Sweet Stuff

Golf Vacations - - Golf Vacations - by Terry Ross

Golf is a game played from the ground up. Most swing in­struc­tors will tell you that and stress the im­por­tance of foot­work in ini­ti­at­ing the swing.

But in ad­di­tion, golf is a sport where walk­ing and stand­ing are just as im­por­tant and start­ing with your feet, com­fort and the cor­rect pos­ture can im­pact your body all the way to the top.

Cor­rect shoe in­serts are a key in­gre­di­ent to this end, but vir­tu­ally all golf shoes come with a “one size fits all” in­sert--and most of the af­ter-mar­ket in­serts that are avail­able are not cus­tom fit­ted to each foot and there­for lack all the in­gre­di­ents to truly fit and cor­rect any struc­tural prob­lems that an in­di­vid­ual may have.

A new ser­vice called Up­step solves this prob­lem with a true med­i­cal de­vice—cus­tom made or­thotics— that are cus­tom fit­ted with a mold and then de­signed by a top po­di­a­trist. Up­step was founded by Is­raeli en­trepreneurs who wanted to spe­cial­ize in or­thotics for sports en­thu­si­asts and have con­cen­trated on the golf mar­ket and what play­ers of all lev­els want—bet­ter per­for­mance and more com­fort.

Bet­ter yet, the ser­vice can be ac­cessed on-line or at se­lect re­tail­ers--and the costs are con­sid­er­ably be­low what cus­tom or­thotics usu­ally run. Up­step was founded by Li­mor Katz, Aviad Raz, and Oren Raz, with an in­vest­ment of $3 mil­lion. De­liv­ery is quick and the ser­vice guar­an­tees full cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion.

To ex­pand its foothold in the golf in­dus­try in the United States, Up­step has ap­pointed Oren Geri as its in-house golf ex­pert. Geri is a for­mer Is­raeli golf cham­pion who is fa­mil­iar to the Amer­i­can pub­lic thanks to his par­tic­i­pa­tion in two sea­sons of the re­al­ity show, The Big Break.

“As an in­no­va­tive cus­tom or­thotics com­pany op­er­at­ing in the United States, we saw early on that we were win­ning sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness vol­ume from the golf com­mu­nity,” said Li­mor Katz, co-founder and mar­ket­ing man­ager at Up­step. “To pen­e­trate this mar­ket, our chief po­di­a­trist, Phillip Wells, car­ried out com­pre­hen­sive re­search that in­cluded feed­back from play­ers and coaches on the pro cir­cuit. As a re­sult, we gen­tly in­serted golf en­hanc­ing el­e­ments into our de­sign, while main­tain­ing the com­fort and cus­tomiza­tion plat­form. Up­step’s golf en­hanc­ing el­e­ments help deal with com­mon phys­i­cal prob­lems re­lated to the swing, al­low­ing play­ers to feel more com­fort­able in their shoes, ex­pe­ri­ence greater en­ergy, and im­prove their game.” The process the com­pany has set up is sim­ple. You can or­der on-line and an­swer some ba­sic ques­tions about your shoes and feet to help their staff in the de­sign; a mold kit is sent out and it only takes a few sec­onds to get an im­pres­sion that is shipped back to the com­pany with a mold of your feet. Within 12 days the or­thotics are sent back.

Not only do th­ese well-made cus­tom or­thotics help with the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence of walk­ing, hit­ting shots and bend­ing, they also serve to help in main­tain­ing bal­ance and sta­bil­ity through the swing with their low pro­file yet care­fully de­signed fea­tures that are cus­tom made for ev­ery foot and fa­cil­i­tate bet­ter func­tion.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Up­step: www.up­step.com

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