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Gadgets: Spy X18 The Beacon Bluetooth Speaker



Playing music on the golf course has become both acceptable and convenient at many golf courses and driving ranges, and as a result more and more golf-specific gadgets have become available.

You might already have a bluetooth speaker at home, but some models are better for golf than others. Take Spy’s X18 Bluetooth Speaker, for example. It’s designed to fit in a cup holder, which means it won’t fall out of your golf cart when you punch the gas.

If you’re not riding, you can hang it from your golf bag with a handy carabiner. And although we can’t endorse the behavior, there’s also a mic and speakerphone should you need to take a call on the golf course.

Here’s what else you need to know about Spy’s X18 Bluetooth Speaker. 

the beacon speaker

It’s durable

  • It has a molded outer silicone shell skin for durability.
  • It’s water resistant, good if you spill drinks or it rains.
  • It’s IPX6 water-resistant, and drop-proof from up to 1.2 meters (that’s about the length of your driver, folks).

golf speaker

Good battery life

  • Boasts 15-hour battery life of full max volume playback, good enough for about three rounds of golf.
  • Built-in 2200 mAh class A high capacity rechargeable lithium battery

Sound-quality is “up to par”

  • The Spy X18 is equipped with dual 400mm speaker drivers and dual passive radiator, made for enhanced bass and consistent sound quality.
  • It’s rated power 6W with 360-degree surround stereo sound

Here is a sound bite from the voice on The Beacon bluetooth speaker:


Where to buy

  • Spy’s The Beacon speaker is available for $99.95 at in both orange and black shells. 
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  1. DMT

    Nov 9, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I have considered bringing my speaker to the course. I have seen a number of people use them. The key word is SEEN. Unless I’m right next to their cart or bag, I can’t hear it, let alone be distracted by it.

    How is that more distracting than the walker in your group with clubs banging together as he walks? Or the other twosome in their cart driving around looking for their balls in the rough while you hit? Not to mention the guys NOT in your group in the next fairway, on the next tee, last green etc, who bang the gas and drive off during your crucial putt or tee shot?

    Or, God forbid, someone talking on the course?!? And the PLANES IN THE SKY!!! How dare they fly while I’m hitting?

    If anything, a little background music will drown a lot of that out, not be more distracting.

  2. Clark

    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I see a lot of anti music posts on here. I don’t see a problem with low level music in your group as long as you are respectful to others around you. We play a GAME.

    If you are willing to spend the time and money to play. It is your descretion on enjoyment. If you play strictly by the rules, fine, don’t listen to music. If your rules are loose, then wear your loudmouth attire, drink that pint, improve your lie, and enjoy the experience. Neither is wrong.

    I’ve been a playing professional for over a decade now. Be respectful of others and enjoy the time with friends. Leave the Tour attitude on TV (or at least save it for a tourney) and out of your foursome. Just go out there and have fun.

    • Pro

      Oct 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Professional? What is your name and what are your stats?

  3. Bob

    Oct 22, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Why are you promoting this? Everyone likes their own music and no one wants to hear someone else’s from the adjacent fairway.

  4. Rule the World

    Oct 18, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    It’s simple:
    Play by the USGA/ R&A rules, idiots!


  5. Joe

    Oct 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    It looks like one more thing to leave on your cart when your finished playing. IF, I used such a device it would have to hang on my bag so it would not be left behind.

    Also, I don’t need any outside noise to distract me or others. I you are playing alone, use headphones. If playing with others forgo any music.

  6. Mark

    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Music has no place on the course. I go to the course to enjoy the peace and quiet and nature. Our club has enough issues with Juniors trying to snapchat every shot. If you play in headphones you are ignorant and anti social. Find another game.

  7. McCleod

    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I am 70, but I see nothing wrong with a little low-volume music in the background when my friends and I are playing. What with the customary slow play issues – it is often relaxing. Those that are aggravated with the “hacks” among us had better be happy that we play at all. The “players” could not support their hobby if all 5% of then had to fund golf in America. And, we are all “hacks” at something. I can soundly beat every good golfer I know in tennis. Just saying . . .

