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The Golf Swing Shirt: Editor Review

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Pros: A great training aid for golfers who struggle with the “flying elbow,” or staying connected during the swing. The Swing Shirt is simple and easy to use, eliminating the learning curve we see with some training aids. It’s portable, light and durable.

Cons: It looks a little awkward, and larger golfers may find it a little tight. While it’s intuitive to use on short shots, it takes time to adjust to hitting drivers, woods and hybrids.

Bottom Line: The Golf Swing Shirt is designed to “keep you connected” during the swing and it largely delivers on its promise in a simple and clever design.

Overview

When I first opened the Swing Shirt I thought, well this is going to feel weird. But when I put it on the first time my body and made my first swing I sensed that it had a lot of potential.

Here are the instructions from Swing Shirt on how and why to use its product:

“To use ‘The Golf Swing Shirt’ you simply slip it on over your shirt and insert your arms in the center trunk sleeve. The shirt is designed to fit more snug than a customary shirt, which helps promote the feeling of body ‘connection’ as you are swinging the club.

This ‘connection’ is what most great ball strikers feel and is the key to great golf. The structure of the shirt and proprietary compression fabric immediately instills ‘connection’ and muscle memory, which is why The Golf Swing Shirt” is so effective.”

Swing Shirt recommends that golfers start out with chipping and putting before they move onto full swings. I agree with these instructions, because it allows your body to adapt to this “connected” feel before moving on to aggressive swings.

I put it on at home and with smooth tempo made some half and full swing and even putted some balls.  I noticed right away that even with slower swings mu whole body responded to the swinging motion and everything felt like it was swinging in unison. If you have back issues, I think you will like his sensation. I liked it for putting not only for the connected feel, but also for the fact that that the material of the trunk sleeve creates a plan in which you can see if your arms are square to your target, to each other or if one arm is forward of the other at address and it is easy to make the adjustment to square yourself up. This is also true for full shots.

The material is a mid-weight compression shirt that fits pretty snug to your body but more snug around your arms, or so it felt.  The company offers eight different sizes and three colors.  If you order size No. 1 or No. 2, then orange will be your only color choice, as per the website. I am 5-foot 8-inches tall and 170 pounds, and No. 5 fits just fine. At the time of this review, Swing Shirt retails for $59.95 or $69.95, depending on the size.

Here is a GolfWRX interview with instructor Jimmy Ballard and former long drive champion Art Sellinger from the 2013 PGA Merchandise show. Click here for the full story. 

[youtube id=”P4ORQb1NC6w” width=”620″ height=”360″]

Using the Swing Shirt

To say the Swing Shirt is intuitive is an understatement. It doesn’t require too much thought and you don’t have to read a booklet of instructions or watch a DVD for tips, trick and drills to learn at home and then remember them at the range. We are golfers, we have a head on our shoulders, we watch, we read and we can figure things out! Just look at the website www.golfswingshirt.com.  Not a lot of information because it is that easy to use!

Slip the shirt on over your torso then feed your arms into the trunk sleeve and start chipping balls (or putting) and you will immediately know if you are not using your arms and trunk together in a connected like motion.  It feels different at first and I did hit some loose shots. However, negative feedback is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a different feel is necessary to get better. You will soon realize that you will get used to this connected feel and you will see results in the very first session you use it.

My recommendation is to chip about 10 to 15 balls and then remove my arms, tuck the trunk back into itself and focus on maintaining that connected feel and hit about 10 to 15 more balls. I like that even with my arms out of the trunk but the shirt still on the compression around my trunk was enough of a reminder to stay connected through the swing. To me this was another bonus for the shirt as I felt it was a small progression in fundamentals to ingrain the connect feel into my swing without the shirt being on completely. No more gloves or towels under your arms, because this is better.

