After next month’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Rory McIlroy plans to take a few months off to fully recover from the rib injury he sustained back in January.
The injury has plagued the four-time major champion throughout 2017, contributing to his winless season, making now an opportune moment to discuss the best ways of getting over and preventing a golfing injury.
1. Enough rest
Despite not having the direct number for Rory’s go-to sports scientist and fitness coach Steve McGregor, we can probably surmise that McIlroy has been playing through pain for most of the year.
While this is typical of many athletes, golf is such a physically demanding sport that it tends to do more damage than good. Golf Care ambassador Bernard Gallacher (below) compares his upcoming lay-off to two of the world’s best tennis players – Andy Murray and Roger Federer – who recently did the same.
“All three are supreme athletes using every muscle going but the two tennis players were savvy enough to realise that a week’s break here and there is not good enough – an extended break was what was needed to get back to their best,” he said.
If you have a muscular strain or injury – it’s really against your own best interests to rush yourself back to playing. Make sure you rest up, and if you feel you need to see a specialist like a physiotherapist, don’t put it off.
2. Adjust your swing
The recent injury woes of McIlroy, not to mention fellow powerhouse Jason Day, can in large part be traced back to their forceful drives. Belting the ball 250-300 yards from every tee may earn them world titles and majors, but it also takes its toll on your body after a while.
“If you’re driving so often and so far, it’s going to put a lot of strain on the body and highlight any weaknesses,” added Gallacher. “Rory could stand to rein in the distance a little for the good of his health.”
As for top players tweaking their swing to reduce muscle stress, take a look at Padraig Harrington’s new swing. While it may look a touch bizarre at first, it’s consistent without being brutal.
When you’re next on the driving range, try out a few different swings to see if there’s one that feels easier on the back or arms without losing accuracy or range!
3. Ease up on the gym
When you want to add power to your game, it can be easy to head straight for the gym. More muscle means more power, right? While that can be true, packing on more muscle can also be a recipe for putting more pressure on your joints and muscles unless carefully managed – leading to a fresh injury.
For most golfers, it’s better to have the right overall technique than focus on explosive power alone. Before heading for the gym, book a lesson with your local club pro. With a few tweaks, and perhaps a new club, there’s a good chance you could add 20-30 yards to your drive without having to hit the weight rack!
As we’ve already mentioned, golf is a sport where injuries can happen at any time. If you try our tips – you should hopefully reduce your risk of golfing injury.
Whether it’s a serious accident on a golf course, damaged or stolen equipment, or even paying your bar bill if you hit a hole-in-one, Golf Care’s specialist golf insurance has your back.
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