    • 8thehardway

      Oct 18, 2015 at 1:12 am

      What sort of music do you listen to when playing tennis?

  8. mgholda

    Oct 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    i listened to music while I played today for the first time
    Don’t know if it was the Celine Dion and Backstreet Boys or if it was just my day but anyways shot my best score ever (113). Me and my life partner just bought some Mariah Carey songs and can’t wait to listen to them this weekend on the course.

    • Boblocke2

      Oct 21, 2015 at 12:25 am

      Classic. Life partner and Celine Dion while banging a 113.

  9. 8thehardway

    Oct 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Wait ’till you meet Playlist Pete who blasts ‘ Ride of the Valkyries’ on the tee box, ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ in the sand trap and ‘Summer Breeze’ on the putting green. Sure, he’ll turn it off after he hits so no problems, right?

  10. ooffa

    Oct 15, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Golfers come and go. Rock and Roll is here to stay. Tee it up and rock on. It’s time to bring these old geezers back from the brink of their stodgy old ways.

    • Affoo

      Oct 16, 2015 at 11:44 am

      You’ll be gone like Lamar Odom you’re in the same league as him and we’ll laugh

      • Like

        Oct 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm

        I like that.

      • prime21

        Oct 21, 2015 at 8:09 am

        Dropping a quote about someone who is struggling to cope with life is a classless move. Nothing about what you said is funny. It is sad to see that any human finds it ok to “make a joke” about the trials and tribulations of another, especially considering the individual nearly died. If knocking people down is the only way you can lift yourself up, you should take some time to reevaluate what is going on in your life and seek help from a mental health care provider. The staff at GolfWrx should also be ashamed that they allowed your post to go through. Until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you should keep your commentary where it belongs, in your underdeveloped brain. I wish you good luck and hope that you find happiness in your life.

  11. Non

    Oct 15, 2015 at 3:52 am

    “both acceptable and convenient at many golf courses”

    NO, it HAS NOT. Only at mickey mouse low-class backwoods munis. Stop this lying now. It states, clearly in the rules of golf that music is NOT ALLOWED in play on the course at any time.

    If you have any respect for the game, you will stop any music on the course, period.

  12. Joshuaplaysgolf

    Oct 14, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Kyle, totally agree with you, if you aren’t doing it around other groups, who cares? As long as your group is cool with it. The issue is that a lot of people don’t have that awareness and get salty when asked (politely) to turn the music off while your swinging. I’m in my late 20’s, so not a crotchety old guy or preppy country club jerk, I adore hip-hop and listen to music constantly while I practice, which is 4-5 hours every day…but I always have my noise cancelling headphones in so I don’t annoy anyone on the range. It’s not all that different than if someone is talking while your swinging. Just be respectful of other people, as some golfers just want a few hours of quiet, sunshine, and a stroll around a georgeous course. I also agree with you fully that we need as many youth as possible, and the average golfer is really at the core of the golf economy. ‘Serious’ players and low handicappers might make up, what, 5% of golfers? I don’t think anyone wants to scare anyone off, but just want people to be self aware enough to cut the music when they’re around other groups. Everyone is out to have fun, that’s why we play, but that looks a bit different for everyone and when one person’s good time effects someone else’s good time, that is where the conflict comes from.

  13. Brian

    Oct 14, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    100% AGREE

  14. mgholda

    Oct 14, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    The people who typically play music while on the golf course are either (1) hackers, (2) playing in a couples event, or (3) older guys trying to act younger. Whichever one fits your particular case, it is disrespectful conduct and should not be encouraged. I play serious golf to escape from societal de-evolution, not to be reminded of it. This is where I draw the line. Sorry to be “get off my lawn guy”, but this is indicative of larger problems in today’s world.

    • Non

      Oct 15, 2015 at 3:53 am

      Thumbs up agree

    • Teaj

      Oct 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

      I wouldn’t call myself a hacker or play in couples events, nor do I consider myself to be old at 31. I have played music on the course but am courteous enough to know when to turn it down if approaching a group or within earshot of another group. I guess I am not the so called typical golfer playing music on the course then.