During the first two range sessions I only chipped and hit half and full wedge shots. I think this is the best way to progress into the mid irons through to the driver. You build a sense of what the feeling is like and that makes the transition into the longer clubs easier.  I think if you just start whacking drivers then you would probably get frustrated and therefore think there isn’t any merit to this product. Start with the short irons to build up your feel for the swing shirt then progress through the rest of your bag — there’s no rush.

What I didn’t like was even with the trunk tucked into the shirt, after hitting 5 to 10 balls the trunk would start to back itself out and I would have to pull it back in. It never affected my vision, but you just know it was happening. The other and most annoying thing was raking a new ball over to hit. I think that is why I most hit at max about 10 to 15 balls at a time and dreaded hitting tee shots.

I don’t want to end on a negative note. I feel this product has merit to those who believe in what it is trying to accomplish and want to take the time and effort to get the most out of it.  I will leave it like this: Did it feel strange at first? Yes. Am I still getting used to the feel? Yes. Do I feel connected? Yes. Am I hitting better and more consistent shots with better body tempo? Yes.

Reviewed by GolfWRX member Lenny318

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Ray

    Apr 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I am a beginner golfer. Have flying right elbows/ chiken wing. I am 5’6 and 150 lbs . What is my size?

  2. Anthony Mc

    Oct 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Just received mine, I even put the wrong address on order…emailed to which I received a very quick response..have had a few swings with a 7 iron in the garden, first few felt like I was closing the club face at the top of the swing…after 15 swings looked in the reflection at the top and completely on plane…I struggle with an overswinging, this also helped in my brief practice to stop at about 80% which I have been trying to get to over the last year practicing 3 times a week. I was on holiday in memphis and a guy recommended this is golf Smith, said his friend invented it? Can’t wait to get to the range in 2 days time and try this…on top of my black jumper (black vest)

  3. Sean

    Apr 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I ordered my Golf Swing Shirt last week. Once I hit order I had no clue about shipping but within a day or so it was in my mailbox. I immediately put it on and went out into the backyard and started practicing with it. I had just taken a lesson and my Pro was having me do drills with a kickball to practice staying connected. There’s definitely something different about the golf swing shirt I just wish there was a video to watch as I can swing to the top connected but because I am trying to correct a hands and arm swing I’m not sure how it should feel getting back to the finish position. After swinging with the shirt a bunch I was really sore the next day so I figured that must be a good thing. I have played several rounds since getting the shirt and have been pleased with my results so far.

  4. Jesse Perryman

    Oct 9, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I’m so Stoaked with the GSS ! I got mine today and I IMMEDIATELY felt connection ! My golf swing felt like one big pivot with everything in sync ! I would HIGHLY recommend this simple and extremely effective product to anyone !

  5. Pingback: Get Golf Swing Shirt | Golf Swing Tips

  6. BkRich

    Jun 8, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I am a 9 handicap who struggles with overall consistency (who doesn’t?). My swing tends to get too flat and the club gets inside on the backswing, both errors of course require compensations in my downswing. I prefer to hit a draw and that it my usual shot shape.
    I purchased the Golf Swing Shirt and have begun working with it. I am getting comfortable swinging shorter clubs while wearing it. My practice swings feel good, however anytime I hit a ball wearing it I end up with an outside to in swing that produces a push or fade, with a feeling that I am coming way over the top. Also my swing seems to be getting even flatter.
    I have been unable to get comfortable hitting anything more than a 7 iron wearing the swing shirt, the longer the club, the more outside to in, over the top I feel.
    It this something that you have seen in other users? Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?
    When I take the swing shirt off and hit balls my swing feels good, producing a lower flighted draw than I am accustomed to (I am good with lowering my ball flight).

    • Dvaldez

      Jun 9, 2014 at 10:01 am

      If you are swinging out to in with this on. Its telling you are not loading.
      The shirt forces you to build pressure into the right leg and use the core for power.

