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
If you have foot and ankle pain, heel pain, or arthritis, there is hope.
Does foot pain stop you enjoying life?
Do you get aching pain after resting, or sharp pain in your feet when walking on them?
Have you had to give up what you enjoy because of pain?
At Posture Podiatry we have seen thousands of people who are frustrated because foot and ankle pain is holding them back from life.
Do you have any of the following conditions?
- Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis
- Sharp pain in your forefoot (Neuroma/Metatarsalgia)
- Hammer Toes
- Aching arches
If you are suffering from any of these problems you need to know that there is help available.
Pain medication could be making things worse
Pain is the warning sign telling you to stop.
Some pain medication lets you keep going, but pills don’t fix the real problem.
In fact, if you keep taking pills you could be more likely to do things that cause more damage.
Foot and Ankle pain is not just “Old Age”
If that was true, then every part of your body would be painful… because everything in your body is the same age!
Pain is normal, but pain that doesn’t go away is not normal.
Finding the problem and fixing it has to be the top priority.Pain is the warning sign telling you to take a break. Click To Tweet
You don’t have to wear ugly shoes or bulky insoles to fix foot pain.
You must find the true cause of your pain to be able to treat it effectively.
The good news is there is a solution.
Your body has a remarkable ability to heal itself; it sometimes just needs a little help.
Here are 4 things you can do for yourself.
- Massage: You can condition your muscles by massaging the painful area
- Simply rub the area, kneading the tight muscles.
- Roll your foot over a tennis ball or golf ball
- Remember that your pain may be referred from other areas, so massage all over
- Mobilise: You need to mobilise tight joints to promote better movement.
- Write the ABC’s in the air with your toes, moving only your feet and ankles
- Gently move tight joints through their full range
- Stretch: Increase your range of movement
- Calf stretches or Plantar fascia stretches can help release tension as well
- Strengthen: Improve your ability to cope with demands of daily life
- Simply walking on soft sand, or picking up a towel with your toes can help to build strength in your feet
Here’s how we can help:
Posture Podiatry is a podiatry clinic located in Kent Town, just outside of the city of Adelaide, South Australia.
Our podiatrists use a 3-Step system for uncovering the true cause of pain, without drugs or surgery.
How many people feel they could perform better, achieve their goals and enjoy life without pain holding them back?
- We take a complete history, and take the time to really listen to your concerns.
- Our Podiatrists complete a full assessment, and explain the situation so you have a complete understanding.
- You are treated as a real person, and we tailor a plan for you.
Posture Podiatry is an award-winning, Accredited clinic with convenient parking, experienced podiatrists and on-time appointments.
Healthy, Happy Feet
There’s one foot exercise you can do that can really help to reveal problems with your feet. Many people will neglect their feet. But in general, athletes, sports enthusiasts and active people everywhere understand the importance of well-functioning feet. Some, because a simple foot injury sidelined them in the past, and others because they recognise the benefits of good foot exercises for better performance.
Consisting of one quarter of the bones in your body, your feet are an engineering marvel designed to withstand huge forces, which for an athlete on the track can be up to a staggering 30 times your bodyweight. Just let that sink in for a moment – you times 30. Yep, the feet deserve some attention.Your feet are designed to be able to withstand up to 30 times your body weight! Click To Tweet
There are 20 muscles inside each foot, and another 20 muscles that act on each foot from the lower leg. These muscles need to be work together in synergy to enable you to perform at your best.
Problems arise when one muscle is being over or underused leading to imbalance, compensation and loss of efficiency.
That’s why at Posture Podiatry we’re big on helping athlete’s feet to function well by themselves. And there’s one exercise that can determine whether your feet are fit for competition or not…
One Simple Foot Exercise
The exercise is so simple, you can even do it right now while reading this.
- While seated, stretch one leg out in front of you and make a big, slow circles with your foot – moving only your foot and ankle. Now, the temptation is to rush this, but it’s really important to make SLOW deliberate circles with your foot (it should take more than 10 seconds to complete one revolution).
- The key is to be able to balance your muscle action to be able to complete a full circle smoothly and deliberately. Take note of any small jolts, pauses and twitches as you move your foot in a circle.
Just make a full, slow circle with your feet. Any interruption to smooth circle movements could mean you have a problem with muscles working together, and that could mean problems down the track.
Practice this until the slow circles are smooth and consistent, and you’ll be training your muscles to communicate better with each other. Repeat before and after your training sessions to ensure they’re still working well together.Not being able to make slow circles with your feet can reveal bigger foot problems Click To Tweet
Revealing Other Foot Problems
If you’re having problems doing this foot exercise, or if you find it hard to make smooth circular movements it could be an indicator of a bigger problem, and that’s why this exercise is so important. From the perspective of a sports podiatrist, it’s exercises like these that help to identify the best treatment approach to address the true cause of your foot problem.
If you’re having trouble getting the movements right, book an appointment to see a podiatrist who uses foot mobilisation and manual therapy in their approach to improving foot function and mobility.