Today, golf shoes have gradually become increasingly casual.
However, it feels so natural when you remove your shoes on the golf course and feel the grass between the toes as you play.
Let’s get cracking to learn whether it is proper to go golfing barefoot:
So, Is It Ok To Play Golf Barefoot?
Yes, it is okay! Based on the official golfing USGA and R&A rules, golfing barefoot is legal. In fact, some pro-golfers play golf barefoot.
However, these rules do not dictate the rules of play in the general public.
Most golf courses require players to wear shoes and won’t allow you onto the course without the correct footwear, particularly during competitions. But you can still practice barefoot, particularly at the driving range. You may get awkward looks from other players, but practicing barefoot can help you enhance your balance and swing tempo.
Appropriate Golf Attire
Like it or not, golf clubs require you to maintain a particular decorum level, including a typical golf attire which commonly includes enclosed shoes.
So, for the individuals who like feeling the golf course grass between their toes, this rules out playing barefoot.
If you will play in a golf course for the first time and don’t have your own golf shoes, it’s advisable to look at their website or make an initial call and inquire about the shoe policy. Also, most of the higher-end courses have available golf shoe rentals if you want to purchase one.
However, you can still consider getting a pair of specially designed barefoot shoes or toe shoes.
These golf shoes give the impression that you are not wearing shoes while actually wearing shoes.
Check for the ones designed with a thin, puncture-proof, and waterproof base rather than a rubber sole.
This will enable your feet to function naturally. There are also things such as golf sandals that you can opt for.
Related: Should You Wear A Watch While Golfing?
Can Golf Pros Play Barefoot?
Golf pros stay a completely different life from that of an amateur or average golfer.
They spend their entire week practicing golfing and always have a caddy to carry around their golf clubs.
But can the pros play barefoot? The answer is simply yes if they desire during their practice.
One of the golfing legends, Sam Snead, popularly known as Slammin’ Sammy, played a 9 holes practice round barefoot to try and rediscover his rhythm and balance. According to his remarks, he said that he felt better when standing to the ball barefoot compared to when in the thick-soled shoes that kept him far from the ground.
The former PGA star Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas also played a casual round together barefoot during a Bahamas off-season trip while enjoying the sweet sunshine.
However, when playing tournaments and competitive golf, that’s a no for the European and PGA tours. The rules do not even allow them to play in shorts, leave alone barefoot.
What Are The Advantages Of Golfing Barefoot?
Playing golf barefoot comes with many benefits.
It can help eliminate the urgency of trying to hit the ball as far as you can. Instead, it will allow you to concentrate on performing your golf moves consistently and smoothly.
So, if you are someone who is often susceptible to over swinging, you should try removing your shoes and take some swings barefoot.
You might get some weird looks from other players, but who cares if it makes you a better player.
Other barefoot golf benefits include;
- Golfing barefoot allows you to stand in a stable neutral posture with correct alignment.
- You won’t have spikes that can catch or make you twisted during a golf swing.
- Your weight will be distributed evenly over your stand. This will also lower your center of gravity, creating higher stability and firmer ground connection. When wearing a shoe, the heels cause an unnatural hip tilt which you won’t need to correct when playing barefoot.
- When your toes are free from shoes, the toes will make a better grip and sustain a firmer balance. Hitting golf balls when you are barefoot can improve your balance and footwork.
- Playing golf barefoot allows you to feel the natural contours of the grass and understand the lay of the course better.
- Walking and playing barefoot into a sand trap allows you to feel the density and type of the sand for you to know better how to handle the risk.
Is Walking and Playing Golf Course Barefoot Bad for You?
While walking through the golf course barefoot may give you a freeing and serene experience, it is not recommendable that you walk a significant distance barefoot.
Walking barefoot exposes our feet’ skin to risk as well as the biomedical functioning of the foot.
The human feet are naturally arched, and walking barefoot can cause foot collapse leading to significant stress to the foot and the rest of the body.
If you want a prolonged golfing career, it might be better to avoid playing barefoot and get a good golf shoe.
Related: Can You Golf After Getting A Tattoo?
Is Golfing Barefoot Better Than Wearing Shoes?
When it comes to playing golf, golf shoes are recommendable but not a must.
While playing barefoot feels relaxing and comfortable for some players; for most other players, it’s essential to wear proper footwear during golfing.
Golf shoes are a good option as they have been designed to prevent your feet from sliding when swinging.
So, if you are serious about gaming, getting proper golf shoes will enable you to get the most of your capability.
Golf shoes are designed and molded with rubber and, in some cases, fitted with metal spikes to give you a better grip when swinging.
With their flexible and sturdy design, these shoes offer a more stable base for swinging, making sure you won’t slip, particularly during wet weather or morning dew when you go for an early morning round.
Shoes offer you far greater stability and peace of mind in all course conditions, which will only benefit your game.
A golf swing produces lateral, downward, and rotational pressure on your legs and feet.
Putting on shoes specifically designed to handle the forces and maintain your feet in place will help you produce a better shot.
Is It Essential To Wear Golf Shoes?
Not really! You can play golf barefoot just fine.
On the other hand, yes, if you want to get the last inch out of your ability to perform, golf shoes are a must.
Golf shoes can enable you to play golf better, particularly if you have the correct shoes and the perfect fit.
They offer more traction, balance, and stability, which are the essential factors for proper contact when you hit the ball, giving you greater distance and accuracy with your shots.
The shoes are manufactured with golf in mind and allow you to stay stable and firm on the ground when swinging a club for much more control and power.
So, next time you go to a warm golf course, you can become reconnected to your game and the ground by playing a round or two shoeless.
You will feel relaxed and find your ball closer to the hole often.
However, with some golf courses restricting playing barefoot, it is recommendable that you follow the golf course rules. But unless they prohibit playing barefoot, enjoy your round.
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