For the recreational player, the most common golf injuries are caused by repetitive strain or faulty, repetitive movements that tax the same muscles, tendons and joints over and over again. Contributing factors include too much play and practice, faulty swing mechanics and poor physical conditioning.
While practice may make perfect, continuing to reinforce improper mechanics breeds injury. Lessons with a golf pro can help to ensure proper posture and improve overall swing mechanics. Golfers with fewer lessons have significantly higher rates of injury.
Pre-Round Golf-Specific Warm-Up
Studies have shown that 15 – 20 minutes or more of warm-up and functional stretching prior to play significantly reduces injury risk, particularly related to overuse or repetitive strain.
Focus on the wrists and forearms, shoulders, back and torso and lower body. Improving the rotational ability of the spine and hips has also been shown to decrease risk of injury.
A rehabilitation specialist can help you individualize a comprehensive, golf-specific dynamic warm-up to help prevent injury, keep you on the course and improve your game.
Strengthening Goes a Long Way
Your trunk muscles include the abdominals, back muscles and muscles of the hip and groin. Improving the overall conditioning and strength of these important muscle groups helps to reduce the incidence of injury significantly.
Equipment Holding Up?
Do your grips need replacing? Should you try a thicker grip? What material are your clubs made of? Do you need a custom fit?
- Use gloves on both hands for a better grip during your swing.
- Thicker grips reduce the amount of strength necessary to hold the clubs.
- Replace your grips every 40 – 50 rounds.
- Graphite, carbon and titanium are light-weight club materials that require significantly less strength to swing and absorb more impact forces.
- Fit your clubs to your body. Consider custom or longer than standard clubs if you are a taller individual or for specific physical considerations.
- Use a longer putter to decrease strain on the structures of the upper back, shoulders and neck.
- Wear short cleats or tennis shoes to decrease foot hold, torque and strain on your knees, hips and lower back.
The Titleist Performance Institute is a great resource with many helpful tips: www.mytpi.com/exercises