Fall Golf Season – Preparing for 2019
After a very warm summer we are now experiencing real Fall with cooler nights and changing colours. We are likely noticing our golf balls react different to these temperatures, and wearing Fall clothing can be restricting, but we adapt! Our bodies also adapt to the loads that we have asked of them during the season, and sometimes they are sending us painful messages that parts of our bodies need attention.
As a physiotherapist who has golfed for most of her life, and studied the biomechanics and injury characteristics of golf, I wanted to bring you into Fall golf realizing what your body might be telling you. So I have summarized the main golf injuries that we see – as they differ across genders, age groups, and elite vs. recreational golfers.
What are the most common areas of injury in golf?
- In men – back and shoulder
- In women – shoulder and wrist followed by back
Who is at risk?
- New golfers – due to improper equipment and technique
- Golfers who sit all day – their bodies are not prepared when they go to play
- Older golfers – increased stiffness and other health problems combine to create challenges
- Elite golfers – overtraining without proper rest or attention to injury, improper nutrition and hydration, travel challenges
- Junior golfers – improper fitting of equipment eg. Borrowing from family members, trying to swing too hard, developing body not adapted to equipment or swing type
- Individuals who already suffer from back, shoulder, elbow, or wrist pain
Strategies to reduce risk:
- Proper club fitting for all ages
- Lessons for new golfers to begin good golf habits
- Address any injuries/pain prior to play and then early on when they occur during the season
- Pay attention to year round training and fitness – addressing endurance, flexibility, power, and balance
- Be well hydrated and get good nutritional information so that your body can perform at its best throughout the round
- Stretch main areas after you have a dynamic warm up and throughout play
- Be aware of your body mechanics when bending to get the ball and lifting clubs out of trunk
- Be sure to check your grips twice per season for tackiness
- See a golf specific physiotherapist to ensure you have addressed your risk factors and heal quickly
We look forward to hearing from you for a consult if you are experiencing any of the above and/or want to screen or prepare best for the off season, travel golf, or 2019. Enjoy Fall golf!
Heather Anders, B.Sc.(PT), CAFCI
Fitforegolf Certified Physiotherapist