The Importance of the Feet for Those Playing Golf
Posted: Sep 06, 2021
The feet play a crucial role in golf. We need them to get around on to cover the 18 holes and we need them to be a stable base during the golf swing. Any problems with the feet are going to make those 18 holes a lot harder and make the golf swing to hit the ball a lot harder. Golf can play an important role in maintaining both physical fitness and mental health, but if the feet are not up to the loads, then it is going to be harder to get those benefits. In addition to walking around the 18 holes of the golf course, those that play golf are also carrying around a bag of golf clubs which adds to the load that are placed on the feet.
The priority is getting the right golf shoes to use. The shoes must fit properly in both width and length. They also must be comfortable. There are many different brands of golf shoes, and it is probably important that golfers try on several different pairs of golf shoe to find which ones suit their foot type best. Each different brand will have different design characteristics. Some recent versions of gold shoes are modelling themselves on all the research that has gone into running shoes and they may be worth giving them a go.
There has been research done on the feet and golf swing and it is clear of their importance. One study even showed that the golf club moves faster in those wearing foot orthotics, presumably because the foot orthotic lead to a more stable base. While this research has been somewhat controversial, foot orthotics can be important in those who play golf. Podiatrists often use them for a wide range of foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and pain in the big toe joint. They also can be very useful for the fatigue that can happen in the feet and lower limb that can occur from walking around the golf course.
A whole range of foot problems can be a problem in golf. Things like bunions can become painful due to a tighter fitting golf shoe and walking the distances that are walked during a round of golf. As a lot of golfers tend to be a bit older, then issues like osteoarthritis in the feet can become a problem. Foot orthotics and good supportive footwear is often used to help that. If the arthritis is in the knee or other joints, then a good supportive shoe can still help to provide a stable base to walk around on. In the worse cases, a motorised golf cart might have to be used.
If you do play golf and have problems with your feet, then it may be a good idea to see a podiatrist. They are the experts on foot problems and a number of them probably also play golf so will have a good understanding of the issues that those who play golf can have and how best to deal with them.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.