The best ways to prevent injury with the help of your golf equipment

Back injuries are a common issue for many golfers

Getty images

Although it might feel like a walk in the park, playing golf still requires physical exertion, and with physical exertion comes the possibility of injury. As a club-fitter myself, I’ve witnessed firsthand what poorly fit clubs or poorly selected components can do to a golf swing, and I’m here to offer examples of how making a few small changes can really help your game (and your health).

Lighter graphite iron shafts

Graphite shafts can make all the difference in your game. Getty Images

Graphite shafts offer an ideal combination of vibration and weight reduction — a combination that just isn’t possible with steel. Although there are a select number of steel shafts in the sub-80 gram weight range, graphite can be as light as 40 grams in softer flexes, and this weight reduction can take a lot of stress off the body during the swing.  

Extra club weight forces the body into an unnatural position in the backswing and follow-through, which can put a huge amount of stress on the lower back.

Lexi Thompson Getty Images

Two examples of golfers that likely used clubs that were too heavy as juniors are Lexi Thompson and Paula Creamer — both of whom have a distinct stretched follow-through after impact that was ingrained by heavy clubs pulling them through the ball.

This is why proper club fitting for junior golfers is so important for long-term success and health.

Softer grips

The CPX from Golf Pride is their softer all rubber grip ever Golf Pride

Just like with graphite shafts, softer grips help reduce vibration into the hands, wrists, and elbows and can make playing and practicing more fun and less taxing — especially for individuals with hand ailments or arthritis. If you are using steel shafts but are looking for a way to reduce vibration, softer grips are a great place to start.

Longer putter

A longer putter can pay serious dividends. Getty Images

Using a longer putter can put you into a more upright and comfortable posture, which not only helps on the course but also allows you to practice longer without putting stress on your back. Now, if you want the best of both worlds, one option is to go with a longer putter (35”+) and use a longer grip that doesn’t taper. This allows you to set up where you want on the putter for length and have the grip feel the same.

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Stewart Golf R1-S Push

$299
Building on the outstanding success of the R1 PUSH we are very proud to present the Stewart Golf R1-S PUSH cart that is built by hand in Gloucestershire, Great Britain. Now complete with eight different colour variations, the R1-S PUSH has been branded ‘The best push cart in the world’. Based on a novel application of the tried and tested rack & pinion system. Rack & pinion is most well known for use in car steering systems to turn the circular movement of turning a steering wheel, into the linear movement of the steering rack. Specially designed self adjusting bag jaws will accommodate any style of stand, cart or tour bag, and an innovative new silicone bag strap both adjusts to bag size and grips at the same time. Folding Mechanism: Watch Golf Monthly’s Digital Editor explain how the rack and pinion system works on the R1-S Push trolley: Key features: • 10 different color variations• Patented Rack & Pinion driven folding mechanism.• Weight: 8.1kg.• Extensive standard features including umbrella holder, ball holder, scorecard holder, ball marker, 4 accessory points, soft touch handle, bottle holder.• Adjustable and padded bag jaws that will accept virtually any tour, cart or even stand bag.• 3 quick release wheels.• 2 Year Warranty• Hand built in Great Britain. R1-S Push Enhancements How it works The R1-S PUSH is based on a novel application of the tried and tested rack & pinion system. Rack & pinion is most well known for use in car steering systems to turn the circular movement of turning a steering wheel, into the linear movement of the steering rack. The R1-S PUSH actually has 4 racks and 4 pinions that all work simultaneously. When folding the R1-S PUSH, it works as follows: 1. The main support is folded forwards, pivoting at its base. 2. At the base of the main support there is a large gear, or pinion. As this turns, it engages with the top side of the rear rack and moves it backwards in the horizontal tube. 3. The two lower sides on the rear rack connect to the front aero leg which has a pinion on. As the rack moves backwards linearly, the gear rotates and the leg closes until parallel with the horizontal tube. 4. The rear rack is connected to the front rack, so they both move backwards at the same time. 5. A further pinion mounted on top of the front rack is connected to the front wheel, so as the rack moves backwards the wheel folds under the horizontal tube. 6. The handle can be folded and adjusted by loosening the knob, and re-tightening when positioned. Why is this better? Any external sliding mechanism is subject to dust & dirt from the golf course. If not kept clean, this can lead the mechanism to become stiff and possibly even jam. The presence of abrasive dust or grit in a sliding mechanism can also cause damage to the surface finish. The patented rack & pinion mechanism is all housed inside the tube, away from dust & dirt. Additionally, the oversized design of the gears can work even with debris present. As well as the functional benefits described above, the rack & pinion system means that the aesthetic is impeccably clean. With the usual sliders missing, the key lines of the R1-S Push are allowed to really sing. Dimensions Folded with wheels: H: 460mm W: 360mm L: 570mm Folded without wheels: H: 280mm W: 320mm L: 690mm  
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Push cart 

Even when using the lightest possible carry bag, having to turn and bend over to pick it up can cause injury and stress to the back and shoulders. Using a push cart still offers the experience of walking the course but without having to bend over 40-70 times to pick up your bag. 

Golf is a game you can play for a lifetime, and making sure your gear is built right for you can allow you to enjoy it for as long as you want. 

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.

Ryan Barath

Golf.com Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.