    • Dvaldez

      Jun 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

      By I play to about a +1 and worked with one of jimmy Ballards certified instructors for years its taught me more about connection in one session then all the lessons combined.
      I don’t use Jimmy’s methods any longer, now more of a single pivot flatter swing that is being taught today but the shirt works for either.
      Doesn’t matter which swing type you are using, one thing is certain you must have a connected swing to play truly consistent good golf.

  7. BkRich

    Jun 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I have struggled with a swing that gets flat and inside, forcing many compensations, my desired and normal swing produces a draw. I have started using the Golf Swing Shirt. I am getting comfortable swinging it with shorter clubs. My practice swings feel good, however every time I hit a ball wearing the swing shirt I end up with an outside to in swing, that results in a push or fade. I feel like I am way over the top. My swing seems to be getting flatter as well. Thus far I am not comfortable swinging longer than a 7 iron in the golf swing shirt.
    Is this something that you have seen in others? Do you have any thoughts or recommendations?
    When I take the swing shirt off and hit balls I am hitting it well, with my normal straight shot to slight draw.

  8. Jeff

    Apr 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Interested in follow-up comments after a year for most who posted. My tendency is to overswing and fold my left elbow making me rely on timing to play well.

  9. shark

    Oct 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Very very dissapointed with the swing shirt. The product looks good but I never received mine not even a shipping conformation I have emailed customer service twice and have had no reply in fact the only reply I had from them was the receipt of when they stole my money.. disgusting…stay away

    • Donald Cross

      Jan 7, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Sorry to read your comment. Please can you advise name and address and I will investigate immediately.

      Regards

      Donald Cross
      International Sales Director – Golf Swing Shirt

      • Donald Cross

        Jan 14, 2014 at 7:52 am

        Regarding the above comment from Shark. Just wanted to reassure readers that we have never received an order from this individual and the above comment should be treated as false.

  10. Ron

    Sep 7, 2013 at 8:44 am

    What size. 6’2″. 250 lbs

  11. Jason Crosby

    May 19, 2013 at 5:24 am

    I am 6’2″ 315….no size for me?

    • Jason Crosby

      May 19, 2013 at 5:25 am

      And my swing is Daly like…maybe even more past parallel than him

    • Raymond Rapcavage

      May 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Hi Jason,
      You would fit in a size 8..we have fit NFL Players no problem !!!
      Regards,
      Ray

  12. Paul

    May 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    My biggest problem is using my arms and hands too much in the golf swing. If I am able to time it correct I usually can score pretty well but when my timing is off my game suffer. I think this aid will help me use more of the bigger muscles in the golf swing and not rely so much on hands and arms and timing. I am really interested in this and will have to check this out.

    • Raymond Rapcavage

      May 16, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Yes you are correct…handzy /armz swingers struggle to become god ball strikers. The Golf Swing Shirt promotes the feeling of “connection” between the arms and torso which then syncs your yper body to your lower body.
      Check out videos at http://www.golfswingshirt.com
      Cheers,
      Ray

  13. Matt

    May 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Hi, love the look of this – is it available in the UK as the website does not seem to allow for international orders

    Thanks

  14. Scott

    Apr 27, 2013 at 9:36 am

    this looks like a joke

    • Raymond Rapcavage

      Apr 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      Hi Chris,
      The Golf Swing Shirt is used on the professional tours such as the PGA,LPGA,Canadian and Web.com tour. In addition thousands of amateur golfers have found The Golf Swing Shirt to be a great way to teach yourself a reliable golf swing.
      Regards,
      Ray

  15. Kurt

    Apr 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I purchased the Swing Shirt and have been working with it for 2 weeks. I’ve constantly struggled with being “connected”. Mostly I didn’t know what that really meant or felt like. Within about 10 swings I got it. You can’t hit good shots in this shirt if you don’t swing in the manner it is teaching you to.

