Today’s version of the 11 Blade will focus on golf in honor of the Regions Tradition, the Champions Tour Major event being held in Birmingham this week.
The Champions Tour is fantastic on so many levels. It allows us, the fans, to see some of our favorite golfers, perhaps well past their prime, but no less talented, up close and personal. It allows those past “champions” to continue to exercise their skills and earn a handsome living doing so. It provides opportunities for cities, many of which do not host a big tour event, to showcase themselves while reaping economic impact rewards. Last, and probably least, it gives me, a sports surgeon to talk a little bit about a sport I enjoy and the injuries to which its (aging) participants are prone.
Perhaps one of my fondest memories of my grandfather was rolling out onto the golf course with him. He was over 70 years old and was tethered to an oxygen tank, but out he would go, every day – and I never, ever beat him. One of the great things about golf is that it is an athletic activity that one can do, even with significant disability well into the sunset years of life. That said, it WILL result in any number of chronic, repetitive, and/or stress injuries the more it is played. It can, occasionally, if not rarely, result in traumatic injuries (such as labral tears, wrist ligament injuries or rotator cuff tears) but overwhelmingly overuse injuries are the concern.
There are a number of resources both locally and nationally that promote fitness for golf, but my favorite is the Titleist Performance Institute. The local entity in Birminingham, Alabama of which I am aware that has trainers certified by the TPI is Personal Trainers of Mountain Brook. Further, we are very pleased to announce the development at D1 Birmingham of the Golf Performance Institute which will provide not only traditional swing analyses, but also a revolutionary technology involving force plates to include weight distribution timing in the data. Along the lines of injury prevention, we have compiled a set of recommendations for injury prevention which focus on basic fitness, flexibility, and form which are designed to prevent injury and keep one swinging away. Until next time, stay well.