While there may be several off the shelf choices, there is no comparison to a custom fitted orthotic. When peak performance is desired, the custom option is the gold standard. It is the same, when considering store purchased “reader” glasses versus prescription lenses. The difference in the outcome and usability is huge. While consideration of using custom orthotics in your golf shoes may seem a bit expensive, I challenge you to consider how much money you have invested inside of your bag, not to mention your closet, garage or boot of your vehicle. Prevention of injuries and creating longevity with your golf game is also very difficult at best to put a price on. The most common medical malady related to golfers is lower back pain, specifically L4 L5 level and the sacroiliac joint. The positioning of the back can be a cumulative result of the alignment of the foot, ankle, knee and hip. By correcting lower extremity deficiencies, the back benefits from better posture and balance. This is certainly, not discounting a good posture set up, which is also key to preventing and relieving back strain and pain. Knee pain is also an issue. Whether a previous ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury nags at you during the round, early arthritis to the knee or even a new knee or joint replacement is part of your history, golf can place tremendous strain on the numerous ligaments surrounding the knee. Positioning the knee of the plant foot towards the midline of the body reduces this strain, therefore decreasing pain and discomfort. Lateral instability or “weak ankles” is the primary cause of ankle pain in a golfer. Placing the plant foot and ankle in a slightly everted position reduces lateral sway and decreases pain and discomfort. By cupping the heel and supporting it, motion control and stability can be achieved. More walking might be achievable with added stability and comfort, which equates to better health, overall, and more golf. The list of other issues that might plague the golfer’s feet include the dreaded heel pain or plantar fasciitis, a pinched nerve or “neuroma”, hallux rigidus (stiff big toe joint) or biomechanical issues related to flat feet or high arched feet. Regardless of handicap level, sex or course played, the average golfer will take about 10,000 steps in a round. These steps might as well be comfortable. From a golfer to a golfer, I am excited to be the expert in 3D printed orthotics. Having had thirty years of experience and thousands of pairs of dispensed orthotics, including players on the PGA, LPGA, Canadian, European and senior tours. Finally, I have a final product that has a niche for the golfing community and sports enthusiasts. The 3D printed orthotics scan process takes around 20 minutes. First, the patient stands on the footscan mat which gives dynamic pressure measurements using sensors. In addition, the patient walks back and forth across the mat to get an accurate gait analysis reading, providing information about pressure points, your gait and any deficiencies that need support or correction. This data is instantly available to create a pair of custom orthotics and your personalised correction is printed into the lattice structure of the orthotics, allowing a perfect fit into your golf shoes. Step into your game with revolutionary concepts and treatments for your feet and body. Invest in yourself as well as your game. Stacey Clarke is a podiatric physician and surgeon from Oregon, United States. She is TPI Certified (Titleist Performance Institute) and a Muscle Activation Specialist. She is practicing in Remuera, Auckland with The Podiatrist and is seeing patients at 347 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland. Phone: 0800 693 668 or email: staceyclarke@thepodiatrist.co.nz WORDSSTACEYCLARKE StepIntoYourGame REPLACING THE STANDARD INSOLE OF THE GOLF SHOE WITH AN ORTHOTIC OR FOOTBED SPECIFICALLY MADE FOR YOU, AS A GOLFER, HAS TREMENDOUS BENEFITS FOR YOUR BALANCE AND SWING. Improveyourgame! COACHING 54 | NZ Golf Magazine | July 2019