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Bender Stik Review

(CONTEST HAS ENDED) - And the winner is (Matt Mangold)...Congrats! You will be receiving an email shortly.

 

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GIVEAWAY: We will be giving away one Bender Stik to a luck reader. Full details at the end of the review.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Can one training aid fix swing faults from the takeaway all the way to the follow through? That's what 2009's Golf Instructor of the Year Mike Bender claims about his training aid, The Bender Stik. Will it work for you? Find out here, spies…

 

 

 

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Ease of Use/Set Up – 10 Points

 

Setting up the Bender Stik is quite simple. If you're outdoors, attach the spike to the bottom of the pole and stick it in the ground. If you're indoors, attach the pole to the base. Alternately, you can put the Bender Stik in your golf bag, a method that will work indoors or out. Positioning the Bender Stik perfectly for a specific drill can take a few moments, but I never spent more than a minute getting it just right.

 

Knowing how to set the Bender Stik for specific drills or faults is another matter, but I'll address that under Effectiveness. As far as set-up, the Bender Stik is easy to use.

 

Score: 10/10

 

 

 

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Effectiveness – 30 points

 

The Bender Stik is unquestionably one of the most versatile training aids that I've ever reviewed for MyGolfSpy. Here's a small sampling of the swing flaws that can be addressed with the Bender Stik: flipping, swaying, sliding, losing posture, over-swinging, chicken winging, and I could go on, but you get the picture. It's hard to think of a swing problem that you can't fix with the Bender Stik, and, in a world of one-trick-pony training aids, that's a huge plus.

 

There's also no arguing with The Bender Stik: either you hit it or you don't. This kind of indisputable feedback is key. What good is a training aid if you don't believe or trust the feedback it's giving you?

 

So the Bender Stik is extremely versatile, but can too much versatility be a bad thing? This is my one concern regarding this training aid. Though the Bender Stik does come with a very good DVD, I'm not sure how the beginner would know which of the drills to work on. The one thing I think might be helpful is a chart or booklet that connects ball flight to swing flaws to drills. For example, the chart might say, “If you slice, it is likely that your club travels on an out-to-in swing path. To fix that, try this drill ______.” Even better would be for golfers to take lessons and have the Bender Stik reinforce them during practice, but I know that's just crazy talk. J

 

Overall, I think the Bender Stik is a very effective training aid because it is versatile and gives excellent feedback. The only caveat is that you need to know what you want to fix before you set out to use it.

 

Score: 28/30

 

EDIT:

Shortly after posting the review, I was contacted by one of the gentlemen at Bender Stik. He informed me that they had recognized the missing "diagnosis" piece, and had shot a 30 minute video with Mike Bender to address that. It is currently on the website and available to those who purchase the Bender Stik. I just got through watching it, and I think that it's very good. I particularly like that he emphasizes the sequential nature of changing the swing (i.e. you can't just jump ahead and fix impact if your set-up is bad).

Since this was my only criticism of the Bender Stik, and it is no longer truly valid, I have updated the review score.

Score: 30/30

 

 

 

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Longevity – 20 points

 

One major plus for the Bender Stik's longevity is that it can be used indoors and outdoors, so it's something that you can work with during the winter or when you simply don't have time to get to the range. Additionally, transporting the Bender Stik is easy because it fits right in your golf bag.

 

On the downside, the Bender Stik is average in the “fun” department and cannot be used inconspicuously. While I don't mind having other people watching me on the range, I know that some people will be deterred from using it because others will stare.

 

All in all, because it does provide very effective feedback, the Bender Stik gets a strong grade from me for Longevity.

 

Score: 18/20

 

 

 

 

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Value – 20 points

 

The Bender Stik can be purchased through the Bender Stik website for $99. Since the price of this training aid is average, the Value grade ends up being a reflection of the Effectiveness and Longevity. Since both those scores were above average, I would rate the Bender Stik to be an above average value.

