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Review: Nevr Looz NL ProClip Golf Bag

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Pros: Nevr Looz is a fresh take on a piece of equipment every player uses and eventually needs to replace. The unique design is well thought out and offers some tangible benefits as compared to traditional bags.

Cons: Design features require some setup and may be too much of a departure from traditional bags for some. Designated putter well doesn’t accommodate putters with larger grips.

Bottom Line: It’s different. And that may be a good thing. Or it may not. It really depends on how much you love or hate your current bag and whether or not a more efficient system is something you need.

The Review

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Photo courtesy of Nevr Looz.

The whole world seems to be getting smarter and now this intelligence has infiltrated golf bags. The NL Proclip from Nevr Looz is golf’s first self-proclaimed “Smartbag,” and aims to be “the most efficient, organized, sophisticated and unique” bag on the market. If that wasn’t enough, Nevr Looz also wants “to change the market forever.” I’m not a prognosticator, but I do know you can’t have the type of impact Nevr Looz is after unless you’re willing to go about things a bit differently and take some risks. The NL Proclip does both. 

There’s a saying about fixing things that aren’t broken. But what if you didn’t know something was broken and therefore never made an effort to change it? It’s somewhere in this line of thinking the NL Proclip golf bag exists. 

So what can Looz do for you? It all starts with your old bag and what it doesn’t do. For this review, I used the criteria as presented on the Nevr Looz website to determine if my bag (Ping Hoofer 2015 model) is in as bad of shape as Nevr Looz says it is. 

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Photo courtesy of Nevr Looz.

Criteria No. 1. Clubs are constantly bunched. I don’t have a 14-way divider in my bag and so there are certainly times where I can’t get a club out of the bag (or put one in for that matter). This is entirely frustrating and golf is a game with enough frustration as is. To address this situation, Nevr Looz utlizies a proprietary “club clip” system whereby each individual club is held in place and sits in a separate well. It’s easy enough to set up and doesn’t take more than a small bucket at the range to get used to, which is good because taking your clubs in and out of your bag shouldn’t be something you have to spend much time figuring out.

Point: Nevr Looz 

Criteria No. 2: Clubheads constantly banging. Irons, yes. Everything else, no. If a club has a headcover in my case that’s driver, three-wood, hybrid and putter — I’m not worried about any fender-benders or dings. However, most of us are resigned to the reality of “bag chatter,” especially if you play forged irons and/or wedges. Some players despise such blemishes and others see them as collateral damage and part of the soundtrack to a round of golf. The proprietary “club clip” system does a nice job of minimizing club-to-club contact, which is likely a selling point for some. 

Point: Draw 

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Photo courtesy of Nevr Looz.

Criteria No. 3: Scratches on graphite shafts. Whether I dropped three bills for an upgraded driver shaft or it’s the stock offering, scratches on paint really rub me the wrong way. That said, the most dangerous villain in my bag tends to be alignment sticks (think orange and white driveway markers) that go rogue and sneak up under my headcovers. Regardless, I don’t love the scuffs and abrasions that do result from too much paint rub and the individual clips in the NL do a great job of keeping these clubs separate. 

Point: Nevr Looz, barely. 

Criteria No. 4: Clubs hard to get in/out.  See criteria No. 1. When clubs are bunched up, they’re hard to extricate. When they’re hard to maneuver, it’s because they’re bunched up. So for my money, it’s pretty much the same thing.

Point: Nevr Looz 

Criteria 5: Lost clubs. For many of us, losing a club creates a void only golfers can understand. It’s the avoidable nature of this hollow feeling that really drives me batty. That said, I’m not necessarily convinced this bag would prevent me from leaving my 7 iron at the driving range or my wedge on the fringe of green, but I do believe I’d notice something was amiss a lot sooner than just the next time I went to grab that particular club. 

Point: 0.5 to Nevr Looz 

If you use only the criteria presented by Nevr Looz, the NL ProClip clearly has some advantages over traditional bags. How much of an advantage is entirely up to you. 

What else you need to know 

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Photo courtesy of Nevr Looz.

