By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: June 2011
Certified Pedorthist John Chatzigiannidis of Feet Unlimited agrees with the great Jack Nicklaus, who said, “Lively feet are critical to a successful golf game.”
John Chatzigiannidis is a certified pedorthist and owner of Feet Unlimited, Inc. “Unfortunately,” says John, “painful feet are common within the golfing community. And I agree with golf great Jack Nicklaus, who said, ‘Lively feet are critical to a successful golf game.’”
Biomechanically stable feet is the first prerequisite for achieving your goal of healthy feet. During an ordinary golf swing, your weight is placed lightly on the balls of your feet, balanced between your front and rear foot. During the swing, there is a slight shift to the back foot, then back to the front foot. These are the movements that happen below your knees each time you swing a golf club.
The legendary Jack Nicklaus said, “All timing, distance, and direction come out of the lower body with the feet leading the way.” If you’ve ever tried to play golf with even a painful corn or callus, you know how it can impact your timing and balance, and even negatively reflect on your scorecard.
John says that many of his Feet Unlimited patients regularly play golf. In addition to just enjoying the game, golfing provides the benefit of getting in a four to five mile workout that can reduce stress and improve cardiovascular health.
Although once driven by fashion like wing-tip oxfords with spikes, today’s scientific golf shoes are constructed using basic principles of athletic footwear and some important, basic biomechanical principles of the game. Some golf shoes also utilize advanced technological innovations to keep them light and to add strength. You should never wear uncomfortable shoes when you golf, relax or work. You want to make sure any shoe you purchase fits well before you buy. When shopping for golf shoes, always try on both shoes with the socks you’ll be wearing while golfing and walk around a few minutes before deciding on the shoes that feel best.
If you have a foot that does not function normally because of a biomechanical condition such as excessive pronation (rolling in) or supination (rolling out), you should be able to achieve a state of optimal biomechanics with a custom orthoses, a shoe insert that can be prescribed and custom fitted by Feet Unlimited. Not only does an orthoses allow your foot to function properly, but it can alleviate the predisposition to injury and pain caused by biomechanical imbalances. If you currently wear orthoses in your street shoes, you should definitely place them in your golf shoes the next time you head to the links. Also, check with your pedorthist because your golfing shoes might call for a different orthotic function than those used for walking or running.
John Chatzigiannidis at Feet Unlimited can diagnose and treat any problems affecting your golf game and help make your feet an asset to your game, not a liability. “A 2000 study showed that orthotics can have a positive impact on shot accuracy, golf swing, and balance,” said John. Feet Unlimited can also recommend a warm-up and stretching regimen specific to golf that can help prevent injury. John recommends the following tips to help make for a more enjoyable golf game and possibly even a better scorecard at the end of the day: Start easy and carefully build up your playing time. Stretch regularly, whether golfing or not. Fit your shoes with the socks you’ll be wearing when you golf.
Contact Feet Unlimited for an appointment if you are experiencing any foot pain or wish to have a biomechanical evaluation. Maybe you won’t have to yell “Fore!” as often as you once did.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.