Mike Bender, PGA
Mike Bender Golf Academy, Lake Mary, FL
Mike is the owner/operator of the Mike Bender Golf Academy in Lake Mary, FL, where he is a Master Instructor. The 2009 PGA National Teacher of the Year, Mike is ranked among the Top 5 Best Teachers in America by Golf Digest magazine and has been a mainstay on Golf Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Teachers in America since its inception in 1996. He has been recognized as the North Florida PGA Section Teacher of the Year four times (1996, 1998, 2005, 2007).
An accomplished player, Mike captured two NCAA Division III titles (1979-’80) at Cal State Stanislaus and competed for three seasons on the PGA Tour (1987-’89). As a player, he studied under some of the game’s top instructors, including Ben Doyle, Mike Adams, David Leadbetter and Mac O’Grady. Each teacher had a tremendous influence on Bender, who made his coaching debut in 1986 as the Head Teaching Professional at Sunnyside Country Club in his hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. He also served as the Director of Instruction at Brooks Resort in Spirit Lake, Iowa, before starting the Mike Bender Golf Academy in 1992.
One of the most sought-after coaches on the PGA and LPGA Tours, Mike’s impressive crop of current and past students includes two-time major champion Zach Johnson, Jonathan Byrd, Lee Janzen, Seon Hwa Lee, Chella Choi and many more. Bender has trained Johnson for all of his PGA Tour wins, including the 2007 Masters and, most recently, the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews.
In addition to developing world-class Tour players, Mike also created the Most Efficient Golf Swing Attainable Perfect Practice Equipment (MEGSA PPE) used at teaching facilities around the world. The equipment utilizes adjustable bumpers and provides real-time feedback so that your body and club can be trained to move in the preferred positions during the swing.
Mike is also the author of the instruction book, Build the Swing of a Lifetime: The Four-Step Approach to a More Efficient Swing, and has a second book coming out shortly. He’s had dozens of articles published in such magazines as Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and PGA Magazine.
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