Typically once you reach your mid to late thirties, you forego your weekends playing high-impact amateur sports in exchange for the much more laid-back and lower impact sport of golf.

The sport, which many see as a leisurely walk interjected with the occasional swing and put, is ideal for sports lovers the wrong side of 30, or is it?

Whilst walking between holes is relatively low impact, there is nothing low impact about the repetitive and asymmetrical stress that you put on your body when you drive off the tee.

Counterintuitively, it seems, golf is actually a sport with a relatively high injury rate. In this article we take a look at some of the most commonly sustained golfing injuries, using high-profile professionals as the examples.

The Back Injury: Tiger Woods

What makes Tiger Woods incredible career even more impressive isn’t the fact that he won his first major at 21 or that he has won The Masters 5 times. His career is more impressive because, from an early age, he has been battling against injury after injury.

At the tender age of 18, Woods had a benign tumour removed from his left knee and in July 2007 he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament. Woods managed to comeback from both of these major injury setbacks, but the injury he has struggled the most with throughout his career have been those sustained to his back.

The 47-year-old first tweaked his back in 2013 and since then has had a number of niggly and painful back injuries that have kept him out of action. In 2017 Woods underwent surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

As part of his comeback from that injury, Woods eschewed all outside distractions, even refusing to play his beloved Texas Holdem poker as he focused all of his efforts on his rehabilitation. It wasn’t a bad tactic as he would go on to win his first major since 2008 at Augusta just 2 years later.

(Tiger Woods discusses one of his many surgeries.)

The Shoulder Injury: Joey Snyder

You probably haven’t heard of American golfer Joey Snyder, but had it not been for a chronic shoulder injury, you probably would have. Snyder turned pro in 1996 after winning at every junior level available to him.

His start in professional golf was nothing startling, slowly but surely though, he made his way up the rankings and began to make a name for himself – earning over a million dollars in prize money in one year.

Then disaster struck as he developed chronic neck and shoulder pain that eventually led to a frozen shoulder. Over the course of the next decade, Snyder would visit doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, all to no avail.

His dreams of a becoming a top golfer were over and any hopes he had of returning to the course even as an amateur were in tatters. Fortunately Snyder eventually encountered a surgeon who identified his problem as lying in his hip.

After undergoing corrective surgery, Snyder’s shoulder injury dissipated and he was able to return to the golf course. Unfortunately for Snyder he was unable to recapture his pre-injury form and return to the big time.

(What might sound like an innocuous injury was the death knell in Joey Snyder’s golfing career.)

The Knee Injury: Bubba Watson

You wouldn’t typically imagine that golfers would suffer from knee injuries, that is until you consider the enormous twisting strain that they place on their knees every time they hit a shot. In May 2022, American golfer Bubba Watson was playing well at Southern Hills.

That was until he noticed serious pain in his knee. Not wanting to retire and give up, Watson continued playing through the pain citing to his caddie the fact that Tiger Woods had once played on through a broken leg.

When Watson did return to Florida, suspecting a meniscus tear, he was shocked to find out that his meniscus had completely detached.

Doctors had to reattach Watson’s meniscus and thus began a period of lengthy rehab as the golfer not only targeted a return to the action, but to recover fully enough to reduce the risk of future complications such as arthritis.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].