The Healthy Golfer Blog

The recent weather here in Victoria, BC hopefully served as a reminder to get ourselves conditioned for another great year of golf. As we approach spring, let's review some simple and important aspects to getting ready for increased golf play:


Firstly, it is important to have good posture. The reason is that posture promotes good mobility and good mobility allows the body to operate more efficiently, which for golfer’s means a smooth backswing and follow through. Conversely, a poor posture = poor address + poor swing path. Secondly, increasing your flexibility is also necessary to better enjoy success at golf. The spine is the main rotational component, which is pivotal in the golf swing. With greater flexibility comes greater spinal rotation and thus a more solid golf swing. Finally, you need strength to play golf well. Specific muscle groups need to be strengthened to prevent injury, to give stability to the joints and increase club head speed, this promotes good correlated muscle group co-ordination resulting in smooth and efficient backswing and follow through. The three major causes of most injuries while playing golf are de-conditioning, lack of proper flexibility and improper swing mechanics.


Golf is not a maximum-effort sport.

Golf is maximum-ability sport.


Professional golfers are more cognizant than ever of the physical demands of what they do. Take a look at look at the Top Ten golfers; they all follow conditioning programs regularly and consistently. Pro golfer Arnold Palmer told radio talk show host Larry King a few years ago, “The players that are in better shape play better, last longer and win more than the others.”


Here are some simple techniques that can help with your golfing while on the course:

  • Opposite Swing: During the round, golfers can swing reverse of their norm to help maintain better rotation and to help keep “loose” especially during times of slow play. Rotation is one of the key elements for the golf swing.
  • T-Ball Swing: it’s helpful if most of the practice swings are taken at waist-high level. This promotes better rotation and follow-through. It also helps prevent sliding the hips.
  • Keeping Loose: For those golfers who walk and carry their bags, it’s a good idea for them to raise their arms to shoulder level and reach backwards to help relieve the tension from carrying the bag. This also helps “loosen” the shoulders and rotator cuffs.
  • Fitness first: At home regular intervals of walking help overall good health and well-being. Also, concentrating on “core” exercises provides better balance, and helps to add stability to the spine and lower back, which can enhance the golf swing (read Sept. 04 article on Core Training).

It is important to understand that the main basics of a successful swing are static; for example, stance, foot position, ball position, grip, grip pressure, weight distribution, balance and alignment.


A study in Britain has shown that there is a higher incidence of injuries among golfers on the front nine holes compared with the back nine holes. It is therefore important to analyse your golf preparation not only to prevent injury but to also play better golf. There are a few “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to ensure you keep golf an enjoyable experience.


Before Golf

Don’t Carry out intensive domestic chores before playing golf

 i.e. gardening, cleaning, washing your car

These activities include fixed awkward positions that will affect your posture and limit your rotation in the golf swing.

Do Always break up these activities with short rest breaks and stretching regimes, especially as you get older.


At the golf course

Don’t Rush from the car to the golf course; this will increase the tension in your mind and body, which will in turn inhibit a relaxed swing. In addition, Don’t lean over to the back seat from the front seat to grab your golf equipment; this act is a perfect recipe for neck and shoulder injuries.


On the course or while practicing

Don’t Use poor standard equipment like worn golf shoes and spikes as this will affect your stance and balance. Worn grips can cause tennis elbow and excessive squeezing on the club especially affecting your short game.

Do Get your clubs checked to ensure they are the correct length and fitted personally for you.

Don’t Forget that the temperature in your car is usually different from the temperature outside therefore stretch and warm-up prior to teeing off.

Do Make sure you stretch after you get out of your heated car in the winter and your air-conditioned car in the summer to warm-up your muscles for golf.


If you get the proper training, and keep practicing and working, you too can lower your golf score. You can become good at golf at any age. It just takes the proper training and practice. Remember, contact your local health practitioner to get your preseason golf assessment to find out where you are at and shape up for golf. Call to book your assessment and take your golf game to another level. You can also follow me and get some insight and details about helping your golf game on Twitter - @thehealthygolfr (no this is not a spelling mistake)


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