As with most golfers, you probably spend money on the top equipment and occasional lessons in hopes of improving your golf game. However, did you know you may be overlooking the most important aspect of your golf game? Knowing how to use and move your body properly is critical to improving your golf game and avoiding injury.
Professional golfers understand the importance of keeping their bodies in pristine condition. Along with countless hours on the course, top golfers also commit a great deal of time to working with an expert team of strength and conditioning trainers, mind coaches, dieticians, and physiotherapists to ensure they are at the top of their game.
Having encountered a major back injury myself, I know the benefits of working with a physiotherapist for golfing and health in general.
10 years ago I was diagnosed with a bulging disk that left me in severe pain. I was in my second year of a golfing traineeship and my wife and I were expecting our first child.
Even just walking could be excruciating. I would have to stop every 100 metres to try and stretch and relieve the pain. I could not straighten my left leg and my left foot would occasionally go completely numb.
I was taking strong painkillers almost every day and it was affecting my mental state, my golf game, and was making me nervous that I wouldn’t be able to take care of our newborn. I had to do something.
Along with working with the Arsenal Football Club, he had just finished a stint on the USPGA Tour with Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, and Luke Donald. I was immediately drawn to someone who had worked with such high profile athletes.
What Is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy refers to the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as heat treatment, massage, and specific exercises rather than by drugs or surgery.
What Do Physiotherapists Do?
- Look closely at a client’s body and how it moves
- Help a client understand how their body moves and prescribe exercises to get it moving optimally
- Provide classes in movement, not just treatments
What Are the Benefits of Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy can help address a variety of issues including:
The Physiotherapy Process
My first meeting with Kam Bhabra was spent discussing my symptoms, getting an MRI, and coming up with a targeted approach on how to best tackle my bulging disk pain. My biggest concern was being able to lift my newborn in and out of a cot and help my wife as much as possible.
Kam mentioned that surgery may have to be an option, but he was confident that he would get me moving through rehabilitation.
Learning To Use My Body Correctly
Before my treatments, I assumed my back was the source of the entire issue. However, I quickly learned that a variety of supporting muscles and areas in my body — hamstrings, weak glutes, poor pelvis movement — had been neglected for too long, leaving me susceptible to back issues.
After six months of intensive sessions twice a week, I was in a position to start doing exercises on my own at home. Over the last decade, I can happily report I no longer have issues with my back. Thanks to the knowledge and dedication of Kam and my commitment to the exercises, my golf swing feels strong and I am able to get into golfing positions I could never have dreamt of before.
Who Can Benefit From Physiotherapy?
The best time to take care of our bodies is before an injury actually happens. Along with treating ailing bodies, physiotherapists like Kam help educate patients on what their bodies are capable of, how to make their body stronger, improve your golf game, and less prone to injury. Most physiotherapists will offer classes outside of treatments, whether pilates based, strength specific or otherwise.
What Do Golf Coaches Do?
An experienced golf coach can help you improve your golf game by:
- Pointing out technical golfing errors based on swing fundamentals
- Prescribing drills and practice routines to follow
- Identifing what you need to work on based on what your body’s current potential
- Explaining how to become better and addressing the specific areas of your game and body need improving
- Referring you to a good physiotherapist to truly help take your golf game to the next level
How Can a Golf Coach and Physiotherapist Complement Each Other?
Whether you are struggling with an injury or just want to learn how to optimise your body’s movements to improve your golf game, a golf coach and physiotherapist can keep in close contact and communicate together to help you by:
- Providing tips to help with elbow pain during a golf swing
- Addressing poor shoulder turn during a golf swing
- Helping you learn to prevent your hips from sliding during your golf swing
- Addressing left knee collapse during a swing
- Preventing your arms becoming disconnected during your golf swing
Want To Learn More About How Physiotherapy Can Help Your Golf Game?
Physiotherapy improved both my overall health and my golf game and I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with an injury or looking to optimise their golf performance.
For more excellent resources on how the benefits of physiotherapy can improve your golf game and overall health, feel free to check out Lilyfield Physio’s golf blog or get in touch with me. As a professional golf coach, I offer private golf instruction, specialised golf programs, video analysis, and remote coaching to transform your golf game.