Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Complete Guide (19 Key Comparisons)

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Can’t decide between Skytrak and Garmin Approach R10? By reading this article you gain a detailed knowledge of their features, requirements and specifications and you’ll be in a position to make an informed decision between Skytrak vs Garmin R10.

Skytrak is camera-based launch monitor released in 2014 that costs around $2000. Garmin R10 is a 2021 radar-based launch monitor which is placed down the target line behind the golfer and costs around $600. Garmin R10 is priced lower than competitors but offers a broad suite of ball and club data.

Skytrak StrengthsGarmin R10 Strengths
Skytrak can be used in smaller spaces than competitorsIncredible range of ball and club data at this price point
Good, accurate ball flight data for the priceExcellent & Improving Software Compatibility
PortableNo metallic dot requirements (Garmin R10 can track premium golf balls without problems)
Good Battery LifeFully Portable
No metallic dot requirements (Skytrak can track premium golf balls without problems)Excellent Suite of Apps, including Garmin's extensive course directory on Home Tee Hero
Skytrak retains resale value wellLittle Shot Delay
Skytrak has long been a good entry point for golfers to enter the golf simulation marketGarmin R10 holds resale value very well - great for golfers wishing to try out an affordable launch monitor

This article pits Skytrak vs Garmin R10 across 18 categories, from which data they track to how much they cost and how accurate they are. Check out the Table of Contents to see a full list and jump to the points you’re most interested in!

Skytrak Vs Garmin R10 1
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1 Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Complete Guide (19 Key Comparisons)

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Data Measured

What Data Does Skytrak Measure?

Skytrak measures the following ball flight data:

  • Ball Speed
  • Back Spin
  • Side Spin
  • Launch Angle
  • Side Angle

Skytrak does not directly measure club data but is able to provide you with a calculated readout for club head speed. You will also get a reading for smash factor, though it is a calculated parameter, requiring both ball speed and club speed measurements.

Skytrak will also use it’s modeling software to show the following data points:

  • Carry distance, Roll and Total Distance
  • Angle of Descent
  • Distance offline
  • A 3D flightpath with apex height and hang time is then rendered using all of the above data.

At Skytrak’s price point, you get a great amount of accurate launch monitor data for your money.

Skytrak Data 1

What data does Garmin R10 measure?

The following table explains the launch data parameters recorded by the Garmin Approach R10, split into those which are directly measured and those which are calculated by modelling, with associated published error margins:

You get an amazing amount of data with the Garmin R10, especially given the lower price point in comparison to other launch monitors.

A few years ago, you’d have to spend many thousands of dollars to get this suite of data, now it is available in a launch monitor that is portable and boasts excellent software compatibility.

Garmin R10 Data

You can learn lots more about all the different launch monitor parameters here in our dedicated post.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – How do they work?

How does Skytrak work?

Skytrak works by using very high-speed cameras to take multiple images of the ball as it is struck by the club and as it begins it’s flight. The unit is able to measure the speed, spin, launch angle and many more parameters (as we described above) using accurate measurements of this initial movement.

The modeling software within Skytrak compatible applications is then able to render a ball flight from this data.

Skytrak Logo Large

Check out this video from the Skytrak Youtube Channel for more information on how Skytrak records launch data for indoor golf.

How does Garmin R10 work?

Garmin Approach R10 is a portable radar-based launch monitor, that works by emitting a radar signal into the golf simulator room area and comparing the emitted waves with the reflected waves that are received back.

The received waves will be changed by a moving projectile (the ball and the clubhead) moving through the radar field.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Software Options

Skytrak Software Options

Your new Skytrak ships with the Skytrak app, which comes with a range of features depending on which subscription package you purchase. We cover more about this in the costs section below. Most golfers combine the Skytrak software with a 3rd party simulation software program to allow play on actual simulated golf courses, rather than just driving range and practice modes.

Skytrak is compatible with the following golf simulation software programs:

  • The Golf Club 2019
  • E6 Connect
  • Creative Golf 3D
  • World Golf Tour (on iOS)
  • Fitness Golf
  • Protee Play
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Garmin R10 Software Options

The following golf simulation software programs are compatible with the Garmin Approach R10:

  • Garmin Golf App
  • Home Tee Hero
  • E6 Connect
  • TGC 2019
  • Awesome Golf

Garmin R10 is not officially compatible with GS Pro, but some golfers have managed to connect the two using a community interface. See the ‘r10-owners’ tab on the GS Pro Discord for more information.

You can learn more about the golf simulation software compatibility of Skytrak, R10, and many more launch monitors in my in-depth guide.

