“If you swing correctly, you shouldn’t get hurt. So if it hurts, your swing must be wrong.”
True or false?
If you were to ask me 10 years ago, I would’ve said “true” without batting an eyelash. But after suffering injuries to different parts of the body on separate occasions, I’ve learned that it’s not as simple as that.
Wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, foot, back, neck. It’s my version of “Been there; done that.”
It might seem ironic for someone as “damaged” as I am to write about this. But I figured who better to talk about “battle wounds” than someone who has actually survived them.
In a perfect world where everyone is always healthy and strong, where nobody has muscular imbalances, where every golfer can touch the ground without bending his knees… yes, you won’t get hurt if you swing correctly. (Heck, you won’t get hurt doing anything.)
The reality is, due to physical limitations, it’s difficult for most people not to experience some kind of discomfort in an effort to swing correctly. In fact, one can argue that we develop certain swing patterns not because we want to but because our bodies simply don’t give us any other choice. And when we force the issue, our bodies naturally object… by breaking down.
Should a player improve his physical condition so he can execute a correct swing? Sounds logical. Is it worth it? If you’re looking at a career in golf, absolutely! (Enter the bio-mechanics expert. The more acronyms come after their names, the better.)
Of course we can always challenge the assumption that there is such a thing as a universally correct swing to begin with. Ask 10 pros and you might get 10 different answers in terms of how a correct swing should look and feel. If the correctness of a swing were to be based on its ability to send the ball on the intended line, at the intended trajectory, and to the intended distance, then there’s obviously more than one choice.
At the end of the day, avoiding injury is not entirely dependent on your technique. Although a proven method can definitely reduce the risks, you can get physically compromised just as easily by practicing too much. By practicing in the wrong place. By not warming up. By playing multiple sports simultaneously. By wearing wrong shoes. By using ill fitted equipment. By working long hours in the office. By having a baby.
By getting old.
Ever heard of “no pain, no gain”? I know it’s a bit old school. But find me someone who’s never felt pain, and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t worked hard enough. Or long enough.