Many avid golfers claim that the key to a great game is in the clubs. Others insist it’s all about the swing. But can the right shoes make or break your game?
Most golf courses require players to wear proper golf shoes while on the green. Some clubs, on the other hand, allow golfers to wear other appropriate types of footwear. A surprising number of golfers choose to make the investment in specialized golf shoes, even though their particular golf course doesn’t enforce it as a rule. Shoes designed specifically for golfers benefit both the athletes and the golf courses.
There is more to a pair of golf shoes than just making a fashionable accessory on the links. Properly designed and fitted golf shoes can help golfers to keep their feet planted, allowing them to take full advantage of their leg strength while swinging. Golf shoes can also help to prevent slips and falls on the course.
Greenskeepers find golf shoes to be both blessings and nightmares. Smart golfers know that cleats or spikes are detrimental to the condition of the green, and choose to wear shoes with subtle “suction cup” treads. Golf shoes that have spiked soles can create havoc on the green, and make more work for the greenskeeper. Traditional spiked shoes have proven to maul both the fairways and the greens. Even newer golf shoes that feature detachable plastic studs offer little relief. These shoes may not hack up the green like their spiked counterparts, but they will leave imprints. As a result, the green’s surface is left bumpy and rough. The damage can affect the precision of your putt and the potential of your score.
If you already own golf shoes that have optional studs, a good solution is to wear those shoes without having the studs in place. If you are golfing on a dry, sunny day, your chances of slipping and falling on the green are fairly slim. If the weather is rainy and the green is wet, and you’re more comfortable with the studs in place, then go ahead and leave them be. Unless otherwise posted, the decision is ultimately yours.
Studded or spiked golf shoes may benefit the way that you play, but the damage they cause can shave points off of your average. If you’re not sure what your best option may be, ask at your local golf specialty store or visit the pro shop at your golf course.