Skytrak users can use GS Pro via an unofficial workaround, see my article on launch monitor and software compatibility for more information.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Included Apps

The Skytrak App

Skytrak only has one app, but it’s a good one! Skytrak’s app boasts lots of quality game improvement features, is easy to use and has impressive graphics.

Your experience of the Skytrak app will depend on which of the three subscription packages you choose. You’ll require at least the Game Improvement Package to access some of the best practice modes.

The Skytrak App features these practice modes (amongst a range of others)

  • Bag Mapping
  • Distance Randomizer
  • Wedge Matrix
  • Player Skills Assessment
  • Sky Golf Cloud Data Storage
  • Clu Compare
  • Practice Driving Range with numerous camera angles, environmental controls, distance from the pin, and longest drive
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Of course, you can add additional apps and software options to your Skytrak subscription.

Check out this video from Youtube Channel Spanish Geordie showing you through the Skytrak App.

Garmin R10 App

The Garmin Golf App is feature packed and unlocks all the features of the Approach R10. There are some basic features included for free but the majority of the golf content is available through a monthly or annual subscription. This package is very reasonable though at around $99 per year.

Included in the Garmin Golf App paid subscription is:

  • Driving Range mode
  • See your club and ball data and review statistics and trends
  • Home Tee Hero Golf Simulation with over 42,000 courses as part of Garmin’s extensive library
  • Weekly tournaments against golfers all over the world
  • Connect and play with friends
  • Track club performance
  • View swing videos alongside launch data

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Space Requirements

Skytrak Space Requirements

Skytrak requires less space than Garmin R10. To feature Skytrak in your golf simulator you really only need enough room to swing the golf club comfortably. However there are reasons to require a slightly larger space, such as minimising bounceback and achieving a centred aim on the screen.

I recommend minimum dimensions of 12ft (3.65m) long x 10ft (3.05m) wide x 8.5 ft (2.6m) high for Skytrak, though you could probably cut the room length down slightly if you’re really pushed for space. You’ll also need more height if you’re taller or have an upright swing.

Skytrak Space Requirements 1

Skytrak’s placement in front of the golfer and ball means it does not require any mandatory space behind or in front of the golfer.

With Skytrak, you only need enough:

  • room length to swing the club and avoid significant bounceback,
  • enough room width to swing the club and ideally achieve a centred aim,
  • enough room height to swing comfortably.
Skytrak Space Requirements 2

Garmin R10 Space Requirements

The Garmin R10 Launch Monitor requires at least 15 ft of total room length in order to be used indoors.

The 15ft of room length that the Garmin R10 needs is split into the distance between the launch monitor and hitting position (6-8ft), the distance from hitting position to net or impact screen (8ft +), and the gap behind the net or screen (1ft +). The total will be 17ft or more if you use the 8ft R10-to-ball distance.

As ever when considering room length with the Garmin R10, you should think about projector position, bounceback, safety and your ability to make comfortable swings.

I recommend a minimum room width of 10ft to use the Garmin R10 launch monitor, 15ft of width is much more comfortable. The Garmin R10 does not mandate a minimum room width in which to work properly, but you need to be able to swing your longest club freely without worry of striking the wall behind.

I believe you could theoretically use the Garmin R10 launch monitor in a room smaller than 10ft wide depending on your height and swing plane, but it would be cramped and you’d be at risk of striking the wall. 15ft of room width would allow you to address the ball with a central aim point.

From a height perspective, I recommend at least 10ft of room height, though Garmin doesn’t recommend a specific height for the Garmin R10 to work. You need enough room to freely swing the club, 8.5-9ft may be doable for some, but 10ft is always more comfortable.

You can learn more about the indoor and outdoor space requirements of the Garmin R10 in my dedicated article here.

Garmin R10 Space Requirements

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Left Handed Use

Skytrak for Left Handers

Skytrak can easily be used by left-handed golfers. The problem occurs when trying to have a real-time local match between a right-hander and a lefty. You would have to move (and realign) the Skytrak between every shot and this is generally impractical for most.

Truestrike Academy Centre Strike With Pebble Beach

Of course, this problem goes away if you’re playing against someone of the opposite handedness online though. It could be a problem for those opening a commercial golf simulator wishing to use a single Skytrak for all of their customers.

Garmin R10 for Left-Handers

Garmin R10 is a radar-based launch monitor and thus must be placed behind the golfer parallel to the target line. This affords the advantage of being able to track both sides of the golf simulator space at the same time.

You don’t need to move it round from one side of the golf mat to the other between left and right-handed use.

The Garmin R10 can be used concurrently by both left and right-handed golfers as long as there is enough room width to allow both to swing with a hitting position in the center of the golf simulator.