 

Score: 18/20

 

 

 

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The Peanut Gallery – 20 points

 

The Bender Stik was a definite point of curiosity among everyone who passed by, making this Peanut Gallery a very large one. Overall, The Peanut Gallery was very impressed with The Bender Stik's versatility. Virtually everyone in The Peanut Gallery added their own, “Oh, you could use it for ______.” There was a split over “Likelihood of Purchase” that was very easy to see: the more casual players were lukewarm about owning a Bender Stik, but the serious players and the ones who take lessons were much more interested.

 

Score: 17/20

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

For any player who is serious about getting more out of their practice sessions, I think the Bender Stik is a good investment because it provides you with indisputable feedback. As stated above, you need to know what flaws you want to fix before you set out to use it, but that's really the only negative mark against The Bender Stik. Overall, The Bender Stik is a training aid that you will never outgrow and one that can be used to help any golfer.

 

Score: 93/100

 

 

VISIT WEBSITE: http://www.benderstik.com/

 

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/#!/BenderStik

 

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CONTEST!

One Bender Stik will be given away to a lucky reader. To enter, simply go to www.BenderStik.com and look at some of the drills you can do with The Bender Stik. Then, come back to this thread and let us know what swing flaw you would use the Bender Stik to cure. The winner will be selected on February 29th.

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Matt, when you did your testing, were you able to run through the practice drills (hip sway, chicken wing, head movement, takeaway/downswing) and was it useful for you or at least verify you're doing things correctly? Or did you feel it didn't help in some area?

 

For me, I would probably use it to verify I don't have any these problems. I'd definitely try it on my son, who tends to move his head.

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Also, the drills on the webpage help show how it helps for those particular problems, but you listed a few more in your review. Is there some list of flaws the Bender Stick folks claim they can fix? I haven't had time to watch the infomercial. IMO, The website leaves too much to the imagination since I'm not sure how many people would sit through a 30 minute infomercial on the website to figure this out.

 

The other question I have, is there enough instruction for someone to know they set up the yellow ball portion at the right height/distance for a particular drill? Setting things up badly might lead to the user thinking they've solved a swing error when they haven't.

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I can see myself trying out the 2nd drill from the 28min video to get rid of the chick wing.

I started last season with the dreaded slice, so subconsciously I've been starting to pull the club to the left to avoid the slice and now it seems like I can't get rid of it.

Even playing partners make fun of me... they say my finish is almost parallel to the ground :lol:

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This is a great training aid! It is easy to use and best of all you can keep it in your bag while you play then head straight to the range after your round and use the Stik to correct your problems. It serves as a portable coach. The DVD that comes along with it is very informational. When it all comes down to it, it is pretty much a swing lesson from Bender instead of just showing the different uses. He goes in depth on club position in the swing and such. All in all, the best training aid on the market!!

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Matt, when you did your testing, were you able to run through the practice drills (hip sway, chicken wing, head movement, takeaway/downswing) and was it useful for you or at least verify you're doing things correctly? Or did you feel it didn't help in some area?

 

For me, I would probably use it to verify I don't have any these problems. I'd definitely try it on my son, who tends to move his head.

 

 

Also, the drills on the webpage help show how it helps for those particular problems, but you listed a few more in your review. Is there some list of flaws the Bender Stick folks claim they can fix? I haven't had time to watch the infomercial. IMO, The website leaves too much to the imagination since I'm not sure how many people would sit through a 30 minute infomercial on the website to figure this out.

 

The other question I have, is there enough instruction for someone to know they set up the yellow ball portion at the right height/distance for a particular drill? Setting things up badly might lead to the user thinking they've solved a swing error when they haven't.

 

I ran the Bender Stik through a wide variety of drills and found it to be very useful in all of them. It all boils down to this: Put the Bender Stik where you do or don't want to be and make sure you do or don't hit it.

 

I don't know if there's a comprehensive list of drills or fixes on the website, but I will definitely mention to Mike that there should be. The only problem with a "comprehensive" list is that it could be constantly expanding. It really is very versatile.

