The SkyTrak+ Launch Monitor & Golf Simulator
With the release of the new SkyTrak+, 2023 was the year of the golf launch monitor!
Not only has the market welcomed two new launch monitors with simulation for under $1,000, the brand that started it all has finally updated their device.
SkyTrak Golf was the first (a decade ago) to make the home golf simulator a reality for golfers—at a price that was unheard of. Finally, you didn’t have to be a pro to get pro-level game improvement at home.
But in the last couple of years, some of golf’s top brands have figured out how to make it even more affordable for golfers to get golf simulation in their homes and tour-level accuracy at the range (thank you doppler radar technology).
Garmin was the first to do it in 2021 with the Approach R10 priced at only $599.99. And this year, two more super-affordable launch monitors with golf simulation are available: the Swing Caddie SC4 ($549.99) and the Rapsodo MLM2PRO ($699.99).
In this article, we’re exploring how the more expensive SkyTrak+ compares to these new, more affordable launch monitors with simulation and why it costs more—so you can better understand which one might be right for you!
Watch a Best Launch Monitors of 2024 Review from Gabe at Let's Play Thru!
New SkyTrak+ vs Garmin Approach R10
How Are These Golf Launch Monitors Similar?
Beginning with data points, both the SkyTrak+ and the Garmin Approach R10 offer all the right metrics you want to see in a launch monitor—including Club Path and Club Face Angle. One of our golf reviewers, Paul at Golfers Authority (see video below), has tested both of these devices side by side, and he found that they put out very comparable results in terms of Ball Speed, Clubhead Speed, Carry/Total Distance, and Spin.
For those of you wanting a device for your home golf simulator, both of these GLMs offer 3rd-party simulation as well as proprietary software for game improvement. The SkyTrak+ offers a Game Improvement Package ($129/year—free 30-day trial) and a Play & Improve Package ($249/year—includes some 3rd-party simulation). The Garmin Approach R10 comes with the free Garmin Golf app that allows you to upload scorecards, review shot history and performance stats, and more. And you can upgrade to the membership (30-day free trial) for $9.99/month or $99.99/year and get Home Tee Hero that includes Garmin’s own 42,000 courses worldwide.
Both of these are indoor/outdoor golf launch monitors.
How Are They Different?
Perhaps the greatest difference between the Garmin R10 and the new SkyTrak+ is the price. The Approach R10 is priced at a very affordable $599.99, while the 2023 SkyTrak+ will set you back $2,995. It’ll be the ways that these two golf devices are different that’ll determine which one you want to spend your hard-earned bucks on.
First of all, the SkyTrak+ is a photometric (camera-based) launch monitor with integrated doppler radar technology—that’s where it’s getting its new Club Data from. Speaking of Club Data, while both of these offer Club Path and Face Angle, the SkyTrak+ shows you Face to Path and Face to Target for each shot. So, if you want to dig into your shot curves or understand hitting draws and fades—these are the metrics. Understanding the relationship between these metrics is key in eliminating slices and hooks.
Because it uses photometric technology, the SkyTrak+ does not need a ton of space. If you can swing comfortably, you can use this device. The Garmin R10, however, requires 14-16 feet in an indoor golf simulator—6-8 feet behind you from device to tee, and at least 8 feet from ball to impact screen or net.
Additionally, the SkyTrak+ does not require any special stickers on the club head or ball, nor does it need special balls. Garmin now recommends Titleist RCT balls for better accuracy on the Approach R10 in an indoor golf setup.
SkyTrak’s proprietary software is more realistic than Garmin’s Home Tee Hero and Garmin Golf software. And it gives you rich game improvement features like Bag Mapping and skill building challenges. You can get a similar experience with the Garmin R10 if you purchase an Awesome Golf subscription.
And pretty much no golf launch monitor on the market beats the amount of 3rd-party simulation that SkyTrak offers. The R10 integrates with E6 Connect, TGC 2019, and Awesome Golf, while SkyTrak+ is partnered with E6 Connect, TGC 2019, WGT by TOPGOLF, Creative Golf 3D, Fitness Golf, and ProTee Play.
Which One Should You Buy?
Budget is going to be the deciding factor here. In the features that the SkyTrak+ and Garmin R10 do share—they are both very accurate and competitive.
But does the Garmin Approach R10 have everything you want for game-improvement and your home golf simulator experience?
If you want a ton of simulation options along with the ability to really analyze your swing and challenge yourself to improve, the SkyTrak+ may be the launch monitor on your radar.
Watch a SkyTrak+ vs Garmin Approach R10 Review
SkyTrak+ vs Rapsodo MLM2PRO
How They Are Similar
Both of these launch monitors shine when it comes to accuracy with basic data points such as ball speed, club speed, carry/total distance, smash factor—and even spin rate. You can check out the video below to see one of our review partners—Paul at Golfer’s Authority—hit several shots in an indoor simulator. You can see both sets of numbers on the screen. It’s impressive how well the Rapsodo MLM2PRO keeps up with the SkyTrak+ when it comes to feedback on your shot.
