Whether you’re a scratch golfer or a lifelong duffer, there’s plenty to satisfy your craving for the links in and around Charlotte!

Granted, most of us don’t exactly the spare change lying around to get into any of the “big four” country clubs—Charlotte, Carmel, Myers Park, or Quail Hollow, host of last year’s PGA Championship

But no matter! In addition to all the country clubs (from the highly selective to the more middle-tier), there are still a good two dozen or so public courses within a 45-minute drive of the city.

golfing fun

We’re partial to Monroe Country Club (don’t let the name fool you), where any member of the public can enjoy the well-maintained Donald Ross design for less than 50 bucks, cart included—even on weekends! But if that’s a bit too much of a drive for you, there lots of other great options closer to the city, too.

Of course, if you have foot pain? Suddenly there are no great options.

Foot Pain Can Really Mess Up Your Game

Now, we’re old school. Whenever possible, we like to skip the golf cart entirely and just walk the course. You can call us crazy, but for many it’s a more peaceful, natural way to play. Plus it’s just good for general fitness!

That said, it comes with its downsides. From tee to green alone, the average golf course is about 4 miles long. Throw in the extra distance between holes—and from zigzagging up the fairway—and a golfer who skips the cart can expect to put about 6 or 7 miles on the odometer after 18 holes.

If you’re suffering from, say, aching heels or painful corns and blisters on your bunions, that distance can really grind you down.

But even if you decide to use a cart, you’re still probably going to have to do at least a few miles of walking going from the cart to the ball and back again.

And even if you could just magically teleport to your ball, with club in hand, foot problems can still significantly impair your ability to make a good swing and enjoy your game out on the links.

That’s because feet and ankles go through a lot of complicated and important maneuvers during a golf swing. You start with a fairly neutral stance, but during the backswing your front foot pronates and weight shifts about 80% to the back foot. At impact, your weight should be mostly on the front foot, and during the follow through almost exclusively so.

If, for example, you have stiff or arthritic joints—or on the other hand, wobbly ankles from repeated sprains—making a smooth, controlled, and stable shift of your weight during the swing can become downright difficult, if not impossible. Pain in the heels, arches, or even balls of the feet can have the same effect.

And of course, simply putting your body and feet through the rigors of a golf swing can irritate your neuroma, heel pain, or arthritis even more.

Yes, golf injuries are a thing.

If you’re a typical golfer (let’s say a bogey to double bogey average), you’re probably making a good 40 or so “full swing” strokes per round—not including any chipping or putting. Now triple that (or quadruple, or quintuple …) to account for practice swings and mulligans. It’s hard work out there!

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Chronic foot pain can be exceptionally frustrating for any golfer, whether you’re a PGA pro, college athlete, or weekend hacker. And if you’ve been suffering for months or years, you might feel like you’ll never be able to play a pain-free 18 or improve your scoring average again.

Fortunately, we can absolutely help you.

golf and your feet

For the kinds of chronic musculoskeletal aches and pains that commonly afflict golfers and athletes of all ages and sports, advanced technologies such as MLS laser therapy and SoftWave therapy represent quantum leaps forward in treatment technology. We’ve written before some real stories from patients we’ve actually treated with these exciting regenerative devices, and the results are rapid and dramatic.

We’ve helped college athletes recover quickly from bad sprains, and we’ve helped seniors reverse years of progressive chronic pain so that they could hike, hunt, camp, or golf pain-free for the first time in ages. We’re still stunned by how effective these treatments are for so many different conditions.

Of course, our office also provides a comprehensive array of traditional and specialty treatments for virtually all foot and ankle conditions. From bunions to neuromas to stress fractures to heel pain to unstable ankles to arthritis, we are ready to assist with a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Preventing Foot Pain and Injury on the Course

Whether or not your feet are already prone to aching, the following precautions can help you minimize the risk of pain or injury out on the course. You’ll feel better and you’ll shoot lower scores, too.

  • Remember to warm up before the round with some light exercises and stretching, as well as some slow practice swings. Try heel raises, balancing one leg, or even mini-squats to get you going. Definitely be sure to stretch your calves at the beginning of the round, and again at the turn.
  • Use a golf cart if you know that your feet tend to hurt after an hour or two of walking. It’ll save you at least a couple of miles over 18 holes, and give you a comfy place to sit while you wait for your partner to play.
  • Get a good pair of golf shoes that fit you properly. Your shoes shouldn’t slide on the grades, and your feet shouldn’t slide inside the shoe at any point during the swing. For those who need a little extra support or stability, look for golf shoes with built-in ankle support, or a low-profile athletic ankle brace.
  • Don’t continue playing if you injure yourself or are laboring with pain through every swing. We know, golf isn’t free, and no one likes to abandon a round early. But playing through pain will only increase your risk of developing a much more serious acute or chronic injury.

Are you struggling with your golf game due to persistent foot or ankle problems? Swing on down to Carmel Foot Specialists today. You can reach our Myers Park office at (704) 334-8682, or our South Charlotte location at (704) 542-8253.