Nevr Looz does offer a bag specifically for walkers, which offers the same technology as the cart bag with additional side padding and a backpack strap. Anticipated MSRP on this bag is $179.00

I did throw the NL Pro Clip on my ClicGear 3.5 and it wasn’t a perfect fit, which is likely the reason Nevr Looz offers the matching “Easy Peasy” pull-cart. Although it isn’t available yet, expect the cost to be right around $100. 

Multiple skins allow golfers to change the look of their bag as often as they change their mood. And If they want something truly custom, Nevr Looz can do that as well.

Fifteen pockets give ample room to store anything and everything golfers could possibly want or need to take with them on a round of golf. In fact, I found there were several pockets I’m not certain I’d ever use, but it’s always nice to have the extra space especially when it doesn’t mean extra weight. 

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Photo courtesy of Nevr Looz.

If you typically carry alignment rods or swing aids (Orange Whip for me), there isn’t an obvious place to put them. I ended up shoving everything in the same well as my woods, which wasn’t ideal, but isn’t a deal breaker either. 

I’ve never (or should I say “nevr”) seen a cart-specific bag with retractable legs, which is a great idea, and when you consider the structural integrity of the metal frame, this bag will last as long as you want it to. 

With an MSRP of $199, the NL ProClip on par with the highest rated cart bags from 2015. Want one? Or want to learn more? Check out www.nevrlooz.com 

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I didn't grow up playing golf. I wasn't that lucky. But somehow the game found me and I've been smitten ever since. Like many of you, I'm a bit enthusiastic for all things golf and have a spouse which finds this "enthusiasm" borderline ridiculous. I've been told golf requires someone who strives for perfection, but realizes the futility of this approach. You have to love the journey more than the result and relish in frustration and imperfection. As a teacher and coach, I spend my days working with amazing middle school and high school student athletes teaching them to think, dream and hope. And just when they start to feel really good about themselves, I hand them a golf club!

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. BIll

    Apr 25, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    My brother & I both want one of these bags, where can you buy one in Ontario, Canada

  2. aaron merritt

    Apr 4, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    this is a really cool bag. I’m interested. I
    haha and i have no idea what these haters are smoking…The website looks fine (simple modern design) and all of the negative comments are nonsense. It is open and therefor comes with a rain cover (same as normal bag). The bag clearly works on a cart (evident by the shitload of pictures I found in about 20 seconds). To the traditionalists (who would have trashed the idea of a 60 degree wedge a few decades ago), stop going out of your way to check-out products that you are already closed off too just to leave a shit comment. pessimists.

  3. Robert Weinmeier

    Mar 13, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    We haven’t had any complaints and have sold thousands! So probably not going to change it!

  4. Steve

    Feb 9, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Doesn’t seem to consider that a senior like myself might carry a 3, 4,and 5 hybrid instead of the 3, 4, and 5 irons. Doesn’t look like a hybrid will fit in the clips.

    • Robert Weinmeier

      Mar 13, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      We actually designed the bag with a Senior in mind…my dad. The most exciting bag on the market can accommodate 10 hybrids.

  5. PKS

    Feb 3, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Industrial Strength Ugly

  6. Mat

    Feb 2, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Uhhh… does it come with rayn hoodz?? LULZ

  7. mhendon

    Feb 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    I guess I’m a traditionalist but I like my golf bag to look like a golf bag.

  8. Rich

    Feb 2, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Doesn’t anyone care how good their gear looks? Normal bags work well enough for me and look the part. Would never buy anything like this. It looks hideous!

    • Robert Weinmeier

      Mar 13, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      This is a bag who cares about their game and the look and function of the bag…it’s obvious you have one of those old leather bags from the 50’s…so I suggest you just stick with it.

  9. Mikec

    Feb 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Never looz just lost me

  10. jumbbojett

    Feb 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Ogio has a better version of this.

    • oldredtop

      Feb 3, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Jumbo, I’m interested in looking at Ogio’s version, but could not find one on their site. Do you have a model #?

      • Tom

        Feb 4, 2016 at 8:19 am

        I have the ogio version. The chamber bag is the cart version, and the silencer is the stand bag version. They work great and the silencer is quite comfortable to carry. This bag seems like a knock off of that really.

