There are many important things juniors, and amateur golfers in general, can learn from the best players in the world on the PGA TOUR. One of these lessons is the importance of traction. The foundations of the golf swing start with the connection to the ground. If you lose that traction, i.e. slip, everything else in the swing will fall out of sync and what could have been a good shot becomes a nightmare. At the highest levels of the game the best in the world rely on replaceable spikes to help them achieve solid footing to ensure optimal control, distance and accuracy.

Want proof? How about the fact that the three major champions in 2020 all relied on replaceable spikes in their shoes, regardless of which manufacturer those shoes came from. That number isn’t an anomaly. At the Masters for example, 19 of the past 21 green jacket winners used replaceable spikes, and more specifically spikes from the two most trusted names in traction, SoftSpikes® and CHAMP®. It isn’t just the PGA TOUR either, as you will find roughly the same results on the LPGA, European, PGA TOUR Champions or any other major professional circuit around the world.

When it comes to junior golf, there is a common misconception that younger players can simply wear their street shoes, or even a pair of hybrid (spikeless) golf shoes. While these options can be okay for anyone first being exposed to golf, as younger players begin to get more serious about the game they should strongly consider upgrading footwear. Luckily, between SoftSpikes® and CHAMP® players can find a spike choice that is compatible with all major footwear brands.

It is important to note that the benefits of excellent traction don’t just help TOUR superstars, they are proven to help golfers of all abilities. A 2019 independent study conducted at Pinehurst showed measurable performance benefits for players of all handicaps. The study utilized 28 adult male golfers divided into two groups, 14 with handicaps over 12 and 14 with handicaps under nine. Each participant hit 10 measurable drives, five in replaceable cleats and five in spikeless shoes. Each drive was on dry, flat ground using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls.

The key findings were as follows:

  • The golfers’ average carry distance was 4.35 yards longer when wearing replaceable cleats
  • The golfers’ average Smash Factor was better wearing shoes with replaceable cleats
  • The golfers’ average ball speed was faster and more consistent with replaceable cleats

For more information on the study, you can read it about it here.

While performance benefits alone are a great reason to choose shoes with replaceable spikes, they aren’t the only reason. One other advantage they have over spikeless golf shoe alternatives is that once the traction element starts to wear down (which will happen after 15-20 rounds in general) you can simply buy a pack of replacement spikes, versus needing to replace the entire shoe. These vary in price and are available at all big box retailers, many pro shops or online at Swapping out spikes takes less than 10 minutes and can have a major impact on your scores.

More so than perhaps any other sport, equipment in golf is a personal choice and extremely important to playing one’s best. It isn’t just about selecting the right clubs and balls, spend some time looking into cleat options and find the models that best work for you. For more information on what is available, please visit