Stay Healthy While You Play Golf

Today’s post is brought to us by Morton Golf Foundation Board Member, Greg Parry, MS, PT, CSCS at Parry Physical Therapy & Athletic Enhancement, Inc.

A look into one of the professional golf tours would tell a convincing story about the relationship between top level golfers and fitness – the world’s best have come to understand the importance of exercise for peak performance.   Most specialists and today’s typical professional golfer prioritizes the time to exercise as an important part of their preparation to play (think Dustin Johnson or Christie Kerr).

In two decades of work with golfers, things have changed almost as much for the amateur golfers that I work with as they have for the professional golfers.  Research has continued to validate the benefits of both professionals and amateurs.   We know, for example, that the stronger the golfer is, all things being equal, the further that person would be capable of hitting the ball (and who doesn’t want that?).   We know that an amateur’s swing faults may be mechanical, but may also be caused by a physical deficit that can be improved by fitness training, such as poor posture or flexibility or balance.   We know that the effects of exercise can improve the physical endurance needed to play a round of golf and the focus that impacts an individual shot.

Many of the golfers that find their way to our clinic, both professional and amateur, fine their way by referral from golf professionals, and for a good reason!   Approximately one million golfers quit the game each year and the most frequently cited reason is injury – we have therefore made it part of our mission to improve the health of the industry by improving the health of its participants.   My role, as both strength and conditioning specialist and as a physical therapist, means that I have the unique perspective of seeing the golfers who are both prone to injury and those who have quit because of injury.   Almost invariably, exercise is a major part of either golfer’s recipe for success.

Getting in better shape for golf is pretty simple – in general terms, exercise makes a better athlete and a better athlete makes a better golfer.   However, the more specific that exercise can be for both golf and for the individual’s body, the more effective it is.   A person who is already flexible, for example, may be wasting their time (or even doing some harm!) if their program emphasizes stretching the wrong thing or the wrong way.   Specific exercise can help golfers regardless of sex, playing ability or age.   In fact, we should all be encouraged that it has been shown that we can improve our athleticism and our golf game well into our 80’s – our strength can get better, our mobility can get better and our balance can get better, each of which can make a golf swing more efficient, in sum, it’s never too late!

The Morton Golf Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit corporation established and operated exclusively for charitable purposes. The Morton Golf Foundation vision is to enrich the lives of the less fortunate through the great game of golf. For more information on volunteering or donating to the Morton Golf Foundation, please contact Jane Siebers at 916-808-0969 or

For further details on Parry Physical Therabpy & Athletic Enhancement, call 916-455-5524

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