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Golf shoes have become increasingly casual in recent years. Some golfers even wear sandals on the course. Why not take things a step further (so to speak) and play in your bare feet?

Actually, we’re not advocating a shoeless trek around 18 holes. But practicing sans shoes can do wonders for your balance. And balance, most golf teachers will tell you, is the No. 1 key to solid ballstriking.

Next time you’re on the range, slip off your golf shoes and hit a few half-shots with a wedge. Then work up to a full swing. It sounds easy, but you may be surprised how tough it is to maintain balance without the support of golf shoes. Conversely, balance will be a cinch once you put the shoes back on.

If you prefer to keep your toes covered while working on your balance, there’s always the classic feet-together drill. And if you’re really ambitious, try combining these two drills — hit shots with your bare feet placed together.

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