the body up prior to playing a round of golf or practicing on the driving range
prepares the body both physically and mentally.
Increased blood-flow to the muscles and joints, and improved flexibility
with warming-up helps to improve performance.
If that is not enough, it also reduces the potential for injury.
It is a fallacy that simply hitting balls on a driving range and doing a
few stretches adequately prepares a body for the rigors of a round of golf.
In fact, we now know that stretching prior to engaging in a physical
activity does NOT reduce the likelihood of injury!
The better approach is to warm up first and then prepare the body to do
the motions you require of it. Warming-up involves physical activity that raises
the heart rate thereby increasing the blood flow to the various tissues of the
yourself at least fifteen minutes to warm-up.
Start with 5 – 10 minutes of climbing stairs, jogging on the spot,
rigorous walking or any other activity that gets the heart rate up and the
‘blood flowing’. Once the body is ‘warm’, range of motion exercises may be
commenced such as back bends, backward neck bends, side bends and upper body
rotations. You are then ready to
spend some time at the driving range to rehearse the swing portion of you game.
Until you feel comfortable and loose, hit half shots with a short club (8
iron or shorter) and take time between shots to line up a target and focus on
the easy swings. Begin by
concentrating on easy swinging, being mindful not to over-torque at either end
of the swing. Gradually work up to full shots and then use longer clubs
maintaining the same fluid motion with every club and every swing.
Wearing a jacket or sweater on cooler days may seem like common sense,
but it may prove beneficial to your game by keeping your muscles warmer and more
pliable. Bear in mind that it is
more difficult to injure a warm muscle than a cold one.
tend to tighten and build up wasteful chemicals after activity.
Stretching as a cool-down helps restore the proper flexibility to the
muscles and help remove the build-up of chemicals in the muscles.
Furthermore, it will help to reduce the ‘next day’ soreness sometimes
experienced after a round of golf or practice session.
get enticed by the hotdog and soda after the ninth hole to fill the hunger gap. The best way to counteract this impulse is to be prepared.
Bring a few snacks with you to put in your golf bag and bring water since
you can lose as much as a litre of sweat, if not more, during a hot day on the
golf course. A good rule of thumb
is to drink water before, during, and after a round of golf.
Golf Bags and Carts
manual cart over an electric golf cart. It
is becoming commonplace with today’s golf courses to offer electric carts to
lug the golfer easily through the golf course.
With so many people in today’s society arguing that they cannot find
the time to exercise, walking a golf course is just one of the ways to ensure a
degree of physical activity in an otherwise busy day.
It’s interesting that we can find the time to golf but find it
difficult to schedule time to exercise!
you carry your clubs, use a two-strap system instead on the more common
one-strap bags. Placing repetitive
stress to one side of the body gives rise to overuse conditions and places more
counterproductive mechanical stress to the body than should be exerted.
those that feel most comfortable with the one-strap system, be sure to alternate
the side you carry your golf bag on and always, walk upright. Not surprisingly, the average golf bag weighs 22 pounds!
Utilize a bag size that is appropriate for your body stature.
Too often a
golfer is seen carrying a bag
too large and probably has 30 lbs.
non-essentials inside. Furthermore,
it’s a long
course so it is important to take
frequent breaks when carrying a heavy
Don’t wait for pain!
those golfers that prefer the pull/push cart for their clubs, it is preferable
to push the cart instead of pull it. Whether
it is uphill, downhill or flat, players that push their clubs are better able to
avoid twisting and gain increased control.
using a motorized or electric golf cart, try to sit in an upright position.
If you have back problems, consider using a full-back support or at least
roll up a towel to support the normal curve of the low back.
already required by the golf course played, changing to the new non-metal cleats
is recommended. Non-metal cleats
tend to provide more comfort during the long walk around the golf course without
the loss of traction.
golfing, you may be on your feet for four to five hours so comfortable shoes are
a must. Be sure to break in new
shoes before wearing them on the golf course and carry a back-up pair with you
to change into when you do wear them for the first time on the golf course.
Also, take a break and give your feet a rest.
Take advantage of extra time on the tee box by grabbing a seat for a few
minutes. If after following these
suggestions, you still are experiencing foot and / or knee pain, a consultation
with a health care professional regarding the appropriateness of orthotics may
be in order.
burn your skin, damage the retina of your eyes and contribute to cataracts.
Prolonged exposure can also result in skin cancer.
Always apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or
greater. Apply prior to arriving at
the golf course and reapply sunscreen throughout the day.
Also, wear a hat, preferably with a brim and wear sunglasses.
Ultraviolet protective sunglasses greatly reduce damage to the eyes.
time outside on hot, humid days can cause heat stress.
The first symptoms are headaches, dizziness, and weakness. If you develop any of these symptoms, loosen your clothing,
rest in a cool area and drink plenty of water.
Avoiding long periods of exposure to the sun during the most heat
intensive periods of the day (11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) is a good precautionary
measure. Using an umbrella, or
seeking the shade of trees whenever possible, is also highly recommended.
If you can
see lightning or hear thunder, you are already at risk of getting struck by
lightning. In the United States,
lightning is responsible for five to ten deaths per year and over 100 injuries
on the golf course alone! Lightning
normally strikes the tallest object in its range, and a person standing in the
middle of an open field is a target. Golfers
are advised to avoid being near high places, open fields, isolated trees and
bodies of water. Don’t take
chances! Do not take refuge in your
golf cart – head for the clubhouse.
Standing, Bending, Lifting
of the worst habits not only at the golf course but it everyday life is poor
lifting and ‘picking up’ habits. It
would be a strange day indeed not to see the average golfer bending over to tee
or retrieve a golf ball. Bending
forward at the waist to pick up an object, lifting an object that is far away
from your body, or twisting while you lift, are all poor practices.
Remember to bend your knees maintaining the normal curve of your low back
and crouch down to tee a ball or to retrieve it.
Always avoid any twisting motions of your body
standing for long periods of time try to maintain an erect posture.
Occasionally shifting your weight from one foot to the other allows a
more even distribution of weight to the spine and the rest of your body.
health of your spine, a great habit to develop is the ‘reverse swing’.
Take the time when standing around to swing the club in a reverse
direction. This helps to even out
the body’s muscle activity and maintains symmetry.
a Great Golf Season!