Tee Time Trivia
- A staggering 60 million people play golf worldwide
- The average golfer has a 12,500 to 1 chance of making a hole-in-one. Tiger Woods, however, got his first at the ripe old age of eight!!!
- Golf was one of the only sports to be played on the moon
- Golfers are actually injured more often than rugby players, with 62% of amateurs and 85% of professionals sustaining a significant injury associated with playing golf.
Fatalities on the fairway
OK, that’s a somewhat dramatic title (!) but there are a number of injuries that can be sustained during play. Despite its perception as a low-impact sport, golf can be very demanding. It requires strength, endurance, explosive power, flexibility and athletic ability to perform a movement that produces some of the fastest club head and ball speeds of any sport.
Trauma to the lower back accounts for one third of all injuries, regardless of age or ability. This is “fore” two main reasons…
…A good swing requires significant club-head speed, which is something that is only achieved by applying a lot of torque (force) and torsion (twisting) throughout your lower back.
…Compared to other sports, golf puts a lot of pressure on your spine. The average golf swing produces a compression load on your back equal to 8 times your body weight, whereas a sport like running produces a compression load just 3 times your body weight.
Whilst the lower back is often the source of pain, it is rarely the cause. The leading cause is poor swing mechanics associated with a lack of mobility in the ankles, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders. These issues result in the lower back being over-stressed and eventually breaking down.
Other top golf-related injuries include trauma to the elbow, wrist/hand or shoulder. (So much for golf being a low-impact activity!)
The main causes of injury include:
- Frequency of repetitive practice (overworked muscles)
- Suboptimal swing mechanics
- Inadequate warm-up routine
- Poor overall physical conditioning
With the average recovery time lasting 2-4 weeks, addressing the main causes of injury is well worth the effort.
How can you stay feeling on par, and even better improve your game?
The simple answer is through targeted and routine conditioning. Golf requires strength, endurance, flexibility and explosive power in order to play the game well – and not hurt yourself in the process. Physical conditioning routines designed specifically for golfers can help you stay on the green and out of pain, AND conditioning your body to avoid injury also helps you improve your game.
An 11-week targeted conditioning program found participants:
- Increased their clubhead speed by 7%
- Improved their strength up to 56%
- Improved their flexibility up to 39%
- Increased their drive distance up to 15 yards with sustained accuracy
Whether you’re a casual golfer or serious about your game we can help you avoid injury and improve your skills. Check out the resources below which:
- outline 5 basic strategies for sidestepping a golf injury, including improving mobility and flexibility.
- summarise common golf injuries and changes you can make in your golfing technique to reduce the chance of injury, in a handy “cheat sheet”.
- contain a number of exercises which focus on creating mobility in the thoracic spine and hips and strengthening your core to protect your back.
If you’re currently experiencing pain or potentially even an injury, osteopathy and physiotherapy can help to manage it in a few ways i.e. help mobilise the joints and soft tissues around the lower back, relieve tight structures and muscle spasm or utilise dry needling to provide lower back pain relief. Exercise therapy can also improve flexibility
and strengthen any muscle weaknesses.