Can Podiatry Help My Golf Swing?
Golfers of all ages and levels have one thing in common – they want to play better golf by hitting the ball further and more consistently.
And like many sports, golfers need to be able to move freely to play well.
After all, it only takes one small change to have a big effect on the result.
So, can podiatry help with a golf swing? We think so, and here’s how.
Six Steps to Better Golf
As podiatrists we believe that healthy feet will absorb shock, adapt to the terrain, generate power, and keep you stable.
Step 1: Good Shoes
A golfer will walk on average 8.5km in a standard round. Choose shoes that have enough room for your toes, hold your heels securely, and have sufficient grip to allow you to climb in and out of the bunker, or help look for a lost ball – it only takes one slip and you could be out for weeks. Replace worn spikes regularly so you have a level base.
Step 2: Warm Up
Before you take to the first tee, gently stretch the calf muscles on the back of your legs, and mobilise your ankles by writing the alphabet in the air with your feet. Podiatrists with a special interest in golf can tailor a proper warm up and stretching regime for you.
Step 3: Ground Yourself
In your stance, place your back foot perpendicular to the target, front foot slightly flared towards the target so you can get the rotation you need on your follow through without overloading your leading ankle.
Step 4: Generate Power
Without a stable base you won’t rotate effectively through the rest of your body to generate enough power for your stroke. You can strengthen your feet by walking on soft sand for 10 minutes, or picking up a towel with your toes 10 times each day.
Step 5: Walk Happy
Custom made Orthotics for Golf shoes help to spread the load on your feet, and give you better grounding for a better swing. You may be surprised how much better you feel on the back nine!
Step 6: Recover Well
Make sure your muscles are supple and strong, your joints are mobile and your movement is flexible. Massage your feet by rolling the your feet over a golf ball to loosen the tension under your feet at the end of the round.
Foot Exercises for Golfers
One quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet.
Healthy feet will allow you to absorb shock, adapt to the terrain, generate power, and keep stable.
It’s important to look after them!
Healthy feet will allow you to absorb shock, adapt to the terrain, generate power, and keep you stable through your golf swing. Click To Tweet
Here are some simple exercises you should include in your warm up routine.
Foot Exercise 1: Ankle Circles
With your legs straight in front of you, turn your feet slowly in circles without letting them jolt, shudder, pause or change direction. You have 13 muscles that act around the ankle joint, if they can’t all communicate effectively while you’re in such a controlled environment, they won’t help when you’re swinging a golf club!
Foot Exercise 2: Golf Ball Foot Massage
Before you put your shoes on, roll your foot up and down and side to side on a golf ball. This will help to loosen the small muscles and tendons in your feet, and prepare them for work. Plus, it feels really good!
Foot Exercise 3: Calf Stretches
Stretch the calf muscles on the back of your lower leg to give you freedom of movement through your ankles. Do this by standing with both feet on the edge of a step, and dropping one heel down until you feel a gentle stretch along the calf muscle.
These are simple exercises that can have a big impact on your golf.
Foot Care Tips for Golf
Feet are often forgotten about, until there’s a foot problem.
Currently 1 in 5 Australians are experiencing foot pain, and podiatrists are the experts dedicated to helping people with foot pain.
There are some simple things you can do to take care of your feet for golf.
1. Cut Your Toenails
There’s nothing worse than an ingrown toenail, or sharp corner that irritates the toe next to it.
Cut your toenails straight across, and file the corners with a nail file
2. Wear Good Socks
Socks that have natural fibres that wick moisture away from your skin will help keep the skin fresh, and reduce the likelihood of blisters.
Most socks are only good for 20 washes, so replace them often.
3. Choose Good Golf Shoes
Choose shoes that have enough room for your toes, don’t allow your heels to slip out.
Make sure they have enough grip to allow you to help look for your partner’s ball (because with all of these tips you’re not the one losing the ball anymore!) – One slip and you could be out for weeks.
Shop for golf shoes at the at the end of a round. If they’re comfortable after a long day on the course, they’ll be your new favourites.
Don’t just get the next model up – have your feet fitted properly. Three out of four people have one foot larger than the other, so make sure you try both shoes on in store
4. Lift With Your Legs
Don’t strain your back lifting your clubs out of the car.
Use good posture, bend your knees and stay safe!
Is the Walk Ruining Your Golf?
The podiatrists at Posture Podiatry are mad about golf, and love helping golfers make the most of their game.
You can click here to make an appointment with one of our friendly team.
With podiatry treatment for golfers of all levels, you can:
- Hit the ball further
- Reduce your risk of injuries
- Have more energy at the end of the round