      • Bert

        Oct 15, 2015 at 8:16 pm

        I doubt it. Use headphones and keep the noise to yourself.

    • Keith

      Oct 20, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      I’m scratch and 37yrs old. My cart has a radio and if I play elsewhere I don’t play without my speakers. Regardless of what some people on here think, you can play music in your cart/group without disturbing others. It’s really quite simple to do.

  15. TimJHU

    Oct 14, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I agree…if you are playing music on a golf course make sure you’ve got earbuds in!

  16. Devin Bland

    Oct 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I was given this speaker as a tee prize. It’s pure garbage.

  17. mgholda

    Oct 14, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Using personal headphones is OK, but using a speaker on the golf course subjecting everyone to your taste in music and disturbing their round is NOT OK. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT or anything similar.

    • alan

      Oct 14, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      you sound fun

      • J

        Oct 14, 2015 at 8:10 pm

        Because he doesn’t want to listen to someone else’s idea of ‘good music’? You sound like an idiot.

        The very strong majority of golfers would prefer it quiet when they are hitting a shot. What’s the difference in whispering about your crappy kid and having to listen to ‘NWA’, ‘Kenny Chesney’, or ‘Jimmy Buffet’ while someone tees it up?? It’s just not the time or the place. This is sort of like making a boom box for people who frequent libraries. If you ask your playing partners if they mind before turning it on and turn it off when other groups are around, it’s no big deal. But when your idea of a ‘good time’ starts ruining other people’s, there’s a problem. I’m guessing your the type who gets pissed and rolls his eyes when someone politely asks you to turn your music off while they hit. Try to find a little self awareness and figure it out. Bro.

        • alan

          Oct 15, 2015 at 8:09 pm

          thankfully my playing partners are good golfers not jacka$$ hacks that need it dead quiet so they can hit their slice into the woods. you want peace and quiet go hike the AT or PCT or go lay in the bed with your lame wife

          • uid1

            Mar 29, 2016 at 3:02 am

            You sound like exactly the sort that wouldn’t shut the f##k up with the noise, er, music, when someone else is trying to enjoy some peace & quiet or even take a shot.

            And don’t get me started on how you probably listen to the same tired music you’ve been listening to since you were a teenager (most everyone’s favourite music is from when they were a teenager, and idiot on the course this past weekend was blaring some 30+ year old stuff – boring AND annoying).

        • Bert

          Oct 15, 2015 at 8:19 pm

          +1 It’s always amazes me how some defend their need to disturb others.

      • mgholda

        Oct 14, 2015 at 9:39 pm

        Playing winning golf is fun. Care to play straight up for the deed to your mobile home?

    • TOOL

      Oct 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      …and if your bleeding ears are nowhere nearby, who cares what and how loud I play something;)

      • mgholda

        Oct 14, 2015 at 9:40 pm

        Great name! Very fitting!

      • Jack

        Oct 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm

        So you’re that guy who likes to “share” his music with strangers and when they tell you to turn it down you feel like they are intruding on YOUR space?

        • TOOL

          Oct 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm

          Your assumption that I’m trying to ‘share’ my music with you or any other stranger is intruding…

    • Kyle

      Oct 14, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Sure some people may have their music loud and not be courteous to other golfers, but my friends and I play music because it’s relaxing and enjoyable for us. Takes a bit of the seriousness out of golf and let’s us get out and relax. When we come anywhere near other groups that may be able to hear the music we turn it down. All you’re doing is being stubborn/old school/dinosaur and taking the fun out of golf for young people who in the end are important to the sustainability of the game. Give your head a shake. If it doesn’t effect you with 99% of the time it won’t, shut your trap.

      • Non

        Oct 15, 2015 at 3:59 am

        “shut your trap.”

        Right back at you, eejit

      • Joe

        Oct 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        Kyle: You think that old people don’t like music, and you have to be young? Music has its place but that usually is not on the golf course where if it disturbs the concentration of other golfers trying to concentrate and enjoy their game.

