GOLF UW HEALTH SPORTS MEDICINE (P1)
According to the National Golf Foundation there are over 26 million golfers in the United States and an estimated 50–60 million golfers worldwide. The average golfer plays approximately 37 rounds per year and spends many more days practicing. Although considered a low-impact and low-risk sport, golf has an alarming rate of injury. One recent study showed that during a two-year period, 60 percent of golf professionals and 40 percent of amateurs sustained either a traumatic or overuse injury while golfing. Over 80 percent of the reported injuries were related to overuse.
What are the most common injuries in golf?
Golfers most frequently report injuries to the low back, shoulder, and elbow. Injury patterns differ between elite and recreational golfers. Professional and elite golfers tend to experience golf injury related to overuse while amateur golfers may experience injury related to poor swing technique and overuse.
How can golf injuries be prevented?
Warming up before golfing has been shown to decrease the incidence of golf injuries. One survey showed that over 80 percent of golfers spend less than 10 minutes warming up before a round. Those who did warm up had less than half the incidence of injuries of those who did not warm up before playing.
- A physical therapist and/or athletic trainer can help you recognize physical limitations that may be contributing to an injury or poor swing mechanics.
- It has been found that the incidence of low back pain decreases by improving a golfer’s lead hip rotation range of motion (left hip in right-handed golfer).
- A rotator cuff, scapular and core-strengthening program, when performed regularly, can also help decrease your injury rate and increase your playing time.
- Golfers who carry their own bag have twice the incidence of back, shoulder and ankle injuries as those who do not carry their bag.
- Instruction by a teaching professional to address swing faults can be an extremely effective adjunct to a rehabilitation program.
- Reducing the amount of golf you play may also decrease your chance of injury. One study showed a significant increase in injury prevalence if golfers played four or more rounds per week or hit at least 200 range balls per week. These numbers may differ for every golfer but they still emphasize that too much golf does result in more injuries