To Carry or Not to Carry? That is the question.
Recently, there’s been a great deal of excitement about golf here in Cayman, as Aaron Jarvis put Cayman on the ‘green’ of the majors. Earlier this month he became the first Caymanian player to participate in the 150th Open. Aaron made his mark as a player to watch by making the cut. He was also awarded a bronze medal for his performance, as an amateur, at this prestigious event with some of the world’s greats. Congratulations, Aaron!
While most of us are never going to play in The Open, if you are an avid recreational player, you have probably lugged your golf bag around the course at least a few times. Did you know the average weight of a golf bag, with clubs and accessories, is about 30 – 35 pounds?
To put that into perspective, imagine carrying a 30-pound gym weight around with you for the day slung across your back, dragging it behind you, or pushing it ahead, and you’ll probably agree that this is how some of the injuries that happen on the golf course occur.
Although golf is a low impact sport, many golfers do suffer injuries. According to Medical Wave the most common golf injuries are:
Most commonly these injuries are repetitive use injuries, more likely when the golfer has poor biomechanics or form. Compounded by the fact that many golfers continue to play regularly at more advanced ages than many other sports, these small issues that go unnoticed or are ignored, may become more serious over time.
Golfers that carry their bags, over time may experience upper back and shoulder pain and even spinal alignment issues. So which way of carrying the bag is better for your orthopedic health?
We asked Regenexx Cayman’s physician, Dr. Fenton to weigh in.
“Wheeling your golf bag is better than carrying it. And pushing it in front of you is preferred to carting it behind you. This prevents putting unnecessary strain on your shoulders and back.
For those players who do opt to carry their bag on their back, please make sure your bag strap is a backpack, double strap setup. This will ensure even distribution of the weight.”
It is also important to be mindful of your posture and engage your core throughout the round, and, of course, taking time to warm up and stretch afterwards should be a part of your routine.
If you experience ongoing pain and discomfort beyond your typical post-round soreness, be sure to get it evaluated. Our expert physicians have helped many golfers get back on the green. If you have a specific orthopedic issue that is limiting your golf game, contact our patient care team to schedule a phone consultation with a Regenexx Cayman physician.