The knee is the largest joint in the body and one of the most complex. Healthy knees are not only vital to the golf game, but to many activities of daily life. The knee is designed to withstand all kinds of stresses and strains, but one wrong move, let alone a fall or other accident, can cause significant damage. A knee injury or condition such as arthritis can make it difficult to climb stairs, run, jump, play golf or another sport, even walk or sit down.
Here are our top tips to prevent further knee damage and keep you on the green !
- If you’re experiencing mild knee pain but are still able to play, start off with short shots, chipping, and putting until you feel more comfortable and confident in what your body can handle. Consistently assess how you are feeling and progress accordingly.
2. If you are experiencing discomfort with your swing, attempt half or three-quarter swings and limit the amount of golf you are playing.
3. When practicing your long shot, gradually increase the amount of swings you take. Start with 10 and gradually increase, always watching for pain and swelling.
4. If you have a history of a knee injury or surgery, use a golf cart in the beginning, and slowly progress to walking, but only if you are able. This can depend on the golf course, since some courses are much more uneven than others. Map out a plan prior to teeing off.
5. Turn your feet out slightly when swinging to reduce the amount you pivot, especially on your lead leg. This will decrease the amount of stress on your knee.
6. Maintain a more upright stance to reduce the amount of bending in the knees when swinging the club, decreasing the potential for knee pain.
7. Use short irons to reduce stress on the knees.
8. Use soft-spike golf shoes to reduce the twisting force on the knee.
9. Minimize stiffness and maintain strength by performing gentle stretching and strengthening exercises before and after your round of golf.
10. As you get a little older and have more aches and pains, consider lighter clubs that have flexible shafts to minimize twisting your knee.
11. Using longer clubs will allow you to loft the ball easier, but this should be determined on a case by case basis, making sure that it does not alter your swing too much.
12. To minimize stress on your knees, don’t let them roll inward in your golf stance. Keep your buttocks back as if sitting into a chair so that your knees don’t go further forward than your toes.
13. If you feel like you may have injured your knee during the game or if you start to have pain, STOP playing. If the problem persists, see a doctor.