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Common Golf Related Injuries

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Golf is often perceived as a leisurely sport, enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. While it's true that golf is relatively low-impact compared to many other sports, it's not immune to injuries. In fact, golf injuries are more common than you might think. Understanding these injuries, their causes, and how to prevent them can help golfers enjoy the game while staying injury-free.

infographic of golf injuries
Infographic from

Common Golf Injuries

  1. Golfer's Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): This painful condition affects the tendons on the inner side of the elbow, resulting from repetitive gripping and swinging motions. Symptoms include pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow.

  2. Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Contrary to its name, tennis elbow can affect golfers too. It involves the tendons on the outer side of the elbow, caused by the repetitive use of the forearm muscles during the swing. Symptoms include pain on the outer part of the elbow.

  3. Back Pain: The golf swing, while graceful, places significant stress on the lower back. Poor swing mechanics or overexertion can lead to lower back pain. Golfers may experience stiffness, muscle spasms, or even herniated discs.

  4. Rotator Cuff Injuries: The shoulder's rotator cuff tendons can become inflamed or torn due to the repetitive motion of the golf swing. This can cause pain, weakness, and restricted range of motion in the shoulder.

  5. Knee Injuries: The torque generated during the golf swing can strain the knees, leading to conditions like patellar tendinitis or meniscus tears. Golfers may experience pain, swelling, and instability in the knee joint.

  6. Wrist Injuries: The impact forces from striking the ball or the ground can result in wrist injuries, including sprains, fractures, or tendonitis. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, and limited wrist mobility.

  7. Hip Injuries: The rotation of the hips during the golf swing can lead to hip strains or overuse injuries. Golfers may experience pain and discomfort in the hip region.

  8. Hand and Finger Injuries: Gripping the golf club tightly can lead to blisters, calluses, or even hand and finger fractures. These injuries can cause pain and affect a golfer's ability to hold the club properly.

Causes of Golf Injuries

Golf injuries often stem from a combination of factors, including:

  1. Poor Swing Mechanics: Incorrect swing mechanics, such as over-rotating the hips or using excessive force, can strain the body and lead to injuries over time.

  2. Overuse: The repetitive nature of the golf swing can strain muscles, tendons, and joints, especially if a golfer practices excessively without proper rest.

  3. Lack of Warm-Up: Failing to warm up adequately before a round of golf can increase the risk of injury. Cold muscles are more prone to strain and injury.

  4. Inadequate Conditioning: Golf requires physical fitness and flexibility. Golfers who neglect their conditioning may be more susceptible to injuries.

Prevention and Injury Management

Preventing golf injuries and managing them effectively are essential for golfers to continue enjoying the game. Here are some tips for both:


  1. Proper Warm-Up: Spend 10-15 minutes warming up before your round. Gentle stretching, light cardiovascular exercise, and some practice swings can help prepare your body for the demands of the game.

  2. Strength and Flexibility: Regularly engage in exercises that improve your core strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. This can help you maintain proper swing mechanics and reduce the risk of injury.

  3. Correct Swing Mechanics: Consider taking lessons from a golf professional to ensure your swing is biomechanically sound. Proper technique can significantly reduce the risk of injuries.

  4. Balanced Practice: Avoid excessive practice sessions that strain specific muscles or joints. Mix up your practice routine to avoid overuse injuries.

  5. Appropriate Equipment: Ensure your golf clubs are properly fitted to your body and swing. Ill-fitted clubs can contribute to swing-related injuries.

What to do about injuries

  1. Seek out a qualified professional: If your injuries are little aches and pains or major that is stopping you from swinging a club the most efficient course of action is to seek a qualified provider that understands the golf swing and demands of the sport.

  2. Find and work on imbalances: Most injuries are caused by the overuse of a specific area. This is typically fixed by finding the areas that do not work well and improving the mobility and strength of that area.

  3. Work with a swing coach: Having a swing coach that will look at the mechanics of your swing can make all the difference. A good coach will make the swing fit your body and its current capabilities.

Golf may be a low-impact sport, but it's not without its share of common injuries. Understanding the causes of these injuries and taking proactive measures to prevent them is crucial for golfers who want to continue enjoying the game pain-free. Remember, it's essential to prioritize safety and seek professional advice if you experience persistent pain or discomfort related to golf. With the right approach, you can swing safely and sustainably for years to come.

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