Golfing is a unique sport and activity that you can enjoy at any age, with a highly fulfilling social circle (drinks at the nineteenth hole, anyone?).
That said, entering the golf world can be a little tricky, mainly because there’s so much equipment involved. Sure, you knew you needed special golf clubs and a luxury bag to lug them around. But there’s also a whole golf wardrobe?
The question of what shoes to wear, especially, is a major conundrum when hitting the course for the first time.
Luckily, we have the full scoop on those golf spikes you’ve been eyeing. Read on for our insight into how to pick the best pair of kicks for your beginner golf rounds.
How Important Are Golf Shoes for Amateurs?
When it’s your first time out on the golf course, it might be tempting to think you can get away with just any old pair of sneakers or another type of athletic shoe. After all, a shoe specific for golfing can’t be too different from what you already have in the closet, right?
That’s where most beginner golfers go wrong.
Regular rubber-soled shoes are fine for jogging around the neighborhood, shooting some hoops in the driveway, or any other casual activity that takes place primarily on pavement. Out on the course, however, they leave a lot to be desired, mainly in terms of adequate tread.
Since a golf course is primarily slick grass and the occasional patch of sand, your tread is crucial for maintaining your balance. If your shoes can’t properly support your stance and the motion of your swing, you risk slipping around to catastrophic ends.
As you’ll soon learn, every golfer has a handicap in their game. Let’s make sure yours isn’t a literal one.
For all the reasons above, most golf shoes come with spiked bottoms or rubber treads designed to hold up to unpredictable grassy terrain. They substantially increase your chances of holding your stance firm when you swing.
With the right pair of shoes, not only will you look like a well-dressed golf pro, but you’ll swing (and maybe score) like one too.
Do Beginners Need Golf Shoes?
They are not a must-have item but are strongly recommended.
We know what you’re thinking. If I’m just a beginner, I can probably get away with just some plain old sneaks until I’m ready to invest in the sport fully, right?
As we covered above, the tread on the bottom of your shoes is vital, not only to attain that dreamed-about low score but also to keep yourself safe while you learn the ropes.
Of course, you don’t want to make an unnecessary investment in the highest quality cleat before you know how well you will take to the sport.
At the same time, though, the right shoe can make a huge difference in your learning curve, as well as protect you from injury. If you’re swinging with enough enthusiasm, a snapped screw-in spike could very quickly become a snapped Achilles tendon or sprained ankle in the blink of an eye.
These precautions hold especially true when it comes to beginner golfers, who haven’t quite gotten the hang of their stance and swing just yet. The last thing any beginner golfer wants is to slip and fall while trying to send the golf ball over some sand dunes or an inconveniently placed pond.
Not to mention, nothing screams beginner out on the course than hitting a total worm burner.
There’s also the factor of how you look on the course and come across to more senior golfers. More so than most other sports, golf has a pretty strict etiquette and rulebook, which it's pretty frowned upon to cross.
Most golf courses have dress codes that do not allow athletic trainers, so golf sneakers are a requirement for everyone, including beginners. Even if you are trying your hand at the sport on a course that does not have these set-in-stone expectations for attire, other club members will probably be displeased to see you wearing something other than formal golf shoes.
Don’t let your lack of the right shoes make you feel uncomfortable and stand out negatively due to your beginner status. If you feel confident, you’ll likely play confidently.
Types of Golf Shoes
All this said, you should also know that not all golf shoes are the same. There are different types listed below, and we suggest figuring out which works best for your sporting needs before splurging on a purchase.
As you’ll soon come to find, it’s most common to see spiked golf shoes out on the course. The reason is that the extra grip provides the best possible amount of support, so you can absolutely send it when you swing.
However, not all spikes are allowable. Although they are more grippy, many clubs do not allow metal spikes because they tear up the grass turf. So check the club rules ahead of time if you find yourself tempted away from the standard soft rubber or plastic spikes.
While most golfers opt for spiked shoes, some still do prefer a spikeless option. These golf shoes look and feel a little more like classic athletic shoes due to their flat rubber bottoms. Yet, they offer a good deal of traction within the sole to still keep you from slipping on a particularly sneaky patch of grass.
Do golf shoes really make a difference?
Absolutely. Getting a good grip on the course when taking a swing is the difference between hitting a total flub and sending that ball to the cup. Plus, there’s no sense in purchasing other high-end equipment, such as clubs, if you ultimately can’t swing to the best of your ability.
Can you turn any shoe into a golf shoe?
While there are products that allow you to add screw-in spikes to your plain old sneakers, the real deal is more advisable.
The more loose parts you have on the soles of your feet, the more likely you’ll be to lose or break something, causing you to put your game and your body at risk. Instead, we suggest that you stick to the built-in spikes or go with a well-reviewed rubber-soled option.
What shoes do you wear if you don’t have golf shoes?
Wearing golf shoes is preferable, per our advice here at Stitch Golf. However, we understand that might not be an option for everyone. Time constraints or money constraints could prevent you from picking up a pair of new shoes officially determined to be for golfing purposes.
If that’s the case, a pair of sturdy athletic sneakers is your next best option. Just make sure the tread is still visible on the bottom and not completely worn.
You should also check the club’s rules ahead of time to ensure this wardrobe deviance is alright with them. Finally, steer clear of soles involving metal, and certainly wear nothing open-toed.
So there you have it — the complete rundown on footwear for your first big golf outing.
While a lot of it is still up to personal preference and club rules, there are some benefits for your game and your safety when it comes to investing in shoes designed for golfing.
If you’re serious about playing a solid and safe game, then check out top-of-the-line golf shoes. Pay attention to the materials, comfort, and of course, the tread.With the proper footwear, your golf pro look will be on par. Complete your look today by shopping for golf apparel from Stitch Golf!