While golf has definitely become a high intensity sport thanks to younger, more athletic players like Tiger Woods, the majority of people stepping onto the green are doing it for fun. They are weekend warriors, business associates, and retirees playing a game that can be relaxing but still not without physical demands. For this reason, golf players can benefit greatly from regular massage therapy.
More than in most other sports, golf requires a very detailed knowledge of ones own physiology in order to employ proper technique to successfully swing at and hit a tiny ball. This highly specialized and repetitive movement can result in inflammation and injury of the lower back, wrists, hands, shoulders, and even the knees. That is why it is important that golfers seek out massage BEFORE they play and not just afterwards. Beyond actively helping an individual’s body heal, one of the very important elements to a massage therapy session is learning about one’s own anatomy and the way that the body reacts to certain movements and stimulation. This heightened knowledge can help correct improper technique and adjust a player’s swing to fit their own body rather than fighting against it. A pre-game massage is also a great way to warm up and stretch ones muscles and joints in a game where most amateurs step directly onto the course without proper preparation.
A golf specific massage AFTER a game would focus on working the muscles around inflamed areas to support their ability to heal. Like any sports massage, massage therapists look to address specific muscle groups and sets of joints that receive the most wear and tear as a result of the activity. In golf, that mostly means the lower back area as it is the pivot point from where a swing gets most of its power. Deep and targeted attention to affected muscles is a great way to get the body back on its way to healing.
Golf also takes a long time and often involves walking (or carting) long distances to get from one hole to the next. Along with a regular pre and post-game massage session, it is incredibly important that players stay hydrated throughout the entire day. Stopping for short breaks in between holes to take stock of one’s body, paying special attention to feelings of inflammation are important and can help correct improper technique.
Golf courses are typically located on or near country club or spa grounds where an experienced massage therapists can be found. Next time you have a long day on the course planned, contact a massage therapist to schedule some pre-game preparation and post-game relaxation. Your body will thank you, and most importantly, your game will thank you too!