By Kevin Gaydosh, Photos Courtesy of Lovett Golf Company
NAPLES, FL -- What’s the old saying: “Love is patient. Love is kind. ….” Like so many other things involving that four-letter word, this club takes a little work to make it a happy relationship. But things do work out in the end.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle in using the Lovett Wedge (Tour Standard 59° loft/64° lie) is what baggage the user brings to the equation. At least that was the trouble this reviewer encountered. That is to say it’s crucial that you “unlearn” –- or at least, suspend –- most of what you’ve been taught about hitting a traditional wedge. Wield it with only cursory practice (as your reviewer did) and you may be disappointed with the Lovett (as was your reviewer initially).
For those of us who have invested many years, money for lessons, lost balls, and mental anguish into hitting the typical golf wedge, I found it challenging to set aside both those good and bad habits that I had learned and approach the shot from a new perspective. But I’m here to tell you that it can be done. Eventually.
The trick of using this club is using a normal golf swing when your entire being is telling you to open the clubface, play the ball back in your stance, etc. The short and informative video (featuring Steve Bosdosh, a Golf Magazine Top 100 teacher) comes with the club is helpful. I recommend watching it at least twice, probably before and between visits to your practice facility or back yard.
When you’re standing in a bunker, it takes self control to do as the instructions suggest: “… choke down on the club, keep the ball in center of the stance, with no tension in arms, chest or hands, swing down and through then turn in the direction of the target and complete the swing.”
The Man and Company behind the Club
Lovett Golf Company's stated goal is to offer golf products “which make the game easier and more fun, through increased confidence and appreciation of the game.” This is a direct extension of the philosophy of the company founder and club inventor, Bill Lovett, DDS.
The good doctor (a lifelong player, tournament winning amateur, Auburn golf team captain) is a practicing dentist in Florida. When not peering into someone’s mouth, he is looking into the game, which is his true passion. The wedge he developed came from years of watching his playing partners and friends hack, scuff, dribble and skull golf balls all over the Southeast.
The company’s flagship wedge was designed to eliminate the most common mistakes made with traditional wedges. That’s why I think this club might be best for new players or for the hopelessly challenged wedge-striker. Because if you can be proficient in only one swing, let it be the basic swing. Using that swing and this club, high handicappers will enjoy the game more and most likely shave off some strokes.
Better golfers might welcome having the Lovett as an option for those occasional lies that haunt your round -- the pancake or below-the-lip bunker shot or hopelessly tangled and thick rough shots.
I have mixed emotions about abandoning the “traditional wedge or chip” stroke. Much like learning to do the math manually verses relying on a calculator, purists out there will probably not want to concede this part of the game. But we all remember the early grousing about metal woods, don’t we?
The Mechanics of the Lovett
Lovett’s product brochure states that in the 70 years since the sand wedge was invented technology of other golf equipment has advanced but the basic design of the lowly sand wedge has remained. Enter, the Lovett wedge.
Because of the club’s intriguing design, it’s not meant to be used as your typical wedge. And you have to keep telling yourself that, which at times can be easier said than done.
SHAPE: To reduce drag and prevent the vagaries of opening or closing the clubface on impact, the Lovett’s leading edge is curved ahead of the hosel. This “face progression” basically means that the leading edge is extended beyond the centerline of hosel, which improves the hitting characteristics of the club. The curved leading edge acts like a boat’s hull, slicing trough water.
SOLE RADIUS: The club head was created to allow only the center of the sole to make contact with the ground or sand. This quality allows the club to travel through the shot after impact, thus avoiding the need to open the clubface.
WEIGHT: Unlike traditional wedges, with weight located at the bottom or near the leading edge of the blade, the Lovett’s weight is in the top center of the face. This high center of gravity –- the club’s mass –- at back of the sole helps drive and guide the club. It should also cause the ball to roll up the face for improved loft and backspin, but this takes some practice like a normal wedge.
Recently on the 18th hole at Pinehurst #4, I used the Lovett to extricate myself from a waste bunker. An 80-yard “let-me-see-how-I-can-hit-this” shot was clean and high, placed me nicely 8 feet from the pin (really). It even sounded nice. However a few earlier shots, not executed as instructed, left me feeling that I could have done better using my regular pitching wedge. Only after two more driving range visits did I have the confidence and the feel to try the Lovett under game conditions. I can report much improved results and confidence.
At my neighborhood driving range, the curious around me asked for the chance to test-drive the club -- I obliged and provided a bit of background and the basics. In a real life case of “do as I say, not as I do” we observed this theory in practice: the more experienced golfers had the most difficulty upon first use, while the novices took to it rather quickly.
As stated earlier, for the golfer who has repeated difficulty scoring for want of a wedge shot, this club might be for you. It’s designed to save you strokes (and embarrassment) from those bad lies from the bunker, out of the rough and over trees and water.
If you are patient, if you are kind, you may very well fall in love with this little number, at least as a special “utility” club designed to get you out of the nastiest of lies.
Lovett Golf Company
Phone: (239) 403-4452
To order, shop online (www.lovettgolf.com) or customer service department Monday - Friday toll free (866) 323-8900
Product related questions, comments are welcomed, CustomerService@lovettgolf.com
To request a brochure visit the Web site or contact customer service.
Suggested Retail Price: $100 (Steel Shaft); $120 (Graphite)
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