Whilst the radar can track both left and right handed golfers hitting the ball, the benefit is only gained from having the same hitting position (centrally). If you would constantly have to move the ball (and likely the launch monitor itself behind) from one side of the hitting mat to the other then the benefit of the radar-based system is no longer there.

Centre Ball Left Handers Garmin R10

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – System Requirements

Skytrak System Requirements

Skytrak can be used on a PC, iPad or smartphone. Each has its own requirements, certain components for the PC and certain models for the phone and tablet users.

You will find that the system requirements for the third-party simulation software programs are often much greater than Skytrak itself. Therefore you should cross-reference your computer specifications with the simulation program you intend to use.

Technically Skytrak is not compatible with a Mac computer though you can potentially get around this with a Boot Camp setup.

PC Skytrak Requirements

  • Windows 7, 8, or 10
  • Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.0GHz or higher
  • 2GB RAM or higher

Most new (or fairly recent) computers will fit these specifications nowadays. It is the graphics demands of the golf simulation software programs which will tend to trip people up, if anything.

I have a dedicated article on the pros and cons of using a PC, tablet or phone for Skytrak in a golf simulator. Check it out here.

Which Device

Compatible iPad and iPhone Models (as per Sky Golf)

  • iPad Air or newer
  • iPad Mini 2 (with Retina Display) or newer
  • iPad Pro
  • iPhone 6 or newer

Compatible Android Models (as per Sky Golf)

  • Google Pixel C
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
  • Samsung Galaxy S8

I suspect most newer phones and tablets would support the Skytrak App, as long as they feature 3D graphics support. The same goes for Apple products. I recommend checking with Skytrak support if you are not sure.

Garmin R10 System Requirements

The system requirements for the Garmin Approach R10 are modest and unlikely to be a problem for the majority of golfers. Remember if you wish to use the R10 with compatible PC based programs (eg E6) then you’ll need enough computing power to run the simulation program as well as the R10 itself.

  • PC
    • Windows 7, 8, or 10
    • Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.0 GHz or higher
    • 2GB RAM or higher 
  • Apple iOS
    • iPhones or iPads offering 3D graphics support. This should be all models released post 2015.
  • Android
    • Android smartphones or tablets containing Octa-core (or dual quad-core) processors are compatible. This is likely to be nearly all devices released post 2015.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Launch Monitor Placement and Alignment

Skytrak Placement and Alignment

Skytrak sits in front of the golfer and golf ball, ideally on top of, or level with the top of the mat. Whilst in this location, Skytrak can focus it’s cameras on the golf ball and the space just in front of it. I call this Skytrak’s viewing window.

Truestrike Academy Right

Skytrak should be placed on a vertically level surface with the top of your hitting mat. Positions too low and too high will cause accuracy problems and misreads.

The unit also needs to be aligned parallel to the target line, otherwise you may find all your shots start out left or right of target. Skytrak contains an ‘accelerometer-based internal leveling system’, according to SkyGolf, this means it does not require formal calibration once it is aligned.

To align your Skytrak correctly, check out this super helpful video from Professional Golf Instruction Youtube Channel.

Garmin R10 Placement and Alignment

You can see from the diagrams below that the Garmin R10 sits behind the hitting area taking full view of the golf simulator space. You can see the length requirements split into sections too.

The R10 must be sat at the same height as the golf hitting surface, which may mean you need to elevate it a couple of inches if you’re standing on a freestanding golf mat. I like that the tripod included with the R10 sets the launch monitor at the correct tilt angle automatically.

There are now products available that fix the R10 in position (just like the Skytrak protective case) so that you don’t accidentally knock it out of place and misalign it.

I like how you can hit from an area 2ft wide (1ft on either side of the target line) with the R10, this allows a bit of flexibility if your hitting area is getting worn or if it helps you shape a shot better in your simulator.

Garmin R10 Setup Length
Garmin R10 Width

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Do you need dots, stickers or special balls?

Skytrak Ball and Club Requirements

Skytrak does not require any specific balls, clubs, stickers or metallic dots, the unit is generally able to measure ball flight with a standard ball. The only thing to make sure is that there is a logo on your ball and you don’t use white tees or white golf simulator walls.

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Skytrak needs both a clear view of the ball, but also a little contrast, so it can see the ball moving through the viewing window. The logo on the ball helps the launch monitor measure the spin rate. The avoidance of white tees and white walls in your space allows the unit to optimally discern the ball’s movement.

Garmin R10 Ball and Club Requirements

You do not metallic dots, stickers or otherwise special golf balls with the Garmin R10. In fact, it has been found that these metallic additions actually impede the accuracy of the R10 and its radar sensor. The same applies to the Titleist RCT balls.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Portability, Battery Life & Outdoor Use

Skytrak Portability, Battery Life & Outdoor Use

Skytrak is extremely portable, lightweight and can be used outside. All you need is a full charge, a plan for which connection you’ll use and the confidence to quickly and efficiently align your Skytrak.

