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Can Orthotics Improve Your Golf Game?

The competition can get pretty fierce out on the golf course, whether it's Tiger Woods battling David Duval for $1.3 million or two amateurs spending a lazy Saturday afternoon playing for a beer. Small, subtle adjustments can often make the difference between winning and losing, a point emphasized by a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
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Twelve experienced golfers took part in the study, designed to examine the effect of orthotics (custom-made, flexible shoe inserts) on the golf swing, before and after nine holes of simulated golf. Subjects wore the orthotics daily for six weeks, and measurements were taken using an electronic device that measures club speed (club-head velocity, or CHV) as the golfer swings.

Use of the custom-fit, flexible orthotics increased CHV by 3.5 miles per hour, translating to approximately a 15-yard increase in the distance the ball traveled in the air. Orthotic use also appeared to reduce the effects of fatigue associated with nine holes of golf, suggesting the potential for more consistent golf performance. 

The authors caution that their results only address a specific sample of golfers using a specific set of orthotics. For more information on the potential benefits of orthotics for golf and for overall health and wellness, schedule a consultation with Dr. Pisarek.

Source: Stude DE, Gullickson J. Effects of orthotic intervention and nine holes of simulated golf on club-head velocity in experienced golfers. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, March/April 2000: Vol. 23, No. 3, pp 168-74.

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