The Mike Bender Golf Academy offers comprehensive clubfitting and club repair to cover all of your equipment needs. Custom-fit golf clubs will make a big difference in your game and we have exactly what you're looking for…
- Fittings using TrackMan – the world's most precise launch monitor – to measure detailed swing data.
- One of Florida's top clubfitters.
- The complete line of Nike Golf clubs.
- Coutour Golf Tri-Fit Putters.
Custom fitting is a critical piece of the overall puzzle of providing a golfer with the tools and information necessary to reach their potential in the game. Our fittings will provide accurate appraisals of all of the following key specifications necessary for a perfect fit:
- Lie Angle—Lie angle is the primary influence on ball direction. Clubs with inaccurately set lie angles will be the root of many golf swing problems. The golfer learns to adjust or make swing compensations to overcome deficiencies built into the set of clubs. If the lie angle is too upright the golfer will tend to change their posture and swing plane to accommodate the upright lie in order to hit the ball straight. The overall tendency is for an upright lie to produce shots that go left and a flat lie produces shots that fly right.
- Club Length—Club length greatly affects swing mechanics and ball flight. If a club’s length is too long or too short for a player, it will affect the player’s balance and spine angle. Club length also affects centeredness of impact and lie angle which affects direction. Club length greatly influences a player’s ability to return the club to a repeatable square position at impact. The longer the club, the more potential for off centered hits, which results in both distance and directional problems. Club length plays a role in both shot accuracy and distance as well. When finding the proper length for both of these factors, a given player has a greater potential for good performance. Finding the club length that best matches a players height and ability is a key part of club performance.
- Loft—Loft is the most determining factor of a clubs makeup for distance. The less loft there is, the farther the ball will fly and vice versa. Loft gapping between clubs is critical for consistent distance control from club to club. Many clubs that are purchased off the shelf will not always have this proper gapping.
- Shaft Flex—Based on several swing factors, properly matched shafts will allow a player to consistently return the club to the ideal impact position. On the other hand, ill matched shafts will usually require a greater degree of timing with the hands to make up for the out of proportion reacting shaft tendencies. Things such as the trajectory and curve of the ball can directly be affected by the type of shaft used. Much of the feel that a player has comes from the shaft component of the club. If a shaft is too stiff or too flexible, too heavy or too light, or lacks proper feel, performance will be compromised.
- Grip Size—Grip size is a critical component of feel and timing of the golf club’s release. An incorrect grip size can influence swing mechanics by increasing or decreasing the player’s ability to release the club. A grip that is too large can make it harder for a player to release or rotate the club head. A grip that is too small for the player can make the player release the club too early. Small grips can also make a player increase tension in order to hold onto the club tightly enough to keep it from slipping.
- Swing Weight—Swing weight is the balance relationship between the club head and the grip end of the golf club. This weight ratio is dictated by the various component parts of the club. Swing weight will effect feel and swing mechanics. For example, if the club head feels too light the player may have a harder time returning the club head to a consistent impact position. If the feeling of the club head is too heavy, then it can cause the player to overuse the upper body in order to create club head speed on the downswing.
- Shaft Weight—Shaft weight can affect ball flight and player feel, as well as shaft flex. Generally, the lighter the shaft the more the player can feel the club head, and the heavier the shaft weight the player will feel less of the club head. Shaft weight can also have an effect on the amount of club head speed that a player can generate.
- Ball Speed—Ball speed directly determines how far the ball will travel. It is a direct result of club head speed. Ball speed is affected by the club head’s Coefficient of Restitution (COR). The greater the COR, the greater the ball speed on "center hits”. The better the impact the more energy will be transferred from the club head to the ball. In most cases, the higher the ball speed the more distance the ball will travel and the lower the ball speed the less distance the ball will travel; as long as launch angle and spin rate are complimentary.
- Launch Angle—Launch angle is the initial angle in relation to the ground line that the ball left the club head. Launch angle is an especially important factor in optimizing the relationship of ball speed and spin rate in order to achieve maximum distance. There are many things that influence launch angle, beginning with each individuals swing mechanics. Launch angles can change dramatically with a change in one’s swing plane and release point. For this reason, all fitting sessions need to be tailored to whether or not the player is actively trying to improve their swing technique or not.
- Spin Rate—Spin rate also affects ball flight, distance, and trajectory. Club head speed is important in determining the spin rate, as well as, what is called the angle of descent. If the angle is sharp, it will produce more spin. If it is shallow, then it will produce less spin. Additionally, it is important for a player to use a golf ball that provides the spin rate that is ideal for their particular swing specs. Many times players will see quantifiable spin rate differences with different balls. These differences affect both trajectory and distance.
- Smash Factor—This is a measurement of how well the ball is being struck by the club head. It is important to access the amount of energy that is transferred from the moving club head to the ball. Angle of attack, club head path, and face angle at impact directly relate to the quality of the smash factor and therefore the distance the ball goes. The power transfer ratio correlates directly to the centeredness of the hit on the horizontal face angle and the club face’s COR. A benchmark for good smash factor is 1.50 or 150%, meaning the ball is traveling at 150% of the club head speed. If the club head is traveling at 100mph and the ball is traveling 150mph you have a smash factor of 1.50.
