There’s no need to hang up your golf clubs once you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis. After all, the physical benefits of golf, such as improved strength, balance and coordination, and better range of motion, make it worth staying in the game. With just a few adjustments, you can improve your golf swing.
Dean Claggett, director of golf at Two Eagles Golf and Academy in West Kelowna, British Columbia, and Shandia Cordingley, a physical therapist at Dale Charles Physiotherapy in Penticton, British Columbia, worked with the Arthritis Society in Canada to develop these golf swing tips specifically for golfers with arthritis.
Tee up. Play from the 150-yard markers if you begin to get tired. Consider using energy-saving techniques while you’re on the course. Take only the clubs you use most frequently. Pull your golf bag instead of carrying it, or rent a motorized cart instead of walking.
Grip tension. Keep your tension on the shaft consistent. Be careful not to let your arms and trunk become too rigid.
Swing. If you have back pain, you may find that the classic swing is more comfortable for you than the modern swing or reverse-C swing.
Backswing. End it early – at the three o’clock position, rather than the one o’clock position – to prevent back, shoulder and elbow injuries. Always brush through the grass so you will hit the ball solidly and carry your momentum out to the target
Downswing. Focus on sweeping through the ball. Transferring weight from one leg to the other is easier if you allow your heels to lift – and it also results in a more effective shot. Let the natural momentum of the swing continue into the follow-through position.
Finish. When you stop, your spine should be as vertical as possible to minimize the load on the lumbar spine.