WITH THE NEW GOLF SEA SONUPON US, IT’S NOT JUST THETOUR PL AY ERS WHO SHOULD BEGETT ING THEIR BODIES “FIT FORGOL F ”. MANY CL UB PL AY ERS AREHI TT ING THE FA IRWAYS WITH THEVAST MAJORI TY BEING INHIBI T EDIN PL AY ING EI T HER AS A RESULTOF INJURY OR JUST LACKING THEPH YSICAL ABIL I TY.This article outlines the new approach club golfers aretaking by using “golf specific” physiotherapists, doctorsand strength conditioners to analyse and diagnose theirphysical weaknesses. Specialists are prescribing golf-specificexercises to improve golfer’s—of all ages—body biomechanicsfor their golf swing and improve consistencyover 18 holes. Even more importantly work curre n t l ybeing done will almost certainly prolong your playingc a re e r, well into re t i rement.To outline these important factors Australian GOLFMagazine resident physio Ramsay McMaster has interviewedfive diff e rent types of golfers who we hope youmay be able to relate. With their permission, each hasbeen candid in outlining their physical weaknesses, pastinjuries and how they are alleviating these pro b l e m st h rough physiotherapy and golf-specific exerc i s e s .And now that we’ve got your body covered, we thoughtwe’d spend some time with your mind. On the bottomt h i rd of each page you’ll find our latest tips to help yous u rvive the stressful nature of the game.
[ BACK IN THE SWING ]BARRY KURRLEGolfer Says:Handicap: 14How often do you take a lesson:About once a monthPast Injuries: Back and shoulder pro b l e m sSwing Problems: Restriction in my swingPhysio Says:B a rry really re p resents the middle-aged male sub group ofgolfers. Their common physical injuries/weaknesses are :• Weak rotator cuff/shoulder injury as a result of theirwork station, such as computing, desk work, driving. Themuscles around the shoulder are important for smoothshoulder turn and positioning the shoulders on a goodplane in the golf swing. If the middle aged male golfer hasweaknesses in this area, they can tear or get impingementof the rotator cuff .• Poor postural positions. Usually thiss u b g roup has poor abdominal tone androunded shoulders and back (kyphosis).• Deep massage to over tight musclesat the front of the body eg:pectorals/biceps/hip flexors should bep rescribed to relax the pre s s u re on theshoulders and pelvis in conjunction withpostural and abdominal exercises. Stretching isalso an essential factor in their pro g r a m .
RITCHIE SMITHGolfer Says:Age: 27Handicap: Trainee pro f e s s i o n a lHow often do you take a lesson: We e k l yPast Injuries: NilSwing problems: Poor ro t a t i o nPhysio Says:Ritchie re p resents the young up-and-comingp l a y e r, who comes out of the golf club pennantteam, state team or trainee program. Their exerc i s ep rogram has to be very functional in relation totheir golf swing. They have to have coord i n a t i o nt h roughout their three body segments: lower body,t runk and upper torso and arms. They also have tohave strong posture in order to maintain good postu re throughout the golf swing, especially duringpractice sessions and thro u g h o u tcompetitive rounds. We havedesigned a golf specific postu re bar to allow them toassist in maintaining this golfspecific function, especiallywhen travelling.
[ BACK IN THE SWING ]M AV IS NOR TONGolfer Says:Age: 79Handicap: 28How often to you take a lesson: When it’s necessaryPast Injuries: Hamstring, back and bicepsSwing problems: Poor ro t a t i o nPhysio Says:Mavis re p resents the senior golfer subgroup. Thisg roup love their golf and their ability to enjoy theirclub members’ company as well as continue to play 18holes for as long as and as competitively as they canwithin their life. The physical limitations of seniorgolfers are :• Poor posture• Poor balance• Wastage of muscle gro u p s• Underling pathology, eg: art h r i-tis and osteoporo s i s .The emphasis is on impro v i n gthe underlying physical limitationsby a lot of balance, stre n g t h-ening and rotation work as well aspostural re - e d u c a t i o n .
SUZIE MATHEWSGolfer Says:Age: 19Handicap: 0How often do you take a lesson: Once a weekPast Injuries: Wr i s t / s h o u l d e r sSwing problems: Lack of distancePhysio Says:Suzie re p resents the young female elite golfer coming out of theelite amateur field, club champion and institute of sport femaleg o l f e r. Their big limitation is getting the distance that they want,sometimes by forcing this to happen. This can end up causing wristand/or elbow injuries. These are relatively small muscle gro u p sdoing a lot of over loading and overactive work in the golf swing.We there f o re once again try to build up the functional strength ofthe golf-specific large muscle groups. We have alsogiven Suzie the posture bar, but made sure shewas well aware of the use of the postural muscleg roups before loading her up on the bar: LattisimusDorsi, lower abdominals/gluteals etc.N.B. Since this article has been written,Ritchie Smith has scored 59 for 18 holes at aPGA trainee event, and Suzie has incre a s e dher distance.
[ BACK IN THE SWING ]NEVILLE WEIRG o l fer SaysAge: 50Occupation: PublicanHandicap: 8How often do you take a lesson?O c c a s i o n a l l , ybut will from now onPast injuries: Back! Back ! And Back! for 3 yearsSwing Problem: Reverse pivot coming inside on takeawayBest tip: Posture Grip StancePhysio sa y s :Neville is very typical of someone in his age group and lifestyle.These golfers typically work hard in their own businesses and sacrificetheir health to a degree. Coming up to an early re t i rement age, golfers likeNeville tend to have significant stiffness in their spine. This is due to a lotof sitting at a desk, driving or standing for long periods of time. The hipsalso tend to get very tight. The exercise which we prescribed was the KarateKid: keeping your left foot on floor pointing forw a rds, slowly lift your right leg onto the wallat 90 degrees keeping your arms and shoulders back with hands splayed with your neck tuckedin and kept at shoulder level. Start with a chair as it is very difficult to keep your balance inthis position. This exercise is good for golf as it allows for good weight transference and goodbalance in the body. It produces extension and stretches the front of the legs which tend to getover tight with sitting, driving etc. It stabilises the pelvis when walking, standing and playinggolf and works the gluteii muscles (buttock muscles). It also works on the superficial muscle inthe back called latissimus producing good rotation in the golf swing. Finally, whilst stabilisingthe pelvis, it works antagonistically to prevent overactive and tight hips that will restrict rotation. Weak buttock muscleswill result in excessive hip sway in the golf swing and will usually cause the hip flexes at the front to get over tight Onceagain it will affect lower trunk rotation in the golfer. Weak buttock muscles can put more pre s s u re on the front of the hipjoints and causing injury.For more information, contact the Melbourne Golf Injury Clinic on 03 9569-9448. The Melbourne Golf InjuryClinic is a provider for Institute of Sport golf programs and the PGA of Australia.