Check out my dedicated post on which considerations to make when taking Skytrak outside of your golf simulator room.

Within this post we talk about how to safely transport the launch monitor and the importance of protecting it against disastrous accidents and insuring it just in case!

Is Skytrak Portable 2

Skytrak has a pretty impressive 5 hours of battery life in it’s rechargeable lithium ion battery. This should last you a comfortable round of simulated golf or a trip to the driving range and back.

Say you do plan on an extended golf simulation session away from the comforting arms of your home power supply. Just pack a portable power bank and you can charge on the move!

Garmin R10 Portability, Battery Life & Outdoor Use

The Garmin R10 is entirely portable, only weighing 228g with tripod attached. The R10 also boasts an impressive maximum of 10 hours of battery life, which is simply excellent.

With portability, comes the need to ensure proper setup on each end of the transport of the R10 from inside to outside. You just need to make sure you perfect the quick setup procedure and you’re good to go!

Both indoors and outdoors, you’ll have to ensure you have enough room behind you down the target line (between the R10 and the ball (6-8ft). Outdoors, if using a net you’ll have to conform to the same space requirements as if you were using the unit inside.

However, if there is no net then the R10 will be able to track the ball for much longer as it takes flight. This means the R10 is able to more accurately detect ball spin, either by direct measurement or based on the ball’s trajectory and other radar inputs. This means spin misreads are less common with outdoor use than indoor use.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Connection Issues

How does Skytrak Connect? Are there problems?

Skytrak can connect to your chosen device either directly (using it’s own wifi), via the Internet or via USB cable.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages, and potential problems. We cover these issues in detail in our dedicated post here.

You can also use a personal hotspot on your mobile phone to connect your Skytrak to the internet in Network Mode, even when there is no local wifi connection.

Skytrak Connection Problems 1

How does Garmin R10 Connect? Are there problems?

The majority of the golf you’ll initially play on the R10 is through the Garmin Golf App, usually on your phone (but this can be on a tablet or on PC). You will connect the R10 itself with the Garmin Golf App through a wifi signal.

There is a ‘play on PC’ option on the Garmin Golf App which will allow you to play through the PC as long as your PC is connected to the same wifi signal.

If there are connectivity problems with the R10, it is usually due to a poor wifi signal, or issues with wifi passwords and security. When using the R10 on PC software programs, you may need to ensure that the program is not blocked by your firewall. Running your programs specifically as an administrator (right click, ‘run as administrator’), may be the solution to firewall issues.

Garmin App

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Do They Miss Shots?

Does Skytrak Fail to Register Shots?

Skytrak does have misreads, but if you have optimal setup conditions they should be rare.

You need to consider conditions such as:

  • Placing the ball directly on the red dot – there are sometimes slight variations to try with this for driver and high lofted wedges, which we explain in our dedicated post.
  • Having a well contrasted logo on the ball, and ideally having it point towards Skytrak (you shouldn’t need to focus on this too much)
  • Optimal lighting conditions
  • The colour of the tees you’re using and the walls of your simulator, as well as other equipment in use
  • Your connnection quality
  • Whether you’ve updated the Skytrak app recently
  • Timing, alignment and much more!

Check out our dedicated post to ensure your setup is primed and ready for Skytrak!

Skytrak Missed Shots 1

Does Garmin R10 Fail to Register Shots?

The R10 is more likely to have the occasional misjudgment of spin rate than it is to completely miss the shot pickup.

Indoors, the R10 calculates spin rates and directions by a machine learning model based on radar inputs from the parameters which are directly measured (club and ball speed, launch angle and direction). It doesn’t get this perfect 100% of the time, and you will sometimes see a shot with a spin rate that is quite different to expected (eg 4000 rpm on a wedge shot).

This should be the rarity and not the norm though, and it should not be a dealbreaker for you on a $600 launch monitor.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Shot Delay

A shot delay is the delay between impact and the golf shot being rendered on the screen. Longer delays can be frustrating and can reduce immersion within the golf simulator. Shot delays are due to the time required for the data to be acquired, transferred, and processed by the launch monitor.

The launch monitor needs to record the launch data, transfer it to the software application which then uses it to calculate shot parameters, then project this onto their software interface. This will take some computing power and hence a little bit of time.

How long is the Shot Delay with Skytrak?

With Skytrak, you should expect a shot delay of around two seconds when everything is working properly. This shot delay should not normally harm your experience. By the time you’ve finished your swing and held the finish for a second, the shot will be on it’s way.

