With Another Spring, Comes a New Swing

Well, another Spring has come, and a new golf season is upon us!

Our golf courses have a little different look, for sure, with the precautions that they are taking during this pandemic, but wow, does it feel great to be back out playing! On the contrary, I wish that my swing felt as ready to start this season as my mind does!

Unfortunately, it was another winter of not swinging my golf clubs and another winter of less activity than I would have liked.

Combine that with adding another year to the age odometer, my swing feels less than fluid, strong, and balanced! In fact, at the beginning of the round, it feels outright painful. I know this is a bad sign. As a Physical Therapist, I know how important it is to listen to my body’s cues. If I am feeling tightness or restriction with my swing, that could eventually cause injuries to my tissues. The injuries could be tendonitis, muscle strains, or joint strains that will cut into my already short golf season. So, what should I (and many other golfers) be doing to prevent this from happening? Here are some steps to take to help prevent my body (and yours) from injury at the beginning of golf season.

  • Start stretching daily!

    Work on my flexibility to improve my mobility to free up my swing. The main areas that I need to concentrate on are my hips, spine, shoulders, and neck. Another area that would benefit from stretching are my forearms. Spending 5 minutes a day stretching all these areas will greatly improve my mobility for my golf swing.

  • Warm-up prior to my round

    Five minutes of gentle stretching to my hips, spine, shoulders, and neck, followed up with 5 minutes of gradually increasing swing velocity. I like to start with some pendulum swings for 1 minute, then start hitting some golf balls or taking practice swings at 50%, 75%, and 100% for 1 minute each.

  • Icing Afterwards

    Icing after golfing will help control inflammation. Icing for 20 minutes to areas that are irritated after my golf activity. If there isn’t any irritation, then icing isn’t necessary.

  • Gentle Cool-Down Stretching

    Gentle cool down stretching to the same areas as mentioned before.

Now the biggest game-changer of all–for me to practice what I preach!

I need to follow the plan that is simply taking care of my body. Expecting my body to handle doing an activity that I have not done in several months, with no care, is not realistic!

My hope is that this self-reflection and plan that I put forward for myself will be helpful to others.

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