Ask the Gear Doctor

Ask the Gear Doctor

Peos like Sergio Garcia don't mis-hit often, so many chose to play clubs that enhance workability instead of forgiveness.
Robert Beck/SI

Each week in this feature, we’ll tap into the expertise of our exclusive research partner, Hot Stix Golf, to answer reader questions. If you have a question for the Gear Doc, e-mail it to [email protected]. He’ll answer a few lucky readers’ questions every Wednesday on

Gear Doc,
In your recent article you made the statement, 'If you fade or slice the ball, you need a shaft with more torque to help square up the face.' By more torque do you mean a lower number of torque? Thanks, Jeff

Dear Jeff,
No, just the opposite … you want the torque number to be higher. But remember, if you tend to hit a draw you should shy away from shafts with higher torque.

Dear Gear Doctor,
Why do we always hear that pros and better players need a less-forgiving club so they can 'work the ball.' Don’t you work the ball by changing the swing path and face angle? I have heard the 'they are so good they don’t need forgiveness' argument, but from a pure physics standpoint aren’t they missing out? Thanks, Chris Timp

Dear Chris,
Clubs that are more forgiving don’t make it impossible to “work the ball,” they just make it more difficult for someone (like a Tour pro) that doesn’t mis-hit too often. But many touring professional’s are starting taking advantage of drivers, irons and hybrids that make the game easier. It is a personal preference and each player makes his choice based on how he plays.

Dear Doc,
My driver was state of the art about seven years ago, but now it looks like a 3-wood compared to drivers out there today. I am just getting back into golf after a five-year hiatus, and shoot low-90s. I hit my drives about 240-270 yards, mostly a push or slight push-fade. Would a new driver really make a difference? Thanks, Jared Willey

Dear Jared,
You could benefit significantly from the newer driver technology. Golf clubs — and especially drivers — have come a very long way since yours was made. I suggest that you go through a driver fitting, visit a demo day, or at least get to a place where you can hit some drivers on a launch monitor. Find a club that pleases your eyes, and ears, and make sure it optimizes the launch conditions you can produce. Remember, it is not just about finding a driver that goes farther. Your new driver should help your mis-hits go longer and straighter.

Hey Doc,
Which blade putter has the highest moment of inertia? I imagine that no Bullseye or 8813 would have a high MOI. I’m not interested in a mallot or high MOI-style putters, but am looking for a heel-toe weighted model. Thanks, Doug Stein

Dear Doug,
I’m afraid that I can’t answer which one putter in that category has the highest MOI. There are far too many for me to give you a definitive answer on that, but I can help steer you in the right direction.

Moment of inertia (MOI) in putters refers to the putter’s resistance to twisting on off-center hits. So clearly putters that have the new, larger designs where weight has been moved to the outer extremities of the head have an advantage. But if we are just talking about blade putters, then designs which offer some type of heel-toe weighting will give you higher MOI.

If you are someone that misses putts long and short, left and right equally, then you probably do mis-hit a lot of putts and should consider playing something that optimizes your misses.

But keep in mind that just like any other club in your bag, if a putter is not fit properly to you it will cause mis-hits. You want to make sure that it is the proper length, lie angle, that it has the right amount of loft at impact, and the weight allows you to make a co
nsistent stroke on the ball.

I hope this is helpful — even though I didn’t exactly answer your question.

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