All golfers are looking for ways to become more consistent and hit the ball farther. Properly fit golf clubs are a key component in attaining both of these desires.
The influence the make-up of a set of clubs has on the mechanics of the swing and the results of the shot is very high. Players set ups and swings will conform to their equipment either negatively or positively, depending on the fit, without ever knowing it. A question rarely asked when fitting clubs is do you want a set of clubs to fit your current swing or to fit a more technically correct swing? The answer should depend upon each player’s goals for their game and whether or not they are actively taking instruction and trying to improve their swing. Many players just want a set of clubs that will compliment the swing that they currently have at the time of the fitting, while others would like to improve their swing technique and have a set of clubs that promotes a better swing. Here at the Mike Bender Golf Academy we will discuss both types with you so that we will get the fit perfect.
THE FITTING PROCESS
You will want to bring your set of clubs with you for your fitter to initially assess what you currently have been playing. This will also serve as a good comparison to what the benefits will be as you test new equipment in finding the exact fit. Both a visual look at your posture and set up along with a static test will be done initially. You will then hit balls using the TrackMan Launch Monitor, which is the finest piece of equipment in the business and used by all major manufacturers. Then depending on your Track Man numbers* (see Track Man info), goals for your game, and practice habits vs. playing time, our Master fitter will give you a series of combinations of heads and shafts, monitoring each combination and pin pointing your exact fit. This process takes approximately 1 hour for irons only or driver only and approximately 3 hours per whole set of clubs, which includes wedges and putter.
- IRONS: Iron fittings have a few more considerations than a driver as you have the short, mid and long irons. As of recent times you now have hybrids replacing long irons so the gapping and specific lofts need to be carefully considered.
- DRIVER: With the new technology in driver head adjustments it usually takes the whole hour to dial in the exact shaft, loft and lie of the new drivers. Since all drivers use graphite shafts which have a multitude of different characteristics and the heads have so many possibilities it takes time to get the combination correct. It is also another reason why it is so important that you have an expert club fitter who has many years of experience and is educated with all the newest technology.
- WEDGES: Wedge fitting and gapping should also be considered when optimizing your set of clubs. There are so many options of lofts and bounces these days that it often becomes very confusing as to what you should be using. By today’s standards most pitching wedges are around 47 degrees of loft, give or take one degree. Your sand wedge gapping needs to be even amount between them and the pitching wedge for example. 47 degree PW, 53 degree gap wedge and 59 degree lob wedge. That would be a 6 degree gap between each club. Some players prefer a 5 degree gap while others like to carry 4 wedges and have a 4 degree difference between them. These options will all be discussed with your fitter. The amount of bounce on each club needs to vary as well depending upon your swing shape and your talent level.
- PUTTER: Most golfers underestimate the value and need of a properly fitted putter. The length of putters was initially decided to be 35 inches long, so that they can stick out of a standard size golf bag. However, because golfers come in all heights with different arm lengths, it is ridiculous to think that one size fits all. The putter is also the most used club in your bag and you will take more strokes with it than any other club. For that reason ,you owe it to your game to get properly fit. For standard style putters, the biggest three variables for putter fitting are the length, swing weight and balance characteristics of the putter head. Belly putting and the long putter are now on the endangered species list, according to the USGA, so will soon be outlawed. Grip size and putter head shape are somewhat individual preferences.
Many places offer fittings with the use of technology but none of them have the Academy’s knowledge of the golf swing, and what made those numbers occur. The fitting process truly helped my son understand his golf swing even better. Every club in my son’s bag has been fit properly by Matt, and purchased from the Academy. My family will not buy clubs from anywhere else as this has been the best purchase we have made. --Rich Werblo, Academy Student
I have known for awhile that club fitting is important. Trouble is, in the past, I had been fitted for my improper swing. The Mike Bender Golf Academy is training me with the proper swing fundamentals, which is what Matt used to fit me with. Once he flattened my lie angles, it helped me to produce a better swing! My only regret is that I did not get properly fit a long time ago. I have seen great results on the range, and with my scores since getting my clubs fit properly. --Todd Wilson, CFO NASCAR
After Matt fit my entire set of clubs, they finally became my own. It is definitely a necessity for people who want to improve their game, and he has the magic touch that gets the job done! --Rohan, NCAA Collegiate Player
SAM PuttLab—This is an analysis and training system based on accurate ultrasound measurements. It analyzes the 28 most important parameters of your putting stroke and displays the results in easy-to-understand graphics. This system combined with video taping of your putting stroke, can assist the instructor in identifying putting flaws and helping make corrections.
TrackMan Launch Monitor- The TrackMan Launch Monitor provides data with reference to swing speed, the delivery of the club head to the ball, ball flight, spin rates, launch conditions, and much more detailed information. This data can be used to determine if the equipment you currently use is best for your swing. It is pivotal that this is used for new club fittings.
Fitting options at the Mike Bender Golf Academy include:
- Irons Fitting (1 hour) - $125
- Driver/Wood Fitting (1 hour) - $125
- Putter Fitting and Stroke Analysis (1 hour) - $100
- Club fitting Experience (Every Club in Bag - Approx. 3 Hours) - $ 250