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Golf and Your Feet

Do you want to hit the ball longer and straighter?

So are you looking to improve your golf game? Like with most problems it is best to start from the bottom up. Having good footwork directly correlates with more power for swings which can drop your handicap. According to Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers of all time, “All timing, distance and direction comes from the lower body with the feet leading the way.”

How your feet can improve your golf game

When golfers swing they push against the ground with their feet to create leverage. This releases built up energy through the clubhead in to the ball, providing a force enabling them to transfer body weight accordingly. Recent biomechanical studies show a significant difference in the way amateurs and professionals maximize this force, with 125% of body weight being used for professionals and only 65% used for amateurs.

Ground Reaction Force (GRF) and why it’s important!

To make sense of why this matters it needs to be realized that GRF plays a significant role in swing power. For maximum power creation in the golf swing, with minimal negative stress on the body, the ground must be the first link in the kinetic chain of energy transfer. GRF is then transferred up the kinetic chain, first through the feet, then legs, into the pelvis, into the golfer’s core, shoulder complex, arms, and, finally, the golf club and ball. Transferring energy up the kinetic chain from the ground to the ball with the most efficiency, this is what allows us to create the most power (club head speed) your body will allow.

Improving your game with Orthotics

Since feet are so important there are ways to aid them with golf shoes and orthotics. Golf shoes need to keep your feet comfortable and safe during play, but also aid your balance and stability enabling you to swing with traction.

Unfortunately, golf shoes have seen many changes in aesthetics but not functionality. A biomechanical study on golf swings offered several necessities for shoes to improve swings, including a raised heel to aid in weight shift and separate designs for the right and left shoe because of their different uses.

Benefits of Custom Made Orthotics

Orthotics can be purchased prefabricated or custom made. Many people already use them in their shoe daily for comfort and extra support. You would think that you could just transfer these over from your daily footwear in to your golf shoes. Custom orthotics are more beneficial, as they properly-fitted orthotics that will realign the feet, allow micro-tears in ligaments, overused muscles, and other injuries to rest and heal more quickly. Please ensure you make an appointment with one of our podiatrist about golf orthotics, these are prescribed specifically for the biomechanics of golf.

Orthotics and the studies behind them

Several studies have indicated that the use of orthotics can benefit golfers by reducing the effects of fatigue and improving performance whilst also having a positive impact on golf swing, balance, and shot accuracy. There is a large price difference, but the biomechanics of walking and golfing are two different things. Orthotics made for golf will help better with weight distribution instead as well as protecting and providing comfort.

In Conclusion

Your feet could prove to be more important to your swing more than you thought! Understanding the relationship between swing and power is an easy way to separate yourself from the amateurs as well as taking advantage of footwear and accessories made to enhance and protect your feet. Help your feet to help you improve your golf game!

Improve your golf performance and reduce risk of injury. Find out more about our sports podiatry services today.

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