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Data collected from the European Tour suggests the most common injuries in elite golf tend to involve the spine and wrist.   There was found to be no link between injury and age.

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We currently know the only predictor of a future injury is a previous injury.   For example if you have had a back injury in the past you are more likely to sustain a back injury in the future compared to someone with no previous back pain.

 

We think it may be possible to predict injury however it is still a work in progress.    One of the reasons it is so difficult is that injury is likely to be multi-factorial.      Injury may be related to one or a number of factors and their relationship with one another.

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Strength Training 

This type of training makes body tissues more robust to loading therefore making it more tolerant to swinging a golf club many times over.

 

 Effective strength training is designed to push muscle tissues to the edge of their capacity which causes an adaptation .    If strength training is increased too quickly the risk of injury does go up.    My advice to get the most out of your training is to get help from a strength coach

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Playing time

Playing time is the sum of all the training and competition you are doing.    For example this would include all practise sessions, practise rounds, competitions and work in the gym

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This graph was taken from a study of Australian Rules Football players.    Their risk of injury was found to exponentially increase when the amount of weekly training they did increased by more than 50%.     For example if you are used to playing 4 hours per week and increase this to 6 hours your injury risk may increase from 3% to 6%.    The “sweet spot” is when your injury risk is at its lowest.   This sweet spot will be larger for some than others most likely dependant on all their other risk factors for injury

If you are looking to minimise your injury or re-injury risk try and avoid large increases in playing/practising time. Prepare for a busy spell by building up practise in the period leading up to this.   It may also be good to practise very little around busy spells of competition

Sleep/Stress

A link has been shown to exist between sleep/stress and injury rates.   

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Movement Patterns/Technique

There hasn’t been any scientific backing for technique being an injury risk as yet.   As mentioned before with all the other factors involved it is hard to work out the influence of technique

From my experience extremes of movement around the hitting zone where forces are greatest can be problematic particularly when body tissue has already become painful.     For a back an extreme position would be lots of side bend and a wrist position would be away from neutral around the hitting zone.    In the image below Brooks Koepka tends to use lots of ulnar deviation (club down/hands up) and Justin Thomas tends to side bend around the impact position.

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