After the recent news of Tiger Woods' most recent back surgery hit, it got us thinking about some of the injuries golfers experience most regularly through their careers.
With golf opportunities a little thin on the ground in 2020, the last thing you want is for a niggling injury to keep you away from the golf course this year. To help you in that regard, check out our list of some of the most common (and most annoying) golf injuries - and how to avoid them.
Lower Back Injury
The most common injury amongst golfers is a pain in the lower back, usually due to the level of a strain placed upon it during the golf swing. The powerful rotational forces of your swing, your stance over the putter, the downward pressure when carrying your golf bag, these examples (and more) can all play their role in the formation of a potentially debilitating back injury.
Golfer's elbow - or elbow tendinitis - is an injury to the inner tendon on your forearm which can be caused by hitting a nasty fat shot, or when overusing your forearm muscles on the inside of the elbow to grip, flex, and rotate your wrist and arm when you swing.
It's very similar to the rather more well-known 'tennis elbow', with the main difference being the strained tendon's location. It's just as problematic and can keep you from the golf course for a considerable period.
The reality of golf is that it's exceptionally demanding on a golfer's joints and, thanks to 'Old Father Time', knee injuries can become more common as you get older. Rotation at the beginning of your swing can put a lot of stress and strain on your knee, so it's essential to warm up before you play and practice good body mechanics during your round.
Sprains or strains are usually caused by a sudden twist of the knee, while many other golf injuries can occur through overuse over time. If you're struggling with lead knee pain, check out this simple tip from Dennis Pugh to help you make a somewhat more unrestricted swing.
The high-speed repetitive motions of golf can put your wrists under plenty of strain, and they become a high risk for injury. It's quite common to experience pain and tenderness on the top of the wrist at the top of the backswing and at impact.
The most common golf-related wrist injury is the swelling of the tendons responsible for wrist movement - known as tendinitis. As with many golf injuries, problems with your wrist can occur through overuse.
A Damaged Ego | The Most Painful Golf 'Injury'? 😜
Golf is, and always will be, a leveller. It's a sport played by men and women from all walks of life, and it's one with the ability to both 'giveth and taketh away'. During a poor round, you might feel that the 'golf gods' are giving you a 'whooping', but don't beat yourself up - golf is a technically difficult game well-known for bruising many an ego over the years.
Though it may be emotionally painful, unlike the physical injuries above, if your ego does take a battering, there's no real treatment required. Suck it up, shake it off and move on to your next round. It could just be the day you shoot your best score ever!!
How to Prevent Golf Injuries
A solid warm-up before every round is a great way to avoid injury and it has a fantastic by-product of ensuring you are loose enough to put your best swing on the ball from the first tee-box.
Ensure you stretch thoroughly, focusing on every part of your body involved in the golf swing. Your hands, wrists, arms, forearms, elbows, shoulders, spine and pelvis will all need to be loosened up before you hit your first ball of the day.
Use Correct Posture
If you're one of the many golfers who stands over the ball with a poor posture - most often a hunched back - you could be on a slippery slope to future back or neck pain. Achieving a stable athletic posture at set-up is one of the keys to a good golf swing, but it's also essential to help protect the muscles in your back and neck from injury.
Andy and Piers from MeAndMyGolf help you get into an athletic posture in the video below.
Build Your Golf Fitness
Over time, the best way to avoid a golf injury is to work on your overall golf fitness. It's something you should try to build gradually and mostly away from the golf course. Engaging in other sports is always a good way of enhancing your aerobic fitness, while specific golf exercises can help ensure you have an improved range of motion the next time you tee it up.
Practice Good Swing Mechanics
A poor golf swing can cause or aggravate a golf injury, so it's essential to deal with any noticeable flaws that are placing too much strain on a particular part of your body.
If you rely on one part of your body for all the power in your swing, this could cause you issues down the line. Power should come from the force being transferred through all of your muscle groups. The best way to ensure you're effectively swinging the club is to link in with a golf coach for a steer in the right direction.