Ask the Gear Doctor

Ask the Gear Doctor

Your sand wedge's bounce can help you escape bunkers, but that bounce becomes a hindrance in the fairway.
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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

Dear Gear Doctor,
The sand on my home course is pretty light, so I prefer to use a wedge that has a good amount of bounce. It’s a 58° sand wedge with 12° of bounce. But in the fairway I often feel like the club skips off firm ground or tie lies. What’s the best solution to this problem? — Steve, East Hampton, N.Y.

Dear Steve,
This is a common question amongst golfers of all abilities. It is great that you have a club that you feel comfortable with out of the sand, and for soft sand conditions you will have an easier time if you stick with wedges with more bounce. However, if you are playing shots off of tight lies in the fairways or around the greens you will find it easier if you use a wedge with less bounce. I would suggest you look at changing one of your wedges to a lower bounce (4-8°) and keeping your other wedge at a higher bounce for the sand and deeper rough.

Hey Doc,
So many putters on the market today talk about having high MOI. I know that means ‘Moment of Inertia’ but isn’t that more important on your driver?— Kyle, Ft. Myers, Fla.

Dear Kyle,
In the most simple of terms MOI is a clubs resistance to twisting on off-center hits. So whether it is with a driver or a putter it helps produce straighter shots. To answer your question directly…it depends on which portion of the game presents bigger problems for you, driving or putting.

Dear Gear Man,
I heard some guys at my club talking about the ‘kick point’ of the driver shaft. What is that? — Howard, Evanston, Ill.

Dear Howard,
“Kick point” is a term used to describe the point at which a shaft bends most sharply during the swing. Shafts are often referred to as having a “High” kick point (which would produce a lower ball flight), or having a “Low” kick point (producing a higher ball flight). The reality is there is no one “kick point” in a shaft. The shaft is designed with a profile that will help a player raise or lower ball flight and that profile, when measure, is more like a curve than a point.

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