    • Robert Weinmeier

      Mar 13, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Ogio bags don’t work and the club heads still bang and the clubs are too hard to get in. NEVRLOOZ is the only bag on the market that has 10 individual clips that slide and rotate to fit any club on the market and secures each club. The club simply drops in the clip. Once you try a NEVRLOOZ golf bag you cannot use any other bag!

  11. SV

    Feb 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I stand chastised. I went to the website and the clips can be reversed for left handed clubs. Assumed and you know what that stands for.

  12. SV

    Feb 2, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Rain would be a problem. Based on the pictures I would bet that the clips only work for right handed clubs.

  13. Chuck D

    Feb 2, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Love Teaj’s response. Mine as well, to the letter! There is nothing like guiding a bladed wedge back

    into the bag with aggressive bodily force!

  14. Doug

    Feb 2, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Maybe someone will like this, but I think it’s garbage.

  15. Teaj

    Feb 2, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    there is no satisfaction in gently placing your club in your bag and clipping it into place after a missed shot.

  16. Mark

    Feb 2, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Massive Con missing: any kind of inclement weather and your clubs are completely unprotected. Absolute nonsense.

  17. TWShoot67

    Feb 2, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I had a bag that had this idea way back in the 80’s. This is a good Idea for walking but it appears the bag is too wide to fit two on a cart. Also if they happen to fit both inner rows of irons would probably be banging into each other. Good idea but too wide!

    • Robert Weinmeier

      Mar 13, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      So do you think the NEVRLOOZ design team, all of which are golfers, spent 5 years on product development only to create a bag that is too wide to fit two on a golf cart….so do you think they all went out as a single and never played together….this comment is not even worth commenting on…go to “gallery” page on the website to see pics with two bags together.

      Further, the 10 individual clips keeps the clubs from banging, no matter what configuration your brain can come up with.

      • Robert

        Jul 11, 2016 at 12:39 pm

        Robert, I’ve read through your comments, here and frankly, I’m a little unimpressed with your reply to feedback here. There will always be a degree of snark on the internet, especially when introducing a unconventional product into an established marketplace. It doesn’t help the company’s image. In considering purchasing the product, I’d think twice about whether customer service would take me seriously if I had a complaint or if the bag needed repairing.

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Accessory Reviews

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

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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.

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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

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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.

Cost

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.

Cost

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.

Cost

$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.

Cost

$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.

creativegolf_image

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.

Cost

$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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Accessory Reviews

Review: SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor

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Pros: Highly accurate data, portable, easy to use, and integrated with some of the best golf simulation software on the market.

Cons: Slight delay between contact and seeing the ball flight. Only tracks the golf ball, and not your club path.

Bottom line: Impressive features, accuracy and price make SkyTrak attractive to a whole new segment of golfers who aren’t in the market for professional launch monitors, but are looking for a high-quality, personal launch monitor and golf simulator.

Overview

If you’ve watched golf on TV in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen Hank Haney talking about SkyTrak, a personal launch monitor that provides accurate shot data and the ability to play full rounds of golf on some of the world’s best courses. To find out if SkyTrak truly is as good as it sounds, I’ve hit over a thousand golf balls, played rounds of golf on every simulation package, and tested SkyTrak head-to-head with Trackman.

SkyTrack Personal Launch Monitor

SkyTrak is a photometric launch monitor, which means it uses high speed cameras to capture a series of images of the golf ball for a few feet right after impact. Ball speed, launch angle, backspin, side spin and side angle are directly measured, and other data points such as carry and total distance are estimated. SkyTrak then creates a realistic, 3D ball flight model (more on this later), which I’ve found to be extremely accurate. It only needs a few feet to capture the images, which means you can use SkyTrak anywhere you can swing a golf club, both indoors and outdoors.

At 7-inches tall and less than 2 pounds, SkyTrak is small enough to fit in a golf bag when heading to the range. It connects wirelessly to your PC or iPad without requiring a WiFi network. And if you’re worried about hitting a hosel rocket and smashing your launch monitor, you can get a protective case.

