Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Injured Playing Golf? Tips for Prevention

Golf is a fantastic, inclusive sport played by people of all ages and abilities. Not only is it great for fitness and weight management, the game is used as a way to relax and socialize with friends.

back injuries to golfersAs with all sports, there are some injuries in which players are particularly prone. Interestingly in golf, we see similar injuries in both professionals and amateurs, but for very different reasons.

We’re going to look at what these injuries are, why they happen and, most importantly, what amateur golfers can do to prevent them.

The most common injuries for golfers are strains and lower back injuries, mainly upper body, with the most predictable area for injury being the lower back followed by the wrist, shoulder and elbow.

For professionals, overuse is the main culprit, which is not surprising since golfers are playing for ten hours a day, six days a week. Tiger Woods is a perfect example of what can happen to a lower back with overuse and not allowing a bit of rest even after surgery - he had to shut down the remainder of his 2014 golf season.

For golf beginners and amateurs however, the causes tend to be poor technique in the swing, hitting the ground with the club and miss-hits.

Poor golf swing technique:

The golf swing is the most problematic area for golfers who sustain injuries - it’s an action that takes the body through a large range of motion, a huge amount of force is used and it’s repetitive.

For professionals, it’s clear to see how injuries can be sustained over time carrying out this sort of an action no matter how efficient their swing is and however well-adapted they are to their sport.

For amateurs, making errors in the swing can cause instant injuries, from the high impact experienced by joints and tissue when they hit the ground with the club. Amateurs also may be prone to these injuries if they are otherwise sedentary. They may have muscle weaknesses and lack flexibility leaving the joints and muscles unable to handle the sudden forces a swing puts on the body.

Over half of golfers miss games when recovering from their injuries.

When injuries do occur, professional golfers are notorious for continuing to play since the stakes are high and it’s the way they make their living. Doing this can lead to more serious injuries and ultimately more time out of the game spent in recovery!

Over half of golfers who sustain injuries will need to miss some games. Facts are, thirty percent of injured golfers will need treatment for one to two weeks and twenty-one percent will need treatment lasting over five weeks which, for a passionate golfer, whether professional or not, is a long time not to be doing something that they love.

Coaching to improve your golf swing can help prevent injuries.

Some injuries can affect a golfer’s ability long-term, so taking preventative measures are not only simple, they’ll keep you playing your best for a longer period of time.

Here are a few tips to help you prevent the most common golfing injuries:

Get coaching to improve your swing. This will make you more efficient and help you avoid things like hitting the ground or mis-hits that can easily cause injury.
Keep in shape. If you can keep strong and flexible off the golf course, your body is going to be in a much better position to take the forces and strains you put on it on the course. A balanced program of cardio, strength and flexibility training will keep you at the top of your game.
Warm-ups before a game and stretches afterwards will ease you in safely. The Apostherapy golf infographic below has some great stretches and exercises to perform before you get stuck into a game that will prep the body for what’s to come.

Of course, sometimes an injury is unavoidable. If you should get injured during a round, then stop playing immediately and seek medical attention.

Suspect a strain or sprain? Follow first aid instructions: 

  • Protect the affected area/joint by stoppping play immediately.
  • Stop moving the joint, rest, apply an ice pack to reduce swelling.
  • Compress the joint using a bandage to provide support to the area.
  • Limit movement and elevate the joint, again to reduce swelling. 

Follow your doctor’s advice and when you’re ready to begin playing again, be sure to ease yourself in gently to avoid further injury.

Ed Butler_Apostherapy UKAuthor: Ed Butler, Clinical Lead, Apostherapy UK

After graduating with a degree in Physiotherapy, Ed has been working in the field of professional sports rehabilitation. His specialist interests include acute and chronic lower limb injuries for professional sportsmen and women.

What exercises do you perform to keep in your best shape for golf season? Comment below and join the discussion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

golf infographic

Photo credit: wikihow.comApostherapy UK

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Can Phil Mickelson Mentor a Young Ryder Cup Team to Victory? #golf

After Phil Mickelson's recent withdrawal from the BMW Championship, golf fans may be wondering whether or not Lefty still has the stuff of Champions needed to help lead Team USA on to victory against Europe.