Problems can occur when you have a slow computer or graphics card, if your internet connection is poor or you have forgotten to update your Skytrak software. Delays of over 4 seconds can start to impact your golf simulator experience and you should take steps to fix the problem.

Check out my dedicated post on Skytrak shot delay here. Again, if everything is set up correctly, a delay of two seconds or very slightly more will be expected but shouldn’t harm your experience.

Skytrak Shot Delay 1

How long is the Shot Delay with Garmin R10?

Garmin R10 has a shot delay but it is less than that which you’ll experience with its traditional competitor Skytrak. Expect to wait about 1 second between impact and the shot being rendered on the screen. Compared with other launch monitors, half a second is excellent!

This is enough to barely notice but not enough to harm the experience at all.

When you think of what has to happen between impact and the shot appearing, you can understand why there is a delay.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Accuracy

Skytrak Accuracy

Skytrak has established itself as a core part of the golf simulator and launch monitor market. It would not have done so if it were not accurate. Sure, there are reasons why shots may be misread or read inaccurately, but most times there is a fixable reason for these problems.

Sky Golf report quite impressive accuracy for Skytrak, they give specific error margins for each launch data parameter. These are as follows:

  • Ball Speed: 0 – 200mph +/- 1mph
  • Launch Angle: 0 – 55° +/- 1°
  • Side Angle: 0 – 20° +/- 2°
  • Back Spin: 0 – 12,000rpm +/- 250rpm
  • Side Spin: 0 – 4,000rpm +/- 250rpm

Skytrak has also been compared to Trackman several times in recent years, with Trackman often being seen as the benchmark for launch monitor accuracy. Check out this comparison of numbers from 10 consecutive 6 iron shots using both Trackman and Skytrak.

6 Iron Vs Trackman

If you feel you aren’t achieving these sorts of accuracy numbers, check out my post which will explain many of the problems that can lead to inaccurate readings.

Skytrak Accuracy 1

The Skytrak app also let’s you adjust elevation and environmental conditions like wind. This is great for learning your distances if you live at altitude and fantastic for practicing in strong wind.

Garmin R10 Accuracy

The Garmin R10 Approach offers very good accuracy for its position in the launch monitor market. You need to know where to pitch your expectations with a $600 launch monitor, and not compare it to the minute error margins offered by Trackman and GC Quad.

You can expect enough accuracy from the Garmin R10 to play realistic simulated golf, to work on a wide variety of aspects of your golf game and also to have fun. There may be the odd low spin reading, and the error margins on specific launch parameters are wider than premium launch monitors, but the accuracy is excellent for the price tag.

Here are the published error margins in a table split between directly calculated parameters and those modelled by an algorithm. You can see that there are only a few parameters that are directly measured. You can learn lots more about the accuracy of the Garmin R10 in my dedicated post here.

Indoors, Garmin also state that the readings for spin are calculated based off the other radar inputs and a machine learning model. Most of the time this will work well, occasionally you’ll get some low-reads. It is one of the considerations to make when buying a less expensive launch monitor for your sim.

Outdoors, the R10 can measure the spin directly but may use the trajectory of the ball alongside other radar inputs to assist.

Garmin R10 Accuracy

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Putting

Putting in a golf simulator is a massive topic, and launch monitors have varying success in accurately recording putting data.

You will often see putts on golf simulators shooting past the hole or not even getting half way. Achieving proper immersion with golf simulator putts is difficult.

Many golfers turn on gimmes from a certain distance to speed up the process. There are specialised putting simulator products such as Exputt and WellPutt that work excellently however.

Skytrak can achieve effective at putting simulation, though there can be teething problems.

Putting on Skytrak

Skytrak does a good job at putting simulation though putting will not be the main reason that you buy it.

Camera based launch monitors tend to find reading putts slightly easier than radar based systems. Skytrak does well at short putts and does excellently for a launch monitor at this price point.

You need to place the ball on the red dot but then just putt away. Check out this short video from the Golf Swing Systems Youtube Channel showing you how it works.

Skytrak Putting

Putting when using Garmin R10

Unfortunately, there is no putting ability on the Garmin R10 Approach. However, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.

The R10 is priced low compared to other launch monitors and I would rather have quality and accuracy from the radar on full shots and let Garmin concentrate on optimizing this feature. Putting is difficult for a radar-based system to get right at the best of times, so to expect a $600 launch monitor to do it correctly is a big ask.

With the R10 as your golf simulator launch monitor, I would set it up to assume putts are either two putts or gimmes and then create a putting practice area on your simulator floor.

You can often get more from a setup like this, being able to work on aim and start line, rather than trying to work out if your launch monitor picked up the roll correctly.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Short Game, Wedges and Chipping

I recommend you consider what your expectations are for short game in a golf simulator. Your launch monitor should be able to accurately record the carry distance of wedge shots and pitch shots.

