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Golfer Jon McLean Gets Help from Orthotics at Delray Beach Podiatry

When you think about all of the equipment that goes into playing a round of golf, there are a few traditional items that typically come to mind – a bag, clubs, balls, tees, etc. But in order to truly optimize your performance on the course, there is one very important tool that also needs attention – your feet.

The foot functions completely differently in golf than in any other activity. First, your weight is placed lightly on the balls of your feet, balanced between your front and rear foot. Then there is a slight shift to the back foot, then another shift back to the front.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum (left) and golfer Jon McLean.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum (left) and golfer Jon McLean.

If you have abnormal foot mechanics, there is a good chance that you are not only plagued by an inefficient golf swing, but also suffering anywhere from a mild to severe pain your feet, ankles, knees or back.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has been helping golfers lower both their scores and their pain through the use of custom-made orthotic shoe inserts.

“Your feet need to have a proper foundation during your swing,” said Dr. Goldbaum, who has offices in Delray Beacn and Boynton Beach. “If you have a good foundation you can actually hit the ball longer as it corrects your weight displacement during your swing. The implantation of a sport orthotic can be extremely beneficial for golfers of any age or handicap.”

Recently, Jon McLean, a veteran of both the PGA Tour and the MacKenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, visited Delray Beach Podiatry complaining of a nagging pain in his big toe that had been affecting his play for over a year.

“I hurt my big toe like a year ago,” said McLean, who is the son of renowned instructor Jim McLean. “I had been taping it up, but I figured it was time to get it looked at and get some support since it’s been affecting my swing speed. You put a lot of pressure on your big toe when you push into the ground during your swing.”

After a consultation with Dr. Goldbaum, McLean realized that an orthotic insert was the perfect fix for what ailed him.

“When I hurt my toe, I didn’t realize just how important my toes were,” McLean said. “It hurt when I played golf. I’m glad to finally be fixing it. Your shoes are important in golf. We walk a lot of miles in them. I don’t realize why I didn’t think of orthotics before.”

In order to craft a custom-made orthotic, Dr. Goldbaum utilizes a dynamic walking scan analysis to create a holistic picture of the forces acting on your feet and throughout your body, as well as pressure distribution and foot motion as you move. Additionally, a static analysis assessment of your feet and posture is done while you are standing motionless to provide information regarding your weight distribution and forces going through different regions of your feet.

“You want something with shock absorption properties,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “From heel strike all the way through gait, we’re able to offload the areas of pain. We do that with a fabricated orthotic, making an actual plaster cast of your foot to get the perfect fit.”

In some cases, a heat-molded orthotic may be prescribed instead of the plaster casting. This decision is based off Dr. Goldbaum’s diagnosis after having examined X-rays and scans while also taking into account direct patient feedback.

“We don’t do orthotics on a first visit,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “When we do a cast, we typically try some orthopedic padding and strapping first as well as some injectibles. If the pain is still persisting after a couple visits, that’s when we craft an orthotic.”

Once it is decided that an orthotic is right for you, the casting process will take roughly 20-30 minutes with the final product taking anywhere from a few days to three weeks to complete. Unlike over-the-counter inserts, these orthotics are built to last and can often be easily adjusted over the years.

“They’re going to last anywhere from 5-20 years if the patient’s foot doesn’t change,” said Dr. Goldbaum, who notes that 98 percent of his patients have been satisfied with their custom orthotics. “We also give our patients the cast so they can craft future orthotics without additional casting fees.”

If you are interested in setting up a consultation with Dr. Goldbaum, please see our contact information below.

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33484



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472




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