Injured and think your golf career is over?
So you have been injured and think that you are unable to play golf, well think again. Obviously this will depend on the type of injury and the severity of the injury, but you will be surprised how many people can get back to playing golf, even after suffering injuries.
One of the most common things that I hear from golfers who are suffering with injuries is how their injury has caused them to lose the ability to rotate.
Now this may be true, to an extent, however it is generally not the case. I have had clients who can still rotate sufficiently to create enough distance and power to improve their handicaps even after major surgery.
The problem, principally, lies within the brain. After suffering an injury the conscious mind is always thinking about it and how it can avoid a repeat or flare up of the injury. For this reason we consciously try to “protect” our bodies from suffering the same fate.
Now you may think that this is obvious, but it isn´t. Our bodies will make movements feely if we allow it to. I know, I was injured playing a professional tournament and because of complications I was unable to compete for almost 6 years. In my first tournament back I was in contention of qualifying for the second stage, a par on the last would have secured my place. Unfortunately I had hit my tee shot into the thick rough, I found my ball sitting at the bottom of the 6 inch tall grass, but I had a shot. I could hack it down the fairway and with a bit of luck be onto the green.
I went through my routine, selected my club and began my swing, half way down I pulled out of the shot, barley making contact with the ball. It moved about 3 feet. I quit on it, because I was scared of injuring myself again, scared of going through the heart ache of 5 years without playing. Did I hurt myself, no not one bit, but I did manage to ruin my chances of progressing to the next stage. All that was hurt was my confidence. Now I am not saying that I never suffer with relapses of the injury I suffered, I do, but I know that the more I try to protect myself the more likely I am to suffer the injury.
I always as my clients before each lesson, what injuries do you suffer with?
From the answers I get, I plan on how I can help them improve their golf. For some with a bad back, I may recommend that they make their swing shorter, more compact, whilst making sure that they rotate fully towards the target, with their non target foot on its toes, which releases muscle pressure in the lower back.
For people that have bad knees, simply turning the foot outwards could make all the difference; it allows the leg to turn without putting excess pressure on the knee joint.
I also have worked closely with a physiotherapist who specialized in golf related therapy and he agrees with the above statements. He and I both believe that you can play golf even if you have suffered an injury and he actually recommends golf to his patients as a way to rehabilitate and regain their range of movement.
For others that have more serious disabilities golf is still a possibility. I regularly teach adults and children that have severe mental and physical disabilities. The lesson actually is one of the most rewarding; the look on their faces when they achieve their goals is fantastic.
One of the gentlemen suffered an injury causing paralysis of his right side, he plays with his left hand and hits a very good ball and his short game is fantastic, he has a natural touch around the greens.
Golf truly is a sport for all, and if you can find a golf coach that is willing to work with your issues then you will be able to find renewed enjoyment from the game. Above I mentioned only a couple of examples as to how you can modify your posture to adapt to your bodies capabilities, but these are not the only examples.
All I am trying to point out is that you are still capable of playing this wonderful game, yes you may have to change your swing, you may have to accept a loss of power, but if you can become more consistent with the necessary changes you can still play the game to a level equal or better than what you played before you suffered the injury.
Please do not give up, just because you have a bad back, or have hurt your wrists. To coin an English phrase; There is more than one way to skin a cat.
Until Next Time,
The Golf Swing Doctor,