Getting Fit for Clubs

By: Matt Wilkes - Expert Club Fitter & Head Instructor - Mike Bender Golf Academy

Getting fit for clubs these days can be a daunting task. There are such a variety of club companies to choose from that it can be difficult to decide which brand to go with. These days many country clubs, public courses and off-course retailers who offer club fitting make it more difficult to choose where to go to be fit. Here are a few important factors that we offer at the Mike Bender Golf Academy and would suggest considering next time you decide to get fit.

    1. Having the right tools. Fitting has come a long way just in the last ten years and one of the most important tools used is the launch monitor. These days you really cannot be fit without one. At the Mike Bender Golf Academy, we use the Trackman, which uses Doppler radar technology to track the ball. The Trackman Launch Monitor provides the most accurate data necessary to make proper assessments when fitting. We look at specific data such as launch angle, spin rate, angle of attack and ball speed to help us determine which club is producing the maximum performance.

    Other tools that are vital in fitting are the loft and lie machines and frequency machine. A fitter should have the ability to bend any type of clubís loft or lie. We use a Mitchell loft and lie machine that can bend not only irons but drivers and woods as well. We determine the actual flex of the shaft by using a Digi-Flex frequency meter. This allows a set of clubs to be frequency matched in the flex of the shaft. Often times we will find that one or more clubs in someone's bag is more flexible than any other club in their bag, even though the flex may say "stiff" on it.

    2. How to get fit. Two questions I always ask a player wanting to be fit are, "Are you working on your game and taking lessons or do you want to be fit for the swing you currently have today?" There are really two types of fittings: One for someone who will never work on their swing and would prefer to be fit for their "current" swing and the other for players who may be in the middle of a swing change and their swing maybe isn't quite consistent with the new changes. Regardless of which category you fall in, consulting with your club fitter beforehand to determine which direction the fitting needs to go in is very critical. If you are in the middle of a swing change, have your instructor consult with the fitter so they are on the same page.

    3. Get fit where you can see the ball flight. Nowadays, even with all of the technology in launch monitorsí telling you how far your golf ball goes, itís still important to see the ball flight. There are lots of retail stores that offer fittings but do them indoors. For some, being fit indoors may be the only option, which is fine. However, being able to see how the ball flies differently with each type of club and then seeing the results on the launch monitor is the optimal way to be fit.

    4. If you purchase clubs, have your new clubs checked when they arrive. When a new set of irons comes in the mail for a customer, we always check the specifications that were determined in the fitting. We check the length, loft, lie and swing weights of each club. Often times when clubs are ordered, they arrive with slightly different specs than the ones ordered. This shouldn't be a problem as long as they are adjusted to the original specifications.

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... For more information please visit www.mikebender.com or call our offices at 407-321-0444.

Matt Wilkes
Expert Club Fitter & Head Instructor
Mike Bender Golf Academy


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