. You will quickly learn about the green and red lights.
8) Software Access
Currently the SkyTrak system can run a variety of software options. These include The Golf Club (TGC) software, E6 Golf, WGT Golf, and Creative Golf 3D. After much research, I went with the TGC software which has many benefits. First, the wide range of courses to select from. Due to the course generator software that is part of the package, there are course creator fanatics that have created many courses.
The last estimate I saw is that there are over 150,000 courses in the database. This includes many of the Top 100 Courses in the world including Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, Bethpage Black, TPC Sawgrass, and Augusta National (although it is called Magnolia National on the software). Also, there are some fantastic fantasy courses that have been generated by the software company. These are fun to play as well. Finally, there are shorter courses for kids to play and creative courses like the island par 3 course that I found. You are able to search for courses by name and you will never get bored with the same course.
A third feature is that you can play online tournaments as the software is connected socially. It is pretty neat that golfers from all over the world can compete with each other on a weekly basis! Finally, one of my favorite features is the auto rewind feature. I have stood on the 11th fairway on Magnolia National and have hit that shot 30 straight times.
Not sure why, but I have always been fascinated with the opportunity to hit that shot and try to avoid the water on the left, but draw it in enough to avoid the bunker on the right. It is the ultimate shot for the person who hits the draw. Or I will go to the par 3 12th and try to hit that very narrow landing spot on the green. All very fun, especially on a cold and snowy day in January.
9) Game Improvement Software
For a small annual cost each year, one can have access to the Game Improvement Software available through SkyTrak Golf. The driving range and the different challenges can help you improve your game. Every Shot that you hit is being tracked via the data produced for that shot. After a practice session, you can log into your SkyGolf 360 account and analyze the data or this can be completed during the session as well. Want to compare a practice round from 4 months ago with the session from today? No problem!
The data is tracked and stored and easily accessible through a quality interface on the internet. The Game Improvement software gives you access to a practice driving range, multi-color shot tracers, a numeric display, long drive competition, closest to the pin, session history, target practice, environmental controls, and multiple camera angle options. You are also able to compare clubs, receive a player skills assessment, bag mapping and wedge matrix.
I appreciate the shot tracing technology as you can keep the past so many shots on the screen and compare the most recent ball flight with previous. It is a great challenge to try to hit 20 consecutive 8 irons as a push draw that does not cross the centerline. Talk about creating a precise swing, this is one way the SkyTrak technology can help improve your game! Now that all of the major golf tournaments on PGA use the shot tracer technology when the pros are playing, it is pretty impressive to see your own!
The ability to play the variety of software on the SkyTrak, shows the company’s willingness to provide to the customer want it wants and needs and it’s versatility. As different companies improve their software or one fails to get better, you know that the SkyTrak will be able to use different softwares.
Right now there is a large group of people across the world using the TGC software both on the SkyTrak and the Protee setup. This allows for some competitive tournament play and fun for those seeking the competition. Also, the Game Improvement Software continues to get better. They add features quite regularly and are striving to get better.
11) Tournament Play Through TGC
I know I mentioned it briefly in one of the categories above, but the ability to play Tournaments through the TGC software is very attractive and speaks a lot about the SkyTrak and TGC. There are other simulator options using the TGC software which increases the total number of people available to play tournaments. On the golf simulator tours website, there is typically a weekly tournament that takes place for the most part wherever the PGA tour is playing that week.
Just think about that for a second, you are playing tournaments on the same courses that the pros are playing that week. They track scores two ways, one as a net with your handicap and the one as the gross overall low score. Leaderboards can be found in this site and they track the “money list” throughout the year. Once again, pretty awesome feature and one where you can compete year round against other golfers throughout the world on some amazing courses.
Most tournaments require two rounds at some point throughout the week, so depending on your schedule you can play when it fits your life. You can also create your own tournament and tour if you have friends that are playing as well or you connect with others online. The TGC software will track your handicap based on the difficulty of the course.
As you can tell by now I speak very highly of the SkyTrak system. The decision to finally build a golf simulator space in my garage has been 100% worth it. The SkyTrak systems has worked beyond expectations and the TGC software truly brings the game to life and provides some excellent opportunities for tournament play and most importantly the access to the courses.
The cold and snowy winters now go by faster and when April comes my game is already near the peak. No more spending 1 to 2 months just trying to play quality golf! Also, during the summer months I am able to utilize it to get in extra practice or rounds to continue to have fun and work on my game. If budget is an issue, have you considered financing. I wrote a post on 8 different options on how to finance your golf simulator.
2 Things to Consider When Entering the Golf SImulator Space
There are two major things for consideration when building your golf simulator. The first one is your budget. There are many options available with all of the essential pieces of a golf simulator. These include the actual golf simulator, the enclosure and impact screen, the hitting mat, the projector and the computer to run it all. There are many options in each of those categories and I would recommend starting with the golf simulator and making your selection there and then building out the rest. However, keep in mind that the space, 2nd major thing to consider, will impact your golf simulator choice, so your first step is to ensure you have enough space and how much space you actually have.
After measuring, clear the space out and slowly swing a club and make sure it is somewhere that you can feel comfortable swinging a golf club. Once you have a clear idea of the space you have the budget you can maximize, read up and start to design and build the golf simulator of your dream!