They should also be able to read the spin rate accurately, though note that if the response to landing on the green seems off this could be the simulation software’s ball physics, rather than the pick up of the launch monitor.

Chip shots are difficult to simulate as it’s really hard to truly capture the response to the ball bouncing on the ground and running out on different slopes and green speeds. Still, launch monitor and software combinations tend to do an acceptable job of this.

Skytrak Short Game

Skytrak also does a pretty good job with short game data collection and simulation.

Whilst it’s hard to experience true realism on shots under 20 yards with Skytrak, Garmin R10 or any launch monitor, Skytrak is able to efficiently measure the distance and spin rates of pitch shots and wedge shots.

There are several multiple short game options with Skytrak too! You can switch up your practice between the following options:

  • Distance practice on the driving range – use block practice to groove in certain distances
  • Distance randomiser
  • Wedge Matrix allows you to hone in your distances with each wedge and different wedge swings (eg full, half, three quarter)
  • There are short courses built in to software programs like TGC 2019
  • There are target games built into programs like Creative Golf 3D and Golfisimo
V3.2 Wedge Matrix Results W379 H253 Mcover Bcd0Cfcb

Garmin R10 Short Game

The R10 is positioned behind the golfer down the target line. The R10 is a radar-based launch monitor and hence requires proper setup and an adequate tilt to gain a ‘view’ of the golf simulation space.

On short shots, the radar needs to see the club strike the ball on a chip shot and then view the short flight of the shot in full. Short shots can be difficult to simulate with full accuracy for a radar-based launch monitor, the short ball flight means accurate spin measurement or estimation can be difficult.

We’ve said in the accuracy section, that occasional low spin numbers indoors can be one of the things that the R10 does get incorrect. This issue is much more infrequent when you use the R10 outside. As long as you are aware that this can happen occasionally, you can still have great wedge practice with your R10. Most of the short shots will be picked up normally.

Even indoors, the R10 definitely adds value to your wedge game sessions, allowing you to hone in your angle of attack, carry distance, and trajectory.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – How Robust are They?

Is Skytrak Easy to Damage?

Skytrak sits level with the golf mat, in front of the golfer and ball. This puts it in fairly close proximity to the ball at impact. In a normal golf swing you shouldn’t be hitting Skytrak with your club, though any careless practice swings can endanger the unit.

Skytrak Protective Case 2 Min Large

Skytrak could encounter damage from the following scenarios:

  • You strike the golf ball in practice from the back part of the mat and shank it.
  • A really poor swing
  • Ricochet off the frame of your golf simulator
  • A careless practice swing
  • Children!
  • Pets!
  • You drop it off the table or damage it in transport
  • Spills
  • Theft

Does Skytrak Come with a Warranty?

Yes Skytrak does come with a warranty. You can learn lots more Skytrak’s warranty options in our dedicated post, as well as:

  • Skytrak’s extended warranty
  • Protecting Skytrak in Transit
  • The Skycare Product Program
  • Insuring your Skytrak
How To Protect Skytrak 1

Is Garmin R10 Easy to Damage?

Like most launch monitors, the Garmin R10 is vulnerable to a strike from a stray golf ball or club swing. However, the unit is small and sits well behind the golfer down the target line. Given the portability of the R10, you may risk damaging it if you don’t take care when transporting it between indoor and outdoor setups.

Whilst it is not as expensive as other launch monitors, it is still probably worth insuring the R10 if you can. I add my golf simulator tech products (launch monitor, projector, PC) as special items on my home insurance plan which protects them against theft and damage.

Does Garmin R10 come with a Warranty?

Garmin offers a 2-year warranty on their products, which includes the Approach R10.

Both launch monitors are vulnerable to hazards such as being stuck by a stray ball and getting dropped, amongst many others. By virtue of being positioned out of the way of the golf swing, Garmin R10 is probably at slightly lower risk.

Both units have sensitive areas, such as the camera lens on Skytrak and the radar sensors on Garmin R10.

I recommend the following points to ensure you protect either Skytrak or Garmin R10 to the best of your ability:

  • Insurance – either specialized gadget insurance or an addition to your home insurance policy
  • A protective case for transit
  • Choose a protected area of your golf simulator room for storage of your launch monitor
  • Use a protective case
  • Review your warranty on purchase
  • Consider an extended warranty or paid protection cover (eg Skycare)
  • Be careful with children and pets around the launch monitors and don’t allow unsupervised access to your golf simulator room
Briefcase 155009

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Good for both Indoor and Outdoor Use?

How does Skytrak perform Indoors?

