Tips For Safe Golfing Through The Summer
The golf season in Minnesota is too short to lose time to injuries that keep you off the green. We have tips to help you golf safely through the season.
Busy Twin Cities golf courses are a testament to the popularity of golf—and the dedication of golfers who want to make the most of summer months. Although golf does not make strenuous physical demands on the golfer, there is still a risk of injury. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 114,000 golf-related injuries in 2013. The majority of these injuries affect the ankle, elbow, spine, knee, hip, and wrist.
Some of the most common golfing injuries we treat include the following:
- Strains, sprains, and low back pain caused by a poor golf swing
- Injuries to golfers resulting from poor conditioning and/or flexibility
- Overuse injuries caused by performing a golf swing over and over again, which puts repeated stress on the same muscles, tendons, and joints
Symptoms of golf injuries include hand tenderness or numbness, elbow and wrist problems, and shoulder, back, and knee pain. All of these injuries can be prevented with a little attention to your overall fitness, golfing form, and equipment selection. These suggestions that can keep novice and professional golfers on the golf course all season long.
- Do an overall fitness check. Golf requires strong core muscles to support the spine and good flexibility. An exercise program focused on core strength and flexibility can lower the chance of a strain, sprain, or other injury.
- Evaluate and correct your form at the start of the season. When you swing, your hips and shoulders should rotate together. Some golfers risk injury by bending or hyperextending the spine as they swing. Consider taking lessons to improve your swing and correct any problems in your form that make you more vulnerable to injury.
- Strengthen your forearm muscles. Golfer’s elbow is an injury caused by inflammation of soft tissues on the inside of the elbow. Exercises like squeezing a tennis ball and using light weights for wrist curls and reverse wrist curls can prevent this injury. It also helps to concentrate on slowing your golf swing to reduce shock in the elbow when the ball is hit.
- Play with the correct equipment. Choose clubs that are appropriate for your size and your level of skill.
- Warm up and stretch before you play. A proper warm up loosens muscles and improves flexibility before you hit the course. Before you play, prepare with brisk walking for a few minutes and stretches focused on the neck, shoulders, spine, and legs.
- Hit the driving range before you play. Start your swing practice with wedges, and move to irons and drivers as you feel more limber.
- Protect your skin by using sunscreen. Although not an orthopedic issue, sun safety is important. Use sunscreen, sunglasses that filter out UVA and UVB rays, and wear a hat with a visor to protect your face.
- Use care in the golf cart. Golfers have broken their ankles when their feet were caught under a moving cart. Keep your feet in the cart.
Golfing is a wonderful way to enjoy the summer. We hope these tips will keep you fit, injury-free, and out enjoying our Twin Cities courses all summer long.
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