Golf and Health

Golf is a casual activity that can be played by people of all ages. Golf is a leisurely sport and injury risk is relatively low when compared to such other sports as football. However injuries can still occur.

The most common injuries are to the:

  • Lower back – Most frequent complaint among golfers is lower back pain.
  • Wrist – injuries to the wrist are common due to overuse and/or by hitting the ground during a swing.
  • Elbow – Golfer’s can suffer a similar injury as in tennis (Tennis Elbow), called Golfer’s elbow. It’s caused by a repeated motion that causes the tendons in your elbow to become inflamed.
  • Shoulders – Swinging a golf club can put a strain on your shoulder muscles, particularly as you get older.
Some things to remember to assist you in avoiding injury are to do warm up and stretching exercises before playing. You should pay particular attention to your back, shoulders, arms and neck. Not warming up before teeing off can be a big mistake. Joint restriction (in the back and hamstrings) causing muscles to be tight and force you to make changes to your swing.

Some of the things that you should consider in addition to stretch exercises before you play are:

  • Reduce your grip pressure and loosen up your arm muscles during a swing. The tight grip and arm muscles actually reduce your flexibility and golf swing.
  • Consider changing from steel to graphite shafts to reduce arm strain at impact.
  • Whenever practicing, try to hit off the grass instead of the rubber mats.
  • In your swing, try to avoid contact with rocks, trees or sprinkler heads.
  • During the backswing always bring the club head back slowly.
Enjoy your next round of golf!