9 Health Tips for Your First 9 Golf Holes of Spring
MILWAUKEE (April 10, 2007) — With spring on the way and warmer weather ahead, Jeff Wilkens, a physical therapist with the Sports Medicine Center at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, offers the following golf health tips to keep you off your couch and out of your doctor’s office.
- Start with half swings. After a long winter layoff, you may get anxious over the golf ball your first time out on the links. The tendency is to over-swing, but you’ll be much better off if you warm-up by hitting short irons on the range with a 50% swing for 10-15 minutes before you get to the first tee.
- Replace worn-out grips. Many golfers hands’ will become sore after their first few rounds of the spring, undoubtedly because they are using muscles that have been resting all winter. Worn-out grips make the problem much worse, so check your grips and re-grip your clubs if needed before you head out to play.
- Break in new shoes. A new season often means new golf shoes. But be sure to wear them around the house for a day or two to break them in. Blisters can stay with you for weeks — and if you don’t have new shoes, be sure to change your spikes to avoid a nasty slip and the possibility of straining a muscle.
- Don’t forget your hamstrings. Lower back pain is commonly associated with golf, but many people forget that the hamstrings are directly related to the lower back muscles. Stretch your hamstrings regularly, which will in turn help you to decrease strain on your back muscles.
- Apply Sunscreen. That’s right, sunscreen. In April and May, few people think they will be affected by the sun on an overcast spring day. But a four-hour round leaves you little place to hide, and one bad burn can linger all spring.
- Ease into a high volume of play. Playing too much too soon can lead to overuse injuries.
- Stretch when you are warm. Muscles are more responsive to stretch if warmed first. Regular daily stretching is more beneficial than just stretching when you play golf.
- Bring your own water. In spring, many courses don’t have beverage carts on the course. If you are walking, you’ll become much more dehydrated than you might think, putting yourself at risk of injury and muscle fatigue.
- Stand up straight. Posture is key with golf. A straight spine at address is much better for you than being hunched over the ball.
Last Review Date: April 10, 2007