Golf is one of the most popular recreational sports in the US today. It is also a leading cause of injury. Most “weekend” golfers develop injury problems from poor swing mechanics and or poor conditioning. Professional golfers and those who play very often can run into problems from overuse. Here are some helpful tips designed to keep you out on the course, instead of in the doctor’s office.
Two tips regarding the swing are to rotate the hips and shoulders together, and to avoid bending or hyperextending the spine. If you are not a professional, it might be a good idea to take a lesson or two to improve your swing. It is also important to choose appropriate equipment for your size and skill level.
Several things can be done long before you hit the course to improve conditioning, and proper warming up and stretching will help before each round. Poor fitness and poor flexibility should be worked on to improve endurance and your general health. Strengthening of the core muscles, including the stomach and spine is important in injury prevention. Forearm strengthening is also helpful for the golf game.
Proper warm-up before playing should consist of some type of light exercise to loosen the body, such as brisk walking. Proper stretching should then be done and should include the neck, shoulder, trunk and legs. After stretching, swing practice should be done on the range, or if this is not possible, swinging without a ball should be done. Begin with wedges and then work up through your irons and drivers.
By staying fit and swinging properly you can enjoy golf for many years, without too many stays on “injured reserve.”