Are Golf Shoes Required to Play Golf?
For beginners, attempting to learn the ins and outs of golf can always come across as a daunting process. Unlike other sports, golf isn’t something that is readily accessible with minimal investment like basketball or baseball. While there are many popular questions that arise in regards to golf gear (such as clubs, bags, balls and more), one common topic that tends to fly under the radar is the necessity of golf shoes.
For someone starting to learn the game for the first time or even a more established golfer, are they essential to your game? If so, what kind of shoes would you need to buy? And on top of that, how much would you need to stretch your budget? Questions like these tend to overwhelm beginners, but the reality is that you only need a few key items to start hitting the course. Golf shoes aren’t required, but they can be a great asset to increasing the strength of your game and tackling the elements.
How Important are Golf Shoes?
Are golf shoes worth it? The answer can be different depending on who you ask. Golf shoes aren’t required at most courses (outside of certain high end country clubs or luxury courses), so if you’re looking to play a few holes and learn the game at a casual pace then you’re more than okay playing in a pair of tennis shoes or sneakers.
However, golf shoes can be a valuable asset in setting your stance and providing better grip for your feet while carrying through your swing. This especially holds true for golfers who tend to have more of an aggressive swing, as having some grip on the turf with your back foot is always a positive. In the end, one of the primary goals of golf shoes is to ensure that the shift in weight caused by your swing occurs without any potential slips or disturbances.
The Elements Can Make a Difference
If you tend to play flatter courses and live in an area with mostly dry conditions, then any comfortable footwear you bring will probably suffice. However, morning dew, rainy conditions, and even the occasional sprinkler soaked course have caused havoc for golfers in the past. Not only do golf shoes provide you with better traction, but they do usually come with some level of waterproofing.
Waterproofed shoes can be great for providing you with flexible hours on the course – but it does ultimately depends on your area, weather, and time of the day you are playing. This helps to keep your feet dry and traction strong within the shoe, in addition to outside of it on the course – so if you’re looking to play earlier in the morning or perhaps on a day with some off weather, it could be worthwhile investing in a pair of golf shoes.
They Tend to Add a Professional Look
The reality is that sometimes golf can be about look just as much as gameplay. For those looking to compliment their golf attire, a nice pair of golf shoes can go a long way in providing you with a professional player’s look. With a wide variety of styles, colors and cuts now on the market, you’ll be able to find something that’s suitable for the course as well as your outfit.
Types of Golf Shoes
Golf shoes are of typically divided into two general categories – spiked and spikeless. Spiked golf shoes (as the name suggests) are aligned with rounded plastic grooves underneath the shoe which are large enough to form a strong grip on the turf. These shoes do not have traditional metal spikes and are gentle, yet firm on the turf. You may also hear them referred to as cleated golf shoes.
The spiked or cleated shoes gives you great grip on the ground, and specially stabilizes feet while you swing during making a stroke. Pro golfers who swing quite forcefully and fast depends on the strong and stable grip of the shoes.
However the cleats are made such that they would not disturb the turf, and would not create divots or pit anywhere. That is why, in case, you are planning to use any other sports shoes on the golf course you may really do so, only when you are sure that the sole of the shoes would not hurt the golf course and turf in any way.
Spikeless shoes are more of a recent development and have greatly improved in design over the years. Intended to combine comfort and style, spikeless shoes have seen a rise in use over the years even by professional golfers.
The molded soles and rubber studs have made it so that you don’t have to worry about changing into your golf shoes before hitting the green, and you can wear your golf shoes right off the course. The trade-off however tends to be less stability, grip and even waterproofing.
Do Golf Shoes Make a Difference?
Depending on the severity and strength of your swing and disruption to your balance as well as the conditions of the course you’re playing, absolutely. While not essential to having a successful game, golf shoes can provide stability and elevate a portion of your game you might not have been cognizant of before.