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SkyTrak Frequently Asked Questions

General
What is SkyTrak?
What is launch monitor technology and is it new?
How is SkyTrak different from other launch monitors?
Why is SkyTrak an important tool for improving your game?

Setup & Integration
What's included in the SkyTrak box?
Can I use SkyTrak with any tablet?
I heard there's a delay after each shot - what's the deal with that?
Can I use it anywhere, indoor and outdoor (on the range)?
Is there a certain color ball I need to use?
How much space do I need to use the SkyTrak?
How does it work with no connection?
Can I use SkyTrak with an existing golf simulator?
Do I need to use a projector?

Accuracy
How do we know that SkyTrak is accurate?
I heard the SkyTrak isn't accurate with a driver? What's the deal with that?

Data
What is a “flight model” and why is it important?
What data parameters does SkyTrak measure? Why?

Nerdy Tech Info
Which technology is better, Doppler or Photometric?
Other than commercial systems, what else is out there?
OK, now tell more about where SkyTrak fits in?
What else should I know about a Photometric system?


General

 

What is SkyTrak?

The SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor is a complete Practice, Play and Entertainment System designed for golfer’s use at home or away from the course. At its core, SkyTrak is powered by a revolutionary breakthrough in launch monitor technology that provides commercial accuracy and reliability in measuring ball flight data, but at a consumer affordable price.

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What is launch monitor technology and is it new?

Technology powering expensive commercial launch monitor systems has been around the professional golf community for years. The primary purpose of a launch monitor is to measure the behavior of the golf ball upon impact and provide immediate feedback for use in club fitting, instruction and golf simulation. The systems that perform this function well and provide reliable information are very expensive and can cost as much as $25,000. While there are a few products in the market that cost around $500, those do not capture all the information needed to provide a true simulation of your actual ball flight and results.

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How is SkyTrak different from other launch monitors?

Well let’s start with the two main types of ball tracking systems used commercially — Doppler and Photometric.

Both types of commercial systems are very good, yet they use two very different methods to achieve their results. To put it very simply – A Doppler system, as you may envision radar working, tracks how your ball flies and where it lands, and then calculates why it went there. On the other hand, a Photometric system measures what the ball is doing immediately after impact with high speed cameras, and then calculates or project it’s flight path and distance using very sophisticated algorithms.

SkyTrak uses the photometric approach for reasons we will discuss on more detail.

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Why is SkyTrak an important tool for improving your game?

There are many reasons that owning a realistic practice and play system will help you develop and improve. The primary reason for having SkyTrak in your arsenal is that it helps you practice the right things the right way.


Quality practice in a convenient, mobile setup

Many golfers are setup to fail by practicing the wrong mechanics over and over. With the immediate and detailed feedback you get on the core measurement parameters you’ll know whether you’re doing it right or wrong and can make adjustments to improve both performance and consistency.


Entertaining and fun

While our primary focus is helping golfers improve, why not make improvement fun and entertaining at the same time? With a powerful, intuitive, and graphically appealing user interface and graphics, SkyTrak provides a superior simulation environment that animates ball flight so you can see your improvement. With challenges and games, you will learn how to make the ball do what you want it to do, even if you don’t realize you are learning. Over time, by playing games and challenges, your shot making skills will improve on the golf course. 


History

You’ll be able to see your performance improve over time with the history and trends from each and every practice session. Seeing and tracking your progress is the best way to get an accurate gauge of your overall improvement and also great incentive to keep practicing.


Learning new shots

There are golfers and then there are shot makers. Do you find yourself struggling with a particular situation on the course? Do you see a shot that a more experience golfer makes and want to learn how to do it? With SkyTrak you can work on these shots in the privacy of your home, so the next time you try that shot live on the course, you’re ready and more confident. 

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SkyTrak Setup & Integration

 

What's included in the SkyTrak box?

  • SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor & Simulator

  • USB Cable

  • User Guide

  • Software (available via download)

Can I use SkyTrak with any tablet?

At the moment, you must have an iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2 (with Retina Display), or iPad Mini 3 to use SkyTrak. Our team is working to make the system available for Android and PC users. We will make announcements for availability and approximate timeframes when we know them. 

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I heard there's a delay after each shot - what's the deal with that?

A delay after each shot can happen if you're not using a device with a fast processor - so it's more an issue of the tablet/computer than it is of the SkyTrak. The SkyTrak app will technically work on an iPhone (we've tried it) but it's pretty slow just because the phone's processor isn't as powerful as a brand new iPad (or especially a powerful PC), which works wonderfully without more than a couple milliseconds of delay.

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skytrak-wp12.jpgCan I use it anywhere, indoor and outdoor (on the range)?

SkyTrak is completely portable and can be used both indoors and outdoors on a mat. If you’re using the system indoors, then you’ll need to use a hitting net (mostly to avoid making your spouse very upset). The system has an internal battery providing over 4 hours of use when fully charged and wirelessly connects to your iPad. Outdoor performance may vary in certain lighting conditions. Avoid the sun shining or reflecting directly into the lens of the SkyTrak device. 