Skytrak performs extremely well indoors and in small spaces. As Skytrak works by camera-based photometric technology, it takes high-speed pictures of the ball’s impact and just afterward. It does not need extra space behind and in front of the golfer. 

The problem Skytrak users can face is when you invite your left-handed friends round to play. You could have to move the Skytrak (and realign it) from one side of the mat to the other, between every shot. 

If you don’t mind about left-handed use in your simulator (or if you are left-handed and don’t mind about inviting right-handers round), then Skytrak will suit your indoor golf simulator needs perfectly. 

Skytrak Logo Large 1

Can Skytrak be used well Outdoors?

Skytrak is a portable launch monitor and can be taken outside or to the driving range. It will still require proper protection, positioning and alignment, and you will need to consider nuances such as lighting and connectivity.

Note that Skytrak likes not to have direct sunlight shining on its camera, it prefers shade. Some golfers even have a little shade stand for outside use.

It also likes a flat surface to hit from, with iron strikes on grass leading to misreads due to divots and grass springing upwards. I recommend taking a small portable golf mat with you (you could buy a cheap one on amazon for this, or something like the Fiberbuilt FlightDeck).

Check out my dedicated post on using Skytrak outside, including an 11 point checklist!

Skytrak Outside 1

Garmin R10 Portability and Battery Life

The Garmin R10 is entirely portable, only weighing 228g with tripod attached. The R10 also boasts an impressive maximum of 10 hours of battery life, which is simply excellent.

With portability, comes the need to ensure proper setup on each end of the transport of the R10 from inside to outside. You just need to make sure you perfect the quick setup procedure and you’re good to go!

Garmin R10 Indoor vs Outdoor Use

Both indoors and outdoors, you’ll have to ensure you have enough room behind you down the target line (between the R10 and the ball (6-8ft). Outdoors, if using a net you’ll have to conform to the same space requirements as if you were using the unit inside.

However, if there is no net then the R10 will be able to track the ball for much longer as it takes flight. This means the R10 is able to more accurately detect ball spin, either by direct measurement or based on the ball’s trajectory and other radar inputs. This means spin misreads are less common with outdoor use than indoor use.

Skytrak vs Garmin R10 – Cost, Availability and Resale

Skytrak Total Costs and Resale Value

Skytrak costs around $2000 when purchased new. You need to pay an annual subscription for either the Game Improvement Package or the Play and Improve Package. There is a free basic package but this only gives you the driving range feature.

I recommend the Game Improvement Package at $99.99 per year as this entails all the features of the Skytrak App and integration with most simulation programs. The Play and Improve Package is $199.99 per year and allows integration with World Golf Tour on iOS on top of the other features.

If you choose to use an additional third-party simulation program such as E6 or TGC 2019 there will be additional costs depending on the program.

The resale value of Skytrak is excellent and due to the current supply issues for new units, the price of used units is up to $500 less than new. This is because golfers will get their Skytraks soon after purchase.

You have to think about how well the unit has been looked after, warranty and your own reselling plans if you’re considering a second hand unit. Plus there may be relicensing fees for golf simulation software too.

Skytrak Golf Simulator And Launch

Garmin R10 Costs and Resale Value

Garmin R10 costs just under $600. There is a free and a premium subscription, the annual plan costs around $90 and allows access to Home Tee Hero virtual rounds (with Garmin’s extensive library of courses – you may find your local course available to play) and the ability to store video clips.

The R10 has sometimes been difficult to get ahold of, with delays on fulfilment of orders at most vendors. This may have been related to the pandemic but it shows the popularity of the unit.

I often say that the R10, at $600, is much easier to try out than a more expensive launch monitor is. You don’t have to outlay thousands of dollars to see whether you can get value and game improvement from a launch monitor purchase, and if you don’t you can sell it on. The resale value of the R10 has been extremely good recently, particularly given the short supply of new units.

Garminapproachr10Giftboxbundle 8C246F44 7E14 4A67 9F0C

The Big Decision – Should you Choose Skytrak or Garmin R10?

Skytrak and Garmin R10 Similarities

Both Skytrak and Garmin R10 offer impressive native apps and software options, though each package is a little different.

Neither Skytrak nor Garmin R10 require metallic dots on the golf ball or reflective stickers on the clubface. Both launch monitors are portable and can be used outside.

Sktrak and Garmin R10 are both fantastic entry launch monitors for the golfer new to indoor golf. Garmin R10 is even more affordable as a try-it-out launch monitor.

Skytrak and Garmin R10 Differences

Skytrak is best for golfers with smaller indoor spaces who don’t need concurrent left and right-handed play.

Garmin R10 requires a little more space (room length in particular), though given the central position in the simulator the R10 can accommodate both left and right-handers at once. Skytrak has a smaller hitting area (a red dot) than the R10 does.

