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Metal spikes


wpfisher

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In light of the Steve Elkington debacle last week, I ordered a set of q lok metal spikes to try at a course here in Louisville that allows them. Why do so many courses not allow metal spikes? Can they be that bad? On the flip side, are they that much better than soft spikes?

 

I wore metal spikes all through the winter to practice and play (just took them out a month ago).

 

Out of thick, wet rough (and wet conditions in general) there's NO substitute. I can see why pros wear them so much, considering the jungles they have to trudge through around the greens and off the fairways.

 

Honestly for amateurs, they can do more harm than good. As a future medical professional, my opinion is that having your foot planted in the golf swing can be a bad thing if you're in very firm ground (e.g. muni fairway) you can experience hyperextension of the muscles and connective tissues in your ankle, lower leg, and all the way up to the knee and hip. IMHO Soft spikes provide more than enough grip in firm and dry conditions (and I'm very much an around the body swinger). Also, try walking on ceramic tile with steel spikes, you'd have better luck on ice skates.

 

From a green point of view, they do leave little holes in the green. However, as long as you pick up your feet you're not going to do any damage (that applies to Bermuda, no idea on Poa Anna or Bent). I think people who wear soft spikes and pronate (turn) their feet as they walk do WAY more damage to greens.

 

Hope that helps, just one former steel spike wearer's humble opinion.

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Really it depends on how you measure damage to the greens. Metal spikes definitely cause a great deal more damage because they tear grass out by the roots. Soft spikes cause minimal damage in this respect but do cause damage due to compression. There was a study done in 2001 which measured both damage to the grass and ball deflection whose results backed this up. What was interesting about that same study was that ball deflection was greater due to soft spikes than with metal spikes by a factor of 4.5. This result sort of makes sense when you figure that compression damage caused by soft spikes. I've talked to several course superintendants and no way they would go back to metal just because of the root damage, path damage, bridge damage, etc. as previous posters have noted. Like most issues of this nature it's never as simple as one is better than the other. Both have significant advantages and disadvantages; and as in any business monetary considerations play a large role in the final decision making process.

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