One of the biggest factors impacting a golfer’s career in my experience is injury. Yet, unless a golf injury is traumatic and visual, such as Tony Finau’s ankle injury at the Masters; or leads to a legend such as Tiger Woods missing a Major, then media coverage tends to be limited to a side note to a withdrawal or as part of a discussion of a possible reason for poor play.
Golfers elbow, lower back pain or a wrist injury is not a big news headline, but is a key factor – often a turning point – in a player’s career. An injury rarely happens in an instant, they are generally non-traumatic and commonly a sign of overuse or unmanaged overload.
Relatively little is written in the glossy golf magazines about injury prevention and rehab as the way to improve or maintain your game. More often it is tips from the stars, inventive drills, a new fitness training focus, double page spreads about Bryson De Chambeau bursting out of lockdown with an extreme increase in big clubhead speed. Something which incidentally requires untold hours in the gym and on the range and is far from a ‘burst’ of fresh speed, but I digress.
The fact is that golf injury can be a total game changer; whether it happens on the course, on the range, walking the dog or sitting at your desk. Golf injuries, can stop play indefinitely, negatively affect performance and increase mental stress for both professional golfers and amateurs.
Many of these game changing injuries are non-traumatic; difficult to trace to a single moment or movement and commonly a sign of overuse or overload.
If you are struggling with golfers elbow, lower back pain or wrist pain, below are a few examples of how it could have happened:
Typically occurs when a golfer changes technique or the volume of golf (how much they play or practice) suddenly increases. This can happen in a matter of weeks, but do not despair, you do not have to live with it with appropriate physio and rehab it can often be settled quickly.
Lower back pain
For any level of golfer the swing is highly taxing on the lower back with excessive forces acting on the spine. Reduced mobility in certain areas can cause stress to be transferred excessively to the spine. If the musculature around the spine is not strong enough to counteract these forces, the joints are at high risk of injury. Most people have a desk-based job, the golf swing is the opposite to this and therefore appropriate warm up and conditioning need to counteract the static time at work and the extreme dynamic task of hitting a golf ball – it is a nice walk but interspersed with a highly technical movement.
Changes in technique
...and therefore new stresses on the body and/or a sudden increase in how many golf balls are hit. Think of a sports car sitting in a garage for 6 months and then taken straight out onto the track without a warm-up, not a good idea.
If you are struggling with pain or discomfort during the golf swing, do not despair. You don’t have to live with it and it isn’t necessarily ‘just part of aging’. Pain can be resolved for most people, but you have to prepared to do something about it.
For golf related chat follow me on instagram @robhobscience.
If you are struggling with an injury affecting your golf get in touch by calling 07921 772934 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.