What Is the 'Foot Wedge' In Golf?

Golfer taps golf ball into the hole using his foot wedge
The foot wedge in action, toeing the ball into the hole. Serge Kozak/Corbis/Getty Images

What is the "foot wedge" in golf? It's a "club" all golfers possess, but those who take the rules seriously never, ever use. The foot wedge is what a golfer uses when he kicks his golf ball out of trouble, or nudges it into a better position for the next stroke.

The golf slang term "foot wedge" is part of a family of similar terms that includes mouth wedge (used by golfers who talk a better game than they play) and hand wedge (picking up the ball and tossing it or placing it somewhere better).

Who Uses a Foot Wedge?

Cheaters, that's who! OK, let's walk that back a little: Many recreational golfers (e.g., groups of buddies who play together in a casual setting) are, shall we say, loose with the Rules of Golf. And there's nothing wrong with that, so long as all the members of group are aware and OK with it. The object of the game is to have fun, after all.

But if you're playing in a tournament setting, if you are playing a round of golf you'll post for handicap purposes, you must observe the rules. If you are claiming you are playing by the rules, you must observe the rules. If your group of golfers is wagering or competing and the other members expect you to play by the rules, then you better do it.

In those settings, using the foot wedge is a very bad idea. You don't want to ruin your reputation with your friends or competitors.

If, on the other hand, you're just out having fun and nobody in your group is trying to enforce the rules, then it's not uncommon for a little "bumping" (improving of one's lie) to go on.

Where the Foot Wedge Is Most Likely to Be Used

Golfers who use the foot wedge are most likely to wield this against-the-rules weapon when, for example, their ball is behind a tree. Hey, kick it out from behind there! (Do you feel guilty doing so? Are you looking around to make sure nobody catches you doing it?

Then don't do it!)

Nudging the ball with one's foot to get it out of a fairway divot, or to get it onto a better piece of grass, are other common uses of the foot wedge.

Another Place You'll Find Foot Wedges

In the gag gift department of golf pro shops or online retailers. Some golfers love gag gifts, other golfers groan when they see one. And there are some enterprising companies out there that have marketed physical "foot wedges" to golfers. We've seen one that actually looks like a real wedge clubhead, but that attaches to the tip of a golf shoe. Har har. Another is a real club, but the wedge head has five human toes shaped onto the "toe" of the club. Har har har.

If you're interested in such things, you can see what's available on Amazon.