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In this SkyTrak Golf Simulator Review, we cover all the must-know details on why we purchased this simulator over competitor brands, pros/cons, and more!
Did you ever think you could truly golf 18 holes without leaving your house? Now, I’m not talking about video games where you don’t actually hit a real golf ball.
When I saw this incredible technology, I had to have one! Whether you’re stuck inside for work, weather conditions, or just like the convenience of golfing at any time of the day…then you’re like me a golf simulator is essential.
In this article, I review our recent purchase of the SkyTrak Launch Monitor. Plus, I cover various purchase options that are available depending on your needs.
SkyTrak Launch Monitor Key Features
Here are the key details of the SkyTrak Monitor and what it covers.
|Horizontal Launch Angle
|Back Spin Rate
|Vertical Launch Angle
|Club Head Speed
|Golf Ball Speed
SkyTrak Practice Package
The SkyTrak Simulator can be purchased from various companies such as Rain or Shine Golf if you’re looking for a complete package.
The SkyTrak Hitting Net Package includes everything you need for the ultimate indoor or outdoor golf practice setup. However, if you’re looking to keep your cost down, you can purchase it individually on Amazon.
Items in this package include:
- Golf Net (Net Return Pro or Rukket Sports Premium Golf Net)
- SkyTrak Launch Monitor
- SwingTurf Golf Mat
- Landing Pad
🤑 Optional: The high-powered gaming laptop for running the SkyTrak app and any simulation software is an add-on. There are also other accessories to complete your setup. Save on costs if you already have a PC to run these functions.
You can be set up with your own portable home golf simulator package within minutes by following the simple step-by-step instructions provided with each product.
With the lightweight design of these nets paired with the convenience and portability of the SkyTrak, you can play golf day or night, inside or outside, all year long with the SkyTrak Practice Golf Simulator Package!
Minimum Space Requirements
Your minimum space requirements are 9′ High x 10′ Wide x 12′ Long.
You can test your space by taking your driver (longest club) out and using a slow and complete backswing to make sure you have enough space and ceiling height prior to purchase.
Rain or Shine Golf has lots of details on the device measurement requirements, what software is available and what the minimum requirements for devices are supported.
I use the built-in SkyTrak Monitor software. I also bought a lifetime license to The Golf Club 2019.
Make sure only to purchase TGC 2019 and not the package with the older version. It has been noted online that golf players that purchased both never play the older version. There are more than enough golf courses in the newer version to keep you busy.
The game play in TGC 2019 is great and I have had a lot of fun exploring and playing courses. TGC 2019 includes putting green options and I have found the putting to work pretty well. There are settings in TGC if you have difficulty with the putting. These options are easily found online.
To use TGC 2019 requires the Game Improvement plan with SkyTrak, which has an annual fee. The package we recommend comes with 1 year of the Game Improvement plan.
However, one can purchase a SkyTrak without an annual fee by purchasing the monitor outside of a package and selecting the basic driving range plan. This will only provide driving range functionality.
SkyTrak Monitor Setup
The SkyTrak Golf Simulator setup will work with just an iPad (certain models, not all). The Golf Club 2019 requires a PC. I had an old PC available with a graphics card (that barely met the stated requirements) but works fine.
I use the PC connected by USB to the Skytrak displaying on a 65″ Samsung TV connected by HDMI cable. This setup avoids using the SkyTrak over WiFi which seems to be one of the main support issue items with this device. Skytrak has some goofy WiFi requirements, like using terrible passwords that reduce the security of your home WiFi network. I value my network security so this was a no-go for me. Hence, I use the USB cable connection.
SkyTrak’s wacky WiFi has been a point of contention for users with this device. I directly connected my unit to the PC with the supplied USB cable. If you are using an iPad, you can directly connect the iPad to SkyTrak’s built-in WiFi, but this will prevent you also connecting to the Internet at the same time. There are options around this, so I suggest you research online.
As mentioned, you can use the SkyTrak with an iPad only but in order to play courses, you will need additional software like WGT by TopGolf, which is included when you upgrade your SkyTrak plan to the Play and Improve plan (top tier):
Here are the minimum supported iOS devices:
- iPad Air 2 or newer
- iPad Mini 3 or newer
- iPad Pro
- iPhone 6s or newer (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ are not supported)
Android devices are also supported but this is only for the SkyTrak software. WGT by TopGolf is only supported on iOS. I didn’t see a lot of game play options for Android, and since I do not use Android, I did not research it further.
My goal was to keep this under a $5K budget spend. After purchasing all the components for the simulator and the additional software, I was slightly over. Luckily, I already had the TV and computer. Without those items, I would have easily increased the cost of this setup by ~$2K.
I chose SkyTrak due to space constraints. I was placing the setup in a room also used for working out, so I needed it to work with the space with workout equipment still in there.
