We tend to talk a lot about skill-building when it comes to golf – improving your short game, powering up your drive, avoiding slicing. These things are important, but it’s also important to know how to play in order to prevent injury. While golfing is a much safer sport than football or hockey, there is still a chance of injuries like golfer’s elbow, lower back pain, or tendinitis, among others. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you stay on the course and out of pain.
- Dress appropriately. This may seem like a no-brainer, but having the right set of golf shoes can be the difference between a great game and strained knees and ankles. You want your shoes to have short cleats – long cleats can dig too far into the soil. Visit our Pro Shop for more information and to see our stock.
- Warm up. Before you even step onto the green, take some time to warm up your body. Studies have shown that golfers who warm up before their game have less than half the number of injuries than those who don’t. Take a brisk walk or do some jumping jacks, followed by stretching the muscles in the arms, hands, and back. It’s also not a bad idea to follow your game with some more stretching!
- Pre-game. Take the time to hit a few balls before your game, starting with a wedge and working your way to a driver. This lets your muscles get used to the movements before you jump right in. Try to do this on both sides. Your muscles should feel nice and loose by the end of your drill.
- Try not to hit the ground. Hitting anything other than the ball puts you at risk for elbow and wrist injuries, especially at higher speeds.
- Perfect your swing. Make sure that you’re keeping good posture - try not to hunch over the ball. Keep your swing nice and slow, so that your forearm will get less of a shock. Avoid twisting your spine during the swing, and make sure you’re using a proper grip. It’s best to rotate the shoulder and hip about the same amount during your backswing, and keep your spine vertical.
Building up your muscles outside of the game is another great way of preventing in-game injury. We like OrthoInfo’s list of simple exercises you can do at home with dumbbells, rubber tubing, and a tennis ball. Do you have a routine to help you warm up before your game?
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