By: Ed Mitchell, PGA
Mitchell® Publishing Company
In 1962 I embarked upon a golf professional career at a time in golf history when innovation in golf club technology was slow coming at best. The biggest innovation in the game at that time was the ever-increasing popularity of Cushman riding golf carts. But the innovation that caught my attention was the Eaton slip on “Fine Line” grip. I remember this white and black replacement grip as being ahead of its time. The reason was that golf clubs were made with either molded rubber or leather wrap grips. Do you remember that some leather grips had a tarpaper-like under listing? I sure do. I had to remove many layers of tarpaper and then clean the shaft with gasoline just so I could replace my member’s grips with the latest innovation. I also spent many hours cutting the molded rubber grips off with the still reliable Hyde knife. Of course, I had to re-sharpen it often. Today, however, it is hard to keep pace with the new innovations in golf club designs.
When I introduced the STEELCLUB® Angle Machine in 1988, I brought an innovation to golf that changed golf club technology just like the slip on replacement grips did. My design unlocked the secret to correctly measure club head angles and to bend cast irons, metal woods and putters. Custom fitted golf clubs were not popular with manufacturers back then, but today every major club manufacturer has a custom fitting program. I believe that our STEELCLUB® Technology is greatly responsible for this trend. Club manufacturers recognize that golfers want custom fitted clubs and that with our STEELCLUB® Technology golfers get them.
In 2003 the new line of TourGauge® Machines were introduced, which incorporate the same measuring and clamping technology as our STEELCLUB® Angle Machines. Both models have gauges that slide on precision slide bearings for easy and accurate measurements.
In 2006 the STEELCLUB® Plus Angle Machine was updated to measure and bend most hybrids clubs that have become popular. Any hybrid made from stainless steel with a hosel long enough to bend can be adjusted with special clamps.
In 2008 Mitchell® Golf re-invented the industry standard for bending machines by introducing the new STEELCLUB® Signature Angle Machine. This machine uses Dual Precision Gauges for measuring loft/lie angles on irons and face/lie angles on hybrids and metal woods. It doubles as a specification gauge that accurately measures loft, lie and face angles simultaneously. The gauges travel on precision-ground slide bearings. The base features a Black Diamond Powder-coat finish.
STEELCLUB® and TourGauge® Angle Machines adjust for all offset hosel positions, giving accurate measurements every time. They take the place of all other golf club gauges. You do not need to measure clubs in one gauge and bend in another.
Our machines have been number one in tour repair vans worldwide every year since 1989. They continue to set the industry standard by out performing all other machines. STEELCLUB® Technology works.
Mitchell® Golf Equipment Company employs engineering and machining professionals who strive to make the best products. We continue to update our technology to keep pace with the rapidly changing golf club designs of today. We do our research and development using the latest engineering software and produce prototypes in our machine shop in Dayton, Ohio. Measuring golf club angles has not changed since the invention of geometry. However, properly registering golf club heads to measure the angles correctly requires innovation. We will continue to make the innovations needed for our machines to keep pace with new golf club head designs.
All golf professionals know the importance of custom fitted clubs. That is why every professional should offer club repair services to their golfers. The demand for custom fitted clubs will continue to grow every year. Simply re-gripping, re-shafting and adjusting loft, lie and face angles provides all the custom fitting that golfers need. As a PGA Golf Professional, I encourage fellow professionals to provide this service. Your golfers will be grateful and you will have a new profit center at your club.