        When your music interferes with others it should be left for a different time. Common courtesy will take you much further with your game and life in general.

        Have fun golfing. It is not a life contest against the young and old.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo



In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.


The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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Accessory Reviews

Choose Your Tartan: Enter now to win a Sunfish Tartan headcover



Sunfish, well known for its stylish headcover designs, is offering up free Tartan-style headcovers to five GolfWRX Members. All you have to do to apply is become a GolfWRX member, if you’re not already, and then reply in the forum thread with your favorite the Tartan pattern.


The five winners will receive a free headcover in the pattern that they select. Winners will be selected on Friday, so don’t wait.

Click here to enter into the giveaway and pick your favorite style.

Reminder: Commenting on this post WILL NOT enter you into the giveaway.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: Golf Simulator Software for SkyTrak



SkyTrak is a personal launch monitor packed with impressive features and accuracy. It sells for $1995, and is aimed at golfers looking for a high-quality, personal launch monitor and golf simulator. I’ve recently hit more than 1,000 golf balls on SkyTrak and tested it head-to-head against Trackman to find out if it truly is as good as it sounds.

Spoiler alert: It is. You can read the full review here.

In writing my SkyTrak review, I felt that I could better serve the GolfWRX Community and the greater golf world with an additional SkyTrak review that focused specifically on SkyTrak’s golf simulation partners. This… is that review.

Golf Simulation Partners

Out of the box, SkyTrak comes with an impressive driving range app, which golfers looking to hone and refine their swing will really appreciate. But one of the ways SkyTrak differentiates itself from other launch monitors, especially lower-priced ones, is by integrating with five leading golf simulation software packages.

This is where SkyTrak starts to widen its appeal. Serious golfers will enjoy playing a full round, but you can also get casual golfers involved. My wife and kids will enjoy playing a round of golf, and I won’t have to worry about holding up the group behind me. As my kids get older, having a simulator at home will be invaluable, allowing them practice at any time… assuming they want to play golf, of course.

SkyTrak Simulation Partners

Data Provided to Each Software

SkyTrak provides each simulation partner with the exact same, five directly measured data points which include: ball speed, launch angle, backspin, side spin and side angle. Each software applies their own ball flight model. For that reason, I did see differences in the ball flight and data displayed.

WGT (World Golf Tour)

Almost every golfer with a mobile phone or a Facebook profile has played or heard of WGT (World Golf Tour). The same game that has been played on mobile phones for years can now be played with SkyTrak. The most obvious difference is the visuals. Their patented, photo-realistic imagery and terrain mapping has created some of the most realistic course simulation available. What’s more interesting is that WGT is included at no additional cost when you purchase the $199.95 per year SkyTrak plan. This is great news for people interested in playing full courses, but not yet ready to commit to another simulator package.

There are 10 full courses that can be played. They include St. Andrews, Chambers Bay, Bandon Dunes and others. Closest-to-the-pin challenges can be played on 18 total courses.

Ball Flight and Data

The ball flight model is very accurate and similar to what I see in the SkyTrak app. It also calculates my wedge shots correctly, which is typically a slight fade that I cannot seem to fix. Total distance is a bit strong, with some clubs flying an average of five yards farther than normal.

Course Accuracy and Visuals

It is hard to beat the photo-realistic visuals of WGT. It took me a minute to get used to them after playing rounds on the other simulators, but the courses look amazing, especially on a large projector screen. With the combination of the photos and terrain mapping, these courses are spot-on representations of their real-life counterparts.

WGT SkyTrak Partner

Depth of Included Courses and Quality of Gameplay

I wish there were more courses, but WGT is continuing to add to its roster and I value the realism of the courses it has. I would rather higher quality courses over quantity. They also have some “Best Of” bundles, like playing the Best of Bandon Par 3s, which is a lot of fun.

