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RJN12

Newbie injuries - help!

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RJN12    2

New to the site and to golf. I have learned a lot from reading discussions here so thanks all!

I am 45 and female, and started playing two months ago and have taken lessons and practiced 2-3 times a week. I am generally in good shape, but finding golf surprisingly tough on the body, and am always sore after a 9-hole or driving range session. The last few weeks I have developed mild cases of tendonitis in bothe wrists, trigger finger on left pinkie and a mild tennis elbow. Basically a wreck! I am laying off the driving range, as I think the mats and fixed tees are mostly to blame. I am gutted though, as it really gets in the way of progress. But guess my forearm muscles were simply too weak to begin with. Does anybody have some good tips for avoiding injuries - training which helps golf-specific muscles? I have found some yoga for golf videos. Did anyone try these out?Thank you. 

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Lihu    541
3 hours ago, RJN12 said:

New to the site and to golf. I have learned a lot from reading discussions here so thanks all!

I am 45 and female, and started playing two months ago and have taken lessons and practiced 2-3 times a week. I am generally in good shape, but finding golf surprisingly tough on the body, and am always sore after a 9-hole or driving range session. The last few weeks I have developed mild cases of tendonitis in bothe wrists, trigger finger on left pinkie and a mild tennis elbow. Basically a wreck! I am laying off the driving range, as I think the mats and fixed tees are mostly to blame. I am gutted though, as it really gets in the way of progress. But guess my forearm muscles were simply too weak to begin with. Does anybody have some good tips for avoiding injuries - training which helps golf-specific muscles? I have found some yoga for golf videos. Did anyone try these out?Thank you. 

I also started this game late, and at first overdid practicing full swing. It was bad for two reasons of which you discovered one. Getting excessively sore and developing tendonitis type of injuries is very common with golfers. Yet they continue to go to the driving range and hit hundreds of balls.

The second thing is hitting so many balls every day doesn't help your swing. If you want to hit mediocre distances a lot, then that's a good way to practice. If you want to hit a lot longer, then only hit about 40 balls with a full swing once or twice per week. Make sure you are swinging optimally for the longest distance and making good contact. Probably focus on the first one first. You can do this without going to the range. In fact, it might be better to practice with an alignment rod or something. Practice the motion. Also, take a look at the 5SK threads on this site.

Hitting too many balls is more likely the culprit rather than the mats.

Edited by Lihu

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RJN12    2
9 minutes ago, Lihu said:

I also started this game late, and at first overdid practicing full swing. It was bad for two reasons of which you discovered one. Getting excessively sore and developing tendonitis type of injuries is very common with golfers. Yet they continue to go to the driving range and hit hundreds of balls.

The second thing is hitting so many balls every day doesn't help your swing. If you want to hit mediocre distances a lot, then that's a good way to practice. If you want to hit a lot longer, then only hit about 40 balls with a full swing once or twice per week. Make sure you are swinging optimally for the longest distance and making good contact. Probably focus on the first one first. You can do this without going to the range. In fact, it might be better to practice with an alignment rod or something. Practice the motion. Also, take a look at the 5SK threads on this site.

Hitting too many balls is more likely the culprit rather than the mats.

Thanks. I only do 50 balls each time, and a 20 prior to a round, but will limit even more and focus on the motion.

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Lihu    541
16 minutes ago, RJN12 said:

Thanks. I only do 50 balls each time, and a 20 prior to a round, but will limit even more and focus on the motion.

No more than 40 is enough only twice a week at most is all that's needed. Or even less. The main thing is to get an optimal full swing, which you can do without hitting a ball. You might want to consider doing that first. The idea is to hit balls only when you're working on contact. You can work on your form by swinging a rod with video feedback.

As a beginner, it's really hard to tell from ball flight or how far you hit the ball how well you are swinging. So, hitting a ball should be secondary to developing a good swing. Even when you do develop a good swing, you can still overuse the muscles and get injuries. So, no matter who you are, hitting hundreds of balls per week or more on a driving range can be counterproductive.

