August - 2015

Zack Johnson just won the British Open.
Did you know he often still wears metal spikes?

Having played the game awhile, and remembering back when everybody used metal cleats, things are a lot different now.

Personally, I loved how the old metal cleats held you in place during your swing, but now the only time you see them is if you're watching closely and notice them on the feet of some PGA tour pros.
That's the only place you will see them now, as every public or private course has outlawed them.

They may be banned, but when the PGA Tour comes into town, that week, they are legal.

In 2013, Lee Janzen was playing in a qualifier for the U.S. Open, and had played his first round and then discovered that they were banned for that course during qualifying rounds. He was disqualified and not allowed to continue.

Sadly, at the same time, in Columbus, Ohio, and Memphis, Tenn. where the majority of the PGA Tour players were competing, they (metal spikes) were allowed under the Conditions of Competition that were in play at those courses.

Remember how Chi Chi Rodriguez used to make a birdie and spin around and do his sword dance?
Some of the pro's that played behind him used to get pretty darn angry that he was messing up the condition of the green.

A few years ago there was a nasty confrontation between Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson-(Vijay accusing Phil of wearing longer than normal spikes) and it got a little ugly. Look it up if it interests you.

It might surprise you but Golf Digest says that around 25-percent of PGA Tour pros still use metal spikes.

SoftSpikes were introduced in 1993, and all the versions you see and the ones that you are using, all came from that major shift in how the game is played-(from the feet up).

In the past, walking on uneven surfaces could be quite dangerous. It greatly affected how you walked on concrete, and sometimes courses would place mats that were in areas that would help prevent slipping. Boy, and don't even think about walking on uneven tile without paying attention- that was an accident waiting to happen!

You could never just go into the bar or restaurant directly after a round, (which usually had beautiful wood floors or stunning tiles) and if you somehow forgot, the sound of each step gave you away. Or the sound of someone yelling at you to take your spikes off!

The main reason that SoftSpikes took over golf in a short period of time is the difference that it made in the condition of the green.
Spike marks, which under the Rules of Golf cannot be repaired without a two-stroke penalty, became (almost) a non-issue on the green.
Although, (in my opinion) some of the shoes manufactured now days create craters and bumps that definitely affect the roll of the ball.

Rule 16-1a lists all that you can do on the green without incurring a penalty.
Fixing a spike mark on your line when putting, that's a two-stroke penalty.

      Derek Duesler