The gameplay is solid, although the options are limited. You don’t have a lot of fancy camera angles or the ability to view a replay of your shot. In fact, some of the starting camera angles aren’t even from the player’s point of view, which is a little weird and hard to get used to. The SkyTrak data presented has everything you would want, except carry distance. The interface is clean and easy to use.

Reliability of the Software

Although the specs say an iPad is required (and preferred if you’re not using a projector), I didn’t experience any issues connecting to either my iPad or my iPhone 6s.


Included with SkyTrak’s Play & Improve Package

Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf

I want to love Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf, and I almost do. The main game includes really nice, quality courses, and you can purchase add-ons such as Muirfield Village or PGA National for $5.95. Additionally, its Course Forge Software, which is the same software used by Jack Nicklaus Golf course designers, can be used by anyone to create an unlimited number of courses that you can download and play.

You can adjust almost any setting you can imagine, from camera angles that allow you to walk freely around the golf course to video and audio settings that adjust everything from the sky effects to the way the grass looks. This is critical to helping dial in the settings to maximize gameplay for your specific PC setup.

Ball Flight and Data

The ball flight was similar to what I saw on the SkyTrak range, but the distances were consistently a bit shorter. There is a good chance I could mess around with the various settings and get the numbers to match up, but out of the box, I felt like the distances were slightly shorter across the board.

Course Accuracy and Visuals

I really like the quality of the courses. There is an almost unlimited combination of settings you can use to dial in the visuals to create a very realistic experience. The real courses I downloaded look, appear and play very accurately. The textures of the tee boxes and greens are very realistic.

Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf SkyTrak Partner

Depth of Included Courses and Quality of Gameplay

The included courses are a mix of fictional, user-created courses, and real courses with fake names. For example, you can play Florida Glades, which is actually modeled after TPC Sawgrass. I played Muirfield Village while watching coverage of the Memorial last weekend, which was fun.

With the exception of the occasionally shorter distances, the gameplay is excellent. Shots on the fairways and into the greens follow the real-life contours of the course. Just check out the video above to see what I mean.

The game really shines with the smooth camera movements and replay options. I love being able to watch each shot from the player point of view, but also angles like the spectator view. It feels just like TV and is a lot of fun to see my shots from different angles.

Reliability of the Software

This is where Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf falls short, at least for me. During testing, I was never able to get through an entire round without the simulator connection crashing, which meant that SkyTrak was no longer connected to the simulator software. This is an issue with Perfect Golf reported by others, too. As of June 1st, the company provided an update that has solved this issue for me, and I can now get through a full round, but it is something to keep in mind.


Multiple packages starting at $99.95 per year for the driving range package. It’s $199.95 per year for the simulation package, and $249.95 per year for everything including the ability to play user-created courses or compete in online tournaments.

TruGolf E6

TruGolf E6 feels and plays like the most solid of all the simulator options. Each of the 87 total courses are mapped using precise terrain and course data, and you can tell they spent a lot of time making each course feel as realistic and accurate as possible.

The app has numerous settings to control time of day, wind, lighting, camera angles and more. Course elevation is accurate, and factored into the ball flight. The base software includes a driving range with target practice, chipping area, and a putting area.

Ball Flight and Data

The ball flight, carry and total distance are almost identical to what I see in the SkyTrak app.

Course Accuracy and Visuals

The quality of each course is impressive. Fairways and greens are responsive and variable, mimicking the actual terrain of the course. The textures, shadows, and lighting are realistic. And the camera movements to follow the ball or during replays are natural. The overall graphics are not quite as good as Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf or The Golf Club, but still very solid.

TruGolf E6 SkyTrak Partner

Depth of Included Courses and Quality of Gameplay

The main package includes 15 championship courses, including Pinehurst  No. 2, Bay Hill, Gleneagles and others. You can also buy seven other packs of courses, each for a one-time fee.

The actual gameplay is very realistic. The standard camera angles feel like I am watching a shot from my actual point of view, but I can also watch the replay from various other camera angles. Putting is realistic, even if I haven’t yet mastered putting on SkyTrak. And if you’re looking to practice a specific hole on a course, you can choose to play only that hole.

