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. 

To follow my journey, follow me on Instagram