I took the Foot-Wedge to my local range to put it through its paces, and found that it is indeed functional, despite its whimsical appearance. In essence, if not in detail, the club is identical to other chippers—lofted putter-like clubs that used to be much more common in the bags of good players.
These clubs allow players who are not comfortable with wedges in tight or otherwise unsavory lies close to the green to get the ball airborne using a putting stroke.
Examples of the types of situations in which chippers are most useful are hardpan or packed sand close to the green, high rough just off the green, or behind a sprinkler head, rock, ditch, or small creek, and you just don’t trust yourself to make a tour-quality shot with a lob wedge.
Actually, the ideal use for this club would be the old stymie play, when, back in the days before players were allowed to mark their balls on the green, you found yourself directly behind another player’s ball, and you had to hop over it.
Just to make sure that Dan Pohl, who appears on the Foot-Wedge tag, was telling the truth about the club’s usefulness, I showed it to a Big Ten golf team coach, who also took a few swings with it. He not only thought it would be worth putting in your bag for a few laughs on the course, but he also agreed that the club actually works.
A few design weaknesses require that you make some minor adjustments if you really want to use the Foot-Wedge, however. First, the 65-degree shaft mounting makes for a very upright address position. Second, the shaft feels a bit long for what is basically a putter/chipper. Third, since you want to keep your hands well in front of the ball with these sorts of shots, you need to get used to addressing the ball with the club tilted well onto its “arch.”
Finally, the most important piece of advice in using the Foot-Wedge is not to hit the ball on the toe or heel, because on this club, there really are toes and a heel, and the rounded edges of these anatomical features will send the ball God knows where.
If the Foot-Wedge sounds like the ideal gift—gag or otherwise—for someone you know, you can order one by calling 1-888-966-3668 (second club for $39.95), or you can check out www.foot-wedge.com.