Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Look At Golf Shoes


I did play golf today, but only 11 holes because of the rain (it was supposed to be in the mid 60's and sunny, nice prediction Mr. Weather Man). I didn't swing a club the past three days, so I wasn't really getting the best out of testing out the stuff in "The Secret Is In The Dirt" e-book by Mike Maves (http://sevam1.blogspot.com) I was +4 through 12, but I was hitting the ball much better than I did last week. That being said, I really didn't "groove the move" today. I also only got to hit about 10 balls before we teed off. However, I crushed one drive and on my last hole I stuck a 4 iron from 210 yards in the rain (just missed the putt).
I'm also starting to learn some different things about the swing from The Golfing Machine people, so the series on the swing I'll wait for now.
A-N-Y-W-A-Y
If you read "The Secret Is In The Dirt", one of the reasons why Mike Maves quit the game was it happened during the soft spike revolution in the late 90's. For those who weren't around back then or don't remember, the soft spikes were not very good and with Maves' "secret" it requires good traction with the shoes.

A lot of this stems from Ben Hogan having golf shoes with 13 spikes. In particular, he had two extra spikes underneath the ball of the foot. This link shows what I mean (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_puUOVTWpplU/SJMD9TbVqPI/AAAAAAAAAI4/SLm2l8ae7Ns/s1600-h/hogansspike.jpg)

Most of today's modern golf shoes have a 7 spike pattern instead of Hogan's 13 spike pattern. So I e-mailed a bunch of shoe companies and asked them what the benefits are of having a 7 spike pattern over a 13 spike pattern. I got one e-mail back from Nike. Here's what the rep wrote:

Hey Rich,

What a great pair of cleats that you are looking to get. I appreciate you taking the time to send met he picture of the shoes Ben Hogan was wearing back in the day. I would love to answer your questions about the features and benefits of our new shoe.

Rich as I am sure you know, technology is always changing over time. No longer are this many cleats needed to provide the same great performance that Ben Hogan demonstrated. With new technology comes new intensive ways to research a person's foot. Our company is known to have the best research in the industry. We use graphs, charts, photos and thoroughly test our products to ensure that they fit the best golfer in the world.

Through this research we were able to find the key points on a foot that need spikes located when the transfer of weight and power goes through in the swing of the club. When Ben Hogan played, they were not able to do as extensive research as we have done and therefore, it is likely 13 cleats were placed instead of the 7 that are needed.

I can also tell from Ben Hogan's shoe that he did not have any flex grooves in his shoe. As the foot moves during your swing it bends. Without the shoe bending with the foot you lose power and stability. Our new shoes have a flex groove throughout the middle of the foot and at the sole and forefoot to bend with a golf players foot movement while swinging. Not only is it more comfortable but it helps transition the power of the swing through the ball while keeping the foot firmly on the ground.

If you have any other questions, let me know.

Have a
great day!


Ryan
Nike Golf
I'll be interested in what Adidas, Callaway, and Footjoy have to say as well.





3JACK

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