 

I think your point about setting the Bender Stik up is well taken. There are times when I probably assume the average golfer knows a bit more than he does about the swing. Overall, I don't think setting the Bender Stik up is very difficult, and it doesn't take too much knowledge to judge whether it is set up well or not, but it could be an issue. I think what you will find is that you can basically choose the level of difficulty that you want.

 

For example: I was using the Bender Stik to shorten my backswing. I set it up so that it my arms went anywhere near parallel to the ground, I would hit the ball. This was pretty tough, but I was trying to exaggerate the feeling. You could just as easily set it up so that you only hit it when your arms went a little past parallel.

 

Overall, I don't think the Bender Stik is a substitute for lessons, but nothing is. It is, however, a great way to get more feedback during your practice.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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My two biggest swing flaws are too long of a backswing and too much lower body sway/knee bend. I could definitely use this to get feedback on these issues.

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I ran the Bender Stik through a wide variety of drills and found it to be very useful in all of them. It all boils down to this: Put the Bender Stik where you do or don't want to be and make sure you do or don't hit it.

 

I don't know if there's a comprehensive list of drills or fixes on the website, but I will definitely mention to Mike that there should be. The only problem with a "comprehensive" list is that it could be constantly expanding. It really is very versatile.

 

I think your point about setting the Bender Stik up is well taken. There are times when I probably assume the average golfer knows a bit more than he does about the swing. Overall, I don't think setting the Bender Stik up is very difficult, and it doesn't take too much knowledge to judge whether it is set up well or not, but it could be an issue. I think what you will find is that you can basically choose the level of difficulty that you want.

 

For example: I was using the Bender Stik to shorten my backswing. I set it up so that it my arms went anywhere near parallel to the ground, I would hit the ball. This was pretty tough, but I was trying to exaggerate the feeling. You could just as easily set it up so that you only hit it when your arms went a little past parallel.

 

Overall, I don't think the Bender Stik is a substitute for lessons, but nothing is. It is, however, a great way to get more feedback during your practice.

 

Thanks for the clarification. The more I think about it, the more I like the product. Like others, I can definitely see myself using this to work on my backswing since feel is often misleading.

 

I can also see putting it either inside or outside the ball to help with hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the club. How durable is the yellow ball? Would it survive getting whacked by a driver at 105mph?

 

My other issue is hitting the ball fat, would love to hear if the Stik could help with that!

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i could use the benderstik to improve my takeaway to help me keep myself onplane

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Thanks for the clarification. The more I think about it, the more I like the product. Like others, I can definitely see myself using this to work on my backswing since feel is often misleading.

 

I can also see putting it either inside or outside the ball to help with hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the club. How durable is the yellow ball? Would it survive getting whacked by a driver at 105mph?

 

My other issue is hitting the ball fat, would love to hear if the Stik could help with that!

 

The ball is just foam, so it would survive the hit. The problem is that it's fixed to the pole with a long bolt, so I'm not sure how your driver would come out of that exchange!

 

As for hitting the ball fat, you would need to know the root cause. Is it swaying? The Bender Stik can absolutely help with that. If you just want a way to hit down on the ball, just try putting something behind the ball (towel, lie board, etc) and try not to hit it.

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The ball is just foam, so it would survive the hit. The problem is that it's fixed to the pole with a long bolt, so I'm not sure how your driver would come out of that exchange!

 

As for hitting the ball fat, you would need to know the root cause. Is it swaying? The Bender Stik can absolutely help with that. If you just want a way to hit down on the ball, just try putting something behind the ball (towel, lie board, etc) and try not to hit it.

 

I don't think I sway, but I can't say I've checked for it either. I'll try out putting a towel behind my ball next time I'm at the range, thanks!

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It would definitely help my takeaway and downswing for when i tend to swing over the top a bit

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wanted to do a little follow up on this:

 

I have the BenderStik in my bay at GolfTEC and my students LOVE IT. I had a guy come in to practice today and said, "Matt, I see that thing all the time. Is there some way that I can use it too?" Cracked me up. I've also had numerous guys ask if they can take "the little yellow ball" to the course, because their swings are much better when it's there to remind them of ____.

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