Golf: The Most Dangerous Sport?


You may be surprised to hear that golfers are statistically injured more often than rugby players. Does this therefore make it the most dangerous sport?

It could be argued so…

In fact, 62% of amateurs and 85% of professionals will sustain a significant injury associated with playing golf. 

And with a staggering 60 million golfers worldwide - that’s a whole lot of people getting injured. 

The problem is, amateur golfers are usually out of shape or have poor swing mechanics, and professional golfers often overuse their muscles with frequent play. 

Trauma to the lower back accounts for one third of all injuries and can happen to anyone regardless of age or ability.  

There are a couple of logical reasons for this. 

Firstly, a good golf swing requires significant club-head speed, which is something that is only achieved by applying a lot of torque (force) and torsion (twisting) throughout your lower back.   

Secondly, compared to other sports, golf puts a lot of pressure on your spine. Consider the average golf-swing produces a compression load on your back equal to 8 times your body weight, whereas a sport like running produces a compression load just 3 times your body weight. There is a significant difference here.

Golfers experiencing low back pain typically haveone of the following types of injuries:

  • Muscle Strain or Ligamentous Sprain
  • Disc Injury
  • Altered Joint Mechanics or Motor Control
  • Degenerative Arthritis
  • Bone Fracture


Other top golf-related injuries include trauma tothe elbow, wrist/hand or shoulder. So much for golf being a low-impactactivity!


It’s helpful to understand not only the types ofinjuries associated with golf, but also the main causes of injury. These include:

  • Frequency of repetitive practice (overworked     muscles)
  • Suboptimal swing mechanics
  • Inadequate warm-up routine
  • Poor overall physical conditioning


With the average recovery time for injury lasting 2-4 weeks, addressing the main causes of injury is well worth the effort.


SO, the question is - How can you enjoy the wonderful game of golf while reducing your risk of injury?


The simple answer is through targeted and routine strength and conditioning.  


Golf requires strength, endurance, flexibility and explosive power in order to play the game well - and not hurt yourself in the process.


Physical conditioning routines designed specifically for golfers can help you stay on the green and out of pain. As a bonus, conditioning your body to avoid injury while playing golf also helps youimprove your game.


Research using an 11-week targeted conditioningprogram found that participants were able to:

  • Increased their clubhead speed by 7%
  • Improved their strength up to 56%
  • Improved their flexibility up to 39%
  • Increased their drive distance up to 15 yards with sustained accuracy


Whether you’re a casual golfer, or serious about your game, we can help you avoid injury and improve your skills.

Join us for Golf-fit every Tuesdays! BOOK NOW

Gregg Roberts

Operations Director & Senior Physiotherapist

Gregg is the Operations Director and a Senior Physiotherapist at the White House Clinic. He qualified with a BSc (hons) in Physiotherapy from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009.

Gregg Roberts

Downloadable Resources


Stay up to date with our regular advice articles and latest news

Share this Post

Our team are ready and waiting to assist with your recovery.

Doctor holding patient's shoulders

Contact Us

Request A Callback
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
close mark

Limited Time Sport Massage Offer

Release muscle tension, reduce niggles and find some relief with a Sports Massage this February!


By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.