The Rich Man’s Game
Popularly known as “The Rich Man’s Game,” Golf is one of the most expensive sports in the world. This is due to the cost of the equipment used and huge expenses to become a member of the Golf Club.
Even though professional Golf game is well known, it is prominently played by business people, CEO’s and people from the high society to prevent lifestyle diseases, due to their highly stressful work nature. Playing Golf regularly helps improving stamina, cardiovascular fitness and builds muscle endurance. This is because, the Golf course is very vast in size and involves a lot of walking, For example, in an average 18 hole Golf game, the golfer walks for 4.3 miles.
Equipment & Basics for Playing Golf
To start playing Golf, the first thing you need to do is, join a Golf club and buy the necessary equipment. These include a Golf club (stick), golf ball, golf bag, golf shoes and tees (the holder on which the ball is mounted and hit with the golf club).
Tee is the starting location of the Golf course, from where the game has to be started by hitting the ball. The hole is the end location, which has a hole, inside which the ball has to be fallen, for the player to complete the game.
As it sounds, it is not an easy task, because the distance between the Tee and the Hole is several miles, depending on whether it is a 9-hole or an 18-hole game or a Par 3/par4/par5/par6 shot. Par6 is the longest Golf shot played, as it has an average of 6 shots to be played.
For a par6 game, the distance between a Tee and a Hole is 710 yards. Hence, an 18-hole game with a par6 involves a walk of 7.2 miles, which is the longest distance covered.
Prospects of a Possible Golf Injury
In Golf, the factors that cause an injury are very less as compared to other sports. Some common Golf injuries include sprain or cramps in the lower back, shoulder, wrist, elbow and susceptible injuries to eye and head, and sunburns.
The reasons for these injuries are overuse of the same swing motion. The following problems might occur due to overuse of muscles and tendons:
1. Medial Epicondylitis
Commonly known as “Golfer’s Elbow,” it is an inflammation of the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bone at elbow region. With time, these tendons become tender due to the same swing motion, again and again, thereby causing pain in the elbow.
This problem can be avoided by a slower swinging motion, such that the shock is avoided.
2. Lower Back Ache
This injury is contrary to the previous case; wherein a lower back pain is caused due to a poor swinging motion or wrong swinging. This rotational stress causes a strain on the spine. This leads to a serious injury when it is repeated over and over.
The following factors, increase the risk of obtaining such injuries
- Playing for a very long time, more than 6 hours per week, increases the risk of obtaining an injury.
- In an under ten category game, children who are not properly supervised by adults are susceptible to such injuries. As their tendons are already soft and tender, it leads to wear and tear of it easily.
- Playing incorrectly is another important reason. It is always good to learn the game correctly and then play.
- When the game is started without a warm up, there are more chances to get a sprain. Warming up is imperative for any physical activity or sport, be it exercising, running or playing cricket. It sets the body to be prepared for the sudden increase in blood flow and the upcoming full fledged motion.
- Stressing over and over again after a previous injury leads to serious health problems. It is always better to get an injury treated fully and play carefully from next time onwards.
Warm up & Recovering Techniques
The following techniques are certain tips to understand the fact that “prevention is better than cure:”
- Performing basic exercises and Yoga on a daily basis provides strength to back and abdomen and increases the flexibility of the body. They are not only helpful for the game but also, keep one healthy for a lifetime.
- Basic warm ups such as wrist curls, toe curls, pushups, side bends, stretching and frequent squeezing of a tennis ball, improves muscle strength.
- Use a sunscreen of SPF 30++ or above to protect from sunburns, as Golfing involves a lot of sunlight and heat exposure in an open area.
- Keep yourself well hydrated throughout the game. Consume a lot of water and fluids.
- Practice the Golf etiquette. These are a set of rules to play the game without any hassle, drafted by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
Other Common Tips and Warnings
Other miscellaneous tips to remember while playing Golf are as follows:
- Do not engage in long practice sessions, by following a shot again and again. Any art comes by experience, and it requires patience. Even Rome was not built in a day.
- Use a balanced stroke for the swing. Do not over pressurize your elbows or make a poor swing, either of which leads to an injury within.
- Consider taking assistance from a Buggy, for carrying your Golf clubs
- Perform abdominal exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles. A survey from Canada projects that Golfers with strong abdominal muscles have fewer chances of obtaining a back pain.
- Take lessons from a PGA (Professional Golfers Association of America) Coach, to prevent injuries and improve performance.
How to treat a Golf Injury promptly?
If an injury occurs, the following actions have to be taken immediately
- Stop the game immediately, once you are injured. Continuing to play with the injury only aggravates it.
- Immediately place ice on the injured area and take good rest. Refer to a health professional immediately.
- If an injury is detected, necessary treatment has to be started immediately, and the Golfer should not resume playing, once completely recovered.
Advantages of Playing a Golf Game
This topic would make you think that it should have come on the initial introduction lines. But our motive is, all these injuries and preventions should not demotivate a Golfer from continuing the game. Due to lifestyle changes, it is very important to have a healthy lifestyle which involves regular physical activity and a balanced diet. As Golfing is a game which involves a good amount of physical activity, it is good to know its advantages as to why to play a Golf game.
- It is calculated that a Golfer who carries his bag of Golf clubs throughout the game, is expected to burn 720 calories. This when followed regularly, is more than sufficient to stay fit and healthy.
- According to research, burning 2500 calories a week reduces the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
- Another research says that the death expectancy of Golfers is 40% lesser than a person of the same sex, age, and socio-economic status. This amounts to an additional five-year increase in their life expectancy.
- Bosses and CEO’s who play Golf regularly are found to show an increased performance at work by 17% compared to others, strike large profits at sales and hence receive huge appraisals and incentives.
Hence, Play Golf, Stay Healthy!