The golfing risk

The injury rate is higher than sports like skiing.

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You may think of golf as a relatively safe sport, but newly released statistics show that among amateur athletes, between 15.8 and 40.9 percent get injured every year and often underestimate the gravity of their situation. Moreover, the research showed that golfers get injured more than those who take part in skiing.


“Many golf injuries are overuse injuries, so initially it starts off as a small, nagging pain that increases over time,” says Shaylon Rettig, MD, assistant professor of sports medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “Because the discomfort can often be masked with anti-inflammatories and pain medicines, people don’t always realize the severity.” And despite not being a contact sport, “a golf swing can generate significant momentum, power and force, resulting in a high-energy type injury to the shoulder, elbow, or back,” says Elizabeth Matzkin, MD, chief of women’s sports medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

“The most common causes of injuries are poor body and swing mechanics,” says Rettig, who suggests incorporating strength training and flexibility moves into your routine. “You can also get a swing analysis to address any weak areas.”