The forces and movement at the feet during the golf swing were studied using force platform and three-dimensional cinematography techniques, with special consideration given to implications for golf shoe design. Ground reaction forces and center-of-pressure patterns were obtained by alternately placing each foot on a Kistler force platform while subjects hit golf balls on artificial turf in an indoor golf station. Four force trials for each foot were recorded and subsequently averaged from shots made with each of three clubs (driver, 3-iron and 7-iron), while wearing standard golf shoes. The 10 subjects were assigned to three groups based on a handicap (0–7, 8–14, 15+). Simultaneous filming by four cameras and their subsequent analysis generated three-dimensional coordinates of markers of the lower leg and foot, which allowed the center of pressure and associated force components to be displayed in relation to the foot position throughout the swing. The position and pattern of both shear and vertical forces were found to be important factors influencing stability, force production, and resistance to slippage during the swing. Center-of-pressure patterns and force-time relationships were remarkably similar within an individual for all conditions, but showed no clear trends between subjects at different skill levels. Some significant differences were found among clubs in the magnitudes of ground reaction forces at selected points during the swing, Implications for golf shoe design include modification of the out-sole configuration, replacing the raised heel with a continuous heel wedge, altering the placement and inclination of cleats, incorporating a valgus wedge insert in each shoe, and using different designs for the right and left shoes, which were shown to have totally different functions.
©1983The American College of Sports Medicine