The Beginning of a Beautiful Relationship…

/ By Rahim Stennett, Product Development Engineer

First, let me start with a disclaimer. Yes, I work for SkyTrak and yes, I am an avid SkyTrak user. 

To best tell my SkyTrak Story, I should probably start by telling you a bit about my background. I moved from Jamaica to the United States to go to college back in 2008. I was a D1 soccer player through my undergraduate years at the University of Maryland and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). I graduated from NJIT with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, then moved on to the University of Maine for my Masters.

When I started working for SkyTrak three years ago, I was more interested in the technology behind SkyTrak than the actual game of golf. I didn’t know it at the time but as I learned my job and in turn learned the game, I was embarking on the most fulfilling, rewarding journey imaginable. You might say I was bit by the golf bug! I think my technical background, along with my competitive nature helped me apply the knowledge and feedback from having a personal launch monitor at my disposal. From there, I was able to practice and play, improving my golf game exponentially.

It all started with our weekly closest to the pin contest. Every Friday, we’d have a contest, and of course the guy who had never swung a club before, I placed last every week. Obviously, I was at a disadvantage, but I take things like that personally. I couldn’t tolerate it for long. 

I began the search for my swing. I watched what seemed like a million YouTube videos and used SkyTrak to track my progress. I gave special attention to my numbers and the feels to reproduce them. I became fully immersed in all the software features of the Skytrak system. As I developed my swing, I would use the Bag Mapping feature. I knew the distance of all of my clubs before I even set foot on a real golf course. 

Another feature that helped me was the Wedge Matrix. It’s one thing to grab driver and swing as hard as I can, it’s another to hit a soft wedge shot to a specific number. I also did frequent Skills Assessments to keep track of my Dynamic Handicap (Skytrak metric that is pretty much spot on with your USGA handicap index ). I know some other of my SkyTrak colleagues enjoy the Wedge Matrix as well. The Dyanamic Handicap of my first skills assessment was 30. I could only get better from that point right? Did I mention I am also an optimist?

Skills Assessment
Above is a snapshot of a Skills Assessment session. I eventually got my dynamic handicap down to 11.1.

As I grew more comfortable with my swing, like everybody else, I wanted to play! I started by playing really nice courses (I’d later learn how prestigious these courses really are) on World Golf Tour (WGT) with Skytrak. This is where I would test my skills in their monthly tournaments.

WGT Golf - Monthly SkyTrak Tournament
Results from one of my monthly tournaments on WGT with Skytrak (I hit a couple OB with driver on hole number 7)

As my swing improved, I became obsessed with the sound and feel of the driver. It became clear that I had some speed and could hit the ball a long way, especially when I found the center of the club face. I used the SkyTrak long drive grid and worked tirelessly, not just hitting it far but working to hit it straight and find the grid. After about a year of tracking my numbers, I could routinely hit it over 300 yards. Other than the feel of puring the driver, the numbers would be further confirmation of a well struck ball.

I became so confident in my driver that I competed in the World Long Drive qualifier in Columbia SC. My best shot of a 8 ball round hit the grid at 350 yards. Though I didn’t win anything, I left that event feeling proud and my head high, not bad for year one” I thought to myself. Since then, I have competed in a local golf tournament The Forsyth Invitational’ the past two years and have seen tremendous improvements under tournament conditions. 

Forsyth Invitational
2019 Results — not bad for year one
2020 - Forsyth Invitational Results
2020 results — 23 shot improvement!

I’m now three years in and have a decent golf base. SkyTrak is still the center of all of my practice, and my handicap is now a 5. I routinely shoot low to mid 70’s at my home course with a personal best of 69. I also usually leave with more cash than I show up there with, wink-wink. I can tell you from personal experience that golf gets more fun the better you get. 

Skytrak has been and is still the catalyst to it all.