Where These Two Differ
However … there is a reason the MLM2PRO launch monitor is a quarter of the price of the new SkyTrak+.
First of all, the Rapsodo unit needs its specific Callaway RPT balls to capture spin data—and that can only be done indoors—so you can not get spin numbers out at the range. The SkyTrak+ does not need radar capture balls or any stickers, and you can get all your data anywhere.
Secondly, the SkyTrak+ gives you club data now. While both units offer club speed and smash factor, the SkyTrak+ will allow you to really dig into your swing with face to path and face to target data. This is where you get a better understanding of how to eliminate those nasty hooks and slices.
These new SkyTrak+ metrics are owing to it also having a dual doppler radar onboard now—pairing it with the precision of its camera-based technology as well. The Rapsodo golf launch monitor uses the dual-doppler radar only.
The SkyTrak+ has an edge when it comes to game improvement tools—like the upgraded Shot Optimizer User Interface—as well as a superior visual experience on the screen and a lot more to offer in the way of 3rd-party simulation providers.
However, for such an affordable price, the Rapsodo MLM2PRO is a light and versatile golf launch monitor—that has some standout features of its own, such as two different cameras to offer you deeper visual insight into your swing through video analysis.
Which Should You Buy for Your Home Golf Simulator?
Again, price will be the major factor between these two. But also the fact that they are two different golf launch monitors with simulation experiences.
The SkyTrak+ is a superior virtual experience that is a ton of fun in an indoor simulator as well as a top-shelf game improvement tool. And you simply have more simulator options with this choice at this time.
The Rapsodo MLM2PRO is the launch monitor for you if you really want a device that churns out reliable data, can show you a lot about your swing through video, and is super portable and easy to set up.
Watch a SkyTrak+ vs Rapsodo MLM2PRO Review
New SkyTrak+ vs Swing Caddie SC4
How Are These Launch Monitors the Same?
Voice Caddie is a brand we love because it brings both accuracy and originality to the golf launch monitor experience. And we’re happy to report that the Swing Caddie SC4 keeps up with the SkyTrak+ in the realm of basic data on your shots. We’re talking ball speed, club speed, and distance.
Neither of these devices need special balls or stickers to get accurate numbers indoors.
After that though, these golf launch monitors get pretty different.
What Makes Them Different?
First of all, the SC4 does add spin to its list of data—but it is through the MySwingCaddie app, and so far, it’s not the most accurate compared to other launch monitors. However, Voice Caddie has already released some firmware updates that have improved performance, and knowing their history, they will continue to get better.
Also, as with the MLM2PRO, the SkyTrak offers more data points, especially with the club metrics. The SC4, like all of our budget golf launch monitors here, is also a doppler radar-based device, while the SkyTrak+ uses both radar and camera-based technology.
In this comparison, the SkyTrak+ offers so many more simulator options. The Swing Caddie SC4 comes with a free E6 Connect course, and you can purchase a subscription to E6 Connect; but it is not yet integrated with any other 3rd-party software.
What the Swing Caddie can do that none of these other golf launch monitors do is show you your numbers on its bright display, if you don’t want to look at the app on your phone. And the SC4 can call out your distances to you. This makes it a super handy device at the range.
Which Launch Monitor & Golf Simulator Should You Get?
If it’s between the SkyTrak+ and the Swing Caddie SC4, before you think about budget, you may want to consider where you’ll want to use this launch monitor the most. If it’s at the golf range, the SC4 is hands down the smartest buy.
But if you hope to maximize fun and game improvement in a home golf simulator—and you have the budget—the SkyTrak+ is the worthy unit here.
What the SkyTrak+ Does That Budget Launch Monitors Can’t Do
To recap, here’s what you get when you choose the SkyTrak+ over these more budget-friendly golf launch monitors and simulators:
- No special balls or stickers needed.
- More 3rd-party simulation software options.
- Advanced club data (face to path and face to target; Approach R10 comes close).
- Less space needed for setup in an indoor simulator.
Why you might consider a Rapsodo MLM2PRO, Swing Caddie SC4, or Garmin R10 over the more expensive SkyTrak+ option:
- You want included, advanced video analysis of your swing, which all of these budget GLMs provide.
- You want something a bit more portable that is super versatile and works easily with a free golf app on your mobile device wherever you take it.
- You don’t need the extra game improvement tools.
- You’re not worried about having the most simulation software options.
- No golf mat needed at range. If you plan to take the SkyTrak+ to the range, it must be sitting on a golf mat in order to get accurate readings.
Watch a Video Comparing 2024's Budget-Friendly Launch Monitors with Golf Simulation