Skytrak only measures ball flight (adding clubhead speed and smash facGarmin R10 does not record putting whilst Skytrak does. tor via modeling and calculation), whereas Garmin R10 is able to track some club data.

Skytrak and Garmin R10 Pros and Cons

Check out Skytrak’s Pros and Cons in more detail in this in-depth guide.

1
Garmin R10 Approach

Garmin R10 Approach

  1. Data Parameters Tracked: Includes club and ball data metrics, which is incredible at this price. There a mix of measured and calculated parameters. 

  2. Golf Simulation Compatibility: Compatible with E6 Connect, TGC 2019, Awesome Golf, the Garmin App and Home Tee Hero. Garmin R10 is not officially compatible with GS Pro, but some golfers have managed to connect the two using a community interface. See the ‘r10-owners’ tab on the GS Pro Discord for more information

  3. Garmin Golf App Integration: Allows golfers to view automated videos and performance data on their mobile devices.

  4. Golf Course Library: Access to over 30,000 golf courses worldwide for simulation purposes.

  5. Doppler Radar Technology: Utilizes advanced radar technology to track over a dozen data parameters related to golf shots.

  6. Portability: Its small size makes it highly portable, allowing golfers to use it both at home and on the range.

  7. Battery Life: Offers up to 10 hours of continuous use, making it suitable for extended practice sessions.

  8. Automatic Video Recording: The device can record each swing and overlay it with real-time stats for in-depth analysis.

  9. Device Compatibility: Works with iOS, Android, and PC devices, offering flexibility in how data is accessed and analyzed.

  10. Waterproof Rating: Comes with an IPX-7 waterproof rating, ensuring durability in wet weather conditions.

  11. Inclusion of Accessories: Comes with a tripod stand, phone mount, carry case, and a micro-USB cable.

  12. Garmin Golf Membership Trial: Includes a trial membership to the Garmin Golf app.

The Garmin Approach R10 is a compact, portable launch monitor that utilizes advanced Doppler radar technology to provide over a dozen detailed golf shot data parameters. The R10 offers up to 10 hours of battery life and is compatible with a range of golf simulation software.

Additionally, it features automatic video recording for swing analysis and is designed for both indoor and outdoor use, making it a versatile tool for golfers aiming to improve their game.

The Garmin R10 took the golf simulation market by storm by offering advanced features previously seen in units four times as expensive, for only around $599. 

Pros
  1. Absolutely amazing value: There's a reason this launch monitor caused such an earthquake in the golf simulation market.
  2. Diverse Data Tracking: Provides a mixture of ball and club data, which is amazing at this price
  3. Doppler Radar Technology: Provides accurate tracking of over a dozen golf shot data parameters.
  4. Compact and Portable: Easy to transport and set up anywhere, ideal for both home and range use.
  5. Long Battery Life: Up to 10 hours of continuous use, suitable for extended practice sessions.
  6. Golf Simulation Compatibility: Works with E6 Connect, TGC 2019 and other software, offering access to over 30,000 virtual courses via the Home Tee Hero App.
  7. Automatic Video Recording: Records swings and overlays them with stats for detailed analysis.
  8. Garmin Golf App Integration: Enables viewing of performance data and videos on mobile devices.
  9. Waterproof Design: IPX-7 rating ensures durability in different weather conditions.
  10. Comprehensive Accessories Included: Comes with a tripod stand, phone mount, carry case, and a micro-USB cable.
Cons
  1. No Putting Analysis: The Garmin R10 does not record putting - you have to put gimmes on when playing courses (not always a bad thing)
  2. No official GS Pro Integration: though there is a community workaround using the GS Pro open API. 
  3. Indoor Space Requirements: The R10 is a radar-based launch monitor, hence it needs more indoor space than some competitors that only use camera technology
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Alex @ mygolfsimulator

Alex White is a 4 handicap golfer and is a familiar face at Hexham Golf Club, England. He launched mygolfsimulator.com in February 2020, where he has personally authored over half a million words on golf simulators, earning a reputation as an expert in this area. His knowledge extends beyond theory; Alex has personally designed and constructed three distinct golf simulator rooms over the last four years. He also provides consultation services for fellow golf enthusiasts looking to create their own home golf simulators. In addition to his golfing pursuits, Alex is a dedicated medical professional. He earned his medical degree (MBBS) from Newcastle University in 2014 and currently works as an emergency medicine registrar in the north-east of England. Alex recently achieved the FRCEM (Fellow of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine) qualification, marking a significant milestone in his medical career.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

About Alex White

Hello! My name is Alex and it is my mission to bring you all the information you need to build your own home golf simulator! I hope mygolfsimulator.com helps you on your journey to better golf at home!

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