Story by Lehia Apana
“I know this place looks like a disaster, but I’ve got a lot crammed into 150 square feet,” Ken Hedden says apologetically as he offers a tour of his workshop.
There are dissected golf clubs poking out from every corner, rows of grips tacked against one wall and oversized bending machines planted smack in the middle of it all.
Located at Kahili Golf Course in Waikapū, Hedden’s Island Golf Works is the go-to place for those wanting to maximize their game. Inside this humble workshop are some of the most advanced golf-club technologies in the world, including the FlightScope 3D Doppler Tracking Monitor—the only one like it in Hawai‘i. Hedden uses the machine to analyze a golfer’s swing, then creates a custom set of clubs based on the results.
The technology was first developed for missile-tracking systems. Yes, the same stuff that monitors artillery shells flying out of cannons can put a dent in your handicap.
The monitor will map the entire ball flight from impact to landing, versus camera-based systems that rely on just a few snapshots.
“I could have the same club-head speed as the next guy, but my ball will travel different. This equipment lets me figure out why.”
Hedden sees the difference a custom set of clubs makes in his clients’ game—not to mention his own. In just two years he improved from an 8 handicap to a 1.7.
“People that have been fit for golf clubs, 99.9 percent of the time they come back and say, ‘Wow, big difference!’ If somebody comes to see me, I never want the clubs to be the reason they’re not playing good golf.” For details, visit www.islandgolfworks.com.