Golf injuries. An overview

Sports Med. 1998 Jul;26(1):43-57. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199826010-00004.


Over the years, golf has become an increasingly popular sport, attracting new players of almost all ages and socioeconomic groups. Golf is practised by up to 10 to 20% of the overall adult population in many countries. Beyond the enjoyment of the sport itself, the health-related benefits of the exercise involved in walking up to 10 km and of relaxing in a pleasant natural environment are often reported to be the main motives for adhering to this activity by recreational golfers. Golf is considered to be a moderate risk activity for sports injury; however, excessive time spent golfing and technical deficiencies lead to overuse injuries. These are the 2 main causes of injuries among golfers, and each has specific differences in the pattern in which they occur in professional and amateur golfers. Golf injuries originate either from overuse or from a traumatic origin and primarily affect the elbow, wrist, shoulder and the dorsolumbar sites. Professional and weekend golfers, although showing a similar overall anatomical distribution of injuries by body segment, tend to present differences in the ranking of injury occurrence by anatomical site; these differences can be explained by their playing habits and the biomechanical characteristics of their golf swing. Many of these injuries can be prevented by a preseason, and year-round, sport-specific conditioning programme including: (i) muscular strengthening, flexibility and aerobic exercise components; (ii) a short, practical, pre-game warm-up routine; and (iii) the adjustment of an individual's golf swing to meet their physical capacities and limitations through properly supervised golf lessons. Finally, the correct selection of golf equipment and an awareness of the environmental conditions and etiquette of golf can also contribute to making golf a safe and enjoyable lifetime activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Elbow Injuries
  • Female
  • Golf / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Wrist Injuries / etiology