The idea behind warming up before a round is not really to work on your form, but just to loosen up your muscles. If you hit 20 balls, that should take a bit more than 20 minutes to do.  In fact, you really need to loosen up the muscles before hitting your first ball on the range, anyway. Just a thought. I'd hate to see someone else go through what I did the first 3 years I played. . .

Edited by Lihu

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allenc    57

I've suffered from similar problems from time to time.  Some sugggestions:

Overuse.  Don't be afraid to take a week off if you're really starting to feel it.

Range mats are often terrible -- thin mats on concrete that can cause injuries.  You might want to research the portable mats you can buy and take to the range that can be much better.

It might be worth it to drive a little farther if you can find a grass range.  I know that's not always possible.

Consider mostly practicing with the driver at the range.  It's obviously not ideal but it's better than wrist injuries that kick you out of golf altogether.  You can buy brush tees that fit into the range mat holes.

Physical conditioning is certainly a good idea.  Look up excercises that work your wrists, grip, rotator cuffs, etc in addition to the yoga and flexibility you mentioned.

Good luck!

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RJN12    2

Thanks! Came from a running background, so know the value of cross training/warm up and stretching. Guess I underestimated the physical demands of golf, so didn't take this part seriously. Learned my lesson and will 'start over' - take a bit of time off and heal, and then take your kind advice! 

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PaddyMac    6

Believe it not consider weather your carrying, pushing or carting I'm finding my knees are very sore this year carrying over 18 holes each time anyway Best of luck and as others have said don't over do the driving range.. the best part of golf is playing and hopefully watching the ball sail to the green.

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RandallT    697
On 9/9/2017 at 4:47 AM, RJN12 said:

trigger finger on left pinkie

Oh I've had this! 

It was right when I started back up with golf several years ago, and for what it's worth, it went away only after I did a couple of things:

  1. stopped working on my swing as much
  2. improved my grip when I did start swinging more

I kept thinking it would go away, but until I took a few weeks off from gripping a club, it was quite persistent with me. As I started back up, I made sure to look at the grip fundamentals, and my guess is that has been a part in preventing it from happening again.

In my case, I never truly understood a correct grip, and I was far too weak and palmy. My natural tendency to grip a club was quite far off from where I've gotten used to it now. I couldn't fathom that it was possible to get the left heel pad so much on top of the club, nor did I realize how much in the fingers I could rest the club. I think it's possible that with those changes, I no longer hold the club in a death grip. Haven't had trigger finger for several years now.

Here's a good reference for you:

 

On 9/9/2017 at 4:47 AM, RJN12 said:

Does anybody have some good tips for avoiding injuries - training which helps golf-specific muscles? I have found some yoga for golf videos. Did anyone try these out?Thank you

Until recently, I thought I was good at stretching, but after a lot of physical therapy on my neck this summer (arthritis apparently), I'm learning that a good stretching regimen is critical to keeping my body limber. My therapists have definitely opened me up with some of the things they've done with my body. As my neck heals and I start to golf again, I can tell you that the stretching has eliminated so many of the aches and creakiness that I've had everywhere else in my body. At 51, I'm starting to feel like I'm 30 again. I'll let you know if that holds up as I get out and play more.

@JCrane is a good reference on the importance of yoga/stretching in injury avoidance. He has some good threads around about that.

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RJN12    2

Thanks @RandallT - good pointers. I think I will ask my coach to help me on my grip and really check what I am doing. I've been complimented on it by several pros, but it's no good if I wake up with a locked finger every morning, so clearly needs some work! Re stretching - I had a similar experience when I started running a few years back, so just plain silly not to take this seriously for golf. I guess the pint awaiting in the clubhouse is the easier option :beer:, but need to factor in time for stretching:banana:!

