Golf is a wonderful sport that has seen a huge increase in popularity in the last decade. Today there are more than 35 million golfers in the United States alone and over 16,000 golf courses, driving ranges, and other facilities for these golfers in the US. Given the number of golfers (and perhaps the average age of the sport that tends to attract athletes on the older side of things, especially compared to contact sports such as football and basketball or high velocity sports such as skiing or tennis), it is no surprise that golfers find themselves with a variety of injuries. A study from several years ago suggests that approximately 60% of professional golfers along with 40% of amateur golfers have suffered either a traumatic or overuse injury. Even with these statistics, golf is seen as a "low-risk" sport that men and women can continue to participate in well into their 50s, 60s, and even 70s. Still, even as a low-risk sport, in 2009 alone there were over 55,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms.
As with many other sports such as skiing and tennis, the primary causes of golf injuries are:
Equipment: Injuries are more likely to occur if using golf clubs that are not fitted for the golfer including improperly fitted clubs, clubs that are not long or short enough, clubs that have too little or too much torque, etc. Additionally, equipment such as properly fitting golf shoes and gloves can prevent minor injuries.
General athleticism: Even though golf is thought of as a low-impact and low-risk sport, weekend-warriors are suggested to keep their general physical conditioning up to speed. Going to the gym several times per week, participating in cardio sports or exercises such as running or swimming can help you maintain your general athleticism and reduce the instances of injury in golf.
Proper technique: the majority of golf injuries today are caused by improper techniques. It may be a backswing that tweaks something in your lower back or causes a strain in your shoulder. Learning the right way to swing and hit a golf ball is absolutely key in remaining uninjured.