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Handicap Index

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  1. I wanted to start a(nother) discussion about what I strongly feel are the best footwear options, the industry's ongoing trend of building up the heels and adding "cushioning" everywhere, all in the false name of comfort. When you buy a shoe with a bunch of padding, it will feel good at first, but it will cause issues over time. Our bodies are incredible machines, and we've evolved to do some things really, really well. This includes walking upright: our feet are mechanical marvels in what they are built to support and how they're built to work. Cramming your feet into narrow, inflexible, "supportive" shoes with lots of cushioning and a high heel drop is working against the way our bodies work. They're like putting a cast on your foot - your muscles atrophy and your feet stop working the way they were designed to work. I've always been a barefoot guy. I go barefoot 99% of the time I'm at home. When I go outside around my house I'll wear some flip flops or something with minimal padding. I'll get the mail barefooted, etc. At Golf Evolution, particularly when I have to leave my shoes by the door to let the snow melt off of them, I'll often walk around in my socks, and sometimes two hours go by before I notice and go get my shoes. There's a good interview here that you should read: http://truelinkswear.com/blog/barefootwear-an-interview-with-nick-at-the-foot-collective/. And here is a good article, too: http://www.thefootcollective.com/barefoot/. My feet don’t hurt so why should I switch? Most people with dysfunctional feet have zero foot pain…….Yet. If the arch of your foot has flattened out you can guarantee that after enough time on your feet they will start to hurt. Why? Because the arch of the foot is the key to a stable foot and indicates that the intrinsic foot muscles are working to create stability and protect the fascia from being over-tensioned. The more time you spend in supportive, stiff footwear the more likely you become to start getting foot pain. Just like it wouldn’t be very smart to wait until your car starts falling apart to fix it, waiting until your feet start being painful is a poor way of treating your body. Fix the issue before it becomes a problem by learning about your feet, working on foot strength and mobility, spending more time barefoot and making the transition to barefoot footwear. I pretty much agree. An X-Ray of someone in golf shoes - or even a lot of sneakers or dress shoes that we wear day to day in offices, etc. - would look pretty similar: We walk a lot in playing golf. Even in a cart, my Apple Watch will show thousands of steps in a round of golf. More if it's cart path only. Even more if you walk, of course. We can walk up to seven or eight miles in a round of golf. Easily. We, more than most people, should care more about the health of our feet and ankles. Q. How can shoes be designed to better accommodate the human foot? "I believe most shoe companies aren’t focused at all on foot health. They are primarily marketing and technology companies who happen to make shoes. In general a shoe should provide minimal support so that the foot can feel the ground underneath it. The shoe should be zero drop and it should have a wide toe box to allow the toes to move naturally. Advances in materials science will allow companies to start making thinner and more durable shoes that support healthy foot function." Q. What are a few exercises that people can do to start to regain natural foot function? "There are 3 videos on the TFC website that can help to reset and regain natural foot function. The videos focus on: Foot mobility work, hip mobility work and upper glute release." (Check them out here: https://tfc-shop.com/pages/videos) "Additionally, spending more time walking around the house barefoot and trying to balance barefoot on one leg with your eyes closed can be extremely helpful." Here is one of the videos: Here's another video on toe spreaders, which you could probably make for yourself, or at least something similar (maybe not for sleeping, though): Transitioning to Minimalist Style Shoes I have heard from a few people who, when they first switch to minimalist shoes (like TRUE Linkswear ), will complain that their arches are sore, or their feet or ankles are a little sore. That's because they have to build up a little strength in their feet. All the years they've been wearing highly structured shoes with a lot of support in the arch especially have weakened and atrophied their muscles. Q. Is there any other helpful information about how minimalist footwear can effect your golf game or swing? In addition to the general health benefits described above, foot and ankle health should help you perform better on and off the course. Healthy feet prevent injuries, allow you to function with less pain and increase your movement efficiency. Shoes that allow you to feel more of the ground allow for more integration throughout the lower body, engaging the hips, and creating more rotational torque. The Point? I just wanted to start (again) a conversation about the footwear that y'all tend to wear, and increase a little awareness. If you're wearing small toe-box shoes with heel drop (a heel that's higher than the toe box), lots of arch support and sole cushioning, and that's heavier and/or not very flexible… you could probably do yourself a favor by spending a little time investigating this stuff. I was going to update this topic, but I wanted to start a new one to call a little more attention to the topic. I encourage you to read at least the first page or two of this topic, though:
  2. QUESTION: How far from the ball should your feet be during a the golf swing? Obviously, your entire body needs to be in alignment. Is there a general rule of thumb as to how far away from the ball your feet should be planted? Any and all advice is welcome!
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