Golf Injuries - Older Golfers

Golf is a unique sport in that it is actually more appealing to us as players as we get older. You don’t see too many rugby leagues for folks in their Golden Years, but older golfers do represent some of the fastest growing segments in the golfing population. There are about six million U.S. golfers over the age of fifty. Furthermore, while older golfers account for about one-quarter of all golfers, they play about half of the total annual rounds in the United States.

All this sounds pretty rosy until you consider one fact: older golfers play with older bodies, and this can sometimes lead to problems. One survey of nearly 1000 amateur golfers revealed that the injury rate was significantly higher for golfers over the age of fifty (65 percent injury rate) than it was for golfers younger than fifty (58 percent injury rate).

Older golfers are not only more likely to be injured while playing golf, they are also more likely to have so-called incidental injuries - aches and pains from ailments that are not caused by golf but that nonetheless compromise golf performance and golf enjoyment. None of this should come as a big surprise. We all carry with us the effects of years of wear and tear. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could leave those ailments (back pain, hip/knee arthritis, etc.) in the clubhouse along with our street shoes?

Aging is a poorly understood phenomenon that affects all of our body’s systems. Some of the changes we see in the aging golfer are nervous system, cardiac system, and muscular system changes, and changes in the joints, the bones, and the spinal discs.

If all these doom-and-gloom statistics about aging make you want to curl up on the couch and wait for the Grim Reaper, take heart. The fact is that a significant degree of age-related decline in body function can be slowed, and perhaps even prevented, by regular exercise. With a little attention paid to conditioning and technique (lessons from a pro), most of us could probably make up for age-related losses of skill - and then some. Inactivity (disuse) is the main reason our muscle strength declines with age, and numerous studies have shown that regular exercise can result in dramatic improvement in strength in older adults.

In Dr. Divot’s Guide to Golf Injuries - A Handbook for Golf Injury Prevention and Treatment, older golfers will learn all about golf injury prevention and treatment.  An entire chapter is dedicated to the special injury concerns of the senior golfer.  Readers will learn:

  • Six important ways in which the aging process affects the older golfer's body
  • The "foursome" of injury prevention strategies for the senior golfer
  • The effect that age has on performance for the elite and recreational athlete/golfer 

Are you a senior golfer who has had a total joint replacement of the hip, knee, or shoulder?  Are you contemplating total joint replacement surgery and wondering whether it is safe to return to golf after surgery?  Dr. Divot's Guide to Golf Injuries has a complete and separate chapter for golfers with total joint replacement including a thorough review of the medical literature and expert advice from the medical experts.

"As we baby-boomers age, we are not as willing to give up the things we love, particularly because of a knee or a shoulder that just won't cooperate.  Finding help to point us in the right direction in invaluable.  Finding hope (with a dose of laughter thrown in) is priceless."                                                Tennessee Valley Golf News

 “A good read—well organized and clearly expressed. This book can be very helpful after one has suffered an injury to prevent re-injury. It would be beneficial for all golfers, especially seniors like myself, to read to prevent injuries.” D. Shaible, Tour Partners Club Member Tester

Click here to learn more about the book (table of contents, excerpts, ordering info...)


Lindsay D, Horton J, Vandervoort A: A Review of Injury Characteristics, Aging Factors, and Prevention Pregrammes for the Older Golfer. Sports Medicine 30(2): 89-103, 2000.

McCarroll J, Rettig A, Shelbourne K: Injuries in the Amateur Golfer. The Physician and Sports Medicine 18(3): 122-26, 1990.

Batt M: A Survey of Golf Injuries in Amateur Golfers. British Journal of Sports Medicine 26(1): 63-65, 1992.