Friday, 11 May 2007

Beginners' Bunker (Feet first)

As promised, I said I would talk about how much to spend on what if you’re just taking up golf. If you really are starting from scratch, you’ll probably buy a basic beginner set of clubs and the Great Value Golf site has a useful Beginner’s Guide to what’s what in golf equipment. But let’s think about clothes. Do you need to kit yourself out in those classy-looking golf brands in the pro shop, or is the stuff from the local chain store just as good?
I would say that in some cases you need a speciality product: at other times anything serviceable and comfortable will do, but top of the speciality choices must be shoes.
Unless you’re playing the local pitch and putt, pretty well all courses insist on spiked shoes, so you’ll have to get something, and in this case any money that gets you a good fit and keeps out the weather is well spent. My golf shoes so far have all cost from £50 to £80 which is a severe shock to the system when they need replacing, but if your feet are killing you, eighteen holes can seem like eighteen miles (and that’s regardless of the number of shots you play along the way!) I’ve usually gone for Ecco shoes as they seem to suit my feet, but you can get some good deals at the moment on most of the major brands. This summer I’ve splashed out (I hope not literally) on a pair of summer shoes from the Nike lite range. They won’t keep out the rain, but they are blissfully soft, so whatever I’m moaning about this summer, it shouldn’t be my feet.

If you’re buying weatherproof shoes, I recommend you go for leather, otherwise your feet will be as wet on a hot day as if you’d been wearing leaky shoes in the rain (a sad and smelly fact, but true).

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