SkyHawke Soars

    James Holmes, Director of Sales and Operations at SkyHawke Technologies UK, makers of SkyCaddie and European distributor for SkyTrak, explains how the two brands are flying right now.

    Why did SkyCaddie become the official DMD (Distance Measuring Device) of the Legends Tour?
    SkyCaddie has been working with individual Legends Tour players over the past four or five years. By the start of 2023 over two-thirds of the players were using a SkyCaddie for their yardages during tournament play, so it was a natural progression to discuss an official collaboration with the Tour. I’ve spent a lot of time out on the Legends Tour: the players genuinely enjoy using their SkyCaddies and that’s great to see. One of the main things players mention is the speed and ease with which the SkyCaddie gets them a yardage which they can rely on when the chips
    are down.

    Why have over two-thirds of Legends players switched to SkyCaddie GPS?
    Mainly because of positive word of mouth. Simply put, they perform. Newcomers to SkyCaddie can demo one in a practice round to see the benefits first hand.

    SkyCaddies answer yardage questions much quicker than lasers or yardage books. Historically, Legends Tour players have been able to use paper yardage books for each golf course during tournaments, but SkyCaddie’s on-foot mapping technique, which ensures highly accurate data for professional players, is very attractive to the modern tournament player. Now that the Legends Tour allows SkyCaddies to be used during tournaments, our expertise in mapping golf courses – unmatched by any other GPS device – has gained recognition and more importantly trust at Tour level by players who – just like us – cannot afford to make errors with their measurements!

    The Tour now also uses SkyCaddie’s new SkyPin software when setting the day’s pins, so players on the Legends Tour get an accurate yardage direct to the pin every day, on every hole.

    Why is SkyCaddie GPS different from any other GPS in golf?
    SkyCaddie excels in providing comprehensive information, because we are the only golf DMD that has on-foot mapping. Our mappers measure every aspect of the course, creating the most accurate GPS experience in golf. On average, 200 to 300 UK golf courses are resurveyed annually by our mappers, due to changes made by the courses themselves.
    Other GPS brands rely on often-outdated aerial photography. They have no incentive to make the changes and as a result their maps are often years out of date.

    On the tee SkyCaddie users can calculate carries, landing points, run-outs, lay up positions and favourite yardages to the hole. We assess the entire landscape, including tiers on the green, and help golfers make informed decisions about where to aim.

    For example, for layups your SkyCaddie rapidly calculates how far you need to leave into the pin, perhaps a favourite wedge distance such as 100 yards. All the maths is done instantaneously by your SkyCaddie: with a laser or yardage book you’d have to mentally crunch the numbers before deciding on a club. SkyCaddie GPS does all of that for you, in under a second.

    How can golf retailers profit from the new-generation SkyCaddie GPS?
    We offer strong margins to back up our core product and mapping advantages. The top of the range SX550 is £379.99, by no means the most expensive GPS on the market. Our accuracy and unique features set us apart: no other GPS system has access to SkyCaddie’s proprietary golf course mapping data.

    If you’re a SkyCaddie stockiest you are selling the gold standard in golf for GPS measurement, and something which offers many advantages over laser rangefinders.
    Importantly we also offer excellent after-sales support with a UK-based team during office hours, and USA phone + chat support available almost 24/7.

    We’ve found word of mouth plays a significant role in success with SkyCaddie. Those who use SkyCaddie tend to love its accuracy and recommend it to others at their golf club. If you also offer Sky Pins, then your members can access a unique and well-coordinated ecosystem via their SkyCaddie.

    James you also look after SkyTrak. How important has that become? 
    The original SkyTrak Launch Monitor became the number one selling consumer launch monitor in the world, and it also became the most-used launch monitor in the UK. It offered almost everything that a much more expensive launch monitor could offer, at a fraction of the price. It became incredibly popular across all aspects of the business, but has proven extremely popular as a coaching tool.

    Location – Carolina Country Club

    SkyTrak+ recently launched and that is even more impressive. Tell us about that.
    SkyTrak+ (ST+) is a step up from the original SkyTrak with both Photometric and Radar in one system, now giving ball data and club data for each shot. The ST+ photometric camera system is improved and works outdoors: a c.40% larger hitting area gives more accurate and reliable ball-tracking data. The much-discussed shot-to-show delay time with SkyTrak is a lot shorter with ST+, thanks to the onboard processor. For practice, play and competition preparation, no other system on the market now compareswith SkyTrak+ at the £3k price point.

    Is SkyTrak+ a realistic option for a golf coach or a serious golfer?
    For years now SkyTrak’s numbers have been proven to be accurate when compared to much more expensive launch monitors, especially for the most important parameters which enable you to give a lesson, or to improve personal performance. ST+ gives you Launch Angle, Descent Angle, Side Angle, Face To Path Angle, Face To Target Angle, Back Spin, Side Spin, Club Path, Club Speed, Ball Speed, Max Height and Smash Factor – a dozen key parameters for each shot.

    You don’t need special golf balls or club stickers with ST+, and also both SkyTraks are ideal for more compact spaces as they only need to see the ball fly for a few feet to get all the data they need.

    Additional custom-fitting and coaching features include a Shot Optimizer, Bag Mapping and a Wedge Matrix, as well as an inbuilt Player Skills Assessment feature and a shot Randomizer function.

    You probably won’t sell a £15k or £20k launch monitor to your customers, but a £2k (SkyTrak) or £3k (ST+) spend is perfect for a home setup.

    How does SkyTrak+ cater for golfers who like to play courses indoors?
    SkyTrak+ is the perfect base for an affordable golf simulator too. The Play and Improve package (£249pa) gives access to the 15-course pack from TruGolf E6 Connect, as well as full course play on iOS via WGT by TopGolf. SkyTrak’s other simulation options include The Golf Club 2019, Creative Golf 3D, and Fitness Golf, giving c.200,000 different golf course designs. SkyTrak+ owners never run out of courses to play!

    How can GOLF RETAILING readers grow their business around SkyTrak+?
    By becoming a SkyTrak Showcase Dealer – for this and all questions regarding either SkyTrak+ or SkyCaddie we would encourage GOLF RETAILING readers to contact Chrissie or Alex on 01865 296360, or email, or visit our website GR

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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.