10 Common Golf Injuries and How to Prevent Them


Golf had a major surge in popularity coming out of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Even people who were considered non-golfers before showed interest in the game. 

Since 2020 more people have entered into the game than left it. People are playing golf nowadays in record numbers. 

Golf is a fun and frustrating game for both serious golfers and weekend warriors. Whether you’re new to the sport or have been playing for years, we have great content for you. Check back at Our Golf Clubs often to get more tips to improve your game.

Golf isn’t as dangerous as some other sports. However, you can get injured, especially if you don’t play often. To learn more about ten common golf injuries, keep reading.

golf injuries

1. Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, medically known as Medial Epicondylitis, is a very common golf injury. You’ll feel pain near your funny bone if you have elbow tendonitis. Tennis elbow causes similar pain.

It often happens when you hit too far behind the ball. It usually happens gradually from consistently mis-hitting the ball. 

2. Hurt Back – Herniated Disc

Back injuries are common among golfers. In particular, herniated discs often happen.

Your back plays an integral role in your golf swing. Back injuries can seriously impact your swing mechanics.

Just ask Tiger Woods. Woods, who’s arguably the greatest golfer of all time, has had several back surgeries. Injuries took years off of his amazing playing career. 

You can also pull a back muscle easily with rotational stresses. A lot of times, people swing too hard and throw their back out. 

3. Strained Or Torn Ligaments

Hurt ligaments are another type of golf injury that frequently happens. Ligaments in your hands, arms, and neck can cause problems.

The impact of your golf swing can strain or tear them, and this type of injury doesn’t heal fast. So, try not to hurt your ligaments if you can help it. 

If you do strain a ligament, you’ll need to give yourself time to heal. A little rest, ice, and gentle stretching can help you get back on the links faster.

4. Bone Chip Or Fracture

Chipping or fracturing a bone often happens with golfers. It can happen in the elbow, wrist, or hand.

When you use your irons and wedges, it’s easy to pound the club into the ground. Also, those who play in colder weather run a higher risk of fracturing for chipping a bone. 

5. Arthritis

Playing golf for a long time can cause arthritis, especially in older golfers. However, people under 40 can experience arthritis from built-up wear and tear on the golf course. 

6. Dislocated Fingers

Dislocated fingers are another common golf injury. When you hold the club, your pinky fingers are intertwined, and they’ll occasionally become dislocated if you’re not careful.

Hand and finger injuries are common in golf. A finger injury will affect your grip on your golf club.

7. Shoulders

Although golf isn’t a contact sport, you can still end up with a separated shoulder. Most often, an overzealous swing may cause a grade one or two injury. Grade three separations are the worst, but it’s almost impossible to do that just by playing golf. 

You can play through a grade one separation and still have some strength to swing. With a grade two separation, you probably won’t be able to hit the ball. 

It’s also common for gofers to tear their rotator cuffs. Shoulder joint pain is common, too.

Another type of shoulder injury a golfer can experience is subacromial impingement. Subacromial impingement happens when inflammation in your tendons causes severe pain and swelling. 

Another little-known but common golf injury is a slap tear. A slap tear affects the ring of cartilage around the shoulder joint. The labrum can tear when you over-rotate your golf swing.

8. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Similar to arthritis, golfers can experience carpal tunnel syndrome. CTS usually happens after excessive use of your fingers, hands, and wrists. However, you can get carpal tunnel syndrome after a few years of playing golf if you’re predisposed to it. 

9. Knee Injuries 

We’ve covered pretty much all of the upper body injuries a golfer will experience, but the knees are another very common body part that golfers hurt. 

You can tweak your knee at any moment during a golf swing. The act of transferring your weight back and forth and then exploding on impact can leave your knee feeling rough. 

You can bruise or tear your meniscus (MCL). An anterior cruciate (ACL) injury for a golfer is much less common. However, if you mash up your knee enough and don’t take care of it, it’s possible to tear your ACL. 

You can also have bone spurs on your knees due to golf. Most golfers only experience a strain here and there, but more serious injuries are possible.

Again, ask Tiger Woods. He won the US Open in 2008 on a leg/knee that was hanging by a thread. The pain he must have been in was awful, I’m sure. But he still came away with the victory. 

10. Damaged Blood Vessels 

A lesser-known golf injury is a damaged blood vessel. There’s actually a name for this one, Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome.

It’s caused by the club repeatedly striking your palm. It’s an injury to the ulnar artery. Your blood vessels are weakened, swell, and might even clot. 

Your fingertips generally will tingle or become numb. It’s possible you’d need surgery if it’s bad enough. 


How To Prevent Common Golf Injuries

Golf injuries can be prevented by keeping yourself limber and strong. Also, not trying to kill the ball on every drive will help.

You can use a training program that focuses on specific stretches and exercises for golfers. 

You should never jump on the first tee without warming up. Ideally, you can hit a bucket of balls on the range beforehand.

However, that’s not always possible. In that case, you need to get your heart rate up and make sure you stretch for at least 15 minutes. 

Injuries Happen

As you can tell, common golf injuries happen. You can experience injuries that you can play with and those that might need surgery. But if you take precautions and keep yourself fit, they’re far less likely.

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