Golf and the foot

Any golf professional will tell you that problems with the feet, even a painful corn or callus, can impede timing and balance to the point where it affects the scorecard at the end of the day.

The torque of a golf swing can strain muscles in the legs, abdomen and back. The fact that the game is usually played on hilly terrain increases these forces, and can lead to injury. However, a full round of golf adds up to a four or five-mile workout that can reduce stress and improve cardiovascular health.

Foot advice for the golfer

If a round of golf is painful on the feet, first assess the quality of your shoes. Any time pain is not adequately resolved with good, stable golf shoes and is present for more than two or three consecutive rounds, it’s time to visit a podiatrist. They can diagnose and treat any problems and help make your feet an asset, not a liability, to your golf game.

Don’t wear anything on your feet that wouldn’t be comfortable if you were taking a good long walk. Make sure shoes fit well in the store before purchasing them. It’s best to shop for them in the afternoon when the feet are slightly swollen. Try on shoes with the same socks you’ll wear on the course. Tie both left and right shoes tightly and walk around your store or pro shop for a few minutes before deciding on a make and model. 

Improper shoes can bring on blisters, neuromas (inflamed nerve endings) and other pains in the feet. Podiatrists see these problems daily and can treat them conservatively to allow for a quick return to the sport.

When injured, participation is no substitute for rehabilitation. Injured body parts must be thoroughly treated and rehabilitated to meet the full demands of golf or any other sport. If you are injured, your return should be gradual. As much as you may want to get back to your game, take it slowly.

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5 top golf tips 
  • Start easy and build up your playing time
  • Stretch especially before the first tee
  • Fit your shoes with the socks you play in
  • Stretch after golf to alleviate stiffness
  • Lift with your legs to save your back especially when lifting your bag and cart