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Prevent golf injuries

Dramatic image of a man golfing

May 4, 2023—When it comes to golf, injuries are often par for the course. In fact, as many as 4 out of 10 amateur golfers are injured each year. These six tips can help.

Take a swing at avoiding injury

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), repetitive movements and improper form can lead to low-back pain—the most common golf injury—and joint problems such as "golfer's elbow" or injuries to the wrists, ankles, knees and hips.

To keep your back and joints up to par, try these tips from the AAOS, the Arthritis Foundation and other experts:

  • Build up your body. Exercise off the course to strengthen your back muscles and improve flexibility. Working on your upper body and core muscles may improve your game too.
  • Put your best footwear forward. Wear good-quality walking shoes or spike-less golf shoes. Good cushioning, in particular, is a must.
  • Lighten your load. Bring only the clubs you will need. Pull your golf bag instead of carrying it—or use a golf cart.
  • Ease your grip. To reduce hand and finger pain or fatigue, use athletic tape or a custom grip to bulk up the grip on your clubs, and consider wearing golf gloves.
  • Don't skip your warm-up. Before you hit the first hole, get your blood moving by walking for a few minutes. Then do simple stretches that target your shoulders, back and legs.
  • Focus on form. Sweep your swing to hit the ball and let its natural momentum continue to the follow-through position, finishing with your spine as vertical as possible. A classic swing may be most comfortable for golfers with back pain.

Play it safe

If back or joint pain is affecting your game, tell your doctor. Treatment can help. And don't forget to protect your skin while playing. Remember these sun safety tips.


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