Reliability of the Software

Rock solid. Throughout my entire testing, I never had any software issues.


$299 per year in addition to the SkyTrak Game Improvement Package. Additional course packs can be purchased for $240-500 each.

The Golf Club Game

There is so much to like about The Golf Club.  The graphics are quite possibly the best of any of the simulators (up to 4K Ultra HD) and allow you to move around the course in real-time. There are 100,000+ high definition courses, you can create your own courses, and TGC has live tournaments. There is even an announcer who gives you the play-by-play.

Ball Flight and Data

Just like TruGolf E6, the ball flight model and key data points are very similar to what I see on the SkyTrak range. I have noticed some deviation, more total distance for example, but for the most part, the results are very similar and accurate.

Course Accuracy and Visuals

I can’t deny having access to 100k+ courses isn’t a strength, but it is also a weakness. You will never get bored if you own this software, but if you like playing realistic golf courses, it can be difficult to navigate. With so many “Augusta National” or “St. Andrews” courses listed, it is hard to find one to play that truly feels realistic. I selected an “Augusta National Sunday Pin Position” course and saw white-capped mountains in the distance teeing off No. 1. There certainly aren’t mountains around Augusta.

The Golf Club SkyTrak Partner

I’ll say it again, the HD visuals are outstanding, especially if your system can max out the settings.

Depth of Included Courses and Quality of Gameplay

You’ve got access to a ton of courses for free, which will be  huge for many people. The gameplay is also excellent, with realistic bounces and rolls on the fairways and greens. The rough and sand are penalizing, and putting and chipping around the green is accurate.

Reliability of the Software

I have had some minor connectivity issues with TGC. But other than that, the rest of the software has worked great.


$479/year or a one-time fee of $895.

Creative Golf 3D

Creative Golf 3D, the newest integration with SkyTrak, offers some unique twists on the traditional simulators by focusing more on entertainment than pure simulation. Sure, there is a range and you can play up to 100 courses located in Europe, but more importantly, you have access to 20 different entertainment-focused games including island targets, mini-golf, and abandoned factory demolition.

I can see playing mini-golf with my kids even before sticking them on the SkyTrak range. Fun is the real power of Creative Golf 3D, and yet another way that SkyTrak differentiates itself from other launch monitors or simulators on the market.

Ball Flight and Data

The ball flight and data matches up nicely with the SkyTrak ball flight model. I haven’t noticed any issues with distances or other data points not lining up.

Course Accuracy and Visuals

All the courses are based on real elevation and satellite data, which is evident when you play a round. While I’ve never played golf in Europe, I love watching the European Tour partly because they play courses in beautiful parts of the world. Creative Golf 3D captures that beauty by focusing only on courses throughout Europe.


The reason I would buy Creative Golf over the others is not for the course play; it’s for the entertainment options. I really enjoy hitting knock down wedges to smash windows of an abandoned building and playing mini-golf in Europe.

Depth of Included Courses and Quality of Gameplay

The base package includes five courses. You can buy add-on packages for $99 per package (one-time fee) and get access to up to 100 courses. I enjoy hitting shots with snow-capped mountains in the background and the standard camera angles and replay are smooth. The visuals are good, don’t get me wrong, but they feel a little more like a computer game than an actual simulation compared to the other software options.

Reliability of the Software

So far, so good. I haven’t experienced any issues with connectivity to this point.


$199.95 per year or a one-time fee of $499.95. I like that Creative Golf 3D offers a one-time fee. For those of us who plan to have this simulator for many years, it makes a lot of sense. You can also buy additional course packs for $99.95/one time.

Bottom Line

If I had to choose my favorites so far, one would be Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf for the overall high quality of courses and smooth, realistic gameplay. I also will keep Creative Golf 3D on hand for entertainment options like mini-golf to play with my kids and friends.

But the good news is all of SkyTrak’s five simulation software partners offer high-quality gameplay, realistic and accurate 3D ball flight, and the ability to play 18 holes anytime, anywhere, on some of the best courses around the world.

Further Reading: A Review of the SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor

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