    If you have struggled at all with chipping and pitching – as I have – you will IMMEDIATELY benefit from this shirt. I’m working my way up through the bag, but already I am hitting crisper shots with short and mid-irons, with better balance, and don’t have to “hold off the release” in order to keep the hands ahead of the ball at impact. Being connected and swinging with the big muscles allows it to happen naturally.

    Buy the dang shirt. But buy it in black or white.

    • Raymond Rapcavage

      Apr 25, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Kurt,
      Thanks so much for the great feedback.
      Keep up the good work and let me know how you are progressing.
      Cheers
      Ray
      PRESIDENT/INVENTOR
      THE GOLF SWING SHIRT
      (Also feel free to post your video in the instructional forum/golf WRX)

      • Kurt

        Apr 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

        Raymond –

        Nice work making a simple product with great effect. I look forward to using it as a practice tool, but also, what a great way to warm up pre-round. Throw the shirt on, take 10 warm up swings on the tee-box to get that feel going, take it off, throw in bag, take sh*t from buddies, and then swing away.

        Kurt

        p.s. I’ll try and supply a video at some point.

        • Raymond Rapcavage

          Apr 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

          Thanks ! Do not worry about the funny looks from other golfers -you get used to it and who cares when you are hitting great shots ! Last week we were doing a demo day at Sea Pines/Harbor Town
          during The RBC. We put The Golf Swing Shirt on several skeptics and watched how it transformed their swings. A few people watched in amazement as our teaching Pro Bobby Tracy was crushing drives over 320 yards while he was practicing with The Golf Swing Shirt. It got real quite , real fast …even the Titleist rep next to us was shaking his head while looking at the trackman numbers.
          Cheers,
          Ray

      • Mike

        Apr 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

        Ray,

        I am interested in the shirt, but am 6′, 180, so on the line between sizes 5 and 6. Your website has no contact information in order to ask question (very frustrating). What size do you recommend, and why no contact info on your website?

        -Mike

        • Rob

          May 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm

          Hi Mike, I just got my swing shirt. I emailed the contact person on the Golf Swing Shirt website and he responded with the recommended shirt size for me. He was very quick and helpful.

          • Raymond Rapcavage

            May 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

            Thanks Rob..hope you enjoy it and if you are able please post feedback and observations on one of my threads in the forum section.
            Easy to find..just do a quick search.
            Best regards,
            Ray

        • Raymond Rapcavage

          May 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm

          Mike,
          You would be a perfect size #5.
          Thanks for the inquiry and hope you give it a try !
          Best regards,
          Ray

  16. Three Guys Golf

    Apr 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Just a note on sizing. We reviewed this shirt as well. One of our reviewers is 6′ 3″ 240 lbs XXL and it fits him fine so big boys are welcomed.

    • Burt

      Jun 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      I suggest that your magazine and readers boycott this company. Their egregious behavior at the US Open at Merion Golf Club should be an affront to all golfers. By hiring a plane to circle the neighborhood and golf course during the tournament carrying a banner touting free shipping from golf swing shirt is outrageous. The fact that the CEO of this company would disturb the fans and golfers at the tournament tells you something about him and his company.

      • Raymond Rapcavage

        Nov 10, 2013 at 12:25 am

        Burt,
        Congrats …You one of two people in 70,000 fans to complain about a single engine banner plane flying at 2000 feet.
        The other person was a lunatic doctor who lived three blocks from the course and from the sound of your tone I think that YOU maybe HIM and that you are using a fake screen name. If not maybe you can go seek him out and both of you join a support group for whiners.
        Did you also complain about the Met Life blimp that flew for 10 hours per day at 1000 ft and is four times the size ?
        Grow up Doc and chill out.
        Raymond Rapcavage
        President
        The Golf Swing Shirt

        • Jon

          Jan 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm

          Just because of your response to ‘Burt/Doc’ I’m IN! Going to web-site now to order. Too many ‘politically correct’ people in this world to get anything done. I’ll send open & honest review once I get mine. Hopefully see you at the Phoenix Open Next week…will be on 17!

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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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