SkyTrak

The SkyTrak app supports iOS and Windows. Sadly, Mac desktop or laptop users are out of luck. The company is currently working to officially release the SkyTrak app for Android, but a release date has not been provided. Check out the full specs here.

SkyTrak starts at $1,995, but you can often find it offered for $300 off. In addition to purchasing the launch monitor, SkyTrak has three yearly plans:

  • Basic: Limited access to the driving range app and is included at no charge. Included with purchase.
  • Game Improvement: Access to all the features of the app as well as integration with the company’s simulation partners. $99.95 per year.
  • Play & Improve: You get everything with the Play & Improve Plan, including full access to World Golf Tour simulator. 199.95 per year.

Setup and Ease of Use

One area where SkyTrak really shines is how simple and intuitive it is to use. Once the launch monitor was charged, it took me about 2 minutes from start to finish to get connected.

SkyTrak on iPad

The entire application is straightforward and simple to use. Nothing in the app seems like an afterthought. Big icons and visuals make it easy to select what you want to do, even outside with the glare of sunlight bouncing off your iPad. The data points are huge, allowing you to quickly scan the screen as you’re practicing.

The designers didn’t attempt to make the SkyTrak range “feel” like a photo-realistic simulation, and I couldn’t be happier with that decision. When I’m practicing, I want the application to be responsive and accurately display the ball flight and data. While I like that some of the other simulators have a practice area, I will primarily use the SkyTrak range.

SkyTrak Measured Data

Accuracy of the Data

Before we get too deep into the review, I’m pretty sure many of you are wondering, “Great, but is it accurate?” To answer that question, I tested SkyTrak outside on the range and head-to-head against Trackman.

SkyTrak has completed independent robot testing at Golf Laboratories, but I wanted to do my own testing against Trackman. SkyTrack is photo-based and Trackman is radar-based, so there will be variation in the data, but Trackman is the gold standard and I was curious how they stacked up. I headed to BridgeMill Golf Academy and worked with Tom Losinger, Director of Golf Instruction, who ran the head-to-head test.

Head-to-Head Testing

SkyTrak vs. Trackman Data

Before we got started, I set the wind speed, direction, humidity and temperature to the weather at the time in an attempt to normalize the data in the SkyTrak app as much as possible.

On average, SkyTrak was within about 2 percent of what Trackman reported, which I would say is really good. SkyTrak under-reported every metric except spin rate and launch angle. Spin rate is one metric likely more accurate than Trackman because it is directly captured by camera and analyzed.

SkyTrak vs. Trackman Averages

The largest deviation was total yardage, off by 6 percent, with the driver showing the biggest difference. Unfortunately, this is an area that is hard to match up the range conditions to the conditions in SkyTrak, which will impact this number. Carry distance was within 3 percent, which is more inline with my expectations. I should note that SkyTrak’s robot testing against Trackman showed significantly closer carry and total distance data.

Related: The Hottest Launch Monitors of 2017

Like other photo-based launch monitors, SkyTrak only captures the ball flight. Clubhead speed is an approximation, and I’ve found it to be more inaccurate than accurate, especially with the wedges. If you need club data, you will likely need to invest in a more expensive, commercial-grade launch monitor.

3D Ball Flight Model

In addition to the actual data from Trackman, I also hit a lot of balls on the range focusing on how my real ball flight and distance match up to the 3D ball flight.

While SkyTrak is only a couple years old, the team behind SkyTrak has been refining, testing and improving their 3D ball flight model for over a decade. I can say without hesitation that it’s an impressive model. The video above shows a side-by-side video of an 8-iron on the range compared to the 3D-generated ball flight presented by SkyTrak. I landed my shot just short and right of the target.

SkyTrak Range Testing

There have been a few times during testing, mostly with my wedges, where the ball flight did not perfectly match the real flight. But the vast majority of the time, it was spot on. I even spent time intentionally hitting the dreaded, um, sh**k, which SkyTrak picked up perfectly.

What you can do with the SkyTrak app

Practice Range

I have spent the most time using the SkyTrak practice range, even using it to test eight of this season’s newest golf balls. The range is laid out with big data points and simple controls. You can adjust the target distance, set parameters such as wind, humidity and elevation, switch between the range and data views, and also see your shot history.

