Can Orthotics Improve your golf game?
I’m not here to tell you that an orthotic is going to correct your slice, or give you an extra 30 yrds of carry. (If that were the case I’d be over at Augusta right now ensuring Tiger, Rory and Rickies orthotics were in top form the next 4 days.)
What I will tell you though – is that maintaining proper foot mechanics and controlling fatigue with an orthotic can help you feel more comfortable, stable and reduce the risk of injury. You’ll be able to spend more time on the golf course and see your game progress quickly.
Stay Comfortable Walking 18
The average golfer walks 8.5km when playing an 18 hole round! Using an orthotic to ensure that you don’t develop injuries related to overuse is crucial when embarking on an activity that requires this much ambulation.
If you have had previous battles with overuse related injuries such as plantar fasciitis or tendonitis it is important to make sure you control the mechanics that have led to these issues in the past. Walking 8.5km in a day is going to exaggerate poor mechanics and lead to recurrence of previous symptoms.
Protecting the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back with a custom orthotic can keep you comfortable and pain free on the course allowing you to focus on your game.
Proper Golf Shoe Fit
Golf shoe fit is also very important, you wouldn’t knowingly embark on an 8.5km walk in uncomfortable footwear so why do it when you golf? Golf shoes tend to fit quite narrow and ensuring that a good fit is achieved will help to reduce pain due to nerve impingement. Do your toes go numb in your golf shoes? This is probably due to the shape and fit of your shoe.
Narrow footwear can cause nerve related issues that can lead to severe pain, numbness and even permanent damage to the nerves in your feet.
Seeing a Pedorthist to help select a more appropriate shoe and to discuss the use of orthotics with specific modifications to eliminate nerve related pain is crucial to achieving success and longevity in the sport of golf.
Golf Performance and Orthotics
So here is the part you’ve all been waiting for – as a golfer we all want the quick fix. I can’t offer you that but what we can do is ensure that we eliminate your foot mechanics as a contributing factor to any loss of power. Basically we want to set you up with the most optimal base to work from. The rest is on you!
A comprehensive assessment of your foot type will determine the style of orthotic best fit for your foot and swing, however the basic principles will apply across the entire demographic. We want to improve stability and increase ground reaction forces.
This is done using a full contact orthotic. When we increase the surface area of the bottom of the foot that is in contact with the ground we do two things.
- We improve stability. A full contact orthotic gives more feedback to brain about where in space your foot is at any given time in your swing. This will make you more balanced through the phases of your swing.
- We increase ground reaction forces. An orthotic can reduce the amount of power lost to hypermobility in the foot. Think of it this way – if I push into the ground with my foot I want the ground to push back! If my foot has to flatten out and pronate before achieving the push back from the ground this can result in a significant loss of power.