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Sports Med. 2000 Aug;30(2):89-103.

A review of injury characteristics, aging factors and prevention programmes for the older golfer.

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University of Calgary Sport Medicine Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Participation in the sport of golf has risen considerably, particularly amongst senior players whose age is categorised as 50 years or more. However, golf presents both potential health benefits and risks for this older group of players. The health risks are compounded by the fact that the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems of senior players may not be as efficient at withstanding the strains and stress of this type of repetitive exercise. It was the purpose of this review paper to investigate the age-related health issues facing senior golfers and to discuss appropriate intervention strategies to help minimise these detrimental effects. The literature search identified only a minimal amount of epidemiological information pertaining specifically to the older golfer. A number of case reports were found which described a variety of musculoskeletal and cardiovascular incidents involving senior players. There was evidence from the literature that many of the age-related changes affecting older players' risk profiles were preventable or treatable through exercise. It was the conclusion of the authors of this review that conditioning programmes were highly recommended for all older players irrespective of their level of participation. Not only could the programmes prevent injury, they also had the potential to improve performance. Such programmes should incorporate flexibility, strength, endurance, speed and balance exercises specifically tailored to the demands of golf in order to be effective. Exercise equipment did not need to be elaborate and home-based programmes incorporating bodyweight, weighted clubs or elastic tubing resistance could be utilised. Future research needs to focus more specifically on injury incidence and mechanisms amongst groups of senior golfers whose participation rates vary. Randomised controlled trials are also recommended to investigate the efficacy of specific golf-related exercise regimens in this segment of the older population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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