Remember, when returning to the driving range or course after the offseason, start off slow. Do not expect to start where you left off last season. Before you even hit a ball start swinging, this should be like a crescendo in music, start small and quiet and end up big. Take slow half swings, then game speed half swings, progress to 75% and 100% swings in same manner. Do this for a few days before you even hit a ball so you can work on timing, range of motion, and weight transfer before worrying about contact. When you do go to the range start with a small bucket of balls instead of a large, start with short irons and work up to hitting your driver, and make sure to stretch before swinging a club!
How to get back into the swing of things and avoid injury A successful return to the golf season will require optimal:
Flexibility of the spine, shoulders, and hips
Endurance, walking 18 holes is a lot of stress on the lower body especially if you have not been walking much all winter
Strength, especially of our core muscles and glutes
Balance throughout the golf swing or walking on uneven terrain
If you feel any of these requirements are less than optimal, now is the time to start some preseason stretching and strengthening.
When and how physio can come into play
Assessment: If you would like someone to assess your flexibility, strength or balance to see if you are ready for the golf season, see a physical therapist. We will address any limitations you may have and you set up with a program made specifically for you.
Education: Simple modifications in equipment, gait, carrying/lifting techniques, and footwear can make a good walk less spoiled.
Treatment: Get your off-season injuries treated now! Do not let those nagging aches and pains become more serious and potentially shorten your golf season (it is already too short, to begin with).
Timing: If at any time during the golf season you are noticing pain or a decrease in range of motion, make an appointment to see a physiotherapist sooner than later. Those repetitive strain injuries common to golf (golfers elbow, tennis elbow, rotator cuff tendonitis, etc) respond to treatment quicker and more successfully if treated right away.