Golf-related injuries in Australian amateur golfers (P1)

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Abstract

Objective

To perform an epidemiological study in order to determine the golf-related injury locations, injury rates and possible risk factors for golf injury in amateur golfers across Australia.

Method

A retrospective cross-sectional survey of Australian golf club members was used to collect data for the study. Chi-square testing was used to evaluate the association between golf injury and each possible risk factor at univariate level. All the possible risk factors were further examined in multivariate analysis using logistical regression.

Results

There were 1 634 golfers included in the present study. Of these, 288 reported having had one or more golfrelated injuries in the previous year. The most common injury location was the lower back (25.3%), followed by the elbow (15.3%) and shoulder (9.4%). The most common injury mechanism was poor technique in execution of the golf swing (44.8%). Age, warm-up status, conditioning habits, wearing a golf glove/s and injury acquired in other sports / activities were significantly associated with risk of golf injury (p < 0.05). Equipment use such as type of golf club shaft used, type of shoes used and other factors studied were not statistically significant.

Conclusion

The most injured sites identified in this study were the lower back, elbow and shoulder respectively. Risk of injury during golfing varied according to age group, warm-up status, conditioning habits, whether the player wore a golf glove/s, and whether the golfer had been injured in other activities.

Golf-related injuries

Introduction

Golf is a popular sport played worldwide by people of all ages and skill levels. Part of the appeal of golf is that there are no gender, skill or age limits to participation. Golf participation rates vary across all age ranges and are high in the older age groups. This is partly due to the fact that those in the older/retired population have more leisure time to pursue activities and the fact that golf is low impact with a general aerobic component, which makes it a perfect recommendation for practitioners wanting their patients to exercise. Golf is a popular option as it also provides social interaction and can be played at all skill levels due to its handicap system. Additionally, for those people who like to remain active and competitive as they age, golf is a popular option.

Although uncommon, injuries do occur whilst playing golf. Considering the popularity of golf, both in terms of participation and spectator rates, it is surprising that there have been only a few small studies on golf injury. Gosheger et al.8 reported that most of our understanding of golf injuries relies on two publications produced by McCarroll et al.13 in 1990 and Batt in 1992,4 and one produced over 20 years ago by McCarroll and Gioe.14 The aims of this study were to determine the golf-related injury locations among amateur golfers across Australia, to examine the common injury mechanisms in golf, and to determine if factors such as age, gender and skill level affect injury rates. As golf-related injury occurs frequently in the golf swing, this study also attempted to ascertain the golf swing phase during which most injuries occur.

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