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Health & Exercise Forum

Pre-Season Golf Tips - Part 1 of 2

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Apr 20, 2015

Dr. Mackarey's Health & Exercise ForumPRE-SEASON GOLF TIPS: Part 1 of 2

After a long winter, spring is finally in the air as indicated by the number of golf enthusiasts seen in the parking lot at Pine Hill’s Golf Club in Taylor, PA in the past few weeks. However, it is important to remember that without proper warmup and preparation, the risk of injury can increase substantially. PGA professionals benefit tremendously from sport science, physical therapy and fitness programs on tour year round. Amateurs in northern climates require diligence and planning to prepare for the game after 4-6 months off to avoid injury.

Muscle strains, ligament sprains, neck and LBP is prevalent in the early season for golfers, especially for the amateur. The reasons are many: general deconditioning after winter inactivity, poor golf swing mechanics, excessive practice, inadequate warm-up and poor flexibility and conditioning. The very nature of the golf swing can create great stress on the body, especially after time off.

PRESEASON TIPS – Best to begin 4 -6 weeks before the season

  • Warm Up – Get to the course early enough to make time to stretch before you play and hit a few balls at the range. Always start with low irons and work up to driver. Take a hot shower before an early morning round and use compression shorts and shirts on cool days. Do Not Bounce or Overstretch! Stretch slowly, holding for 10-20 seconds:
  • Shoulder Overhead Stretch – slide hand up door jam while walking toward wall and raise arm until completely overhead.
  • Shoulder Chest Cross Stretch- bring one arm across chest using other arm to pull behind elbow.
  • Extend Middle and Lower Back Stretch – place club behind small of back and pinch shoulder blades together. Also, extend lower back against club.
  • Rotate Trunk Standing -while standing with an arched lower back and using club behind your back slowly rotate to right, then left.
  • Rotate Trunk Lying– lying on back and rotate upper trunk to right and then to left. Repeat rotating lower body right and left with knees bent.
  • Lower Back Flexion Stretch – lying on back and bring both knees toward chest. Hold with clasped hands and gently stretch.

Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.

NEXT MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum” in the Scranton Times-Tribune. Next Week: Part 2 - Pre-season Golf Tips.

This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email:

Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College.