Do Pro Golfers Wear Metal Spikes from Tell Me More Golf Instructors with Advice for You

In this article, I will talk about whether metal spikes are still a popular choice among professional golfers. 

I am the head golf coach at Tell Me More Golf with over 50 years of golf experience.

Once upon a time, all golfers would walk the fairways in metal spikes. However, metal spikes have been largely banned by golf courses. There are also other options now, so many players no longer need to wear metal spikes. Some go for rubber or plastic spikes, while many even wear spikeless golf shoes that incorporate very small rubber spikes.

Some pro golfers go down the traditional route, though, with around 20% of tour pros opting for metal spikes.

Pro golfers that have worn metal spikes in recent times:

  • Tiger Woods
  • Bryson DeChambeau 
  • Justin Thomas 
  • Phil Mickelson
  • Bubba Watson
  • Rory McIlroy 
  • Matt Kuchar

Golf shoes are an essential part of golfing equipment, but throughout the US, most golf courses have outlawed metal spikes. This means that regular golfers generally cannot use metal spikes when they play. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, it’s difficult to find golf courses that will allow cleats featuring metal spikes. 


Why Don’t Golf Courses Allow Metal Spikes?  

There are a few reasons why golf courses don’t want players wearing metal spikes.

For starters, metal spikes can damage areas of the course, especially if the ground isn’t completely dry. 

Metal cleats can cause tee boxes to become more torn up than they already are, meaning that courses have to renew the ground, or even move the tee box. Metal spikes can also cause the fairways to become cut up, which again leaves golf courses with extra repair work to do. 

Most importantly, metal spikes can damage the greens, which can hinder a player’s ability to putt properly. Greens that have been cut up and are covered in spike marks also need to be repaired, again creating extra repair work. 

Metal spikes can also damage clubhouse facilities, which is another reason as to why golf courses have largely banned that type of golfing footwear

If you are a golfer who is wary of changing from metal spikes, you might be surprised to find how great some of the new models are. I myself switched from metal spikes to a more modern spikeless shoe. Not only do they provide enough grip, but they’re more comfortable too. 

Do Golf Courses Allow Pros to Wear Metal Spikes? 

For professionals it is a little different. When a course hosts a tournament, say an event on the  PGA Tour, they still don’t want metal spikes to be used. Just because it’s the pros, damage is still done by metal spikes. Somewhat famously, in 2021, Jon Rahm got visibly angry when missing a putt, citing (on camera) the holes left by metal spikes as the reason for his miss. 

Due to the damage that metal spikes cause, for tour events courses much prefer the pros to wear either soft-spike shoes or golf shoes that do not feature spikes, though they will generally make an exception for the pros that still wish to go down the metal-spike route, especially the high profile players who tend to favor metal spikes. 


Why Do Pro Golfers Wear Metal Spikes?

Nowadays, thanks to the advancements in golf-shoe manufacturing, there are several alternatives to metal spikes, all of which are designed to give players optimum levels of sturdiness underfoot. 

So, the question is why do some pro golfers still prefer to wear metal spikes? The answer is two-fold. 

Firstly, some players are just set in their ways. Players like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been around the game of golf for a long time, long before hybrid spikes and spikeless golf shoes came on the scene, so you could say that they’re simply used to metal spikes and don’t want to change. 

Secondly, some players, such as US Open and PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, merely feel that metal spikes provide the highest level of grip

Golfers who’ve made their way on the PGA Tour in the last 10 years or so, plus the golfers who’ve only recently emerged at the highest level, largely wear modern-style golf shoes, many of which feature no spikes whatsoever. Such shoes are commonly released by brands such as Adidas, Nike and Puma

However, some modern players still prefer to go down the traditional route. Bryson DeChambeau is one such player. The 29-year-old, who has made a name for himself as a powerful, long-hitting player, opt for metal spikes because he feels that they give him more grip, making slippages less likely as performs his high-speed golf swing. 

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Do professional golfers still use metal spikes?

Yes, some professional golfers still wear metal spikes. The likes of Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson have all worn metal spikes during tournament play in recent times. 

Why are metal spikes banned from golf?

Nowadays, the majority of golf courses in America do not allow metal spikes. Why? Because metal spikes tend to cut up both the fairways and the greens on a golf course, which can be detrimental to play. For example, green damage caused by metal spikes can negatively affect putting. 

Does Rory McIlroy use metal spikes?

Rory McIIroy did use metal spikes at one point, though in recent times, after the majority of golf courses began to express their disapproval of metal spikes, the four-time major winner has worn a hybrid spike, made primarily of plastic. 

Does Bryson wear metal spikes?

Known for his different approach, it is little surprise that Bryson DeChambeau goes against the crowd and still wears metal spikes. The major winner prefers metal spikes because of the extra grip they provide, which is essential for a power hitter like DeChambeau. 

Does Tiger use metal spikes?

In 2018, when suffering from sore ankles, Tiger Woods switched from metal spikes to a soft spike golf shoe, but he swiftly changed back to the metal spikes that have been a consistent part of his set-up throughout the 15-time major winner’s career.  

Does Phil Mickelson still wear metal spikes?

As one of the older pros, Phil Mickelson wears metal spikes, and has done so throughout his illustrious career. The man nicknamed ‘Lefty’ is one of a handful of tour pros who hasn’t switched to a more modern-type golf shoe for fear of slipping when hitting his shots.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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