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A Golfer's Perspective to Low Back Pain: Choose Your Path to Recovery

In January of 2016, Nick Watney, a professional golfer with over $25 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour, took the approach to rehabilitate his lower back with physical therapy. He was feeling lower back pain that radiated into his left hamstring area above his knee. An MRI confirmed a disc herniation. He had multiple surgical consults, however ultimately decided on physical rehabilitation.
ACB Golf Over the Top


Have you ever been told that your golf swing comes “over-the-top”? Hopefully not……but most likely if you are an amateur player, this swing characteristic has been part of your game at some point in time. For those of you who have corrected it….good for you and you probably do not have to read the rest of this article. However, for those of you who still struggle with this move I hope you can learn something if you keep reading.

Take a Swing at Better Health

Compared to other golfers, I probably got a much later start than most. Throughout my adult life, I have enjoyed many sports, including flag football, softball, and running, but I never had much of an interest in golf until about seven years ago. When the golf bug bit, however, it bit hard. There’s no question…I’m hooked!

Improving Your Golf Game with a Strong Core

If you think golfers are not athletes, take one look at Tiger Woods or Camilo Villegas, Annika Sorenstam or Natalie Gulbis. These modern day golfers are SERIOUS athletes, and their golf-specific exercise programs are SERIOUS workouts. If you are a golfer who wants to improve your golf performance, you ought to take your exercise time seriously.
ACB Golf Over the Top

Over the Top - Golf Performance

Over-the-top happens at the transition part of your golf swing when you initiate your downswing from the top of your backswing using your upper body rather than your lower body. This results in the club coming over the intended swing plane, leading to an “outside-in” swing path, leading to a pull if your clubface is square and the dreaded “banana-ball” slice if your clubface is open.

Golf and Low Back Pain

Most golfers will experience some form of lower back pain over the course of time. The nature of the golf swing is inherently unhealthy for the human spine. Forward flexion (bending forward) combined with rotation (twisting) creates torsional stresses throughout the spine including the discs, the joints between each vertebra, the ligaments connecting the vertebra to each other and the surrounding musculature.

Yoga Can Help Golf Game

Golf pro Bob Garza demonstrates balancing stick pose with his golf club at Lost Tracks Golf Club in Bend. Garza says yoga has helped his golf swing and protects his lower back from injury. When Bob Garza was in high school and college, yoga was not considered a man’s activity or a particularly athletic thing to do. The 53-year-old pro golfer is thankful things have changed.

Exercise Can Lower Golf Scores

Ideally, a golfer will start a routine in December like Boos. But Cooper, a TPI-certified golf fitness instructor, says there is still time to get in proper golf shape before the meat of the Central Oregon golf season begins.

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