Although Mickelson removed himself from the final FedEx Cup events and the remainder of the PGA Tour season (knowing he could not contend), he showed mental weakness as well. Was it a lack of passion, his age, physical issues, or a combination of maladies that forced Mickelson to withdraw? Will he be able to stand strong and carry his team in the face of adversity?

Because of his poor showing in the first two days of the BMW, The World Golf Hall of Famer chose not to buckle down, disappointing fans who came to see him play, a worldwide television audience and the tournament itself which relies on big names like Phil to help sell tickets.

At forty-four years of age and with twenty-plus years on tour, the jury is still out on Phil.

"My primary goal is to rest and prepare for the Ryder Cup," Mickelson said in a statement released after his W/D from the BMW Championship. "Without a chance to contend at the Tour Championship, the most important thing for me now is to prepare for the Ryder Cup."

Team USA Captain Tom Watson wanted to add value to his team picks by adding “players who can putt and close and have heart.” Phil can still crush his drives but short game and passion is what Watson said is needed to carry Team USA to victory.

"You Gotta Believe", the slogan  of New York Mets baseball relief pitcher Tug McGraw in 1973, has been adapted as the term "Redemption" by Team USA with Mickelson leading the charge.

As for Watson's other requirement, the short game, Mickelson has that going for him too, so says his long term instructor and golf guru, Dave Pelz"He's one of brightest players I have ever known and probably the best I've ever worked with and he certainly has the best short game I've ever seen."


With the use of learning aids such as the Putting Tutor developed by Pelz for use on indoor putting greens along with games designed specifically for the short game, Dave and Phil work together using both scientific and golf evaluation to try to "measure where he's losing most of his strokes and where he could improve."

"The games were developed to help my students," Dave Pelz said, so even if you're not a top tour pro like Mickelson, you can still take advantage of the same expert guidance right inside your home.

Does Team USA believe in Phil and does Lefty think that he should have been a Ryder Cup pick?

"I don't know if I played well enough this year to deserve a spot," Mickelson said. "You want players that are hot, that are playing well. And I need to step up and start doing that."

Keegan Bradley, who also withdrew from the BMW Championship on Saturday due to doubt over the legality over a drop, was in 28th place with a chance at winning the Tour Championship and made a great pairing with Mickelson at the 2012 Ryder Cup but would the same pairing be a good fit this year?

After their win at the 2012 Ryder Cup, Keegan Bradley said, "...being able to walk down the fairway with Phil and do this is a dream come true. It's another moment in my life that I can't believe I'm a part of. It could be the best day of my life."

"I just love playing with Keegan." Mickelson said. "He's just played so good all day and it's just kept me up the whole time. It's been awesome."

Watching Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson play golf during the PGA Championship, fans could also feel the camaraderie between these two players, so it seems likely that Mickelson is a good candidate for team cheerleader.

Will Team USA gain redemption with Mickelson at the helm? Should be an interesting Ryder Cup for both captains and mates!

Voice your Ryder Cup Opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners. In the market for backyard putting green kits? Ask SYNLawn for their opinion on Twitter @SYNLawn_golf.

Photo credit: SYNLawngolf.com, TaipeiTimes.com, Crunchtimenews.com

Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Life Lessons Your Kids Can Learn Through #Golf - Guest Blog

We are aware that golf is good for the health and the heart. It helps one to stay fit, improve muscle tone and endurance, and lose weight and body fat, but what make this game even more great are the priceless life lessons it instills in every player, including your little ones.

“Golf is played on an uneven terrain designed to surprise. Good and bad bounces are built into the essence of the game. The reason golf is so much like life is that the game — like life — is all about how you react to those good and bad bounces”. - Thomas Friedman

Teaching kids to play golf can be beneficial in imparting values and helpful lessons about life. The sport instills the value of honesty and integrity at an early age. The game builds on the honor system because the player keeps track of his own strokes and most of the time, the rest of the foursome will keep track of their own progress considering honesty as the best policy.

Family golf

Water, bunkers and dense vegetation can make for a difficult day of tournament play. These hazards are very much part of the game and cannot be altered in any way. These course conundrums can be a favorable circumstance for ingenious problem solving and personal growth for your kids.

