Golf is a wonderful game played by millions all over the world. There is a sense of freedom whilst roaming a golf course that is unmatched in any other sport. It takes years to become a top-level golfer, but that doesn’t mean that everyone shouldn’t have a go, and enjoy it! While it is a slow-paced and often relaxing activity, there is a chance of injury whilst playing golf. A lot of muscles are used and it is very repetitive.
Read on to find out more about some common golf injuries and our top safety tips to help you avoid them.
Common Injuries In Golf
Many of the most common golf-related injuries are caused by poor posture or overuse of a certain muscle. As we said, it can be very repetitive and targets a select few muscles over and over again, especially when performing a full swing. The most commonly injured area by golfers is the back. There is a lot of rotation through the back when swinging a golf club, and both overuse and poor posture can cause nasty twists and strains on the back. Other areas commonly hurt include the wrists, shoulders, and elbows. We will discuss in more detail below how these injuries can occur, and how to properly avoid them.
The Importance of Grip
If you’re new to golf you may not already know that there is a very specific way of gripping a golf club. The grip involves interlocking your upper hand’s thumb and your lower hand’s pinkie finger. This helps spread an even distribution of power through both your hands and wrists for a fuller and stronger swing. As well as this, it helps to avoid any shock injuries to your hand. Obviously, if you swing poorly and whack the floor, you’ll still feel that shock in your wrists! This grip also makes your hold on the club far more secure and safe, meaning it is very unlikely that the club will fly out of your hands causing injury to yourself or others on the course. We definitely don’t want a 3-Wood zipping through the air towards someone else’s head now, do we?
Adjusting Your Swing
As previously mentioned, the swing puts a lot of repeated strain on your back. While there’s no avoiding this due to the nature of the game – you’ll probably need to swing fully around 40 times around an 18-hole course – there are things you can do to minimize the risk of injury.
Your posture is vitally important when trying to minimize the risk of injury playing golf. Your back should be held straight while your feet are shoulder-width apart and your knees are slightly bent. You should be tilted forward, but that tilt should come through your hips as opposed to hunching over with your shoulders or neck. This posture is the best way to avoid lower back and neck pain during or after a golf game.
There is a huge temptation when teeing off or getting out of the rough to swing wildly at the ball, trying to apply as much power as possible. However, this usually leads to poor posture and increased tension suddenly pushing through your muscles. Think more about your posture and swing than the power to avoid sharp pain in tweaked muscles.
As you play and practice more, your swing will improve. It should be smooth and flowing as power is smoothly transferred through all your muscles. We recommend spending some time with a golf pro or at the driving range to really learn how to relax into your swing. Once you have this natural, smooth swing practiced, you will be far less likely to pull a shoulder or back muscle with a jarring swing.
Wearing The Right Clothing
This may seem odd, but wearing the right clothing can actually help prevent injuries on the golf course. Firstly, the golfers’ glove. Wearing the glove improves your grip and stability which is vital to prevent injury during your swing. Proper golf shoes also help prevent any slips and falls whilst swinging, or even whilst walking up the hill to the next tee. Finally, a cap or visor to prevent the sun shining in your eyes is a top tip, as any distraction whilst swinging could be extremely dangerous… and ruin your game!
So make sure your muscles are warmed up and your swing is smooth. Wear your proper attire and grip your club properly! All of these things will lead to a more enjoyable – and safe – game of golf.