Thank Goodness I Work at SkyTrak

/ By Will Blackard, Intern

As a rising junior in college, I knew it was time to get a summer internship. But, in my mind, a summer internship meant something that I struggled to accept — playing a lot less golf (as my dad would say, welcome to the real world”). I was worried about how my game would fair, but then I landed an internship with the SkyTrak team and my golf game has been thankful ever since.

Before working at SkyTrak, I just thought of hitting on a launch monitor as a way to keep my swing consistent through the cold winter months. I didn’t think about where the ball went or what the data meant. But as I started hitting balls and seeing the data, it made me realize that I had a lot of room for improvement. 

I walked into work my first day with my chest puffed out, identifying as an 8 or 9 handicapper (which might be a bit generous), but then SkyTrak showed me trends and misses that I didn’t always notice on the course. For instance, my 9‑iron had a tendency to flail out to the right, I pulled my 6‑iron more often than not, and my spin rates with irons and wedges were far lower than I wanted it to be. On the course I would say, that was a bad swing, I’ll try to get up and down and move on,” but on the SkyTrak I say, I have to fix this.” With SkyTrak, you have the luxury of hitting as many shots as you want, and you’re instantly gratified with spin rates, ball speed, and many other data points that you didn’t think you needed to know. Using SkyTrak is quite honestly addicting, and again my golf game is saying, thank you.”

Another misconception I had before working at SkyTrak was that launch monitors were only good for practice, but SkyTrak also presents the opportunity for some friendly (or not so friendly) competition. One day as I was writing content at my desk (yes, I did more than hit golf balls when I went to work), a co-worker knocked on my door and asked if I wanted to play Pebble Beach. What kind of question is that? After about an hour we finished a very competitive round which I got the best of, and thus, a rivalry was born. This competitive aspect is not just limited to virtual rounds of golf, but there are closest to the pin challenges and longest drive competitions available as well. In fact, the whole SkyTrak team participates in a closest to the pin challenge every Friday afternoon. This challenge is full of stiff backswings and plenty of smack talk. These games and simulations are great fun, and the best part is that if you’re not playing well, you can just go back to the practice range and work out the kinks.

Now, because of my time with SkyTrak, I’m more confident than ever when I approach the first tee. This holds true even after recently taking my longest hiatus from golf in years by studying abroad. I did not touch a golf club for seven weeks, nor did I bother to take care of my body. On the flight home I began thinking of golf and wondering just how bad my swing was going to be when I returned. I was able to rest easy knowing that I worked at SkyTrak.