How Physical Therapy Can Help Your Golf Game

Ryan Hastie, PT, DPT, CSCS |

Pain is a common word that pops up when talking golf. For many amateurs across the globe, pain is an inevitable part of the game they love and can affect their ability to play. The golf swing is a complex movement that requires certain amounts of range of motion, stability and strength of many joints- neck, shoulder, elbow wrists, mid back, low back and hips. Deficits in any one of these areas can negatively affect a golfer’s ability to generate power or hit the ball toward their intended target. Restrictions or deficits in one region of the body can also place increased stress to the adjacent joints or tissues and lead to injury and pain. Fortunately, there are options available to golfers to not only determine the cause of the pain but to treat it and get rid of it for good.

Since 2003, the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) has studied the golf swing and found that the body must be able to perform certain motions in order to efficiently hit the ball. They do, however, recognize that every one of us is built differently and our bodies are capable of varying degrees of motion/mobility. TPI’s philosophy is that “every golfer will benefit from a healthy and efficient body.”  They believe that “the most efficient swing is not the same for every golfer, because efficiency is unique to their body.” To determine each player’s optimal efficiency, players undergo an assessment of how they functionally move.

There are several different types of professionals at TPI that include Golf (teach the golf swing), Medical (treat and prevent injury and dysfunction), Fitness (train golfer’s in the gym), and Junior (teach golf to children). These TPI certified professionals screen golfer’s by putting them through a full movement assessment to determine which areas of the body are negatively affecting the swing. This assessment can determine which areas of the body lack range of motion required in certain parts of the golf swing or areas of weakness that can lead to injury.  Further assessment is performed by TPI Medical professionals (physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors), who are trained to delve deeper into the root cause(s) of a player’s pain and/or dysfunction. Following an individual’s testing and assessment, the results are used to create a plan that is unique to that particular golfer.  These plans include stretching, mobility drills, targeted strengthening and/or stability exercises to address the deficits found in the assessment.

Physical therapists (PT) are highly trained in human anatomy and function. This knowledge, coupled with TPI’s understanding of the golf swing, allows PT’s to not only perform a full orthopedic assessment and treat the cause of a golfer’s pain but to improve mobility and strength throughout the body to allow the player to be more efficient and prevent future injury. To find your local TPI Medical professional, visit, click on the “Find an Expert” tab, then type in your city or zip code. For additional information, please contact your local Doctor of Physical Therapy for assessment and recommendations. Remember, physical therapists improve the way you move!