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Golf season is just around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about getting back out on the course. But before you do, there are a few things you should do to prepare your body for the demands of the game. As a physiotherapist, I’ve seen my fair share of golf-related injuries, so I’ve put together a list of the top 6 things you should do to get ready for golf season.

1. Get a physical assessment

Before you start playing golf, it’s important to get a physical assessment to identify any potential areas of weakness or imbalance in your body. A physiotherapist can assess your flexibility, strength, and balance, and provide you with exercises to address any areas of concern. By identifying and correcting these issues early on, you can reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance on the course.

2. Work on your flexibility

Flexibility is essential for golfers, as it allows you to make a full and unrestricted swing. Tight muscles can limit your range of motion, leading to compensations in your swing that can cause pain and injury. Incorporating a pre-round warm-up and a post game  regular stretching routine will help improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury.

3. Build strength in your core and hips

Golf is a sport that requires a lot of rotation, which means your core and hips play a crucial role in your swing. Strengthening these areas can help improve your stability and power, leading to better shots and less strain on your back. Exercises like planks, side planks, hip bridges, step ups, “dead bug” and “bird dog” can be effective for building strength in these areas.

4. Practice good posture

Good posture is essential for a consistent and efficient golf swing. It’s important to maintain a neutral spine throughout your swing to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your back. Your physiotherapist can help you identify any postural issues you may have and provide you with exercises to improve your posture. “Correct posture” can be slightly different for every person. It is based on your own anatomy and makeup. An assessment from a set of trained eyes (i.e. your physiotherapist) can help you find your best posture and your best swing.   

5. Start off slow and work up to a full round

Remember it has been a long winter! Even if you have been doing other things over the winter, It’s important to ease back into the game after a long break to avoid overexertion and potential injury. Starting at the driving range and gradually working up to 9 holes and then 18 can help you gradually build up your stamina and improve your game. This approach can also help you identify any areas of weakness or discomfort early on, allowing you to make adjustments before playing a full round. Remember to take breaks and listen to your body throughout the process, as it’s better to progress slowly and safely than risk injury by jumping back in too quickly.

6. Listen to your body

Finally, it’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Golf can be a physically demanding sport, and it’s easy to overdo it if you’re not careful. If you start to feel pain or discomfort during your round, take a break and assess what’s going on. Don’t try to play through the pain, as this can lead to more serious injury and it is a long season! 

In conclusion, preparing for golf season is not just about hitting balls on the range. As a physiotherapist, I recommend getting a physical assessment, working on your flexibility and strength, practicing good posture, starting off slowly and listening to your body. By taking these steps, you can reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance on the course. Happy golfing!

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