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Is there a certain color ball I need to use?

The only type of ball that SkyTrak suggests you NOT use is a yellow ball.

They do suggest that you use new, or relatively new, quality distance, performance, or Tour type golf balls in good clean condition. The type and condition of the ball you use will affect ball flight data, most noticeably ball speed and spin. Ball imperfections, mud, excessive markings, cut covers, and/or otherwise identifiable markings on the ball, etc. can affect SkyTrak’s dimple recognition capability, making ball data difficult to analyze. 

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How much space do I need to use the SkyTrak?

As long as there is enough room to safely swing a golf club, you have enough room to use the SkyTrak system. Suggested indoor dimensions are a minimum of 10’ wide x 10’ deep with a variable height, depending on your physical height and length of your club. Check out the rendering to the right.

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How does it work with no connection?

You may find yourself in a place that doesn’t offer a WIFI connection. Will SkyTrak still work? Yes, SkyTrak will connect to your iPad directly and continue to send all the data through from your practice session. Then the next time you connect to a WIFI network, the data will be synced to your history. This feature provides you with the convenience to practice anywhere without worrying about having access to the internet.  

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Can I use SkyTrak with an existing golf simulator?

We are actively working with potential partners to integrate their system with SkyTrak. While we are not yet ready to make announcements, we will keep everyone posted on our progress.

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Do I need to use a projector?

Nope! You can certainly connect your iPad or computer to a projector if you'd like but the SkyTrak itself does not require one to operate. If our projector is off in the office we will oftentimes just have the iPad sitting in front of us as we hit.

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Accuracy

 

Hskytrak-wp02.jpgow do we know that SkyTrak is accurate?

You may wonder how we test and confirm SkyTrak’s accuracy and overall performance. SkyTrak has performed robot testing at Golf Laboratories, the golf industry’s #1 independent testing facility. Using a variety of shot types, ball speeds, and golf clubs, the measured results were virtually indistinguishable from the leading commercial launch monitors in the industry across the 5 most important parameters – ball speed, launch angle, back spin, side spin/spin axis, and side angle.

With over 10+ years of usage, the SkyTrak ball flight model has been tested thoroughly with robot and human hit testing for measured carry/total and offline distances. Unlike some professional-grade launch monitors, SkyTrak’s ball flight simulations are not affected by atmospheric conditions like wind, humidity, etc. (unless you turn these on in the session settings).

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I heard the SkyTrak isn't accurate with a driver? What's the deal with that?

We've had a few customers call in saying that the SkyTrak is great except for the fact that it doesn't read their driver accurately. We spoke with the staff at SkyGolf and learned that if you tee the ball up (as one does with the driver), you also need to raise up the SkyTrak to be at the same level as the bottom of the ball (as is the case when the ball is lying on the ground).

A simple block or even a book will do, just make sure you keep the unit flush by using the level on the top.

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Data

 

What is a “flight model” and why is it important?

skytrak-wp04.jpgThe SkyTrak system is powered by a sophisticated and time-proven ball flight model. This proprietary flight model is the engine that takes all the ball flight parameters and calculates an accurate flight path. While SkyTrak is a new product, the flight model we use is not. We have been refining and improving our proprietary flight model for more than a decade. Our flight model has been used for over a decade in a professional-grade launch monitor and benefits from years of usage and testing to confirm its accuracy. 

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What data parameters does SkyTrak measure? Why?skytrak-wp05.jpg

Our primary goal for SkyTrak is to provide the core set of data that you need to improve while providing a superior experience and level of entertainment. Many systems take the approach of providing every possible shot parameter whether it’s usable or not. We pared down the long list of captured data and present every shot with only the data you need to measure your performance. Without subjecting you to data-overload, knowing your numbers is crucial to game improvement. But, if you just don’t care about numbers, these key parameters and more have to be measured and captured accurately, to feed the ball flight model so you see your real shot shape and carry distance for practice and play.

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Here are the important parameters:

skytrak-wp06b.jpg

 

Ball Speed

Probably the most important element is ball speed. It has the greatest effect on total distance out of all the data collected. Ball Speed is affected by club head speed, the impact position on the club face and any rebound of the ball. This is an easy one because basically the higher the speed the longer the distance potential.

 


skytrak-wp07b.jpgLaunch Angle

The launch angle measures the vertical angle of the golf ball in relation to the ground as it leaves your club. It has the greatest impact on how high the ball flies. With higher launch angles, you see higher shots. Ideally, your shot will follow an optimal launch angle which means they are not too high or too low.

 


skytrak-wp08.jpgSide Spin

Another key element is side spin. You can think of this as the horizontal rotation of the ball in relation to the ground as it leaves your club. Why is it important? It’s the determining factor for what type of sho