Like any other sport, success in playing golf doesn’t happen overnight. Constant practice teaches your kids discipline and the value of determination. They may have more misses than hits, but with practice and persistence, all efforts will eventually pay off. These values will help kids face tough challenges in life.

Listen to this great Golf for Beginners interview with Hank Haney - Tiger Woods former instructor - as he offers golf tips for beginners to tournament players.

These are just few of the many virtues kids can develop through healthy sport. It would be wise for parents to invest in an activity that their kids would both enjoy and learn good habits.

What makes golf more amazing is that golf can be a wonderful and fun activity for the whole family – dads, moms, kids, gen-y'ers, even senior citizens find it a great way to stay active! It’s a game you can play from the moment you’re able to hold the club until the time your arms could no longer swing. Introducing golf to your kids might be introducing them to the sport of a lifetime.

Kids as young as three (but more likely five to seven years), can already begin formal instruction – even if it’s just hitting balls at a practice range.

You can provide them age-appropriate clubs. A lot of sporting good stores offer cost-effective clubs designed for kids of specific age, height and skill level. You may even get your little girls some special golf clubs with a great range of colors like purple and pink or your little boys some fun and fancy junior golf headcovers. These could be great gifts or rewards for that awesome and perfect first swing.

To inspire kids pursue and excel in this sport, you may also want to take them to events like the U.S. Kids Golf Tournament or Junior World Golf Championships. Tickets to these events may be bought online through the organizers’ website or event ticket brokers with a reliable event ticket broker merchant account.

Spending time for special rounds of golf with family is a great way to devote quality time with them and an avenue to grow, learn, and have fun time together. On top of that, it’s a very amusing and engaging way to stay healthy as a family.

Blair Thomas is a successful entrepreneur who co-founded eMerchantBroker.com, the top high risk credit card processing firm voted by top credit card processors. He has managed several successful agent offices and registered ISO's.  When he isn’t working hard in the payment’s industry you can find him hiking the hills of Los Angeles.  Check him out on Google Plus.

photo credit: http://www.pequesymas.com/

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Mohegan Sun Presents The First Annual 'Til Duty is Done' #Golf Classic

With all of the golf courses I have experienced as creator and content developer of Golf for Beginners, it is amazing that I can remember specific details about each one. With Mohegan Sun Country Club Golf Course, the memorable experience occurred both on, and off, the course.

A recent email from Ed Mack, golf course groundskeeper at MSCC, relayed to me the first annual 'Til Duty is Done' Golf Classic, occurring on Saturday, September 27, 2014 - golfing to support veterans, our nation's heroes! You can register online or call the Mohegan Sun Golf Club at 860.862.9235 for more information on the event.

The format is a four-man scramble, there will be prizes, giveaways and an appearance by PGA Tour winner and Connecticut native, J.J. Henry!

Below is a section of the brochure which describes the worthy charitable organization 'Til Duty is Done'. For those who gave so much to our country...can we ever repay them?

Mohegan Sun Til Duty is Done Golf Classic

As always, voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on this blog!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Experience the Largest and Best 19th Hole in #Golf at Myrtle Beach

Thirty-four countries and fifty-eight states know where the largest and most fun 19th hole is in golf... do you?

The Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship of Golf - one of the most anticipated and swinging events of the year at The Beach - has over thirty-four hundred (3,400) entries that love competition and camaraderie of the sport. Since this is a handicap event, all ages and skill levels are encouraged and welcomed to join in this family event.

The more than sixty golf courses on the World Am roster are the pride of South Carolina and are among the best in the USA.

From Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, number twenty-seven in GOLF Magazine‘s 2014 “Top 100 You Can Play” to Myrtle Beach National and Carolina National, if you have never played golf on and around the Grand Strand, this is a great opportunity to see what this vacation destination has to offer golfers of every age and ability.

After a day on the links, participants converge onto the 19th Hole - an experience, I heard, that you have to see to believe...and so I did!

World Amateur Handicap Golf Championship

The 19th hole, also known as the largest golf tournament party, adjourns nightly after entrants have had their fill of birdies, bogeys and beautiful scenery playing golf on one of the host courses.

