A man in a red shirt swinging a golf club on a sunny day


Teeing up healthy golf habits

  • Back pain is one of the top complaints from golfers.
  • A warm-up and cool down routine can reduce the risk of injury.

Golfers, it’s time to talk about warming up and cooling down. As you age, swinging for the fences can hurt your game, and can actually lead to problems later in life.

Let’s get warmed up

You don’t have to show up to the course an hour before your tee time to warm up. Keep it simple and consider these options:

  • Focus your stretches and warm up on hip, mid and lower back mobility. The butterfly, bridge, hip flexor and hamstring stretches, as well as downward/upward dog are all good options.
  • Consider a light jog or walk to warm up your body earlier in the day. 5-10 minutes goes a long way.
  • Before hitting balls, loosen up your hips and back by rotating your hips, and then gently ease into the swinging.

Now cool down

Cooling down is just as important. Post-round cocktails or lunch are tempting, but why not try a 5-minute stretch as an appetizer?

  • Repeat some of the stretches from your warmup.
  • Five minutes of stretching can make a huge difference for your body.

Skipping the warmup and cool down?

If you’re not warming up and cooling down, you’re increasing your risk for injury, not to mention nagging aches and pains that linger and affect your golf swing.

Back pain is one of the top complaints from golfers.

  • The back is closely tied to the hips.
  • The area where the hips and back connect is where you can generate power as you swing the club.

Hip surgeons often support pre-arthritic hip conditions that affect people’s golf game, including hip impingement and labral tears.

  • Hip impingements stem from having a misshapen hip.
  • The twisting motion that comes with golfing can result in a labral tear or joint and muscle pain.

So, if you’re not stretching, golfing could trigger various underlying conditions.

Handling pain

If you’re experiencing extreme pain from a sudden injury, don’t delay care. When it comes to pain or soreness that feels light and is progressing slowly, apply a two-week rule to your body. Treat the area with ice, anti-inflammatory medicine and stretching. If there’s no improvement in 10 to 14 days, that’s when you should make an appointment to get checked out by a physician or physical therapist.

Preventing golf injuries

The first goal is to learn what’s causing the pain. The second goal is to explore what you can control or change to manage the pain. Our suggestions could range from surgery to treatments, such as:

  • knee sleeves
  • anti-inflammatory treatments
  • playing fewer rounds of golf
  • riding in a golf cart between holes instead of walking
  • working on your hip mobility and building up your muscles.

Go Deeper

In addition to warming up and cooling down, remember these three tidbits to help prevent injury.

  • You shouldn’t be out there playing if you’re already sore or have a pain that is affecting your swing. That’s a recipe for worsening your pain.
  • Think about reducing the number of rounds you play to protect your body. Maybe do more 9-hole rounds than 18.
  • Consider taking a little bit off the swing. Instead of swinging as hard as you can, focus on your mobility and mechanics.

If you remember these things, you’ll increase your chances of preventing golf injuries.


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