Before delving into the question of whether Skytrak measures club path data we will look at the technology used and the possible application of these technologies.
Launch monitors can be categorized as photometric devices based on high-speed cameras to record images in the impact area of contact between the clubhead and the golf ball. Laser devices taking readings of the ball in flight to calculate data when used indoors or track the ball until the end in an open space such as a driving range.
Understanding the Skytrak
Skytrak falls into the first category of photometric launch monitors that use high-speed camera images recorded in the impact zone to calculate data such as ball flight, distance, height, etc using complex algorithms that have been proven to provide accurate feedback.
The shortcoming of using photometric technology is that it is unable to track the ball once it has left the impact area and it relies heavily on the algorithms.
In short, Skytrak does not directly measure club path data. However, with additional investment in accessories and attachments, you will be able to measure club path data on Skytrak.
One example of attachments that will assist you in measuring the path of the club head is the 3Bays Pro golf swing analyzer that attaches to the end of your club shaft to provide additional information.
Data Points Measured
Skytrak measures the following actual data which is then used for input into the complicated algorithms.
- Ball Speed in mph
- Launch angle
- Backspin rate
- Sidespin rate
- Side angle
Data Points Calculated
Data points calculated by the complex algorithms using the input data include:
- Carry distance
- Roll out
- Total Distance
- Clubhead speed
- Angle of Descent
- Distance offline
- 3D flightpath with apex height and hang time
Data Points Not Tracked By Skytrak
Skytrak does not measure the following data:
- Club Path
- Face Angle
- Face to Path
- Dynamic Loft
- Attack Angle
- Swing Plane
- Swing Direction
- Spin Loft
- Spin Axis
Measuring a mere 7-inches tall and weighs less than 2 pounds, Skytrak is compact and easily portable whether you want to use it indoors, on the practice range, or even on the golf course.
Data is accessible on PC or mobile devices operating on Windows or iOS without having access to a Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, it does not operate on Mac desktops.
Setting the Skytrak up is a quick and simple task that does not require an army of assistants. You can also change the setting to adjust the weather conditions to determine how your shots will perform under several different conditions and teach you to adjust your ball flight.
Skytrak offers basic software including a practice range where you can view your data history, change the distance to a variety of targets, set environmental conditions such as wind, humidity, and elevation.
To provide more insight on how the ball performs you can select replay and review your shots from different camera angles.
In addition to the range, there is software available to compete in a set of challenges, either on your own or against others. Challenges include closest-to-the-pin challenge, target practice, and long-drive competition.
Skytrak Target Practice
You can select from various targets where you can set the distance to the target and the number of shots allowed for each target. Target practice adds pressure to your practice routine since you are not aimlessly hitting shots into the abyss. The scoring system allows you to compare your progress as you get better at this.
Setting up your target distance for each club upfront will measure how you fare in practice and allow you to perfect your distance control.
Upon completion of the assessment, you are provided with a report detailing your dispersion, accuracy, shot tendency, and handicap for each club as well as an overall Skytrak Handicap.
The Bag Mapping feature details carry distance, tendency, shot shape and gapping between clubs to ensure that there is not a gap that requires additional clubs or clubs that hit the same distance as another.
This is ideal for you to work on your distance control and get 2 clubs in your bag for every distance depending on the environment that you are playing in.
Skytrak may not be flawless and provide immediate feedback. There is a slight delay in providing feedback, but I am sure that it will not disrupt your fun or practice too much having to wait for 1 or 2 seconds.
Although Skytrak does not measure club paths, it measures and calculates sufficient data points to enable you to improve your game while having fun with the various software packages.
Have you tried the Skytrak launch monitor yet? How did you enjoy the experience?
Your feedback in the comments section below will greatly assist us in our endeavors to provide relevant content in our articles.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.