So, what happens when thousands of party-loving golfers from millennials to seniors converge during a week-long super-extravaganza event at possibly the largest ever 19th Hole in the World and in no other place than Myrtle Beach, a City known for its golf courses and fun, beachy atmosphere?

World Amateur Handicap Golf Championship - 19th hole

Aside from the delicious and plentiful food provided by local restaurants with a different menu nightly, live entertainment and the Dark and Stormy's, you get the camaraderie of golfers sharing their day's good and bad shots, an array of putting greens, driving booths and anything and everything designed to make this a golfer's after-hours paradise.

World Amateur Handicap Golf Championship

Lessons from Golf-Tec teaching pro Trent had me hitting straight and removing that annoying left pull by showing me a video of my golf swing right on his smartphone. Announcers WinMcMurry and John Maginnes were on hand to call the shots on a 50-yard par-3 and I didn't know whether to play the Golden Tee games that were lined up or to hit a few into the golf simulator - so many choices but luckily there is an entire week to enjoy the fun.

Stacy Solomon - Golf for Beginners at GolfTec booth

The best part of my experience, however, had to be chatting with the players, many of whom return year-after-year. I asked several folks if it was the golf or 19th hole that kept them coming back for more and, I was told, both were hard to beat!

Have you attended the Myrtle Beach World Am Handicap Championship? Which was your favorite golf course...or was it the 19th hole that took center stage? Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on our Golf for Beginners blog.

Thanks to Chris King - Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Will Millennials Save or Squash #Golf?

According to news articles, golf course owners and even sports equipment manufacturers, a lack of golf popularity is caused by a drop in participation by Millennials. These eighteen to thirty-year old's seem to value iPhones and computer tech more than a good walk in the park.

Can kids from the Gen-Y generation find happiness playing the sport that lasts a lifetime while retaining some of its traditional elements?

Robin Williams must have had millennials on his mind when he created his comedic skit on golf, with the excerpt "go whacking away with a tire iron...and each time you miss you feel like you’ll have a stroke. That’s what we’ll call it, a stroke, cause each time you miss you feel like you’re gonna fracking die."

Millennials seem to want a more fun and reactive game and golf is a game that you play within yourself. Obviously Rory McIlroy is helping the game by bringing a fresh, young face to a new generation but is that enough?

Rory McIlroy Trophy

Course rounds are showing the decline - according to TaylorMade President Mark King, rounds for the new generation are down thirty-five percent in the last ten years. With that, golf courses are falling upon hard times with closings totaling one every forty-eight hours! Should people blame Millennials for this affliction or should the golf course discussion be about the financial bubble which burst ten years earlier?

Nope, Gen Y'ers don't want that much of a challenge, the mindful struggle to get a small white ball into a tiny hole; they want fun and ease...no challenges that cause distress.

Enough talk about what they don't want...what do Millennials feel is necessary to enjoy golf? This enigma is what organizations are struggling to figure out; is it the end of having to "belong" to a golf club, is it too expensive, do they want more fun...or a quicker round?

Bryant Gumbel's commentary on HBO Real Sports discussed ways in which Gen-Y'ers are currently enjoying golf courses, driving ranges and, basically, making the sport their own.

Here are a few new ideas which are trending:
- 15 inch golf holes (as King said, "you can't miss with that" but, where is the challenge?)
- Foot golf - A mix of soccer and golf where folks kick the ball around into a larger hole.
- Top Golf - a blend of driving range with microchips in golf balls, night club entertainment and a bit of friendly digital competition.
- Easier scoring for golf beginners.
- Free beer on Saturday's?

Golf for Beginners has also come up with a few ideas to enhance the game for multi-generational sports fans - how about softball golf or hockey golf? They'll be tearing up the course with these blended sports but, if it brings players into the game, isn't it worth it?

Golf may be going through growing pains but, in my opinion, is not doomed to aged traditionalists who want to keep folks out, not bring them into the game.

I think the game of golf is safe because millennials will eventually get older and want to enjoy a more conventional sport - so many women enter the game as they mature and enjoy the cameraderie and challenge. The current concern with Generation Y is to get them interested early so that they are ready for the challenge when they have kids.

Are you a Millennial? Do You Play Golf? Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on our Golf for Beginners blog.