So, you’ve bought yourself a golf bag and buggy, clubs, plenty of balls for the water hazards, golf shoes and even decided to have a few lessons to prevent that horrible slice into the trees.
However, even after several lessons your game is still not right. You know there is something else going on, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
It may come as no surprise, but you may have a positioning problem with your feet.
Your friends may have already mentioned this to you. They’ve said you’re standing too close to the ball or too far away, but this is not what I mean by foot positioning.
All golfers know the position of your feet will have an effect on your swing, which in turn will affect how the clubhead contacts the ball, resulting in your ball sailing straight down the fairway, commanding cheers from your golfing friends, or into the trees to your left or right, followed by a few laughs and someone yelling, ‘nice shot’.
Firstly, there are 3 basic foot types. Normal, Excessively Pronated (rolls inwards) and Excessively Supinated (rolls outwards).
Next, as you swing to hit the ball your body weight is transferred from the rear foot onto the front foot. So, if you’re right-handed, your body weight will transfer from the right foot to the left foot.
Therefore, if your feet tend to roll inwards or outwards too much, this in turn is going to affect your golf swing, and it can be a common cause of hooking or slicing the ball.
A podiatrist can evaluate your foot and lower limb biomechanics and determine if an underlying foot abnormality exists.
Treatment may involve simple stretching and strengthening, however, if a foot problem is identified, you may require an orthotic device or arch support for your feet to control abnormal movement, while allowing normal movement to occur.
If an underlying foot problem does exist, not only can it affect your golf swing, but it may also cause other symptoms in your hips, lowers back and neck, especially if you are doing a lot of walking on the golf course or forced to stand for prolonged periods at work.
Golf should be an enjoyable activity and yes, it can also be frustrating if you’re not playing well, but it should never be painful.
If you find you have sore feet, legs, and upper body after playing a round of golf, first assess the quality of your shoes. Make sure they are not excessively worn in any one area.
If they are old, replace them, but if that does not resolve your discomfort, it’s time to visit a podiatrist.
A podiatrist can help make your feet an asset, not a liability to your golf game, because let’s be honest, you may have enough liabilities when you play as it is, so one less liability has to be an improvement.