Golf Injuries

When More than your Score Hurts: Golf Injuries

Meet Dr. Divot

I can remember that period of life when we all bounced out of bed to begin our days, and on those days that included golf, we bounced up to the driving range in the very same way, did a two-second stretch to impress the girl friend, pulled out the driver and started whacking balls into the distance. Ah, the good old days. Then, somewhere in the early twenties, a friend of mine threw out a rib resettling himself in an easy chair. Impossible, I thought. Senior maladies like that don’t occur in my youthful world.

Needless to say, many years later, few of us bounce out of bed to do anything. Come to think of it, we don’t bounce out of bed at all, and in terms of golf, those of us who have been around a while need to abandon our youthful lack of preparation, and learn to think in another way. Standing on the first tee, we survey the course with all of its grabbing trees, yawning bunkers, ball-devouring grass and murky depths, but it’s a good idea to add some hazards to that view of the coming eighteen holes – they might include:

  • Back Pain – mechanical, disc, arthritis, stress fracture
  • Tennis Elbow – inflammation on the outer arm near the elbow; different and more common than “golf elbow”
  • Shoulder Pain – rotator or cuff tendinitis, A-C joint arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel – repetitive stress disorder, affecting the nerves of the hands (numbness, tingling,
  • possible incapacitation
  • De Quervain’s Tendinitis – affects wrist at the base of the thumb
  • Knee Pain – torn meniscus, arthritis, knee-cap pain (sting)
  • Trigger Finger – fingers lock up (inhibited flexor tendon sheath – as if I knew what that is!)
  • Wrist Impaction Syndrome – colliding of wrist bones during swing.
  • ECU Tendon Subfluxation – sheath holding wrist slides out of grove.
  • Fracture of Hamate Bone – small bone on the fifth finger side of the wrist, with a hook jutting into palm- collides with swing.

Well, that’s the list of Dr. Larry Foster , MD – Orthopedic Surgeon and avid golfer. Most of it sounds like Star Trek to me, but the good doctor understands every bit of it, and has provided a lot of help online for golf safety. Check him out at

Of course, there’s the rub. Our younger selves, long gone as they may be, are still not making the adjustments they should, and we don’t want to think about injuries or pain. We want to play golf. However, many of us hired a lot of teachers and coaches, and read a lot of golf instruction manuals in order to play this game. Doesn’t it make sense to consult one medical professional and read his work so that we can keep on playing it? All right then, here’s our next golf manual – “Dr. Divot’s Guide to Golf Injuries.” Put it right next to the greats that taught you how to chip and putt. Put it next to the perfect swing of Jones and Hogan.

Don’t pull out the driver yet, though – there’s more. Dr. Foster has specific exercises to make your next round a lot more comfortable and keep those ten extra meanies off the course. It might help scoring in your early round as well. You might not have to wait for the second nine to get in the groove. Stick with Dr. Divot, and there’s an increased chance that you’ll bounce off 18 a happier player. Just think of how many muscles, bones and sensitive connected mechanisms we’re using just for the simple golf swing. Golf may be relaxed in the exterior, but in the big moment, it’s dynamic. Let’s keep it all healthy – go see the doctor.

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1 comment

    • Stephen Houston on March 20, 2013 at 2:32 pm
    • Reply

    Looks like an interesting read.

    Per my own takes: the more Nature reveals to us the mysteries hidden in the nervous system, the more it becomes obvious to me that the time for exercise, stretching, and physical activity is when your older. Your muscles are wasting because your body limits its natural hormone production (your sex hormones work to preserve muscle mass) – there is a lot of opportunity for growth, exercise, and age replenishment in not complaining about injuries when your older and golfing more and more (Rather than less and less) as you ‘progress age wise’.

    I envision a day when recreation leagues are actually composed mostly of senior citizens (replacing youth leagues) and when classes taught for the young are replaced for the old. The beauty of the body is it takes you from a centimeter-sized pea to a walking talking 6 foot monster in less than 2 generations, all on its own. It is up to you to preserve this in old age, and to facilitate that by increasing rather than diminishing exercise to counter balance the forces of nature.

    Anywho, I can only say that the ‘Knee Pain’ and ‘Carpal Tunnel’, etc are part of the greatness of goal achievement and following your passion – and without bravery, and injury, and sacrifice, there is no enjoyment, success, or happiness. I say spurn nimble fortune and relish the chance for improvement and go play your best game. Enjoy the chance. Feel more energized. Live longer. Be a role model. Embrace Health. Dare to recreate yourself.

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