The SkyTrak was the best option as I could set it up with a space of 10’ wide x 12-14’ deep.
Ceiling height was not a problem for me as our ceilings are over 11’. The main test for space height is to use your driver (longest club) in a slow full swing to see if you are clear.
Photo-Metric vs Radar
I looked at other units in my budget range but they would not be ideal in my available space, mainly due to the depth requirement. The SkyTrak is a photometric monitor and sits right next to the ball-hitting area requiring less depth. The other options are radar-based, which sit behind you as hit the golf ball and need more depth i n order to get an accurate measure (at least 16’ from net to monitor).
See this page for details on the differences between photo-metric vs. radar.
For convenience, here are the other options I looked at, which are radar based and require more space.
Since we needed a golf simulator for small spaces, this automatically eliminated these other two excellent options for my home. However, if you have the space, they are options to consider.
🏌️♂️ Check out our expert’s guide to the best golf simulators on the market.
Projector vs TV Set Up
I am happy with my TV setup, but my dream setup would be a projector with a hitting screen. The TV will, in general, be able to provide better graphics. I have mine placed off to the side but in front of me when I look up from my swing. I had to put protective netting in front of the TV to protect the screen from errant shots. It is a 65” Samsung TV capable of 4K using a wall mount.
As mentioned, my dream setup would be a projector setup but would have increased my costs (and I already had the TV setup), so that would be a future wishlist item if I ever moved or needed to replace the TV.
These are good setups if you want a Golf Simulator with a projector screen option:
Again, remove the PC option if you already have this covered, and it will drastically drop the price.
The above packages include the projector and SkyTrak. You will need to decide if you want a floor mount vs a ceiling mount for the projector.
Hitting Net Details
This is the hitting net I purchased which is an option in the SkyTrak Golf Simulator Hitting Package.
Due to my limited space and need to protect items on the sides from errant shots (i.e. TV), I purchased the side nets in addition to the simulator package.
You may be a great golfer and never have crazy mishits, but you also need to consider your space and others that may be using your simulator setup, including family and friends. I guarantee not all of them will hit it perfectly every time.
🏌️♂️ Read Next: The 10 Straightest Golf Balls to Instantly Improve Your Game
Golf Simulator PC Requirements
If you decide to go the PC route, note the requirements from SkyTrak to play The Golf Club 2019:
- OS: Windows 7 64 bit, Windows 8 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
- Processor: Intel Core i5-760 @ 2.80GHz or equivalent
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVidia GTX 670 or equivalent
- DirectX: Version 11
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Hard Drive: 30 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX 11 compatible
My PC (that was custom built) exceeded the processor and memory requirement but my video card was a less powerful 660 version. It still works fine. If you want to push 1080p or even 4K graphics, I recommend a newer PC with an i7 processor, at least 8GB of memory, and an Nvidia 3060 or higher graphics card.
Golf Tees to Use with SkyTrak
If you want to use a separate tee with the SkyTrak (and not one of the tees to pop up through a hole in the mat), you will need to purchase non-white tees made to be used on hitting mats. I recommend the Birtee Pro Speed Tees in black.
I originally purchased white tees and found there were challenges due to the color coinciding with the golf ball. Because it is a photo-based system, it’s harder for the monitor to track the white ball being hit off a white tee. The black tees do not cause issues with ball tracking.
This has worked well for me and they supply you with a range of sizes to use.
Need for SkyTrak Protective Case
I have seen it recommended online that you do not need the protective case for the SkyTrak. Luckily, the packages I recommend include this case. I disagree with these recommendations as my unit has been hit by a few errant golf balls, and the case completely protected it.
Again to my previous comment, consider all the golfers that will be using your simulator. If you’re only playing with scratch golfers, then maybe you won’t need it. 😀
Final Thoughts | SkyTrak Golf Simulator Review
Overall, I love my golf simulator setup and can easily fit in 100-150 practice golf ball sessions, rain or shine per day. It has helped me improve my game tremendously and is very useful while working on various golf swing mechanics.
With this setup, you can do it all! I can hit every club in my bag, including my driver or even a putter. This has been great fun – plus, golfing guests who have visited my house love it too! Have drinks and appetizers while enjoying a round of golf.
I hope you found my SkyTrak Golf Simulator review helpful. I highly recommend this setup to anyone that likes the flexibility to golf on your own schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use SkyTrak without a subscription?
Yes, you can use SkyTrak without a subscription. This SkyTrak Basic Plan is included with the purchase of the SkyTrak monitor. This only includes driving range functionality.
What is better SkyTrak or FlightScope Mevo+?
Both are great options, but if you are working with a smaller space indoors, then the SkyTrak is the better option. The FlightScope Mevo+ will need at least 16′ from the net to the monitor, whereas the SkyTrak only requires ~10′ depth.