As Tiger Woods knows, body alignment is imperative in order to finish your game pain free. Alignment begins with the setup and ends with a fully twisted body motion. The “Kinetic Chain” starts at your feet and extends all the way up to your neck. Any interference within the kinetic chain will cause a “jolt.” This will most likely result in pain or injury due to the repetitive motion requirement of the game (not to mention interfering with a needed smooth swing).
The Biomechanics of a Golf Swing
While golfing, your left and right foot are going to have opposite motions during the swing. One foot will extremely supinate (high arch) while the other will pronate (low arch). The problem is too much of either, due to imbalances in your feet, will inhibit your game. For example, if one foot is too pronated, this will cause it to be unstable and affect the body posture and length of your leg.
The left foot (if you swing right handed) is going to pronate on the back swing, then re-supinate through the end of your swing. During this motion, it is imperative for the big toe joint to be able to keep on the ground. Otherwise, you will have a falling feeling at the end of your swing. If the left foot is a flat pronated foot, the swing will cause your foot to lift your body up too much as it is re-supinating. In both cases, it will interfere with a great shot.
The right foot (again, if you swing right handed) is going to supinate on the back swing, and then pronate during the rest of the swing. If the right foot starts in a too pronated position, then it will cause your right side to lift on the back swing and then shorten or drop too much on the forward swing. This will cause excess strain on the feet up to the back. It also will prevent a stable foot from pushing off the ground and thus, you lose energy to the ground instead of it going into the ball.
Benefits of Golf Orthotics
Foot orthotics, ideally designed, will stabilize your feet from the start of a swing and allow the normal supinated/pronated motions during the swing to the end of it. A smooth, strong swing with all energy leading to the ball and no energy lost to abnormal body motions is the goal.
Foot orthotics can often help people improve their golf game. Now the putt is up to you?!?!?
David J. Sables, D.P.M., C. Ped