To an untrained observer, golf looks like a restful sport. Amateurs everywhere go on to golf courses and try to emulate the professionals, with or without adequate preparation or training. It may shock you to learn that over half – in fact, 62% – of non-professionals receive notable injuries as a result of playing golf.
The rate is even higher for professionals. Whilst they may have undergone sufficient preparation and have developed a good swing, the sheer number of balls they hit in a day (between 200 and 500) takes its toll on their bodies. So how can anyone who plays golf minimize the chance of getting injured? Let’s find out how.
Protect Your Back
Damage to the lower back is the most common golf injury. This is because the pelvis rotates each time a person makes a power swing. Tendons and muscles get pulled, as do ligaments. Even the discs in someone’s lumbar spine can become worn down. During the swing (especially the downward motion) the pelvis and trunk should all move together. Shoulders and hips should rotate in tandem.
Golfers can spend up to five hours bent over the balls, making hundreds of swings. It’s therefore essential to regularly perform exercises that enhance the flexibility and strength of your back.
It’s also worth thinking about the equipment you will be carrying around with you. According to the professionals at theleftrough.com/best-golf-cart-bag/ people are able to discard heavy, clunky bags in exchange for Sunday golf bags that only hold 14 or fewer clubs. If they use a golf cart, however, they can safely use heavier cart bags that have more pockets and compartments.
Protect Your Wrists From Tendonitis
When swinging the club, make a fist with your lead hand and have your thumb upright. Let the impact of the hit go through to the back of your left wrist to share the impact and reduce strain.
Any activity that involves repetition and high speeds can put a strain upon a person’s wrists. As a result, players should have a golf-specific conditioning program for their whole body. This should be done in advance of the golf season and be continued throughout.
Look After Your Elbows
If someone hasn’t mastered their swing there will be a jarring impact that could tear at their bone. This would manifest as Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow. The older the golfer becomes, the more at risk they will be of developing such an issue.
Golfers should research and receive training on how to perform swings effectively. Any tendon damage will respond to rest. The area should heal and the swelling is reduced over time.
Strain can be put upon a person’s knee when they do a power shot. This is because they strive to maintain balance during the rotatory action and move forward. Knees can become compressed and cartilage damage can ensue. Arthritis can also appear in later life.
Attention should be given to a person’s swing if there are such issues. If someone experiences knee pain they should rest and put ice on it. A doctor’s intervention may even be needed if symptoms persist.
Watch Your Neck And Shoulder Action
After hours of leaning over a golf club, it’s possible to encounter neck spasms or to feel it has frozen in a painful position. The conditioning exercises are key here as they help strengthen your shoulders and upper back. Always perform warm-up exercises before starting your game too. Build up slowly too – don’t go from anything to five hours of continuous play!
Concentrate on your backswing in order to protect your shoulders. Hitting the ground by mistake can create a traumatic force to the body. You would risk damaging your rotator cuffs and having a torn cartilage. The medical treatment for these issues could include anything from anti-inflammatory drugs to surgery.
Learn to grip the iron properly, to protect your hands and fingers. Wear quality golfing shoes to protect your ankles and feet. Finally, wear sunblock and reapply as the day goes on. This will protect you from sunburn or developing skin cancer.
It’s important to have conditioning exercises that are tailored to your game. Begin this pre-season and don’t stop until you cease playing. Gain proper golf training. If it costs you, it will be worth the money if it stops you from getting injured. Build up slowly, and only use suitable equipment.
Don’t strain your back with heavy bags. Perform warm-up exercises before you begin and regularly stretch during the game session. When all these things are done you will be in a great position to not just stay healthy, but to thoroughly enjoy this inspiring sport.