Basically, you have everything you need to practice effectively.

SkyTrack Driving Range

You can also choose from a number of different camera angles to view your shots live and in replay. SkyTrak recently added the ability to offset the camera angle, which is a much needed feature for people hitting into projector screens where space is limited and they aren’t able to line up in the center of the screen.

Challenges

Challenges are a lot of fun, especially with other people. You can do a closest-to-the-pin challenge, target practice, and surely a favorite of many people, a long-drive competition.

SkyTrak Target Practice

For each challenge, you have various settings, such as target distance and the number of shots for each person. All the same data points available on the range are available during the challenges.

I like the Target Practice a lot. It simulates some of the real-world pressure you might feel to hit a good shot. Instead of just a distance from the target, you get a score of 0-100, which helps to show how accurate you are with each club.

Skills Assessment

SkyTrak Skills Assessment

The Skills Assessment and Bag Mapping (see below) are two fairly new features that users are really excited about. If you’ve ever run through a Trackman Combine, the Skills Assessment will seem very familiar.

You set up the number of clubs you want to hit and the target distance. I like being able to specify the clubs and distance instead of being forced to hit to a specific yardage. I ran my father-in-law, Tony, through the skills assessment and was able to focus in on the distances specific to his game.

Setting up the assessment only takes a couple minutes. Then you’re guided through each club and all the data is stored. At the end of the assessment, you get a very detailed printout that shows your dispersion, accuracy, shot tendency and handicap for each club as well as an overall SkyTrak Handicap. This data is incredible.

SkyTrak Skills Assessment Tony

On the course, Tony’s miss is left and short. During the assessment, his miss was left and short. Not only that, his SkyTrak Handicap came out to be 22.5. Tony currently plays to a 23.

Bag Mapping

Similar to the Skills Assessment in terms of data and the final report, the Bag Mapping feature walks you through your entire bag to help you understand your carry distance, tendency, shot shape, and gapping between clubs.

This is great for any golfer, even if you think you know what your distances are with each club. But many golfers simply don’t have a good understanding of their carry distances, and this feature will help.

SkyTrak Bag Mapping

I’ve done an entire bag map, but recently ran through it again focusing only on my wedges. Lately, I’ve felt like my gaps aren’t correct and sure enough, they aren’t. Now I have the data I need, and can focus my practice, and possibly make some club changes, using the results.

The Momentary Shot Delay

One of the most frequent, negative comments I’ve read from golfers about SkyTrak is the 2-3 second, shot-to-show delay. You hit a shot and instead of instantly showing up on the screen flying down the fairway, there is a momentary delay while SkyTrak calculates the ball flight.

I’ll admit I was also disappointed at first, too, but I got over that pretty quickly. In fact, I use the brief pause to guess what the shot will do based purely on feel. Will it be short, long, push, pull, fade or draw? This weakness was easily turned into a strength, and I don’t think this reason alone should make anyone overlook SkyTrak.

Simulation Packages

Accurate data and the ability to hone your swing on a practice range in your own home is reason enough to buy a personal launch monitor, but SkyTrak also integrates with five leading simulation software partners, allowing you to play thousands of different courses around the world.

World Golf Tour(WGT), probably the most well-known mobile golf game, is included with the Play & Improve package. You can also choose from The Golf Club Game, Jack Nicklaus Perfect Golf, TruGolf E6, and Creative Golf 3D.

I’ve spent time playing and practicing with each of SkyTrak’s simulation software partners.  You can read my thoughts here.

Bottom Line

I couldn’t be more impressed with this launch monitor. The shortcomings — a momentary delay after impact before the shot registers and the lack of club data — are worthwhile tradeoffs to get access to a launch monitor and simulator for under $2,000.

Personally, I will be using SkyTrak for serious game improvement and practice, as well as for fun. I have no doubt it will have a positive impact on my golf game going forward. The accuracy of the data, simplicity of use, and the depth of simulation partners, make SkyTrak one of the best golf technology products I’ve reviewed.

Further Reading: We Review of the Golf Simulator Software for SkyTrak

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