Playing Golf with Arthritis
Arthritis is the most common type of disability in the United States, ailing over 10% of the population. However, just because you have arthritis, doesn't mean you can't enjoy the fun game of golf. In fact, you should look for ways to reduce the pain, and continue to play, as the game improves your strength, balance and coordination. There are plenty of ways you can still enjoy the game and minimize the pain from your arthritis.
1) Warm Up Before your Round
Whenever you're out on the course about to play a round, remember to warm up to prepare your joints and muscles. This means getting there well before your tee time, and taking a few minutes to stretch out any kinks in your arms and back. You should try striking a few yoga poses, rotating your arms, or taking slow, relaxed swings on the first tee box before smashing your first drive out onto the fairway.
One tool you can keep in your bag to stretch out your muscles is the Orange Whip. This weighted shaft allows you to warm up and strengthen your muscles. You can even practice having the right tempo by swinging it steadily back and forth at the driving range!
2) Don't swing too hard
Remember, a golf swing should be a relaxed, easy swing, starting from the hips. If you find yourself in pain throwing your arms as hard as you can to get that extra 10-15 yards, it's probably not worth it. Remember that you can still play a decent round (probably even better) when you relax your arms, and take a nice, easy, relaxed, tempo swing.
3) Play from the 150-yard markers
If you feel yourself getting tired, don't push yourself to finish the entirety of all 18 holes. Instead, play from the 150 marks for each hole, and conserve your energy.
4) Get Lighter Clubs
Instead of steel clubs, try a lighter golf club set, such as one made from graphite.
5) Get an Arthritic-Friendly Golf Glove
Fortunately, there exists arthritic-friendly golf gloves that are designed to reduce pain and swelling, and allow for better hand mobility.
One of the only companies that make golf gloves for arthritic hands is Bionic. These gloves are designed by orthopedic hand specialists, with the best quality material. They are reviewed to fit like a second skin.
The glove is designed to even out the surface of the hand to prevent fatigue and increase strength.
6) Wear Proper Shoes
Be sure to wear good quality walking shoes to keep your feet comfortable and dry. Some players like to double up on their socks for a more comfortable feel if the cushion on their shoes aren't enough.
7) Apply the Proper Grips to your Clubs
If you're still feeling stiff in your hands, even with the arthritic gloves, you can try grips made just for arthritic hands.
The Karma Arthritic was built to minimize excessive grip pressure for a tension-free hold.