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@RJN12 although it sounds likely related to overuse (and maybe those dang range mats) @RandallT's comment on the importance of a proper grip made me also think of one more thing that you might consider... the grips you use on your clubs.  I know several people who use Winn Dri Tac grips, and state it helps with their arthritis or fatigue in their hands.  Again, it sounds like overuse, but just another consideration.

As far as exercises or stretching for the forearms/wrists/hands, check out YouTube.  There will likely be a lot of golf specific videos as well (search for Claudine Foong, she has some good stretching/warm up videos, and maybe has something that addresses the wrists/hands)

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JCrane    16
On 9/9/2017 at 1:47 AM, RJN12 said:

New to the site and to golf. I have learned a lot from reading discussions here so thanks all!

I am 45 and female, and started playing two months ago and have taken lessons and practiced 2-3 times a week. I am generally in good shape, but finding golf surprisingly tough on the body, and am always sore after a 9-hole or driving range session. The last few weeks I have developed mild cases of tendonitis in bothe wrists, trigger finger on left pinkie and a mild tennis elbow. Basically a wreck! I am laying off the driving range, as I think the mats and fixed tees are mostly to blame. I am gutted though, as it really gets in the way of progress. But guess my forearm muscles were simply too weak to begin with. Does anybody have some good tips for avoiding injuries - training which helps golf-specific muscles? I have found some yoga for golf videos. Did anyone try these out?Thank you. 

you have the right idea. Golfers have have a tendency to forget that golf is a physical sport and we need to prepare the body for it, just like any other sport. Look at the swing and see how what we are doing to the body. We are twisting and turning and trying to stretch the muscles by force. In essence we are traumatizing the muscles. If you take some time to prepare the body for the sport, you will have a much better chance of avoiding injury and will have more fun with the sport. The Yoga for Golfers workout is a good start. I am certified with Katherine Roberts and you can learn a lot from her and her videos. 

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RJN12    2
On 13/9/2017 at 3:38 AM, Denny Bang Bang said:

@RJN12 although it sounds likely related to overuse (and maybe those dang range mats) @RandallT's comment on the importance of a proper grip made me also think of one more thing that you might consider... the grips you use on your clubs.  I know several people who use Winn Dri Tac grips, and state it helps with their arthritis or fatigue in their hands.  Again, it sounds like overuse, but just another consideration.

As far as exercises or stretching for the forearms/wrists/hands, check out YouTube.  There will likely be a lot of golf specific videos as well (search for Claudine Foong, she has some good stretching/warm up videos, and maybe has something that addresses the wrists/hands)

Thanks, noting this! I also got a bionic glove and they also seem to help a bit. But overall injuries are now subsiding and I have a worktrip coming up, so will have 2 weeks without golf, and hope to start from scratch - injury-wise.

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IrishAndy    6

I am not that flexible, but consider myself generally quite fit and athletic.  I do 50 minutes of cardio a night, and resistance training twice a week.  The timid sport of golf, though, has me taking a 1-2 week break because of the physical demands.  The most significant of which is an intercostal strain which I picked up a couple of months ago when I first started practicing again, but am finally willing to deal with.

Golf can quickly make you feel like you just aged 30 years.  It's worse when you start (or start again) because you tend to over-tense muscles that you don't need to.  Range mats, to me, are my single biggest cause of aches and pains, though.  Looking at the FairwayPro Divot simulator as a potential solution I can take to the range.  The constant shock to the fingers, elbows, and wrists is just brutal.  I would love to hear others' suggestions on how to minimize this.

Edited by IrishAndy

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On 9/14/2017 at 12:36 AM, RJN12 said:

Thanks, noting this! I also got a bionic glove and they also seem to help a bit. But overall injuries are now subsiding and I have a worktrip coming up, so will have 2 weeks without golf, and hope to start from scratch - injury-wise.

Glad to hear you're recovering, best of luck making a full comeback!

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