Monday, 10 October 2011

Finding The Right Golfing Gift

If you’re buying golf clubs as a Christmas gift, consider a gift certificate to a clubfitter’s shop instead. All players benefit from fitted clubs, although may be not to the same degree. Unfortunately, the players who benefit the most from fitted clubs—those sporting high golf handicaps, golf lessons notwithstanding—are the least likely to buy them.

How To Buy Golf Shoes

Today’s golf shoes have gone high-tech. Thanks to innovative manufacturers modern golf shoe offers more options than they’ve ever had. These manufacturers have invested millions to improve their shoes. And they’ve succeeded by reconciling factors like temperature control, shock absorption, and traction in a comfortable shoe. Today’s golf shoes look, feel, and perform better than ever. They also contribute more to lowering golf handicap than shoes in the past. After all, it’s hard to play well if your feet hurt.
Previously, the biggest advancement in golf shoes involved switching from metal to plastic cleats. Spikeless shoes quickly found favor with golfers and golf courses for many reasons. They’re now the shoes of choice golfers. Thus, the clickety-clack of metal spikes no longer echoes in golf course parking lots and clubhouses. With the traction problem solved, manufacturers turned their attention to performance. Their efforts to address this issue have spurred several high-tech shoe advancements.
Below are some golf tips on a subject that’s not often covered in golf lessons—buying shoes that fit your game:
Performance Drives Golfers
While expensive shoes are nice, it’s performance that drives a golfer’s choice of shoe. In a recent Darrell Survey Consumer Report, 31.4 percent of the respondents said that “feel” was the most important factor in golf shoes. Not surprisingly, fit came next. Nearly 17 percent of the respondents choose it as a determining factor. Looks are important, too. Nearly 12 percent of the respondents rated appearance as the most important factor. Interestingly, only 9.5 percent choose price as factor.
Feel is subjective. So make sure you try the shoes on before buying them, just as you would with any pair of shoes. Fit, on the other hand, is not subjective. The last, or sole, is the most important factor here. Not surprisingly, fit is influenced by your foot’s shape, so match the last to your foot’s shape. If your foot is wide in the ball, but narrow in the heel, you need a different last than someone with a wide heel and narrow ball. Some manufacturers offer a wider selection of lasts than other manufacturers. Look for these manufacturers.
Additional Golf Tips On Shoes
Climate control, weatherproofing, and shock absorption are additional areas where manufacturers have gone high-tech. No longer is a simple footbed or leather treatment the key to comfort. Today, complex membranes and materials not only to increase comfort and keep water out, but also allow moisture from perspiration to evaporate. In addition, these advancements keep one’s feet warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather. Some manufacturers have even designed complete climate control systems within their shoes. That’s something to look for when buying golf shoes, but beware the marketing hype.
Playing conditions are a consideration, too. Almost every shoe manufacturer offers a shoe with weatherproofing. But not all are alike. If you play a lot in wet weather, look for a shoe with a two- or three-year weatherproofing guarantee. On the other hand, if you play in extremely hot, dry conditions look for a shoe with a lightweight, mesh upper. Or, look for a shoe with breathable membranes. They allow perspiration to pass through. If you like to walk the course, look for a shoe that’s really comfortable.
Extending Shoe Life
Since a good pair of golf shoes aren’t cheap, you want to make them last. If you buy a pair of shoes with synthetic uppers, use a sponge and warm, soapy water to clean them. Also, wipe them clean after use. If your shoes have leather uppers, clean them with a brush and coat them with polish or shoe cream after each round.
Proper shoe storage is a must. Don’t throw them in the trunk after playing. Buy a pair of shoetrees and a shoe bag and use them. They help remove excess moisture from the shoe and maintain the shoe’s shape. Lastly, limit wear as much as possible. Smart players wear their shoes only on the course or when taking golf lessons. Avoid pavement, parking lots, and cart paths. They can damage the outsole and the spike receptacles.
Golf clubs are the only things that have gone high-tech. So have golf shoes. Since you may be spending as much as five to six hours in your shoes, you want shoes that not only look good and are comfortable, but fit right and perform well. If you’re serious about lowering your golf-handicap, you need to have the right equipment. Golf shoes are a key component of that equipment.
Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book “How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros.” He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. He has a free weekly newsletter with the latest golf tips, golf lessons and golf instruction

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