The phrase ‘swing and a miss’ is usually only heard in the sport of baseball. But you can also hear it in golf when someone misses their long drive swing. Granted it’s purely to tease the opponent but perhaps it’s no laughing matter. In baseball, the swing taken by the batter is laterally mobile. However for golfers, they’re doing something that’s not natural to the human body in that, they swing in the vertical axis. The sport is less tense but injuries in golf are actually just as common as any other sport. You wouldn’t think so because it just seems as though people walk around a lot and eventually smack a little ball further down the field. You’d be surprised at the types of injuries golfers have to contend with and if you did, you’d probably wince. For those who think golf is for the old fogeys that just want something to do in their retirement, you’re about to get see why golf may be a young man’s game after all.
The Woes of Shoulders
Daring to enter the world of golf as a beginner, you’ll soon be asked about your drive. The drive is the first crucial swing at the start of a hole. It’s the one clear opportunity you have to put some distance between you and your rivals on the green. A giant powerful swing of the club, connecting with the ball, sends it potentially hundreds of feet forward. Your body is being torqued and all your energy is being transferred from your muscles right into the tip of the club.
Shoulder injuries are perhaps the most common in the game. This is because in recent findings, the thick muscles such as the deltoids don’t get to play the starring role as one would have thought. The rotator cuff bares the brunt of your own power. It connects the tissues from your shoulder to your upper arm. Due to the isolation, this small muscle often gets torn or suffers from tendonitis. To treat your shoulder pain, a common form of pain alleviation is the RICE procedure. Rest, take it easy at work and home, and miss your planned weekend golf for a while. Ice is your friend, numb the pain and like the pied piper attract a swarm of new blood cells to the affected area. Compression is going to stop the muscle from tensing up and causing more pain. Elevation is the final step, don’t let your shoulder carry on having to work by dangling your arm; lift it up and rest it on a pillow.
Photo credit Joseph McKee
Don’t Do A Barrel Roll
Growing up and watching gold on television, as children we were always drawn to one aspect. The little zippy golf buggies seemed like tremendous fun. With their electric power and snappy handling qualities, it kind of reminded us of bumper cars. They’re practical because on some golf courses the distances are so vast that walking them seems inefficient for a smooth day of many players going through all the holes. They’re not very fast either, with top speeds only getting to around 15 – 20mph. With just two pedals and a limited turn circle, a low center of gravity and dedicated pathways on many courses, you would think that these golf carts would be relatively safe.
As of 2015, a study conducted in 2015 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, showed that 18,000 golf cart-related injuries are still taking place every year. Everything from little scrapes and bruises, to frantic visits to the emergency room, these injuries are in part to driver error and outdated carts. Searching for the best golf cart to buy can be a headache in itself. Thankfully some websites come with thorough reviews that have been derived from real-world use. All too often golf carts are assumed to be simple and thus the on-paper facts are relied upon to judge the quality of the cart when selling. With the reviews, you can judge for yourself the engine specifications, the size and capacity for both humans and equipment, and the construction such as body type, brakes and frame. The compare feature is particularly useful as two products at a time can be contrasted to help you make the right decision.
Thy Enemy is the Sun
The allure and romanticism about golf are that you’re on your own, surrounded by lovely greens as far as the eye can see. Alone, you have time to think and sketch out your life. All you need to focus on is the ball and the control of your clubs. The elements play a huge role in golf as winds and rain can change a match in a heartbeat. It’s a sport that is accustomed to being played in the spring and summer, as the bright sun will illuminate every inch of the course.
However sunburns are a regular occurrence. Temporarily damaged eyesight happens when you’re tracking your ball through the sky and accidentally look directly into the sun. Dehydration is the main enemy however, as being out in its glorious presence saps the energy and sweat from your body. Always bring extra water bottles with you on the course. If you can, take them in a cooler so they remain chilled. Take an umbrella with you just in case you are met with a heatwave. Wear deeply tinted sunglasses and a cap to protect your eyes. Normally golf clubs and open courses will have locker rooms. When you arrive and change clothes into the appropriate attire, cover your arms, neck, face and lower legs in suncream. This saves you the embarrassment of leaving the course looking like a tomato.
A tender shoulder after a round of golf is a bad sign. One’s technique can be smooth and biomechanically sound, but rotator cuff muscles are small and thin. They can easily become sprained, tear and become inflamed. Use the RICE method to treat your injury. Older golf carts are just dangerously outdated. Newer products in this range have thicker more grippy tires and much safer handling. Drink up on your day on the green, but save the cognacs for afterwards. All you need during play is an abundant supply of chilled water to avoid dehydrating on an 18-hole course.