By Tim McDonald,
Have trouble with the flop shot? Feel Golf is making a 73-degree wedge designed by Dr. Feel and Charlie Sorrell. The golf club lets you take your full swing on every shot. It's a little tough to get used to - you may have to swing much harder than with your normal wedge.
Golf club technology has advanced so ridiculously far in the last decade or so that they're now making clubs to take the place of actual skill.
No need to hit difficult shots on the golf course, just buy a club for it.
For instance, I've always had trouble with the flop shot. If I'm 50 yards or less out, with a bunker or water between, and little green to work with, I know there's going to be blood.
First they came out with a 60-degree wedge. Bingo. Fewer golf balls in the water, sand or skulled over the green.
Now, they're making 73-degree wedges. I tested one from Feel Golf, what the company calls the "73 degree satin wedge."
The idea is that you can take a full, normal swing, instead of opening the clubface and your stance, like the pros and low handicappers do. See: No skill involved. Let the club take the place of ability.
Designed by Dr. Feel - as opposed to Dr. Feelgood - and Charlie Sorrell, the company says: "What makes this wedge so easy to use is the fact you take your full swing on every shot and the 73 eliminates the little half swing that causes problems."
It also says distance control is no problem: "The distance is easily controlled , more so than any other loft," Feel Golf says on its Web site. "Distance and the type of shot (three foot (sic) or 50 yards) is controlled simply by means of ball placement ... back if you want some distance out of it ..a. and forward if you really want to get a "Tour player" flop shot and get up and down."
Negative on both counts. You're obviously not going to take the same swing from 10 yards as from 50. That involves skill. And distance is not controlled solely by playing the ball from different places in your stance.
Still, I like the club enormously. I used it on the practice range and on several golf courses. It's like the 60 degree wedge, only more so.
It is a little tough getting used to, in that you may have to swing much harder than with your normal wedge, to get the same distance.
But, after some minor disasters, I was able to get the ball very high, particularly when I played the ball off my left foot, and drop it softly onto the green over various hazards.
The loft is so high, you almost believe that if you play the ball far up in your stance, you could hit it backward, over your head.
It's also good out of the sand, especially hard-packed bunkers, or when you find yourself dead up against the lip and need to get the ball up in a hurry. It's less effective chipping up to an elevated green, even with a good lie. I left every shot from that position short.
The true test came when a playing partner mocked the wedge openly when I pulled it out. He made a few practice swings with it, snickering the whole time.
A few holes later, after he had short-sided himself, he gave me the look. You know the look.
"You want the 73?"
He wasn't even sheepish about it.
What next, the 90 degree?
For more information, visit www.FeelGolf.ca
October 12, 2007
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.